Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Is my baby a picky eater?

Since Leia has been refusing her "moi" (rice porridge) lately, I stopped giving it to her for the last 2 days. Instead I fed her something else like oats porridge, papayas, biscuits, rice grains and bread and milk. She took all these in small portions. Yesterday, I made rice porridge for her again after a few days of "abstinence". She has cut down on the word usage of "mai"("no" in Hokkien) and agreed to eat few spoonfuls. Half the size that she used to eat. I have alsocut the carrots and potatoes and other veges into cubes instead of mashed them all up. (Tried to give her a change in food texture in the hope that she'll like it better.) Well, she opened her mouth wide... A good sign to me.

If those baby websites like wholesomebabyfood.com and homemade-baby-food-recipes.com are right, I really hope this challenging stage will pass soon. As much I'd like to assure myself that it is not to be worried about, I can't stop feeling it - looking at the little amount of food she ate. I'm glad though... her appetite for milk is returning.

Will have to give her variety of foods. Working on a food menu for her now....

Monday, December 29, 2008

Padang Brown - Penang famous hawker center

Our beauty sleep last Saturday was interrupted by a phone call from hubby's office. His boss needed him to be in office around 11am to review one assignment. Since it was coming to 10 when he received the request, he decided to wake the two of us up too. Brilliant idea indeed!

We hurriedly got dressed and let Leia drank her milk as hubby suggested that we should tag along. Since he promised taking us for a meal straight after work, I agreed. Hehehe....

So, by 11.40am, we were already at one of Penang famous eating places - Padang Brown. It is famous for its Yong Tau Foo, Poh piah, Lok Lok, Pasembur, Hokkien Mee, Coconut drink.......... and lots more. Hmmm, I like the place a lot as it has plenty of Penang popular hawker food I named above.

Satellite view of Padang Brown

But we were a bit too early. The hawkers have just arrived and was busy setting up their stalls. We were told to wait at least another half an hour. So, while waiting... we took Leia to the nearby children playground. Now that she is a bit older, we allowed her to explore more. She has been "promoted" to playing with metal play items. :)

Taking on the captain role once again!



"Oh, where am I?"

"Hey, Leia...."

"Leia, mommy's here"

The view of the hawker center from the playground

Having enough of playtime with pants and shoes soiled with earth, we marched to the hawker center for a satisfying meal.

We - the early birds got to choose the best table

Assam Laksa for hubby. Tasty! (Yup, he let me tried)

Char koay teow for both of us. Good!

Hokkien mee for me! Super delicious!

Leia settled with playing with the stools while we enjoyed our meal...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Christmas

One person asked me in one of the Christmas parties, "Is this her first Christmas?" Well, technically "no" as she was born on Nov 30 2007. Rightfully, it should be her 2nd Christmas this year. But I'd like to think it as her first since we didn't celebrate one last year.

Why didn't we celebrate? You see... her papa (that's my hubby) was down with chicken pox when she was just 2 weeks old. So, we had no choice but to be separated. There I was with Leia in my parents' place while my hubby was quarantined in upstairs room of our house.

It was a sad moment for me. I missed being by my hubby's side on this special season. What more then that a newborn has just joined our family...

So, this year is Leia's "first" Christmas. We chose to celebrate it in a simple manner. What is important is that we're celebrating it together as a family...

"Open the presents, girls...."

Singing session

Spilled the drinking water all over her dress

Thursday, December 25, 2008

She's losing her appetite

Hmmm... it's coming to a week now - Leia seems to be losing her appetite. She refused to finish her "moi" (porridge) and milk almost on her every meal. She used to drink at least 7 ounces of milk in 2.5 hours time but now... she couldn't even finish her 6 ounce milk. 

I'm getting a bit concerned. Could it be due to teething? She's coming to 13 months old and yet, there's no sign of sprouting teeth. 

Tried giving her other new type of foods like bread, biscuit, oats, pears but she doesn't seem to be able to eat a lot. That includes her favourite biscuit - Jacob's Weetameal. She could only finish quarter or maximum half of the biscuit when previously, she could finish one whole at one go.

Blessed Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chingay procession in Penang

There was a Chingay procession in town last night. It was yearly event held on Christmas day. But this time around, it was moved to an earlier date to avoid traffic chaos during the festive. Oh, I've not been to one for a few years now. So, I thought it would great to go downtown to join in the fun - with Leia around this time. Well, it was not easy to persuade hubby to take us there. "What's there to see but a few people trying to juggle a long thick pole on their heads without much skill shown?" But I did it. He finally agreed later in the evening. Great!

As anticipated, traffic came to a snarl at certain spots as the police blocked certain routes to make way for the procession. We decided to head to the final meeting point of the procession - Esplanade. We were lucky enough to find a car park lot nearby.

Boy, it felt so good to be out there and join in the fun. :) It felt like it's been ages since we last did that sort of thing. Leia was totally overwhelmed! She couldn't stop observing the antics of people around her, the street performances - lion dance, Bhangra dance, malay dance, etc, the bright colourful lights decorating the streets and the kids.


A boy negotiating a balloon with the clown

Leia got a balloon too...

It was past 10pm and after more than 2 hours there, we decided to go "makan" (eat for Malay) at the nearby famous hawker centre while waiting for the traffic to ease. Look at we saw hung on the wall of court building.

"Buat kerja" (Do work in Malay) slogan? Hmmm...that's a bit tricky, isn't it? Do we really need a slogan to encourage the workers to work?? Give me that job that I'm not required to work!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My counsellors...

I'm so glad that I had a chance to have a good, long discussion with hubby about my current state of mind and affairs yesterday evening. Everything become clearer again...

Who are your personal counsellor when you face roadblocks in your life? I have two. One is my hubby, of course and two is my best friend. They are the ones who seem to understand me most besides my parents, though both of them have a total opposite way of handling issues. One is a talker and the other is a listener. I'll let you guess who is who...

Being a sentimental person I am, I find talking and sharing my "sorrows" is a very effective way to de-stress. Ya, ya... poor two people mentioned above - having to bear with me like they have no other choice! Eventhough at times they couldn't help me much but it's very assuring and comforting to just have someone who cares to listen to me. It truly means a lot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The cursed endless list

I've been wanting to write these 2 days but... there were simply so many distractions that came along.

How have I been doing? How is Leia? What am I up to right now? How is Leia progressing? Hmmm... many things to share but....

Having 1001 things in mind to do is not exactly a healthy state of mind I should be in at all time. It's neither impressive to begin with. But why do I have this endless list in my thought all the time? Do you know why? I think I know the answer but I guess I have not settled with one great solution.

There are just 24 hours a day in our lives. Well, it rings truth that we can't possibly do everything that we want without prioritising them wisely. Am I setting my priorities right? If I do, why am I feeling so disillusioned? One part of me is insisting that I "slow down" in work related matter so that I can focus more on Leia.... and the other part of me is not allowing me to let go... Oh, I'm tired of pleasing both... the inner voices. Oh, what about the outer voices - the surrounding voices by the loved ones, friends...

Dear God, what about yours?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Feeding time

Lately, Leia has started to like playing with her cutlery. During feeding times, she has tried to grab the spoon from my hand. So, you can imagine how messy it could be most of the time! I have to always get ready a bucket of water and wet cloth next to me. Just so that I can immediately wipe and clean up the mess once it happens. Sigh...

Solution? Look at the pictures below,

Her own cutlery set - minus the food

Hmmm...what's so yummy with the plastic spoon?

Not so full-proof still. I guess it will only happen when she turns adult, hopefully....

Weetameal - Jacob's

What's your baby's favourite biscuit? Leia loves Jacob's Weetameal. I have started giving her this biscuit about 2 weeks ago for her to snack in between her meals. Tried giving her Rusk's baby teething biscuit a few times before but she didn't like it it all. Perhaps it was because of the very sweet taste and the sticky texture it has.

So, if at anytime Leia rejects her "moi" (porridge in Hokkien) or other solid foods, Weetameal comes to rescue.


Half piece gone!

Finger licking good!


I personally loves this biscuit. It's so yummy and easy to eat. I could gulp down an average of 4 pieces at any given time. Now, it has a new follower - my hubby! Hehehe...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A trip to the playground

Yesterday, I took Leia and her young "ku ku" (uncles in Hokkien) to the playground near my ah ma's (grandma in Hokkien) house. Since her papa will only be coming home at dinner time, I decided to spend the time "wisely" and bring along her "ku ku" to have an exercise session with us. The older "ku ku" has mentioned several times of his wish to play at that playground earlier. So, I made his wish came true yesterday... :)

It was a 15 minutes walk from ah ma's house and very near to the new supermarket - Econsave. We had fun pushing Leia in her stroller to the place. We took turns. At one point of time, we even had to lift her up (together with her stroller) to avoid the uneven and rocky path. It was her moment of being a princess carried in her carriage... hahaha!

I let Leia sat on a swing with me. She didn't quite like it. Struggled to release herself from my grip. I think it was probably because she felt restrained. So, I let her tried standing while her both hands holding on the metal. Oh, she loved it! We could her "ki ki ka ka"! (laughters)

Then, I let her tried the slide. It was her first time. So, I guided her and sat her at the top of the slide before pushing her down gently. Initially it felt a bit awkward. But after a few tries, she got it and wanted to try it out on her own.

Slowly but surely

Reached the top!



Older "ku ku", KW appreciating the view from the top

Balancing act by the younger "ku ku", KS

Despite the fun at the playground, I seriously could not stand the mosquitoes! I got bitten like more than 5 bites and Leia got 2! It must be the rainy season. There are mosquitoes everywhere! Even now, as I'm sitting down typing away, I think at least a mosquito is happily sucking out blood from me! Aarrggh! Itchy!

So, after half an hour there, I decided to lead the "rombongan" (group in Malay) home. Enough of blood donation!

Leia and her "koh poh" (aunty in Hokkien)

KW - the camera-shy boy ducked as soon as I took out my camera

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anmum or Gain Plus?

Selection of the "right" milk powder for our kids is another area of concern for those moms who have stopped breastfeeding like yours truly... There are so many well-known brands in the market with their own niche selling points which makes it even more complicated in the selection process. Some added extra content into the milk powder to help ease constipation and what-not. Sometimes, getting spoilt with choices is not a pleasurable experience, don't you agree?

Another challenge with this milk powder issue is the need to change the milk powder type so frequently. Many parents would have noticed that many brands classify their milk powder in various stages based on the age of the child. For example - Anmum has Step 1 (0-6 months old), Step 2 (6-12 months old) and Step 3 (1-3 year old). Whereas brands like Similac makes it less complicated by combining Anmum Step 1 & 2 into one (that is 0-12 months old).

So, expectantly with Leia being 1 year old now, I have to "upgrade" her milk powder to "1-3 years old" category. Nevertheless, glad to know that the next time we'll need to "upgrade" it again will be another 3 years time down the road!

I bought Anmum for Leia previously. Now that she is 1 year old, my milk powder supplier recommended me Gain Plus.

Yes, I don't buy the milk powder from supermarkets. I have a nurse friend who can supply me at discounted price. According to her, Gain Plus milk powder is more superior than Anmum as the nutrient content is greater than the latter. So, I listened to her advise. But similar like Similac (both Similac and Gain Plus are the products of Abbott group), it has a thick layer of froth formed once mixed with water and shaken in milk bottle. Now I have a small concern - won't our toddlers be sucking in too much air if that is the case?

I have checked with my supplier and she assured me that it's nothing to be worried about. The froth formation was caused by 1 missing ingredient in the milk powder. The ingredient (which acts like a stabiliser) is purportedly omitted out to preserve the high content of "natural" ingredients used. In fact, only Abbout milk products will have froth formation due to the fact mentioned above.

Wanting to believe her, I did a test. I mixed 1 ounce of Anmum milk powder into 6 ounce of Gain Plus into the boiled water. Then shook it. Surprisingly, no froth formed this time. Hmmm... what's your thoughts?

If you are in my shoes, which brand would you have chosen for Leia? Anmum or Gain Plus? (Let's not go further with other brands...)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Discipline my child

My dreaded moments have arrived... Or should I say that it's confirmed that I lack of parenting skill?

Leia has been throwing tantrums quite often lately whenever she didn't get things done her way. It's especially embarrassing when she does it in the public. As much as we both tried very hard to reason with her and gently tell her "no" to avoid unsafe situations, she would just "flipped" and engaged into actions that at times may hurt herself. Things that she would do would include crying till we pick her up, pushing herself backward with all her might, raising both legs into the air and then bringing them down hard, throwing whatever items held in her hand...

Again, I feel panicky! Oh dear... what can I do better to discipline her? A couple who came to visit us last weekend gave us some advise - It is the time now to consider using "the rod" to discipline her. They have always been our role model for good parenting. They have raised 2 obedient, polite and well-mannered children and deep in my heart, I really hope I can be one as well.

We have never used the rod. The most we have done is to beat her hand and bottom with our hands. So, obviously the current method doesn't work. This sense of desperation lead me to read up more about the right method to disciplining Leia. But what is discipline to begin with? According to Dr Sears, discipline is based on building the right relationship with a child more than using the right techniques. Discipline is mostly what you do to encourage good behaviour. Certainly not reacting to bad behaviour as some parents would equate discipline with.

After reading this article about "DEVELOPMENTAL REASONS WHY TODDLERS CAN BE DIFFICULT TO DISCIPLINE", I begin to see Leia's temper tantrums in different light. I now understand that the drive that babies have to develop, is the same one that creates discipline challenges. For example, along with learning how to pick up things, a one-year-old toddler develops hand skills to manipulate what she gets. Doors are to be opened, knobs turned, drawers pulled, dangling cords yanked, and waste cans emptied. Everything within walking and grabbing distance is fair game, or so she figures. To the inquisitive adventurer like Leia, the whole house is an unexplored continent, and she intends to leave no stone unturned.

So, what are the discipline principles that I need to use to help Leia to have "good" behaviours? I trust the most important one is to understand and know her. Know her needs and capabilities at various ages. My discipline techniques should be different at each stage because Leia's needs change. A temper tantrum in a one-year-old calls for a different response than it does in an eight-year-old.

So, say no more to reacting to bad behaviours but start instilling good ones. Looks like I won't be able to doze off so easily tonight.... Lots of reflection going through my head now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let's go swimming...

Wow... in less than 2 weeks, Leia has gone to the swimming pool 4 times! Since I'm not working now, I finally have all the reasons to swim again. It's been so long.... my last time was I was pregnant.

Every single swimming trip will require 3 bags full of clothes, swimming gadgets for the adults and the small one, drinking water, soap and shampoo, food, what else... So, for this mommy - it was a pretty stressful preparation. Well, at least for the first time. The list of "what need to bring along" seemed endless...

Gladly enough, Leia wasn't so afraid of water. Seeing her "papa" and "kong kong" swimming in the pool, she too wanted to go near. At first, she couldn't recognise them (as they were in their goggles) but after a while of convincing (taking off and putting on the goggles), she smiled and waved at them. That was the ice-breaker.

In her cute "hand-me-down" swimsuit from her cousin in US. Getting all ready

Naturally, she gets more comfortable dipping herself in the pool after a few trips. The last trip we went, she couldn't wait to get into the pool! As soon as I put her into her swim suit, she crawled towards the edge of the pool on her own.

Can't wait to go swimming again tomorrow. Hopefully I'll recover from my back pain by then. Was moving around like an old granny today...

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So... you noticed I have started adding photos in my post?

Hahaha... managed to add another photo editing software called GIMP on this old desktop. Thanks to hubby! This works just fine with lots of features. Truly recommended.

As promised earlier, I'm sharing here some photos taken on my last day in Ceva.

Farewell lunch at KFC with my Penang CS team (except for the Security man sitting at the centre)

My two lovely CS

My whiteboard in my office?

A view from my office

As I searched and edited above photos, I can't help but to also look through all those old office photos taken with my Malaysia team - Penang, KL and Johor. Here are some of them...

My birthday celebration in the office in 2007. Notice the birthday gift my team gave me? :)

Lunch get-together for Penang and Johor CS teams in Bayan Baru, Penang

Penang and KL CS teams in company annual dinner last year

The one and only POM-POM team in company inter-department bowling competition

Organised the industry first Blood Donation and Organ Pledge Campaign when I was 6 months pregnant

Friday, December 5, 2008


Thank God everything went smoothly and she didn't show any allergy reaction till now.

It was a half day affair yesterday. We (Leia, aunty and I) reached hospital coming to 9.30am. Yeah, this mommy took forever to get both of us ready... As usual, the car parking bays were all taken and I had no choice but to park my car so far far away - some nearby housing area. Man, it was such a hot sunny day! By the time I reached the hospital compound, I was drenched in sweat.

Funny - we were asked to register at the Emergency and Accidents area. I felt a bit uncomfortable having to see all the gory sights of bloody people and old grannies with oxygen masks covered half of their faces waiting to be examined. I tried very hard to keep Leia out of those sights by keeping her occupied with her books. Surprisingly, nothing much was done to Leia there except asking a bit of her particulars by a doctor. Then, we were taken to another counter (to register again) and to pay a RM10 deposit. Then, off to the Ward C1 we went.

As soon as we entered the ward area, we were greeted with cryings and groans of babies and toddlers. They were everywhere accompanied mostly by their mothers. Many of these kids had tubes attached to their noses and hands. They looked so sickly and scrawny. A very sad sight...

Leia then had her BP (blood pressure) checked and weight taken. That was the first time I saw a BP cloth wrapped on the leg instead of the arm. I didn't ask why. I figured her arm is too small and short to fit the wide cloth.

She was given a cot placed next to another baby who needed observation for the MMR vaccination. She was happy to meet a new friend. In fact, she was feeling happy the whole morning - singing, talking and clapping hands all the way to the hospital. I think that was because she didn't know....what's to come...

Her designated cot - out of place. Without a pillow - the hospital ran out of pillows

Look at the many cots at background

Yeh... Sponge Bob was there too!

View from her cot

Thank God, the vaccination wasn't that traumatic an experience for her. She willingly allowed me to hold her arm firmly before the nurse "cucuk" (poked in Malay) her. As expected, she yelled as soon as she realised it but quickly came a silence as well when I picked her up. Phew... No struggling and kicking and screaming this time. The experienced nurse saved the day!

A happy girl once again!

Her monitoring sheet

Finally... dozed off.... despite the noise and the very warm surrounding

She was given the jab around 11am. And the nurse advised that she be observed for the next 6 hours. If no symptoms shown, then she could be discharged. Wow....that were a lof of hot hours!

But thankfully, around 3pm, the practising docs and experienced ones who did a round check was happy with her progress. Thus, she was given the approval to discharge earlier. So, did was the other MMR vaccinated baby. Hooray!

Helping mommy to pack?

So, we left the hospital around 3.45pm after settling the bill and documentations. But will have to continue to monitor her progress overnight. Was given paracetamol syrup - just in case she develops fever at night. But as I said earlier, she's fine with no symptoms till now. Thank God...