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Shalwar Kameez

Good morning!

Tufeil is wearing the purple shalwar kameez sewn lovingly by his paternal grandma to go to the mosque.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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End of The World

Last Friday, I entered a talent competition in the company organised by... myself. Actually the recreation club but spearheaded by me.

The game plan is something like America's Got Talent. ie ANY talent you have then 50% judges scores and 50% by colleagues' votes. We have 5 entrants:

  1. 3 French guys singing YMCA - They were out of beat but very hilarious. Scores to engage the audience and make pple laugh!
  2. 2 Chinese China ladies acted a (human) puppet show. Unfortunately, they spoke in Mandarin and their points were halved as rules specifically said English / Singlish.
  3. A guy performed Magic Show. Unfortunately, out of 3 tricks, only 1 came out right. He was sooooo nervous the hands and face were all shaking. The poor dear.
  4. A girl singing Colours of the Wind. - We were supposed to be performing together. At the last minute, I decided that we couldn't agree to a consensus as to which song we are comfortable in and performed separately.

video

So this is my performance. Singing my rendition of "End of the world"

Ok I didnt realise i am THIS CHUBBY!!! I really had to cover my eyes the first time i watched it. Yikes *puke puke*

I was also shaking as hell. I think my mouth contorted a bit when I was singing. Not to mention my mouth / throat was sooo dry - i was fasting.

In the end, I got second place. I lost to my supposed partner. This is her video.

video

It's not that I'm a sore loser, but I'm curious am I not as good as her? Or is it just that she had more supporters?

PLUS, if Talent No 2 did not get their points halved, I would have been in 3rd place!

So I'm calling my readers to vote now based solely on talent ok. Not bcos u know me and want to support me or anything.








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Shame & Achievements

I simply had to report 3 more mishaps of parenthood after the initial Walk of Shame entry.

1. Tufeil had a GREAT fall.

He fell head first from the bed. I left him there to watch his dvd while I moved around the room to clean. He was on all fours at the edge and somehow his hands slipped. =( he had a big blue black spot right smack center of his forehead. For that, my son, I sincerely apologise. Now, if i'm not on the bed with him, I leave him standing on the floor instead. And also he seemed to be scared of coming down from the bed on its own when he wakes up in the morning.

2. 3 day old water

Tufeil lovesssss to play with empty bottles and boxes that we left in a pail to be sent to the common rubbish chute. And recently he begged and shrieked and screamed at me, "NAK MINUM! NAK AIR! NAK MINUM! NAK AIR! NAKKKKKK NAKKKKK NAKKKK" (Want to drink! Want water! WANT WANT WANT!).

I started to give up and unscrew the bottle's cap and about to let him have a sip when mum also shrieked and stopped me.

Mum: What do you think you're doing?
Me: Giving Tufeil a drink
Mum: Where did u get that
Me: From the pail
Mum: DON'T!! That's 3 days old! It must have gone bad!
Me: Oh is it? Sorry.

3. Water in Ear

I feel guilty when sometimes i accidentally sprayed some water into his ears when showering.


These are so depressing to write/read. So I'm gonna write the few life skills that I've achieved to teach Tufeil so far.

1. Put Inside / Put Back

Cleaning up toys is a breeze now that he knows how to put his toys in its box. I started this when he was prolly 7 to 8 months when he started crawling and/or standing on his own. I would give him a block and say "Put Inside" pointing to the box and I would demonstrate to him too. And clap vigorously when he managed to do it.

I especially like it when he returns somebody's thing (mostly handphone, keys) back to the owner or table, etc.

2. Shower Bye Bye

I applied the same theory during bathtimes. He has a collection of toys, brushes and sponges in each bathrooms. But there is always one thing I practise. I would always say, "Ok Tufeil put everything back. Bye bye everybody. See you tmrw." and he knows its the cue to get out of the toilet.

While getting him OUT is not a problem, sometimes getting him IN is. Especially when he just woke up and wanted to play with his Atok first. I would say, "Mummy has a sponge" and sometimes it would work. When that doesn't, his Atok hafta pretend he's gonna shower too and bring him to the bathroom. When he's finally distracted, Atok will go out.

3. Throw

He now understands the word THROW and knows how to throw rubbish mainly used tissues into the bin.

Unfortunately that's not all he throws. His balls, soft toys, assorted mini kitchen appliances, handphones, iPod all got trashed as well! hahaha I'd hafta ask him to "take" or "put back" those items but sometimes the bin has got some food waste and I dont want him to touch it so i gotta do it myself.

4. Lap

I mentioned above that he lovessss to spit out water when he's drinking. As a consequent, I would give him a tissue and told him to lap (wipe) the table. And he would.. wiping his mouth at the same time. Could this be the motivating factor for him to spill and spill? So he could get a tissue to wipe?

Hmmm But I dont believe in reprimanding making a big scene cos i do notice that he tend to do it again just to get some reaction. Mostly when he does something wrong, I will pretend nothing happen and try to get him to do something else - much to my mum's distress. I think she must think like i'm not noticing nor disciplining my son.

Eg: He would hit my face. And i keep quiet kissing him instead. But mum's the one who would shout "HEP! Cannot do that!" and then he would hit me again. I didn't comment her style nor preach mine. Because I feel no one method is perfect lor.

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Should I stop Pumping?

It's been almost two weeks since Tufeil has drunk any Expressed Breastmilk (hereafter known as EBM). But he still nurses the moment i step into the house and throughout the night.

I kept pumping 70ml x 2 per day. During Ramadhan, I even started to pump TWICE (at 12nn and 5pm) because I was afraid the supply might dip. But my frozen stock continues to grow and grow as Tufeil simply refuses to drink any.

It's a bit worrying because he isn't given any other source of liquid calcium. Part of the problem is he likes to spit out when he's drinking and if its VitaSoy or worse Fresh Milk, it would get sticky and Mum is very averse to the latter.

Most working nursing mothers have problem with their supplies. Me, I have problem with my baby drinking it! Ish Tufeil! There's only one other friend who experiences the same and told me that she stopped pumping at 18months and gave her baby alternatives like Dates juice, apple juice and fresh milk.

Tufeil is 17 months now. Should I stop pumping? I feel sad if I do cause i enjoy pumping. It's like having a cigarette break. LOL.

Another question still: What do I do with the almost 15pkts of frozen milk supply? Sure I can use some to cook... The rest of my family member puked at the tot of eating it tho *looks pointedly at Ash* But its A LOT of milk!

I've been thinking of giving some to other babies. But the concern is, then my son and that baby could become siblings. If that baby's a boy and one day I have a baby girl, there might be a problem if they happen to like each other, ya know.

So what do i do??

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Domesticated Me - Fish Cake & Biskut Sarang Semut

Biskut Sarang Semut (literally translated to Ant's nest biscuit) is my favourite Eid cookie!

I got the recipe last year but did not manage to make it. Now that I'm all domesticated, I thought it's high time I try it. I actually got two recipes and somehow merge them into one that I can actually use with what I have / bought / didn't buy.

First let me give you the simple one from this blog.

Ingredients:
200 g castard flour
100 g plain flour
120 g butter
100 gm sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
chocolate rice for sprinkling on the cookies paper cups

Method:
1) In a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla essence till fluffy.
2) Add in the mixture of custard and plain flour which has been sifted first.
3) Chill the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour or more, and grate the dough.
4) Spoon the grated dough into paper cup and sprinkle some chocolate rice on top.
5) Bake in preheated oven of 175degrees C for about 15-20 minutes.

The second recipe taken from mitalika.multiply.com has so many additional items:

16 oz corn flour
2 oz top flour
2 oz Custard powder
8 oz icing sugar
1 tsp vanilin powder
1 tsp baking powder
12 oz butter
Choc rice.

Method is the same.

I wanted to do the 2nd recipe as I reckon with more ingredients, the flavour will come out more. Before that, I had to go and buy the Custard, vanilin powder, baking powder and more butter and choc rice and the cups.


However, I'm not sure if this custard is the same? Usually it comes in a tin and this one even has a Vanilla flavour in it already. But i told myself, nevermind just use it since you bought it already.

There were more chaos about the ingredients:

  1. Icing sugar expires two days later. (bought it for last Eid actually but didnt use!hahaha)
  2. My mum says she has corn starch but not sure if that's equivalent to corn flour?? Omitted that. Besides, we didn't have enough anyway.
  3. Also not sure if I got the right baking powder?
  4. Only had 3 eggs left and I blew the first one because i tot egg yolk is the egg white and threw away the yolk. Silly me. Luckily, Ly was there for me to ask. But to my amazement, separating the yolk was pretty easy! hahaha Didn't know I had it in me. Maternal instinct kicks in!

So in the end, I decided to go with the first recipe just replace sugar with icing sugar.

My niece the Little Helper.

So messy! Flour dust everywhere!

Also look at this ANCIENT MIXER - 33yrs old. My Mum's wedding gift.

We actually bought a new one but it got spoilt just after one use! Tells you a lot about quality vintage item huh.

The mixture.

I wasn't sure if the dough was what I was supposed to be with not much baking exp myself. But decided to go with it.



Making into a ball and sending it for a 30min nap in the fridge.


Time to grate the dough. This was when tragedy struck! We only had one grater in the house and it has HUGE HOLES. Look at this:
Squeamish looking thing.


In the bckgrd, Syifaa' helping to open the cups and file them on the tray.


Size looks like minced beef to me. hahahah


Syifaa' helping to sprinkle the Choc rice.


Recipe told me to use spoon or fork to scoop the flour to cups so it won't get pressed. But I didn't care. It was faster just using my fingers and i tot it's ok if the shape's a bit deformed since its already deformed anyway!

Ready to be put in the oven


20min later.


Slightly burnt on some sides of the tray and a bit dry. But the rest of the cookies are mostly OK.


The next day I made a second batch. My custard powder was not enough!! HORROR!! So i replaced that with the corn starch that I wasn't sure if its the same as corn flour. I also added more butter bcos we tot the previous batch was a bit dry. I shouldn't have cos it turned out soooooooooo soft even after adding some more flour. Also adjusted the temperature lower and shorter time to not let it burn. And it turned out perfect, even if i say so myself! =D


I'm actually surprised Mum did not nag about me baking these cookies. I guess because we were only 2 weeks into Ramadhan as opposed to the last few times we baked at the very last minute while she was busy making ketupats (traditional rice cakes). And I cleaned up after myself as best as I could as soon as I could.


Mum did tell me NOT to buy any stuffs cos we won't use it often but I went ahead to buy them anyways. I resolve to use them more often if not regularly.


````````````````

I also made Fish Cakes for Tufeil because we still have some sutchi fillets in the freezer and his food is depleting. Recipe taken from.... either baby center or www.wholesometoddlerfood.com


Ingredients:
1 cod fillet (boned and skinned)
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 egg beaten
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chopped parsley

Directions:
Boil, drain and mash potatoes without adding any additional ingredients. Set aside. In a large bowl mix cooled potatoes, parsley, egg and butter. Mix well. Steam cod for a few minutes and flake apart into small pieces, making sure to remove all bones. Add cod pieces to potato mixture and mix well. Shape mixture into patties. Brush with a little milk and coat with breadcrumbs. Place cod cakes on a lightly greased baking tray and bake at 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Alternatively you can shallow fry in a little oil or butter.


The mixture before adding fish

Steamed the fish in the rice cooker. Peeled out the "fats".


It was quite soft the mixture that I had difficulty shaping them. but the breadcrumbs and refridgeration helped to make it stiffer.

All ready for storage

Fried

Baked.


I dont know why mum always seems to doubt that Tufeil will eat what I cooked. Maybe because she's not used to and doesnt like these western dishes. Just like the Meatloaf, she kept asking, "Can Tufeil eat this?" "Will Tufeil eat this?" "Isn't it too sweet?" "Don't bake it so troublesome". I assured her that it's edible and it's healthy for Tufeil.

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Our 2nd Ramadhan Weekend

Sat 21st Aug 10.

The sisters planned to go out for iftar at Orchard. But before that we need to find out where are the indoor playgrounds (preferably free) for the children to play. After 10min, Sheikh Google reported that there's a playground on the sky terrace of 313 Somerset, and 5th floor Paragon.

We headed to the former first and found out its actually a very small section of the Food Republic. We were like... laughing at ourselves but..

The kids seem to enjoy it

So did we.
This is a my view of Tufeil from the GIANT SEE-SAW.

The see-saw was very high, complete with 3 weight balls. We couldn't get off cos the balls were all at one end of the see-saw. So I had to flag a nearby adult to help center them.

What do you call this? I only know there was a bigger older version during our time. But the name escapes me.

Just the overall view.

Me & Tufeil.
A rare photo and Ly caught him smiling!


Now, in search of food. We wanted to eat at Breeks but found out on the phone that the branch at Taka is closed and no other branch in Orchard. Then we called the operator again for Swensen's this time. They were fully booked except for walk-in. We didn't wanna chance that, so we finally settled for F.I.S.H. @ 313 where we were and proceeded to book a table for 7pm.

We had about 30min to go so we walked to Paragon. On the way there, Tufeil was SUPER DUPER CRANKY. Kicking his legs in the stroller. First thing I did was to nurse him @ Paragon. He got slightly better. But cried and cried until we let him on the car ride.

video

30 seconds on, you will get to see Tufeil "belok" (turn).



Were late for iftar. But the food reached us quite quickly. We were delighted that they serve beef and chicken as well. OUr reservations about just having to eat seafood flew out the window.

Tufeil had Chicken drumlets and fries while mine was Teriyaki Ribeye.


Ribeye was good. But with the accompaniment of fries and some chicken made it more... wholesome and well-rounded for me. LOL. It's getting easier to feed T now that he knows how to send food from his hand to mouth. I just peel food to small pieces and placed them on the tissue in front of him. Ash said I should have brought his utensils and bowls. But i countered that it'd be more troublesome when I hafta catch flying plates and spoons. LOL.


Fortunately, parents were willing to pick us up from Orchard. Kesian kan Tufeil (just for Tufeil)he he.. Before that we stopped by Tangs to restock our M.A.C. makeup before Eid gets here.

The kids entertaining themselves while Ummi decided on some colours.


It was 10.30pm by the time we got home.


Sun, 22nd Aug 10.


We had some relatives over for iftar at our place. The main highlight was my Tunisian friend / colleague. Wanted her to experience a family iftar. =)

Everybody on the floor.

The spread.


Includes Malay-styled Keema, Fried banana fritters, pulut serunding (glutinous rice with savoury coconut shavings) and durian serawa (durian porridge) as well as fried potatoes with egg.


It was chaotic as first when she reached our place. We were still trying to make the drinks and slicing the bread with two children underfoot. But it got on ok... Ended the night with some old photo browsing with Zei.


Hope I had been a gracious host - despite my asking her what (food) would she be bringing and jokingly asked her to wash the dishes - and didnt put her in awkward moments for long.

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Beef Meatloaf with Crumbs & Sauce

I was sooooo excited to cook this one because it's something I was very fond of when I was working in the sausage factory. PLUS it looked quite easy to make, mix everything and bake. I scoured the internet the whole day looking for the easiest recipe, variations and replacement items, etc.

The first one I found needed uncooked oatmeal which is troublesome for me to buy as I'm sure I won't be using it again. Soo happy when I found the recipe below. It's using breadcrumbs and with a sauce too!

This is the recipe I found at Allrecipes website

Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 onion, chopped
Mushrooms <-Own addition
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Brown onion first <- Reviewer's tip
3. Make own breadcrumbs by toasting then blend <- Reviewer's tip
4. In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, mushrooms, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5x9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
5. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour 15m.
7. Let the meat rest before slicing <-Reviewer's tip

I had to go buy Brown Sugar and mustard. I'm sooooooo glad I bought the brown sugar cos initially I asked mum if we have any and she said she said the RED sugar (gula merah?) and it should be the same. Somehow, I doubt that.

However, I got realllyyyy confused when buying the mustard. THERE WERE SO MANY KINDS ON THE SHELVES! Powdered, Original English, Medium hot, Dijon, Mayo. The recipe said PREPARED mustard. While I see a price label indicating that, I couldn't find the product. I went with my gut and bought Original English.

I read from some websites that we can make our own breadcrumbs. However, startcooking.com says that DRIED breadcrumbs and FRESH breadcrumbs are not interchangeable. It makes me a bit nervous but what the heck, i'm not gonna buy breadcrumbs if I won't be using it too often.

My own Breadcrumbs made from toasted wholemeal bread.


I noticed that it minced easier when i put in bit by bit. Mum hearing the first looong noise of the blender bcos I put too much in asked me, "Don't you need to put water?" answer is NO.



In the baking pan.


LOL I DONT have a loaf pan or a square pan. So a round pan it shall be. I have no idea what the size is. I only had 300g of ground beef. so I had to half the measurements by rough gauge. Except for the sauce which reviewers wrote to double or triple cos it wasn't enough for them.

The sauce


O oh! While I was mixing the sauce, I realise that we ran out of ketchup!! Had to replace it with some tomato puree instead.



With the sauce on top


1 hour later.

It's crumbly. I couldn't get a decent slice! I waited about 30min for it to cool. Not enough is it?

Hmmm quite burnt but Ayah loves it, I love it too.


I suspect the reason it got burnt was bcos I halved the proportion but still baked it in the same size pan (thinner spread?) and same duration. It could have helped if I took it out in the oven the minute the timer pinged and not let it sit inside while I try to release myself from Tufeil.


Hmmm You know what? I just realised when writing this post that I totally missed out on the milk!!! Could that have saved the crumbling part of the meatloaf?


Overall though, I think its edible and Tufeil will like it. The sauce is a total saviour! I dig it! Don't make meatloaf without it! This is something I will definitely make again. Maybe I should invest in a loaf pan.

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Mummy's Walk of Shame

I stumbled upon http://www.babytoddleretc.wordpress.com/ a few days ago and got inspired to pen down my own Mummy's Walk of Shame.

1. Fan Danger

My room has two fans: a ceiling fan and a stand fan. Unfortunately, the former is useless. More so now that my bed is pushed to the corner and the fan is in the centre. I had to resort to using the powerful stand fan.

Tufeil in blissful sleep with the fan at the foot of the bed.


I constantly worry that I'm posing Tufeil in danger when I turn on the fan and leave him in the room to go to the kitchen or toilet or simply shutting my eye while he play around in the room on bed or floor. I fear he might put his fingers in. God forbid!

>
We have bought the protective covers but it seemed a little too tight and then everytime my aunty removed it to clean the blades, she never put it back on! GRR


2. Desk Corner Danger
Next to the bed is my L-shaped desk. I love this desk because it saves space and I'm able to see the screen while lying in bed. But what's dangerous is it's only a metre away from the door and we are always afraid if Tufeil might come running into the room and bump into the sharp edge.

We tried super-glueing the corner cushions but it just came off. Why? Tufeil's doing!


However, Tufeil seemed aware or familiar with the room surroundings he had never hit the table. Except for the one time he was squatting and banged his head when he stood. At least that's not the edge right?

3. Processed Food
Last week i gave Tufeil some processed chicken sausage and I feel very guilty about it. It's not the healthiest thing in the world for a baby to eat but it's sooooooooooooo convenient!


4. Baby Seat
We don't use the baby car seat when driving somewhere. The only time we effectively used it was on a roadtrip to Malacca when he was 6 months old and in Australia where it's mandatory when he was 9 months old. He wasn't walking yet and i took him out periodically to give him milk and for naps. haha.

Otherwise right now, we don't use it at all. And as u can see in the previous video, he loves sitting up front with the co-pilot.


5. Ate styrofoam
I already wrote about how he accidently ate a bit of styrofoam from a cup when he was pretending to drink from it. He was in my lap and I was eating while feeding him at the same time. I just let him play with it thinking it was harmless. Altho it doesnt have great repercussion (i hope!) but Gosh do i still feel guilty about it!


This leads to no 6...


6. Failing to react quickly
I can't for the life of me react quickly to save him from impending danger. Mostly because, like the above, I didn't realise the danger in the first place. There was a couple of times when I was just an arm's stretch away but he managed to fall down or got knocked down by an adult, things like tt.


What kinda mother am I if i fail at such the littlest thing?


7. Hygiene Failed
I shamefully admit that I do not know how to clean Tufeil's ear not clip his nails. My mum does all that once a week. I have no intention of learning because I fear I may do it wrongly and hurt my own baby (refer to no 6).


I'm also embarassed to say that 3 nights ago, Tufeil's diaper overflowed some and I still haven't changed the sheets. We've been sleeping on another layer of sheets. EYEWWWWWWWWWWWW i know! Disgusting! But i'm soooooo lazy and we barely have time this Ramadhan. Cos right after break fast, Tufeil needs to go to sleep.


I would be reallllllllyyyy glad if you can share your own Mummy's/Daddy's Walk of Shame in the comments here or at your own blog. Hmmm at least, I won't feel alone at this unbearable feeling. =)

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Iftar @ Grandma's

Sat, 14th Aug 2010

It's our tradition to break fast with my maternal grandma on the first saturday in Ramadhan. 3 families gathered.

I was not able to capture the pictures properly cause I was busy feeding / entertaining Tufeil all night. But thankfully, he behaved quite well being seated in my lap the whole time and did not run around flipping plates and overturning cups. well not much anyway.

The spread. After 30min of being attacked. LOL
Mummy made Roti John, Simei brought Mee hoon goreng, the hostess prepared Roti kirai and Chicken curry and there were assortments of fried stuffs incl fried banana fritters and stuffs.

Aunty Hostesss, Ash, Syifaa' and my mum


Our youngest cousin the Japanese mixed Sarina.

I wanted to do a comparison photo of Tufeil a year on. Unfortunately, I did not manage to snap any of him this year. But he did entertain the crowd with "When you're happy and you know you stamp your feet" stomps. That is, after being taken out by his Atok for a walk downstairs to let me have some adult time. Hah.





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Beef Stew

O oh! Tufeil's food's finished! Frantically searched the net for easy recipes and went to Cold Storage on the way home from work. Fortunately, Tufeil had a late afternoon nap yesterday so I let him play with his Atok while I cooked this

"Easy Beef Stew"

This is the original recipe i picked from Cooks.com

1.5 lbs cubed very lean beef
Paprika
2 tbsp Flour
3 Carrots
2 stalks celery
2 Potatoes
Salt to taste
1 Onioin

Brown beef in 2 tbs oil. Add some paprika for colour. Add 2 tbs flour for thickening. Dice potatoes, slice carrots, celery and onion. Cover with water (about 2.5 cups) and bring to boil. Add beef and cook until tender. Salt to taste.


Gosh! 1 lbs or 500gm of Fresh Australian Stew beef cut costs $11 @ Cold Storage.

Measured 250gm
Decided 500gm is too much for Tufeil and risky for a first timer. So i halved it and cut anyhow! hah I had to divide the qty in recipe into 3.

I didn't buy celery, replaced with mushroom. I took about 15min to cut everything in the above picture. My can opener is blunt or rusty or something it was a pan to release them mushrooms.


I took paprika to mean the Chilli Ground that we have in the fridge...
It was alright I guessed and the meat is cooked ok, except for some of the bigger cuts. In the end, I decided its not fit for Tufeil because the meat is too big, troublesome for the server to cut them up. But mum said she'll try to give some.
So tonight, I hope to try Meatloaf. Sounds easy. Let's see how it comes out to!


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Almost 1yr 5 months

The last few weeks as he's about to turn 17months old, Tufeil recorded a few proper milestones:

1. FEEDING SELF


For a longgggg while, he was able to hold food, bite once then discard. When he got to the end of a fries stick for eg., he would give to me to feed it back to him. Over the last weekend, I placed bits of bread and cheese on his high chair tray when he started to fuss around asking to be let down. Suddenly he got interested in the food again and fed himself! He was able to release his fingers when the food got into his mouth.

Well... He's been showing interest to feed himself anyway. How? By taking the spoon i'm using and trying to pick it himself - to no avail. I usually give up, give him the spoon and feed him with my own hands which is easier anyways.

Self Reminder: take the curved baby spoon for him during each mealtime or with appropriate foods.

2. STRAW

Also for a longgggggg time, i've been trying to introduce to him the straw but he just chewed on it. I bought several different kinds of sippy cups and he detested each and everyone of it. (Have i blogged about this? Feels like dejavu) Then one day, we were on our way to JB and i only brought two kinds of bottle of water. The straw and the non-slip sippy. He hates the latter. I got so desperate and i showed him countless times how to sip from a straw and finally he got it!

The only thing i had to contend with now is he LOVES to SPIT IT OUT and say "Tumpah" (drop/spill?) or "Basah" (wet) and proceeds to play with the water. Once, he had ever fallen as a result! *shake head*

3. TOUCH to play

Yet again for the longest time, Tufeil LOVED pressing the Home button of the iPhone / iPod. Much to his own frustration! He didn't yet understand why when he hits that button, his movie or game came to a stop. Still doesn't but at least an application has a chance of being played longer cause he now knows how to "play".

  • He can now touch the (+) and sometimes (-) buttons on his Iqra apps to go to the next page.
  • Press one of 3 items to reveal PEEK-A-BOO (he calls it I See You though)
  • Press one of 3 colours to paint the animals correctly in Petey the Paintbrush, etc.

He even knows which icon is his Iqra'. But he has yet to learn to slide open the phone (take your time, babe).



4. Words

He is able to vocalise A LOT of animal words and sounds. The usual farm animals, Zoo animals: Lion, Giraffe (No sound for this), Monkey, snake.

However, when it comes to body parts, he can say nose and sometimes point, can point ear but cannot say. But that's about it. Oh he can say and understand Kaki (legs) but can't point them. I need to work on these vocabs on him. I guess hafta do the Head & Shoulder songs i've been neglecting...

He is on parroting overtime. LOL He will repeat everything we say. Even when my mum melatah OH GEBEK GEBEK. HAHAHAHAHHA (something like upsy daisy only funnier).

He's picked up some Arabic from this IQRA iphone apps, his one and only source of Arabic. He knows Jamal (camel - cos we have a camel soft toy), Doodah (worm - cos my dad always wriggle his finger into a room first before entering / showing face).

I think he must have picked up some Urdu too cos i heard him saying Hafiz as in Allah Hafiz (Goodbye). Only he knows that I'm not an Urdu speaker so he doesnt say it to me.

So i'm like juggling 3 languages to teach him: English, Malay (Mainly his Nenek though), Arabic while my baby has to absorb all 4. And possibly Mandarin when he gets older. GOSH! *Faint*


I think there's some more to write about. but I just can't recall! Great - i'm losing my mind! I'll write again when I remember.

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First Day of Fast

Fri the 13th or 3rd of Ramadhan was my first day of fast.

What can I say but soooooo glad that it was a friday. Just one day of work before the weekend hits because I was sooooooooooooooooooooo super duper sleepyyyyyyyyyy.

The day started like this:

I woke up at 5am for sahur. We were shocked out of our body when we suddenly saw Tufeil out of the room door and crying towards me. I lost 15min of precious eating time putting him back to sleep. Only to have him wake up not 30min later and refusing to let me go for the next hour. And he woke up when I had to get dressed for work.

But I'm also glad to report that the hunger pang was not-existent. My tummy behaved better when I'm fasting than when I'm not. Just the day before I was eating lunch and snacks in between but it was still grumbling needing to be fed. LOL. PLUS having guzzled a litre of water in the morning, and kept my mouth closed mostly, I was not thirsty.

I DID take an hour nap during "lunch time". It was great. I was even armed with jacket PLUS shawl cos when you're fasting, you just lose body heat.

Milk supply maintained at 120ml. I had to pump twice at 12nn and at 5pm just before clocking out.

At maghrib, I barely got to eat at the stroke of azan because Tufeil was asking for more and more food. Made a mental note to start feeding him first BEFORE 7.16pm.

Time was just flying all over the place. By the time we finished eating and praying and cleaning up, it was almost 8.30pm. Then put Tufeil down to sleep, isya' and everything.. I find myself in bed past 11pm. THAT'S SUPER LATE by my standard. I think this week I really hafta let go of Hell's Kitchen and hit the sack by 9.30 or 10pm LATEST!

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Uncle.... Puaka

Atok always brings Tufeil down by the garden. He must have met the Bangla worker cos one day when he was peering out the window from our room, he pointed to the man downstairs and said "Uncle"

Then at another instance, I told him that's Uncle Bangla. He doesn't know how to pronounce it and it turned out sounding PUAKA, which in old malay means GHOST. We laughed our heads off when he first said it that now its stuck.

video

This is a video trying to capture the PUAKA.

It's a bit long waiting for it to come and i dont know or lazy to use the video editor so just watch lah.

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Our National Day Long Weekend

Sat, 7th Aug 10.

I got the whole morning off when Tufeil went out with his dad. Phew! What a relief... Unfortunately tho I just cldn't fall back to sleep.. cos my tummy was hungry and i tot why shld i just get when i can fully utilise my time watching online tv while eating? One episod led to another and another... until the next thing I knew, Tufeil was home.

Thankfully he hasnt had his nap so we both went to sleep. We (or rather I) woke up hungry and ready to go out for lunch. At 4pm. haha

But before that we had to make a stop at a DIY shop to grab a few tins of paint. Our living room and my bedroom are getting a new colour after 10yrs of staring at the same wall. Tufeil had to be entertained by his Atok. And I kept feeling guilty about it - though unfounded. 1. Tufeil might be asking Where's mummy where's mummy (He did not) 2. Ayah must be tired (he felt happy to).

Late Lunch or Early Dinner?
A&A at Yishun. It used to be Bilal and I had liked it then... now no air-con except for the private function room. Aiyooo


First Shift: Atok

Tufeil & his Koala Bag


MUUUAhh

2nd Shift: Nenek.


See him sitting on the table in the background being entertained by Nenek w "Pok Amai2" song


I had the 3rd shift and my duty was also to feed him and he had a few mouthfuls of Kway Teow Goreng Mama. it was quite hot even tho we asked for a mild one. His Indian Rojak FAIL. Not only was the sauce/gravy sweet and lacking peanuts... the Paru (beef Lung), Sotong not getah (squid) all were undercooked. Yikes. I'm not sure how Ayah's Mee Kuah was but he sure didnt finish it.


Afterwards, we went to the new Khoo Teck Huat Hospital (We kept thinking its called Phoon Huat the famous Bakery suppler haha) in Yishun to visit my grandma. Tufeil met with his young "uncles" and "Aunties" who are my cousins and belted out a series of dances!

video


The video started in the middle of his "dance", then he played with his sandals and towards the end, the danced again. So wait for it. It was a bit short but I cldnt get any better recording.


NOte to self: Do not video record in portrait mode.


SUN 8th Aug 2010.
My plan was thrown wayyy off course when Tufeil could not go out with his dad again in the morning. (I hate surprises!) I was supposed to get the house / room ready to be painted but instead I had to entertain the very mobile boy. As a result, Dad tot I was lazing around while he did the hardwork. Sorry Ayah. PLUS i tot we were doing the living room first. Fortunately, our hired help (costing us $350) were slightly late.


I had an eye treatment appointment (which i'd booked like 3 weeks in advance and cldnt/didnt wanna change) in the afternoon. 2nd sister was kind enough to have Tufeil over at her house so the kids can play.


Felt like we were just settling in to new house. My things are all over the place and mostly they are in my room and i can't retrieve them so had to borrow mum's things. Dont like that feeling of unfamiliarity. Ergh.


We slept in another room too cos the paint smell was too overpowering still.
MON 9th Aug 2010
While Tufeil was out in the morning, I was assigned to do the laundry while Mum cooked lunch and ayah helped with the clearing of walls.


My room was ready and i had to put the furniture back in. I'm not very happy at how the colour turned out. It's SOOOOOOOOOOO light! I wanted something browner but Mum kept saying dont take dark colour or my room will seem well.. DARK. esp cause i paint the ceiling the same colour. But if u've seen my orange room before, it was quite a deep colour. Enough to make an impression. Now, its just .. simply put... WHITE. Ergh! Insya'Allah I shall post a before and after photo when my room is finally ready for Eid.


I took the opportunity to clear my wardrobe too! Which I had been putting off for quite some time. I feel... CLEANSED... or half-cleansed at least cos not all shelves were wiped. I had to prioritise the lower ones where Tufeil could reach. God forbid T eats the lumps of dusts! Wa nauzubillah!

After maghrib around 7.45pm, my family including T all went downstairs to catch the fireworks. OMG IT WAS SUPER DUPER LOUD since it was right in front of my room!!! It went off at exactly 8.10pm as scheduled. I was quite worried about T - how he took the deafening, heart palpitating BANG. It was reported back that he didn't cry. It would've been nicer if my view wasn't obstructing by the tall trees.


He was sent home an hour later at 8.45pm cos he was yawning away... A quick wash up and he was down in 15min. Just as i was about to remove myself from the bed, another round of fireworks popped in the sky! I know 9pm is not late but HELLOOOO please be considerate! GRRRR! It took another 10m to put him back to sleep again.


Oh well.. at least i got my room back.

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Tufeil's Routine & 4 Day Sleep Diary

For a lonnggg time, I had been agonizing myself as to how am I gonna structure Tufeil's Bedtime Routine. At Babycenter and everywhere else puts it down roughly like this:


  1. Dinner
  2. Bath
  3. Books
  4. Songs
  5. Sleep

And this is supposed to help babies sleep thru the night (?).

It was quite diff for me to follow this structure because for us, we can't / not supposed to shower/bathe baby after dusk = cold = weaken the bone or whatever ya know. So his evening bath is at 6pm, dinner 7pm, bedtime 9pm. So there's like a gaping 3 hour hole between bath and dinner.

However, little did i realise that I've actually created a little ritual without thinking or being forced into it. We start the turning down process by:

  1. Salam-ing (Shaking hands) with whoever's at home and say goodnight bye bye kiss kiss
  2. Or if nobody's home, we will turn off all the fan and lights in the living room together
  3. Sometimes I will read him a book but if he's wailing for his milk already, I will jump straight to nursing. Otherwise..
  4. Toothwipes. Tufeil now loves his Mango flavoured toothwipes. But its very painful to do it bcos he bites my fingers while trying to chew the tissue. Aiyooo
  5. Sometimes when I feel Tufeil is not ready to sleep yet, I will play for him a lullaby from Youtube in my phone. He used to LOVEEEE Elmo & Mr Andrea Bocelli's song. But now he's into Pooh's Lullabee.
  6. Nurse to sleep

Youtubing is a bit dangerous to start cos its hard for him to stop. He will cry/scream to get me to repeat again and again and again. So i use this step sparingly. There was once when I was trying to remind Tufeil of his susu with not much success until i pretended that his Giant Pooh soft toy was drinking too LOL. Then he jumped on me and drank to sleep....

---------------

Now... Monday night 2nd Aug, Tufeil had such a good wonderful long sleep that i thought I should better keep track of what was done during the day to give such a results.

Day One: Napped at 10 for one hour, again at 2 for 2 hours. Dinner 1 whole packet of Instant Baby Porridge at 6pm. Yogurt at 8pm and slept at 9pm. Woke at 11pm then straighttttttttt to 5am!!! MIRACULOUS! Then slept again till 7am.

Day Two: Woke up 7am, Napped at 11 for 1hour, no afternoon nap, a few mouthfuls of briyani at 7.30pm, slept at 9pm and woke every 2 hours.

Day Three: I forgot to ask if he had napped but he had slightly more dinner than what i usually give him. 2 cubes of mashed potatoes topped with curry tuna. He was asking for some more but need to wait for another 10-15min to heat up the frozen cube, so i tried to entice him with Jelly to no avail. Again, slept at 9pm and woke every 2 hours =(

Day Four: Woke up 7am, usual 1hr morning nap but NO AFTERNOON NAP. 1/2 cup of cheese risotto + 1 cube of Chicken & egg mayo. This is A LOT A LOT of food! Then afterwards, I gave him 3 slices of peach too. Slept 8.30 for 3 hours. I thought tonight i will nail it. but Nay! He woke up every 2 hours again thereafter.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps he SHOULD nap a lot in the afternoon to be able to sleep thru the night. Let's see how this weekend will work out to. Somebody please help me before i turn into a monster!!

On a happier note, i totally got a grip at being FIRM to Tufeil. Twice already I FIRMLY reiterated again and again for about a min or 2: GIGIT = NO SUSU (BITE = NO MILK). Then i ask him, "Nak susu?" when he said yes and if his cheeky-something-is-up-my-sleeves grin has been wiped out, i will grant him access and Alhamdulillah he stopped after that. Since then, occurence has been rare. (I hope I don't jinx myself.)

Now, I just need to apply this method to when he's hitting my head, or anybody's head for that matter, and throwing things and shrieking when he didn't get what he wants

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HeadHunted. Sort of.

Early Wed morning I got an email saying that somebody's requesting for my resume for this job portal. I replied and said I am interested.

The next thing I knew, she called me and sorta interviewed me on the phone! After asking about my jobscope and everything, she said she will recommend me to the employer (she's from an agency) and request a salary 15% that of current. Making that a sweet $500 increase per month. But the BIG Question is...

DO I WANT TO QUIT NOW?

Because if i quit now and not at the end of the year when our AWS (Additional Wage Supplement) is, I stand to lose $1,700! Bcos my current company pays 14months.

On top of that, Mummy mentioned that if i switch job now, it'd be difficult to take leave for Hari Raya and Dec holiday (she's planning a one week vacation which i can follow or stay home to care for T).

Other stopping matters include the fact that i'm still pumping during working hours, I'm not sure if the workload is super heavy that would force me to stay late and how would T/mum react to that.

Moreover, the job description sounds rather similar to what I'm doing MINUS the claims and reporting (i think?) but includes credit control.

I know I shouldn't jump on the first wagon that comes. Especially since I saw quite a few other attraction job description on the website recently... But I feel like as though it's fated.

Ya Allah, please guide me to do what's best for me and my family. Ameen.

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BIG PURCHASES!!

OK i'm about to die swimming in debt. I've been shopping like nobody's business. I made 3 purchases in the last month or 2 alone!

1. Rainbow (click link for the post i wrote abt it) SGD 3,200. A POSB Loan @ $140/mth x 3 - $1,000 (?) cashback. Well, when i bought this, i was expecting to pay only a year later, which i hoped by then my study loan would have finished. and Besides this is for the WHOLE family's health well-being. So it is a good investment. Isn't it?

2. Some EYE care package at Civic Centre for SGD 2407.50 for 30 sessions to reduce the dark rings around my eyes that i've had since like... FOREVER! ok maybe not forever.. but maybe when i was just... 14? Ok maybe some of you want to punch or slap me in the face. But the damage is done lor. I just hope i get the results timely.

I paid by Standchart Credit Card and successfully got a 0% installment free thru their EasiPay system. So i'm paying 200/month but total amount is, of course, blocked.

3. Disney's Reading System





In the box are 26 DVDs and 26 activity books that encompass the daily phrases like Greetings, Playing or something. While the books look a bit too high a level for Tufeil's ability at the mo, i think the DVDs perfect.



This also comes with 6 PHONICs system that consist of 12 books and a DVD each.



DAMAGE: $ 1102. But after some discount of $56 and a deposit of $138, I will be paying just $76 x 12 months. They will charge my credit card every month WITHOUT blocking my limit. But I hear somebody wants to contribute to the investment of this educational tool for his son. So that's a relief IF it's true.

4. I just spent about $150 at John Little Causeway Point 80% sale yesterday.

But this is not bad at all considering I got PLENTY of stuffs:

  • 2 pillows @ $12 each
  • 2 velvet half-curtains @ $12 each
  • 3 home t-shirts @ $6 each
  • 1 3Q pants @ $10
  • 2 work shirts @ $25 for 2.
  • Maybelline Mascara $15
  • Some Pimple gel
  • Simple Facial Wet Tissue to remove make up
  • A hari-raya gaudy shoe for $13

Oopss now u know what a cheapskate I am. Can somebody be a cheapskate but a spendthrift at the same time? LOL

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Inception

So i took half day leave yesterday afternoon to watch INCEPTION starring Leonardo Dicaprio. I don't think he's good looking - anymore - Ash. If anything, That Gordon-Levitt is more charming in a selenger way. OMG i'm sooo superficial.


INCEPTION movie poster


It's a good movie. One that makes you think and makes your 2.5hr fly without feeling like ur bums are asleep!


I understand the concept of a Dream within a Dream, how they wake up, the concept of time... but there are some technical aspects that I'm not clear of. SPOILERS NOW!

  1. I thought Dreams are based by the imagination of the Dreamer, why do they need architect? I guess to station their sedatives and bombs in each level?
  2. If several of them are going under together, how do they determine whose dream they are entering?
  3. How would the girl's totem - a King Chess Piece - work to know she's in reality?
  4. If the wife killed herself in a dream and that's why she's in limbo permanently, where's the body? Or was that real life? I'm confused
  5. What's with all the COMBINATIONs???? Why does Fischer junior need that combination? To open the safe yes, but why so troublesome to extract the numbers?
  6. I didnt hear properly but what did Fischer Senior said Not disappointed in him but disappointed in... what? Is that Junior's projection or the architect's work?

ASH PLEASE COMMENT!

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Towards a Better Sleep.

I had noticed before that Tufeil was beginning to wake less in the night but I had never checked my watch (it's semi-dark in my room). And then suddenly, his routine was thrown off course when he started to take late afternoon naps between 4 - 5 for 30min to 1hour.

Last night though, I resolved myself to check the clock. He went to bed at 9pm, woke up at 11pm and slept thru to 5am!!! Then I had to wake him at 7am to go out. Who knows maybe he could have slept a little longer?

So what did I do right, this time?

In the morning, he had his usual morning nap at around 10am for one hour. Then at 2.30pm he napped again for 2 hours!! on my mum's chest. Cheh. He had dinner of this instant baby porridge Indo brand at 6pm, he finished the whole packet. Then i brought him out to Causeway Point and had snacks (Fries and cinnamon melts *GRIN*) at 8pm, grocery shopped and straight away nursed him to sleep when we reached home at 9pm.

I think the key item is that vital afternoon nap. As long as he starts to sleep before 3pm, we are in the clear?

Let;s just see his progress today. I shall stay vigilant in keeping time. =)

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491 Days and Counting

There are only 6,574 days between a child’s birth and their eighteenth
birthday.



I found this lovely website while researching "Baby Ate styrofoam". It's exactly what kinda blog i wanna read but difficult to find. A working mother with a toddler who's still breastfeeding and has trouble with sleeping thru the night.

Oh yah Tufeil ate a bit of styrofoam yesterday. We had my mum's siblings over at our place. I was feeding him some rice while being seated in my lap facing outward. I managed to grab my cousin's cup beside him. I let him played with it for awhile. Then i realised a bit of the cup was chipped! And then i looked at him at saw him chewing. Tried to pry my finger in but he just wont let it it! He gagged, i patted his back.

I thought the episode was over then i saw him chewing again and i hadn't given him anymore food yet. I rushed to my mum's side and got her to sweep his mouth. Only a few made it out. =( But he was active throughout the day so I was not quite worried until when he got to bed and fussing and fussing... My google search said it should be ok lah insya'Allah.

I soooo sucked at parenting, I think. I know NUTS about First Aid nor Safety first. For example:

  1. I obviously let my child play w styrofoam. Duh
  2. I ever led Syifaa' to a fall when i opened the car door when her hands were pressed to the windows!
  3. I gave in and did not "scold" Tufeil much. I mean I let him play with CDs and virtually anything he wants.
  4. I ever bumped his upper eye hit my table when I was trying to put his diaper on.
  5. I won't know what to do if he falls. I mean My mum would rub her hair on my bump, whereas me, I can't even identify the hurt area in the first place. Although, i would carry and kiss him lots.

And many more i just can't remember right this moment. One thing I do know is that... I LOVE HIM LOTS. I've never been one to gush about babies. Heck I didnt even know how to carry one. But after Tufeil's arrival, it's like a whole other world opened up to my eyes. I see babies everywhere and just wanna kiss every single one of them. LOL.

Has it been just 491 days, though? It felt like forever! and I hope it won't take another thousand days for him to be independent enough then I can be let off a bit... At the very least I hope to wake up late on a weekend? Pretty please?


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