Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don 2, Chocolate and The Gift

This post was actually meant to be a movie review for Don 2, but it was a rare opportunity for movie, shopping and dinner date for us parents of 2, hence the title. So we had the kids safely tucked away with their grandparents, while we had once in a lifetime experience spending quality time (and watching SRK movie).

It is the double bonus season for SRK fans, after Ra.One, Don 2 comes hitting the screens worldwide with huge expectations. And whats more, this film boosts of the sleek director Farhan Akhtar's venture after his successful acting stints. Don 2 is the sequel of the remake Don from the early 80s. After the success of Don, Farhan Akhtar left no stones unturned in coming out with the sequel that is huge in every way.

After conquering the Asian underworld, Don 2 is back to take over the European scene. This time he does it by planning a crime such that he foils his enemies, gets money printing plates and leaves no evidence behind. The story is very fast and gripping, and somewhere in the middle it starts to falter and drag a little, only to come back with a bang later! Little details and sub plots suddenly fall into place and you won't realise what hit you. The screenplay is perfect and Don-Roma's love hate relationship is used well in this movie. The audience (and Roma) is still left wondering what Don really feels. And the ending very much suggests another sequel. As long as Badshah Khan is in business, I bet there is going to be a huge franchise of Don sequels in the future. He did an awesome job as the self-absorbed criminal.

I am about to blow an extra candle on my birthday cake, so we were also busy shopping for my gift in between the movie. Yes you read it right, before and after the movie. It was one of the moment that you have bought the movie tickets, and while walking around you suddenly like something, and you don't have adequate time to purchase it without missing the movie. Thank goodness we made it for both. As for the gift, I ain't revealing it here, lets just say I added another bling to my possession. Although my dear half was more into getting me a gadget, I turned out to be a typical woman who swoons over the blings. Lets get the i-anything for our next celebration.

In all happiness we went on for our planned dinner at Bubba Gump. Movie and shopping made us so very hungry. We ordered a huge appetizer, two main courses and a desert. We ate like 2 hungry horses and sped up to our most favourite part of it, The Chocolate Thing. The experience is definitely one of a kind, at the risk of sounding like junkies, we can suddenly feel a rush of happy hormones into our already happy system. How happy can one get? Definitely not happier than The Chocolate Thing!

Here is hubby waiting for the shot to end, before the gobbles up the desert.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Many Faces of Sanju Part 2

Here's the second part of the Sanju series. Disclaimer: Pictures are in no particular order of event or preference, and captions are my wittiest best, not necessarily relevant.

Do not adjust your computer screen, the boy does circus acts

This side table of 25 years is now turned upside down to serve as a push car

Chocolate monster

I support ahimsa - Mahatma Kanth-i

I'm tribal boy, in a tribal world

This is my seductive pout to get the models

Enough of the camera flash already!

Getting bald rocks with so much of green notes!

Baby Jeev stole is exact same look/face of mine

Can we get a dress for me, pretty please!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sanju Revisits Babyhood

With the presence of Baby Jeev, it is a revisit to babyhood for Sanju as he tries to replicate, copy or even demand similar attention as his baby brother. Here's listing a few:
  • Whenever I rub yu yee oil for Jeev, Sanju comes over and lifts his tshirt, to get some yu yee in his own tummy. I don't blame him, it smells refreshing
  • Sanju asks to be put into (his former) Baby Jeev's cot, and lies down for pretend sleep. After a few minutes he will start moving (and destroying) every single thing inside. The highlight of this whole experience is when we put the mosquito net around the cot
  • After his shower, Sanju likes to be swaddled with his towel, and then wiped dry. He sometimes also cries out like a newborn. I had actually started practicing swaddling him after bath when I got to know I was expecting another baby, just a small step to prepare and hopefully familiarise him with the coming events
  • Occasionally Sanju would take over the bouncer, and watch tv or drinking whilst rocking away
  • When I took Sanju's old play gym out, he did not give any chance for the baby in it, because he hogged all the space in it before lifting it away to another play corner
  • Sanju has observed Baby Jeev wailing and crying his lungs out, hence whenever he wants to throw a tantrum, he uses the same style of wailing to get his way
  • Sanju tries to 'use' Baby Jeev's bottle and pacifier if he spots them in the drawer
  • When we bring the stroller out, Sanju ends up playing in it, instead of Baby Jeev
  • Baby Jeev inherited Sanju's bangles, but each time Sanju sees them on baby, he will try to take it out and wear on his own hands. Too bad they don't fit anymore
Other than that, Sanju behaves like a responsible elder brother at all times, taking care of Baby Jeev very well. He also is a good listener (like his dad) whenever I have anything to complain abt the fussy little baby. He likes to kiss baby, and loves lying down beside him any chance he gets. And at other times he is responsibly naughty and is capable of making me insane. That is part and parcel of being a parent, so I suppose Sanju is doing a great job at it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Many Faces of Sanju Part 1

Inspired from a fellow blogger Mabel, I decided to dedicate a few series of blogs with pictures for my first born, Sanju.

Sanju will be turning 2 years old soon, and I can't imagine how fast time has passed. There are so many photo memories of his growing up years, and it is amazing how much Jeev resembles him in most of them. Jeev, however, does not have that many photos taken. I suppose that is the advantage of being the eldest, Sanju's every step was recorded by every family member, like papparazis.

Here are photos of Sanju in some of his best and funniest moments.

World Cup 2010 Fever mode!

Cocooned in mommies tshirt, he looks like a refugee

Tipah tertipu, bang!

Sanju sitting on his throne, every morning

I'm sexy and I know it

He learnt mocking me this way each time I scolded him, incidently it was on our 2nd wedding anniversary

Watching tv the adult way

Playing sick at the Pantai Klang children's ward

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another AIO Love: Grovia AIO

I stumbled across the new Grovia AIO diapers for sale on the FSOT by chance. Still in confinement then, I was itching to click 'Buy', and getting new diapers for my then newborn was just the right thing to do, as he was outgrowing the petite and cute newborn dipes. Whats more, the AIO diapers are in cute pretty prints!

Previously I had tried the Grobaby (older version) AI2 for Sanju but I did not find love in it because the soakers would scrunch up once soaked. It did not look right, and would also leak due to that. But still I wanted to give Grovia AIO a try because I wanted to get something different from the current stash of pocket diapers, hoping for something more convenient.

The cutting of Grovia AIO is on the smaller side, hence it fit my baby well from early stages. The trim and snugg cutting looks very nice on baby. It comes with a snap on booster, which I only started using recently to reduce the bulk. Another feature that I like is the fact that its a side snapping diaper.

The inner body and soakers are organic cotton and very soft to the touch. I can only imagine how gentle it would feel to the precious bums. And most importantly it does not scrunch up. Washing and drying the AIO is a tad faster than bottombumpers, maybe it is due to the organic cotton soakers.

For AIO lovers, or if you wish to try an AIO diaper, Grovia is definitely a great choice, apart from Bottombumpers. Now I am itching to stock up on these diapers, if you know of a good deal in town, do let me know!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Superhuman Me

I don't watch superhero movies because they seem ridiculous to me (except Endhiran and Ra.One). I never thought superhuman was ever real, until I became a mother, of two. Pardon the not-so-humble post, but the content on this blog entry is totally my very personal views and opinions, and you have the very right to think otherwise, if you dare to.

When I was a full time working mother of one, Sanju, I believed I was definitely a human of a higher ranking given the amount of multitasking I did. From household chores and work to my baby care from scratch. I stayed home for the first 4 months to do everything for him on my own and witness every single milestones.

And even after going back to work, I researched, planned and prepared all his solids by myself, ensuring no stones left unturned. That is just one of the small (more humility) things I did, and I rightfully felt pretty super myself.

Fast forward to the arrival of my second baby, 19 months after Sanju, I was in serious doubt if I could cope. Gone were the ambitions of working full time. Hubby and I decided there is no day care or babysitter that can take the combination of kids, only the mother can provide the proper care (and juggle) for the 2 of them, hence we decided that I will be a stay at home mother.

After confinement period at both our families place, I put myself to the challenge. Never realised there was such a potential in me. I am now officially a superhuman with super abilities of handling 2 kids of 19months gap by myself.

I handle the household chores, while ensuring both are fed, burped (not Sanju), changed, you get the idea. This involves a lot of running around, tripping, forgetting, misplacing, and some tantrums in between, of myself or even Sanju. At all other times, it is Jeev's frequent crying that keeps the ambience lively.

I get to cook if both of them nap at the same time. Ocassionally I do my nails. I also try to pluck my eyebrows and upper lip facial hairs, but there is a huge risk if either of them wake up in between, because I will end up with only one side done. And if either one is asleep, I try my best to make sure the other does not get in an activity that might wake the sibling up. Some sanity is all I ask for. And some sanity is all I get, sometimes.

While Peter Parker says 'With great power comes great responsibility', I say 'Great responsibilities unleash the great powers within us'. I'm amazed at myself, for the superpowers and the super-quote, no offence Spiderman!

Speaking of superheroes, here is Sanju, eating his favourite chicken rice, and refusing to wear his bib, so daddy put it on like a cape for him.

How are the kids doing? Well, growing up well, still finding the harmonious balance while spreading superpowers to their mom.

Here's wishing more superpowers to enable me to update my much neglected blog more often. Perhaps I need to make the kids nap longer. Till then, superpower dust to you all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Breastfeeding And Me

Today, 2nd Nov, Jeev turns 3 months old, and it also marks the 3rd month of my breastfeeding journey. I cannot say my baby has been fully breastfed in this period of 3 months, but it is more like 3 months of my struggle, determination, hard work, blood and sweat (and breastmilk), sleepless nights and tonnes of research.

Right after Jeev was born, I suddenly remembered I needed to inform the nurses that he is to be fully breastfed, and no formula. They were cooperative in bringing baby to me during feedings, but Jeev was a sleepy baby, would not latch much, just sleep till kingdom comes. There were times when he would be awake, but cannot latch. We got worried, rather hubby did, and got the nurses to feed him formula whenever can.

Once home, it was the same problem. Sleepy baby, hardly latching, and would immediately sleep off if he did indeed latch. I remember he would hardly feed two or three times per day, just be sleeping away. I tried many methods in getting him up, to no avail. My impatient half insisted in giving the bottle of formula to ensure he is feeding well. Overwhelming emotions were all over me, and I did not want to make things worse for my newborn at least.

By 3rd day, baby preferred the bottle and refused to latch at all, and I was frantically sms-ing my support network to get some help and advice. In fact I was even feeling awkward to call out for SOS, but they reached out to me knowing I was indeed facing problems.

Kit, Denise and Yvonne from LYN forum really supported and gave me the strength to be determined and continue latching and latching. And that is what I did, tried and tried latching like every time my baby showed slight signs of being awake. And on the 6th day it happened! He latched! I finally felt complete! There I started latching constantly to build supply and soothe baby. Formula babies are fed every 3 hours, but breastfed babies latch like every single second.

While breastfeeding we don't really get to see or gauge how much is baby taking. I would worry and wonder if baby is drinking enough. I tried monitoring the disposable diapers, and I was convinced that he had not peed in his diaper in the last 4 hrs at all. Even got my mom worried over this. But upon closer examination, the diaper was soiled, it was just too absorbant and waterproof that I could not feel any wetness. Good job there, diaper!

Fully determined further, I bought a manual pump to stimulate and increase supply, because baby was still being sleepy most of the time. He was latching directly most of the time, EBMs (expressed breast milk) ocassionally.

Things were indeed going fine, but somewhere around 2 month onwards, baby started being very fussy while direct latching. I got worried, wondering if my supply is not enough Even tried pumping to see if the supply volume is fine, but it only made me more upset because it seemed to be so little, then I began to wonder if my pump was working fine. And due to the fussy baby, I started topping up with formula milk like up to 3 feedings per day! I was frantically searching online, I began to wonder if my baby was indeed latching properly. So many uncertainties in my mind especially after reading the information online.

I sought help and ideas through the breastfeeding advocates FB group, and reached out to Lactation Consultant, Gina Yong. It was the best thing I ever did for my breastfeeding journey. Gina confirmed that my baby has a classic latching, and my supply is fine. It was such a relief to know that, and I just had to be strong and continue just latching baby otherwise he would prefer the bottle forever, and I would have to forever pump and feed EBMs, which was not convenient for me. As advised by her, I now drink water of 3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds daily, and eat the seeds too. The water is bearable, but the seeds are really bitter. By now my tongue has lost its taste buds, so they are pretty tasteless. I would prefer taking barley water and seeds any day, but it seemed to have less effect on my supply.

As for the manual pump, I decided to have a closer look. After some meddling here and there, I noticed that the stem beneath the diaphragm was slightly tilted, losing suction when using the pump. I suspect this is the result of my engineer half's vacuum pump knowledge brushing off on me. Thanks to all those interesting (yawn) work related discussions.

Looking back to my breastfeeding experience, I could now give an advice or two. I may not be an expert, but one thing is true, never stop, never give up. Another thing that Gina told me I always keep in my mind when breastfeeding. When we are stressed, our shoulder muscles are tensed and baby can sense this. It not just increases baby's fussing, but also affects the supply. So I always remember to relax my shoulders whenever latching.

I never thought something so natural can be so difficult. Seriously. Isn't it made to be convenient for both mother and baby? Or have we humans just lost touch with our natural side and prefer something easier (like formula milk)? I want to talk more about my take on breast feeding, hopefully in an upcoming new post, if Jeev allows me to.

Friday, October 28, 2011


They call him King Khan for a reason, for he is the Badshah of Bollywood whenever he has a new movie release. Ra.One is the most awaited film after My Name Is Khan, apart from Don 2, of course. After being labelled as candy floss lover boy, King Khan has moved on and tried his hands on different roles, proving his critics wrong again and again.

Ra.One brings what would be known as Bollywood sci-fi masala in the future. You have all the elements in one, comedy, emotions, song and dance routine, and action with a bad-ass villain. Shekhar, played by SRK, tries hard to impress his son despite his clumsy self. Upon his son's request he invents a game with a super villain that is almost unbeatable. Things go wrong on the day of the game launch and they find themselves in a challenge with Ra.One, the bad-ass villain. And that is when the real hero, G.One comes to their rescue.

SRK acted adorably as Shekhar, the Tamilian who even eats noodles with curd. Kareena was just ok, not much required of her in the film, except to shine in the Chamak Challo song. Armaan Verma as Shekhar's son did a great job, and his chemistry with G.One is amazing. Arjun's avatar as Ra.One was good, but one wishes to see more of him.

The effects are so good that comparisons with Endhiran is inevitable. In fact, we even see a special appearance of Chitti in a comedic scene. That being said, the effects in Ra.One is a tiny notch better than Endhiran, especially the train sequence that ends with the Mumbai train station being partially destroyed, truly breath-taking!

The downside of the movie is the pace could have been done more intense considering the action nature, but I suppose in order to fulfill the masala genre, the spoof-like comedy scenes were serving that purpose. The first 15 minutes were totally hilarious with the dream sequence.

The moral of the story is to be a superhero with a HART, and don't smoke!

On the whole, Ra.One is the movie to watch this year, and due to the fact Don 2 is yet to be released, this statement is subject to change. Don't hate me, SRK is the King after all.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sanju Got Spiked

In all the Diwali festive excitement and busy-ness, Sanju had all freedom going out, eating (or rather refusing to eat) and being his naughty self as I have been busy in preparing for the celebration. The lucky chap hardly ate, played, and broke things the whole day. Also going out for last minute shopping was his main agenda with my in laws.

On Diwali eve afternoon, I found him to be unusually quiet. Once I carried him over to make him nap, I realised his body was rather warm than usual, read abt 37.5 Celcius on the thermometer. When the cooling patch did not bring the temperature down, we rushed him to clinic. It was our aim to make sure he is all well before Diwali.

Doctor diagnosed low fever due to throat infection, and prescribed antibiotics apart from the paracetamol. It was a huge relief that it was nothing serious. However as Sanju is not even 2 years old, I was very skeptical in giving him antibiotics and preferred him to recover on his own.

I have been an ardent follower of the Natural Parenting and Living Loft group in Facebook, there are a huge number of ideas and tips on natural living which I have been trying on myself and kids. I had bought the virgin olive oil (VCO) months back, and been using it externally for skin issues. Admin of the group and a fellow blogger and CD mama, Hanz has shared some of the VCO benefits on her blog.

I decided to try the VCO on Sanju for the throat infection and the fever. I did give him paracetamol to control the fever. At the same time I wanted to give him VCO for the throat and supplement for his health. As usual, it is a huge chore feeding him medicine, even for the paracetamol doses he ended up throwing it all out 2 times, but as my mom would say, it is good to vomit because the fever comes out, whatever for the best.

For the VCO supplements, I sneakily spiked his food with a tablespoon of VCO each meal, something that I learnt from other mothers from Natural Parenting FB group. 2 days later, fever is gone, and the throat infection is gone too. I am officially a convert of natural medication. Will update more of my success stories later, and who knows, you could be a convert too! Till then, Happy Diwali!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where Did The Year Go?

As I stand beside the baby cot, Jeev sleeping peacefully in it, while Sanju is sleeping peacefully on this mattress on the floor, I see a reflection of Sanju's baby face, look, expression and days in the baby cot. I ask myself, where did the days, months and one whole YEAR go to?

Before I go into deep deep thought looking for the passed days, I remind myself this is the most peaceful time of my day, when both brothers nap together peacefully with full tummies while granting me some peaceful time on my own. I get to do essential things like surfing, facebook-ing, plucking my eyebrows and even cutting my nails. You boys are the best, do keep it up!

So, where did the year go to? While in their babyhood, we are so tired and stressed with weird sleeping patterns and fussy evenings and even nights. The first couple of months, baby refuses to sleep on time, rather, sometimes refuses to sleep at all. How did the saying 'sleep like a baby' come into effect any way? That is like the biggest conspiracy ever!

Before I even started going to office after maternity leave, it was the constant worry, will I ever find a trustworthy babysitter? If yes, how would I manage it? And then the teething day (or rather nights), those weird come and go fever, and crying through the night making sure that us parents go to work looking like a zombie. Then we have sick nights, which makes us parents go all cranky and think weird like rushing baby to the emergency room of Pantai Klang for a blocked nose only to be told only the doctor on duty can have a look, unless we call for the paediatrician. We ended up going back home like a pregnant woman with a bout of false alarm. Then before we realise it, comes solid feeding, and yeah going all over to research the best ever first solid and subsequent best solids and the subsequent best of it and so on. Everything has to be the best in the world. Oh yes, I see hubby nodding to all of these.

Thinking back, that is how the year has gone by. We were so caught up bringing up our baby that he grew up and we suddenly feel it was too fast. With baby no. 2, we are enjoying (ok, maybe not 100% of the times) reliving those moments and experiences. Instead of panicking, this time we sit and give ourselves a break, remind each other that this will pass, or that he will finally have a proper bedtime. And this time, we will give ourselves a pat on our back for the job well done, or done better. This is a special one for hubby dear!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Self Feeding for Sanju

Ever since we got back to our place after my maternity leave, life has not been the same. There is one attention demanding toddler, and one boob demanding newborn. Juggling both of them while ensuring the house is clean and the toddler gets fed nice meals and snacks daily are just some of the highlights of my 'new' life. Cooking, laundry and baby hygiene are another.

While at my parents and in laws, Sanju had picked a rather good habit of sitting with the adult for meals. Previously I had let him use his hands to pick fruits and biscuits for self feeding. Now he had even started using fork and spoon, thanks to our folks.

Let me first confess that the highchair we got for Sanju has been collecting dust, except for the rare occasions where we make him sit for 5 seconds and he cries to get out of it. It was now time to get Sanju on the highchair and self feed him once and for all. Being the clean freak I am (oh yes, I am monster at that), I have always dreaded the mess the toddler might create if given a chance to self feed. Few friends suggested I put newspapers below the chair to capture the waste and make cleaning easier.

My strategy was to allow Sanju to explore the food on his own, while I feed him the real food. So with Sanju on the highchair, I gave him a bowl and spoon. He was hooked, trying to pick, play and bang the spoon. At times, he even feeds himself with impressive accuracy. The first time I had newspapers layered on the floor. But during subsequent feeds, I allowed the food to drop on the floor, because cleaning it somehow turned therapeutic (guess another traits of being a clean freak).

Feeding is much easier now with Sanju doing half the work and staying put during meal times. In the past he would totally climb over his father during meal times but now he is happy with his bowl on the highchair. Hubby is pleased, the recent trip for bak kut teh is evident to that, too bad I did not capture the moment. However, I did capture the sweet moment Sanju picking up food with his hand to eat when the spoon did not seem to work.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sanju And The Newborn

Ever since Jeev (Sanju V2.0) was born, I am often asked 'How is Sanju taking it?'.

On the day I got admitted, that night was the first night Sanju slept without me beside him, but his father was there for a nice lullaby session than his mom who can't sing for nuts (his father can't sing either, in fact enjoys singing out of tune most). By next morning, Jeev was born, and overnight Sanju grew up from being a baby, toddler, into a kid, at least in my eyes.

Once Jeev got home, I was busy having him latch most of the time. Thankfully, hubby was around for a week to help out, and keep Sanju accompanied. In fact, Sanju does not recognise any of his lovely grandma, grandpa, uncles and aunties as long as his father is around.

The real challenge began once hubby left back to Klang Valley. I tried to manage my time with both of them, but with a newborn, he wants to be constantly latching, and during this time I can see the pissed off look in Sanju's eyes.

Sanju and Jeev were made to sleep in different rooms because I did not want either one's crying to affect the other. Every night after settling Jeev down (as a newborn he did not sleep on time, so I got my mom or sister to babysit him ) I spend time with Sanju and make him sleep. After that my dad would sleep with Sanju through the night. Next morning, again after settling the non-sleeping Jeev I would go lie down beside Sanju so that he would wake up with my presence. I did not want him to feel left out, plus I wanted to be with him like how we used to back at our place.

Sanju's reaction to newborn Jeev was pretty normal in the beginning, he would smile and be excited with the newborn in the room. He acknowledged the presence of a new baby, always eager to touch him, which we were very careful about. However, at one occasion, he wailed out loudly when he saw hubby carrying Jeev, he even left the room!

Now after 2 months, things are better. Sanju loves to kiss his baby brother at any time possible, he even asks to hold him, we let him hold Jeev and 'sayang' (while us doing the real holding of course). Sanju even helps in handing me towel and hanky for his baby brother. And now that Sanju is even self-feeding, he sometimes wants to help by feeding Jeev.

As for the sleeping part, hubby and I co-sleep with the 2 kids in the same room, neither of their cries interrupts the other's sleep, it is amazing how the 2 brothers have started tolerating each other now itself.

Thinking back, I can laugh about it now, but the first 1 month of being a mother of two, it was really tough for me, I even wondered if I would ever pull through. The saying is really true, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!

How is really Sanju taking it? Only Sanju knows, while Sanju's mother misses Sanju's baby days and wishes to re-live it with Jeev, while watch Sanju grow up smarter and more handsome by the day.

Here's some brotherly love for you:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Accidentally Efficient

We were parents of two, a toddler and a newborn, taking some time off running some chores, and having some 'us' time. The kids were left in good hands of hubby's family and we went to the Jusco shopping mall nearby to possibly watch a movie, get something (healthy) to eat and buy some home essentials.

Hubby has been on some serious diet mode lately, this time really serious. So we decided to get some Subway sandwich to eat. Checked out the cinema listings, but the timing did not suit us as most of the earlier shows were fully booked on the Sunday afternoon. Is the whole of Klang out watching movie or what?

We had a slow and somewhat romantic sandwich meal, talking about our kids (we were missing them alright) and wondering what to buy home for the folks. We walked into the household department browsing for a rack for the kids' clothes. Sadly, we did not find the one I was looking for, another trip to Tesco or Giant needed, which I later decided can be done another time.

Then we took our time choosing various pastries at the Lavendar bakery, and with the crowd there, the queues were long even to just pick up one bun! Once done we headed to the autopay machine to settle the parking fees, and guess what, we took only 56 mins to be there, and the parking was free!!

Usually when alone I would time myself and rush back to the car so that I don't get charged for parking (Jusco Bukit Tinggi gives the first 1 hour free for their card members), and it is often very very difficult to achieve this target. However, whenever we are doing shopping with the toddler, we are always in a rush due to his antiques, not for the parking hours. Without our permanent 'rushing mode', we seem to have it naturally in us. Thinking back how slow and steady we spent over there, I still can't believe we only spend 56 mins there. But I have this to prove, the photo below:

I credit the timing efficiency to parenthood. Once a parent, always a parent.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cloth Diapering My Newborn

My initial plan was to put my newborn on disposable diapers for at least the first week. And for the same convenience to my mom who did my confinement, I had put my toddler on DD for the duration. Later on it got so convenient that it stretched to 1 month. At the same time my baby was 2.84kg when he was born, even the newborn diapers were too big for him.

After 1 month of DD slumber, I suddenly realised all those pretty, petite and cute newborn diapers would fit and thank god I tried them on! The best thing is, since my newborn is on breast milk, he tends to poo once in a day or two, making it easier to use CDs on him - read less CD mess and CD laundry.

Cloth diapering a newborn has a number of challenges. Getting a perfect or even close to perfect fit is really difficult especially if using one size (OS) diaper. OS pocket diaper can get bulky when in small settings, also the microfiber inserts can add up to the bulk. Sized diapers and prefolds work best, but won't grow with the baby, hence of short term use only.

Below is my current newborn cloth diapering solution, derived from some serious CD experiments:

1) OS Pocket Diapers
I was told that older version of Babyland diapers are smaller in size. The small settings fits my 1 month old newborn. The only problem is that the microfiber inserts adds up a huge bulk. I was about to retire the babyland diapers temporarily to be used as cover (over fitted and prefolds) when I realised I had some bamboo hemp & zorb inserts. They fit well into the babyland diapers, and since they are thinner, the fit is more snug on my newborn! Whats more, bamboo hemp and zorb have better absorbancy and microfiber.

2) Extended Tab Prefolds
The 2 ETPs I got from Maybel's Closet are true gems. They fit so well, look so pretty, and absorb really good. And my newborn has done his poo on them a couple of times. The ETP is able to contain the poo, and did not create any mess outside.

Shanjeev modelling his ETP

3) Contoured and Fitted diapers
These both from Crystal Princess Cottage work wonderfully. The contoured diaper is so trim and suits daytime use. The minky fitted diaper suits for overnight use, and the fluffy minky outer makes you want to leave it without cover.

NB Minky fitted diaper. That pose will one day be for a CK perfume ad

4) Diaper cover
The Twinkle Toes diaper cover in S/M size fits my NB at the smallest settings. Its really handy to be used over the ETPs, contoured & fitted diapers. The babyland pocket outers also double up as diaper covers, as I do not want to spend on sized diaper covers at the moment.

5) Diaper liners
Diaper liner is a must on all newborn diapers so that the poo is easier to manage. Just pick and throw it away. The mess on the diaper is minimal this way. I cut pureen diaper liners into half to fit on my baby's diapers

6) Traditional Lampins
Never ever forget the traditional lampins (especially since I have bought 2 dozens from my firstborn). I use them on my newborn when I know he is due for his bath or going to wear for a short while. Otherwise the lampins are handy as burp cloth and towel for the baby too!

The pretty, petite and cute NB diapers are making me crazy about newborn diapers, and my finger is itching to click buy for more. But the more sensible side of me tells me to wait, and buy OS or at least larger sized diapers for a longer use later!

Now that we (meaning my kids) are back on the CD routine, I realise how much I missed CD-ing. Enjoying every moment of cloth diapering my newborn, and excited to see him graduate into larger CDs... don't they grow so fast? The babies, and the quantity of cloth diapers!

Second Time Parents for the First Time

We thought by the time Sanju V2.0 arrives, we would be experts. Experts in preparing for the new family member. Experts in going through labour and delivery. Experts in handling a newborn. Experts in knowing what to expect. Experts in everything that baby care requires.

Reality is, we never become experts. And we never stop to learn. Everything is new and first time experience, only difference is this time, we can compare with the first time experience.

Phase 1: Pregnancy

We thought 2nd time pregnancy will be some sort routine, and pretty much expecting the expected. We didn't realise seeing the positive sign during pregnancy check would be so exciting. We both had our hearts melting away while we saw the little one for the first time during the ultrasound scan, and during each scans later on.

While in tummy, baby was very much active, making all sorts of movements that scared the daylights out of me, and gave my tummy amusing weird shapes. He even went ahead and gave me several premature contractions that got me worrying away. And finally, he decided to pop-up 1 month before his due date. Thank goodness for the false alarms that we got all prepared for another eager boy who can't wait to see the world soon enough!

Phase 2: Labour and Delivery

My water broke, when I realised something is wrong, and I need to get admitted. Even still I was pretty doubtful if it was indeed 'the' water break, or just some weird discharge. For the next 16 hours, there was no contraction. In this situation, I was praying contractions would come soon and save me from my kind of intervention for this delivery, and I slept off. All of a sudden contractions started, and baby was delivered within 2.5hours of labour. A much better record, compared to what we went through with Sanju V1.0. The feeling of seeing my 2nd newborn was just like my first... he looked just like his brother! And coincidentally it was also the same mid-wife on duty during the wee hours of the night.

Phase 3: Newborn Care

All of a sudden our newborn felt so small and delicate to handle, and Sanju V1.0 seemed so grown up. Forget cloth diapers, suddenly we forgot how to fit the disposable diapers on the tiny newborn. And those hands, how to get mittens and booties onto those tiny hands and feet? What if we hurt him, or make him uncomfortable? And with my determination on breastfeeding this time, there was a lot more new frontiers to conquer.

Till now we are still learning and coping with his unsettled sleep timings. Sometimes we wonder if he sleeps too much, or too little. And all that fussing, night feeding and growth spurts, I swear it feels like the first time, because its been so long (yeah right, 18months ago) since we last experienced them. And I keep reminding myself, and my better half, this is just the beginning.. newborn care to baby care to child care, it never stops. There is going to be teething, solid feeding, crawling, walking, etc... Just a lot of more 2nd first time experiences coming up.

No wonder we feel they grow up so fast. Time passes so fast, and in the midst of enjoying the moments with our kids, we forget the nitty-gritty details. Yet it is exciting learning and picking it up all over again.

Three Fitteds and a Cover

I went through a crazy fitted diaper phase, and I joined a couple of group buys and saved a great deal by purchasing on a lower price from usual. Alright it is an oxymoron to say save when in actual fact I spent money to get that much of savings. No matter what, retail therapy is so therapeutic, whether is saving or spending, it is well worth it.

What makes fitted cloth diapers different from pocket & AI2? Fitted diapers have a full absorbing body which provides a larger area for pee soaking, generally can be used longer, and better for night and heavy wetter use. What I dread about fitted diapers is that they require cover ($$$), cost more (more $$$) and tend to take longer to dry.

Till now I have tried the other types of cloth diapers, and it was suddenly a good time to start trying fitted, with newborn on the way, my toddler could use up the fitted diapers while the newborn inherits the pocket diapers. Also, I got these diapers on sale or group discount, that made up for the cost factor.

Here are the newly bought (and money saved) diapers:

1. BabyBeehind OS Hemp Fitted

This was a part of a group buy, it was during sales so we got a pretty good deal on it, shipped all the way from Australia.

2. Super Soaker OS Fitted

I totally love the Robot prints! I bought it on 40% sale from the Lildanzil online store. Since it was a sale anyway, I got the OS diaper cover of the same brand, with Camo Dino prints.

3. Bamboolite OS CM True-Fit

I bought this brand new from a fellow blogger friend Mei Hooi. Since I was on a fitted spree, I had to try the fitted from my favourite brand, Bamboolite.

Technically, I have another set of fitted diaper and a cover on the way, but the title would have sounded rather funny if it read 'Four Fitteds and 2 Covers', so lets leave those two for another post, shall we?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Comeback

So you ask... Do I work? Uh yes, I work 24 hours a day. Why? Because I am a Mum! That makes me an alarm clock, a cook, a maid, a waitress, a teacher, a nanny, a nurse, a handyman, a security officer, a photographer, a counselor, a chauffeur, a lifelong student, an event planner, a personal assistant, an ATM, & a comforter. I don't get holidays, sick pay or days off. I work through the DAY & NIGHT. I am on call at ALL hours for the rest of my life. Post if you are a PROUD MOM!!!
Yes, I am still here, still hanging out, still blog hopping, still a mom, but now mom of 2 cheeky boys! Finally decided to get back on blogging after the long long silence of the lambchops. I seriously hope I did not lose my writing skills while being away due to work, pregnancy, delivery and now a newborn!

Coincidentally as I was about to start blogging I saw the above quote in a friend's Facebook status. Heck, I had to share it on my own, and also here in the blog, because it is how motherhood really is. It also goes out to my mother, who has been strong by my side in this motherhood journey, second time round.

I have been meaning to blog, to write, and to share my latest thoughts, happenings, and online buys (you knew this was coming), but working from home with a fussy toddler ain't no easy task. Although I have been at my parents place for over a month now, the toddler had increased his demands by two folds, probably realising the arrival of a sibling for him to rival on.

And oh, did I mention that I delivered my newborn? Sanju v2.0 arrived on 2nd August, 4 weeks before his estimated due date, no wonder those premature contraction and false alarms. Not that I am complaining, thank god for those, I had limited number of MCs and worked from home for like the whole of last 3 months.

Gosh, checking the date of my last post, its almost 2 months since I blogged. I even prepared a draft on second time parenting experience and expectations, but it never made it out cos my work laptop has been shutdown (gladly so) since I have been on MC for the 2 weeks before I delivered. Now since Sanju v1.0 slept after his lunch, and Sanju v2.0 has been sleeping peacefully after giving me sleepless nights for the past 3 days, I could finally come back and make a comeback to the blogworld. HELLO blog-WORLD!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whats Up Dipes?

While enduring all the pregnancy discomforts and preterm labour scares, I have been stocking up on diapers for the little one on the way. And I must say there is no therapy better than online retail therapy, but I think you already know that, don't know?

So what have I got for the newborn stage? I decided to go for different types of cloth diapers this time round, such as extended tab prefolds, countoured diapers and fitteds. This is definitely a new frontier, road not taken, and new horizon for me, but I am anticipating it would be fun to have something different with the whole cloth diaper system.

With numerous WAHM mamas making diapers, I had no hard time choosing, the possibilities are rather huge out there! Earlier on I was kind of hell-bent on not getting sized diapers for the newborn due to it not being economical and all, but after seeing the lovely items in the WAHM stores, how is a girl to say NO? Plus, I know my newborn will thank me for it!

Firstly, I have got 2 Small sized Extended Tab Prefolds (ETP, don't I love it when CD-ing gets all technical) from Maybel's Closet.

Next, I got a complimentary newborn sized countoured diaper tester (left) from Annie Chan of Crystal Princess Cottage, and one minky newborn fitted diaper. Now, if you get seduced by the minkyness of the minky diaper, don't blame me.

The all so economical and frugal me, made sure that I got some OS pockets as well. I bought these babyland diapers at a steal, and since its a rather small cutting, it is said that it fits a newborn well at the S setting.

Surely these are not sufficient for the newborn frequent poo and pee, I have traditional lampins and covers as backup. And for my rest and sanity during the confinement, I also plan to get disposable diapers for the first week or two. Sorry environment, I will make it up later.

On the other hand, I didn't have to buy most of the baby essentials for the newcomer as yet because we have got most of the items in excellent used conditions. I am feeling rather proud for having made good buys earlier on so that we can save, and instead spend on cloth diapers (I can hear hubby laughing at my statement). Plus, we still have a number of brand new clothes, still unwashed and unworn, some even still in gift packs, to use. It would also be a rather deja vu moment seeing the newborn wearing Sanju's clothes, bring us back to good old times when Sanju was a good behaved baby, unlike the obnoxious One he is now.

And oh, while shopping, I 'accidently' bought one Itti Bitti for Sanju from a recent group buy. I just love the colour!

In the meantime, there is this sudden fitted craze in the group buys in Facebook, so I have got some on the way too, local and Ozzie made as well. I suppose they would be perfect for my newborn later. Let him be the pioneer in using fitteds (in my house at least).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Who Run the World

SO asks Beyonce in her latest single, chorus later shout 'GIRLS'. Admittedly Beyonce is a very strong female figure in the entertainment business. From the Forbes ranking shown in Channel E, she makes the most money among all female singers, even the accumulated income of husband Jay-Z and hers make it to the top of the list. I suspect she might even be making more than him, and why not, she deserves it with her hardwork and versatility in the entertainment and fashion industry. This quality of hers I truly admire for a long time now.

Beyonce's songs have long been on the feminist and girl power side, perhaps boosting her own image and confidence in how she has led her successful life till this point. However, I sometimes find her to be more of an extremist feminist.

Mistake me not, I am not anti-feminism. I do believe women deserve equal rights against men in the world, definitely seeing a lot of change for the better for womankind everywhere. I just find this song to be too extreme, and ironic in the way 'girls' are portrayed, for a feminist song. Maybe I am just being too sensitive and over analysing the song, but this is just my opinion on seeing the video clip.

The song insists that women are running the world, and how so? Skimpily dressed lead singer/dancer, Beyonce, doing vigorous suggestive dance moves, in outfits that seem might come apart anytime, and take very less to cover the necessities. What kind of message is the video trying to portray? Women (or girls) running the world in vulgar dresses? Is that even encouraging men to take 'girls' who are running the world seriously? As it is numerous video clips of numerous regular club songs display women like a sex object, they usually dress in nothing less of lingerie. In comparison, what is so great about this song about girls ruling? Rule or not, audience see you as an object in skimpy clothes, otherwise no one is going to listen/watch your song/video. How pathetic is that?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon Movie review

When it comes to movies, there is this law of expectation that applies. When you anticipate or expect so much, you end up being disappointed, and when you expect nothing, you are surprised by unexpectedly good stuff. This is what happened to me when watching Transformers first movie and the sequel. When the first movie was about to be released I wrote it off as a typical comic-cum-movie. In fact I only happened to watch it 3 months after release when my company had a subsidized private screening, and boy was I surprised! Although mostly sci-fi, the machine-human connection in it was amazing.

Next came Transformers 2, I had my expectations so high, and with Transformer crazed hubby, it is difficult to avoid it at all. Day in day out I had lots of trivia info thrown my way, and heck, I was so excited to see the whole sequel of a satisfying first film. But, I was disappointed big time, as there was only metal-clanking action all over and little to do with storyline, come to think of it, I can't even recall if there was any.

When Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is slated for the summer release, I was anything but excited. Yet again hubby fed me with enough information to get me convinced for it, at least only abt 2% of me. I was still skeptical of these CGI laden movies that make effects top notch but forget to feed the intelligence of the audience. And the law of expectation did not apply here, the movie sucked as much as the earlier sequel. However it is a full metal-mania action, I am sure action loving audiences would have loved it. And for the guys, Michael Bay has ensured that Megan Fox's absence is filled well with the newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in skimpy clothes and posture, and a cheesy love story to contribute to the rest of the cliches of the movie.

I am not going to talk about the plot or even review it, there is hardly much to say expect it is so cliched that it makes any cheesy cliched movie look normal. Actions and effects of the CGI was amazing I must say, but that is not all that is needed to make a good movie. We have numerous illogical and science defying things happening everywhere. Even the seductive aspect of the movie had ensured an excellent change of clothes despite being held hostile by the antagonist McDreamy of Grey's anatomy, Patrick Dempsey. The human team into the invaded city mostly escapes without a scratch despite being through hell lot of falling building, machine attacks and whatnot. And the whole conspiracy theory linking man's first step on the moon does not fit into the rest of the story from the first 2 films, or did I miss it while blinking?

So much for a movie escapade before I get tied down with my secondborn later on. Thankfully this time round hubby and I went in with a no-popcorn decision, as to avoid any kind of popcorn mishap from Sanju as happend during KungFu Panda 2. He slept througout the movie only to wake up towards the end catching the Autobot vs Decepticon war. I just all that metal clanking session did not encourage him to create more metal clanks that he already does on his high chair with the spoon!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Joys And Woes of Working From Home

Thanks to the nature of my job and my kind boss, I was able to coax him into allowing me to work from home for the last one month. And oh, did I mention that I am 31 weeks pregnant with massive backpain and dizzy spells? Being IT geeks, our team makes full use of virtual and online meeting facilities that our company provides, this makes attending meetings and discussions a breeze from home, and Sanju gets to attend it with me as well, making his presence felt with occasional inaudible words.

Working from home is almost like a bed of roses, that comes with its fair share of thorns. For one thing, I stopped putting alarm for waking up. My kid's wake up time before 8am is enough to get us up and get ready for the day. As for hubby, his working timing is pretty flexible, we even get time to go out for breakfast before start my day at work (at home). On certain days, I cook up a nice breakfast meal for hubby and us that gets him charged for his work day. He could not believe his taste buds when my pancakes tasted 10 times better than McDonalds Big Breakfast! Damn, I have lots of hidden talent to be discovered, all the more excuse to continue staying at home.

I have ample of time to spend with Sanju while I stay standby with my laptop over the virtual network. But the tiring part is I have to plan my work tasks, house chores and Sanju bath/meal times alongside with each other.

I also get to plan and deploy (ok not intentional to sound so technical here) some new and improved recipes and meal plans for Sanju. There is nothing better than taking care of your own kid, I must admit. I have the convenience of feeding him different types of food and fruits throughout the day, which I must say, he seems to enjoy a lot.

However, emergency work issues become extremely difficult to handle if I have a similar emergency at home with Sanju, that requires an immediate diaper change, delaying which might bring unimaginable consequences of terrible smell and mess, and a mess of management emails on the other side.

For those demanding projects or issues requiring more effort and time, I end up burning midnight oil after I get Sanju off to bed with his daddy. It is seriously not easy trying to debug a script with a toddler climbing all over you for attention. Speaking of which, I now have a loose J and M keys, thanks to Sanju who did not have enough of pressing random keys and moving the mouse around, he decided picking out the keys was more fun. And yea, the space bar nearly came out too, but since its pretty wide, the other side is holding it in place. I tried to mend the J & M (I am having a hard time pressing these keys right this moment) keys with the trusted Uhu gum, but apparently, it does not work, as the plastic support is too small to get a grip. Remember, you heard it here first, Uhu gum does not work in fixing loose keys. If you know a method that does, do drop a comment.

At one time, Sanju singlehandedly changed the laptop display to a vertical mode. It took me good ten minutes to google the solution and fix it back. Apparently the mouse navigation do not work the same when your display is vertical instead of horizontal. I had to turn the laptop standing on its side to get this done. As they say, you learn something new every day, and with a toddler, it is not always about baby/child care.

Right now, being back in office sucks big time. I had a hard time leaving my toddler back at home with my mother in law. I know he will be fine, its me who is suffering from withdrawal symptoms. I am spending my free time wondering how to get off office next. I am addicted to being at home with my kid, and working on my flexible terms. Suggestions and ideas are welcome. I miss sipping on my morning ginger tea whilst checking my inbox!

Monday, June 20, 2011

SnuggBaby Cloth Diaper Review

About 1 month back I won Snuggbaby's new product on the block through their mini giveaway, the Snugg Cloth Diaper. It is the hottest new diaper in the local market, and what separates it from others is the unique selection of colours offered.

My prized diaper is of the spiceberry colour. The set is a diaper shell with snap closure, 1 microfiber and 1 hemp insert to provide flexibility on the degree of absorbency desired.

The Snugg CD has been among my (toddler's) workhorse diaper for day time use, and I have been loving it so far. The diaper shell inner is made of jersey-like material that is stay dry and easy to remove unwanted stains. It is also very quick to dry, either under the sun or indoors under the fan. The 2 row snap closure is easy to put on, and gives an excellent fit on my toddler. The additional hemp insert provides better absorbency for my heavy-day-wetter needs. The PUL outer is sort of stretchy type, which means it can fit the kid longer than the regular PUL types. And did I mention that the colour is so pretty, even on a boy?

Snugg CD is definitely value for money as it is reasonably priced and comes with excellent features that a good cloth diaper needs.

In my opinion some improvement can be done on the inserts. A thicker microfiber insert and another extra layer on the hemp can provide more than just basic absorption. The hemp insert does shrink a little after washing, this can be taken into account to provide larger hemp insert in the set. And my wish is that Snugg CD comes in pretty prints, surely a CD-mama can ask for that?

The special thing about Snuggbaby Cloth Diaper is that it is fully Malaysian-made, and I believe in supporting our Malaysian talents and products, especially when it is a sweet WAHM.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Laundry Ball Revolution

Its been a month since I have been using the latest (well, at least for me) revolution in laundry, The Green Pocket Laundry Balls I won at the GCDC event.

The result? Clothes, cloth diapers, beddings and even comforters come out clean, smelling so fresh, while being free of harmful chemicals. I am kind of a clean freak, I take a sniff at most of my laundry while hanging them to dry, and seeing my laundry come out with great results gives me the high of junkie on drugs.

Here's the product description from the Baby-Mel website:


That is Environmentally Safe and will Save You Water & Contains No...... !!

No Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
No Petrochemicals
No Harsh Detergents
No Toxic Chemicals
No Animal Testing

At Last! The Quickest, Easiest Way To Do Your Washing
That Will SAVE You 'Loads' of WATER, MONEY, TIME
and ... Contains NO Harsh Chemicals!


- Wash Clothes without using detergent
- Green product (Environment Friendly)
- Neutral pH 6.8 (Normal Detergent pH13 - Harmful to body)
- Save washing detergent cost
- Last for 3 years, with usage once a day
- Comes with 2 laundry balls


The Green Pocket Laundry Ball generates strong infrared rays wavelength to break the bond between molecules, enabling the individual water molecules to penetrate into the fabric. The water is also highly charged with negative ions. The dirt, which is positively charged, is attracted to the individual water molecules and is flushed out with the water during the rinse cycle.

The good thing about this laundry ball is that since it requires no detergent at all, there are less (almost no) chances of detergent build-up on cloth diapers. As I have toddler clothes, cloth diapers and adult clothes to manage daily, with the laundry ball I just dump everything together in the washing machine and let the laundry ball do the magic! No more worrying over cloth diaper or baby laundry care. My laundry hours are now half of what I used to spend, and imagine the electricity and water saved!

It really works like a miracle, and the skeptic me does not believe in miracles, so I usually put in one third of a cap of Cosway Kiddiwash for luck. I'm still trying to gather the courage to one day go completely detergentless.

It retails at RM189, which may seem a little steep, but like cloth diapers, it is an investment as it lasts for 3 years, about 1000 wash cycles. Definitely would be buying another one after this completes its service in 3 years time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Foodie Tale of 3 Cities

Last weekend turned out to be quite a food adventure. It was not meant to be that adventurous, but it was inevitable as we were travelling down to Port Dickson to attend a friend's wedding. Adventure here is not like Andrew Zimmern's (from Bizzare Food) experience, although hubby would have wished for it. It was like a twilight zone moment where good food was suddenly scarce, especially when we have pledged to not go for the usual fast foods or franchise restaurants.

On Friday night, after 5 days of working from home and cooking food full of homecooked goodness, we decided to try this newly opened ikan bakar (grilled fish) franchise (this one exempted because we had not tried it before) named after a Selangor small town. You will know soon why I am restraining from mentioning the full name. Seeing the crowds there daily, it really made us curious to know how great is it after all. To our surprise, it turned out to be self service. Never mind that, we went ahead to choose our ikan bakar, we choose siakap as it was our usual fish we ate outside. Next at the nasi lemak stall, apparently they were still cooking, and it was already 8pm, weren't they expecting customers at the normal dinner time? We settled for plain rice, and had our ikan bakar, which in the end turned out to be not that great or even bakar-ed (grilled). The fish seemed to be just steamed (hours ago) and upon our order they just put on the spicy sauce over it. I was not impressed and I missed my Kampungku ikan bakar! But wait, this is not the worst part yet, the bill for 1 siakap bakar, sotong bakar, 2 rice & 2 drinks came out RM80!! The freaking siakap cost RM56, like what?? It was the most undeserving RM80 I ever spent on food. For that much of money, I could have had a nice main course with bottomless drinks at Chillis, or even eat at Kampungku Food Court like 3 times! Since the review of their food is pretty bad from my side, I think I will let you guess the name.

The next day in Port Dickson, it suddenly became so difficult to find any good place to eat, with a toddler in tow. Plus we were stuck in the jam, and had our breakfast hours before, my hungry-half was getting very hungry indeed. After checking with his PD friend, we quickly rushed to PD Eating Point after checking into our not-so-fancy hotel (thanks to the school & public hols). The menu was impressive and for an odd hour eating, there were plenty of customer in and out of the restaurant. We had local nasi goreng kampung (very spicy, me likey) and Singapore mee hoon. Never felt more grateful for good food in my life. Speaking to the owner we found out that he has been in the hotel line for 14 years. He definitely did a great job with the restaurant. And yeah, Sanju had also made good friends with him. As I was still traumatised from foodie ordeal the night before that I made hubby bring us there again for dinner. This time they even had western food in the menu, with damn reasonable prices and finger licking taste! You can check out more on the restaurant here.

The next morning was the wedding, and due to unforseen circumstances, we could not eat our breakfast at the wedding. Hubby was furiously driving around to at least get the cranky preggy wife something to munch on but with no luck (and we were being choosy too). As we got on the highway, something struck my mind. There was this chicken rice shop in Shah Alam that we used to frequent during our courtship days, and we had not gone there like in ages, literally! I convinced my tummy to wait and promised baby super-yum food in less than 1 hour. And the rest is history. What do you get with a hungry man & woman at the Spring Golden Restaurant? Stares of disbelief. We ordered chicken and pork portion for 3 people. The char siew turned out so succulent and heavenly, the only thing I can compare it to is Tony Roma ribs of unbelievable softness. We ordered another single portion of the char siew as we can't just get enough. The portions were rather huge though, which is the reason to the stares we got from the auntie serving the food. Apparently this restaurant is huge in Malaysia and has made it to the papers and TV a few times.

Highly recommended chicken rice and char siew in the most unlikely land of Shah Alam. It turned out to be a great ending to the foodie weekend, and since Spring Golden is just a toll booth away, we pledged to go there more often to earn more stares of disbelief!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cloth Diaper Conspiracy

Interesting article I saw on my Facebook today: The Cloth Diaper Conspiracy, Is there one?

I have always wondered, why the mainstream baby & departmental stores do not display or sell any kinds of modern cloth diapers? If it was not for the blogs and online stores, I would have never known about the existence of it, except the traditional prefolds.

It might not be wrong to say that the mainstream baby diaper market is very much monopolized by the disposable diaper manufacturers, who are afraid of losing business once parents start going disposable-less. This reminds me of the (not-so) classic case of AMD vs Intel processors where AMD sued the hell out of Intel for monopoly. It is not just the geek in me that knows this, I was once employed with the underdog AMD. If only there was a super-huge cloth diaper manufacturer that could sue the daylights out of the disposable biggies. These are just my wild imaginative desires, do not sue me back.

Back to cloth diapers, in real daily life, it is not easy telling or suggesting to people about cloth diapers. More often than not, they think that I am selling a product. I am merely just sharing my experience of better baby diaper management and use. There are also people who comment cloth diapers are inconvenient because we have to wash the poo/pee, instead of just throwing away the dispos. Point very much valid, but think again, don't you have to wipe/clean your baby's bum bum after the business? We don't find that difficult or dirty. In fact, once you have given birth and are taking care of your baby, I think there is hardly anything that we can find disgusting.

The additional cloth diaper laundry is regarded as burden to some. We do manage the numerous baby laundry of tops, pants, burp cloths, bibs and what not. It is not like we have disposable versions of these clothing items. If you wash these laundry, cloth diaper is just another. With prior rinsing of cloth diapers, you can very well chuck them all into the washing machine together with the baby clothes.

Cloth diapers may seem a little expensive in the beginning. It is more like an investment that you see the savings in the long run. At average, one cloth diaper could cost from RM30-RM60. Assuming you have 20 pieces of RM50 each, total of RM1000. The cost of a disposable diaper is about RM0.50, assuming you need 8 diapers a day, you spend about RM1460! RM460 savings in the first year itself! The cloth diapers that you buy will last your well throughout the 2nd and third year. With disposables, you will continue buying more and more till your kid is toilet trained.

Sanju has been on cloth diaper system for 14 months now, and with proper budgeting and planning, I have saved a great deal on disposables. And what about the utility bills? They are almost negligible as I wash the cloth diapers with baby laundry. At the same time, I have saved myself a lot of hassle and sanity from the tedious traditional diaper laundry!

Kung Fu Panda 2

My rating for the movie, total awesomeness of the highest degree!

I am no Hollywood movie fan, in any case, these days I am no movie fan at all, but then I totally love animation movies, especially if they come with awesome reviews. It was time to bring (test) Sanju out for another movie after A Tangled Tale, and as promised, his 2nd trip to the cineplex was very very much less girly than the first.

In this sequel, the Dragon Warrior Po finally finds out the shocking truth about his past, and how the goose is not his real father after all (real shocking, LOL). The best thing about this movie is how clumsy, candid and real Po is portrayed, despite being the Dragon Warrior. As you can guess, the movie is damn hilarious, even serious moments of confrontation with the antagonist cracks you up. The furious 5 and Po work in the most comedic way that every action in their fight against evil has something that cracks you up. The bouts of kiddy laughter in the cineplex was a proof to that.

My toddler however, was busy snatching the popcorn cup from his mother, and halfway through the movie, he successfully spilled the popcorns all over himself. Papa voluntarily took some time away to clean up the 'sweet' boy, and then we got back watching the movie together.

I love movies that come with a feel-good motivating one liners. In this movie it goes something like this: 'It is not where you came from but it is what you want to be'. I believe it applies to all of us when we tend to dwelve over the past and forget to live for the present. It was a nice thought for the day, and I really feel such one liners make your 1.5hrs at the cineplex more meaningful. It does not matter if the movie is about a Kung Fu fighting and food loving panda.

This was definitely a rare case of sequel being made as good as the first film, if not better.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

THEHONEYBUNCH FINAL GIVEAWAY - Naturally motherhood giveaway

You know how much I love giveaways. This giveaway, however, is very different. A fellow blogger, who fully supports natural parenting is having Naturally Motherhood Giveaway in conjunction to the start of her new niche blogs. I am an ardent follower of Hanz's writings are they are so informative that they make me come back for more.

Not forgetting about the prizes in store (it is a giveaway after all!), they are sponsored by some lovely mama owned online stores:

Now for the final requirement of the giveaway, my slogan for the giveaway:

Motherhood to me is about love and passion for life, constant learning and improving at every step in providing for my baby, and natural parenting helps me achieve just that.

Raising a Toddler

It is like almost yesterday I was in labour and Sanju was born 13 painful hours later. It is like yesterday that they showed me his little manhood right after he was born and took him away to clean him up. It is like yesterday the nurses passed Sanju into my arms minutes after delivery.

I can't believe how time flied, and Sanju has grown from a newborn, into a baby and now a toddler. And this toddler is very much into his Obnoxious One (a term I created for him) before he enters the Terrible Two.

I used to think taking care of a newborn and later a baby was the biggest challenge. Boy, was I wrong. Everyday is a revelation to how and what more can I expect from this tiny toddler who looks as innocent as an angel while he is sleeping. In Sanju's point of view, Obnoxious One means redefining pretty much everything in daily routines and challenging parents to come out with ways to work it out. Here is some of my experience:

  • Diaper & outfit change is war time. He sometimes refuses to get any piece of clothes off or on him, and just walks away or shouts loudly like he is being kidnapped by mean villains. I counter this by playing 'here comes ma-monster to attack!' and he gives in by laughing
  • Makan time means he needs to hold the spoon and play with his food, no cooperation in eating whatsoever. A dummy bowl of food with a spoon is needed to distract him while feeding him. Mind you, the end product gets pretty messy when he decides to swing the spoon around
  • He can be on unexpected eating strikes on one day, and eat so well on another that i have to pinch myself. We just have to be patient and keep on feeding different types of food throughout the day hoping that this would click and make him eat more
  • Taking medicine is fine as long as it is a game where ma and papa taste it as well
  • While I am so concerned on him taking a warm shower, it is ok for him to play with the spray hose and wet himself throughout bath time.
  • Toys are a thing of the past, household items rock his boat. He only plays and explores with the household item which can be fun to watch especially when he puts things apart and tries to fix them back together
  • Any handheld item can be used as a phone, and even have a long conversation on it
  • The OO is adorable beyond words, and I thought baby is the cutest stage!

Monday, May 23, 2011

So You Think You Can Eat?

The title is inspired from this morning's discussion on FlyFM and FOOD... yes, I think I can eat and be legally fat and bloated! In fact I have a lot of people always commenting I am looking thin (despite the 10kg I put on in the last 6 months) and telling me to eat more and more. Why not, I don't mind even a drop. It is another thing that you will catch me complaining on not losing the baby fat later *touchwood*.

Like my first pregnancy, I don't really have any particular cravings but I am just enjoying all my favourite foods a little more. Hubby makes sure I get my weekly dose of Roti Bom from our favourite restaurant, and lets me have most of the sweet and yummy desserts. Thanks to mom, I have like 'a laddu a day' stock in the fridge for 1 week too!

Now the weird part about this pregnancy is my preference and love in smelling. Imagine getting into the car in the evening, and turning on the aircon. There is the heat smell that I love to savour for the few seconds before the air con starts coming in. And how about the smell of burnt or short circuit, I get it quite often along the corridor of my plant daily and I simple love taking the walk slowly to have the smell linger longer. Petrol and wet paint smell is something I never minded before, but now I love it even more. Also, I love to smell the after wash smell of laundry, it has this slight detergent sting that I enjoy even for a few seconds. Don't call me weird... I am legally weird.

Going back to something more normal, here is something that greeted me at the mail (reception) this morning. My winning Spiceberry Snuggbaby cloth diaper that I won during the recent mini giveaway. Right now I am loving the colour, its my favourite purple, and it comes with 1 microfiber & 1 hemp insert! I shall review it soon once I get it tested on Sanju's cute bum-bum.


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