Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Girls have more fun

Whoever said that, is definitely right. Even as adults, we have so many choices of accessories and attires for girls/ladies. There is so much that the whole retail business perhaps depends only on females. Whenever I am at the mall around the kid's section, I get attracted to those pretty like dresses and girly outfits. When I was expecting Sanju, before knowing the gender, my sisters and I used to walk through the aisles of these pretty little things, making mental notes of what to buy if it were a girl. The list is still waiting to be cashed.

The kids' and baby fashion these days is no small business, they are definitely up to the latest trends and can cost more than adult clothings. It is amazing how manufacturers can create something so chic in a tiny human being version, for as young as newborns!

And then there are those nice hats, scarfs and head bands. Even the shoes and socks for baby girls are so pretty that calls out to you, to touch, to hold and to buy! It would be a different case if I had a girl. These pretty items would call out to me, and would end up in my hands, and later in my house.

For now, the fashion selection for my kiddo is very much the tshirts, sleeveless or the other, bermudas, rompers (which he is growing out already), and the occasional leggings. Even the leggings become difficult item to get as most of the prints are made for girls. When I am bored, I usually surf the children's clothing for some nice refreshing therapy for my eyes, wondering what I would do if I could. Even those e-stores on Facebook are constantly sharing their new arrivals of (no prize for guessing) girl clothes. Why the discrimination over the boys? Pity my boy, pity me!

In a way it is perhaps a good thing that I don't end up spending a huge amount on clothes for my toddler, but I make up the fashion trends loss by stocking up on cloth diapers. At least I can't go wrong there, ok maybe I can if i get something too pinky, but most others are ok.

Come to think of it, the expenditure for boys would be on a different note altogether, with the obsession on sports and games. I can imagine having my kid ask for a XBOX v5 in the near 5 years, or perhaps the PSP genX. Worst still, he might be aiming for iPhone 10 that probably comes with the latest virtual game applications. Till then, I think I better save some moolah!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Maybel's Closet FI2 and Twinkle Toes AI2

Here are the 2 new CDs on the block that I am so excited about:

1) Maybel's Closet OS FI2

I scored this Fleece-in-2 (FI2) tester from a friend WAHM who wanted CD mamas to try out her latest invention. Me, well, just wanted to buy a FI2 in the pretty printed fleece! And the best thing about this FI2 cover is that it comes with 3 snaps positioned in such a way that we can use it with any existing soakers that comes with 1 or 2 snaps. The body is totally made with fleece, with embelished wings (cotton, me thinks), and extra bullet-proofing (as Maybel says) at the wet zone for no leaking.

I have used it with bamboo fleece and also zorb soakers (from the below Twinkle Toes AI2) for night use. It has performed pretty well, and the print looks damn gorgeous on my baby's bum. On the downside, it seems a little bulky, but the fleece fabric makes it look sort of fluffy, instead of plain bulk. Using it on largest size settings works for me so far. Using the smaller settings might increase the bulk, which is why Maybel had earlier opted to make this a sized FI2.

2) Twinkle Toes AI2

I bought this new from a fellow CD-mama. This diaper is S/M sized, the smallest settings enough to fit a newborn. The cover can be used as a cover with fitteds, or with prefolds, or as a AI2 system with the soakers. The added leg gussets allows it to contain any kind of mess, especially when using prefolds or traditional lampins. I am hoping this to come in handy as a cover with lampins later with my newborn. It comes with 2 pieces of snap in soaker made from cuddly soft bamboo fleece, two layers of Zorb and it's topped with a stay dry layer of suede cloth. The best part, the soaker is versatile enough to be used with the above mentioned FI2, what else can I ask for?

Monday, April 25, 2011

We did it! GCDC Kuala Lumpur!

Last weekend was perhaps the biggest event in a cloth diaper mother's life. With the Earth Day on 22nd April, a world recording breaking event in cloth diaper changing was held worldwide, at the same time. It may sound simple, but to coincide with the main event in the United States, the event was held about 12.30am local time to do the 'cloth diaper change'. Which means that mothers and babies had to brave our bedtimes, get together at one venue, equipped with commercially available CDs and other environmentally friendly items to participate. I am proud to say that I was one of the 39 other mothers in Scriptory Box Puchong who attended and participated the record breaking challenge.

It was a sisterhood meeting of sorts. Cloth diapering mothers from all parts of Klang Valley and also other parts of Malaysia (yes, one particular mama travelled down all the way from Gurun, Kedah, salute!) gathered together to be a part of this historical and world record event. Most of us from the Malaysian Cloth Diapering Parents group in facebook were already pretty familiar with each other from the group from months back. And it was a nice way to meet, greet and build the bonds stronger.

Sadly, I could not make it for the daytime bazaar and talks sessions. I heard there were a lot of great deals on natural parenting, and of course, lucky draws!! *envious of the pretty diapers given out in the lucky draws*

All participants received a goodie bag consisting of gifts from sponsoring parties. Here is my goodie bag as a participant & committee member for the GCDC KL. There are too many nice items to list, in short, they are environmentally friendly products for both baby and mother. One express facial session for the mother and a few shopping vouchers too! Sanju also received a certificate of participation for the event! I am so proud of my little boy!

Right before the main event, there was a cake cutting ceremony by our celebrity guest, Dynas Mokhtar, witness Pn Zatul and Event Moderator, Farhana from Cloth Diaper Malaysia. Don't you think the cake is too pretty & adorable to be eaten? I can't believe someone can actually create a cake that looks so real.

And oh, speaking of cakes, thats not just it. We also had another sponsor providing us with a cake of the exact GCDC logo. It just does not look like a cake! And surrounded by the cake are zallions of cupcakes, which were just too yummy for my tummy!

Enough about food now. My record-creating-toddler was sleeping from 830pm with his father in the car all the while. I had to wake him up right before registration to get his height measurements done, as a part of the condition for this event. Needless to say, he was pretty fussy after that because he was so sleepy and i guess being with so many babies and mother's around is not something that he expected in the middle of his bedtime. Anyway, a baby's gotta do what he's gotta do. Get his diaper changed and create a world record. It is amazing how it sounds like such a serious business, but truth is, baby diaper changing is no small business especially when you have a fussy and sleepy toddler who not just wriggles around while changing, but also disturbs babies next to him by grabbing their pillows and stuff. Don't get what I mean? This picture says it all:

There were a number of lucky draws done, and many gifts given out. There was also a quiz session on cloth diapering (what else?), and guess what, I scored myself a nice hamper of mother and baby goodies. There's the laundry ball, 2 cloth diapers (Envipink from Sentuhan Bayu & Wahmies from Mia Bambina), ahmies wetbag (contains the wahmies CD & a cloth wipe), Gin & Jacqui multipurpose bag, another wetbag, and Mia Bambina's aroma soap. If previously I did not own any wetbag, well now, I have 2! Double happiness for that!

At sharp 12.30am, the bells were rung as a sign to mothers to start changing the diaper. Just imagine, at that particular moment, thousands of mothers worldwide were doing the same. And just within seconds, we are done participating and creating a world record. Here's a group picture of all participating parents (yes, there was one proud daddy doing the diaper change!).

The best thing about this event is that it not just creates mass awareness on environmental friendly cloth diapers, it also puts Malaysia in the map with the record. Here's wishing to have more parents jump into the cloth diapering bandwagon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bringing The House Down

Once Sanju turned one, and was walking around vigorously, we decided it was time for him to inherit the family heirloom - my baby sister's Mickey Mouse Playhouse. It is just a simple tent-like playhouse that stands on a skeleton of plastic pipes. We bought it like in 1996 from then-hot-and-famous Macro warehouse store. In fact plenty of Pooja's (that's the baby-devil-sister who is no longer a baby) toys were bought there as they had good variety of brands. After she outgrew it, the thoughtful sisters packed it nicely to pass it on to the next generation, but honestly, I never ever thought the time would ever come when my own kid would be playing in the house.

Little did we know that giving a tent playhouse to a baby boy is so totally different from having a girl enjoy it. Within weeks, Sanju decided that he does not want to play in the playhouse anymore, and that it looked better upside down, taken apart, abused in all ways possible.

Here's a picture before:

Busy turning it down:

Mission accomplished:

And when he is not taking things apart, he drives around in his mini:

And at other times, papa's car:

Monday, April 18, 2011

I Want to Win Babywearing Gears for Great Cloth Diaper Change – KL!

What does the Great Cloth Diaper Change KL have in common with Cloth Diapering? Natural parenting, of course! And I am proud to say that I am a babywearer, who also fully cloth diapers my kid for the last 1 year.

After much research and consideration, I purchased a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) for our then 10-month-old baby. It turned out to be so convenient and gives this secure feeling, bonding and closeness while carrying out daily chores, such as cooking, doing the laundry or even during shopping or other outings. Whats more, babywearing proves to be a good workout for me, with the baby weight and chores burning calories at the same time.

Experts say babywearing benefits the baby by promoting better physical development and secure feeling by being close (almost skin to skin) with the wearer. We are often told how swaddling and massaging baby promotes growth and better health, it works the same way here. I remember how newly born Sanju constantly needed to be carried to soothe him down. Now that I am expecting my second baby, I intend to babywear my newborn sooner for better bonding and communication. The best part is a single babywearing gear can be worn by either mother or father.

When choosing a baby carrier, convenience and comfort for both wearer and wearee is most important. The material should be breathable and extremely gentle to baby's tender skin, as well as the super-emotional mother's back. It should provide so much support that baby wearing should feel almost a breeze, with no back or muscle straining. It is important that it is convenient to put the baby in or out, as needed. An added advantage is that if the one carrier is able to be shared by both mother and father without needing excessive adjustments during the transition. This goes very well as I fully support father's involvement in baby care, especially in the early months.

My ideal baby carrier does fit the qualities of a ring sling (RS). I have had one great chance of trying a ring sling on my baby once, and I truly loved the convenience of wearing my baby right from home. The RS also works well for breastfeeding mothers, as it allows discreet nursing, and doubles up easily as a nursing poncho! And with the multiple possible positions to wear my baby in the ring sling, there are so many ways to soothe the fussy little one.

The requirements of an ideal baby carrier would be of a luxurious looking fabric yet comfortable to be worn, perhaps of linen or silk. A reversible carrier, that comes with attractive fabric in both inside and outside would give the effect of having 2 carriers in one. Something of a maroon or purplish colour would give just the right sophistication to the baby wearing mother, and a neutral coloured-printed or just plain on the other side would suit the baby wearing father well. This reversible carrier can have some sequine or embroidery works on the feminine side, and to further add the glam factor, a shiny golden rings would be just perfect!

Now with 4 more months to the arrival of my second baby, I have been working (and shopping) hard on purchasing and building up baby stash. While Sanju is participating in creating a world record, it would be absolutely delightful if my newborn baby carrier stash comes from this event as well. Given the choice, I would love to win the Deana Design RS because their range of RS is in lovely colours complemented with gorgeous prints on the tail. Now that would go well with baby and me, and look awesome on any outfit!

Needless to say, I am very excited to carry my newborn on a RS. Last but not least, the feeling of knowing my baby is secure in the carrier is just priceless. Here is a picture of me and my happy baby in a ring sling.

More details on the world record event here at Great Cloth Diaper Change KL and join us to learn more on cloth diapers, babywearing and eco friendly parenting at the GCDC's Eco & Health Friendly Sales Bazaar!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pumpkin Pasta Stars

Pasta is something Sanju has been eating since he was 10 months old and he loves it till now. Earlier when I was not able to get the baby pastas, I just used the regular pastas (ensure no preservatives and flavourings) and mashed them to smaller pieces. This time I got lucky at Giant and spotted Heinz pasta stars!


3 tablespoon of baby pasta

For sauce:
Pumpkin (diced)
Broccoli (cut small)
Carrots (cut small)
Coriander leaves (cut small)
Coriander powder
Some grated garlic & onion

1. Cook the pasta as the direction on the packet, and keep aside.
2. In a frying pan, sautee garlic & onion till fragrant
3. Add in the pumpkin, broccoli and carrots. You can add other vegetables/meat as you like.
4. Cook for 3 mins and add in some water, and coriander powder, and let it simmer.
5. Cook for 5 mins and mix the pasta in before turning off the heat. Add grated cheese before serving.

The pasta sauce is my most used recipe as it is easy to cook and freezes well for quick toddler meal fixes. It also gives me the flexibility of adding any veggies I have available int he fridge. I also tend to use the sauce with rice or baby oats on the days I don't have time to cook up some pasta.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why I Love Bottombumpers Side Snapping AIO

All-in-One (AIO) diaper come with a waterproof outer layer and an absorbent inner layer. It sometimes comes with extra piece of soaker to lay on, which can be separated for washing and drying. This already spells convenience at my fingertips, as far as laundry, and no insert stuffing is concerned.

Size M on the left, and size L on the right. Sanju fits both at their respective settings

Bottombumpers AIO is one such diaper with an absorbent certified organic cotton as the inner layer, and a snap on soaker of 4 layers of organic cotton, topped with bamboo velour for baby's skin contact. A whopping total of 6 absorbent layers for an AIO diaper is very generous indeed! To make it work better for night use, I have recently discovered that adding a bamboo doubler totalling the layers to 8 are sufficient to last the whole night for my kiddo.

Inner view of the BBs

Another special feature about the BB is that they are side snapping diapers, which means we can reduce the bulk of the front snaps. It is an advantage when putting on the diapers on an active toddler who moves and walks around more often during diaper changes.

The soakers are designed to be longer than the body, because as we put it on the baby, the elastics would stretch the body longer and hence covering the soaker sufficiently. Access front soaker length proves to be rather useful if you have a boy, who are front wetters.

My personal love for BB is the fact that the organic cotton soakers are indeed a jiffy to care for, and so far have showed no signs of molding or staining despite long use. If you kid ever poos in the diapers, you can easily knock it off in the toilet and wash off ther rest with water spray.

No doubt BB is my top favourite together with the Itti Bittis for the trim cutting. When I purchased my first BB of M size, I realise it managed to fit my chunky kid pretty well, and hey the side snapping feature gives it a unique and neat look!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Know Your Spices

Living at home with mom's home cooked food daily, I kind of took the spices for granted, and never took the initiative to know what and why are they used. All that mattered to me was that the food smelled and tasted yummy for eating. Once I got married and moved out, I had to take a crash course on spices from my mom, and thanks to my notebook (a real one), the heirloom of Indian spices was passed down to me successfully. And now I can proudly acclaim that I know my spices pretty well, and use them damn good in my cooking.

Benefits of Spices
The ancient Ayurvedic texts list the herbs and spices for curative and therapeutic properties, such as:
  1. Curative properties - Most spices are known to make digestion easier, help in controlling cholestrol and blood pressure
  2. Preserving food - Back in the days when fridge and electric supply was unknown of, spices helped in preserving the foods to last longer
  3. Aiding digestion - Most authentic Indian restaurants provide mints or fennel seeds for after meals, as mouth fresheners and to aid digestion
  4. Balancing taste and properties of food - spices provide us a flexibility of adding a certain aroma or taste into your daily cooking
In picture above, we have Coriander Seeds, Cumin, Black Peppercorn, Cloves, Indian Cinnamon, Star Anise.

Curry powder is perhaps the most popular spice known to most. The curry powder is actually known as the 'masala' which means 'blend of several spices'. It is not just curry that requires spices, but there are so many other simple daily dishes that you can rev-up using a simple spice

My favourite spices that I use very often are:

  1. Coriander seeds - Usually used in powder form, great for flavouring a simple vegetable or chicken dish by sauteeing 1-2 tablespoon with onion, garlic and ginger where I do not intend to use curry powder. I also use it to flavour most of my toddler's meals, instead of soy sauce or salt
  2. Cumin seeds - Works same as coriander seeds/powder, both provide a great combination of aroma and taste
  3. Black pepper - Soak and blend it well to make nice spicy soup. I also use it occasionally in the masala tea for the spicy taste
  4. Cloves - Crushed together with cardamom & ginger for ginger tea. Also great to be sauteed together with cardamom for great smelling dry chicken dishes
  5. Cinnamon - Sauteed together with star anise for great smelling chicken dish. I also use cinnamon powder to make toddler's version of gajar halwa or applesauce, it gives a nice sweet smell & taste
  6. Star anise - Same as cinnamon
  7. Cardamom - Same as cloves. Also great to make lassi
  8. Fennel seeds - Works best when sauteed with cumin & coriander. Also great to boost up milk supply for breastfeeding mom.
  9. Fenugreek - It is extremely beneficial to the health, so I sautee it with almost any vegetable or non-vegetable dish. Also great to boost up milk supply for breastfeeding mom.
  10. Asafetida - Due to its anti flatulence properties, I use it as a sautee for any dish, especially for dhal.
Try adding some spice to your dishes for a new aroma and taste!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mad about Angry Birds

Ever since I got my Wildfire resurrected from the SIS service center, I have totally revamped it with just one application, the Angry Birds! I used to read so much about the Angry Birds on Iphone, and Wildfire users complaining the earlier Android version Eclair did not have good speed on supporting the Angry Birds and apparently the new version Froyo was a somewhat better option to play the game.

I had to re-install all my favourite applications once my phone was back with the new software, kick me for not doing a backup, some system analyst, eh. But I did use the old traditional method of listing out my applications on a post-it note so that I would at least know what I needed. While installing, I came across the Angry Birds at the market and got it installed out of curiosity.

It was hubby, who always uses my phone at late nights just to play the game who discovered the addiction and adrenalin (and battery usage) rush in the game, got me playing with him to bring down the green pigs in their challenging structures. And the rest is history.

We play like a team, an excellent one at that, taking turns to give a shot (literally) and climb the ladder of levels and themes. It is so addictive that we both have had sleepless nights just trying to clear a level, waking up next morning like a zombie for work. After a sleepless night, there is no better news that 'sayang, I already cleared XX level' and the other one goes 'OMG thats so great!'. And this is coming from a non-gamer hubby and myself. The last game I was totally into was perhaps CD-man and those handheld brickgames.

Angry Birds also come in handy when I want to de-stress while waiting for the famous Subang-Summit traffic, now with the game in hand, I hardly feel the time passing (slowly) by! No more cursing the traffic police for being biased allowing more time to the other side traffic, and if I get to clear a level, its an added bonus! Do I sound like a paid TV advertisement or what?

The Angry Birds is a total revolution in smartphone gaming. I am not sure if the android version is the same as Iphone's, but heck, it is so good I am not complaining! And hey it is not just me, according to wikipedia, Angry Birds has 100 million downloads across all platform, the game has been called "one of the most mainstream games out right now", "one of the great runaway hits of 2010", and "the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far.

The Angry Birds are so famous, they even have their trailers on youtube. Definitely better than some other tasteless youtube videos circulated by media. Check it out!

Cinematic Trailer:

In-game Trailer:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Great Diaper Change KL

Remember the new world record that we are out to set for the Great Cloth Diaper Change? In conjunction with the night event that coincides with the worldwide diaper change record setting, there is also going to be a day event of fun-filled informative activities as well as some retail therapy session for the mothers and mother-to-bes.

Below is the official flyer for the event, with a lot of CD hugging baby models.

Checkout the details on the GCDC's Eco & Health Friendly Sales Bazaar FB page for full details. There are several sales booths with environment friendly and safe, healthy products. There are also going to be mini talks sessions and lucky draws happening every hour. So don't miss it!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 20, here I come!

I am way past the 1st torturous trimester of nausea and morning (evening, all-day) sickness. It is enough that brushing my teeth early in the morning makes me gag and want to puke, the rest of the day goes with this yucky taste in the mouth that makes me want to eat and eat to get the taste away. That is why I ate frequently during the 1st trimester, in comparison to now.

There was also frequent backaches and feet cramps by the end of the day, but I got rewarded with some TLC and very nice feet massages before bedtime.

Compared to all that, the 2nd trimester is almost like a honeymoon. Less, if not none, backaches, and feet is behaving very well, or maybe it is just due to the new pair of hush puppies I got hubby to buy for me. Either way, both works fine for me. But I miss those feet massage I was getting earlier!

On the downside, I think I am overloaded with preggy hormones that is causing me to be super emotional and I can weep at the drop of a hat. I know I should be avoiding reading or seeing depressing stuff, but sometimes it is just there when you least expect it. And sometimes I am just too curious to know what/why/how. I remember one incident in 2009 when I was expecting Sanju, it was 6th or 7th month when I was reading Marian Keyes' 'Anyone out there', and when I came to the part of a huge revelation of the deceased husband, I started sobbing like nothing, shouted out to call hubby who was watching tv downstairs. It all just felt like it was so real and I was living the character. Spooky stuff, I know... motherhood/pregnancy turns you into things you never imagine you would be!

Braxton Hicks is also in town, didn't know it was possible to have it so soon, but apparently it is normal. This is definitely kicking in earlier that my first pregnancy with Sanju.

Just in this last 2 weeks I started embracing back my maternity clothes. It was just too soon to start wearing them in the earlier stages of 1st trimester. Of course baby bump is there, but with the high cut tops these days, you can pretty much hide it. Only now baby bump is beginning to look more than a bump, but somehow I am still reluctant to start wearing those maternity stuff to work. Its not like I am in denial, but I feel it is too soon... now into the 20th week, I think I have to give myself a kick and allow me to embrace it.. or should I?


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