Nice and easy to cook porridge

Give it a try!

Not sure what to cook for your baby? Try this. My baby loves this porridge, and it tastes really nice (and healthy)! I cooked these 2 porridge last weekend, and my baby girl happily finished one whole Foogo Thermos Food Jar (filled to the brim)!

(Note: I cook this for my 1 year old baby. Do make sure that your baby can take solid food well and no allergy to the ingredient used).

1. Tomato and minced pork porridge
Tomato goes surprisingly well and minced pork. Note that I don't use any tomato puree (to minimise the use of processed food and to let my baby to taste the natural taste of the food).

a. 1 to 2 table spoon full of minced pork (up to you to decide how much to put)
b. Half to one whole medium to large size tomato (up to you to decide how strong you want the tomato taste to be)
c. Home-made soup stock (if you don't have soup stock, cook the rice with water will do, except lacking the sweetness from the soup stock).

Cooking steps:
a. Boil the whole tomato in a pot on high fire. Turn off the fire when it starts to boil and you can see the skin started to peel off. Don't overcook the tomato for retaining more nutrition.
b. Take out the tomato and peel off the skin (should be very easy to peel off). Chop into small cubes.
c. Put the desire amount of rice grain in soup stock (or water) and bring to boil.
d. Once the rice grain started to turn soft, add in the minced pork and bring to boil.
e. Add in the tomato.
f. Turn to lowest fire and simmer for 15-30 minutes.
g. Ready to serve!

2. Salmon and pumpkin porridge
This combination goes very well too! And it's very nutritious!

a. One small piece of fresh salmon. Cut to small cubes.
b. One small piece of pumpkin. Cut to small cubes.
c. Home-made soup stock (if you don't have soup stock, cook the rice with water will do, except lacking the sweetness from the soup stock).

Cooking steps:
a. Put the desire amount of rice grain in soup stock (or water) and bring to boil.
b. Once the rice grain started to turn soft, add in the pumpkin and bring to boil.
c. Continue to cook till pumpkin turns soft.
d. Add in salmon and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Or alternative, turn to the lowest fire and let it simmer for 15-30 minutes.
e. Ready to serve!

And I am going to cook this for my baby to try this weekend (cooked for my boy before and he loves it!).

3. ABC pasta with tomato and minced pork
As I mentioned above, tomato really goes very well with minced pork (or beef). I have cooked this a few times for my boy and he finished one big bowl every time.

a. 1 to 2 table spoon full of minced pork (up to you to decide how much to put)
b. One whole medium to large size tomato. Cut to small cubes (5 cents size)
c. ABC pasta (I prefer the non-organic one as it turns out nicer. If you are a health conscious, you can use any bite-size organic pasta).

Cooking steps
a. Bring the desire amount of ABC pasta to boil. Cook till soft and drain off the water. Keep aside.
b. Put a little bit of oil into a frying pan.
Optional - You may brown one clove of garlic or a small onion (chop to tiny bits) if you want to enhance the taste further.
c. Add in the minced pork and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
d. Add in the tomato cubes (if you prefer to de-skin the tomato, do it as above).
e. Stir fry till the tomato turns soft.
f. Add in the cooked ABC pasta and stir.
g. Add in a little bit of water (enough to just cover all the ingredients).
h. Cook on medium fire for a few minutes.
i. Ready to serve!

Added on 6th September 2010:
This is the version which I have added in 1 clove of garlic, 1 small size onion and an egg, with organic ABC pasta. Verdict: Sample 1 - Xi Yu happily ate, but only for about 10 mouthfull then refused :-(. Sample 2 - Hao Re really likes it, finished 1 whole bowl! Probably it's the strong taste of garlic and onion that Xi Yu doesn't like? Simple is best for baby :-)
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Can you please give me a bit of your patience, calmness and coolness?

I need lots, lots and lots.......

A colleague of mine lend me a book, a Chinese translated version of the "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It's an old book, about 30 years old. I flipped thorough the book one night, it's so nice that they have some pages of cartoons to illustrate some of the common issues parents are facing and how to handle them, just nice for a tired mum like me to at least go through the cartoons, and kick-started the learning :-)

And it couldn't be more timely for me, as I need some good read desperately to boost up my confidence and energy. This book works for me! I am getting the English version one as one of parenting "bible".

Now, if you have some time to hear me rant.......

It's a very challenging period for me right now. That I have to handle 2 young kids all on my own from about 6.30pm, when I pick up the kiddos from the childcare and nanny, to 9-11pm, when they both fall asleep. Yes, all alone. We have no maid. Our parents are back in the kampung in Malaysia. We have no relatives here. And plus hubby is so tight up with his work that when he comes home, either one or both of them have fallen asleep. While I enjoy spending time with my kids and insists on taking care of them ourselves (minus the working hours), I feel really tired at times, mentally and physically. Both kids are still demanding as much attention from us as possible. And don't forget the sibling rivalry.

Everyday is a battle. From the time I pick up Hao Re, I start to pray that he would be willing to let me buckle him up with the seat belt, either on a car seat or not, depending on his mood. Yup, I had done it once to let him sit at the rear seat without the seat belt, on that very day, I had run out of patient and just couldn't talk to him anymore, so I just let him be and to drove extra slow and careful (luckily it's a short distance). Once he is seated, pray that he doesn't kick a fuss till we reach home. On a good day, he would tell me what he learns in school, sings me a song or two, tells me story, and that's the day I dream of everyday. On a bad day, he would demand this and that, want to do this and that, struggling to go free from the seat belt, etc, and just makes me fuming. Xi Yu is generally okay to sit in her car seat as long as I give her toys to entertain her. So ya, the prince is the one who creates headache for me.

From the car park till we reach home is the next challenge. You see, because of me, the picky mum, I don't want to park our car to the nearest car park as that car park is above the shops and thus is always having busy traffic, and it's dirty and dark and all, and have to walk pass the rows of shops (it's an indulgence for the kids to demand to get something, a lollipop in particular!). Since we moved in, I insisted on parking our car to the next nearest car park, which is further and we have to cross a road, this car park is much less traffic, more airy, brighter, clean, and comfortable, and walk pass a spacious foyer with no shops. A lot of people asked me, how do I manage to bring two kids home? You know, when you have to do it, you just have to do it. The best day will be Hao Re walks and Xi Yu sits in the stroller and we reach home peacefully. Bad day will be Hao Re insists to be carried, and so I carry him and still have to push the stroller which Xi Yu is seated, and we reach home with me having an almost broken arm and back (he is >15kg now!). All sorts of possibilities - sometimes Hao Re sits in the stroller and I have to carry Xi Yu (slightly better as she is nearing 11kg only :-)), sometimes put both on the stroller (better to torture the stroller than my arm), sometimes Hao Re walks half way and I carry him half way, etc. Xi Yu is generally okay, sometimes she cries to be carried so I just ignore her and she stops after a minute or so. And yes, again, the prince is the problem.

So we reach home safely, somehow. Sometimes happily, sometimes the mum already gone half crazy and kept nagging at the kids, sometimes one or both kids are sobbing because they don't get what they want.

When we are at home, it's a lot better, at least I know they are safe. And it's been a lot better now than 2 weeks ago, as Xi Yu has become less sticky and a lot more independent. She is really a poor baby who can't get enough attention from mummy :-( First I have to feed Hao Re dinner. The Tingkat food is unfortunately not working out. He has lost interest totally and refused to eat since last Friday. I still offer him his dinner, if he refuses, I just let him be, since he will tell me when he is hungry, then he will get biscuits etc. Then I have to pour my dinner down in a few minutes. Then it's the precious time I get to spend with them. Do whatever Hao Re want to do, colouring, painting, cutting, the toys, the puzzles, whatever, and Xi Yu just tags along. But often Xi Yu has to disturb her gorgor and insists to have whatever Hao Re is touching! There are so many books on the shelf and she MUST have the one Hao Re is holding! There are hundreds of blocks on the floor and she MUST have the few Hao Re is playing with. There are thousand pieces of puzzles in the drawer, and she MUST have that particular set that Hao Re is building. Sometimes I am able to distract her and so Hao Re can continue. Sometimes Hao Re doesn't want to continue once meimei disturbs her. Worse is that Hao Re gets annoyed and beats meimei! All sort. You can just imagine. I still haven't learnt how to cope with sibling rivalry yet.

So what's the best thing for them? Make a guess? It's the TV! Though I said I have no maid and no one else to help me with, but I have one of the most efficient babysitters, our 42" flat screen TV! Oh yes, once the tv is turn on, the prince can be kept entertained for as long as the tv is on. The princess can also be kept seated down quietly for the next 10-15 minutes or so. It's the easy way out. But I don't like and don't want to use this. I don't turn on the tv until Hao Re has requested for at least 3 times, else I will try to delay and delay, and try to engage him with other activities. My maximum threshold for tv time is 30 minutes each slot. He can watch for more than 30 minutes a day, but shouldn't be more than 30 minutes each time. But recently this threshold has been broken since we introduced the Disney movies to him. Sigh! To make my life easy and not to be too harsh to myself, I just have to learn to be relax, and keep telling myself tv is not that bad, or is it? I usually use this time to take a quick shower and then run some simple house chores like throw the clothes into the washer.

I only have 2-3 hours to be spent with them. It's a short time but stressful and no one can understand the stress level I am at unless you have the same routine as mine. But I must be grateful that both of the kids are considered easy to handle kids, else I would have gone crazy already. And don't forget those wonderful stay-at-home-mums out there are doing this 365-24-7! So I shouldn't complain, really.

Oh, my challenge of the day does not end here. And the toughest one is coming - putting both kids to bed. How do I do that? No I can't, I just can't. We are not into sleep trained our kids, so they still need the parents to accompany them to sleep. And we co-sleep with them. I just do whatever I see fits for that day, and pray the husband comes back home for the rescue. And he does, sometimes sooner sometimes later. I am still learning to be more relax on this, but I am still secretly counting how many hours of sleep they have and if they have enough. What if they sleep 1 hour or 2 hours later than usual for some days? It's okay, what! Right? What's the big deal? I just have to learn to be more relax and stop scolding/shouting/screaming/getting angry with them if they still don't fall asleep at 10pm or 11pm. Right. Relax!

So yes, finally the kids are sleeping soundly. Finally all the little house chores are completed. I will have a little bit of me time to myself to flip a magazine, to watch a little tv, to surf a little bit of the Internet. Even though this me time is cutting shorter and shorter, but I am hopeful that it'll get better sooner or later. I just hope that I have enough energy to get this blog going.

So yes, I need a few extra strong boost of patience, to be able to stay calm and keep my cool, 99% of the time if not 100%, But right now, I think I only between 60-70%.  I have to do better, as I want the kids grow up in a loving environment, no shouting and screaming, and I certainly don't want them picking up the screaming and the throwing temper part from me, especially Hao Re, he can mimic exactly the way I scold Xi Yu, sad. Communicate, understand and respect the kids is the way to go. And I have lots to learn from the book mentioned above.

So, anyone who can share with me some of your patience or calmness? Or if you have any advice for me (don't suggest getting a maid, that's not an option in our household)? Will be greatly appreciated!

And hey! My parents will be here in October for the rescue. So for now, I just have to pull through this 5 weeks or so. Wish me luck. And I need lots, too!
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A "lucky" Saturday and a fun and tiring Sunday

(Photos uploaded on 24th Aug night)

I called it a lucky Saturday. Let me tell you why. Oh, and it's Xi Yu's birthday (since we have already celebrated it, we only planned to get a small cake  for her today).

After having breakfast, hubby brought Hao Re for a hair cut. This boy has grown up so much that he was willing to sit on the chair on his own and let the stylist to do his job, he didn't even need to be bribed with a lollipop! But the hairstylist was not a patient guy, so the conclusion is for a better experience, a good hairstylist (meaning one who is very patient with kids) is the main factor.

Then hubby brought the kids home. I have a 10-15 minutes kids free time to do my marketing at the wet market (so much more efficient than with the kids tagging along). Arrived home and quickly cooked lunch for Xi Yu and Hao Re, as hubby has to set off to do some work at his office about noon time.

Before hubby left, I fed Xi Yu lunch and let her take her nap. Then I entertained Hao Re and fed him lunch and hubby went off to work. Xi Yu woke up soon after. Played with them for a while. Hao Re then told me he wanted to take a nap at about 2.30pm, this is better than striking a lottery, I tell you!!! Played the Chinese DVD for him to watch, and he fell asleep in about 10 minutes. This was the 2nd time I used the Chinese DVD, a different one though, to bore him to sleep :-) But honestly, the DVD is not that boring-lah, it's actually pretty interesting.

The house suddenly felt so quiet and I felt so free without Hao Re messing around. I took the chance to tidy up the toy shelves, sorting out all the toys to be put to the right slot, etc, while Xi Yu happily landed her hands on all the toys (whatever I touched, she wanted to touch, too!). Then made Xi Yu to take her afternoon nap at about 4.30pm. And I even manage to take a nap with them for a short 30 minutes. Hao Re slept for almost 3 hours (or longer if i didn't wake him)! While the little girl only took a 45 minutes afternoon nap :-P

Made them dinner. Fed them dinner. Turned on the tv to babysit them for a while. I have to admit tv has been a good/standby/anytime babysitter in our household recently since we brought them to watch Toy Story 3 a couple of months back, Hao Re got all so very interested in cartoons/Disney movies again (he lost interest in tv for a few months), and the little girl, oh gosh, she often couldn't take her eyes off the tv for even a minute! They kept each other entertained, played and fight, laughed and screamed and cried. Then it's already 9pm and hubby came back with a small chocalate cake. We sang the birthday songs for Xi Yu and she looked like she knew what's happening and kept clapping her hands. Hao Re sang very loud (he insisted it's his birthday, not Xi Yu's) and digged out all the chocalate and chocalate cream to eat. Then settled them to bed.

I was able to stay home alone with 2 kids for close to 9 hours so peacefully, I certainly think I was sprinkled with lots of luck charm, else I really don't know how can I pull through the day! I enjoyed the day, though it's tiring. But of course, it would have been perfect if Baba was around :-)

We couldn't go out in the morning as we have to wait for the technician from Singtel to come and install the Mio Home (for mio TV and broadband). We were forced to switch to Singtel Mio because of the English Premier League, duh!

We left for a dim sum lunch at town. It's highly recommended by hubby and it's pretty nice, though I still miss my Fu Shan Dim Sum. Hubby said I wasn't open-minded enough to accept new food, always stuck with Fu Shan :-) Then we popped over to the Bras Basah Complex, to the Popular shop to get some painting accessories for Hao Re. Me and hubby actually wanted to browse through the books, but it's impossible with the two of them around. Not only Hao Re was actively running around, Xi Yu also wanted to be put on the floor and explored on her own! We were too busy chasing them around, plus it's pretty crowded. So we made our visit short.

Went to the Jacob Ballas Children Garden next. Hao Re couldn't resist the waterplay this time round. I didn't bring any clothes for changing. So have to take off his clothes and only left with his diaper. Xi Yu soon wanted to join in as well, so same thing, she went in with all her clothes removed except her diaper. They both were having great fun! The sky turned dark and so we had to call off the fun. Hubby took off his shirt to wipe them dry and they put on the same clothes :-) The sky then seemed to clear out a little, so we move on to the tree house slide. Oh man, this little boy got so excited with it, and he happily climbed up the stairs, and slided down the covered and long slide all by himself. We just sat there and watched. We lost count of how many rounds he had, probably more than 20. We managed to break him and brought him to another playground. It's a small playground and don't have his favourite structure where he can climb up. Played for a while and decided to call it a day. Xi Yu was already very tired after the waterplay and lots of walking (she can walk very well already, manage more than 30 steps at one go) and I managed to make her to sleep while Hao Re was playing at the playground.

Meet our Mr and Ms Sexy :-)

The pair are having fun! But they didn't play together, each went off to play with whatever interest them.

A tired looking Xi Yu. And a I-haven't-had-enough-don't-stop-me-playing Hao Re.

We think Hao Re was too tired with all the fun and without a nap. He was kicking a big fuss when we headed to the car. He protested strongly and not willing to get into the car. I finally brought him in but he screamed and cried loudly, saying that he still wanted to play, and kept trying to open the door. Luckily Xi Yu was sleeping so soundly and didn't wake up by Hao Re. I managed to keep my cool, didn't raise my voice, let him vent out and talked to him calmly, and he finally knocked out after 10 minutes or so. I really feel that when I am able to stay calm/calmer than the kids, it's easier to handle them then to scold/shout at them. But the thing is I can't keep my cool all the time, can I? Often when they start to kick a fuss, I start to lose my temper almost immediately.

Both continued to sleep when we arrived home. I managed to cook the dinner, take my shower before they finally woke up at 7+pm. No thanks to the late nap that both refused to sleep at the usual time. And that stupid Mio didn't work, both the mioTV and broadband didn't work! I called the hotline and it took me almost an hour and it still didn't work. They will send a technician down on Saturday. Totally waste of time. And the man of the house was annoyed that he didn't get to watch the soccer match. They both finally slept at about midnight :-)
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Xi Yu is officially 1 year old


宝贝, 你一岁了!

妈妈最想对你说的是 - 妈妈是很爱, 很爱你的.

妈妈虽然不能全心全意的照顾你, 因为你的小哥哥也还需要妈妈照顾,
妈妈虽然有时对你发发脾气, 打打你的小屁股,
妈妈虽然有时失去耐心, 尤其是哄你睡觉时而你久久都不能入谁时,
妈妈虽然没花太多的心思陪你玩, 逗你笑,
妈妈虽然没给你买新衣服, 新玩具,

但, 妈妈很肯定的是, 妈妈是爱你的!

也许, 妈妈爱你的方式和爱你哥哥的方式不一样, 毕竟, 你的小哥哥比你早了十九个月闯进了我的生命.
也许, 妈妈爱你还不够深, 不够多, 不够浓.
也许, 妈妈对你的爱是不一样的.

无论如何, 妈妈肯定是爱你的!

你这小瓜, 是个天生的开心果吧. 从小就非常的讨人爱, 几乎是人见人爱. 而且也很会逗人开心, 很叽喳, 爱模仿别人说话, 不停的在哇哇, 喔喔, 爸爸 (吧吧, 叭叭), 妈妈 (嘛嘛), mum mum, 的说个不停. 你可要快点学会叫"哥哥", 他很期盼哩!

也因为妈妈没太多时间给你, 你从小就蛮自立的, 懂得自己玩, 自己拿着奶瓶喝奶. 你这个没用的妈妈, 一当你想要得到妈妈多一些的注意时, 妈妈就开始发脾气了, 常常望了你还只不过是一个什么都不懂的小娃娃. 可怜的宝贝, 你是被逼着自立的吧.

妈妈很多时候都忽略了你, 大部分的时间都在陪哥哥玩, 因为你比较容易打发, 而你哥哥却懂得要求这, 要求那, 也懂得对妈妈甜言蜜语, 讨妈妈的欢心. 希望不久后你可以和哥哥和妈妈爸爸一起玩, 那就太好了! 皓皓哥哥告诉妈妈, 他在耐心的等你长他, 陪他玩哟!我相信你学会讲话后, 是会比你哥更懂得甜言蜜语吧, 到是, 妈妈每天都会甜滋滋得 :-)
妈妈能给你的而你的小哥哥没福气享用的, 就是妈妈坚持喂了你七个月的全母乳, 希望这为你的健康铺了一条康壮大道吧. 但是哦, 也因为这, 你也吃了一些苦头, 全怪你这笨蛋妈妈没能享受哺乳的乐趣, 真的是个大笨蛋! 你别怪妈妈, 好吗?

还有, 你的小哥哥可爱你爱得深呢! 从你出生的第一天, 皓皓哥哥就自然而然的让你进入了他的生命. 我想, 就这来说, 你是最幸福的女娃吧, 有个那么疼爱你的小哥. 希望你俩能彼此扶持, 彼此关怀, 一起成长.

你是幸运的. 经过关老师(哥哥的托儿所的老师)的介绍, 你是在Agnes姨姨的非常细心的照顾下, 健康快乐的成长的! 你在姨姨那里吃得好, 吃得多, 谁得好, 也睡得饱, 长得白白肥肥胖胖的, 笑容常挂脸上的, 整天开开心心的. 他的细心, 他的用心, 是妈妈非常感激的. 你是幸运的!

妈妈希望接下来的这一年妈妈不发那么多的脾气, 不在打你的小屁股, 能有更多的时间陪你和哥哥玩乐.

瑜瑜, 你要好好的, 健康的, 快乐的长大.

妈妈爱你, 永远!

(老公, 不能替你写下你心里的感受, 你自己对你的小情人瑜瑜说吧, OK!)
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A random update on Hao Re

Nap time and sleeping time
During our trip to China at the end of May, Hao Re learned that he didn't have to take nap at noon time if he is having so much fun and the adults allow him to (right, who to blame?!!). Since then till now, he hasn't been taking afternoon nap during weekends regularly at around noon time. He only takes a cat nap when he is really tired or when we are travelling in our car, and that could be anytime of the day. And on a few days, he didn't take any nap at all! At the beginning, we tried to force him to take nap after his lunch. After a couple of weeks of trying, we gave up, we rather him be happy than to bear with his cry/scream to refusing sleep and to come out of the bedroom. We let him decide if he needs a nap. He is very much into self entertaining if we cannot spend time with him, and he seldom kicks a fuss (never a big one) even if he didn't nap for a whole day. My mum also supports this as she said all four of us didn't take nap once we turned 2 years old, and we all grew up healthily (and heavy-weight-ly :-)). And he takes his regular 2 hours nap on weekdays at school. We reckoned he has enough amount of sleep added together, so we really see no reason to force him to take a nap. Happy ending, for everyone!

For night time, since almost a month back, he suddenly refused to let hubby to put him to bed. So I have to take on the duty after I settle Xi Yu to bed. Oh well, at least he doesn't fuss at all and able to fall asleep pretty quickly and sleep soundly the whole night. So I shouldn't complain, yes true, lesser time for myself, but at least we don't have to deal with his nonsense like a few months back when he refused to go to bed. Depending on how quickly Xi Yu falls asleep, usually between 9.30 - 10pm, Hao Re knows it's his turn next, and follows me to the bedroom obediently. He finishes up his milk, then he would demands for me to either sing or tell him stories, or read a book (luckily it's always a book and not more). Or sometimes he asks me to keep quiet and he does the singing or story telling for me :-) After this short activity, he would declare "okay, mama, stop, 我们现在要睡觉了", and he hugs me tightly to sleep.

We still co-sleep with the kids, in fact I think I am loving co-sleeping more and more! All four of us bunk into our master bedroom, with the 2 kids sleeping on the mattresses on the floor. But every night without fail, I end up sleeping squeezing in between them, either Xi Yu calls for attention, or Hao Re wants Mama, and then I am too lazy to go back to our bed. As long as they can sleep well, we have no hurry to train them to sleep in their bedroom. Slowly. Sooner or later they will. Right now, we continue to enjoy to hug them to bed, to smell on their unique body scent and (bad) breath, to listen to their snoring, and to wake up to two beautiful little darling sleeping right next to us! Ah oh, we enjoy rolling together and having silly games and fun on the bed on the lazy weekend mornings.

Toilet training
We think Hao Re is progressing well with his toilet training. No, he is still not diaperless yet. In fact, think it will be another few weeks/months before he will become diaperless. Right now, he can go diaperless for a few hours without any accidents, able to hold his pee better, can pee in sitting and standing position (we bypass the potty and go toilet bowl straight), manage to poo a few times on the toilet bowl (and he was mighty happy with that!). Sometimes he refuses to be put on diaper, sometimes he insists he wants to wear diaper. Well, you guess it, we let him do whatever he is happy and we just provide the support and help as needed. We are glad that we don't have to force him into this, just let him take his time to learn this skill, and we fully trust him that one day he will be ready.

New childcare
Glad that Hao Re is adapting so well into his new childcare. Two weeks coming to three already, and there was only one day that he cried when we sent him there. And that was because both of us were on leave, and he was very upset that he was being sent to the school, while he knew that we were going to stay home (as we were on our normal wear). Everyday, he walks in to the school happy. Give me a big hug, a big kiss, and say see you later, and wave us goodbye. No fuss, zero nonsense. According to the teacher, he fits in to his class very well (he is in the Nursery class, so he is the youngest in his class), his teachers are amazed that he seems to know a lot more than others in his class, he has no problem with his new teachers, new friends and new environment. His teacher said he eats well, often asks for second serving during lunch (as a matter of fact, he has put on some weight recently). He has problem fallen asleep on his own in the first few days, but he soon adapted to that and has no problem now. One of the things I like about this school is they give the children freedom during the late afternoon. Classes completed at about 5.30pm, after that tv is switched on, but the door is never locked, so the children can choose to sit down and watch tv or they can run around freely at the mini playground at the front yard, or play with the toys. They choose what they like to do rather than to watch tv everyday. Sometimes Hao Re watches tv, sometimes he plays at the playground when I pick him up. Hope the good things continue.......

One of the major changes is that the previous childcare provides dinner with a small top up fees, while this current childcare does not. We were very worried that he might be hungry after 6pm or so. Now we worry no more. First, his teacher told us he requested for milk when he was hungry. Second, the school keeps biscuits for children who is hungry and don't want milk. Third, I prepare a hard boiled egg for him to bring to school everyday started this week for him to consume at 6pm-ish. So yes, worry no more, we are very sure he won't get hungry until he gets his dinner fixed!

Communication and thoughts
This little fella is learning so fast, his vocabularies just keep expanding and expanding. And he certainly has his mind on his own now! He is able to communicate with us and other people well (though sometimes still have to guess what he's talking). He tells us what he wants and what he doesn't want to do/eat/follow/like/dislike/etc. He knows how to look for the clues on us whether we are happy or angry with him. He knows how to use words and action to comfort us or to "sayang" us when we are not happy. He really knows how to get to our hearts! Such a big boy already. At times, we still get mad with him, sometimes raise our voice, shout or scream on him (oh, and he did the same to us too, what a good example what have shown him!). But most of the time, he is such a charming prince that I really couldn't get enough of him. Sometimes I feel bad for not able to spend more time with him. Same goes to Xi Yu that I don't spend enough time with her either. Where has all the hours gone?!!

Below are some conversations we had with him that worth noting down:

Right after a trial gym class,
皓日: 爸爸, 抱抱.
We: 为什么要抱, 自己走啦.
皓日: Oi, 我已经很累了咯!
(He wants to be carried a lot nowadays. Only after this I understood him. He was tired with all the activities, and wanted to save his energy by not having to walk, so can continue to play when we reach the next destination!)

Sometimes I ask him,
Me: 皓日, 你今天开不开心?
皓日: 我很开心!
But sometimes the conversation goes like this,
Me: 皓日, 你今天开不开心?
皓日(paused for a while): 妈妈, 那你今天开不开心哩?
Me: 妈妈开心, 妈妈看到你们笑, 看到你们开心, 妈妈就开心咯!
皓日: 喔, 妈妈, 那我很开心.

On and off I would ask him (I do this since very long time ago),
Me: 皓日, 你最爱/喜欢谁?
皓日: xx, xx 和xx (screening through his list, which has grown from just爸爸, 妈妈, 妹妹, to include 公公, 婆婆, 姨公, 姨婆, 舅舅, 姨姨, Ah Ma, 叔叔, 阿颉gorgor, etc.
And what's more, he is not only able to say his name in full, but he memorises the full name (in Chinese) of all these people listed above and we use this to help him in his memory.

And the sentences that he speaks the most right now:
"妈妈, 你坏蛋!"
"爸爸's naughty boy!"
"I don't want baba/mama!"
"妈妈/爸爸, 我最爱/喜欢你了!"
"我要去爬高高 (playground)"
"我不是xxx (whatever we said, e.g., 小baby, 小胖子). 我是皓皓甘皓日来的!"

And he corrects us when we speak something wrongly (accidentally or intentionally), pronounce some words wrongly, or say something that is not in accordance to what he knows. Smart boy.

Gonna stop here. Else it's never ending. Till the next update..........
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Xi Yu walks!

Xi Yu has been cruising for the longest time ever, and she finally decided she is brave enough to take her first unassisted steady steps on the 15th August 2010, hurray!!!

Since I last updated on her physical development, I can now, finally, complete the update, as below:

5 months - Sitting without support
6 months + - Standing with support
7 months - Creeping (moving by dragging whole body on the floor)
8 months - Cruising
8 months + - Pulling himself to stand
10 months - Crawling (on all fours)
10 months 3 weeks - Standing freely
10 months 3 weeks - Walking (wobbly with lots of encouragement)
11 months 3 weeks (or 6 days to her 1st birthday) - Walking unassisted a few steps steadily!!!

We knew that she would be walking soon as she stood unassisted more often these few days and really can feel her enthusiasm to move around freely like her gorgor. The fact that she only walks now was probably because that she learned to crawl later, only at 10 months. While she was still comfortable to move around the house by crawling, she didn't want to brave herself to walk? Only now she realised that she can't crawl (or we won't allow her to crawl) at a lot of places when we are out, so she decided to walk?

Anyway, she walks! Well done, Yu Yu! Will catch her action on a video soon :-)
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Tiny Explorer at the Singapore Zoo

Our two little explorers sat on a Tiny Xplorer stroller to explore the Singapore Zoo!

This was the first time we rented this stroller. The last time when we visited the Zoo, Hao Re refused to walk and wanted us to carry him almost all the time. Ended up the daddy was very tired. Hao Re still demands to be carried quiet a lot recently, so we decided to rent this Tiny Xplorer thingy. It turned out fun! Both of them were happily and obediently sitting (and buckled up) inside while we took turns to pull them around the park. The damage was $15, but we saved our arms and back!

Daddy pulling the Tiny Xplore. Really a great thing if you have 2 kids of suitable age and that your children are willing to be seated quietly (I saw a few daddies pulling an empty stroller while the children were in the adults' hands).

It's a short visit for us, probably spent about 2.5 hours walking around after having our breakfast at the Ah Meng Cafe. See how much they enjoy looking at the animals!

Hao Re insisted that he wanted to see the elephants. I asked him if he wanted to go for waterplay. He said no, and only wanted elephant. So we made our way (luckily it's the right timing) to the Elephant Show. We arrived early so we got ourselves an excellent seat this time round. Hao Re managed to watch the entire show, while Xi Yu was entertained by munching on the cover of the Ribena :-)

Daddy bought an ice cream to share with Hao Re. See how much he enjoys the ice cream! Xi Yu holds on and chews on to the Ribena for almost an hour!

I quickly cooked lunch for all when arrived home (it's a mad rush). Rested for a while. Then we went to Tampanies for a trial gym class for Hao Re. It's a free trial, that's why we went to try :-) Hao Re was not interested in joining the class at all. He was interested in the trampoline and the balls pit. Kept jumping into the balls pit or on the trampoline whenever it's available. Not only Hao Re, even us didn't like the class. Didn't even consider for a second, and we left the class straightly after it ended.

Detoured to the 717 at Highland Centre to buy durians and also to get take away of the chili crab from the House of Crab nearby for our dinner (the crab sucks big time!). And that's the end of Saturday.

On Sunday morning, wanted to bring them to the pool. While we finally got ready and went out, it started to drizzle. We turned back but it didn't rain eventually. We didn't want to go out again as the sky still looked grumpy. Stayed home almost the whole day till late afternoon when we brought the kids to the CCK park.

Oh, Xi Yu took her official first steps today! She was busy practising (and we made her busy also) her new found skill. Hao Re didn't nap for the whole day. That's why I got time to blog tonight (at a pretty early hour) as both of them were totally knocked out at 9pm!
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A short getaway (and birthday celebration for Xi Yu) at Kuala Lumpur

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Meeting families and friends

It's a really nice getaway, spending 4 days 3 nights at KL. It's a short one but maybe just enough time for the kids to be loved and pampered by thier grandparents and uncles and aunties.

We left our house on Friday morning about 8.30am, and arrived at KL about 12.30pm with one stopover for breaskfast. Went to my brother's house to meet my parents before we proceeded to the hotel. Oh, before that, we detoured to SS2 to sample some durians (guess who's the happy one?). But the durians were not great as it's not fresh enough. We stayed at One World Hotel at Bandar Utama this time round. No particular reason, we just don't want to stay in the city and this hotel looks good from thier website :-) Good thing was the One Utama Shopping Centre is just right next door, a few steps away. We went for a coffee break and then walked around the shopping mall. Hao Re was so happy running around with so many people tagging behind him, he just couldn't stop running, climbing, wanting to be carried, laughing, just having so much fun! So was Xi Yu. They are both very good with the families despite that they don't meet often (only 1-2 times a year) and didn't display any stranger anxiety at all.

We walked into this very special shop (accidentally, I sweared :-)) which provides arts and crafts workshop. Once we were in, Hao Re was like very familiar with the place already. He demanded to join a class which would last for 1 hour. Even when we told him that he had to be left alone inside the room with the teachers, he was still very sure he wanted to join. So we let him join (it's RM45 for walk-in customer). And he insisted to do a Barney, just Barney but nothing else, wonder why the kids love this dinasour (I don't!). After 1 hour of fun which involved painting, glueing, blowing dry, etc, Hao Re came out proudly with his Barney. We were really proud of him, he did so well, he was really focusing with the work with minimum help, he really did us proud!

See how serious our little budding artist is, totally focusing on his arts!

Went on to have our dinner. Nothing fantastic. And the service was pretty bad. Then went to Jusco to buy the formula milk and diapers for the kids. My parents, my younger brother and his girlfriend, YW, sent us back to the hotel room before bidding goodbye to the kids. The kids were sleeping soundly, probably at the comfort of the air-con (we didn't use air-con at all at home) and the quiet surrounding (our house at Singapore is right next to a MRT station!).

We all, except hubby, woke up late. Really nice and quiet to sleep in :-) Went to have our buffet breakfast (pretty impressive spread and tasted pretty okay). And we were ready to go to KLCC. Surprisingly we arrived without getting lost (all thanks to the wonderful iPhone!). Hubby had to go to do some research around the KLCC. So me and the kids went to the PetroSains at the top level (it's like a Science Centre but sponsored and run by the Petronas). First we explored the music section. It was not crowded and the kids got some hands on with the exhibits, which was great. Then we move on to the main section, the science exhibit. It's not a good timing though, as it's nearing lunch time. Only after we went in, I was told it would take at least 2.5 hours to walk/browse through the whole place and there is only one route! Gosh! And they didn't let hubby come up to join us as it's already too crowded. I was very sure Hao Re was going to get cranky soon because of the tiredness and getting hungry. So I asked the staff to let us out when we were at the 2nd out of the 15 stations. Luckily they helped us out. If we have known about this place better, we would have come at a better timing. It's a great place, really nice, as they have lots of interactive stuff for the kids to participate. I would love to bring the kids back again and do the entire 2.5 hours or longer visiting.

Exploring the Music exhibits. Looking cool. ya! See the right top photo - my very pro little DJ is playing music!

Travelled back to our hotel. Initially wanted to meet my parents but timing was not right. So we had our lunch at the Japanese restaurant in the hotel. Very nice ambient and nice food. But Hao Re was fussing around. Quickly had our meal. Then I brought Xi Yu back to the room to take a nap, while the dad and son went shopping and they came back with 2 toys of the Toy Story! Then Hao Re refused to nap. Bathed them and we were ready to go out for dinner. The little fella was so tired that he fell asleep during the car ride while munching on the biscuit :-) We made a wrong turn, but otherwise, considered a smooth ride.

Met up with KM, Xuan, her mum, and my parents, my brother and YW for a bak ku teh dinner. It's a meet and greet session for the future in-law :-) Very nice food and great accompany. The kids were happily munching on the Happy Melts that I brought along. Went to meet my elder brother and family after dinner but only spent a short time with them as it's nearing 10pm already. Headed back to hotel and the kids knocked out pretty fast.

The little girl-boy-friend are just so sweet, aren't they, kissing and hugging and all? Okay, at least they let Xi Yu to join in the fun :-)

Sunday was THE DAY, the reason why we travelled to KL, that is to celebrate Xi Yu's 1st birthday (actual day on the 21st August, so it's an early celebration).

After breakfast, we felt like bringing the kids for a dip in the pool since the weather was really nice. And so we did. The four of us were having fun in the pool for about 30 minutes or so. We haven't been to a pool for a long time already, and Hao Re was kinda not used to the water environment already, while Xi Yu was still good with water. Went up to the room, get them bathed and changed and we headed to the birthday venue - A&W restaurant at PJ. We were there 1 hour early as we didn't want to be late in case we mwould make a wrong turning or something, but ended up the journey was smooth and it's actually pretty near our hotel. Xi Yu was sleeping, which was just ideal, so that she can enjoy the party better without being too tired. Hubby and Hao Re went shopping at the shopping mall opposite the restaurant while me and Xi Yu were resting in the car.

The good thing of holding the birthday party at the A&W is that everything is taken care of - the decoration (though simple one), the food, the drink, the setting up, etc. We just turned up and enjoyed (and made the payment of course). Guests started to arrive at 1pm (party room was booked from 1 to 4pm). And by about 1.30pm, the room was pretty full already, while guests continued to arrive. Eventually we had about 50 adults and 30 kids, a pretty big party for us! We certainly enjoyed the party, meeting our families and friends, and we hope everyone has had a great time too.

Well, better let the photos do the talking............

Warming up.......

The kids are playing games together with the mascot. Simple games make happy kids! Though those younger kids are not able to join in.

It's cake cutting time! Xi Yu has FOUR cakes!!! Three were made by the small jiujiu and YW yiyi, looking pro and nice, right? And the princess cake was a gift from auntie CC, thanks! The kids were so excited and couldn't take thier eyes off the cakes!

The birthday girl wants to be carried by mummy almost ALL THE TIME! Well, being 2 weeks shy to 1 year old, she is considered enjoying the party very much already.

Think Hao Re was probably having more fun. And so was I as I got to meet many of my dear friends whom I haven't met for years! And many thanks for the ang pau and presents!

After all the guests have left, we went to have a tea break with my aunt's family, the Poon family, who is the closest to us. Then we proceeded to have dinner at SS2. After that, we went for a walk at The Curve before heading back to our hotel. The two little fella were just so happy to be surrounded by so many people. It's very touching to see how they bonded with the families, and to hear laughter, lots of laugther, from them!

We were supposed to head back to Singapore in the early morning on Monday in order to avoid the very likely traffic jam (it's Singapore National Day, so there were many holiday makers drove to Malaysia, us included). But ended up we only left after lunch. My parents and my brother came to meet us at our hotel. Then we headed to Amcorp Mall, as my brother said there is a bookshop selling books at great bargain. We spent like about an hour there and we were RM300+ poorer :-) Had our lunch at Kenny's Roger (out of convenient) before starting our journey. The kids bid farewell to the grandparents and Jiujiu and YW Yiyi. Think they were still too young to be sad about the departure.

Both fell asleep soon after we started the journey and slept all the way till we reached the 2nd link at Gelang Patah (almost 3 hours)! What a breeze! They must have been played too much and were too exhausted.

Arrived home at about 5.30pm. Unwrapped Xi Yu's birthday presents. It's quite funny to see most of the presents were dresses and shoes and not many toys. I say it's funny because for Hao Re's 1st birthday, he received only 1 piece of clothing and lots and lots of toys! Girl vs boy party :-) Thank you to all for your generous ang pau and presents, greatly appreciated!

And with this, it ended our 4 days 3 nights KL trip! Looking forward to the next one, already!!!
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Nose infection

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Before we left for our KL trip, we decided to bring Xi Yu to see Dr Keoy on Thursday night as we were worried that she might need medical attention while we were in KL if her runny nose and cough got bad. She was having a runny nose and mild cough for almost a week already, and the discharge was still yellow-/green-ish and still very thick. The first few nights, she couldn't sleep well because of the stuffy/blocked nose. But then it got better. And she has been feeding well, except when she lied down for milk, so we have to tilt her head up a little. And she has been active and playful all the while.

Lucky, really lucky, that we brought her to Dr Keoy.

It turned out that it's not a cold (which we thought it was), but a nose infection, a bacteria infection, not virus! Dr Keoy asked if she had fever and the answer was no. He went on to check on her ear, nose, throat, listen to her heartbeat, etc before concluded that it's a nose infection. Imagine if we left it untreated for a few more days, it may, just may, lead to further complications! Phew, lucky us! On Tuesday and Wednesday night, we saw a big dot of eye discharge on Xi Yu, and Dr Keoy said it's caused by the back-flow of the phlegm (yucks!). The mild cough was also caused by the back-flow of the phlegm to the throat.

Dr Keoy prescribed Augmentin (antibiotic) for a course of 5 days (3ml, 2x a day). And the usual Ventolin and stuff for the runny nose, cough and phlegm.

Xi Yu started to show improvement on Saturday, after 2 days of medication, and was fully recovered on Sunday (no runny nose and coughing at all), but the antibiotic was continued until yesterday.

Lesson learnt - monitor the kid very closely. If the condition doesn't get better after 1 week (or to be save, after 4-5 days), bring her to a GP/PD for proper diagnosis.

The nurse took Xi Yu's weight and height and measured at 10.5kg and 76cm.
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A great day at the Marina Barrage

An outing under the blue-blue sky

The kids and I stayed at home on Saturday morning while the daddy went to town to settle something with his new job. I was very lucky that day as both kids were very, extremely well behaved and cooperative that although it's just me at home, I even managed to cook lunch for both of them and made them took thier nap! It's like seeing a miracle happened before my eyes :-)

Hubby arrived home in the afternoon. And we decided to bring the kids out to a park when they woke up from their nap. Deciding between the few, but finally we headed to the Marina Barrage, where we haven't been to since our last visit back in Christmas Day 2008. (note: Hao Re was a few days to 1 year old that day, you can see how well he can walk already!_
The weather was so nice (you can see from the photos how blue the sky was).

The kids were so happy and enjoying the activities.

And we saw the jet planes (National Day preview) flew passed so close above us.

And the kids watched the fireworks (first time for Xi Yu) and they both enjoyed it.
We all had a great time.

Arriving at the Barrage. This is a rare sight when Hao Re willing to sit in the stroller. He just woke up (fell asleep during the car ride), and hence a bit blur looking :-)

Before long, he started to enjoy the waterplay very much. He said "I don't want to play with water at the beginning, but that only lasted a few minutes.

I fed Xi Yu her porridge (soupy rice with salmon and carrot), and she finished a full Forgo jar! Soon she joined in the fun!

I just loved to see them playing together! They entertained each other while we just stood aside to watch them.

We only let Xi Yu to play for a short 10 minutes or so. Daddy snapped these photos when I was changing her. I so love the blue sky, just made me have a very good mood!

Hao Re continued with the fun for another 15-20 minutes. Great fun for him, even though he was playing pretty much on his own (with daddy accompanied him from the dry land).

After the waterplay, we went up to the roof top garden to rest. Xi Yu is feeding Baba her baby biscuits. How sweet is that!!! Look at thier eye contact, think baba's heart had melted :-)

We were rolling on the grass, playing, running, laughing, or just sitting there to enjoy the great day.

And finally, when the National Day preview was over, we were allowed to fly kite. Very windy place, but it's too crowded with people and kites, many "accidents" (the kites) happened.

The day ended with having our dinner at the Chinese restaurant on site (who specialist in Hainanese food), and the fireworks!

(p/s: This lot of photo collages were created using the free Picasa software, powered by Google. It's a very easy to use software, allowing you to edit the photos and to make photo collages within a few clicks. Download it and try it! For me, who knows very little about photo editing software, this is so much easier and faster than using Photoshop, though I am not sure if the quality is equally good).
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Past life's lover ~~上一辈子的情人~~

最近这几个星期, 皓日非常的黏我, 爱撒娇, 爱我陪他玩, 爱我替他冲凉, 爱我陪他睡觉.

而最动我心的是他时不时会来抱抱我, 来吻吻我(是嘴对嘴哟!), 来我面前甜甜的叫我一声妈妈!

前晚, 在我陪他睡觉时, 我俩面对面的躺着, 他一连串的给了我十多个亲吻, 然后紧紧的抱着我睡着了.

昨晚, 我生完妹妹的气后, 他走过来跟我说: "妈妈, are you okay? 你不要生气了, 皓皓最爱妈妈的, 皓皓sayang你, okay!"

哎哟, 心里好甜好甜, 我的宝贝多么的贴心, 多么的懂事呀!

有人说, 女儿是父亲上一辈子的情人!


皓日, 你是妈妈的小情人,妈妈真的很爱你哟, 妈妈永远以你为傲!

(嘻嘻, 老公可要吃醋咯, 但没法,你等你的小情人长大吧, 慢慢等啦:-))
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