Saturday, June 29, 2013

Making Matcha (Green Tea) Cookies

I am home alone with Baby Naomi this Saturday. I spent my morning doing the busy routines taking care of my bub as usual. Since I got nothing much to do in the afternoon and was a bit frustrated from my repeat failures in completing Candy Crush's level 21, I thought of killing my time by baking some sweet stuff instead.

Long story short, I sat Baby Naomi in her high-chair and played her favourite kiddie songs video in my iPhone to entertain her whilst I dealt with flour and butter in my kitchen.

I chose to bake some melt-in-the-mouth green tea cookies today and adapted the recipe from various sources I found in the internet.

Edible Green Cherry Blossoms for your tea companion.

Here's the recipe of my egg-less Matcha (Green Tea) Cookies I just baked earlier today:

Matcha (Green Tea) Cookies

Ingredients
  • 130gr Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 80gr Icing sugar
  • 2 tbs Green tea powder
  • 130gr Potato starch
  • 80gr Flour
  • 1 tbs Milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Black sesame seeds, to decorate (optional)

Tutorials:
  1. Sift icing sugar and green tea powder in a bowl.
  2. Sift together potato starch, flour and milk powder. Set aside.
  3. Using electric mixer, mix the icing sugar, vanilla essence, green tea powder and butter until pale and creamy.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and mix well using a rubber spatula until the dough doesn't stick to the bowl.
  5. Mould the dough in any desired shape and place the cookies in a tray already lined with a parchment paper. 
  6. Decorate the top of the cookies with some black sesame seeds.
  7. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven (about 170 degree Celcius) for about 15 minutes. It is not necessary to bake the cookies until golden brown.

The use of potato starch in this recipe gives the melt-in-the-mouth effect to the cookies. However, if you can't find any potato starch around, you can just replace it with the normal flour but I can't guarantee the cookies' melt-in-the-mouth effect with the absence of potato starch.

By the way, these cookies were so fragrant. The strong smell of green tea, butter and milk filled in my kitchen for quite some time when I was baking these cookies.

P/S: I guess I was not thinking clearly when I split my time baking cookies and looking after Baby Naomi (who got a bit fussy at the end of my baking episode) at the same time. I accidentally threw the moulds I used to make these cookies away and my husband found them in one of the plastic bags inside the garbage bin outside my house in the next morning. "Oh the smell!", he murmured.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pre-loved Baby Stuff You Should Consider Accepting

The fact that every parent in this world wants the best for their babies goes without saying. Truth be told, one of the extreme joys of expecting a baby is unquestionably, shopping cute little baby stuff. I can confidently say that I normally can shop baby stuff for hours without even feeling tired but my bank account gets seriously injured after each session!

Anyway, down the road, usually parents would realize that bringing a baby into this world can be quite costly. Some baby stuff is considerably affordable but some can be insanely pricey. This is why, expecting parents need to do some smart baby budgeting when purchasing the baby goodies, unless you have all the money in this world to buy those expensive baby stuff - which is a whole different story to tell here.

One of the tricks that my husband and I did when purchasing baby essentials was delaying the purchase of some high-priced items namely baby high-chair, baby walker and baby car seat. In the first few months, we concentrated more on fulfilling the baby's basic requirements such as nappies, clothing, blankets, bottle feeding equipment, breast pump, formula milk and such. Only when the time came for Naomi to start enjoying a baby walker or when she's big enough to be strapped in larger car seat, we started purchasing the above mentioned items.

On top of that, we also accepted the hand-me-downs that were offered to us by some relatives and friends and these pre-loved baby items were still considered in pretty good condition. With that, here are some pre-loved baby items which I think you should consider accepting as they can save some dollars quite a bit. Well, a lot of dollars actually.

1. Baby Cot


Naomi's pre-loved baby cot covered in a brand new bedding set.

Baby cot can be one expensive purchase you make for your baby, so it's not wrong to accept a second-hand baby cot. Just make sure that the pre-loved baby cot is still strong and sturdy and not cracked when you decide to accept it to ensure your baby safety. Naomi's wooden cot together with its mattress and mosquito net were given by my Mother-in-Law which she received from one of her brothers many years ago and this cot had also served my three other nieces when they were babies. I did, invest on brand new bedding set to make Naomi's cot a little prettier, though. Naomi slept in her baby cot for about 7 months until she started standing up independently. Then, we decided to retire the cot.

By the way, my husband and I bought a portable baby cot or playpen for Naomi but it was not as much useful as the wooden baby cot. Both of us kinda regretted buying that playpen because we seldom used that. Not long after the wooden cot was retired, the playpen followed the cot's steps and went straight to the store room too.

2. Baby Carrier Basket


Naomi's baby carrier basket.

An average baby carrier basket costs somewhere between RM 80 to RM 120, I think. The really good ones produced by top brand manufacturers can cost way more than this. My Sister-in-Law passed us the baby carrier basket that she recently used for her youngest child to Naomi and it's still in a good condition. Baby carrier basket like the above picture usually can only be used for babies until they reach the age of about 6 months old so that's why both husband and I didn't really mind accepting this.

3. Baby Rocker


Naomi's favourite napping place when she's a newborn.

Honestly, I was really tempted to buy a brand new baby rocker with lots of hanging fancy toys in rainbow colour for Baby Naomi. I saw more than enough advertising of cute baby rockers whenever I went online and somehow got brainwashed and wanted one for my bub too. However, my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law told me that I better use hers as usually this rocker is only good for baby to nap or rest during the day for the first 4-5 months. Basically, once the baby can start turning over on his or her own, this baby rocker is not safe for them anymore and it's time to retire it. In the end, Baby Naomi enjoyed this pre-loved simple baby rocker for few months too.

4. Newborn belly bands

Newborn Naomi sunbathing.

Newborn belly bands or wraps cost around RM 4 or RM 6 per piece. The ones with cute prints cost slightly more expensive than the plain ones but actually, you wouldn't see the cute prints any more once you put clothes on your baby. Also, usually we only place belly bands on newborn baby for about two weeks long or maximum one month's time. Therefore, I would rather use second-hand items from my Sisters-in-law when it comes to newborn belly bands. Really, these newborn belly bands will only be used for a short period of time and soon enough they'd be sent to the darkest place in the drawer or the lowest part of the storage box before your next baby arrives.

6. Baby Sling


Naomi in a pre-loved baby sling from her aunt.

My Sister-in-Law seemingly is not a big user of baby sling when carrying her baby. Thus, she handed the baby sling that someone gave her as a present over to me. The baby sling was almost brand new but I didn't utilize it for a long time either because at that time I was experimenting a couple other baby sling brands on hand and I like mine, Baba Sling, best.

7. Crib Toy


Newborns often get fascinated by the mobile toy with music that is hung directly over their cribs because it adds new dimension to their horizontal view of life. Whenever I browsed for some quality crib toys for my baby, I always said "Wow and Wow!" for the cute design and screamed "Eeeek!" the moment I read the price tag. A fancy mobile crib toy ain't cheap, I tell you. Fortunately, my Sister-in-Law gave us the crib toy that she's once received from her sister too because she said now her kid can't play with this toy without the baby cot anyway.

8. Baby Clothes 


She still looks pretty in her second-hand pyjama, doesn't she?

I was once very adamant that my baby would be way too good for second-hand stuff, especially when it comes to clothing. However, soon I realized that baby outgrows his or her clothes very fast. Some clothes even only last for two months before they are moved to storage boxes. Thus, these days, when some relatives or friends pass decent second-hand clothes for Naomi, we don't mind accepting and wearing them on Naomi. Nevertheless, just like a normal Mom of a baby girl, I often fail resisting the temptation to splurge on new baby girl clothing when I'm in a baby shop. Apparently I am not alone in this department because my Mom also has problems in resisting cute clothes for baby girl and usually comes to Malaysia with a big bag full of clothes for her only grand-daughter.

This above list can go on and on because you may also consider accepting pre-loved baby stroller, baby walker, etc. if they were offered to you and are still in good shape. Anyhow, if nobody offers you this - after careful checking, you might want to consider buying certain second-hand baby gears at online marketplaces, perhaps?

Oh boy! I am feeling a little nostalgic as I am typing this post because most of the pictures I posted here are taken when my Naomi was still such a tiny little baby.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project: Week 3

It is my great pleasure to present you the Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project: Week #3.

This week's Mommy and baby who steal the center stage are:

Mommy Ting and her baby boy from Southern California, USA.

Mommy Ting is the author of Cup of Ting. She offers a sip of fashion, food and fun at her blog; so be sure to check it out, peeps!

Do you want to light up this page on every Thursday too? Click here to find out how.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Making Siew Mai (Pork Dumplings)

Inspired by The Little Teochew's and About.com's recipes for making pork dumplings; yesterday morning, I braved myself in making siew mai for the first time.

My first home-made siew mai.

My first batch of siew mai tasted a bit plain (I guess I didn't put enough salt into the meat mixture) but overall, they tasted fine when I ate them with some chilli sauce.

Following is the improved recipe of these pork and shrimp dumplings.

I used chopped carrots instead of tobiko for garnishing.

Siew Mai (Pork Dumplings)

Ingredients:

  • 300gr Minced pork
  • 150gr Prawns, cleaned and minced until gluey paste is formed
  • Some spring onions, chopped (optional)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced until gluey
  • 1-2 Chinese mushroom, soaked until soft then minced
  • 2 tbs Light soy sauce
  • A splash of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbs Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Corn flour
  • A dash of pepper
  • A dash of salt, to taste (put in the amount as needed)
  • 1/2 to 1 Chicken stock cube, crumbled (put in the amount as needed)
  • 1 Egg white
  • Dumpling wrappers (round) 
  • Finely chopped carrots for decoration

Dim sum, anyone?

Tutorials:

  1. In a large bowl, mix well all the above ingredients except the chopped carrots. 
  2. Wet the edges of dumpling wrapper and put 1-2 table spoon of the meat mixture in the middle.
  3. Gather up all the edges of the wrapper and gently pleat so it forms a basket shape, with the top (meat) filling exposed
  4. Decorate the top of the siew mai with some chopped carrots. Repeat the above processes for the rests of the meat mixture.
  5. Steam the dumplings for 5-8 minutes until everything is cooked through. Do not overcook so the meat won't be tough.
  6. Serve warm with chilli sauce.

Siew mai are best eaten warm.

Siew mai are breeze to make but they take lots of chopping and wrapping works. My siew mai workmanship yesterday was not uniformed - some siew mai were big, some were medium sized but after they were out from the piping hot steamer, they looked pretty similar and okay.

The Haze

I am probably just another person ranting online about the current alarming haze situation that hits Malaysia but I feel like keeping a record about this hot topic in my blog.

When the news about the terrible haze in Singapore reached its peak last Friday, I felt so sorry for all the people (especially babies, old folks or those with breathing/lung problems!) in Singapore who must have felt really suffocated with no clean air to breathe. Deep inside, I felt so grateful that the haze has not reached my place although some parts of Johor had suffered from it since last weekend. I kept on praying that it wouldn't spread wider.

After I woke up yesterday morning, I went downstairs and as usual I was going to open the front door to let the sun rays and fresh air come inside my house. The moment I opened my front door, I could not believe with what I saw. The whole residential area was really hazy as if someone in the neighbourhood just set a fire to burn ridiculously giant amount of rubbish. But I could not see any lad or lady doing that.

I looked further and stared up to the sky. It seemed like everything was enveloped in smog because the air was a tad smelly. Thus, I reckoned, it must have been the haze. It's finally reached my place. Not long, I quickly shut my front door again so the burnt smell wouldn't go inside my house.

Hazy day. Picture was taken at 12.30pm.

By noon, the haze situation got worse. On our way to my MIL's house, I spotted many people wearing masks when they were driving their cars and almost all houses in town closed their doors and windows in a broad daylight. The blazing sun spared us really hot weather for the whole afternoon and the burnt smell got more intense as the clock ticked. We could smell the strong burnt smell inside the house even though we've closed the door and windows. Some of us, including my husband and me, even wore protection masks inside the house.

In late afternoon, I thought of getting some protection masks from local pharmacies to keep at home but they ran out of mask stock so I came home empty handed.

By night, I heard that the pollution index in some parts of Malaysia spiked to beyond 750, way far above the threshold of 300 for hazardous air quality. Schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor are closed and some companies allow their employees to work from home today (Monday). The Malaysian authorities declared state of emergency in some areas and suggested people to stay indoors as much as possible until further notice.

I hope these haze episodes air their series finale as soon as possible; otherwise, I can picture more and more people will fall sick in no time.

I regret the fact that this regional catastrophe is actually man-made and could have been prevented.

Illegal burning can't be tolerated anymore and should be put to an end.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Finally Fixed

My husband and I just brought Baby Naomi to a nearby hair salon. I was the one who initiated it.

The main reasons are (1) I could not stand looking at Baby Naomi's uneven fringe that was quite similar to stock market charts anymore. As her fringe grew longer, it didn't look better but looked even messier. In short, I could not wait until my Mom comes over to Malaysia again to fix Naomi's fringe as we have yet to schedule her next trip to Malaysia. (2) Quite often, when we were out and about, people would notice something strange on Baby Naomi's fringe and made remarks, "What happened to her hair? Why her hair is like this? This must be the Dad who did her hair like this. You cut this by yourself, didn't you? You should have done it when she was sleeping." Then I would point my finger at myself, put a guilty smile on my face and softly reply them, "Erm, it was actually me who did the feat. My husband has got nothing to do with it and was not involved in all this. I was not experienced in this.". In addition, I would also put the a little bit of blame to Baby Naomi who kept on moving around when I was attempting to trim her fringe. People's comments were not irritating; rather, I found their reactions and comments towards Naomi's hair were completely normal. I just thought of putting an end to this whole fringe comedy.

So here's a picture of Baby Naomi when she was having a quick styling the hair salon. She didn't cry nor scream but kept on moving her head here and there trying to get a good look at the guy who's cutting her hair from behind. This time around, Baby Naomi didn't eat the little hairs that fell onto her because I put a pacifier on her mouth and let her hold a plastic mug lid on her hands.

 Baby Naomi having her hair cut at the hair salon.

Anyway, her fringe looks so much better now but some parts of it can't be fixed because I cut that part way too short from the rests. They salon guy just could not salvage the too short bang unless he cut the whole fringe much shorter again to even it.

This is how she looks like now.

Does she look better now?

In the near future, I won't be acting as a hairdresser anymore. Being a hairdresser's daughter doesn't mean that I can cut hair like a barber. It is really wise to spend RM 5 for my tootsie' hair cut at a professional hair salon. This way, never again she's going through another bad hair day that lasts for weeks because of Mommy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project: Week 2

I am excited to present you the Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project: Week #2.

This week's Kodak moment is brought to you by:

Mommy Astrid and Baby Darlene from Surabaya, Indonesia.

Want to be the next Mommy and Baby featured here on every Thursday? Click here to find out how!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Backyard

We've got a bit of empty space in our backyard so my husband and parents transformed it into a mini vegetables and fruits garden. My parents did the initial work of cleaning this space when it was heavily weedy and planted some chillies to start this garden. Then, my husband continued their work and added more plants in this small land. This garden is located near our kitchen so it's very easy and convenient for me to run out and pick few things when I need them.

In the past couple of months, my husband had discovered the joy of growing own vegetables and fruits just like the main character in Harvest Moon (except that he doesn't have to sell the crops later on). Thus, he decided to take almost full responsibility of all the greens he grows in our backyard. I still help him weeding this area regularly and sometimes water all the plants in the backyard too when my husband happens to be busy or away from home. Meanwhile, my gardening remit in our house is taking care of the flowers and carpet grass in the little garden in our front porch.

Quite fair split, I think.

Anyway, here is how our vegetables and fruits plants in our backyard look like now:


The mini lime tree and pandan.

Cherry Tomato plants.

Both husband and I were so excited when we saw our first bird's eye chillies that we planted some time ago have actually produced some real chillies. For a moment, I was hoping that the chilli price in the market would sky-rocket as my backyard has now got us covered with enough chillies supply for months. Just joking.

Chillies and Peppers plants.

Baby Papaya trees.

On another note, we are currently battling with powdery mildew and black ants issues that attack our plants in the backyard. It's really annoying to see these plant diseases multiply faster than virus every single day. As such, last weekend, we've decided to spray some gardening chemicals to treat them before they got out of control.

By the way, these days I can have a really long phone conversation with my Mom just to talk about the orchids, chillies and other plants my husband and I grow in our gardens.

Last but not least, I can't wait to start picking our cherry tomatoes when they blush crimson or eating our home-grown once considered exotic fruit, papaya.

Seemingly, gardening is still a fun hobby as long as there's no pests, filthy insects and petrifying worms involved. Big gah to these creepy creeps.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Naomi: 8 Months and 4 Weeks Old

Baby Naomi is turning 9 months old in four days' time and she's out growing her baby-ness really, really fast.

Cute, heh! Except her uneven fringe, of course.

As of today, she is teething her 7th and 8th teeth on her lower gum and still a very bitey baby. She's bitten her Daddy's hand real hard few times and actually left marks on my husband's hand when she could't find any teether nearby.

She still cruises and I think I witnessed Baby Naomi walked her first two steps independently late last night. She has not practised this feat again today.

Naomi has this weird obsession toward remote controls, hand phones and specs. I wonder why.

Baby Naomi is now able to show emotions very well, especially when she is frustrated or angry. When she's really angry, she makes gestures as if she jumps repeatedly in the same spot and at the same time moves her hands up and down whilst giving us her crying face with "huhuhuhu" sounds until we give her what she wants.

She would now open her arms and look at you when she wants to be carried.

Baby Naomi has found her voice and sometimes, is a little screamy for no apparent reason.

Baby Naomi can play by herself with her soft toys. She'd hold the toys in both hands and start talking to herself. She can't play with the other babies yet but loves to watch babies or kids around her.

These days, she loves making snapping sound with her tongue. I find it cute.

I still sing to her to get her attention or amuse her or lull her to sleep.

Her vocabularies are pretty much the same as last month. No mama word comes out from her mouth just yet.

Travelling with Baby Naomi by car without a baby car seat is a nightmare now because she can't sit still on my lap and moves around non-stop during the whole trip.

Baby Naomi can focus much better when I read her story books but her span of attention is still relatively short. Also, I need to constantly keep an eye on the book on my hand as I read to her because she can grab the book in the nick of time and put it in her mouth.

Baby Naomi still eats soft rice porridge (made from half cup of rice) twice a day and drinks water from straw cup few times in a day.

Baby Naomi's slumber still starts around midnight every day. She rises and shines in late morning so good thing is that she doesn't have to attend school early in the morning, huh! Recently her napping schedule has changed again so she naps only once a day but the duration is slightly longer than before.

Smile and smile like there is no tomorrow!

And of course, she's still generous in showering us with her sweet smile and I hope it won't change as she gets older.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Making Banana Chocolate Cheese Puff Pastry

Love banana? Love chocolate? Love cheese?

What if you combine all those three ingredients into a pastry's filling?

Divine. Period.

Anyway, I had really ripe bananas that I reckon they will go straight into a trash bin in a day or so, hence I thought of making use of them before throwing them away just like that tomorrow. On top of that, I also had a big pack of chocolate rice that I had not finished in months and a pack of ready-made puff pastry that hibernated in my freezer for God knows how long but the contents weren't expired yet.

Thus, this morning I thought of experimenting making a puff pastry with simple ingredients I already had in my kitchen such as banana, chocolate rice and cheese and ta-da! -- less than an hour later I had a plate full of fragrant puff pastry on my dining table ready to munch.

This recipe is really versatile that you can alter the pastry's filling contents in any way you want (say use hot dog or ham and cheese or strawberries and chocolate) and it's so easy to make too. Further, this recipe causes less damage mess in the kitchen because you literally don't have to whip anything unless you decide to make the pastry dough from scratch, which by all means, please go ahead to do so if you can.

Here's the recipe I used to make the banana chocolate cheese puff pastry today.

Banana Chocolate Cheese Puff Pastry.

Banana Chocolate Cheese Puff Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 6 pcs Ready-made (ready-to-bake) square puff pastry, at room temperature
  • 1 tbs Water or unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbs Chocolate rice/chocolate chips/chopped cooking chocolate
  • 1 Ripe banana, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Cheddar cheese singles, cut into small squares
  • 1 Egg yolk, lightly beaten (optional)
  • A little bit of flour
  • A little bit of icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Tutorials:

1. Place a piece of ready- made puff pastry on a work surface.

The ingredients for making banana chocolate cheese puff pastry.

2. Dip your finger in water and moisten the inside edges of puff pastry or brush the edges of the puff pastry with a little bit of melted butter.

3. Place about 3 banana slices, 2 cheese squares and 2 tsp of chocolate rice into the centre of the puff pastry. You may be tempted to be so generous with putting the filling into the puff pastry but please don't put too much as you may encounter difficulties in folding the puff pastry later on.

Filling the puff pastry.

4. Fold the puff pastry into half and seal it well by pressing the edges with your finger. Repeat the above processes for the rests of the puff pastry pieces.

5. Place all the puff pastry on a baking tray already lined with a baking paper and sprinkled with a little bit of flour.

6. If you wish to have a shiny looking puff pastry, brush the top of the puff pastry with a little bit of beaten egg yolk before baking them.

Egg wash on the puff pastry's top.

7. Bake the puff pastry at 170 degree Celsius for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

8. For finishing, dust a little bit of icing sugar on top of the puff pastry. Best served warm.

The final result.

This puff pastry is so delicious that my husband instantly fell in love with it after one or two bites. There's no huff and puff required to make some and if you wish to keep them in the freezer for stock, you can do so and bake them on later day(s).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project: Week 1

Hello everyone!

As I would love to know more about my lovely (mom) readers (and their babies!) everywhere in this world, I am launching a mini weekly project in this blog called Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project.

Basically, in this project I will feature a picture capturing your happy time spent with your baby in my blog every Thursday. This way, all my blog readers and I will get to know you and your baby as well.

This invitation is open worldwide so it would be fantastic if you make this project merrier and come back to this blog every Thursday to see whether your photo is featured here, ok!

How to join this Happy Mom n Bub Photo Project:
  1. Add me on Facebook or Google Friend Connect or Twitter or Instagram, before you join this project.
  2. Send me a high-resolution photo of you (Mom and your baby) via email to mywanderingstory {at} gmail {dot} com. In that email, please tell me your name, your baby's name and the country of residence too. Minimum photo resolution accepted here is 1MB. It would be really nice if the picture you send to me is not blur nor dark and please don't forget to smile in your photo!
  3. If you are a Mom blogger as well, please include your (active) blog URL in the email so I can link you in this weekly photo project when your picture is featured here.

To start, here's a photo of Baby Naomi and me when we were in Cameron Highland for holiday last February.

Mommy Christine and Baby Naomi from Malaysia.

So Mommies out there, let's get this project going and do send me a happy photo of you and your little one real soon!

Cheers,

Christine

Monday, June 10, 2013

Naomi's First Time in Singapore

Born as a true blue Virgo, I am undoubtedly one hardcore thinker. I've spent literally a week quietly contemplating whether I should go to Singapore or not on last weekend. I was still indecisive until last Saturday morning and was prepared to go to Kuala Lumpur to do some window shopping instead. Somehow, the plan was cancelled last minute and I finally made an impromptu decision to just go to Merlion City because I missed my friends in Singapore rather badly. Furthermore, I thought it would be nice for them to meet Baby Naomi for the first time, and vice versa.

My husband didn't mind with this plan and we quickly packed our stuff for this sudden road trip.

On Saturday late afternoon, my husband drove us to Johor Bahru. On our way to Johor Bahru, I started texting my friends in Singapore whether they're free for meeting on the next day but of course, most of them had already made plans for the weekend.

Moving on, the three of us stayed overnight in Johor Bahru and went to Singapore on Sunday morning to join the Sunday Service at my church. We purposely left Johor Bahru earlier on last Sunday morning (and even changed Baby Naomi's pyjama to a dress when she's still asleep) so we could make it on time for the Sunday Service. However, unexpectedly, there were long queue in the Malaysian Immigration as early as 9 in the morning, my husband's autopass card was expired so we had to renew it in the counter before entering Singapore, an accident happened somewhere in Singapore after Woodlands that caused a short traffic jam and I totally forgot the exact location of the hotel where the Sunday Service was held (so yeah, we circled Tanglin and Orchard Road like three times before we got the place right!). Point is, don't trust woman for direction but you may trust the robotic woman's voice in your GPS.

Hello from Singapore!

Anyway, at around 11am (the Sunday Service started at 10am), the three of us finally reached the hotel.

I was so happy to meet some of my church friends and at the same time, introduce Baby Naomi to them in person too. Baby Naomi was all smiles when some aunties and uncles in the church wanted to carry her.

Baby Naomi meets Uncle Lukas.

Baby Naomi meets Uncle Harry.

After church, a good friend treated us for sumptuous Indonesian lunch in Lucky Plaza with his family and another old buddy of mine. Fortunately, these guys were able to empty their schedule for us that afternoon so we could catch up longer.

Once our stomachs were full, we decided to split our ways and my husband opted to go home as we still had a long way back to Seremban.

My church friends and I at the Orchard MRT Station, 
just before we headed home.

The complete group photo.

With that, we were only in Singapore for less than 5 hours. Definitely not enough.

Next time, I'd love to visit Singapore longer and promise myself to make better planning ahead so I can meet more pals and go to more places there.

All flowers in Gardens by the Bay, wait for me.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Drinking from the Straw Cup

When I began to teach Naomi to drink from a sippy cup, she made it really clear that she wasn't a big fan of spout. I tried giving her the sippy cup for almost three days but in the end, I gave up and turned to baby bottle again like usual.

Yesterday evening, I casually introduced Naomi a straw cup filled with water when she's about to eat her rice porridge. Before she had her porridge, I tried putting the straw into her mouth to see whether she can drink from it. This first attempt was a total failure. Naomi kept on biting the straw and must have thought that Mommy just gave her a new teether again. I was so sure that at this point, Naomi was still not aware that there's actually liquid inside the cup.

Then I let her eat her rice porridge and took her straw cup away.

After she finished eating her rice porridge, I tried offering her the straw cup again so she can drink some water. Again, she still didn't get the hang of it.

Moving on, I tried to lift the cup a little higher so she can easily suck the water from the straw but it didn't work either.

Soon, I began to wonder if the straw had a problem that made Naomi struggle so much in drinking through it. I drank a little bit of water from it to test the straw but there was no issue at all with the straw. After my little demonstration on how to drink from a straw cup, I passed the cup to Naomi again.

Naomi put the straw into her mouth, played with it for few seconds and suddenly, to my astonishment, she just knew how to drink from her straw! I was in awe but at the same time so happy that I almost did a silly dance in front of Naomi when I finally saw water going up into her tiny mouth through the semi-transparent straw.

Didn't she just flaunt her most impressive straw skill in mere moments after I taught her how to drink from a straw?

Proud of you, Baby N!

Not long after my 8 m/o baby realized her newly found straw prowess, she literally held her straw cup so tightly, refused to let her straw cup go and kept on drinking water from it until I took her cup away from her as she drank too much water already.

To conclude, I'm waving goodbye to sippy cup altogether and welcoming straw cup with wide open arms for Baby Naomi from now on.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Drinking from Sippy Cup

A couple months ago during our stroll in IKEA Damansara store, I came across a really cute training beaker with handles. Its lid colour attracted me so much (light green!) and it cost relatively cheap (RM 6.90) so I bought it. I thought this training beaker would be a great sippy cup for Naomi's training in drinking from a cup and got very excited in introducing this cup to Naomi.


Few days later, I tested the training beaker filled with water on Naomi. Oh my, she was more interested in playing with this cup rather than trying to drink the water inside it. She kept on chomping the cup's beaker like a teether and turned the sippy cup upside down over and over again until everywhere around her got really wet due to the water she spilled from the cup.

Soon, I gave up and off her IKEA training beaker back to the storing drawer.

Weeks later, when we visited my home town in Indonesia, both husband and I purchased a really handy Pigeon's MagMag all-in-one training cup set which is specially designed for babies in learning how to drink.

Pigeon MagMag set.

The set contains a heat resistant cup with handles and cap complete with a nipple, a spout, a straw and a trainer lid. We thought this set would be perfect for Naomi's drinking set as the training cup is adjustable to guide a baby through all different drinking stages in four steps according to his or her age and progress.

The four complete drinking set from Pigeon.

Following is a chart about baby's drinking steps I found from Pigeon MagMag's box:

 Baby's drinking steps chart.

Based on the above chart, Naomi has clearly passed the stage one, the Nipple Cup, with flying colours. Thus, we set off to the second step, the Spout Cup, on her two days ago. Again, it was a flop attempt. In the beginning, the moment we offered her this cup, she was like "Give it to me! Give it to me!" and tried to grab the cup in my hand rather aggressively just like she grabbed the pacifier from her cousin last week. As the cup landed on her hands, she began playing with it like a toy and as we guided her to drink the water inside the cup through the spout; I think she found it rather difficult to sip from the spout and at one point got really frustrated with it and moved on with playing with the cup again. As a result, the cup tipped over many times and water messes for me to clean were everywhere.

This week's eye candy: Smile and smile like there is tomorrow!

Switching to a sippy cup ain't an easy business, me thinks. Some friends of mine whose babies are around Naomi's age shared the same sentiments with me on this department.

Moving on, I have two options: (1) Be extra patient and re-introduce sippy cup to Naomi again although it will be a slow going journey at first. (2) Bypass sippy cup altogether and go straight to straw cup.

What do you think?