Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Speech Delay

Last week, I posted Naomi's 20 months old developmental milestones and in that post, I mentioned that my first born is currently experiencing a speech delay.

20 months old and now into playing with pencils and paper.

In early April, my husband and I brought Naomi to the government clinic where she normally has her routine health check-up and vaccination. During this visit, the health officer who handled Naomi thought that then 18 m/o Naomi was a sort of behind when it came to her speech development because toddlers at her age, by right, should be able to say few basic words including Papa and Mama. Naomi was not able to do so. She said Papa Mama without understanding what those words mean. She could say san (三) but the only word that she could say on purpose was : Bye-bye. Naomi could say bye-bye, wave goodbye and throw flying kisses when we were leaving one's house or parting with someone. Naomi could listen, dance and mimic the kids songs on TV but she could not really imitate the sound of the lyrics that the singer sang. Other developments were up to her age and sometimes, Naomi could follow our simple commands too.

Based on this scenario, the health officer suggested the both of us to see the practising doctor at the clinic that day. And we did.

The doctor ran a brief examination on Naomi's tongue and asked us some questions about how Naomi normally communicated with us, called us, asked for something, etc. Then, Naomi still talked or babbled her baby language and didn't begin to imitate and approximate any sounds that we say to her on daily basis. She also lost her interests on books when we read to her incredibly fast so it's difficult to teach her new words using baby books. Shortly after, the doctor told us that Naomi was likely to have isolated speech delay, which is generally nothing to worry about. She mentioned that the main causes of Naomi's speech delay were possibly the facts that:
  1. Naomi's presently so attached to her pacifier
  2. Naomi is our first and the only child in our family (no peers to talk to at home)
  3. My husband and I could be using too many different languages (Mandarin, English and Bahasa Indonesia) to Naomi, which could be confusing for her

Moving on, the doctor advised us to use just one language when we speak to Naomi and introduce one new word every week to build her vocabulary. On top of this, the doctor also suggested my husband and me to bring Naomi to the speech stimulation therapy at the government hospital near the clinic. Before we left the clinic, she wrote a reference letter for Naomi to see the speech therapist at the hospital but this was not an urgent notice so we could bring Naomi to the hospital any time we found the time to do so.

In the beginning, my husband and MIL thought that it was not necessary for Naomi to do any speech therapy because there are many kids in this world who are just not early talkers. They convinced me that Naomi would catch up and outgrow this speech "slowness" and somehow, one day she'd start talking in our language. We believe that each child is different and they have their own pace in meeting their developmental milestones. To us, Naomi is just more interested in physical things, which is true. Her physical developments are way more advanced than what the books say about the normal physical development milestones of kids at her age.

While I thought that it was harmless and perhaps better to just go to the speech therapy as early as possible and see how it goes, in the end I followed my husband's idea to postpone visiting the hospital. Why? Because my husband is very busy with his work on weekdays and I didn't want to go to the hospital alone as I can't handle Naomi in public area all by myself these days. In the meantime, I also told myself that probably it's good to give Naomi some time and observe how she progressed with her speech development when we're not seeing the speech therapist as yet.

Almost 2 months had gone by since we received the doctor's advice to see the speech therapist. In these two months, no new word has been mastered by our little girl despite our efforts in teaching her simple words, talking or singing to her more, only using 85%-90% Mandarin when we speak to her (Mandarin is not my first language and am more conversant in English), reading "First Words" books and building new vocabularies through flashcards. None works thus far. Naomi still babbles and talks using her baby language.

Naomi playing with the flashcards when she's bored with them.

Just recently, I shared with my husband that I began to be a little concerned about Naomi's speech delay. I think Naomi is way behind, about 6-7 months behind, her peers or toddlers slightly younger than her in her talking development area. Kids at 20 months old normally would begin to string two simple words together and form a sentence but this is not the case for Naomi. Well, at least that's what I noticed from my friends' and relative's toddlers around Naomi's age. Naomi still can't even talk our language yet nor imitate the sounds of our words. Only"Bye-bye" and san (三) to date. In addition, since I am still pregnant now, it's easier for me to go to the hospital for Naomi's speech therapy sessions. Things would certainly be more complicated once we have a newborn in the house.

This morning, finally my husband spared his busy time and brought us to the government hospital to meet Naomi's speech therapist. When we arrived to the hospital, we were directed to ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Department and after we took our number and queued, we saw the ENT specialist doctor there for Naomi's preliminary assessments. The doctor ran a brief check on both of Naomi's ears as well as questioned us about Naomi's birth and what she can do so far.

Soon, he told us to bring Naomi to the Audiology room for hearing assessment just to make sure that Naomi has no problem hearing, which could be the culprit of her speech delay. In the audiology room, the audiologist performed three hearing tests on Naomi. The first two tests involved putting earphones to her ears (I don't know what sound she heard) and the last test involved playing some sounds from "normal to soft" to find out how Naomi reacted to the source of the sound. Thankfully, Naomi's hearing assessment result came out normal. Naomi has no problem hearing.

Next, we were then asked to see the ENT doctor again and he informed us that Naomi could now proceed with making appointment to see the speech therapist.

A rather disappointing ending to our 3 hours' hospital visit today was the fact that the earliest appointment for Naomi to start speech therapy is early November! I was like "Are you kidding me?!" This is like 5 months from now and I would have just given birth to my second baby by November! But no, the therapy assistant was not joking. My husband asked for earlier dates than November but there was no more slots available. The therapist assistant then stressed that if my husband and I didn't take this November date, Naomi would have to see her speech therapist beginning next year.

That's all about the first treatment to Naomi's speech delay for today. I shall update more when the speech stimulation therapy takes place.

On second thought, I'll see how Naomi improves with her speech development in the coming months first. Should she be able to say few basic words, even they are not perfect, or begin imitating the words we say, we might as well let the speech therapy in November slide.

By the way, the first consultation at the government hospital here is waived. Moving forward, I think there would be small fee charged to the patients but I don't think it will be much.

P/S: Some mothers have been so kind in giving me advice and sharing their experience in handling their kids' speech delay. To read what these Moms had to say about toddler speech delay, hop to my Instagram account and Facebook page. You are most welcome to leave comments below this post too to share your thoughts about this matter. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lazy Day

Today is public holiday in Negri Sembilan but not in some other states of Malaysia so my husband is out-stationed for work now. A bit of a bummer indeed since we can't have some day-out with my husband or something like that today. Needless to say, my little girl and I are doing our routines on this lazy holiday just like any other weekdays, except that this week I am not that busy with work because I am that close to finalize my projects. *fingers crossed everything would go smoothly until D-Day!*


No make-up selfie with my little girl.

I have been feeling extremely lazy these days. Not sure if this is the impact of the pregnancy or whether I am just that lazy. I still cook for Naomi and take care of her like usual (because her Nanny was mostly absent this month and she's going to take another 3 weeks off due to the coming school holiday) but I am not so motivated in doing my own stuffs. Packing my luggage for the upcoming trip to home town or baking, for one thing. I have been planning to bake some cake or cookies during my free time but when I finally have the free time, dang!, I am just not in the mood to mess my kitchen with flour, butter and stuff. This is so weird considering that I was mostly high on baking and I couldn't sit still doing nothing when I was pregnant with Naomi. And the fact that I am updating my blog with not so important topic on a lazy day like this is even weirder now.

 Naomi trying to win Daddy's heart. Again and again.

Speaking of laziness, sleeping a lot has been my utter necessity too nowadays. On some days where drowsiness is unbearable, I take nap when Naomi naps so I don't get cranky and fatigued throughout the day. Also, I have been eating more than usual in the past couple of weeks as if I have not eaten food for two days in a row. Sometimes I take heavy lunch twice in a day, plus supper. Little zits have also appeared in my face and I do not like them them. My complexion is so dull now despite all the skin care products including face masks that I use regularly. Where the heck is the pregnancy glow that people often talk about? Baby boy, is all this because of you?

Anyway, my second pregnancy is around 19 weeks in now and this implies I am almost half-way through my pregnancy and there's just about 4,5 months for me to go before the reality of "Mom of Two" hits.

Recently, I am really trying my best to enjoy my time with cheeky Naomi, take care of her as much as I can, give her as much attention as I can and so on before her little brother arrives in October.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Featured in BabyTalk Malaysia Magazine's May 2014 Issue and My Mother's Day 2014 in Words

In light of the Mother's Day that took place a couple weeks ago, I am happy to see that a little bit of my thoughts on motherhood is featured in this month's BabyTalk Malaysia magazine under the "Lifestyle - Mother's Day Special" section, along with other three Moms.

What motherhood means to me.

Speaking of Mother's Day, I remember I was really sick on this year's Mother's Day so I spent most of my Sunday curling in my bed nurturing horrible flu and sore throat.

That day, my husband and I got up pretty early, which was rather unusual for our regular Sundays, so we went for a nice and quiet early breakfast (there were not many customers at the Kopitiam at 7am plus and Naomi was sleeping soundly next to us). After breakfast, my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the city park for a walk but I shrugged off at his idea because I was not feeling well. In the end, we took a quick stroll at our neighbourhood while Naomi slept in her baby stroller before we went home.

My husband helped me give Naomi her morning bath and before he did that, he bravely cut Naomi's fringe because it was too long. In the beginning, I protested his intention to fix his daughter's hair but he convinced me that he could do the hair cutting better than I did. I must say that my husband indeed cut Naomi's fringe better than I did. Less dramatic damage was made and nobody made blatant comments about Naomi's new fringe. So, I guess it was nicely done, albeit not exactly straight.

The panadol soluble that I took earlier that day took a toll and I was drowsy. I slept until about lunch time. My husband woke me up because we had appointment that afternoon.

In the afternoon, the three of us attended friend's baby's Full Moon luncheon then followed by a doctor visit for Naomi and me (both of us were down with flu!). Somehow, after the doctor's visit, I also managed to made myself run a quick shopping at a nearby supermarket to get some groceries despite my fever. When reached home, I took doctor's medicine and went to sleep.

Later that night, we had a Mother's Day dinner with my husband's family and that's pretty much the end of my Mother's Day in 2014.

Anyway, belated Happy Mother's Day to all mommies in the world!

Naomi: 20 Months Old

Naomi just turned 20 months old yesterday. This means my baby girl is turning 2 in four months' time. So fast.. I thought I just organized her first birthday party not long ago!

20 May 2014: My 20 m/o toddler.

At 20 months old, Naomi is a happy, jolly and active little girl. She runs around really fast (faster than me who barely exercise) and loves to explores every little thing that comes to her attention. She loves jumping on the bed like her cousins, but I honestly don't really like this. Naomi is able to climb the stairs by herself but she needs help when it comes to walking down the stairs.

Naomi has grown up to be a really sweet girl (but admittedly, also annoying at times). She loves come to me and her Daddy, hold our head and kiss us in the mouth. We love this gesture and find this kissing act extremely cute. Nevertheless, every now and then, we try to tell Naomi that her kisses are exclusively for Mom and Dad, not random people. I don't know where she learns this because obviously, not from us! I suspect she imitates this from the princess cartoons that I sometimes play for her. The princess and the prince kiss (in the mouth) for their happy ending stories, don't they? Monkey see, monkey do.

Daddy, let me kiss you.

Naomi's Dad has taught her to wash her hands in the toilet's sink but adults will still have to supervise her when she does this because she needs to step on a small stool to reach the sink and often times, she ends up playing with the water for a long time after she washes her hands. She loves to mimic Daddy brushing his teeth before bed, so her Daddy bought her a small brush for her so he can brush his teeth with Naomi together at night.

Next, Naomi can use spoon quite well now. She practically can feed herself but still produces crazy mess every time she refuses adults to feed her. She can use fork too when I give her fruit bites. Naomi can drink straight from the glass but sometimes, she'd make her clothes wet when she's not careful with it.

Her smile when I asked her to pose.

When it comes to her speech development, unfortunately, Naomi is only able to say only two words so far e.g: Bye-bye and san (三). During her last regular check-up at the clinic in March, the doctor mentioned that Naomi is likely experiencing speech delay because she is unable to say few basic words nor mimic our sayings until today. Not even Papa and Mama. She says Papa Mama randomly and we don't think she knows what the words truly mean yet. So how Naomi communicates with us or call us, her parents? She still uses her baby language that we don't understand.

Sometimes, I can't even guess Naomi's baby words and it makes her really frustrated. In the past three days, she had thrown tantrums more than ever at home simply because she couldn't get her way. For instance, she wanted to watch certain cartoon, but I didn't know which one. I played some cartoons that she usually loves but she refused yet she couldn't express the ones she wants to watch. She made me change the TV channels over and over again like there's no tomorrow and when she got really frustrated with it, she'd scream, hit, kick and cry for a long time. Or maybe, just like many women in this planet, Naomi doesn't know what the heck she wants. Women often thinks they do but they actually don't. OMG, help me with the drama! Terrible Two comes early.

Naomi is still very much attached to her pacifier. My Mom has been nagging about this for months because her pacifier might give problems on Naomi's mouth shape, tooth alignments and inhibits her speech ability. I know, Mom... but it is just difficult to break the pacifier habit!

Naomi's span of attention is generally very short so she gets bored really fast. Perhaps this is the main reason why recently my reading sessions with Naomi are hardly successful. She loses interest in her books fast. Also, imagine bringing Naomi to a restaurant! She wouldn't sit still in the baby chair for long and once she's done playing or eating with her food, she'd begin to stand up on her baby chair, try to get out of it and run around. It's really challenging to bring a toddler out for dining outside. And this is why; my husband and I need some dates, sans kids, so we both can enjoy our food properly.

These days, Naomi understands our instructions and few objects. She can go and get her shoes from the rack when we ask her to or when we are about to take her out. She can get some things that we point to her. She gets excited and try to talk to a dog when a dog or cat comes near her; or when she sees birds flying in the sky.

Happy and hyper at the city park.

Naomi now can entertain herself with her toys too. She loves to pour the content of her toys basket and get busy with the toys for few minutes. She doesn't do the tidy up part just yet so my husband and I end up putting back her toys into the basket several times a day. Yes, cleaning her mountain of toys few times in a day can be tiring and irritating. Sometimes, Naomi pretends to feed her dolls with her old milk bottle and throws some soft toys into a mini basketball ring that her Dad attached to the wall. She can put together basic puzzle and knows the difference between circle, square or triangle so she has mastered her shape sorter toys well. She also loves building bricks so my husband and I bought quite a bit of different toy bricks and shape sorters for Naomi.

Naomi playing with stickers.

I find that Naomi still loves playing or interacting with kids around her age. However, she doesn't really like sharing her toys with them. Last weekend, I saw her hitting and almost scratching her cousin's face when that little boy wanted to watch Grandpa's iPad together with her. Every time she did that I fiercely told her "No!" and hit her hand gently. But she still attacked her cousin again when he wanted to touch her iPad again. Gah!

Naomi shows jealousy when I hold other kids, especially during family events or gathering. She'd ask that kid to move away from Mommy and quickly sit on my laps. I wonder how she would accept her little brother when he arrives.

Naomi begins to accept her Nanny but quite frequently, she still refuses her Nanny's presence in the morning. On some mornings, Naomi would cry and scream when her Nanny talks to her. My big girl clings to me like a baby Koala when she sees her Nanny. Naomi still needs a little bit of warm up before she let her Nanny touch or take care of her although she meets her everyday.

Nowadays, I think Naomi's daily schedules are quite routine so it's easier for me to do my own things when I know her schedules. She eats rice, noodles or porridge 2-3x plus fruit bites 1-2x and drinks milk 3-4x in a day. She takes nap once in a day and goes to bed at about 11pm-12pm at night. Still late, I know but better than 2am or 3am, right?

How do you manage your toddler's tantrums and aggressive behaviours?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pink or Blue?

About two weeks ago, I was around 15 weeks pregnant and down with food poisoning, throat infection and bad flu. I was feverish and the combo was just so horrible beyond words. In fact, I began to spread my flu virus to my little girl and I felt utterly bad about it. I was so sick that I couldn't cook nor take care of Naomi fully plus giving her runny nose as well! Duh!

As such, the night before my husband went out of town for work, he took me to see a gynae in town. I chose to see a gynae instead of general physician this time around. My regular gynae in the hospital only practices until around 5pm so if I were to urgently see a gynae at night, I had to see those who open their private clinics.

Thankfully, we found one available gynae who accepted walk-in patients. After a brief consultation and check, I was told that I had low-grade fever due to my throat infection and was prescribed with some mild medicines. Before we ended the consultation, she offered me if I'd be interested in doing ultrasound scan because my last one was done in the previous month. She also mentioned that she could find the gender of the baby, provided if the baby's positition was favourable. I said "Sure! Why not?"

Baby #2 at 15 weeks.

Minutes later, she ran a thorough scan on baby #2 and my husband was all by my side watching the scan. When it finally came to the legs and bottoms' areas scan, I held my breath. I was so nervous with the gender revelation. Then, the gynae pointed the area between baby #2's legs and said "Hmm.. for now I am seeing a little penis. Your baby is 80-85% boy!"

Spot the pointer!

I was very excited when I knew that baby #2 is highly likely a boy and my husband kept on smiling from ear to ear after the gynae announced this. My husband rubbed my legs so hard until the gynae turned her head to my legs to see why I was shaking during the scan.

Once we left the gynae's room, I spread this happy news to my parents and my husband told his Mom about the high chance of us having a boy for our second baby.

Next, it's time to pay the gynae's bill. While the consultation fee and medicines cost pretty standard, I was a little surprised that the ultrasound scan was charged separately and it was RM 125 for the scan alone. Gasp! But what's done is done and in the end I comforted myself that RM 125 was worth it to compensate my burning curiosity in the past 4 months.

Me and my 16 week's bump.

Last Saturday, I was 17 weeks pregnant and due for my regular monthly check-up with my gynae in the hospital. As usual, my gynae ran a brief ultrasound scan on me not long after she checked on my blood pressure, which was quite low.

I actually didn't expect my gynae to find baby #2's gender at this stage because for my first pregnancy, my gynae only wanted to check my first baby's gender during the anomaly scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, as she moved on to scan baby #2's legs area, I think baby #2's gender was so obvious that my gynae immediately pointed that little something in between the baby's legs.

17 weeks: Again, spot the pointer.

"There...", she said." I responded, "A boy!" "Yes! This is the little brother of Naomi.", my gynae reaffirmed. My husband who was holding Naomi at the time of the scan smiled gleefully when he heard this confirmation.

So everyone, baby #2 is a BOY!

My husband and I are both very happy, grateful and relief to find out that so far baby #2 is doing great and a boy too! We'd be parents to a girl and a boy.

On another note, before we ended our consultation session with my gynae last weekend, I raised a question to my gynae about my little gain weight so far. To date, I only gained like 2.5kg in total. I used to gain like 2kg every month when I was pregnant with Naomi. In light of this, my gynae assured me that everything is looking normal until now because baby #2 is gaining enough weight. She remarked that baby boy tends to absorb more food from the mother so the mother doesn't really gain that much. Almost all the food that the mother eats go straight to the baby boy inside.

Finally, here's the cake treat that my husband bought for me on last Saturday's afternoon. He promised to buy me a cake if baby #2 is a boy! LOL.

My favorite strawberry marshmallow cheesecake!

Alright then, so it's time for me to hunt some blue pyjamas and boys' typical plaid shirts the next time I hit the mall or baby shop.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

5 Things I Wish I Did More

For first-time parent with no helper (except for hubby, of course!), the first year of raising a baby felt like a constant marathon of body and mind. Everything is fast-paced and it happens every single day. Some days ran faster, especially when I was doing a zillion things in one day.

Out and about with Naomi last year.

As a stay-at-home Mom, I consider myself to be very lucky to never miss every single milestone that my baby had during her first year – say, her first giggle, first tummy time, first crawl, first steps, first words, etc.

However, I still feel that there are things that I should have done more during my baby’s first year – simple things that you don’t realize you should have done until it’s too late to go back and do them.

Here are my thoughts on what I should have done more of...

Cherish the time with my baby

In the beginning of my motherhood journey, I was mentally and physically tired. Not to mention, I felt so 'injured' from my episiotomy wound and experienced prolonged post-partum bleeding. Add all that to my newborn's erratic schedules and there was a very exhausted me. In short, my first two months with my baby were not that euphoric as I hoped it would be and I was not able to fully enjoy my newly bundle of joy.

I found myself wishing the time away. When Naomi was still three days old, I wished she was one week old instead. When she was few weeks old, I wished she would quickly turned to one-month old so she wouldn't be so fragile and hopefully had better routines. I tried to enjoy the moment as they came but somehow failed to enjoy it fully. I thought that as she grows older, it would be easier to take care of her. In some ways, that was true! As Naomi grew bigger, I got to know her better and she was easier to deal with. However, she kept launching new developmental milestones that presented new sets of challenge for my husband and me and so in that sense, both of us keep on learning and handling new things about the little human being in our house every single day.

In the end, I guess back then I was so concerned about my baby caring duties 24/7 that I overlooked the beautiful new Mom experience. I really should have taken more real times to hold, cuddle and do nothing else but bonding with Naomi without worrying too much of my laundry, dirty dishes in the kitchen, dusty floor, the plants in the garden, etc.

Naomi's sweet smell, tiny fingers, little toes, chubby cheeks and cute button nose won't be there forever, will they?

That's why when you hear Grandma’s pearl of wisdom that goes "Cherish every moment because babies grow up so fast!" You must trust her because it's true. Soak the moment in and just... enjoy your baby more.

Let baby have more time on my chest

Did you know that babies can take comfortable nap on your chest only in their few months? Needless to say, as they grow bigger, it will get quite uncomfortable for both baby and you.

 Sleep, baby. Sleep.

I can assure you that nothing beats the peaceful, calm and warm feeling of having your little angel napping on your chest. It’s the next best intimate bonding time with baby after breastfeeding. This being said; if you have a newborn, please don’t take baby’s snuggly naps on your chest for granted. The rests can wait. Seriously.

Give myself more ‘me-time’

Soon after my Mom went back to Indonesia during my confinement period, I fell into a hyper-Mom mode – making sure all my today’s to-do-list was done and attending my baby's needs mostly on my own to the point that I neglected my own well-being. I skipped meals and got little sleep. I was hardly ever rested and often lost my appetite whenever my baby cried.

Thinking back, I should have trusted my family members like my husband or Mother-in-Law in babysitting Naomi once in a while. I should have, now and then, taken some time to just chill, taken my sweet time to eat my food, spared myself more me-time to lie on my bed with my scary face-mask on, go to a hair salon, get my nails done or even just crush some candies in my tablet! I should have done more reading undisturbed or even done some baking just like the good old times. Maybe it could have even be less taxing for me to raise a baby and I would have been more relaxed. After all, a happy and healthy Mom who eats and has enough sleep is the best thing for her child, isn't she?

Therefore, give yourself a break. We don't have to be joined at the hip with our baby all day long, all year long. When the situation gets overwhelming, it's not a sin to get some much needed help.

Travel with baby more

When Naomi was still very young, I often refused the idea of traveling far, especially when it required air travels. I thought traveling with a young infant would just spell trouble. I mean, imagine packing baby’s truckload daily necessities, dealing with her potential fussiness during the long-hour trip and cleaning her colossal poop in the car or plane. In a nutshell, I foresaw nothing but stress if I were to venture into holidaying with a baby in my arms.

Who knew that when the older your baby gets, the more complicated it gets to travel? Not only we need to keep enough supply of her milk during the trip, we also need to consider packing solids food and lots of toys as well. Moreover, keeping a toddler to sit still on-the-go is easier said than done.

My little Amoi!

Hence, I would recommend traveling with your little one when they are still tiny, have very simple needs and mostly sleep during the trip. Go for sightseeing and short holiday during your early months of parenting – raising a baby would surely be much less dull and wearisome this way!

Keep a baby journal and record more videos

Baby’s first step and first word may be easy for parents to recall. However, baby’s first haircut, favourite song or movie at certain age may fade from memory. Journals are a great way to document various events in your little ones’ childhood. While photos provide wonderful memory keepsakes, journaling is an excellent way to keep track of special moments and share memories of babyhood.

Although I keep my baby’s journal in my online blog, there were times when I got lazy or too busy to update her milestones; thus I can’t remember the details of some of my baby’s developmental milestones in certain months. You know, after you become parents, you just tend to forget what happened yesterday or the day before.

Finally, don’t forget to take lots of videos of your baby too. I love watching the old videos of my little one and somehow those videos reminds me of the blessing of being a mother. Not to mention that Naomi also loves watching her own videos too! I really should have recorded more of her videos back then.

Now that Naomi had blown her first birthday candles, I intend to slow down and have some order in my busy life while having a little more fun with my toddler. I will dedicate more time becoming the 'old me' again, do more traveling and at the same time keep tabs on my little tot growing up each day.

Have fun with motherhood and don’t forget to take care of yourself too!

** I wrote the above article sometime in Q4 of 2013 and this piece was featured in BabyTalk Malaysia Magazine's November 2013's issue. I planned to scan the articles from the magazine and post them here but I was not able to do so because I only have one copy of this magazine and scanning some pages would ruin my magazine. Therefore, curious friends and other readers (especially those overseas) who didn't manage to get a copy of this particular BabyTalk Malaysia issue, I hope you enjoy the above motherhood story of mine. A bit late, I know but I just remembered about this article again like half an hour ago!

Making Light and Fluffy Banana Cake

I had some very ripe bananas that were no good to be eaten right away but I felt bad of wasting them. As today is a public holiday and I have not much plan to celebrate Labour Day today - after breakfast, I decided to turn my overripe bananas into a very simple Banana Cake.

I used the recipe from here to create my Banana Cake today. The original recipe promises a fragrant banana cake that boasts light and fluffy textures. Also, the methods for making this cake are quite basic, hence perfect for busy Moms' quick baking breeze. In short, I gave this recipe a go. I added some grated cooking chocolates into the cake batter to add some kick and they indeed did.

Here is the recipe of Banana Cake that I used today.

A must try banana cake.

Light and Fluffy Banana Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
  • 2.5 Eggs, S-M size and at room temperature
  • 130gr Sugar
  • 200gr Very ripe banana (I used 3 S-M bananas)
  • 150gr Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 100gr Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of grated chocolates, coated with some flour (optional)

Tutorials:
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degree celcius.
  2. Grease and line a cake tin. I used 7" round cake tin.
  3. Sieve flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla powder and sliced banana with an electric mixer, at maximum speed, until it reaches ribbon stage. It will take about 8-10 minutes' time.
  5. Fold in flour in stages, grated chocolates and mix well by using spatula.
  6. Add in oil and mix well until the batter is shiny and flowing. Most of the oil will be at the bottom of your mixing bowl so make sure you scrape the batter in the bottom of your mixing bowl when doing this.
  7. Bake the cake for about 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Fresh from the oven!

As per the original recipe's promises, this banana cake came out really nice and by far I think this is one of the best banana cakes I have ever eaten. It's not so dense and indeed very flavourful.

Yummy banana cake!

The next time you have some overripe banana leftover in your house, don't throw them away. Turn them into a nice cake or muffins instead. Overripe bananas can be made into really great baking treats!