Happy first birthday little 17chipmunks

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Parenthood has changed us. I expected this, but I didn’t expect just how radically it would.

 

In the first two months, I find her cries so grating, sleep so erratic and breastfeeding so painful (a baby who suckled, suckled and suckled every 30 to 60 minutes – it was like “forever”). Most crucially, I did it all by myself from nursing, cleaning and calming the baby (though I had my mum’s help for the first five days and occasional visits from my sis-in-law to calm me down that I am doing alright). It was my choice not to have a confinement lady as I didn’t like to be bound by rules and wanted my independence. It was my choice not to stay in my in laws place (though offered) because I wanted to raise my baby my way (and not theirs). It is embarrassing but I had to admit that I even cried several times in the first month when I couldn’t take how drastic the change in life turned out to be. This is owing to the fact I was (am still) a perfectionist and accustomed to having control of my life. I even pondered if I made a huge mistake in life and remembered asking my hubby “have you got any regret having her?” (Thinking back, I was so stupid to ask the question).

 

Some people told me it was hard (while some people – those that never actually looked after their own babies – have “cleverly” suggested that “it is darn easy!”). But it’s impossible to truly convey just what it’s like to wake up at night every two hours for several months. Or try to calm a baby who’s screaming inconsolably. Or deal with a clingy baby, who cries whenever we put her down (worse still she only wants the mummy). Or encounter with people who weren’t supportive of our intention to breastfeed our baby. Or cope with others’ opinions of our parenting styles. Or struggle with not feeling like myself – having a body now being two sizes bigger than it used to be (graciously, this happens to dads as well as mums *grin*). Chores multiplied, finances altered, daily rush.

 

It’s not like we turned into a mum and a dad overnight, but our perspectives and habits get realigned to one single creature: little 17chipmunks. It means our habits might change for the better, for example, I’ll think more of the nutritional value of food and exemplifying good ethics. Becoming a parent, time shifts. We never take free time for granted again. Every second is so crucial. Going and eating out is also a whole new experience. We run around to find the nursing or baby room or maybe a corner of somewhere that we can hide from the “prejudiced” thinking about breastfeeding (I have soon overcome it – I just do it anywhere now!). We cleverly selected timing to watch movies in the cinema (i.e. her nap times) so that we can enjoy our show. We can’t dawdle over tea/coffee any longer (unless the baby is asleep). Instead, each time we will take turns to eat our meals quickly while the other handles the baby (unless the baby decides to sit quietly). As the baby grows, extra time needed to pack food for the baby. Feeding the baby in restaurants would be a challenge. Obviously, finding a place to eat with a baby is a challenge too.

 

These are indeed the trials of exhaustion, loss of freedom, feelings of incompetence.

 

As “bad” as it gets, we have gone through it. There are many, many more blissful, amazing moments during that period too. And, after enough time passes, we even thought back wistfully on this period. If we look at it, the decision to bring another life into this world is by itself very momentous. We have also experience love and bond that we have never imagined. We have become stronger and more vulnerable in a sense too. Parenthood also provides lessons in patience and humility in its most generous form. We have calmly fit our ever changing traits of our baby into our life. We are grateful for the time we get to spend together. We love watching her grow and explore the world. We are proud parents whenever we find her reaching her milestones/ development day-after-day (and by that it means we have done the things “correctly”). Now, we can’t imagine life without her.

 

little 17chipmunks, you may not consistently make us happier in quantifiable ways, but in our experience, you make us more alive and in my opinion, feeling more alive is better than feeling “more” happy. Happy birthday darling!

 

P/S: As much as I would like to deny this in the past, I would admit now that “mum truly makes the greatest sacrifice!”

Spaghetti for my soon-to-be 1 year old toddler

I have been wanting to give little 17chipmunks spaghetti for some time, but wasn’t sure which spaghetti to choose as some contain egg. Since she has passed the egg yoke and egg white tests, I was daring to give her spaghetti.

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Ingredients used:

1. Chopped onions

2. Diced tomatoes

3. Diced pumpkins

4. Diced celery

5. Minced pork

 

Steps:

1. Steam all ingredients for 15 minutes

2. Blend the steamed ingredients

3. In pan of olive oil, stir fry onions

4. Add the blended and steamed ingredients to stir fry (sauce)

5. Prepare spaghetti

6. Pour sauce onto spaghetti

 

It was found watching little 17chipmunks slurping the spaghetti!

Online purchase of Aldo –Ego Convertible Car Seat from FabulousMom

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We have been surveying an affordable car seat for little 17chipmunks. Our budget is quite low, about RM300. I googled online and found that an affordable one would be Aldo-Ego Convertible Car Seat – few blogs commented on it. The pricing was not more than RM300.

Given that I would be a stay at home mum soon, we have decided to go for that car seat – so that I will get a chance to shuffle little 17chipmunks around when I am alone with her. Sadly, I think because this is a low range (in terms of pricing) car seat, not all baby shops have this. I stumbled into FabulousMom website, which has it. We have actually seen this car seat when we were at thebabyoutlet @ Tropicana City Mall, which was going for RM299 (and 10% off). We remembered this going at cheaper pricing at FabulousMom.

We went back to FabulousMom website when we arrive at home. We found that it is now going out for RM209 and with a free gift (baby wipes). Done deal (in our mind). We thought of visiting their outlet in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) to get the car seat. But, before we went there, I decided to give them a call to find if they had stock. Luckily I made the call – their sales representative says that we have to place an order either online or come to the outlet personally before they carry the order in. We then can collect the order at the outlet or pay an extra delivery fee for it. It will take about a week for the order to come in to their outlet for collection.

We decided to go into their website to make the order. I thought of making the order myself as I have done so the previous time. But, this round, I find it tedious and then left it to hubby to make the order. He keyed in the order on Monday night (16 December 2013) plus the payment. We decided to collect it at their outlet to save the extra delivery fee. They replied the next day to hubby’s email with the message:

“Thank you for your order and payment. We will transfer to TTDI outlet once receive stock and our staff will inform you once item arrive to collect.Thank you.Regards,Shida” (Order Number: 43368)

Just as I wanted to call them to check on the order, the TTDI representative called hubby to inform that the car seat has arrived. Hubby did speak to them about the free gift and our entitlement to a RM10 voucher for our above RM200 purchase (which they mentioned that they have to check on the RM10 voucher). I, on the other hand, called them again to check if they are open on Christmas – yes, they are!

We went there yesterday (Christmas day) for the collection. We waited for sometime as they sorted out the voucher thing. In addition, they were busy serving their walk-in customers. We managed to get our RM10 voucher on the spot, which I utilized to buy a nursing bra that cost RM19.95. After showing hubby how to fit the baby in the car seat, we waited for another 10 minutes as we wanted their help to install it into hubby’s car. Their staff is really friendly and helpful.

Well, unlike the other baby shops that I have been so far – FabulousMom is far more different, I feel. First, they have a play area for us to place little17chipmunks in while we look around. Second, they have a nursing room. Third, they have table and chair for them to speak to customers who need consultation. Fourth, they have changing room – for mothers to try on the maternity/nursing dress/blouse/bra. Fifth, they have a sofa (which we were allowed to change little 17chipmunks’ diaper – after she poo poo-ed there). Well done.

On pricing, since we were given RM10 for their year-end sale (which runs from 16 November 2013 to 5 Jan 2014), our actual price for the car seat is RM199. In addition, we were given a small pack of baby wipes. This was a value buy for us.

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Most importantly, I find that little 17chipmunks is “ok” with the car seat (but so far she only sat there twice). She did try to throw a fit initially on her first time, but after a while, she was too tired and then slept. Hope she will sit in the car seat obediently. In addition, compared to the first carrier (Halford S8), I find that she does not really sweat sitting on this car seat – which is definitely good (hopes she find this comfortable too).

Tofu, egg yolk & mushroom cereal

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Simple quick meal: Tofu, egg yolk & mushroom cereal

Made a quick and delicious meal for my 11.75 mo after hubby removed 2 egg yolks from his scrambled egg. I didn’t want to waste the egg yolks and then searched the fridge to find what other ingredients I can use. And, there we go…

Steps & ingredients:
1. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil
2. Add in minced shiitake mushroom
3. Add one tablespoon silken tofu
4. Add two tablespoon water and wait till it comes to boil
5. Add three to four tablespoons grind brown rice/millet/lentils; let it comes to boil
6. Add in the two egg yolk and stir (if you find it dry, add more water)
7. Wait till it comes to a boil, off fire, cool down and serve

Currently trying to train my lo to spoon feed herself; therefore alot of mess

In addition to this dish, I gave her a banana. She finished almost all of them.

Spend RM50 and above in Citta Mall from 7 Dec to 31 Dec 2013

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Spend RM50 and above in Citta Mall from 7 Dec to 31 Dec 2013 to get free wrapper and gift tags. Collect them from the receptionist at ground floor. We recently went there to purchase some groceries in their supermarket, Presto; and collected ours. They had very nice lighting too and little 17chipmunks enjoyed watching & listening the music songs.

 

Famous Hong Kee noodle at Jalan Batai

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Finally, I had the complete taste of all stalls at Jalan Batai (bear in mind, I did not blog all of them). This is the particular one that I wanted to taste. I always thought the queue is long (and the family mending the stall was slow – it consists of a very old parents and son, and the father had Parkinson disease – but I am very impressed that he did not give up job and determined to work).

 

I made my order of wantan mee with chicken and duck. I waited for less than 10 minutes today (not too many people on Fridays, I guess) before the order came. Initially, they brought me the wrong order of char siew and wantan mee, which I declined.

 

Taste wise: Yes, it is nice (although it came very messy-ly). The noodle is special, not sure if it is made by them or is it because of the way it was boiled in the hot water. The chicken was soft. Sadly, the duck meat was slim – not much meat, but skin-ful. My order was RM7.

 

Sad to say, they will be gone soon. According to the son who cooks, the last day of the stall is 28 December 2013. They will soon retire, as the developer takes on the place.

Tong yuen in red bean soup for my 11.75 month old!

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Happy Dong Zhi Festival!

I made some mini tong yuen with red bean soup for my 11.75 mo. Just gave her a little in conjunction of the festive – i have Google n found that it is generally ok for her age to have rice flour.

How to make the tong yuen? Simple, just glutinous rice flour & water.

Red Bean Soup? I double boiled red bean with red dates & wolfberries. No added sugar (red beans soaked overnight).

She finished it!