Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipes

Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditi...Image via Wikipedia
Thanksgiving is not too far away. When I was studying in US, one or two of my friends would take pity on me and  invite me over to their family thanksgiving dinner. What a feast it would be.

 Well, it doesn't matter where you are in the world. If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving, just go ahead. If you need ideas for a scrumptious western meal, click the link below.

It has Thanksgiving recipes and videos. Not all the videos are free. Some are for members only. Just click on those that are under the "FREE" column. I definitely want to try the Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake and Warm Apple Cobbler. Yeah, I'm a desert nut.

Another cooking resource, if you want to dazzle your family and friends, is this site that offers secret recipes from favorite top restaurants such as Chili's, Applebees, Hard Rock Cafe and Olive Garden. You can cook restaurant food like a pro and leave your guests and family wondering where you learned your skills. Click my affiliate link below to discover America's Secret Recipes.

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Child Abuser?

Apparently, I've cause an "outrage" among some parents at regarding how I stop my son from screaming the house down during his "terrible two" sessions. The blog post is here: "Save Me From The Terrible Twos".

Unfortunately, I am unable to find those "outraged" comments. But, I must say that I'm surprised that using a bath dipper to splash my son to cool him off is considered abusive. Is this a cultural misunderstanding? Because I know for sure that non-Asians do not bath this way. They either shower or soak in a bath, but they do not "mandi" with a dipper like we do. Maybe I used the wrong word when I wrote the post. Maybe I should not have used the phrase "Dunk in Water". Probably that gives people the picture of me pushing his head under water or something. To clarify matters, I'm just pouring water over his head.

Anyway, I'm just curious to know how many of you really, really, really think that what I did was abusive. Be honest. I'll try to be humble and if I did wrong, I will repent.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby is 6 Weeks Old: Reflux?

Managed to catch her smile. Precious.

I almost have babyK's sleep and wake routine down. She sleeps most of the night and wakes up between 6-7am. She is most alert and wide awake after her evening bath. Her bedtime? You could say she waits for me to go to sleep before she goes to sleep too. It's quite funny really.

I've been wondering if baby is having reflux. She does spit up milk quite a bit. Her sister describes it as "bursting into milk." She hiccups a lot and will sometimes cough when drinking milk, like she's choking. Earlier she had some cranky days. But she seems to be better now. No excessive crying. There's no back arching either. She's not a big drinker. Her feeds are fairly short.

Maybe her case is not so serious. She is growing well. She put on 1 kg in one month.

Went to the doctor for check-up today and I raised some of these concerns to her. Here is a brief rundown of our question-answer session.
Doctor: Does baby poo-poo everyday.
Me: Sometimes she does and sometimes it's once in 2 days.
Doctor: That's not good. Baby must poo-poo everyday.
(Really? I thought it was normal that some babies do "big business" only once every few days.)
Doctor: Does she feed well?
Me: I feed every 2-3 hours but she doesn't drink too long.
(Actually, I don't really keep track of how often I'm feeding baby. I'm feeding on demand. But I think it works out to every 2-3 hours.)
Me: I'm afraid that sometimes she drinks too much, she will vomit more.
Doctor: Oh no, you cannot do like that. If she don't drink, then her stomach will be gassy and she will vomit more.

Doctor's conclusion: My baby not getting enough milk.
My reaction: HUH? NOT ENOUGH MILK?
No lah, I didn't say that to the doctor. That reaction I keep to myself. I think I gave the doctor the wrong impression. She must think that I'm denying my baby of milk because I'm scared that baby will vomit. Actually I'm not. I let her drink as much as she wants and as often as she wants. I don't pull baby away from the breast. Baby is usually the one who decides she has had enough and lets go.

Anyway, I kinda find it hilarious that the doctor said my baby is not drinking enough milk when she is clearly gaining weight and getting chubbier. However, I do hope the "bursting into milk" incidences will get less.

Save Me From The Terrible Twos

Just look at that cheekiness

This is the babyD most of us are used to. Always smiling and laughing.

Nowadays, gets easily angry. Pouting and tantrums are his weapons.

Gone are the days when my sweet little 2 year old would listen and obey everything mommy told him. These days, "NO" and "DON'T WANT" easily rolls off his tongue and seems to be the predominant words in his vocabulary. To top off his new found rights to defy his parents, he has also learned the art of ear piercing, glass shattering screaming. Hate it when it happens at 3am in the morning. Yeah, he'll wake up in the middle of the night, creating a fuss and ruckus, and I'm too tired and sleepy to be a loving mother.

Okay, so what have I done to combat the Terrible Twos?

  • Usually, my first strategy to "counter-attack" is to firmly tell him to "STOP SCREAMING". In the end, I'm screaming and he is still screaming. Too much screaming.
  • Another strategy is to reason with him. That doesn't work either. When he turns on the "screaming mode", there is no compromise. This strategy can only be used after he has calmed down.
  • Sometimes, the reason for such an outburst is not readily known. Then you'll hear me saying "You have to talk. I don't understand what you want. I can't help you if I don't know what you want." That is usually followed by more screaming on his part. I've learned that the more I try to communicate with him, the louder the screams become. 
  • DISCIPLINE him. Put him on the bench (Or time-out. Whatever you want to call it). Throw him out of the house. This results in more screams, lots of kicking and also knee hugging.
  •  PUNISHMENT him.Give him a few whacks. This strategy gives me 100% failure. It doesn't work. But it sure gives me a way to vent my frustration WHICH is not right. I know, I know.
  • IGNORE him. You'd think they'd lose their voice after a while. How come they don't lose their voice after 1/2 hour of screaming? If I let him, I think he can scream for a few hours non-stop. Amazing! Not really recommended coz' it's not good for your eardrums.
I finally found a strategy that works for me.............. DUNK HIM WITH WATER!
Yeah, I got so fed up that one night that I carried him to the bathroom and drenched him. I kept splashing water over his head until he decided to quit it. He decided very quickly to stop screaming. He started his nonsense again 15 minutes later and back to the bathroom we went. The only negative side to this was I had 2 sets of wet clothes added to my already overflowing pile of laundry. But I believe splashing him with water "shocks" him out of the screaming phase. It's like they get soooo into it and don't know how to get out of it.

Results? When he starts screaming now, I just have to ask if we need to go to the bathroom and he stops immediately.

So, what strategies have you tried to combat your Terrible Twos?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Painting Pumpkins For Halloween

Happy Halloween to everyone! Too bad we don't really celebrate it over here in Malaysia. I know my kids would love to dress up and collect a mountain of candy (much to me and my husband's dismay).

I can just imagine the excitement and fun our American friends are having this Halloween season. There are many Halloween activities children can do. Pumpkin carving is a traditional activity but it can be quite dangerous with the knife. Definitely not very suitable for young children. I read about a more kid-friendly option - Pumpkin Painting.

The video below shows how easy it is to paint a pumpkin face.

Painting pumpkin faces looks like a lot of fun. If you're having a kids Halloween party, this would be a good activity. Or if you have very bored children at home driving you nuts, give them some pumpkins and let them be creative. Also a perfect activity for children playgroups. Put a whole bunch of pumpkin faces out in your garden and I'm sure you'll get a lot of lovely compliments from your neighbors.

Click here to discover the easy way to painting pumpkins.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dove Nutrium Moisture Body Wash

Finally, it's here! 2 1/2 months of waiting, and now it's in my bathroom. What is it? Dove's Nutrium Moisture Body Wash all the wayyyyyyy from U.S.

Yes, they sent me all 3 types: Gentle Exfoliating, Deep Moisture and Sensitive Skin. It's groundbreaking technology okay! This body wash has even been honored with one of Allure magazine’s 2009 Best of Beauty Breakthrough awards. So, how come I'm so lucky to have them send it to me for free? Coz' I promised I'd share with all you online folks what I think about it.So yes, I'm disclosing to you that I'm writing this review coz' they gave me free products to try. (Can you see I'm trying to be a good girl and abide by FTC new rules. By the way, if you still don't know what the new rules are on writing product reviews, you better update yourself quick.)

What's So Great About Dove's Nutrium Moisture Body Wash?
They claim that this new body wash retains your skin's moisture better than other brands. Dove's Nutrium Moisture can penetrate deep into your skin's layers whereas the moisturizers in other body wash only sits on top of your skin. No need for me to explain so much. You can just watch the video below to see how it works.

What do I think about it?
  • The body wash is very thick. It doesn't just flow out. It feels like a cream. Doesn't get very foamy. However, it does clean the skin. I don't like how some moisturizing body wash leave your skin feeling oily. This Dove's body wash doesn't. 
  • Does my skin feel moisturized? I don't really know. It's definitely not a "WOW, what a difference" experience. I don't think it works overnight too. If the body wash really does moisturize my skin 10 layers deep, I'm sure the results will show eventually. But I don't think it'll put me on any cover magazine :P
  • I like the Gentle Exfoliating the best. You can feel the little beads scrubbing your body. Some people may not like the harsh feeling but I like the idea of scrubbing away dirt and dead cells. My son doesn't like it though. He says it tickles his stomach. Hahaha.
  • The scent is very mild. In fact, the one that says "Sensitive Skin" has no scent. Definitely not for girls who like to leave a trail of sweet smell for guys to follow. You'll have to use that delicious soft skin to lure them instead :)
  • I don't think guys care much about moisturizing their skin while bathing. This body wash definitely appeals more to women. And don't bother asking your husband if your skin feels softer. He probably won't know the difference. Or maybe it's just my husband. Hahaha.
 Well done Dove! Keep those innovations coming. Now, could you come up with a body wash that gets rid of stretch marks?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baby Is 1 Month Old

Can't believe that baby is already 1 month old. Seemed just like yesterday I was hurrying her to pop out of the womb. She is getting big fast. Her 1 month checkup had her weighed in at 4.3kg. Her legs and cheeks are filling up. No more "chicken legs". Yup, that was my nickname for her the first few days. Her face is changing. We don't quite notice it because we see her everyday. It's more noticeable to church friends who see her once a week.

Okay, so here is a list of "stuff" about babyK at 1 month old:
  • The first few weeks, she liked to poo-poo into fresh diapers. Daddy's wallet cringed every time that happened.
  • She cried the first few times she bathed. But now she likes the water. She will just relax and not make a sound.
  • A few times she peed into the towel after bathing. Then Mommy got smart. Now after I take her out, I will make the "shee shee" sound and most of the time she will pee. Only after that do I wrap her with the towel.
  • I think she can recognize who is mommy. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.
  • Likes to be carried. Which baby doesn't? Daddy is enjoying carrying her while she is still so small. No, we are not scared that we will "spoil" her. I'm a firm believer that if baby needs the security, then we must provide it. They don't need to learn "independence" as a baby. That's not what they need.
  • Vomits milk quite a lot and quite often.
  • Likes sleeping in the baby carrier. She feels more comfortable in an inclined position rather than flat on her back.
  • Siblings like to kacau her and wake her up.
  • One way to put her to sleep is to stroke her hair.
  • She has a "sleep days" and her "wake up" days. One day she will sleep a lot, and the next day her big-big eyes don't stay close for long. But she's really good at night and will pretty much sleep throughout. Even if she wakes up, she doesn't cry. You'll just hear lots of grunting... trying to do "big business" I guess.
  • Stomach is a bit gassy at times. When she gets cranky, I lay her on her back and do "fart exercises". You can check you tube for massages and leg exercises to help baby get rid of wind. BabyK don't really fancy the massages. She enjoys the leg exercises more. It's really simple. I just take both legs and move them up towards the stomach and down while singing "row, row, row your boat". After a while, she really does fart. Hehehe.

Traditional "ang ku" kuih for full moon celebration

Of the 4 kids we have, she is the only one we threw a full moon party. Biase? No lah. It's not that we love her more. Everything we do depends on the wallet. Some parents feel that what they do for one, they must do for all, if not there will be jealousy. For example, if one kid has a special ordered birthday cake, then all the kids must have one too. For us, we explain to the kids that it depends on their luck. If daddy's economy is good, they get "stuff". If not, too bad. So, we are fair and equal in a different sense. "Fair and equal" doesn't mean getting the same things. It means for every child, the decision whether they "get" or "don't get", depends on the same factors - daddy's wallet and the current situation :) Makes sense?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mommy Bloggers Now Required To Give Full Disclosure

Are you a mommy blogger who receive freebies or payments in exchange for reviews and testimonials? If you are, then you need to read these 2 news report. Basically, they are saying you must tell your readers that you have been compensated (either in cash or kind) for writing the blog post. If you fail to do this, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will take action against you. So mommy bloggers, please familiarize yourself with their new guidelines.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Yummy Butter Cake

Made this yummy butter cake Wednesday just because I felt like eating cake. Probably a side effect of "starving" myself from sweets and dessert after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Not pregnant anymore but can still have cravings. Hehehe. Actually, I'm being naughty coz' I haven't been cleared of the diabetes diagnosis yet. Another glucose tolerance test will only be done in several weeks time before I'll know for sure whether I still have diabetes or not. Anyway, now that baby is out, I don't have to worry that my sweet tooth will result in giving birth to an 8kg baby (btw, did you hear about that big Indonesian baby?)

If you are looking for a simple yet yummy butter cake, try this recipe I found on Martha Stewarts' website. It makes two 9-inch cake layers.

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (about 180 degrees celcius).
  • Rub some butter on your cake pans (recommended 9-by-2-inch round cake pans). Dust with flour.
  • Sift together flours, baking powder, and salt.
  • In your mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla.
  • Turn mixer to low speed. Alternately add in the flour mixture, followed by milk. Begin and end with the flour.
  • Divide batter between the 2 pans. Bake until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. My oven is a small one, so it took between 15-20 minutes.
For the frosting, I used the following recipe. One day I want to try to make fondant, but I don't have the ingredients. So for now, this is it.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milk or water
1 tbsp orange juice and some grated rind (you could use lemon too)
Cream butter and sugar first. Next add the milk and orange juice.
I had to do 2 rounds of this coz' the recipe here wasn't enough for me to cover the whole cake.

Okay, so my decorating skills aren't that great. I don't have the proper tools for it too. Also, baby woke up so I had to hurry and finish it. BUT the cake does taste good. It was gone in 24 hours.

p.s. I found a site that offers step-by-step online videos on how to decorate cakes and cookies. They also have how-to articles, ideas, tips & tricks on cake decorating. Get instant access to dozens and dozens of cakes, cookies and candies online training videos, stories, recipes, pictures and so much more. It's truly a one-of-a-kind membership site.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Toddlers and Powder

What's with toddlers and powder? And is this a boy thing? Look at the two pictures below:

KokoD taken in 2004

BabyD taken yesterday.