Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Even Shern Had A Piece

Only 3 of us home for dinner today, so I decided to make something easy.

Made pizzas, but this time with sausages and tuna. Added in chopped onions, button mushrooms slices and canned pineapple pieces before I toasted them for hubby & me.

As for Yiu-Shern's, I put tomato puree as the based and topped it with some tuna and a slice of cheese. He loved it.

I think it makes a great toddler snack/food for Shern. Quite healthy even. There is carbohydrate, protein, vege and even calcium.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Father And Son

20 June 2010

This photo was taken two Sundays ago on Father's Day when we were in KL.
The special bond of father and son.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Mummy Dearest

Simple celebration with homemade cake (erm...slightly burnt homemade Strawberry Bread actually) and blowing of only 1 candle so that my mum can conceal her real age...hehe

May she be forever young and beautiful, and in robust health.

p/s - Wen, we miss you in this photo :)

Even The Heaven Tears With Us

The funeral was yesterday afternoon.

The moment we started our final journey with Emah, it started raining. Heavily in fact.
And when we reached, the rain stopped and the sun peeked out. It's heaven's way to tell us, 'It's alright, emah is peaceful and happy now.'

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is This A Sign For Me To Start Weaning Shern? - Part 6

pic source:

In the midst of hurried packing after getting news of my grandma's passing, I left my breastpump bag in the KL Hotel we were staying.
Yes...I am still wondering how in the world did I managed to leave my most important thing there!

Anyway, due to this, my milk supply started dwindling down to almost nothing. Late nights at the funeral wake and stress also helped with the dwindle. And at times, when my breasts are full and ready, Shern sometimes just had a big bowl of porridge and did not want to suckle. I had to wait for awhile and coaxed him to suckle a little to help ease the fullness. Arghhh....

I am not one of the lucky ones who can express milk out manually by hand. I guess I can't because first of all, I don't have that much milk now and secondly, it hurts, for me at least. I need a breastpump if Shern doesn't want to suckle.

Anyway, after a few days, my brains starting getting the signal that my baby does not want so much milk so I guess that is the reason my milk supply starting dwindling down.
So I think maybe this is a sign that tells me this is now the time to wean Shern off breastfeeding.

But I am feeling abit sad. Now everytime I asks Shern, 'Do you want milk-milk?', he will smile at me and lean back on my arms and starts opening his mouth. He is such a cutey thing when he does that.

Anyway, I have arranged for the hotel people to post back the breastpump bag to me next week. By then, Shern will most probably have no more milk-milk to drink.

And now, I have to start searching for formula to replace my milk since I only have about a month or less EBM in my freezer.
So what you mothers feed your 1 year olds? Any formula brands to recommend?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Emah Passed On

We were all in KL for a week holiday when we received a phone call on Wednesday afternoon saying that Emah just passed on.
We rushed back to Penang the same day.

Emah passed away so peacefully....with both her hands clasped on her chest, in a meditation pose. No sufferings. No pain.
So peaceful that I still think she is still sleeping....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Uninterrupted 6 Hours Sleep

I am so happy that I need to blog about this.
Yesterday, Shern slept late at around 11pm. Besides making a fuss for about a minute to be carried sometime around midnight, Shern slept 'til 6.20am this morning.

He did not cry halfway through the night. We did not have to rock him. I did not nurse him in the wee hours of the morning. It was a quiet and peaceful 6 hours. Some baby books say that if the baby can sleep for more than 5 hours, then is considered that the baby has successfully sleeping through the night.

Well, I guess if that is so, Shern managed to sleep through the night yesterday. He even refused to wake up even when it was 10am (he usually wakes up before 9am)

Anyway, hubby & I enjoyed our FIRST TIME uninterrupted 6 hours of sleep.
We are looking forward to more of yesterday night.

16 June 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Banana Cake

It has been quite awhile since I last baked. With Shern birthday party preparation and all, I was quite busy for the past few weeks. This week, my hands were itching to bake and guess what? I baked twice this week.

First Bake of The Week is Chocolate Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache Frosting. (I'll blog about my second bake later.)

Chocolate. Bananas. My favourites.
This is another recipe from Joy Of Baking which calls for two of my favourite ingredients.

Chocolate Banana Cake is a snap to put together. I like this recipe because it is simple and easy. No mixer needed. Just a bowl for the dry ingredients and another for the wet ingredients.
This recipe also do not call for butter, only corn oil which yields a soft, moist and tender crumb.

A piece of the Chocolate Banana Cake I baked - 9 June 2010

This recipe is strictly for chocolate lovers as the Chocolate Ganache frosting makes the cake very chocolate-y rich. I love it.

However, the recipe says one cup of mashed bananas. I find it too little as the rich chocolate kind of overpowered the banana tastes in the cake. I will definitely throw in another cup of mashed bananas the next time I bake this again.

Everyone loved this cake so much that my cousins who came over to stay for this 2 weeks school holidays asked me for the recipe.

Recipe: Chocolate Banana Cake (from joyofbaking)

Chocolate Banana Cake:

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas)
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) corn, safflower or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon (14 gram) unsalted butter

Chocolate Banana Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. You will notice that the batter is quite thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, frost with the Ganache.

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel, or heatproof bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. When Ganache has completely cooled, beat until soft and fluffy. Then spread the frosting on top of the cake. Can garnish with dried banana chips.

Serves 16 people.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns

pic source:

I watched the movie 'The Kite Runner' about 2 years ago. Even though it was a highly aclaimed movie, I found it boring because the show was so sloooooow. I nearly fell asleep just waiting the movie to end so that I would know the ending. It was that draggy!
So, I did not read the book.

But when I saw A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, another international bestseller of his on sale, I decided to give it a try since I did not watch any boring movie of this title! :P
And I was not disappointed. I am satisfied. Actually, more than satisfied with it.

It took me only 3 days to finish the book. This is really an achievement because usually it would take me weeks to finish a book nowadays!

I find the story straightforward, the writing beautiful in its simplicity and it certainly draws the reader (me!) into the lives of its characters.
The book focuses on mothers and daughters and friendships between women. This book starts off slowly and gains speed and emotional power as it slowly unfolds.

It talks about life in Afghanistan, the violent life of the characters, ending in deaths in the hands of the Taliban. It makes me realized how lucky I am to be born in Malaysia!
It talks about love, family, society, home, acceptance and hope. I find the novel so rich and dense and emotional that I could not put it down. That was why I finished the books in just 3 days!

I think it is a must-read for those who wants to know more of the lives of women in Afghanistan.
See if you feel as lucky as me to be born in Malaysia!

p/s-I think I am changing my mind and The Kite Runner is on my to-read-list!

Rating: 7/10


Parathas For Brunch

I bought frozen wholemeal parathas from Cold Storage quite awhile back. Only today, I took it out and made brunch for hubby & I.

Black pepper coctail sausages. Sauteed carrot strips & onions. Cheese. Julienned Japanese cucumber. Cherry tomatoes. Fresh lettuce.
Wrapped them all up and secured with toothpicks.

Voila....brunch is served!
This is what I managed to whip out.

They are very easy to make. Just panfry the sausages, onions and carrots. Then panfry the frozen parathas for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Assemble it with all the ingredients. That's all. Easy-peasy.
I actually made 4 of these. 2 for each. They are really very filling. 1 each should have been enough.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Breastfeeding - Part 5 (12th Month - 1 Year)

Yay! I have surpassed my goal of exclusively breastfeeding Shern for 1 year!

Shern has been drinking mummy's milk for the first year of his life.
And of course he has also been munching on porridge, breads, cakes, biscuits and practically everything we eat as long as they are not too sweet or salty.

I'm so glad I managed to come this far. It is all thanks to my sheer determination to breastfeed (I am a mum who has to work very hard to breastfeed), thanks to my Avent Manual Breastpump and ultimately thanks to Shern who doesn't bite my nipples! *touch wood

Due to my dwindling milk supply as mentioned in my previous post, the bottles of breastmilk in my freezer are now down to less than 50 bottles.

8 June 2010

This is because I express only 1-2 bottles during the day but Shern drinks 2-3 bottles during the day. My freezer supply is going to dry up real soon.

Now that Shern is so aware of his surrounding, he is smart enough to know that his milk is hidden underneath mummy's clothes. Sometimes when I lift my top up, he smiles cheekily and crawls towards me and open his mouth agape! haha

Thankfully, he drinks from the bottle too. This gives me the freedom to go out and sometimes to leave Shern overnight to mum & ah-yee.

Many people are shocked when they know that I am still breastfeeding Shern. They are afraid that Shern does not have enough nutrition because breastmilk are diluted. Little do they know that breastmilk is the most nutritious milk for a baby!

Some were horrified because Shern is a boy and they commented that it is not nice for boys to suckle on mummy's breast.
Hey, Shern is still a baby. And babies usually have no distinctive memories of what they do until they are about 3 years old.

Anyway, I find breastfeeding the most natural thing in the world. And I like the bonding I share with Shern.

Usually Shern is a monster at home. But whenever Shern suckles, he calms down immediately and looks like the most angelic baby.
You can never see him this kuai except for the few minutes when he suckles my breast!

Click here to follow Shern's Breastfeeding Journey:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shern's 1st Birthday Party!!!

What was supposed to be a mini birthday party became a erm...rather overcrowded party.
Well, we have a big family. With just a few friends, the rest are all family members and relatives.
And we ended up with 40 over people cramming into our little apartment!

What's a birthday without some colourful party deco, right?

wall deco that says 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY YIU-SHERN'

Simple deco which hangs on the front door to let guests know that 'yeap...u reached the correct place!'

I made party packs for kids with their name tags on it. In front of the packs are treats for kids - gummy sweets, M&Ms, Rocky sticks and Hello Panda biscuts in glass bottles.

Above the party packs hangs a photo frames cum key hanger that has Shern's photos!

This is what the whole thing looks like! I hope the kids are happy with their party packs.

And to mark the occasion according to chinese custom, red eggs are a must!

And then there are food of course! Lots and lots of food!

The whole place looks quite festive even with the simple party decorations. And with children's music playing on our mini home theatre looks like a cheerful kid's party indeed!

The kids seem to have a good time! Each playing with their own toys.

Jaden, Shern & Jamie playing with toys...

The birthday boy was especially happy that night!
I think he looks gorgeous with his birthday party hat on! Hehe

OK, family photo first - just the 3 of us.

Joining in are my sis, MIL, ah-yee, cousins...

More people joining in...

Everyone joining in...except for those who were late! ;P

Shern holding on to one of his present and grinning away!

Shern got his first ever bike from Chao-chao who put her hands around his neck and posed for the camera.

The party ended at around 9.30pm with Shern and waving bye-bye to guests.

So what happened next?
Opening presents time!!!!!! Look at all the presents Shern received that night. And not to forget some angpows too!

Shern busy playing with all his presents...

He received a new Vtech bike, a Mega Block truck, a ball, sippy cup, a radio, many clothes and so on.....
I think the party was a huge success and Shern's happy face says it all!!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Shern's VROOM VROOM 1st B'day Cake

I wanted to bake a cake for Shern initially. Then I changed my mind when I think of the stress of 'what if my cake turned out inedible?'. Also, I do not own a big baking tray and of course my oven is not big enough.
But still, I wanted to do something special. I wanted a cake I can remember.

Then I recalled I saw on Leonny's blog how she bought a cake but decorated her 3yo son's b'day cake themselves. Yes...I decided I wanted to do this too.

So, I bought a 2kg lychee flan cake from Ritz and asked them to leave the top part of the cake plain (with just the swirls on it) and told them I will decorate it myself.

Also chose the car/truck theme because Shern loves cars. Erm...actually, he loves the wheels of the cars.

So, Min & I got to work.

Crushed oreos for the muddy road.
Peanuts M&Ms for the sides of the road.
Mini M&Ms to spell S H E R N.
Added in a Happy Birthday tag and a '1' candle.

And not to forget the Chuck & Friends fleet:
Rowdy the Garbage Truck.
Handy the Tow Truck.
Boomer the Fire Truck.




An awesome one-of-a-kind 1st Birthday Cake for Yiu-Shern!

p/s-will be updating Shern's B'day party soon!

Friday, June 4, 2010

3 Bookworms with 4 Bookshelves

Shern he loves reading. Or at least, he loves the books I read to him. At the moment, he is loving 'Goodnight Moon', 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', 'Where's Spot?', 'The Wheels On The Bus', 'The Little Engine That Could' and many others. He is indeed a little bookworm in our home.

And although he is only almost a year old, he has a small 3-tier bookshelf for his books. Some of the books belong to me. Me & my sis used to read them when we were young. Shern is currently only reading the 2nd-tier books. The rest are still much too difficult for him.

Shern's Bookshelf

Needless to say, his mum (me!) is a bookworm too. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books, or maybe I should say even a thousand.

I've read almost all of Enid Blyton's books when I was young - and that is almost 500 of them I think. All the Faraway Tree series, the school series; St. Claire's, Naughtiest Girl in the School, Malory Towers, and the Mysteries such as Find Find Outers & Dog, Famous Five, Secret Seven, and even those short stories such as 5 o'clock Tales, The Strange Umbrella, etc. Oohh...I used to love Enid Blyton.

And as I grew older, I started to read romance and teenage books such as Sweet Valley series, Sweet Dreams. Now I am reading thrillers and general fiction - Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steel, Colleen McCullough, Jeffrey Archer and even Harry Potter.
I don't quite fancy non-fiction, only a few such as Malcom Gladwell's Blink, Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. And are Mitch Albom's books non-fiction? I love those.

So I have this 4-tier medium-sized bookshelf in the room dedicated for my books alone. It is getting pretty cramped though - it looks like I can go for bookshelf hunting the next time I go to Ikea.

My Bookshelf

And the biggest bookworm of all is hubby.
It is really ironic because he is someone who doesn't read AT ALL when he was young. He has not heard of Enid Blyton or Hardy Boys or Christopher Pike when he was young. And all of a sudden, he reads so much he scares me sometimes.

And the only place he wants to be when we go to Gurney Plaza is to bookstores - MPH & Popular. It drives me mad at times.
I mean, I get the right to pout when he brought along Annual Reports to our honeymoon, right?

But he only reads non-fiction. Mainly investment related books. I think ALL are investment-related books except for some motivation and sales books here and there.

And he gets 2 bookshelves. 2 BIG bookshelves.
One is the 6-tier Billy bookshelves which stands tall in his study room.

Hubby's Billy Bookshelf

The other one is the built-in wall-to-wall bookshelf on the other side of his study room. is that big - wall-to-wall from top to bottom.

Hubby's wall-to-wall bookshelf

But I guess it's fair, coz hubby pays for everything. He pays for ALL the bookshelves, and ALL of the books! So I guess that's the reason he gets 2 BIG bookshelves for himself! *jealous*