Friday, October 29, 2010

Shern @16 mths - As a mum, I am STILL learning...

Quite recently, one of my friends asks me if my child is behaving normally, after seeing Shern for like a few hours.
I don't blame her. I mean, what she sees might be appalling to her since she has no kids of her own yet and I assume that she is seldom surrounded by 16-month-old toddlers.
And what's more...another mutual friend of ours who also has a kid of almost the same age was seen behaving much more well behaved than my erratic, super active son!

Surprisingly, I did not fly into a temper. I patiently explained to her that Shern is indeed behaving very normal like any other 16-months-old.

16-months-old believes that the world revolved around them. And when they are sad, they often use emotional outbursts to clear out the best feelings. And to keep myself sane, I need to remember that my son's lack of self-control is normal and he will eventually learn what is socially acceptable with my guidance. I need to be calm in order to calm him down.
Imagine me crying out in despair or screaming my lungs out at him - which means both my son and I will be having a yell match and life will be chaotic all the time.

I already learn to accept that my son is one of those super active, cannot-sit-still toddlers. It won't work to just simply shove him a brochure or a plastic coaster, hoping that it will distract him for some 10 minutes while I have my coffee chat with a friend. Dream on.....
Shern is not so easily pacified and he needs all the attention he can get unless he has his favourite toy cars to play with.

Toddlers live large. They love large, they play all out and they have big, passionate feelings. So even though they throw their toys and play rough and throw tantrums, it melts my heart whenever they show their love for me. Shern will tilt his head to one side and 'sayang' me and he will open his arms and throw himself unto me, giving me a big bear hug. These are the small little things that makes it all worthwhile to be his mum.

One thing, Shern has such natural smiles. Wide with happiness, showing whatever teeth he has proudly!

27 September 2010

I am still learning how to be a mum to Shern. Each individual child is different. Each of them are special in their own ways. I am still coping and learning to be a good mum to Shern...

I am STILL far.... :)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Ashley Khoo!

Birthday Cake - 23 October 2010

After attending Andrew & Ai-Leen's wedding dinner last Sat, we went over to Justin & SS's place to celebrate Ashley's 1st Birthday!

I so loved the cake! Although I'm not much of a Winnie The Pooh fan, I must admit that the cake looks so gorgeously yummy! Too nice to be eaten!

There was still a lot of food left when we arrived at around 10.30pm. Amazingly, all the guests were still there!

The spread

And don't you think the Birthday Princess looks so cute?

The Birthday Princess

The Papa & Mama didn't look too bad either!

Happy Family

There were 3 young kids there. Ashley, Aiden and Shern. I wonder if these 2 boys were eyeing the toy car or Ashley? Hehe

Me, being the super mum continued to entertain Shern whenever he made a fuss. Shern was fascinated with the party pack that he received that night and was overjoyed when he saw a toy car in it!

Shern was also being a super baby that night. We left their place at around 12 midnight and Shern was still wide awake then, not even rubbing his eyes once.
But the moment we reached home, he was so tired that I did not even bathe him which I intended to. I only managed to change him into his PJs and he was already whining there wanting to sleep!

Ahh....what a long day!

Photos courtesy of Justin Khoo.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3 Years Down The Road

Today is one of those anniversary day. We have too many anniversary dates to remember.
The day we first kissed. The day we started dating. Our ROM day when we were legally husband and wife. The day we had our wedding dinner reception. Wow...
Since all these dates are important to me (yes, they ARE important!), I remember all of them and I forced hubby to remember all of them. Teehee.

Exactly 3 years ago, in 2007 we walked in hand-in-hand in front of 400 guests at Paradise Sandy Beach Resort.
And one year after that, 2008 , we went to Tanjung Rhu Resort to celebrate our first anniversary while I was 8 weeks pregnant!

The following year in 2009 we just stayed at home because Shern then came into our lives and life was pretty hectic then. Shern was just a 21-week old baby!

Today, 27 October 2010, I see with my own eyes how 2 individual becomes an a couple and now we are blessed with our son Yiu-Shern. Life has indeed been good to me.

We just had a mini celebration today. Nothing special. Just an outing with just the 3 of us. Went to Sakae Sushi for some sushi and took Shern to Toys 'R' Us for him to run around for awhile. Then we went over to 1-stop to purchase a Thomas DVD (the one I bought him earlier was spoiled).
That was about all. No special dinner. No flowers. No presents. Just the 3 of us having an afternoon together. But we enjoyed it. It was fun doing nothing! ;)

Life has indeed taught me that when it comes to family, love cannot be divided, only multiplied!
I love you hubby. I love you Shern!

27 October 2010

Happy 3rd Wedding Anniversary Hubby!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wheeling In Glee!

You know Shern likes to lie down on the floor, facing sideways with one cheek on the floor, and wheel his toy cars, so that he can see the wheels go round and round. Like this.

So when we eat out, we always bring some toy cars for him to keep him occupied.
And when he does play with them, he still likes to do that. But the problem is that he is not on the floor but on the highchair.

He still lean his head over to one side, but with MY hands supporting his head and he gets to wheel his toy cars in glee!

24 October 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble

25 October 2010 - Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble

I have not been baking for baking for about 10 days now. The last I baked was Donut Muffins which turned out to be more like cupcakes because I got greedy and slabbed way more chocolate on top of them just because I love chocolates.
I did not blog about them because it was a failure. Or maybe I should. Well, another post then.

Anyway, back to today's baking - Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble.
I have 3 big ripe pears in the fridge and I have been eyeing this recipe for quite some time. So today I finally made this, which is one of my ideal comfort food.

This recipe takes chunks of sweet pears, tart and chewy cranberries and crisp and crunchy apples and tops them with a streusal-like mixture made with flour, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, oats, nuts and butter.

l: ingredients to make the topping
r: the lumps of toppings

l: chunks of pears and apples and cranberries tossed with a few tbsp of corn flour and brown sugar
r: all ready to be baked

This combination of ingredient that made up the streusal is our favourite part of the crumble. The crispy texture is so nice contrasted with the warm fruits beneath and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

All nice and brown and warm from the oven

I finished baking at around 5.30pm and by 8.30pm, the whole dish was gone!
It is really good and Min requested me to bake this recipe again! (I seldom bake the same thing more than once)

Topped with Vanilla Ice Cream

Recipe: Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble (copied directly from Joy Of Baking)

Crumble Topping

3/4 cup (95 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (155 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (70 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


2-3 tablespoons (30 - 45 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) Granny Smith Apples or other firm, tart-tasting apple - peeled, cored, and sliced into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) ripe Bartlett or Anjou Pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries (can use fresh cranberries that have been rinsed, drained, and picked over)

Cranberry Pear and Apple Crumble: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, a 2 1/2 quart (2.75 liter) casserole or oval gratin dish, or a 10 inch (25 cm) deep dish pie plate.

For Crumble Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats, nuts, and butter) in a food processor and process just until the mixture has clumps the size of peas. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips.)

For Filling: In a large bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch (corn flour). Peel, core, and slice the apples and pears and toss them, along with the cranberries, in the sugar mixture. Once thoroughly combined transfer to the prepared baking dish. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Congrats to the Double A's - Andrew & Ai-Leen

Attended Andrew & Ai-Leen's big night yesterday 23 Oct 2010 @ Gurney Hotel.
Their wedding was spectacular - nice deco, lovely flowers, special handmade favours, great band as well.

Lovely choice of bridesmaids and flower girls line-up. All marched in with lovely smiles on their faces.

And what I like most is that macho Andrew actually carried the bride in during the grand entrance! Isn't it one-of-a-kind!

Andrew carrying Ai-Leen during the grand entrance

The handsome couple of the day

A photo of us girls that night! Let's see who is missing. Erm..Siean Huey & Becky is not here. Who else?

top fr l to r: Maria, Leonie, me & Shern, Elly, Moi Yin, Diana & Sue Sze
bottom fr l to r: Shereen, Ying Ying & Rayney

It was also Shern's first time attending wedding dinner. Come to think of it, it is also my first time attending wedding dinner this year.

Shern being carried by daddy

The 3 of us

Shern was being himself at all times - meaning, naughty and cannot sit still. He sat in his high chair for the first 15 minutes because I brought out his favourite toy cars for him to play. I also gave him some biscuits to munch on while waiting for the food to be served.

After that, he decided that it was boring sitting up there and he wanted to stretch his legs. So in the end, Peter & I took turn entertaining him. Haha.
But he was not being too bad. He did not throw a tantrum or make a big fuss. He was just simply being him - the cannot-sit-still, active little toddler!

We left at around 10pm because we were rushing to attend another friend's daughter's B'day party. (More about it later)

Photo souce: Nathalie's & Elly's facebook

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Shern and the TV

At 6 months old, I blogged about Shern being a TV Addict.
Now at 16 months, Shern is still a TV Addict. A cleverer one in fact.

He loves watching cartoons or any shows with lively songs such as Barney or Nursery Rhymes DVDs. And he even loves Thomas the Tank Engine DVD (which we found boring with just the narrator telling the story!).

The other day, Min & I wanted to re-watch Lion King (which we had watched 100 times or more) and Shern actually sat down and watched it with us for quite some time.

He climbed up the sofa in mum's house and settled comfortably watching Lion King.

16 October 2010

Look at my baby watching the cartoon so intently - so focused on the TV screen. He was excited when he saw the animals in there - birds, monkeys, elephants and lions.

Although I've read that toddlers below 2 years old are not encouraged to watch TV, I did not adhere strictly on this. As long as Shern don't sit in front of the TV 24 hours a day, I am fine with it.

An hour or so of TV a day can do Shern no harm. After all, he will not sit and watch for an hour straight. After a few 10 minutes or so, he will just climb down the sofa and play with his toys. And when he hears music coming from the TV, he would turn and watch and dance with the music occasionally. When dialog time, he would turn away again and continue playing with his toys.

And I find sometimes these cartoons are educational too. Shern learns about animals from The Lion King.
Shern learns how to follow their actions of clapping hands, stamping feet and etc from the Nursery Rhymes DVD.
As for Barney's DVD, he learns a lot too. So not that bad letting Shern watch the appropriate show material!

And I certainly can't deny that switching on the TV for him makes him quiet and manageable for a period of time! Hehe

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: The Longest Trip Home

Josh Grogan connected to a million readers with his debut bestseller Marley & Me. From there, Josh Grogan connected to me too through that book.

I myself was a little surprised that I loved reading Marley & Me. I am after all not a very dog-loving person. Well, not to say I dislike dogs. At best, I would say I like dogs, but I don't love them. I like playing with them. But I can't see myself owning a dog.
But I loved reading that book.

So when I saw this hardcover book The Longest Trip Home in Leo Bookstore selling at a bargain at only RM25.90, I grabbed it. And this book has served me well, brought me to tears or joy and laughter while reading it.

Like it's first book, The Longest Trip Home is also a memoir. It talks about his childhood spanning to adulthood. But this time, the connection thread is about his family's strong Catholicism faith.

Each story and chapter gives a setup, a buildup, a payoff and a punch line. Each cautionary tale describes how making a mistake taught Mr. Grogan a valuable lesson. And most of his lessons revolved around faith, loyalty, forgiveness and family values.

While reading all the stories of his life, I felt very connected to him. Mr. Grogan brought me into his story and I could really feel all his triumphs and his sadness. I smiled when he achieved victories and felt his sense of loss when he ran into troubles.

However, the book is still a light read which makes it a good bedtime read. While being a light read, I felt that I learn invaluable lessons from it.

I love this book way more than Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie.

All in all I rate this book 8/10. A definite must read.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Still Into Cars and Wheels

17 October 2010

Brought Shern to Gurney Plaza last Sunday and we passed the kiddie rides area at the 3rd floor. Needless to say, Shern was pointing at the rides excitedly.
As usual, he pointed to the car ride - a taxi in fact. The only one with the steering wheel which he enjoyed turning it round and round and round.

This time though, he seemed to be more aware and as watching in fascination some rides which were moving (the parents slotted money inside of course!).
I think it won't be long 'til he understands what's going on! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Standing A Foot Away from Raymond Lam Fung

I considered myself not a serious celebrity fan. I don't go to their concerts. I don't buy their posters or CDs, etc. Well, all that was yesterday. Because today, I went all the way to QBM and braved the crowd to catch a glimpse of Raymond Lam Fung at his Alicafe Promo! Aishehh...first time I did this kind of thing!

me and Cardboard Ray having a cuppa

In order to get a chance to get his autograph, I bought 2 packets of Alicafe Coffee which cost less than RM20. And thank goodness, I got a white ball in the lucky draw which means I won myself a voucher to go up on stage to receive his autograph.

My voucher to receive his autograph

Since I already had the voucher, I decided to be there bright and early to queue up. Raymond Lam's appearance was at 8pm and I was queuing there since 5.35pm. Shit...I was standing there for 3 freaking hours while watching the crowd grew. There were like a few thousand fans there.

Hubby who was not as crazy as me to queue there since 5.30pm went to Borders first and promised to return at 7.30pm so that he could help me take a photo when I go on stage to get his autograph. Needless to say, by the time he came, there were so many people that he could not reach me!

The crowds

He appeared at around 8.15pm. Gosh...he looks way more handsome in person. My photos were all blur, thanks to my point-and-shoot cam but I managed to take a short 8 secs video of him when he first appeared before me.

But standing there 3 hours, with my legs so tired was worth it because I was FIRST IN LINE queuing for his autograph. Haha. Yea....FIRST IN LINE just like one the die-hard fans! But in the end, there were 2 people in front of me who came out of nowhere! Isshhhh

So what did I get?
I got to stand just ONE FOOT AWAY from Raymond Lam and HE NODDED HIS HEAD AND SAID 'THANK YOU' TO ME!
Hahahaha. That made it all worthwhile. I totally forgot that my legs were tired and that I was actually holding my pee. :P

And of course I got this limited edition Alicafe recycled bag signed by him on the spot.

Well, straight after receiving the autograph, I walked away and went to pee......:)

p/s - Btw, there were many aunties there also. All the aunties also his fans. Some VIP summore. I was glad I was not the oldest there! hehe

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

4 Books Borrowed

We brought Shern back to the Children's Library again this afternoon. And of course he played in the i-Play Toy Library.

This time we let him play there for almost 2 hours. From 3-5pm. He enjoyed himself so much there. There were not many kids there at this kinda hours. Only about 3-4 who came and went.
There was this boy around 4 years old who gave a toy car for Shern to play and Shern was then found following him everywhere. Hehe.

While Shern was playing there under the watchful eye of hubby's, I went upstairs to borrow some books for Shern.
There were quite a few good books which caught my eye - though you need to rummage through the shelves properly.

In the end, I just picked these 4 books:

1. A book about Cars and Trucks.
2. Wings on Things from the Dr. Seuss Bright and Early Reader series.
3. Little Miss Muffet and other Nursery Rhymes from the Lucy Cousins series.
4. Humpty Dumpty and other Nursery Rhymes from the Lucy Cousins series.

1. A book about Cars and Trucks.
The first book about cars and trucks fascinates Shern the most. In fact, Shern was holding the book tight and would not pass it to the librarian for processing. In the end, I carried Shern up together with the book and asked Shern to put it across the scanner.
He then refused to let the librarian take the book from him to stamp the return date. In the end, the book ended up not being stamped. Haha.

This book tells you about the different cars, bicycles, trucks and buses and lorries and ambulance, etc. I had a good time showing Shern all these different vehicles.

2. Wings on Things from the Dr. Seuss Bright and Early Reader series.
Shern loves all things that can fly. When you ask him where is the bird or the butterfly, he will start flapping his hands as wings.
So he is certainly happy when he sees pictures of birds, and planes and kites and his favourite butterflies.

3. Little Miss Muffet and other Nursery Rhymes from the Lucy Cousins series.
4. Humpty Dumpty and other Nursery Rhymes from the Lucy Cousins series.

These 2 books are all about nursery rhymes with very colourful illustrations.
And don't need me to tell you, Shern's face lighted up when he saw the ladybug picture. He kept on flapping his hands to let me know it can fly!

All these 4 books need to be returned to the libarry in 2 weeks' time. For every kid, you can borrow 4 books and 1 magazine on every visit.

Next time I am there, I'm eyeing the Barney book and one of Eric Carle's book I saw. Hopefully it is still there!

p.s - Pls see the previous What A Great Place post for the Children's Library address and tel.