Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yiu-Shern - 21 Months

20 March 2011 @ 21 Month

There is actually not much obvious development in just a month. The most obvious being that Shern is improving on his speech. He can speak more words by the day.
And to hear him sing Justin Bieber's 'Baby Baby Baby Oh' is really awesome. That is the most words he can manage for now - Baby Baby Oh - 3 words in a row.

Playing Using His Hands
Nowadays, I find that he is interested in playing toys which requires handling of his hands, such as stacking. But he is not so interested in stacking his blocks. He is more interested in stacking other stuff, household stuff he could get hands on like empty tins, etc.

And he is also more interested in playing with the wooden loop-y toy (see photo above) I bought for him more than a year ago. This is an educational toy which helps him on hand and eye coordination and creativity. Although he played with this since a year ago, Shern now has more steady hands and is able to loop the beads through the loops really well now.

One thing though, he is now very very addicted to his pacifier. He used to only suck it when he wants to sleep, but in recent months, he asks for his pacifier even when he is awake. This is bad because he tends to salivate more when it is in his mouth. And he is also into biting it often. And Avent Pacifiers don't come cheap. So now I buy him cheap pacifiers. I'm thinking of weaning him off pacifiers soon.

Little Imitator
Shern learns things very fast. And he is now coming to an age where he tries to imitate us in everything we do.
Like I was using my teeth to bite the paper I was holding as I was tying my hair with both hands, Shern immediately took the paper from my mouth and he put it into his mouth. I was like..'Oops'.
And there was once where I used my foot to move his toy car aside so that people couldn't trip over it, Shern then followed me and used his foot to move his car too. Another 'Oops'.

Visit to the Paediatrician
This time we brought him to the paed for two reasons. One, is for his 2nd JE jab. Two, is because of his flu. He has been having a prolonged case of flu about a month ago after we came back from Phuket. Only two weeks after he was well, he came down wit the flu again.

Dr. Chiah said it must be a different virus. Anyhow, I feel that I am becoming more of a home-paed myself for Shern as I now know all the names of the common medicine like Piriton, Polaramine, Paracetamol, Mucosolvan, etc. :)

Shern's growth measurement:
Age - 21 month @ 25 March 2011
Weight - 11.0 kg

This visit shows no weight gain from last month. It is considered a very good weight with his flu and all. And we did not measure his height that day. Next month, we will do so.

Taking Shern to visit the paed is very pleasant now. He is happy when I tell him 'we go see doctor' and he would say 'aiii...' Shern likes to play with the toys on Dr. Chiah's table. And he does not make a fuss when doc uses his stethoscope on him, and even opens his mouth for doctor to see his throat.
And the visit always ends with Shern saying 'bye' to Dr. Chiah, waving his hands and giving him a flying kiss!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shern and His Flash Cards

Shern knows many words by now. Just that he can't say them YET as he is a slow talker. I'm always amazed by how much he knows though.

There is this stack of Flash Cards which I bought from Leo Bookstore for just a mere RM3. There are about 20 cards in that stack and Shern knows almost ALL of them, by looking at the pictures. No, we don't use it to flash the cards in front of him. We just tell Shern what are those pictures called and hopefully he will learn the words of them eventually. *wishful thinking*

Usually we just put out a few cards, like 4 or 5 cards, for him so that he could locate the correct card easily. And then we asked him 'where is the house', and he would point to the card. Then we would ask him 'where is the ice-cream' and so on. After he finished those 5 cards, we then took out another 5 cards, etc.

Last night however, we lay out all the cards in front of him, and asked him to point out the correct cards for us. We know it is more difficult because he would need to search for the card because there are 20 of them. But it was so much fun.

Look at the video we took of him. Taken last night in the room just before bedtime.

Ain't he a clever boy? For me, is really not bad for a 21-month old! *beams proudly*

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Me In My Twenties

I suddenly realized that I'd just celebrated my 29th birthday in January. Which means that this is the last year that I will be in my twenties. Then I went through my photos and saw how much I have changed since I was twenty (physical outlook).

So here they are. Since I was 20 years old 'til now......

2002 - This is me when I was 20. What a haircut.
Taken during Wen's b'day at mum's place.

2003 - 21 years old. I cropped my hair short. First taste of freedom when I went to Melbourne for studies.
This was taken just before I flew at Emah's house.

2004 - 22 years old. Just joined the work force.
At Coffee Beans with Pat, Lay Ming n FonLeang if I remember correctly.

2005 - 23 years old. Egg-head hairstyle - centre parting. Went to Cameron Highlands with my then bf/now hubby Peter.

2006 - 24 years old. Had our ROM and became Mrs. Lim legally. Shit, I married so young.
At the Penang Botanical Gardens.

2007 - 25 years old and had our Wedding Dinner Reception.
Taken at our first home at Coastal Towers.

2008 - 26 years old and this is the year I got pregnant and quit my job.
At Cameron Highlands again.

2009 - 27 years old. Became a mummy.
Taken 6 months after giving birth to Shern at IDT Line Dance Xmas Party.

2010 - 28 year old.
At Haagen-Dazs during my birthday.

2011 - 29 years old. My last year at being in my twenties.
Recently taken a month ago at Red Rock Hotel with my best friend, Bee Shin.

There. 10 years of me. So what did you all noticed? From a gawky, super-thin, innocent girl to a fleshy me.
So many people I have not met for quite some time came up to me and said, 'Hey, you gain more flesh now!'
Just one thing to clarify (again!). It is NOT pregnancy or Shern that makes me fat. It's my own doing. I eat too much of my own baking! :P

Another thing which remains the same. I am still a noob in makeup. Listen up, I am 29 years old and I don't own a make-up set. No mascara, no blusher, no eye colour. I only own a lipstick and a lip gloss. Hahaha. Serious...I think I need someone to help me with this. Gotta learn this before I hit 30 right?

Anyway, I'm going to enjoy my last year being a twenty-something!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beautiful Photos of Beautiful People

Before our Phuket trip, Win Win helped us to take some family shots.
What was supposed to be an hour shoot dragged to two hours, thanks to Shern. And what's more, 70% of the photos are all of Shern. Haha.

This is the family photo I posted on my blog before we went to Phuket. I like this photo. Everyone seems so relaxed and happy.

Next, I love this photo below. 4 cheesy faces of 4 beautiful girls. Haha.

Also love below photo of us 3 sisters. Rare. Please don't remind me I'm the prettiest. :P

Another pair of sisters, the older ones. :)

A couple shot of hubby & me.

Of daddy and mummy.

And then comes the big boss Shern. It was difficult to get him to look at the photographer. He just wouldn't look. He just couldn't be bothered. But I must say that Win Win did a great job.

You can see from the photo below that Shern is the super star here. Hubby & me are just 'props' behind the scene. :P

A shot of him playing with his favourite toys - cars. Boys will be boys.

Love these 2 expressions captures.

The big boss taking us for a walk. He showed the way. We just followed.

A moment with Pho-pho and Kong-kong.

Kong-kong doting on his grandson. Shern was happy to bring Kong-kong round the whole garden.

Finally, a photo of the 3 of us, with a smiling Shern.

This beautiful garden is our apartment garden. Lovely place, huh?
There are many more beautiful photos. The ones here are my favourites. Thanks so much Win Win.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Reluctant Justin Bieber

Actually I recorded a very nice and cooperative Shern singing Justin Bieber's Baby song using my iPhone. But somehow that video came out mute. I couldn't hear him singing when I playback that video clip. Arrghhh.... (another iPhone 4 bug?)

So no choice. I tried recording Shern again singing the song. But he was not so cooperative. He was reluctant to sing it nicely like the previous time. But, I still feel like posting the videos here. Haha.

Anyway, for Shern to say a three words is rare, so I really treasure him saying 'Baby Baby (Baby) Oh'....

And Shern was still a very reluctant Justin Bieber even after I bribed him with Vitagen. Haha.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Does Having Shern In My Life Means

It means that.....

.....I get saliva all over me when Shern sleeps on my chest.
.....I get mucus/puke all over me when Shern is sick.
.....I get poop all over my hands when I wipe Shern's bum whenever he poos.
.....the photos I take are all of Shern's. My photo albums are full of his photos.
.....I need to carry an ugly diaper bag whenever we go out.
.....I can't buy high-heeled, narrow stilettos because it's difficult to walk when I carry Shern.
.....I can't buy low cut sexy dress because it tends to get pulled down/exposed when I carry Shern.
.....I never get to eat in peace because Shern always eat from my plate.
.....half of my night is spent sleeping next to Shern on the mattress because he fusses in the middle of the night.
.....I have got a baby magnet stuck to me whenever I get home - 24/7.

12 Feb 2011

So tell me, tell me, why do I still love you so much?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Sense of Achievement

Shern is into stacking these days. He likes stacking his blocks (but I think he likes to watch them tumble down more!). And he tries to stack everything that can be stacked.

Like these love letters containers.

14 March 2011

Look how happy he was...clapping his hands with a big smile on his face when they did not tumble?

But I really like the short clip of him trying to stack them up. And after a few tries, when he succeeded, he was so happy. I guess he was feeling a sense of achievement!

Saw how happy he was at the end of the video clip....how he clapped his hands in glee? Haha!

The Playground

There is nice playground nearby our place that we sometimes bring Shern to. The field there is big but it was not for running because as soon as Shern sees the slide, he heads towards it!

First he climbs up the steps. He usually stops and paused over it several times to point out to you the cars and flowers on the steps.

Then as he reaches the first platform, he will twirl the giant tic-tac-toe. Of course he knows nothing of the tic-tac-toe game. He just has fun spinning it round and round.

Then he climbs up to the second platform for a swoosh down the slide. Shern is brave enough to swoosh down all by himself. Sometimes I have a near-heart attack seeing him. Haha.

And boy, it's not a very small slide either. Kinda big and long for a small toddler. But he likes it.

Next, he explores the tunnel adjoining the second platform.
He loves the tunnel and always picks up the tiny twigs or bits of paper he sometimes finds inside the tunnel for me. Haha.

2 March 2011

He loves the playground. Too bad it always starts to rain in the evening. So no playground time for now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Putting On A Brave Face

Sometimes i forget that this blog is my sanctuary, my personal space. I use this blog to document all my happy moments that i tend to forget that it is also a place where i can vent my unhappiness.

When i feel unhappy or sad, I find it difficult to put on a brave face when I am feeling so rotten inside. But as a mummy, I need to put on a brave face and just continue with the day.

I also need to put on a brave face, with a forced smile for my family and friends, because I do not want them to ask me questions I do not wish to answer.

But really, putting on a brave face, for all is making me feel worse. All I want is to just cry out loud!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Couple Time

So what do hubby & I do during couple time?
We watch DVDs, usually TVB drama series on our box-TV after Shern is asleep at night. Sometimes we only get to watch after 11pm.

Like today, I went to the room with Shern since 10.15pm. He took his milk and then was tossing and turning around for 1 1/2 hours. By the time Shern fell asleep, it was already 11.30pm. I was about to doze off too.

So life after having kids is like this. Everything revolves around them. And to think that I always said I want to have 3 kids. My gosh!
Now I only have 1 and I am almost going crazy. Whenever I'm at home, Shern sticks to me like a magnet. He wants me to be with him ALL the time. Even when he is playing with his cars, I need to be sitting near him.

Haha, so I can't imagine how my life will be when I am a mother of three! Or maybe I should reduce to just two?

And you know what? Hubby wants to have 5 kids! *pengsan*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bonding with Shern

Shern got to bond with his two yee-yees while in Phuket. He has always love Min-yee, always going to her room to play with her.
When Wen-yee was back for holidays, Shern was so happy to see her. He had another person to play with.

In this photo, Wen, Min & I were sitting on the bed in the room of our hotel in Phuket. Then Shern came in and squeezed himself in between Wen-yee & Min-yee.

Here, Wen-yee brought Shern out for a breath of fresh air at the LCCT. Shern was delighted to see so many buses.

And surprisingly, Shern loves Uncle Ian. He loved to go peek at him in the room. Or took his hand to play with him. Here, Shern was having a conversation with Uncle Ian.

Now that both Wen-yee and Uncle Ian's back in South Africa, Shern misses them a lot. He loves it when he sees photo of them.
And every time I ask Shern,

'Wen-yee ai mai?'.....'Aii'......
'Uncle Ian ai mai?'.......'Aii'.....


Thursday, March 10, 2011

We got our U.S Visa!

Hubby & I just got back from KL yesterday midnight. The purpose for this trip was to go to the U.S Embassy in KL to apply for our U.S Visa.

We are planning to go to the States sometime middle of this year. I had this whole trip planned since August last year, trying to secure a good room rate and cheaper flight tickets.
I had done all the reservations for flights, hotels, car, and tour. The only thing left to do was to make sure our U.S Visa application are accepted.

Initially were were rather nervous (erm...actually I was the only nervous one) that our visa may get rejected. After all, I am considered unemployed and hubby is self-employed. But honesty paid off. The interviewer could see how serious and genuine we were. Hehe.

Application for the U.S Visa was a breeze. This official visa info website of U.S Embassy KL provided all the info needed on how to apply.
Most of the steps like filling up forms and scheduling an appointment is done online. Very convenient and efficient.

And this time, the whole interview process was short. 45 mins later, we left the Embassy (unlike the 2.5 hrs it took me the last time). And the best part was that we could choose for our visa/passport to be couriered to a specific address without extra charges. Means you don't have to go back to the Embassy the following day to collect them.

And the U.S Embassy gave both hubby & I multiple entries with 10-years visa. Yeah!!!

Both our U.S Visa

So am I looking forward to this U.S trip?
Erm......not really. Because it will be a 36-hours flight all the way there. And as you know, I hate flying!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Yiu-Shern - 20 Months

14 February 2011 - McD in Jungceylon, Phuket

Shern has many 'Firsts' this month. First time flying. First time going to the beach. First time going to a playground. First time saying 'mami' and 'dy'.
His experiences and exposure to new things are getting more and more.

Because of CNY and our family trip to Phuket, we had to postpone his 20th month visit to the paed.

This time around was to take his first JE jab. This is an optional jab and is only compulsary for children resident in the state of Sarawak (according to the govt list). But since his paed recommended it, we chose to take it.

Shern was being angelic during the visit. He did not fuss when doctor was using his stethoscope to listen to his lungs since Shern had a little cough. He also did not make a sound when doctor used a tongue compressor to see his throat. I was surprised. Shern was just busy playing with the toys on doctor's table.

Since shern was no more a baby, he was no more required to sit on the baby weighing scale. Shern being a big boy was asked to stand on the normal weighing scale.

Shern's growth measurement:
Age - 20 month @ 25 February 2011
Weight - 11.0 kg
Length/Height - 85 cm

Physical Strength
I noticed that Shern's hands and legs are getting stronger. He can heave himself up easily and I see him climbing up the dining chairs and sofas more often.
I also see him climbing up stairs with more ease (with my help) compared to last time.

These last two weeks we see vast improvement on his speech. Besides saying 'Mami' and 'Dadi', he can now say more words as days go by. Things like:
- wou wou (dog)
- miao miao (cat)
- mumm mumm (food)
- ann kee (cranky the crane)
- lowee (lorry)
- bai (bye)
- pho pho (pho-pho / grandma)
- yee yee (yee-yee)
- ba (bus)

This is a really big improvement on his speech. Before this, being a late-talker, he refused to say anything other than a few words. So now I am very happy.

Shern is not a big fan of formula milk. He drinks alright but he doesnt really ask for it. We have to initiate to give to him. He drinks 5-6oz in the morning when he wakes up. And another 5-6oz before he sleeps at night. In the afternoon, sometimes, he will drink another 5-6oz after his afternoon nap. But not all the time.

I tried changing other formula brands, just in case he doesn't like Anmum Essential, but it was even worse. He refused to drink them. So I'm sticking to Anmum Essential Step 3 as he still drinks them and he does not have any constipation problem.

Nowadays, we seldom cook special food for him. He just eats whatever we eat, provided that there must be at least a dish of non-spicy food that he can eat. However, he loves soup. He would finish the whole bowl of food and sometimes the rice in it is untouched.

As for snacks, he loves Sun Maid Raisins. And he loves Yakult/Vitagen.
He used to like biscuits too, but nowadays he stops fancying them.

I think he gets more and more naughty as he grows. He now throws tantrums quite often. Or he would whine the whole hour without reasons. And sometimes he throws his toys or push you away when we tried to talk to him. Scolding and beating on his hands do not seem to work. Talking to him about it does not seem to be working too.

I think I need to do something about disciplining him.

He sleeps better now, sometimes sleeping through the night without any problems. And even if he does wake up in the middle of the night, he would whimper/sob for me and if I am next to him, he would just put his head on my tummy or touched me with his hands and he would continue to sleep back.

And no, he does not wake up in the middle of the night for milk. Last feeding was 5-6oz of milk before he sleeps.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strawberry Profiteroles

Strawberry Profiteroles - 3 March 2011

I saw the photos on Kokken 69's blog and I wanted to duplicate them. They look so pretty. Then I recalled I have made profiteroles before using June's recipe. I also remembered June's choux puff pastry recipe was easy, so I decided to be lazy and just used back June's recipe rather than trying out a new recipe. Furthermore I had very little time left.

This time, the choux puff pastry gave me some problems. Somehow the pastry dough was wetter than the last time I remembered. I think the eggs used were too large size or something. But somehow they were wetter and stickier and more difficult to manage.

And when they were out from the oven, the insides were still soft and wet and I popped them back into the oven. Due to the longer oven time, they came out crispier than I would have liked them. Sigh.

But the colour was still very nice. Golden brown.

This time instead of making the corn custard, I made the cream filling, using June's recipe as well. I did not have heavy cream so I subbed it using whipping cream. I know they are different but I just tried to make do. It turned out alright after whipping them for quite awhile.

Then I took out the Korean strawberries (the only sweet strawberries I've ever tasted!) and cut them into halves to be topped on top of the cream before sandwiching them together with the choux puff pastry.
Aren't they beautiful?

Popped them into a tupperware to be brought to mum's house for them to try.

Recipe: Straberry Profiteroles with Cream Filling (copied directly from June's blog)

Pastry Ingredients:

  • 9 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Butter, Diced
  • 2/3 Cup Water
  • 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten

Pastry Method:

Preheat oven to 400F (~200 degree C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Heat (medium heat) butter and water in a pan until butter melts. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil. Remove pan from heat and immediately tip in all the flour. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until flour is mixed into the liquid.

Return pan to a low heat, then beat mixture until it leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Set pan aside and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Add beaten eggs, a little at a time, beating well after each addition until you get a smooth, shiny paste which is thick enough to hold its shape.

Spoon or pipe choux pastry into rough balls (slightly larger than a golf ball) onto baking sheet. Sprinkle baking sheet with some water. Bake pastry for about 30 minutes, until pastry are well risen (about twice the size) and golden brown. Remove from oven, and make a neat horizontal slit along the sides of each pastry to release steam. Lower oven temperature to 350F (~180 de and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

To make cream filling, see recipe below.

To assemble, enlarge original horizontal slits and cut pastry into halves. Fill cream filling. Top with strawberry halves (optional). Dust with some powdered sugar optional) before serving.

Cream Filling Ingredient:

  • 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 1/4 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tsp Powdered Sugar (**Optional)

Cream Filling Method:

With a hand mixer, whip heavy cream with icing sugar and vanilla extract until cream holds its shape. Spoon whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with 1/2 inch plain nozzle. Squeeze filling into profiteroles and stop when cream starts protruding from where the nozzle is inserted into the profiteroles. You should have more than enough whipped cream for the profiteroles.

Here are 2 optional decorations that you could do to up-sell your profiteroles even more. Once the profiteroles have been filled, dust (with a sieve) them with the powdered sugar.

Enjoy making them!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Swimming Time Again!

During Nov-Jan each year, the swimming pool water in our apartment is very cold. As in fridge cold. Why? Because the sunlight never reach our pool therefore there is no sun heat which leads to fridge cold water. And because of that, I don't bring Shern down for a swim as often as other time.

Since we came back from Phuket, the weather in Penang was especially hot and stifling. The air is still and it was the perfect time for a dip in the pool. So recently, Shern got to swim again!

This swimming robe actually belongs to Min-Yee. Yes, this robe is nearly 20 years old and still in very tip top condition.
Wearing it, Shern looks like Thai Muay Thai boxer...in pink! :P

2 March 2011

Once in the pool, Shern is a very happy toddler. In the right photo, he was pointing happily when he saw Kong Kong standing in the balcony above him.

And Shern loves the splashing of water. He is a brave boy too. Don't mind water getting into his eyes.

I just noticed that his arms floats are indeed very bright and noticeable. It seems like Shern is actually doing an advertisement for floaties! haha. But indeed they are good floats. I actually bought these secondhand from ebay.

He doesn't really need those floats in the baby pool. Since he could touch the bottom of the pool easily (the water is only up to his waist level), they aren't much use in the baby pool. But I always let him wear them so that he can get used to them and won't refuse to wear them when I sometimes bring him into the adult pool.

I like the photo below. He was leaning on the side of the pavement ready to roll his toy car.

That's him playing with his toy cars. I need to bring toy cars everywhere he goes because it is the only toy he can play with for a long period of time. He just simply roll them anywhere and he is happy.

Look at how his arm floats are getting into his way. He couldn't close him arms because two fat floats are in his way. Haha. But I insist that he must wear them so he had no choice. :)

Lovin' these two shots of him with the background trees.

Another favourite shot of mine. A different angle. My my my...I am geting to be quite a good photographer, although I am using just a point-and-shoot camera, huh? *winks*

Besides his toy cars, I brought along his stack of bowls but he just ignored them, preferring cars instead. Maybe because those bowls have got holes I guess. *shrugs*

Look how happy he is in the water? He was laughing so wide you can practically count ALL his teeth! :D

Shern is happy in the water. Mummy is happy seeing him happy. Period. :)