Friday, November 28, 2008

Moments when the World STOPS!

Besides the recent drop in fuel prices, I dread looking at the newspaper nowadays. The financial outlook for the world at large has never been gloomier. Even 1997 financial crisis (which was bad) is pale in comparison to what we are facing today. I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel yet because nothing so far has suggested that we will be out of it soon. The financial crisis in 1997 already saw many organizations struggling with retrenchment, laid off, salary cut, bankruptcy, forced unpaid leave and companies closing down. I had to lead a Crisis Management Committee to work out cost cutting measures to ensure the survival of the company and I was not a popular figure then. And that was only applicable to those countries where their currencies were under attack. The current financial meltdown involved so many other nations with US, Europe needing government financial bailout while many others seeking for IMF assistance. I dread to think of the next 12 months ahead.

However, despite all the gloom and turmoil, there are moments when the world literally stops for me. The moment when the financial turmoil and uncertainties do not mean a thing. The moment when all that matters to me is what is in front of my eyes. And that moment was when Ryan laughed and smiled without a care in the world. And at that moment, even for a brief second, I too, am without a care in the world except my child.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Maid - Setting the Expectations

Setting Expectations
We find setting the expectations right from day one goes a long way in establishing a good working relationship with our maid. We regard our maid like an employee of an organization. Hence, we treat her like how we would treat a new staff joining on the very first day.

Our expectations of her
Firstly, knowing that we are only paying RM500 a month for our maid, while employers of other countries are paying much higher wages, we must first acknowledged that we will not be getting the best of the lot. If they are good and smart, they would be heading to the Middle East, Hong Kong or Singapore. Malaysia will be the last on the list.

Our expectations from her
Secondly, on the very first day that we brought our maid home, before we even start her on her first chore, we sat our maid down and set out our expectations. We did not give a long lecture of what we want her to do. We just list down to her a brief short list of simple expectations. Important expectations like we expect to be honest and truthful, making a mistake is OK but must work to improve, smile and courteous at all times to us and to all guests, to voice out what she don’t know and don’t understand. It is also critical also to identify the key person in the house to take instructions from.

This list of expectations becomes very handy for us to continuously remind her when she slacks and useful during our periodic review of her performance.

Next, with expectations in place, how do you make sure that she knows her job scope and tasks?

The Maid, The Nanny?

My babysitter dropped a bombshell two days ago. Although she has indicated that she would be unable to take care of Ryan due to some family commitments, we have initially agreed that she will take care of Ryan till 5th Dec. By then, my mum would be here for Christmas and would be able to help me with Ryan till Chinese New Year while we decide whether to train our maid to help or to look for another babysitter. However, two days ago, the babysitter told us that she could no longer take care of Ryan with immediate effect due to some emergencies at home.

So starting yesterday, I would be his babysitter at least till my mum arrives. Taking care of him full time left me literally no time to go out for my normal breakfast, coffee, appointments or to cook. In order for me to still get some work done while handling Ryan at home, I would have to bring our maid up to speed as soon as possible. The question is always, how much do we trust our maid to take care of our babies?

I have heard horrible horrible stories about maids with kids. A couple of months back, we witnessed first hand how a maid handled her employer’s baby and it certainly did not boost our confidence in allowing our maid to handle Ryan all alone. While waiting at the paed’s lounge, there was this mum with a pair of lovely twins. While she cuddled one, the maid was handling the other. She was `showing off’ how good she was by carrying the baby on one hand, putting him over her shoulder with one hand, much to the `shock’ of the other parents (me included). She nearly knocked the head of the baby on the glass door once! And the most disgusting was, while she was carrying the baby, she was also busy rubbing her toes! (She was wearing slipper). OMG!

So, how do I ensure that my maid is not the same? How can we trained our maid and make sure that she is motivated? How do we set the expectations for her? My next post, how we set our expectations, train and motivate her. At the end of the day, she is just like any employee in any organization.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Mystery of the Giant Milk Bottle!

We were playing with the video capture of our Canon IXUS 860IS last night when Ryan was having fun with the giant milk bottle bolster. So, we decided to capture it and load it up to share that special moment. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Also pay attention to how he like to stick his tongue to tease us and then laughed cheekily.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The other side of Ryan!

Up till now, we have been posting Ryan's pictures where he was happily smiling and laughing away. Well, he has his ugly side too, just like any babies. The side that we dread most. The side when he yells his lungs out for no apparent reasons. The side that you no longer think that he is cute. The side that made you think, what on earth were you thinking when you decided to have a baby. The side that makes you realise that behind that sweet smile lays a little naughty `devil' that could turn your life upside down.

Well, here is a simple collection of some shots of the other side of Ryan. Believe me, these shots are already mild. We are really not in the mood to shoot any shots when he is at his worst!

Milestone - Ryan Attending his First Wedding Dinner

On Sunday, a very good friend who is also my wife's colleague finally got married. Her girlfriend has been `chasing' him to tie the knot for as long as we can remember. Haha. Finally, the rope tightens and there is no more escaping or running away for him.

The dinner was at IOI Marriott, Putrajaya. Ryan will be attending his first wedding dinner. We are a little apprehensive as to how he would behave and would he really be an embarrassment, like, screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs when the bride and groom comes marching in. Most of my wife's staff and colleagues will be there. Ryan is already a popular icon among these young ladies. I am sure that there will be so many `nannies' wanting to hold and cuddle him. So, we picked up a bright yellow and dark blue stripe jumper for him. Since he has been drooling like an unplug waterfall, we let him have his new Mickey Mouse bib that a friend just bought for him from Japan Disney. He looked fabulous and ready for the big night.

IOI Marriott is not the easiest hotel to find. Although I used to frequent Cyberjaya, this is my first trip to IOI Marriott. It was pouring dogs and cats by 7:30pm. It's a good thing my GPS was working despite the bad weather.

Ryan was relatively well behaved throughout the night. He was only restless when he was hungry. Anyway, his mother was so busy bringing him from one table to another and he was passed from one beautiful `nanny' to another. When his mother was busy eating or entertaining others, Ryan will be exploring the hotel lobby and foyer with his daddy. Did I get to eat much? Not really, but then again, I often don't eat very much at official dinner functions.

Throughout the night, he was so excited and curious because there were so much commotion, sound, noise and lights, not to mention, so many curious and friendly faces. He only slept for 15 minutes. Needless to say, by the time the dinner ended close to midnight, he was exhausted and fell asleep the moment he got into the car.

We were exhausted too and glad that we made it through Ryan’s first wedding dinner without much of an incident. We were all asleep by 1am. Ryan did not stir at all during the night and only woke up for his next feed at 10:30am the next morning. So did his parents…haha

Wolfberry Chicken

Last week, besides trying the chicken with basil leaves, we also tried out the wolfberry chicken dish for one of our dinners. The recipe book recommended chicken wings but we used the entire chicken instead.

Wolfberry is another Chinese herb widely regarded as nutritious and consumed by the Chinese. It is also widely used in confinement recipes. Among the benefits of wolfberries are to improve blood circulation, increase energy and vitality, improve eyesight, and provide natural resistance to colds, flu, and disease. It was even reported that Wolfberries were among the secrets behind the longevity of the Himalayan people, as well as the north-western Chinese. And the best wolfberries are reported to be those from Ningxia autonomous region of China.

For all the health reasons, you should give this dish a try. The ingredients and the preparation method are again simple and straight-forward.

5 tablespoon of wolfberries. (Quantity largely depends on how much you like the sweetness of wolfberries. Cut down on the quantity if you prefer less sweetness).
1 whole chicken (cut into small pieces)
100ml water
4 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
Dash of sugar
1 tablespoon of abalone sauce

Clean chicken and drain well
Heat the sesame oil and add in the chicken. Cooked until it changes colour
Pour in the seasoning, wolfberries and water and simmer on medium heat until the water dries up or when chicken is cooked.
Serve hot

Pureen Stock Clearance Promotion (29th & 30th Nov 2008)

The fast approaching Christmas season seems to bring out more cheer for parents and parents to be. Summit Company (M) Sdn Bhd is holding yet another warehouse clearance promotion this coming weekend. Among others, the products available are baby diapers, baby apparels, baby toiletries and baby accessories.

I have not been this sale before but I heard that it could quite packed and crowded. From comments that I have heard, there are some good buys available but be prepared for the crowd and ques. I am not one who would normally go for such sales because of the crowd, difficulties in finding a parking and the long que that I might have to endure at the payment counter.

However, if you are interested to check it out, here are the details:-

Venue : Summit Company (M) Sdn Bhd
Address : Lot 6, Jalan 19/1, 46300 Petaling Jaya (Located opposite Vitagen)
Tel : 03-7628888
Time : 10am to 6pm

PedyPak Warehouse Sale (27th Nov - 7th Dec 2008)

There is going to be a warehouse sale at KLTC Corporation Sdn Bhd on the above products advertised. I personally have not been there before. Just found out about the sale and hence, posting it here for the rest who might be interested to check it out.

The address is Lot 10797, Lebuhraya Petai, Pandamaran, 42000, Port Klang, Selangor.

Tel : 03-31650910/ / 03-31650920

Fax : 03-31650930

Time : 9am to 6pm

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Choosing a baby Car Seat

Selecting a car seat for your baby can be quite a challenge as we found out. There are so many brands and models in the market. The price itself also varies greatly. You can find some at a really attractive price that starts from slightly over a RM100 to those prices closed to RM2000.

A car seat is definitely an important accessory that one must invest for our baby once they arrived. Although most mothers would prefer to carry their infant in their arms while travelling, this is certainly unwise for safety reasons. Without any proper restraints, a collision even at 50km/hour could prove fatal to the baby, who could be crushed by the weight of the mother, strangled by the front seat belt or thrown against the dashboard or through the windscreen.

Ryan started with an infant car seat from Peg Prego and when he outgrew it, we finally invested in a Chicco Proxima car seat that could accommodate Ryan till 4 years old (or 18kg).

Since we rely heavily on the car seat to protect our baby in the event of an accident, it is paramount that the car seat manufactured has to pass certain certification to verify that the specifications of which the car seat was designed and built were able to provide the safety level required. It is pointless to buy a very affordable car seat that has not been tested extensively or certified fit to do the job. Hence, it is critical that an appropriate car seat (regardless of brands or price) MUST conform to the United Nations standard, ECE Regulation 4403.

Weight of the child is the most important factor in deciding the type of car seat to use. Manufacturers have also categorized the different types and model based on the weight of the child.

Rearward facing Baby Seats
Group 0
for babies up to 10kgs (22lbs), roughly from birth to 6-9 months
Group 0+ for babies up to 13kg (29lbs), roughly from birth to 12-15 months

Forward facing Child Seats
Group 1 for children weighing 9-18kgs (20-40lbs), roughly from 9 months to 4 years

Booster Seat
Group 2
for children weighing 15-25kgs (33-55lbs), roughly from age 4 to 6 years

Booster Cushion
Group 3 for children weighing 22-36kgs (48-79lbs), roughly from age 6 to 11 years

It is always safer to put Group 0 and Group 0+ car seat in the rear and placed it rearwards facing to provide higher protection for the baby’s head, neck and spine. NEVER place a car seat in the front passenger seat if there is a passenger airbag.

It is also common now to find some child restraints or car seats that are capable of being converted as the child grows and hence, fit into more than one group. The Chicco Proxima for example, can cater babies from newborn (Group 0) to 18kg (Group 1).

So, if you are shopping or thinking of upgrading your child’s car seat, I hope that this basic information will be of help. Remember, SAFETY FIRST!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fried Chicken with Basil

A couple of nights ago, we tried out this chicken recipe for our dinner. I found the ingredients and cooking method almost similar to frying chicken in soy sauce except that the recipe requires you to add in local basil leaves just before serving. The strong aroma of the basil leaves gives this chicken dish an additional aroma and flavour. There are certain people who dislike the taste of basil leaves. However, if you are like me, who loves the smell, aroma and taste of basil basil leaves, you should give this dish a try and add in more basil leaves to get the extra strong aroma and taste.


  • 3 chicken drumsticks (cut into pieces)
  • 30g local basil leaves (or more if you like the taste and aroma of basil leaves)
  • 5 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 6 shallots (sliced)
  • 10 fresh ginger slices


  • 4 tablespoon of glutinous rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dark soy sauce


  • Heat up 3 tablespoon of sesame oil to fragrant the garlic slices, shallots and ginger.
  • Add in the chicken pieces and stir-fry until the colour changes
  • Add in the seasoning and stir well.
  • Covered and simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  • Add in the basil leaves and stir constantly until it mixes well.
  • Remove and serve immediately.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our daughter!

No no. We are not expecting our second one so soon although I would love to have a daughter and my wife certainly desires another baby. For now, I am contented with having and devoting my time to Ryan and our other `daughter', Zoewe our toy poodle.

....Before grooming....

....After grooming...

I was attracted to Zoewe when I first saw her in Sept 2007. After some deliberation and reaching an agreement that she would be MY responsibility while my wife's responsibility is to play with her (yes, you heard me right), we finally brought her home in Oct 2007. Ryan was not even in the picture then. One month later, we found out that Ryan was on his way.

Like many parents, we were a little concerned now that we have a lively puppy jumping about in the house with a baby on the way. There were so many questions to answer. How would she adapt to having a baby in the house? What are the risks? How would the baby adapt to her? Are there health and hygiene risks? Many concerned friends and relatives were advising us to give up Zoewe before Ryan arrives but she has by then became so attached to us and we to her. She is family. So close that she snuggled up and sleep with us on my bed.

Luckily, we did do some research before selecting the breed knowing exactly the type of dog that we want. We knew that we would have a baby eventually and we wanted a child friendly breed. We also wanted a breed that does not shed heavily or at all. Part of our deliberation prior to acquiring Zoewe was is she suitable for our family?

Zoewe is a toy poodle and now at 4.8kg, she is certainly large for being a toy poodle. One major reason that we selected her breed is because, toy poodles being child friendly, playful and loyal is also one of the fewer breeds that actually does not shed or very little if well taken care of.

Having an active dog that demands your equal attention with a baby is not easy. It's good that we have went through the basic dog training program. At least, we can get her to understand simple commands and we, on how to handle her and understand her emotions and needs. Is she jealous now that we are also paying so much attention to Ryan. Of course. She has this tendency to wanting to play and dragging all her toys to us when we are attending to Ryan. But she will obediently wait when we tell her that we will play with her later. And we make sure that we do not disappoint her.
Of course there are adjustments to be made with a pet around the house. No matter how obedient and lovely Zoewe is, she is still an dog with basic animal instinct. We are forever attentive and diligent whenever Zoewe is anywhere near Ryan. And we definitely cannot put Ryan on the floor or sofa unattended.

If you are thinking of a dog sometime soon especially with little children, do some prior research on the suitable breed. It will help tremendously.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to make adjustments and dividing our attention to both Ryan and Zoewe, but the efforts are well worth it, because Zoewe is also part of our family.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Poison in the garden!

baby,babynme,parenting,desert rose,adenium obesum Recognise the plant and the flower above. This is a very common potted plant and flower found in many Malaysian homes especially with the Chinese. It's a beautiful plant, very hardy and if planted from the seed, it has a beautiful crafted trunk. This plant hence are often used to create artistic bonsai plants. Chinese like this plant in particular and has a beautiful name for it. In Cantonese, it is called `Foo Kwai Fah' (Flower of Prosperity).

I literally grew up with this plant as my mother loves the flower. We have pots and pots of these in the garden we grew up in. In fact, a friend gave us one as a house warming gift last year and it is doing pretty well and blooming well in our garden right now.

Know as the Desert Rose, this plant originates from Eastern Africa. Where rain is scarce, the plant's stem and root becomes its water reservoir. Vivid colours of the flowers ranges from light-pink to dark-red.

But lying beneath the charming and beautiful exterior flows a deadly poison. It is reported that the latex, root and milky seed contained a deadly poison. Bushman used the poison for the tips of their arrow while fishermen are reported to splash the branch into the water to make fishes dizzy and hence easy to capture. There are articles that suggested that this plant should be kept out of reach of children and animals. Besides being poisonous when ingested, the latex apparently could also cause skin and eye irritation.

I am shocked when I stumbled upon this information from my net surfing. To know that I am actually cultivating and growing such a poisonous plant in my garden where Ryan and Zoewe (toy poodle) will be running free is scary.

Needless to say, this plant is going with the dumpster tomorrow morning. Sincere apologies to the good friend who presented this gift to us but getting rid of it gives me a better peace of mind.

Do you have one somewhere in your home?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baked Lemon Grass Chicken

A couple of nights ago, we thought of trying this chicken recipe out for our dinner. Have been eyeing for a while but never got around trying it until now. The preparation method is again simple. The only tedious task is to pound or blend the ingredients together. A fruit blender would come in extra handy. An oven would be necessary since the chicken has to be baked at 200 degree for close to 30 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the chicken drumstick. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, we are so glad that we invested in a reasonable oven as we are definitely getting back our return in investment (ROI) from it.


  • 2 nos of chicken drumsticks (quantity depending on number of pax)
  • 15g of fresh turmeric (we used turmeric powder since we still have)
  • 15g of fresh ginger
  • 20g shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 stem lemon grass


  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar


  • Put the fresh turmeric (turmeric powder), ginger, shallots, garlic and lemon grass into a fruit blender to blend until become finely paste.
  • Remove and mix well with chicken drumsticks.
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Arrange the chicken drumsticks on a baking rack.
  • Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degree Celsius for at least 30 to 35 minutes until cooked and slightly burnt, or golden browned. Vary duration depending on size and thickness of chicken drumstick.
  • Serve hot.
The recipe was a success. We are now planning to prepare this dish for my mum when she comes to visit next. She is also pretty good with her recipe of turmeric and lemon grass fried chicken. I guess we wanted her opinion as to how good is this recipe.

Period? Now?

I understand that there are many breastfeeding mommies here. I am a man and has no glue pertaining to the relation between breastfeeding and period. As far as I can understand from my limited knowledge, as long as a woman is breastfeeding, she will remain infertile, no ovulation and hence no period. Right?

After giving birth, my wife has been breastfeeding Ryan ever since. And her period did not come for the last five months. Suddenly, she told me a couple of days ago, she had her period and was rather heavy too. She was puzzled and needless to say, I can offer no explanation except to get her to check with her married friends and call up her doctor.

We have yet to call, but most of her friends affirmed that period will come around 6 months and the volume of breast milk will start to reduce. This information got her worried, as she has intended to breastfeed Ryan for as long as she possibly can.

Any mommies out there care to share your experience? Seriously need some advice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reclaiming Our Master Bed - The Final Trilogy

Ryan has been sleeping in his own baby cot for the last five nights now. We have just changed to a harder mattress since he likes to sleep on his tummy. He is back to his 180 degree turning acrobat throughout the night. He would start the night in one direction and wakes up the next morning facing the opposite direction!

There was also another reason why we wanted Ryan to sleep on his own bed. With him moving and turning everywhere, there is a real danger that we might just crushed him if we were not careful.

There was this story from a friend of ours that he literally kicked his young daughter out from the bed one night! Horror! Horror! We have a good laugh then though, thinking how on earth could that happen. We wouldn't do that! It will not happen to us!

And guess what? We have a different story to tell (rather I have a different story to tell. My wife will probably skin me alive after this..sigh).

One night (just before we decided to move Ryan back to his own bed and for obvious reasons now), my wife was fast asleep after tucking in Ryan by her side, as usual in the space between us. She was tired after a stressful day at the office and another stressful evening because Ryan would only want her to tuck him to sleep. I was touching and clearing some of my outstanding jobs when I realised about midnight that she has not drink her bird nest soup that our maid had prepared and brought to the room. I walked over to her and gently (I really mean `gently') touched her arm to try to wake her up.

At that instant, she reacted and turned the other side (with her eyes closed and a grunt as well). I was shocked. Her hand landed right on top of Ryans' head. In another words, Ryan got his first slap from mommy! Ryan jerked and woke up with his eyes wide opened. His expression was like "What happened? What happened?" I am not sure whether I was shocked more than amused or the other way. It is a good thing that he did not cry. A few pats on his back and he went back to sleep. He must be real tired.

Coincidentally, now that we look back, Ryan seemed to crawl more towards my side with his head under my armpit more after that incident. And I am under stress fearing that I would end up `slapping' him as well.

The incident speeds up our decision to move Ryan back to his bed and we are glad that we did. Now I guess someone else would probably be laughing at our story and wondering how could that have happened. Emmmm..I am just waiting for their story to unfold and see who would have the last laugh. Well, on the brighter note, we have our version of the story to add.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Black Beans with Chicken Feet Soup

As I have mentioned in my earlier post, my sister was responsibled for the soup on Saturday. This is the soup that she prepared. It is also one of the many soups that a mother still under confinement could prepare and drink. It is an extremely simple soup to prepare and apparently very nutritious and reported benefits include enriching and renourishing red blood cells. (I am not a chinese medicine man. Just stating what I was told. You might want to check this out with the experts in the Chinese medical hall).

  • 6 nos of chicken feet
  • 100g of whole chicken carcass
  • 100g of black beans
  • 10 red dates
  • 2000ml water


  • Clean and rinse chicken feets and carcass. Blanch them in boiling water.
  • Remove and rinse under cool water and drain well.
  • Put chicken, black beans, read dates and water into a deep pot and bring to boil.
  • Reduce to low heat and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Season with salt.
  • Serve hot.

Chicken With Milk Sauce

Since it was a Saturday and a weekend, we thought of trying out some new recipe for dinner. My sister was responsible for the vegetables and Black Bean with Chicken Feet Soup while I will be responsible for the meat. After browsing through the recipe book, I thought we should tried out the Chicken with Milk Sauce.

So, we bought ourselves three chicken drumsticks. The ingredients and preparation method is simple although you would need to marinate the chicken for at least an hour.

It turned out well. In fact, looking at the ingredients and method of preparation, the dish looked very similar to Chicken Kurma with the exception that Chicken Kurma requires Tumeric and lemon grass as part of the ingredients.


  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • 100g ginger - chopped
  • 6 shallots - chopped
  • 5 pips of garlic - chopped
  • 5 tablespoon of sesame oil


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of light soya sauce
  • 100ml evaporated milk
  • Dash of sugar


  • Marinate the chopped chicken drumsticks for at least an hour.
  • Blanch in hot oil and leave aside. Discard any excessive oil.
  • Fry chopped ingredients till fragrance.
  • Add in the chicken drumsticks, light soya sauce, milk and sugar.
  • Mixed well and cooked in medium heat until sauce thickens.
  • Serve hot.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Milestone - Imitating our movement Part II

In my earlier post, I have mentioned that Ryan is able to imitate our hand movement. In one of the comments, Chee Yee, a mommy blogger suggested that I try sticking out my tongue and I would get a good laugh out of it.

Out of curiosity, I did exactly that for the last two days to see how Ryan would react to it.

I noticed that he would look intently at me everytime I stick my tongue out and he would smiled and laughed sheepishly. It was fun to watch, but he made no attempts to imitate. So, I gave up after 2 days for playing `stick your tongue out game' with him.

Today, he gave me a shock. We went out for our lunch and on the way home, we stopped by a petrol kiosk to fill up the car. When I returned to the car, my sister and wife were laughing and I asked them why. They claimed that Ryan has been cheekily sticking out his tongue to tease them. He did not repeat it for me at that very moment.

When we got home, when I was changing his diaper and as usual I will be playing and making funny faces at him to distract him. Unconsciously, I stuck my tongue out. The reaction I received was amazing. Ryan STUCK HIS TONGUE OUT back at me and smiled! I repeated the action and he responded equally. I quickly grabbed the camera and this was what I saw.

It only took him 2 days to learn and respond to me accordingly. I am totally amazed. We certainly had a good laugh! Now, the problem is, how to get him to stop.....sigh......

Reclaiming my Master bed - Part II

Last night, we attempted to `kick' Ryan out from our master bed back to his baby cot. I have placed the baby cot at the foot of our king size bed so that it is easier for me to check on him if I need to during the night.

We finally got him to sleep by 10pm in my wife's arms (as usual). He has already just taken another 5oz of milk. My estimate is that he will likely to wake up again at around 3:30am to 4:30am for his next feed (if he does not wake up again by 12 midnight for one last feed). We carefully placed him laying down on his tummy on his baby cot. He stirred a little but a few quick pats on his back seemed to soothe him and got him back to his sweet slumber. We covered him with his blanket and crossed all our fingers and toes.

For the first time in 3 months, my wife could snuggle up to me and put her head next to mine.

Ryan did not stir nor wake up for his midnight feed. I got up a few times to take a peep at him just to make sure that he was alright. He seemed fine.

He stirred at about 4am. I thought that he would be waking up soon to have his milk. I got and prepared his feed but when I looked at him by the time I got his bottle ready, he was fast asleep. I put his bottle into the warmer and went back to bed.

Surprise, surprise. He only woke up at 7:30 am this morning for his milk. He slept through the whole night!! And I have more space on my own master bed then I can even imagine for the first time in 3 months!! It was a successful first attempt!! Yippee Hooray! We just got to repeat the same thing tonight. Wish me luck again......

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reclaiming Our Master Bed!

Tonight, I shall reclaim my master bed.

Ryan has been sleeping with us on the master bed from his second month. He was sleeping in his baby cot prior to that. After his infection in his second month, we have moved him onto our bed (right in the middle between my wife and I) in order for us to keep an eye on him during the night. He has been there ever since.

As he grows older, he is beginning to occupy more and more space. Every night, he is like a helicopter, turning and turning. By 3am in the morning, his butt will be in my face on some nights, or I will wake up with his face right before my face. Besides the fear of crushing him, no knowing when his fragile hands or legs would be next to me, I am also loosing my space to sleep. Needless to say, to grab a `romantic' moment with my wife is rather challenging, to say the least.

I have decided that I am not going to be `kicked out' from my own bed to sleep on a thin mattress on the floor while he happily `conquer' and `occupy' my space.

Since, the babysitter is on half day leave today and I have to take care of Ryan myself, I have moved the baby cot back into our room and successfully put him to sleep in his own bed. The real test is tonight, when I have to get him to sleep soundly through the night on his bed. And hope that my wife would not compromise by putting him back onto our bed in the middle of the night if he cries. Wish me luck......

My Naked Pictures!!!

Don't you worry. It's not my naked pictures that you are going to see. Anyway, I don't think there are anyone out there wanting to see my naked pictures except probably my other half. But then again, she has seen `all of me'.

I have always find babies in their birthday suit extremely cute and adorable when tastefully taken. I am not a professional photographer and I don't have one of the sophisticated DSLR cameras. I just have a trustworthy Canon IXUS 860IS that we invested just for Ryan. So, to satisfy my `fetish', I have managed to grab a few of these pictures of Ryan the other day. Doesn't he look so cute and chubby? I hope that he doesn't end up suing me when he grows up and becomes famous.

I remembered I have one of this naked picture of me taken too but sadly, I can't locate it anymore. Come to think of it, I think many of us have our naked pictures taken in almost that similar post, don't we? Or is it only me...emmmm...and Ryan now of course...hehe

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Milestone - He has earned his place at the dinner table

baby,babynme,Chicco highback chair,parenting 12 November 2008 at 7:30pm

Ryan has achieved another milestone as far as we are concerned. For the first time, he has earned his rightful place around the dining table. He was given a Chicco Highback chair as a gift from one of his mommy's colleague. But the instructions said 6 months and above. So, the chair has been in the unopened box waiting to do it's duty.

Dinner time with Ryan has always been a juggling act. I am not talking about the food. It is Ryan that we are juggling because he wanted to be carried and would not want to sit still. So, we will take turn to carry and `entertain' him while the rest eat. Since my younger sister is staying with us till her own apartment is ready by year-end, we will take turns to be his jester. Needless to say, dinner is almost always a hurried affair.

With him at 5 months now, we have decided to try training him to sit (hopefully in a civilised manner) by the dinner table while we have a decent meal. So we brought out the chair, fixed it up and gave him a try a couple of days ago. He really do not have much patience with it though.

We did the same thing last night but to keep him entertained, I gave him his bolster. And surprise, surprise. We had our 25 uninterrupted minutes of a decent dinner (amidst giving him some occasional attention and encouragement). He was busy playing with his bolster, cooing and talking to himself. And he certainly looks good sitting on that cool Chicco highback.

We would not have bought it because our check with the stores showed a hefty price tag of close to RM700! Unlike a car seat where safety is a great deciding factor, a dining chair is a dining chair to us. Like I said earlier, this little fella is lucky to have many uncles and aunties who are more than willing to shower him with gifts. (And the parents aren't going to complain..hehe)

Steamed Pao Shen Chicken Soup

My wife complained that I have not been boiling any soup for her lately. So, I placed an order for a black chicken yesterday and used half the chicken for this soup tonight.

This again, is a recipe for ladies still under confinement.

The ingredients are simple and the preparation equally straight forward.


  • 100g pao shen
  • 15 pieces of red dates
  • half black chicken
  • 100ml DOM
  • 100ml liquor
  • 300ml water
  • 1 teaspoon wolfberries


  • Combine all the ingredients together into a double boiler and double boil for 4 hours. Serve hot.

I reduced the volume of DOM and liquor. She has a low tolerance for liquor. Don't want her to start singing 'I love you. You love me.' the whole night ...hehehe.. (Read my earlier post on Barney and you will know what I meant)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An action that guarantees a SMILE!

I noticed that everytime I yawn aloud with my mouth wide open. Ryan will instantly paused, stopped at whatever that he is doing or attracted to and will watch me intently. He will have this puzzled look in his face without blinking his eyes and watches me until I finished my yawn. He will wait for me to look at him and he will instantly break into one of his sweetest smiles of all time!

I have not failed so far to get a smile out of him by repeating this action. It is just so cool!

This does not always happen to my wife no matter how many times she yawns. We just can't explain when and how it got started. I guess I must have a very funny contorted facial expression that excites and tickles him to no end. Well, at least he has found a clown at home to entertain him.

So, do you have any particular facial expression or action that tickles your baby and gets rewarded with his / her sweetest smile?

Does Post Natal Massage helps?

It's only 5am in the morning and I am already up. The reason is because Ryan woke up at 3:30am for his milk since he slept before 10 last night. After his milk, he was wide awake and wanted to play. He finally fell asleep an one hour later. And daddy is wide awake now and hungry too. So, with a hot cup of Milo, I have decided to add this post which I have intended to do for a while now.

I have heard of post natal massage before and never really know what they were intended to do. One of my wife's friend who has given birth tried out the Malay post natal massage months after she could not get her body back in shape. The results were amazing. Before the massage, she was still wearing baggy maternity-like clothes months after given birth. A few sessions saw her back to her normal clothes.

Hence, after my wife gave birth, we were also looking for a Malay post natal massage. The first lady was rather arrogant and her appointments were always full. She charges RM100 per session of 2 hours which include massage and hot river stone treatment. (Not sure how that is done. Got to find out from my wife on this). We gave up after 2 sessions because it was extremely difficult to fix an appointment.

I managed to locate another nice Malay lady with the help of a friend. She does not use any hot river stone but concentrate purely on massaging. Apparently, she claimed that the post natal massage is to return or restore the uterus, abdominal muscle wall and a woman's shape back to her original state prior to pregnancy and delivery. I remembered my wife screaming in pain during the first few sessions. However, she said that after the few sessions of pain, the following sessions were more relaxing and soothing. The lady was also good in massaging and helping my wife with her engorged breasts due to some blocked milk ducts. Charges? She lets the client decides how much she is worth for her effort. We paid her RM80 for each session of 1.5 hours.

She claimed that my wife should have started the massage as soon as possible after delivery for it to be really effective.

Does it help? I let you be the judge from the pictures that you see of my wife. Any other mommies out there would could attest to the effectiveness of such massages and share a tip or two for other expecting mommies who would love to get back in shape?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rotavirus Vaccination - Part II

Not being satisfied by the explanation given by Ryan's first paed that it is too late to take the first dose of rotavirus vaccination, I have consulted another paed friend. We were worried about the possible infection that Ryan might get. The infection sounds serious and we definitely do not wish to see Ryan on drips and being hospitalised.

We were told that it is still possible to take the first dose before he turns 6 months and take the second dose one month later. According to him, the reason why, the first dose is recommended to babies before the 3rd month is because, babies of that age are most vulnerable and at risk. Being so young, serious dehydration would have adverse effects on the infant. It is not recommended to babies older than 6 months, largely because their studies showed that the percentage of babies in the studied group having already contacted the rotavirus is there, and hence the vaccination would no longer be effective for them. However, children who have not been infected could still get the rotavirus vaccination before their 6th month birthday.

To ease our worries and fears, we went ahead this morning to get Ryan his first dose of Rotavirus vaccination. His second would be 4 weeks from now. For now, our heart is a little at ease, knowing that we have tried our very best to protect him from this infection. God willing, he will grow up into one healthy boy.

Vaccination is not cheap though since we took it at a private clinic. It cost us RM170. Ironically, we were told that medical bills including vaccinations are cheaper at Damansara Specialist Centre as compared to private clinics outside. Not sure how much this is true though.

Milestone - Imitating our movement


8th November 2008. 9:38pm

We were trying to get Ryan to sleep but as usual he wants to play. As we were making funny noises, responding to his coos and aahhhss, we started to notice that he will imitate our actions and sometimes our sounds.

To test out the theory, I held out my hand and make some movements with my fingers and Ryan instantly, held out his little hand and tried to imitate. Both my wife and I had a good laugh! To retest the theory, my wife did the same thing, and Ryan immediately held up his little hand and try to imitate the exact movement. As we laughing away, he smiled and kicked with excitement. This is what parenthood is all about. The little moments that seemed so insignificant yet so priceless!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Milestone - Roll Over

Ryan has been able to lift his neck up for quite a while now. He has been trying hard to roll over for weeks now but never really made it. We were not quite sure when he will finally be able to achieve this feat.

Then, suddenly, on 6th November 2008 at 6:50am, barely 6 days past his 5th month birthday, this milestone was achieved.

He woke up as usual wanting his milk. After feeding him, I put him on the bed, laying on his back with his pacifier. He was happily sucking away and I was more than happy as I could at least get back to my interrupted sleep. If he could get back to sleep, I would be able to grab another 2 hours of sleep before his next feed.

As usual, he was lifting up his legs, playing with his pillow while sucking his pacifier. Suddenly, with one swift roll, he did what we were longing to see for a long while. He rolled over and was on his tummy. He lifted up his head and looked at us and gave us a smile as if to say "Hey guys. See. I made it!" Both of us were just ecstatic. My wife reminded me to take note of the date and time since this to us was an important milestone that we have witnessed together.

We let him played on his own and he fell asleep soon after. We went back to continue our dreams as well but with a smile on our face, knowing that our son has just achieved another significant milestone in his life.

A busy weekend

Last week was a busy weekend. Ryan woke up early and after giving him a bath, we hurried down to Midvalley because we wanted to attend the Chicco car seat launch. We had our breakfast at Toastbox but we totally dislike the location of this outlet in Midvalley in comparison to the one at Sunway Pyramid. This outlet caters for more smokers than non-smokers as there are more seats outside then inside. We hurriedly gobbled down our breads and coffees and make our way to Gardens.

We did some window shopping and by 1pm, we went to register for the launch. Since we were an hour early, and feeling a little thirsty, we dropped by the Flying Chillies, a Thai Restaurant for a drink.

We found out that the drinks were more expensive than the food. We ordered three drinks and the bill came close to RM50! The launch started at 2pm. After the launch, we decided to go ahead to invest in a Chicco car seat. By the time we finished and arrived home, it was close to 5pm! Ryan didn't sleep much the entire day. He was just too excited. Once home, we unwrapped the car seat to try it out with him. That was Saturday gone!

Early Sunday morning, my wife wanted to go to her hairdresser in Bangsar Village. She had wanted to have her hair cut for weeks now but did not manage to find the time. We had to go this week, else she will be in one of her grumbling mood. So, after giving Ryan his bath, off we went to Bangsar Village. While my wife was having her hair done up, my sister and I brought Ryan to a nice little cafe called Delicious. Very nicely decorated. The food selection looks good. While my sister ordered an Iced Long Coffee, I went ahead with a `Death with Ice Chocolate.' (RM10.90). Wasn't disappointed. We ordered a 3 cheese sandwich which turned to be extremely delicious.

By the time we finished, my wife was done too. So, we went around Bangsar Village looking for a place for her to have her breakfast/lunch. After debating between SuChan and Marmalade, the cheesecake at Marmalade finally won. Both my sister and I were contented with just a drink while my wife indulged in her very `wicked' cheesecake. By the time we got home, it was almost 3:30pm. Again, Ryan wasn't sleeping much the whole time. He was more busy smiling and getting excited at every single store that we went in.

We were dead tired when we got home but not Ryan. We knew that he was tired, but all the excitement and the adrenalin has not subsided. He insisted that we carried him and played with him the whole afternoon and evening. We finally got him to sleep at 9pm, by which time, both my wife and I were like zombies! (Not to mention my sister of whom I have grabed a picture of her sleeping like a log on the sofa but with no permission to upload here ..sigh!) Where on earth do babies get all their energy from I wonder.....

New Chicco Car Seat

baby,babynme,motherhood,parenthood,chicco,car seat
baby,babynme,motherhood,parenthood,chicco,car seat
As I have mentioned in my earlier post, we had wanted to get a new car seat for Ryan since he has outgrown his current one. So, on Saturday, we went to the Robisons at the Gardens Midvalley to attend the launch of Chicco Proxima 2009 car seat. I would say that the launch were relatively well attended although from the size of the space allocated, I don't think that they were expecting a large crowd.

We were a little early. So after registration with an hour to spare, we went to Flying Chillies for a drink. The talk about importance of car seat in general and Chicco range of products were interesting. In fact, Ryan was sitting on the very first row and was all ears for the first 5 full minutes because he was attracted to the sound, the music and the slideshow. I think he was the youngest baby there!

The Proxima range caters for newborn to children of 2 to 3 years of age (18kg) depending on their weigh. Overall, the design was cool. They come in five colours and the sets have apparently just arrived the night before. Anyway, since we were serious in buying and considering that Chicco is a well-known brand, the cool design (I love the design in red) and the 20% discount that we are getting, we ended taking one (the red one of course). The original retail was supposed to be RM1,249. With the discount, we ended paying RM999 for it.

Once home, we unwrapped it, and put Ryan in it to grab some cool pictures. He seemed happy in it. Now we are keeping all our fingers crossed that he will like sitting in the car seat when he is travelling so that this investment will not go to waste. Anyway, it is the safe thing to do rather than allowing his mommy to carry him everytime he is in the car (with the excuse that the current car seat is too small).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pneumococcal Vaccination?

This vaccination is apparently not a compulsory vaccination in Malaysia. I read a little about it and when Ryan's paed recommended that he takes it, we did not have any second thought. When he mentioned it briefly to us, I don't think we quite understand the magnitude of the disease. Our thoughts were, if it is good and recommended by the paed, just get it done. Ryan just had his second dose of pneumococcal vaccination last week. Since the subject was brought up in my previous Rotavirus vaccination, I did a little bit more research and came up with the following facts which I hope would help parents who are considering this vaccination.

Pneumococcal (pronounced as New-m'COCKL) disease is a severe bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, also called pneumococcus. It may cause pneumonia, meningitis or a blood stream infection (bacteremia). This disease mostly strike children under age 5 and can lead to some of the worst childhood diseases. Kids under 2 years old are most at risk. These bugs live in the mucous lining of the nose and in the back of the throat, and when plentiful enough can cause an infection in the respiratory tract, middle ear, or sinus cavities.

Pneumonia - inflammatory illness of the lung
Meningitis - inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Potentially life threatening.
Bacteremia - blood infection with bacteria.

Pneumococcal bacteria are spread by close contact and through coughing and sneezing. Diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia can crop up within days of infection. Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia usually include fever and chills with shaking or trembling, as well as chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, fatigue, and weakness. Nausea, vomiting, and headaches are also associated with pneumococcal pneumonia, but are less common.

It suffice to say that if our child is put in a day care centre and that he/she mixes freely with other children, he/she would be at a higher risk exposure and hence, making pneumococcal vaccination a MUST as soon as possible.

The routine schedule for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is 4 doses, one dose at each of these ages:
􀀳 2 months
􀀳 4 months
􀀳 6 months
􀀳 12-15 months

Children who weren’t vaccinated at these ages can still get the vaccine. The number of doses needed depends on the child's age.
More information from this links:

Honestly, after reading the facts, I am glad that Ryan is vaccinated. If your child is not, it could be a good time to give this vaccination a serious thought.

Friday, November 7, 2008

He is outgrowing his car seat....

Baby,Babynme,Chicco,Car Seat Ryan has been using a hand-me-down Peg Perego infant car seat. We are working hard to train him to sit still in the car seat while travelling for obvious safety reasons. Lately, I have noticed that it is getting more and more difficult to get him out from the car seat. He is outgrowing it. The paed said during the last checkup that his length is above average which is probably why it has become increasingly uncomfortable for him.

Like any first time parents I presumed, we have no idea what is a good, safe, reliable and value for money car seat. There are apparently so many brands, types and models in the market that it can be rather confusing.

All I know is that I am looking for a car seat that is safe, comfortable, not too hot (Ryan is one hot baby. His sweats easily), and value for money where he could use it for as long as he possibly can. I understand that there are some models that caters for newborns right up to the age of 4 years (depending on the weight of the baby). Of course, it has to look `cool' in my car!

Just read in the STAR today that CHICCO is launching a new car seat at the Robinsons, The Gardens Mid Valley City this coming Saturday (8th November 2008) at 2pm. Apparently, there is a 20% discount for all CHICCO car seats and free gift to all attendants. It looks like to The Gardens, we will go this Saturday. We have been going out almost every weekend for the last couple of weeks. I believe Ryan's mommy is happier that Ryan. Hahaha....

Any comments or advice from any experienced parent out there to help out this clueless daddy as to how to source for a good car seat for Ryan?

And to those who are also looking to change or buy a new car seat for your baby, it might be good to check out this deal. See you there......

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Too late to take Rotavirus Vaccination!!

I discovered sometime last month that our paed did not recommend Ryan to take the rotavirus vaccination. I asked one of our paed friend and he said he should take it before his six months birthday. So yesterday, when Ryan went for his second Pneumococcal vaccination, we asked him to give Ryan his rotavirus vaccination as well. To our horror, he said that it's too late now because the first dose must be given before the baby reaches the THIRD MONTH! OMG! We asked him why were we not informed and he casually replied, "I have a big poster hanging outside." We were totally speechless!

Now, the only resolution I have is to seek advice from my paed friend to see whether it is at all possible to give Ryan his Rotavirus vaccination. Otherwise, he would have to be extra careful with his food and intake less he gets infected. Rotavirus will affect children from 6 months to 5 years of age! If we could not get the vaccination, the next 4.5 years would be a constant concern. Sigh!

For the benefit to first time expecting mothers, please insist that your baby get his/her rotavirus vaccination. The first dose is normally taken during the 2nd month. There are two oral doses.

Rotavirus can be caught easily through simple everyday contact. Being a virus, hand soaps and other cleaning products cannot kill it and it can survive for weeks on toys and household surface. Rotavirus is a common stomach virus and symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Diarrhea can occurred up to 20 times a day and last up to 9 days. In serious situation, this would lead to serious dehydration where the baby would require hospitalisation.

The rotavirus vaccination is targeting 5 of the most common virus that causes 95% of infections worldwide.

You can get more information at

Julie's and Omodo Cream Crackers Banned in Thailand for Melamine

It was reported that the Thai Food and Drug Administration has already ordered their stores to remove Julie's cream crackers due to excessive melamine contamination on October 21.

Perfect Food Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd's made a press release on the 3rd November that 4 of the Julie's branded biscuits were recalled due to excessive melamine contamination from the Ammonium Bicarbonate (rising agent) sourced from China. The same ingredient was the source of contamination found in Khong Guan and Khian Guan's biscuits earlier.

It was reported today that the Thai authorities have ordered another ban on another biscuit from Perfect Food. The affected biscuit is the Malaysian-made Omodo cream crackers, reportedly containing 6.08ml/kg of melamine whereas the permitted level is only 2.5ml/kg.

It looks like the melamine contamination is not going to go away very soon. I'm sure that the contaminated ammonium bicarbonate sourced from China were also used by many other confectioneries (and some small food manufacturers). Hence, I am certain that there could be more contaminated biscuits out there on the shelves, waiting to be uncovered and reported as `not suitable for human consumption.' However, at the rate this tests are being conducted or waiting for manufacturer's coming forward voluntarily, I guess most would have been consumed by unsuspecting consumers like you and I by then.

Looking back, both Khong Guan and Khian Guan's biscuits were reported as contaminated by ammonium bicarbonate on October 17. Thai authorities were reported to order a removal of Julie's biscuits on October 21. And Perfect Food Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd (Julie's manufacturer) made a press announcement on the 3rd Nov. It took a total of 18 days for Perfect Food to make an official announcement after ammonium bicarbonate was reported as contaminated and 13 days after the Thai authorities banned it.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that all four products would have already expired by the time the press release was made anyway. In other words, there would be no product from this company that are contaminated that would still on the shelves today. So, are they safe to be consumed? Or are we expecting more press releases in the weeks and months ahead as more products reach their expiry dates?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My freezer is full of this!!!

Baby,Babynme,Breast milk,Breastfeeding,Motherhood,Parenting My freezer is full of this! There are cups and cups of this in the freezer and I'm running of space. No. They are not jelly or agar-agar. They are cups and cups of breast milk for my Ryan.

This is how we saved and stored the expressed milk for Ryan from day one. Since he was a premature baby, he had difficulties in sucking directly. It was extremely frustrating and stressful initially. After much massaging and pressing, there were just a few tiny drops. At that moment, they were like liquid gold to us. We carefuly collected and passed it on to the nurses to feed Ryan. The nurses at the Damansara Specialist Centre were extremely helpful and encouraging. Since Ryan could not suck directly and not wanting to give up our desire to breastfeed him (since it is the best milk to him), my wife has been faithfully and diligently expressing it out and stored them in this tiny cups, frozen and stored them for Ryan. (That's how she got the De Quervain's Tendinitis if you read one of my earlier post).

I understand that it is extremely difficult to continue breastfeeding once you start to work. This could be another good way to continue giving your baby, breast milk for as long as you can. However, this is sometimes easier said than done. We were lucky that my wife's organization does provide their female employee with a special and private room for this purpose.

If your baby is having difficulties sucking directly, do not give up breastfeeding. You too can express the milk and feed your baby using the bottle. It is still better than feeding him baby formula.

The cups are cheap. We buy them from Giant. The one that we are currently using is able to store 4oz each. We will sterilise them, store the milk and freeze them. When needed, we will warm them up by placing them on warm water. DO NOT put them in the microwave oven!! The process of course takes a little bit more time as compared to preparing baby formula but the baby is still getting the most nutritious milk there is.

And a great big hug to Ryan's mommy for her dedication, diligence and commitment in wanting to give baby Ryan the best.

Salt Baked Chicken

Last weekend was another busy weekend for us. Saturday was pretty much shopping the entire day from Sunway Pyramid in the morning to Ikano at night. Sunday was more like a cooking and baking day. Since my toy poodle dog treats have ran out, I have decided to try making some instead of buying which turns up to be an expensive affair in the long run. It was a simple wheat flour, egg, margarine, cinnamon and her grinded Candidae dog food. Turned out pretty well and she loves it.

My in-laws came in the evening for dinner and my mother-in-law came to prepare asam laksa for us. Yummy. In return, I tried out another recipe in the recipe cook book - Salt Baked Chicken.

Instead of a whole chicken, I bought 6 pieces of chicken drumstick. The ingredients and seasonings are simple to prepare. The wrapping process is a bit tedious. The dish was well received so much so that my toy poodle grabbed a piece when I left the dish on the coffee table while I was searching for the camera to take a picture. (Naturally, she was `disciplined' and her mommy was so heart sick watching her hide in one corner after the punishment).


  • 6 pieces of chicken drumstick (cut into two pieces each)
  • 1 kg of coarse salt
  • Aluminium foil


  • 2 tablespoon of Chinese wine (I used Fah Tiew wine)
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger wine
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 pieces of dang gui (toasted and crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil


  • Clean chicken, mix well with marinade and leave for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Wrap the chicken with a piece of aluminium foil
  • Spread coarse salt on the second piece of aluminium foil, place the wrapped chicken on top, spread more coarse salt over and wrap with aluminium foil
  • Place the wrapped chicken pieces on the baking tray and bake chicken in 250c over for 30 minutes.
  • Remove aluminium foil and serve hot.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Barney oh Barney!!!!

Barney,Baby,Babynme,Parenting Barney has arrived! We bought Ryan's his first Barney's VCD a couple of weeks ago and decided to put it on for his 5th months birthday. We knew that Ryan has developed a taste for cartoons over the weeks but we were amazed at the reaction we got from Barney...

The moment we put it on, he was glued to the TV, watching intently for almost the entire episode. The magic that Barney has over children, it is incredible. And Ryan is not the only fan. My wife loves it too!!

Ironically, the `I love you, You love me' song is almost like our family song. It is also my wife's special song (according to her colleagues at least). It is because she will inadvertently start singing this song whenever she is a little tipsy over a couple of drinks!! And she sings that to everyone too.....Haha..So, I guess Ryan loving Barney should not come as a surprise at all, should it??

So, everybody together now.....

"I love you....."
"You love me....."
"We are happy family....."
"With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you ....."
"Won't you say you LOVE me TOO...."

Timed Your Pregnancy. Confinement could be cheaper!

Chinese mothers will undergo a one month period known as the confinement period. During this month, the new mother will have to eat certain nutritious food to renourish the body. This period is also known as confinement because there are a lot of do's and don'ts. For those who are NOT so lucky enough to have their mother or mother-in-laws to help out, we would have to hire a `Confinement Lady'. A confinement lady is normally a lady in the age range of late forties to early fifties, experienced in handling new infants, a knowledge of what a new mother would need and what the mother is not supposed to do.

Their duties include cooking for the mother and taking care of the baby for the next 28 to 30 days.

Finding a confinement lady is always a concern and finding a good and understanding confinement lady is like looking for treasure. Most of the time, finding a confinement lady is through word of mouth recommendation although there are several agencies that are also offering confinement services.

A common problem that I hear are problems between the confinement lady with the older folks at home (especially the mother or mother-in-law) due to difference in opinion on how the baby should be looked after, what food is cooked, how they are cooked and what the mother can do or can't do. For a young mother who has just given birth, with the additional stress of a new baby, this could be an extremely challenging time. So, an understanding husband to act as a go between would really be useful.

Another common problem would be between the confinement lady and the live-in maid. Again, the right expectation must be set from the very beginning for both the confinement lady and the maid as to their responsibilities, duties and line of reporting. Yes, you hear me right. Otherwise, you would end up with the confinement lady giving orders around the house or the maid getting lazy because she thinks that there is another MAID at home and start barking instructions. The last thing you want to do is to irritate the confinement lady when you need her most.

Start sourcing for a confinement lady the moment you realised that you are expecting. That way, it would less stressful to you as the delivery date draws near. (We were really stressed because we found our replacement one day before my wife's delivery. Talk about last minute arrangement)

The market value for a live-in confinement lady would be RM2900 to RM3000 for a period of 28 to 30 days. But, if you happen to deliver your baby in the month of the Chinese Lunar New Year, be prepared to pay double. It can be a costly affair! Besides, there are not many confinement ladies out there who are willing to work during this period.

Hence, time and plan your pregnancy! If the Chinese New Year the following year falls between the end of January and early February, you should know what to do.....

(Having a pre-mature baby is another story.....)
More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!