Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Another 2008 Tragedy

From The NST...

Woman dies in bid to avoid cow

KUALA TERENGGANU: A 26-year-old woman died of head injures on Sunday after an accident involving a cow in Marang.

Noradibah Othman of Kota Baru, Kelantan, died in the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital an hour after the 2am incident at Km46 Jalan Kuala Terengganu-Kuantan near Kampung Pasir Putih in Marang.She was a passenger in a car driven by her friend, Mohd Ridwan, 22, also of Kota Baru.They were on their way here from Dungun when the cow crossed the road.Ridwan tried to avoid the animal, but lost control of the vehicle, which skidded and turned turtle.

Ridwan was not injured.

Dibah was Rizal's cousin. We heard about the accident on last Sunday morning and by evening we received an SMS that she was gone.

Dibah left a mother, we call her Che Mah and now Che Mah has no one in this world except her adopted family. Rizal's grandmother took Che Mah as her adopted daughter when Che Mah was small. I didn't know and didn't think she knew or still have her real family. Rizal stayed with her grandmother, Che Mah and Dibah so he was very close to them. In fact closer than he is with his family.

Che Mah then got married and had Dibah before getting divorced a few years later. Then she got married again, only to get divorced for the second time shortly after because she didn't want to be apart from Dibah, or so Rizal said.

Then Dibah's father died when she turned 16, leaving her with her mother, the only real family she had. Rizal's grandmother passed away too and after he went to college it was just them two.

According to Rizal's mom, Che Mah didn't cry and looked calm and composed when Dibah died. But Rizal knew how Che Mah must have felt deep down inside because Che Mah once told him that Dibah was her jiwa, raga and jantung. Che Mah now has nobody that counts in her life, even though she still have her adopted family such as Rizal's mom who is the closest to her and my other ILs.

The first thing that came into my mind when I heard about Dibah was how Che Mah would take this. And somehow I suddenly think I want to have more kids immediately. I don't want to be left alone like Che Mah. That would be too painful.

Rizal and I couldn't sleep that night worrying about Che Mah. Che Mah dreamt about Dibah 3 days before she passed away. She found her in a plastic bag at the scene of the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide.

I am so thankful I at least had some chance chatting with her on YM.

And Dibah died on her 26th birthday. My Aunt bought her a cake during her tahlil in Kota Bharu.

This year has been soooo crazy.

Rest in peace Dibah...

Saturday, 6 December 2008



for the first time ever...

Emmet slept through...


We have been training him for a couple of months now. We started off by totally cutting off his night feeding. Meaning every time he woke up in the middle of the night, we would tell him to go back to sleep. He tossed and turned, cried, scratching, found a way to undo the zip of his body suit and took off his tights and scratch his legs until the nappy came off and he peed on his cot, my bed, my clothes, poked my eyes, woke me up and asked me to hold the sippy cup while he drinks (padahal dah tau minum sendiri, sungguh mengada-ngada), woke me up and asked me to pat him back to sleep (which I now tak layan dah).

Gosh... all sorts of tactics to gain attention woo...

Then he started getting better after he realized that he's just better off sleeping.

Winter came and for the last couple of weeks, it was really cold. Then Emmet kept waking up and climbed into our bed without waking us up and tucked himself in between myself and Rizal. Sometimes I even felt like kene tindih hantu but only to realize that it was Emmet sleeping on top of me, his shoulder digging into my throat. He got very cranky when I put him back to his cot.

So I told Rizal that maybe it was because he was cold in his cot since he wasn't using a duvet. We just tucked him under a big throw which was folded into four, and another layer of his baby blanket.

So after Rizal bought him a duvet, he managed to maintain sleeping in his cot. But he still woke up twice in the middle of the night for a drink and a round of scratching on the face and neck. But no more climbing into our bed.

Yesterday, oh my... I never thought it would be this soon. It's like the greatest achievement ever! Even I slept through the whole night! And this is like the 3rd time since Emmet was born.

Oh!.... since yesterday, before going to sleep, he even says 'Night night!' (well... as in 'Nai nai' in his language). I think he learnt that from watching In The Night Garden. See... who says watching too much tele isn't a good thing nowadays. Hihihi...

My boy is growing up... and his latest hobby is... browsing the Smyth's catalogue. From that alone, he's already learned how to say Dora (Do ya), Bob the builder (Bo... yaaa) and Thomas (Choo choo)

Love you Emmet dearest...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


French Press
I bought one 8 cup Bodum coffee press for Rizal’s birthday this year. He now can’t live without coffee and I concluded he is now a serious coffee addict. I can’t take espresso but he worship it. He was eyeing for Bodum brands eversince I could remember. Cewah…tak nak brand Tesco or Dunnes Store. Minum kopi pun kene penapis yang branded.

To me a coffee press works just like our Melayu way of making coffee la. You put some ground coffee into a jug, then pour boiling water and brew for a couple of minutes then before pouring into a cup you tapis dia la. Well the same thing this French press is except the tapis is stuck to the lid of the jug. I don’t know how much does it cost for a French Press in Malaysia but it’s like EUR 8.00 for an 8 cup coffee press at Dunnes Store.
Filter Coffee Maker
This is the one I got for my birthday, it was Marks & Spencer. This is the one we usually see in Hollywood movies whenever there were scenes of people waking up and headed for the kithchen to get some coffee from the coffee maker. Now I got one! I haven’t tried it yet since my kitchen is just the size of my bathroom. I’m more comfortable using the coffee press. I don’t drinck that much coffee anyway to be making the whole jug.

The one I got does not need you to go and buy the filters. The filters are like kertas turas that we use in labs during our chemistry class. I think Tesco sells these things. But my coffe maker has its own washable filter.

It still uses ground coffee, so if you still like instant freeze dried coffee like Nescafe, you can forget about all these coffee gadgets coz to coffee lovers, you haven’t moved on to the next level yet. Hahaha!

So this coffee maker has a water tank that boils water. Then you put some ground coffee into the filter and wait for the magic to happen. Something like how a breadmaker works la. Tiba-tiba je ada kopi dalam jug sudah…
Coffee machine
This is the one I am aiming for right now for a year. Well, I just want to bring back to Malaysia later on when I want to move out of Ireland. This is the exact thing you see in Starbucks except the mini version of the coffee machine.

It’s got filter coffee maker, espresso maker and milk frother all in one. You can make almost everything from this machine. From hot water to capuccino, americano, café latte, espresso. You can even use the milk frother and add it to your hot chocolate for a better creamier taste. And it also has cup warmer so your coffee doesn’t get cold very quickly. Uumm…maybe that only applies here in cold countries. Our coffee easily gets cold if the cup isn’t warm. They even warm the plates before putting food in it. So I guess the cup warmer only made sense here.

And If you are lucky you could get a good bargain for this machine. A manual machine only cost like GBP 70.00. The digital or automatic ones like those you tekan-tekan je in Ikea could cost up to double.

I always berangan having this machine at my house in Malaysia so I could invite my friends over for coffee and not having to spend on expensive Starbucks coffee.

But talking about coffee, if you are like Rizal now, you will need to know more about the coffee bean pulak dah. Punye banyak jenis and dia punya strong tak strong pun ada nombor. And usually to store ground coffee ni leceh sikit, mostly cannot use for more than 2 weeks. Coz once the vaccumed package is opened, it will lose it’s freshness after a few days if it is not stored in air-tight container. Nanti rasa macam lemau. So don’t go and buy big packs if you don’t drink coffee that much. Oh, and must follow instructions on how many coffe you need for a cup.

I love hot chocolate…

Friday, 14 November 2008

Emmet yang unik

Emmet ni kan…ada sesuatu yang unik. I don’t know where it came from. But it’s very very…..unique.

Like for instance when I wear a sweater with a zipper at the front. If he sees the zipper is not fastened, he would pull my hands, telling me to fasten it. And then only he would continue asking for his milk.

And numerous times, when Rizal was helping me carry my handbag while I carry Emmet in my arms, he would get angry and tell Daddy to give the handbag back to me.

And when I hang San Hung’s handbag to the buggy handle so that she could hold Emmet’s hand while walking, he would immediately tell Aunty San Hung to take back her handbag and hold it herself.

And when someone else was helping me pushing the buggy while I hold Emmet’s hand, he would tell that person off and ask me and only me to push the buggy while still holding his hand.

And when I passed his bowl of rice to Daddy so that Daddy would continue feeding him while I can go and prepare Daddy’s dinner, he would get angry and tell Daddy to give the bowl back to me.
Yes…very unique indeed…

Monday, 3 November 2008


I think this is the first surprise birthday celebration I have ever had.

Maybe because I didn’t expect it to be celebrated a day earlier. But I guess since it was Sunday, it just made sense so that everybody was out of their way from work.

And Rizal planned it all, not one surprise but two!

First, on that Sunday, he said we should go out to find my present but he wanted to leave Emmet at Aymi’s place. Then Aymi texted me about her ordering Nasi Lemak from a friend of ours. I was craving for a Nasi Lemak and immediately ordered 2 pax and asked her to keep them so that I could get them later when I send Emmet.

And when I got there, a bunch of friends started singing and presented me with a cake!

Then we hang out until Emmet fell asleep. Rizal said he wanted to bring me to dinner, just the two of us. So we left Emmet who was still sleeping and went to Grafton street. We found a small Thai restaurant in some alley and I asked Rizal if he was sure it was a decent restaurant. Then he mumbled something about reading a review in the magazine about the restaurant.

The thing is, once we got there the door was locked. We tried knocking but no answer. I took a peek at the nearest window and saw just a couple inside. Then we tried knocking again, harder. Still no answer. So I tried peeking into the farther window and was surprised to see a table with another set of friends! They were also surprised to see me and got the ‘kantoi’ look. Ahahah…

The restaurant was very nice but too small. We were glad we didn’t bring Emmet along. Otherwise he would knock everything out.

So I got a cofee maker, a hand blender (the most thing that I needed since mine broke during Hari Raya the other day), a spa set, shopping card, a brooch and flowers!

Thank you all especially to Rizal who quite successfully planned all this or in other words, instructed our friends to do it. Haaha….

Thursday, 30 October 2008

No. 2 Wishlist

1. His/Her own room
Complete with a baby cot that canbe converted to a single bed. A closet to put all baby clothes. Emmet punya clothes pun dah sama banyak dengan Mummy punye clothes. Daddy punya clothes dah double our clothes put together. So No.2 has to have dia punya closet sendiri. Changing table with drawers below. A mini sofa for No. 2 to sit when No.2 is older. Matching curtains and blinds. Mobiles. Murals. Bla…bla…bla…

2. Baby monitor
Something like this would be great. I have the usual non-monitor one but yang ni lagi best boleh tengok no. 2. Can even spy on people, jiran ke, husband sendiri ke. Hehe…

3. Phil & Ted stroller
At first I thought, kesian la yang duduk bawah kene habuk. But actually it’s not so bad la considering we would only be strolling indoors. The only thing is it’s so expensive. Hence it’s in the wishlist.

4. Sling
Eversince I saw Farrah has one for Adam, I so want it but that time Emmet is already a big boy. So waiting for No. 2 to be carried in the sling. I might sew this myself when I get back to Malaysia.

5. Electric breast pump
And eversince I saw Farrah punya sophisticated breast pump iteewww…I have to have one and I intend to stock up like Farrah and Spiker and share the milk with Emmet. I soo hope Emmet will still like my milk then.

6. New car seat
I once saw this car seat that can recline in 7 positions and turn sideways so it is easier for me to put my child on it without badan and tangan I menjadi senget. I can just open the back door, turn the car seat towards me, put my child on it, straps and buckle on, and turn it facing forward. Very handy when your child suka bergusti bila nampak car seat and you pulak have to senget2kan badan and tangan untuk pasang tali yang kadang2 susah nak pasang.
7. Nursing chair
I tried once at my friend’s house 2 years ago and immediately added to my wishlist in my handphone. It’s so heavenly to sit and rock yourself and your baby to sleep in this chair. It rock so smoothly and quietly and effortlessly. Even the stool rocks.

8. Nappy bin
Should’ve bought this one long time ago but dunno la why tak beli2 lagi. It’s just 20-25 euro. So I put this in the No. 2 wishlist because I would very much appreciate if I open the bathroom door or the bin liner and not smell the dirty nappies. They just stink and I would prefer if I don’t have to smell them. And I’m just too lazy to wrap the dirty nappy in individual plastic wrap and then only throw it in the bin. Sangat malas…

9. Swing
This one is optional. But it is nice if something else does the job for you. Like this swing yang pandai pula swing itself. It’s smaller than the usual melayu style electical swing. I can have extra time in the kitchen!

10. Safety gate
Must have especially at the kitchen entrance. I find kitchen a dangerous place for my kid or kids later on since I am so thecareless one. And I don’t want to be using the dining chairs again…

11. Post natal girdle
Hehehe…dunno if it will work for me but I would like to try one. But mahal laa…but I would really like to get my tummy back inside asap!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Quinny Zapp Review

I have been using Quinny Zapp for about a year now. Initially we bought one for traveling purposes, to take onto flights and to do with a lot of walking during traveling. I still wanted to use the old Graco Mosaic for outings in Dublin. But in the end, the Mosaic remained in the store room until it was covered in moulds. Hahahah

Yep, that’s how good and handy the Quinny Zapp is. You will no longer settle with any less…

I think Quinny Zapp is the most compact, light, trendy and cheapest in the market. Sure there are a lot more better than the Zapp but they are all much more expensive. However, there are a few setbacks that need to be considered or at least be made aware of.

The bar between the handle keeps bending as if the locks are loose somehow. But it’s not a major concern. It’s just annoying sometimes.
It does not recline at all. So you might need to invest on an extra and more suitable head rest or small pillow to attach to the harness during naptime. Otherwise it would seem like your child is going to wake up with a really stiff and sore neck. I usually carry a pashmina wrap that I attach to my handbag all the time, in case I get cold or Emmet gets cold or something happen to my tudung. So I would fold and make it as pillow for Emmet to rest his head on during his nap. There are all sorts of buggy pillows that you can find online, if you have the budget for it.

Another setback is storage. There is no storage at all. But you can buy accessories and a shopping basket is available on ebay for an extra EUR 10.00 or so. For your own convenience, I suggest you order this as soon as you order your Zapp. No cup holder and am still trying to find one that can suit this Zapp. I found a review and this lady was saying she bought a cup holder for Zapp from the internet but didn’t say where.
Make sure you do not buy the old stock or old edition of Quinny Zapp I read reviews saying that the older Zapp had big problems of tipping to the back. The old edition had only one wheel at the front. They revised the design and the new ones should have double wheels at the front, better balancing and least likely to tip even if you hang things on the handle with your child in it. But make sure you don’t hang so many stuff as it will tip if it’s too heavy. And remember to clear most stuff from the handle before you let your child off the buggy. And always hold the buggy if you are on the tram or LRT or the metro.

It requires both hands to fold and unfold. So make sure your child is in a safe place and condition before you work the Zapp especially when getting on and off the plane or bus. Sure it comes with a carry bag to keep your Zapp but I find it useless. Maybe it will come in handy if I have a car and keep the buggy in the car or something. But if you are traveling, the carry bag would just take up space as it can’t be folded due to the cardboard padding at the bottom. So what I do sometimes is I use the carry bag strap to strap the folded buggy and leave it beside the stairs before I get on to the plane. Coz if you don’t strap it you would have to hug it, otherwise it will unfold once you pick it up with one hand since it doesn’t have any locks once it is folded. It is better if you have the elastic strap like we used to have on our bicycle with the hook on both ends tu. I think I should buy one of that when I go back for holidays in Malaysia.

The sun shade or hood is quite high that most of the time it didn’t protect your child from the sun at all. So other alternatives includes investing on a parasol, cap or hat, and a pair of sunglasses for your child. There are also extra shades that you can attach like those you stick on your car windows. But I think they are over priced, not worth it. You can try and be creative and attach the car sun shades to the buggy and see if it works.

The hood doesn’t have a clip at the sides to lock it and make it sit still. So it is very annoying when it is raining and windy and the wind keeps pushing the plastic raincover and the hood to the back and stick to your child’s face.

About the raincover, I find that it is not quite suitable if your child’s leg extends to the lower foot rest since the feet wont be covered and become wet. There is another raincover available that covers the whole lower section of the buggy but the plastic is really thick and if folded would take a whole other bag to keep it. And the velcro is so short and small I had to sew some more velcro to make it stick. Maybe I should sew buttons instead come to think of it…

I usually hang Emmet’s bag over the handle bars. But I keep bumping my legs into the bag as I walk and the bag swings and I find it too heavy to be hanged on one handle when I attach the raincover. So now I find another way like this…

But I usually carry Emmet’s stuff in my bag when I travel, so it is easier for me to get on and off the planes. And I try not to put a lot of stuff in the shopping basket

Once you tackle the setbacks, it is fun and easy with the Quinny Zapp. It is light, you could manoeuvre it with one hand. The wheels are not as noisy as our old Graco Mosaic. You can attach a maxi-cosi cabrio car seat for the first year of your baby, and sarungkan the seat thereafter. The colours are vibrant and it’s affordable.

But if you ask me about other good value alternatives, I would recommend MacLaren Techno XT. The only setback is the design. other than that, the XT is much better and covers up all the setbacks of the Zapp. It is also more popular than the Zapp that it is too common here in Dublin. It’s like buying a Volkswagen Golf, a good car but too many on the road making it less special.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Emmet is allergic to…

Cow’s milk
Goat’s milk
Soya milk and all soya products like kicap
Nut products
Certain fish
Seafood (udang, ketam, sotong, kerang)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Success: Weaning

I haven’t done any research on this matter yet, but somehow I feel like babies progress naturally. Nonetheless, a little encouragement and training helps quite a lot.

At 6 months of age, Emmet was starting on his solids. I remembered I tried giving him Farley’s rusks. He didn’t like it at all. All he did was shut his mouth tight and pulled his face away from me. And there I was thinking all babies definitely like Farley’s rusks. The rejection made me feel dissapointed and depressed. I tried shoving them into his mouth, he screamed and cried and gagged. I was already thinking ‘Apsal la anak aku ni tanak makan pulak…’

Only then did I know that he was actually allergic to Farley’s rusks because it contains milk. That why la I noticed the area around his mouth was so red and patchy. I haven’t tried giving him cow’s milk since he was just 6 months. But when I tried some Petit Felous fromage frais, his whole face was swollen and puffy. That was the moment that I knew he had food allergies. From then on every new food introduced, I had to conduct a smear test…hehe…calit sikit the food at his wrist and if he’s allergic he would get a reaction within 2 minutes. This I learned from my mom.

So back to the dificulties I faced…I tried carrot puree, potato puree, sweet potato puree and he kept pushing them away. I didn’t know what else to to. I felt like I’ve lost hope. Cewah…over sikit kedepressanku time tu. Tak tau macam mana boleh terfikir satu hari tu I tried making bubur nasi with chicken, carrot, some onion and garlic. I blended everything together and nervously tried giving him a spoon.

There you go, terus bukak mulut luas-luas. And he just can’t get enough of rice porridge after that. After finishing a bowl he wanted more but I said ‘Finished!’ for a few occasions and he knew he’ll get no more no matter how hard he cried. And I always say ‘Last one!’ when I gave him the last spoon of porridge so he’ll know meal time is about to finish or to encourage him to finish his porridge. Tu la dia budak-budak ni. Tau aje ape yg suka and ape yg tak suka.

When I was just starting to cook food for Emmet, I made one full pot that would last for 7 days. At first I froze them in ice cube trays coz Emmet started eating only 2 cubes per meal. I gave him for lunch and dinner. The cubes increased to 4 when he was 7 months. By 9 months I stopped freezing Emmet’s porridge because he finished one pot in 5 meals (2 and a half day). So I just put them into individual plastic containers and inside the fridge.

For breakfast Emmet still eats oat porridge until now. I remembered I was thinking hard about what to give Emmet for breakfast. He can’t eat cereal with milk. He didn’t like fruits at all. I tried giving him some plain toast since he’s allergic to butter. He tried for a week or so and got bored. I was reluctant to give the oat porridge thinking it must be mixed with milk. But I went ahead and tried mixing it with just hot water. He loved it eversince!

By 1 year and 9 month or so he started to get bored of the rice porridge ans was showing interest in Daddy’s rice. Always tryng to steal Daddy’s rice from the dinner table when I was heating up his porridge. The reason I didn’t want him to stop eating his porridge earlier was because he won’t take plain water or fruit juices before. So the only fluid that he was getting were from his porridge and my breastmilk. I didn’t want him getting constipated for having not enough fluid in his body. And I guess I was a bit lazy to prepare separate dish since he has too many allergies.

But by 1 year and a half, after every hour or so every day encouraging him to drink plain water from his sippy cup, I guessed he finally learned that drinking water could quench his thirst and wash down all the biscuits that he ate. And he was also slowly trying to take fruit juices as well. He even ask for drinks or search himself for his sippy cup when he feels like drinking.

Since his water intake increases, by close to 2 years old I started giving him plain rice with baked chicken or beef or lamb with olive oil, garlic, parsley and rosemary with some baked vege, all baked together in a tin foil. He seems to favour plain taste. He doesn’t like anything in tomato sauce or anything with colours in the sauce.

For snacks in between meals, I have to give this a lot. This is to distract him from scratching his whole body when his eczema was at its worst. First stage of weaning, I gave him Organix carrot puff. It’s soft and crunchy melt-in-your-mouth crisps that is suitable from months old. When he was starting to grow his first four theeth, I upgraded to Organix carrot sticks, cereals like regular corn flakes, malt crunchies. He loved malt crunchies the most because it was just the right size for him to hold in his had. Furthermore that was the time when he likes to pick up things with his hand and put in his mouth. Figured might as well give him something that he could actually chew and swallow.

Other snacks like cream crackers, digestive biscuits, oat biscuits and bread sticks were introduced later when he passed his 1 year mark. These snacks contain more salt and I try to keep salt as minimum as possible. But it’s quite hard because there aren’t that many allergy free snacks that he could eat. Only recently that he begins to take interest in fruit puree. Itu pun because he saw Mika loving his fruit puree at tea time. So now I felt more relieved knowing he is getting better in consuming more fruits in his diet.

So overall, I think Emmet is getting on the right track. He eats oat porridge for breakfast. He’s even starting to like a toast before breakfast or during supper. He eats rice with lauk for lunch and dinner. In between that he’ll have fruit puree or cereal or biscuits. He drinks water from his sippy cup and from the mug as well. When we have fruit juice he’ll have them too. Even if my breastmilk is less he still wants to cuddle with them. But he still won’t eat chunky fruits.

Oh yeaaa……his latest craze is popcorn!!!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday to Emmet!

This year’s celebration was a pretty small one. It’s just the three of us. We woke up early to catch Kung Fu Panda at the Cineworld here in Dublin. This was Emmet’s first movie at the cinema. Daddy took a leave from work today just to be with Emmet.

Emmet was so amazed at the big screen the moment we entered the cinema. There were about four other families with children. I felt quite relieved when I saw a buggy was parked before us. That means Emmet won’t be the only toddler in the room. And we only paid EUR12 for us three!

It was a 11.30am show. We thought we’d cath the 10.50am show but tak sempat. I was just afraid Emmet would get cranky because it was near his naptime when the trailers ended and the movie starts. He seemed more interested to have his milk and get ready to nap, but terus alert balik when he saw the Wall.E trailer.

Halfway through the movie he was concentrating and breastfeeding alternately. I provided him with some Organix carrot sticks to occupy him while he watched. When it came to the serious kung fu fighting part where Tai Lung escaped from prison, he got bored of sitting down and wanted to roam around. I let him off since there were not many people.

He just went to the other end of the row and back at us while still watching the movie and made his comments here and there. Tengok-tengok orang at the back row, flipping the seats, peeping through the in-between seats. I have to have one eye on him, but I know he didn’t dare go any further than the end of the row. He always made sure that I would be within his vision.

After the movie ended we went for some shopping at Henry Street. Rizal and I je yang sibuk shopping, bukan untuk Emmet pun. Hehehe…but before crossing the Liffey River to go to Grafton Street, Emmet was fast alseep in his buggy. So we let him nap while we go shopping!

After he woke up from his nap, I brought him for a walk at the St. Stephen Green Park. He loved it because there were lakes, ducks, pigeons and most important, water fountain!
I gave some leftover popcorn from the movies earlier to the pigeons, I forgot to hide them back from Emmet. Emmet was supposed to be allergic to sweetcorns, that was why I was afraid to let him try the popcorn. But somehow he found it at the shopping basket below the buggy, he forgot all about the water fountain and landed on the ground shoving popcorns into his mouth from below the buggy.

Before the shops closes for the day we went to Smyth Toystore to get Emmet’s birthday present. Nothing fancy, now his favourite plaything is anything on wheels. So we got him a Hot Wheels Big Foot.

We went for coffee with Eena, Aymi and her sisters at Lemon Jelly afterwards and up to their apartment for a while before going back home. It was quite a full day actually. Emmet is happy with his Hot Wheels. Thought about buying him Legos but can’t imagine the horror of the mess he’d make at our small apartment. Somebody will get hurt. Hahaha…

Happy 2nd birthday darling Emmet! Hope this entry brings cheeky smile on your cute face if you do happen to read this when you get older. Don’t worry, your face will still be cute by then. Hehehe…

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Pre Birthday Treat

Aunty San Hung and Uncle Hairul brought Emmet for a birthday treat to Imaginosity in Sandyford.

Emmet had so much fun because there were so many things to play with. Since Emmet is starting to have a better imagination, he was so rambang mata looking at all the play area around him he was running around like a headless chicken!

His favourite play area was the train track with wooden tracks and little coaches that can be attached by magnets. He stole a couple of coaches and refuse to let go of them even when playing at other areas. San Hung and I had to trick him into giving them to us and we quickly hide them away.

There were three floors with areas like cars, supermarket, café, news studio, talk show studio, talent studio, puppet show, gym, library, aquarium, house building, huge doll house, cranes, musical instruments and art room.

You can lay bricks onto a wall, operate a crane to lift pretend heavy concrite, host your own talk show complete with hand clapping and laughing button while controlling the lights, pretend to be a newscaster, car racing, you can even drive a car with a computerized simulator, repair a car, build a car, pretend to a a policeman.

My favourite is the supermarket where kids can pretend to buy groceries with a trolley, or pretend to be the cashier. The diner was fun too, you can sit down and pretend to read the menu and make orders, prepare food and drinks at the fake water dispenser. How I wish I was a kid. How come they don’t have this kind of place in my kampung when I was small? All I played was the cheap paper doll with paper clothes bought from the pasar malam.

We’ll come again to Imaginosity soon!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Success after 2 years: Sleep

Much and much better. I remembered since Emmet was born we’ve had quite some trouble getting him to sleep. He was a very light sleeper.

He loved sleeping while your were holding him at the most uncomfortable position sampai yang paling melenguhkan. And he loved sleeping after breastfeeding while still latching on the nipple. Even the slightest move would wake him up. I remember even at 8 months, I still froze until he would wake up from his day nap, all I could do meanwhile were browsing the internet with one free hand and changing the channel on the tele.

That was when I was so rajin to download Desperate Housewives, Heroes and Prison Break. I could not eat or drink or go to the toilet. So everything else must be prepared to be place within reach before he falls asleep. I guess I need to do this so that Emmet could get all the sleep he can get since he woke up a lot at night. He couldn’t even be asleep for more than 2 hours straight.

Only sometimes was I able to unlatch him and quickly put him into the bedroom on the tummy and pat him to a deeper sleep. But at least by 2 month old I finally found out that he sleeps better on the tummy.

He slept quite well when he was about 3 months going to 4 months. He would be asleep by 10pm and only woke up once at night at about 4am for milk and woke up again at 8am. But since his eczema got worse the sleep got worse too until he was waking up almost every other hour at night.

I remembered I was so desperate at 1 year, so tired from night feeding I was ready to resort to some professional help. We tried once on sleep training from this book I got from the charity shop, it’s called ‘The Contented Little New Baby’ or something like that. Even though the book suggested the method can only be successful if there were no medical problems, I gave it a shot.

The book suggested that parents keep trying for about 3 days to 2 weeks to see the result. But being a first-time mom with a fisrt-born baby, I just didn’t have the heart to hear him cry for hours. Even when Rizal suggested we just turn off the baby monitor, I got so depressed I just gave it 2 days.

Anyway, deep down inside I knew it wouldn’t work since because of the eczema. Emmet was waking up at night because he just wanted to scratch and scratch and scratch. He scratch when he’s tired, sleepy, hungry, bored, not getting attention and so on.


He wakes up just about when I was finished making breakfast for Rizal at 8am. No more crying. He would go across from his cot then over my bed and go down on the floor, open the bedroom door and the living room door and come looking for me in the kitchen. But of course he wants milk immediately.

He would get tired and ready to nap at about 2pm after lunch. Sometimes he would nap at 12pm and have his lunch after he wakes up at 1pm. He usually have his milk until he doze off. Then I would put him on the sofa, still on his side beside me, pat him for a minute until he settles well. If he naps early he would nap again at about 5pm. But I seldom let him nap for the second time since I started minding Mika at weekdays. The nap pattern would be different when we are on the go though.

He would be ready for bed at night at about 10.30pm to 11pm. I would breastfeed him in the living room until he looks sleepy and I would ask him if wants to sleep in his cot in the bedroom. If he feels he’s ready he would get off my lap and pull my hand to stand up and guide me to the bedroom. He would climb up the bed and settles in his cot while I turn on the bed lamp and some light music (mozart/jazz/yusuf islam). I would pat him to sleep for about 5 to 10 minutes.

He would wake up again at about 5am for milk and every other hour thereafter. Oh yea I forgot to tell his milk routine. Or did I? If he wants milk he knows he’s supposed to kiss both my cheeks, forehead and lips, and salam and kiss my hand, and then baca doa (well…just the amin sapu muka thing). I would always need to remind him to do all that most of the time. But when I purposely ignore him at night and he got realy desperate, he would smother my face with his wet kisses until I surrender and offer my hand to be salamed and kissed and after amin doa have to bagi susu la.

After having his milk sometimes he would doze off beside me or he would climb back to his cot or if I woke up I would put him back into his cot. Much and much better when he was 6 to 10 months old and slept on my chest every night.

So I guess life is getting better….

Monday, 7 July 2008

At 2 years old…

Can only say Ka! Refering to Mika, mamamama and mimimi refering to mommy, bibibibi refering to babies, go! When finished changing nappy or when going out.

Likes to climb on the bed, on the lap, sofa, tables, chairs, any elevated surface.

Loves cars, or anything with wheels.

Gets angry when Mika is playing with something, he immediately wants it back. But when Mika cries, he’ll give the toy back to Mika.

Still breastfeeding

Eczema getting better

Makin mengamuk to even the slightest thing like when asked not to garu, or his toy got stuck in the basket,

Knows how to tidy up his toys after bath.

Can hold and drink from adults’ glass or mugswithout spilling.

Eats nasi campur like a grown up. But lauk can be no further than baked chicken/beef with garlic, onion, carrots, rosemary and olive oil.

Doesn’t like fruits but eats fruitupura fruit puree especially apple & apricot

Can drink fruit juices sometimes

Knows how to undo the latch of his sippy cup and back when he’s finished drinking

Knows to put some stuff back where he took it from.

Cries when I get hurt from his doings

Knows how to amin a doa, as in sapu muka with two hands.

His ritual before breastfeeding is kiss mommy on both cheeks, forehead and lips, salam mommy, then baca doa.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Asthma Attack

Emmet was admitted to the haspital again for asthma last tuesday. Since he’s almost 2 years old, the doctors can now conclude that he does indeed have asthma.

He was down with a flu starting Monday. That night he started caughing and then wheezing by the time he got up in the morning. But he was still cheerful and active. I gave him one round of Ventoline but it didn’t stop the wheezing. After I gave him a bath then another round of Ventoline, it too didn’t work. He was beginning to feel tired and I knew it will go worse if I don’t bring him to the hospital soon. He definitely needed the nebulizer.

So I called and asked Ayep and Yas to pick up Mika. Emmet was having his nap at that time. So I quickly solat, changed and pack some stuff in case he had to be warded. Ayep and Yas were kind enough to drive us to the Temple St. Children’s Hospital.

Luckily we needn’t wait for more than 5 minutes to see the doctor. Emmet was already low on oxygen and cranky. He wanted his milk but he struggled to suck and breathe at the same time, making him cry even louder. After some history note taking, Emmet was given a round of nebs. Then we had to go for chest x-ray in case he had pneumonia, but thankfully he didn’t.

There were a few Malaysian medic students at the A&E. Miza was doing elective, Lin was on assignment, she was the one taking note on Emmet’s history.

After 3 rounds of nebs Emmet is still wheezing badly but he’s in much better condition. By early in the evening he’s already wanting to run around the A&E and got really frustrated when he wasn’t allowed to. Hence making his asthma worse again.

The doctor was still not satisfied with his progress, that’s when she sent us to the ward. There were two other patient, one a teenage girl with a serebral something condition, another a 1-yr-old baby with pneumonia.

Rizal came after work and Mad visited before he was chased off by the nurse after visiting hours are over. Emmet was still wheezing very loud throughout the night and he had trouble sleeping. I had to pat him almost all the time. And by the time he was fast asleep, he had to be woken up for nebs and medcine again. Then I had to pat him to sleep again. So overall I only get one good hour of sleep after I pray before closing my eyes ‘Satu jam pun jadi la..’ Memang betul-betul after one hour Emmet pun jaga balik. By then it was already 8am.

Breakfast for Emmet at the hospital was a bowl of oat porridge. It was also his dinner the evening before. I requested powdered baby rice since they didn’t have anything on the menu that Emmet was not allergic to or favoured. But of all the powdered food that they have in the kitchen, they didn’t have any baby rice. They promised to get some that morning.

But by lunchtime, they said they couldn’t get any baby rice. Luckily Emmet was happy to settle for another bowl of oat porridge. And luckily I brought along his cream crackers before we left for the hospital yesterday. After that no sign of baby rice whatsoever until the end of our stay…

I was ready to go home since Emmet was already quite well and just slightly wheezing. But the doctor said he had to stay for another night of nebs and without oxygen before they can release him. To make matters worse we had to switch to another ward with more kids. There was a kid of near Emmet’s age named Connor. He got loads of toys with him. Emmet would always go to Connor’s bed and grab a toy and when I said “No!” he would scream and throw it away in anger.

And I thought that’s it…one more night and I’m gone. I don’t care what the doctor would say. So I constantly nag the nurse asking if I could go home after the next round of visits from the doctors. Psycho sket nurse2 ni so they would not tahan with my nagging and ask the doctor to release me. Hahaha…nice tactic huh.

And it seemed to work gradually. That 2nd night I didn’t care I took off the wires connecting Emmet with a machine that beeps every time the oxygen level went below 94%. Of course it went low when he didn’t breathe for a while searching for my nipple. They gave me a foldable mattress to sleep on the floor. I took Emmet out of the cot to sleep with me on the mattress. The nurse must be a bit pissed off about the wires I noticed they put it back on Emmet when we were asleep. Hahaha…

Don’t worry…. I assure you I wasn’t being a bad mom. I know Emmet was already well on his standard. He couldn’t go any worse but only better at this point. Mother’s instinct…

I however need some good rest so that I can take better care of Emmet. If I dont get enough rest I can’t take care of other people.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

3rd Anniversary

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. I’ve always liked the number 3. We never celebrated our 1st and 2nd anniversary. We thought it would be better to celebrate after 5 or 10 years. But this time, although we didn’t plan for any celebration as it is not a practice of us to celebrate other than Hari Raya and birthdays, I just thought maybe a simple celebration would be nice.

It wasn’t anything special, just different. And it was last minute too. At first I thought of making a reservation at a restaurant. But the only halal restaurant that’s suitable for a fine dining celebration-type atmosphere does not accept children after 6pm, and I wanted to celebrate with Emmet too. Plus no time to prepare and rush to the restaurant, that’s on the other side of the river, with me still minding Mika and his daddy said he’s going to be late.

I also thought of ordering flowers to be delivered Rizal’s office, but then again….naaaahhh!!!! I might as well spend the money buying a pack of condoms…..hahahhaha!!!

So last-last, I made Sup Daging, Rizal’s favourite dish. Kat M’sia dulu time couple, every time will go to gerai tom yam and every time also order sup daging. Tak sup daging, tom yam. Sungguh keKelantanan laaa…. I also made my signature sambal belacan yg glemer n fofulaarrr itteewwww.

Then there was a half eaten M&S choc fudge cake on the table. I made a little banner and stick on it. Made some carrot tempura, loved to make it ever since I ordered the vege tempura in Yamamori.

Table decoration! Grabbed a nice new tie rack scarf and transformed it into a table runner. Hahahahh!!!!! I do take attention to details. Thought about going to kutip some yellow grass flowers to put on the table. Tapi slalu dah petang flowers tu dah layu. Aaahh…forget it!

Rizal wasn’t home yet! Me pun put on some nice clothes, siap do my hair n make up sikit2. Sooo over yuuuuuuu.

Rizal got home at 9.15pm drenched in rain. He didn’t even remember the anniversary. He said he was so busy at work and had to finish late. Aaahhh…that’s ok. No big deal for me. It’s just a wedding date. Not like jatuh talak if lupe anniversary or something like that. And I understand his difficulty at work so I decided not to push it.

Anyway, he was surprised, looking that there was a cake on the table and made a silly remark like ‘eh, birthday siapa ni?’ Freaaakk!!! But he planted a kiss and hugged me n Emmet.

Then we ate sambil tengok The Apprentice UK.

That’s all for our anniversary. After makan, I breastfed Emmet and changed his nappy and PJ and put him to sleep. Me pun tertido skali….

A Tribute to Pak Lang

I got up early in the morning reading a text from my sister saying Pak Lang passed away a few hours ago. He’s been having lukemia for I think over a year now. I guess everybody was prepared for this.

I don’t actually know what to do with funerals actually. So I just read yasin and al fatihah je in private. Even if I call, I don’t know what to say to the family. Never good at this kinda things.

Pak Lang was my mom’s brother. He was the less pandai of all the siblings when they were kids, my mom used to story us la. But he sure is the kindest and humblest and most patient and yg paling rajin of all. He never even once took an MC, went to work even when he was sick. I remember he was awarded best employee by JKR.

He used to work as I don’t know what in JKR for all his life before pencen. Field work with little pay and definitely not a top job. He even had to borrow money from my mom to buy a car that he used until he died. He really took good care of expensive things like that. All his working life, he lived in that small run down 2-bedroom linked rumah papan JKR quarters in Sungai Siput. He’s got a wife and 3 daughters like my mom. Eldest sebaya with my sister and the second sebaya with me.

Berkat keimanan, kesabaran and kerajinan dia, I really thing he lived his life very well indeed. I really admire him and his family the most. I think he died a very happy and fulfilled man knowing he has achieved what he always wanted for the family.

He raised his daughters with so much love and respect that I always see my cousins even though dah kawin pun still like to peluk cium and cuddle2 with their parents. They are like buddies with Pak Lang and Mak Lang but in the same time have the greatest respect to them. Nak keluar rumah je sure salam cium tangan, pipi, dahi mak bapak.

The eldest daugter I call Kak Pizah, entered MRSM Beseri and now a cikgu in Kulim. Being a traditional father, parents sure bangga ada anak dia yang jadi cikgu rite. She got married to a mak aiihh very very nice fella yang muka penuh dengan cahaya keimanan and sejuk mata memandang and at the same time full of wits boleh tahan jugak mamat tu. She had some trouble getting pregnant, had 2 misscarriages and his first son died after a few days dilahirkan, all due to her diabetes. She adopted her husband’s sister’s daughter before finally getting pregnant again giving birth to a baby. But the baby is still not very well but very smart. Bless her…what a big heart to have adopted other person’s child.

His second daughter is the same age as me, we call her Ikin. She is definitely the smartest of all us cousins. She got straight As for everything. Entered MRSM Jasin, graduated among top students, got a good job as engineer at Sony Penang with very good pay and got to travel to Japan every month and now pursuing her PhD after completing her Masters in UTM.

His anak bongsu is called Adik Ina. The most intelligent jugak among us cousins. Entered MRSM mana I forgot, MRSM nevertheless. Now a doctor in Penang. She is so petite but pretty and cute with flawless whitest skin. Always smiling and shining penuh cahaya keimanan. Got married and a kid near Emmet’s age I think.

So there you have it, a cikgu, an engineer and a doctor, all anak2 yang solehah gitu. Parents mana yg tak rasa fulfilled camtu… They all gave money to their parents every month. Every raya everyone including all neneks and neneks sedare, atuk sedare, makciks and pakciks surely got duit raya from them threesome. Ratus2 tau diorang kasi. I also no duit to give to makciks n pakciks one tauu….

He died a happy man…with a beautiful and loving wife, one of my favourite aunty, so kampung yet outgoing. With 3 successful solehah daughters. And he got to at least see his daughters have his cucu-cucu. A house that he finally owned with his own money, a car that his daughters tried to pay back my mom but my mom wont accept. His daughters bought him a new wira the minute they start working already.

So to Pak Lang, I pray that Allah put you straight to heaven. Well done Pak Lang ku….

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Brushing his teeth

Getting Emmet to let me clean his teeth is a real challenge. I know you are supposed to start brushing your baby’s teeth when the first tooth appeared. But I only started when Emmet started on his solid food, which was when he was about 6 months of age. Yea by that time biskut-biskut semua melekat di gigi.

At first, I was eager to use a toothbrush. He was ok for a few days before he realized that he prefered biting the other end of the toothbrush. So that was a failed attempt.

So since then, I swithced to just using wet cloth, cotton and cotton buds. It’s just that it was very hard to get Emmet to open his mouth or show his teeth because he kept muncungkan his lips or pushing my finger with his tounge. This method worked, even though every day was a struggle (physically). He screamed, shook his head, tendang-tendang. Macam-macam helah.

And when he started to learn to show his tantrum really well, I knew I had to change my brushing method again. So I guess it is time to show him once and for all, the proper brushing technique. And Emmet always like something new that he can play with anyway.

So that’s why I bought this new brushing kit. It’s got a toothbrush, a gum massager, a mirror and finger brush, which I love.

So far so good. Next step is to start using toothpaste. And I’d probably buy an electric toothbrush if I have some more money. Rizal tried his on Emmet and he loved it!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Traveling with a baby

Since Emmet is below 2 years old most airlines have fixed price. It’s usually around EUR 10.00. During check-in, along with the boarding pass, there should be a tag for Emmet’s buggy so that we can take it to the gate. When it is time for boarding, it’s either we leave the buggy in front of the gate or at the bottom of the stairs of the aircraft door. Somebody will pick it up and throw it into the baggage area.

By the time we land, we can find the buggy at the bottom of the stairs, or beside the gate, or at the carousel along with other checked-in luggage, depending on the airport.

Before making a booking on hotels, make sure to be informed about hotel policy on children. Some hotels do not accept children. Usually if they do, children who stay with parents are FOC. And some hotels do provide baby cot upon request.

Public transportation
So far we haven’t had much trouble with public transportation except when we were in Oslo. Getting a taxi there is quite tricky since they have strict policy on baby’s car seat. You need to get a taxi that has the facilities of babies’ car seat otherwise no taxi would take you anywhere in Oslo. Other places, we usually use Metro and the tricky part is getting up and down flights of stairs with a buggy. We find Quinny Zapp is much handier compared to the Graco we previously used when traveling. But still you need two people to carry the buggy up and down the stairs.

Though you are not supposed to use the escalator when handling a buggy, sometimes you are left with no choice when there isn’t any lift facility around the station. Using the escalator needs some practice, just be careful and hold on tight to the buggy. And make sure you position the buggy at the center of the escalator, you don’t want it to get stuck at the side, could be dangerous to you, the baby and everyone else that is using the escalator. Do consider all buggy facilities before opting for the escalator.

Busses have limited option on disables. Find busses with a disabled sign or a luggage area so you can fold the buggy and put it there. Busses with disabled facility usually allow you to carry the buggy with your child in it, so easier for you.

No matter what your husband says, always carry along a changing mat with you wherever you go with a baby. I am not confident with the changing mat they have around at any baby area anywhere in the world, except for hospitals (they are very very clean). So I always use my changing mat on top of the available changing mat.

Baby changing area is easily available in places we have been around Europe. I have only once changed Emmet at the airport in Oslo, they don’t have baby changing area at the terminal before queuing at the immigration counter. So I had to use the chairs. Wipes are equally important at times like these. So always carry wipes.

For breakfast, I bring a small 0.2 liter container of oat flakes. That would be enough for a 4 day trip. Emmet only eats like 5 heap teaspoon of oat mixed with hot water for a breakfast. And I usually give his breakfast at the hotel before we go out in the morning. So I just asked the hotel for some hot water at the kitchen or the buffet area.

Since Emmet is still breastfeeding, we usually stop at restaurants or coffee shop during lunch and dinner. A round of breastfeed then I would prepare his porridge. His porridge is usually powdered baby rice mixed with hot water and some canned tuna or sardine that we get from supermarket or convenient shop that we can easily find everywhere. For the hot water to mix the rice I just ask the restaurant or the coffee shop for some and they are usually glad to help, FOC. I bring one packet (100g) of powdered baby rice for a 4 day trip on a basis of two meals a day. The tuna and sardine I can just get when we arrived. Baby chair is usually available at most restaurants, but not an important factor for us. My lap would do just fine.

Clothes and accessories
How many clothes and nappies do I bring for a 4 day trip? That’s 3 pairs of outing clothes, one PJ, 6 nappies for a 2 days spare(the rest I find it easier to buy when we arrived at our destination, giving more space in the luggage), I also bring a digital thermometer, winter jacket/ sweater, snow cap/cap, gloves, muffler, blanket and cotton buds.

Baby bag
What I have in my bag;
1. Three disposable nappies
2. A muslin square (to use as towel)
3. Wipes
4. Changing mat
5. Sudocream in small container
6. Emulsifying ointment (used moisturizer and soap)
7. A pair of clothes for spares
8. Spare socks
9. Snacks
10. Drinking water

Out and about
When we are out and about, I always provide him with snacks to keep him occupied. His snacks are rice cake, cream crackers, crisps by Organix (if we ran out of them, we try to find chips/crisps like Walkers that have some healthy choice with ingredients of only potato and sunflower oil and no salt and MSG. But luckily, Emmet usually naps in his buggy half of the time we are sightseeing.

During summer would be lighter to travel. Light clothing, a cap and the buggy must have sun shade. However, I would always bring a rain cover for the buggy in case it rains. Other than summer, Emmet is equipped with sweater/jacket, snow cap, gloves, muffler and blanket.

We have had little problems walking around Europe with a buggy. Most of the time there are wide pedestrian walk path, slopes at road junctions, buggy path beside small stairs, lifts. But I remember when we were back in Malaysia and Thailand, it was quite tricky with so many stairs at the shop lots and too narrow or no pedestrian walk path beside the roads. Even when we had to use the tar roads, there were so many lopak to elak.

Sesi soalan pule…

Friday, 11 January 2008

Today is a fabulous day!

Getting Emmet to let me clean his teeth is a real challenge. I know you are supposed to start brushing your baby’s teeth when the first tooth appeared. But I only started when Emmet started on his solid food, which was when he was about 6 months of age. Yea by that time biskut-biskut semua melekat di gigi.

At first, I was eager to use a toothbrush. He was ok for a few days before he realized that he prefered biting the other end of the toothbrush. So that was a failed attempt.

So since then, I swithced to just using wet cloth, cotton and cotton buds. It’s just that it was very hard to get Emmet to open his mouth or show his teeth because he kept muncungkan his lips or pushing my finger with his tounge. This method worked, even though every day was a struggle (physically). He screamed, shook his head, tendang-tendang. Macam-macam helah.

And when he started to learn to show his tantrum really well, I knew I had to change my brushing method again. So I guess it is time to show him once and for all, the proper brushing technique. And Emmet always like something new that he can play with anyway.

So that’s why I bought this new brushing kit. It’s got a toothbrush, a gum massager, a mirror and finger brush, which I love.

So far so good. Next step is to start using toothpaste. And I’d probably buy an electric toothbrush if I have some more money. Rizal tried his on Emmet and he loved it!