December 28, 2006

Christmas Eve's dinner

Two years ago, a friend gave us a stuffed turkey from Victoria Station and it was simply divine – the meat was well marinated, succulent and tender; its stuffing was delicious and it even came with a variety of sauces and dipping, including cranberry sauce. Since mum is now in KL, hubby suggested that we order a turkey from Victoria Station and have a family dinner at home.

Being non-Christians, I've never really celebrated Christmas but this time, we got all excited planning for the dinner. A week before Christmas, we went shopping for Christmas ornaments to decorate our tiny apartment. We bought some decorative bows for the dining chairs, a decorative door wreath and some candle stands. I also found some really cute moose hair bands for Yiu Yiu and Yihao.

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, we busied ourselves putting up decorations and preparing spaghetti, mushroom soup and salad in the kitchen. We collected the turkey at about 5pm and mum and other family members started to arrive shortly after. We feasted on the food with Christmas songs playing in the background. The turkey turned out to be a disappointment. The meat was rather dry and tasteless, the potatoes undercooked and the cranberry sauce too watery. Well, tis the season to be jolly and forgiving. Besides the merry atmosphere more than made up for whatever was lacking in the food department, and that is all that matters.

Happy holidays, one and all, and have a Blessed 2007.

December 26, 2006


As a working woman, one the biggest concern I had when pregnant was finding a trusted day time caregiver for my baby as both hubby's and my parents live outside of Klang Valley. I started the hunt for a babysitter in the 4th month of pregnancy and a colleague gave me Yoke Ling's phone number. A friend of her own babysitter, I am grateful to her for introducing me to Yoke Ling as Yoke Ling has really turned out to be a gem of a babysitter.

A woman in her 40s, Yoke Ling has three children ranging from 15 – 21 years old. She is also caring for two brothers, ages four and six, both of whom were attending kindergarten this year. The elder boy will be in Standard One when the new school term starts.

Yoke Ling is such a nice lady and she has never complained nor demanded for compensation even though we sometimes pick Yiu Yiu up as late as 8pm. On a few occasions when both hubby and I had dinner meetings, she kindly agreed to take care of Yiu Yiu until we picked her up at about 10.30pm. Of course we do not exploit her kindness and at times, hubby, who's in sales, picks her up very early if he has no other appointments for the day. As I travel quite a bit for work, she has also kindly offered to take care of Yiu Yiu if I happen to be away during the weekends. However, as hubby is quite competent in handling Yiu Yiu alone, we've never needed her to do so. We reciprocate her kindness by giving her gifts during festive celebrations and I've never came back from an overseas trip without something for her family.

She is very supportive of me breastfeeding Yiu Yiu and was never shy to ask me on proper ways to handle breast milk. She's also very open to my suggestions on what food to give or avoid when Yiu Yiu started taking solids, my refusal to use the sarong, pacifier or walker, though I know she has different opinion on certain things. She uses cloth nappy on Yiu Yiu during the day and I'm more than happy with this arrangement as I can save quite a bit on disposable diapers.

But above all, I'm thankful that Yiu Yiu has the love of Yoke Ling's family – the whole family, including her husband, children and sister who stays nearby and visits often, and the two boys, simply adore her. I'm happy that Yiu Yiu is growing up in a harmonious family environment and she's getting lots of mental stimulation and attention. That to me is the most precious gift any working mother could ask for to put her mind at ease during the hours of separation from her baby.

December 21, 2006

Candy Christmas@Midvalley Megamall

The theme for Midvalley Megamall Christmas celebration this year is "The Sweetest Christimas Ever". It was indeed a very sweet affair at Midvalley with the Centre Court dressed to the nines with lip smacking looking lollypops, candy canes, gingerbread houses, biscuits and sweets and candies of various shapes and sizes. With all these goodies surrounding you and the fabulous lightings, decorations, and Christmas songs playing in the air, you just can't help getting into the festive and merry mood.

We stumbled upon Santa and Mrs. Claus posing for photos with the crowd. Tickets for the 12.30pm photo session were still on sale and we found out that proceeds from the RM10 ticket are to be donated to Rumah K.I.D.S. And again, being the indulgent parents, and knowing that the money is for a good cause anyway, we bought a ticket and joined the queue. It wasn't nearly as long as the queue at 1 Utama for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse photo session and our turn came pretty soon. People from Foto Shangri-La, a co-sponsor of the event, were on hand to distribute cute little moose hair bands and Christmas hats and to snap the photo. Yiu Yiu also got a small gift from Santa comprising of a little Kittycat notepad and a voucher for a single scoop Haagen Daaz ice-cream. No prizes for guessing who benefited from the Haagen Daaz voucher! Muahahahaha… The photo developed by Foto Shangri-La turned out really nice – a result of having professional photographer and sophisticated equipment.

All in, it was a truly enjoyable outing, and one of the most worthwhile returns on a RM10 investment.

December 19, 2006

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Christmas@1 Utama

Hubby saw the advertisement for the above event taking place in 1 Utama in December and so we made our way there last Saturday with Yiu Yiu, Yihao and mum. We reached 1 Utama at around 3pm and there was a Meet & Greet Session scheduled at 4pm for visitors to be up close and personal with Mickey, Minnie and Donald. By the time we reached the Oval, there was already a long queue waiting to be admitted into the area where Mickey, Minnie and Donald were to make their appearance. Without much thinking, we just joined the queue for our chance to have our photos taken with the three Disney characters.

After waiting for close to one hour, it was finally our turn to go onstage and have our photos taken. And the organizer only allowed one photo per family! Can't blame them though as they need to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the stage. See for yourself if the photo was worth waiting an hour for.

Hubby and I were just so amused with ourselves as a year ago, we would have balked at the thought of queuing for such a seemingly senseless activity. Aarrggghhhh…what a difference a child makes!

December 18, 2006

Not gaining weight

At 13.5 months now, Yiu Yiu weighs a mere 7.4kg. She can still wear clothes for babies 6 months of age…can't say it's a bad thing, though, coz I don't need to keep buying new clothes for her. She is still fully on breast milk and takes two solid meals a day. She is taking quite a good portion of porridge (up to ¾ - 1 rice bowl at each meal) but she just doesn't put on any weight at all. She has been hovering around this weight for the last several months. Am I worried? You bet! But every time I ask her paed, she says there's nothing to worry and babies tend to have stagnant weight for several months before undergoing a growth spurt and stagnation again...and the cycle repeats itself. So I am now eagerly waiting for her supposed growth spurt but in the meantime, I guess as long as she's healthy and achieving her developmental milestones, there really isn't anything to worry about.

December 14, 2006

Don't want to go home

When I arrived at babysitter's house yesterday to fetch Yiu Yiu home after work, her daughter was having dinner in the living room while her son was snacking on some steamed chestnuts. Yiu Yiu is having a ball of a time getting morsels of food into her tiny mouth from both sources. As the sky was getting dark and I knew it would pour, I wanted to get Yiu Yiu into the car as soon as possible. So I asked my little darling, "Yiu Yiu, do you want to go home?" To our surprise, she shook her head vigorously and continued her project of getting food from the two.

She simply did not show any signs of wanting to leave, until the babysitter packed some chestnuts into a plastic bag, tied it with a raffia string and handed the packet to her. Only when the packet of chestnuts was secure in her hands would she want me to carry her and continue our journey home.

My oh my! What a foodie I'm raising here…

December 06, 2006

Pesky passwords

Have you ever felt like your life is ruled by passwords? We need a password for almost every web applications and software systems. I have a password for booting up my office laptop, logging into the office network, online transactions for internet banking, EPF account, loyalty programs, and countless other applications. There is also a password for all the various software systems in the office such as the customer database software, sales tracking software, accounting software and many more.

The worst thing about this password thingy is that different applications have different rules for passwords. Some require six characters, others eight characters; some allow using just alphabetical letters while others require a combination of alpha-numeric characters. And yet some require a combination of both capital and small letters. Because of these varied requirements, I have different passwords for different purposes and that poses a great challenge for my ever depleting grey cells.

What takes the icing of the cake is those that require me to change my password every three months or so. And the worse thing is I'm not allowed to repeat the last 24 passwords used. How on earth could I ever remember what I've used for the past 72 months (that's six years for heaven's sake)!

I've tried various ways to help me remember these pesky passwords such as writing them down in my diary and changing only the last digit for those requiring alpha-numeric characters so I only need to remember the nth time that same password has been used. But these still have not prevented me from being logged out due to failure to remember all these pesky passwords. I really wish there is a better way to manage these passwords, just as there's for enterprise-grade online backup and disaster recovery.