February 28, 2009

Mid way through my pregnancy

This week marks the mid-point of my pregnancy – I’m already into the 20th week. In my last visit to the gynae, which was about three weeks back, I had not gained any weight. At this point in my first pregnancy, I was already 8kg heavier. I’m quite happy with the way things are, weight wise, as I started at a much higher baseline, 5kg more compared to my first pregnancy. I’m hopeful that my weight at full term will not exceed that of my first pregnancy.

We did a thorough anomaly scan at the 18th week and everything looks good – from baby’s head circumference, heart, kidney, spine, ribs, hands, fingers, feet and toes. Baby’s weight was 254g then. I could also start feeling baby’s movement since the 18th week.

Symptoms wise, this pregnancy is slightly different compared to the first. I had much less nausea and vomiting, unlike my first pregnancy when I had a vomit bag hanging over my head for the first five months J. The only food I could tolerate then was pork/chicken and salted egg porridge from the neighbourhood coffee shop. This time around, the hunger pangs were much more prominent, and there were times in the earlier months where I still felt hungry after a heavy bak kut teh lunch! Thank God that phase has passed coz it felt really terrible feeling so hungry, and yet trying not to eat too much.

In terms of food, though I normally loved seafood, I couldn’t stand the sight of fish or prawns during my first pregnancy. This time however, I have an aversion towards vegetables and soups.

People say that if the pregnancy symptoms are different, then the baby is likely to be a different sex. Also, Yiu Yiu really looked like a boy when she was younger (people will not fail to ask if she’s a boy, even when she was wearing a pink suit which says “Papa’s little girl” or “Grandpa’s princess”), and people tell me the next one would be a boy. But truly, girl or boy, all we’re asking for is a healthy baby.

February 26, 2009

It’s getting harder…

…to leave for business trips. I’ve been psyching Yiu Yiu last week that I’ll be away in Hong Kong for work, and that she’ll be staying home with papa. She seemed to take the news well but started acting up on Sunday night. She was reluctant to go to sleep and followed me up and down the house while I packed my luggage. She finally went to sleep at 12.30am after I was done packing and went to bed together with her.

When she woke up in the morning, I was fixing her bento and asked her to brush her teeth with papa’s help. She refused and insisted to wait for me – and I ended up having to carry her while brushing her teeth. When I asked her to step out from the bathroom as I wanted to take a quick shower, she started to cry. Papa tried to distract her by offering her some toys, which kept her occupied for a few minutes. She started crying again while knocking on the bathroom door. I quickly finished up and changed, before changing her into her uniform as well. She just clung on to me and I had to show her the waiting taxi outside from our bedroom window, and told her that mummy is late. She relented and I went downstairs first, while papa helped her keep her toys. She was sobbing when papa carried her downstairs, and kept calling out for mummy. She told hubby that she cried coz she’ll miss mummy. I gave her a hug, and she held me tightly while sobbing loudly. I also beh tahan already and started crying myself. I promised to call her every day and showered her with kisses, before finally getting into the taxi.

Hubby told me that she was still sobbing quietly in the car while on the way to school…SIGH!

February 24, 2009

Bento post #23 – #28

These were her bentos for last week.

Monday – cheesy sausage sitting atop a slice of circular cheese and carrot. I don’t have a small circle cutter so I used an old scoop from Yiu Yiu’s milk powder. The circles were still slightly bigger than the diameter of the sausages. Added a mini banana muffin for carbo, and some cucumber sticks and mandarin oranges for fruits.

Tuesday – it’s been some time since I gave her some fish fingers so fried some for her. Packed the last mini muffin for her, this time, it was pandan flavoured. Bought some grapes the day before so she’ll be getting grapes for fruits throughout the week.

Wednesday – bought a set of bread cutter from CP few weeks ago so decided to try them out. Made her a simple luncheon meat sandwich and cut them with the three cutters – rabbit, bear and flower. I pressed too hard on the first rabbit so the ear got cut off as well. For fruits, it’s grapes again.

Thursday – Yiu Yiu asked for spaghetti, which was simple – just cook the spaghetti and heat up the frozen sauce. For some colours, added a carrot flower with french beans stem, and a cheese butterfly. Filled up the spaces with what else but grapes.

Friday – another request by the little missy, she wanted some dried noodles. Cooked a noodle cake and tossed the noodles in light and dark soya sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Decorated the noodles with carrot, french beans and cheese on a bed of meat balls.

Monday – this is the only bento she’ll have for this week, coz I left for Hong Kong after fixing her this. It’s meatballs with french beans and carrot, and two small slices of fruit cake. I still have grapes in my fridge so threw them in as well. Hopefully hubby will remember to finish them; otherwise they’ll be rotten by the time I get back.

February 20, 2009

Just for laughs

Incident 1
This was related to me by my sister. Her MIL came to KL one day and brought some young coconuts from her home. BIL opened up the coconut to get to the refreshing water within. When sis offered the coconut to Yihao:
Sis: Here Yihao, have some coconut water
Yihao: No, no, no
Sis: It’s very nice, you try and see
Yihao: Coconuts are for monkeys, I’m not a monkey

Incident 2
Yiu Yiu didn’t eat the burger I prepared for her bento last Thursday. Here's our conversation:
Mummy: You ah, waste my energy only. Always never eat the food I prepare.
Yiu Yiu: Then I buy you a bicycle lor.
Mummy (scratching head, don’t know what bicycle has got to do with uneaten bento): Why buy bicycle for mummy?
Yiu Yiu: You waste so much energy, where got enough energy to walk wor?

February 18, 2009

Bento post #20 – #22

I only prepared three bentos for Yiu Yiu last week as I only got back on Tuesday after a short trip.

Wednesday – Yiu Yiu asked for char siew pau the night before so today’s bento was yet another simple one. Bought the char siew pau the night before and just steamed it in the morning. Added some colours by giving her two pieces of checkered apples.

Thurday – Yiu Yiu asked for burger some time back so I made some pork patties and was looking for small plain buns as the regular size burger buns would be way too huge for her. The lunch that was served on board on my return flight had a bun that was just the right size so I finally got the chance to fix her a burger. I still had some guava left so cut up some in bear shape for her. The gap in the bento box would have been just right for some fries but I had none so the box looked rather empty. Anyway, babysitter reported that she didn’t touch the burger at all at school. She ate up the upper bun when she got back to the babysitter’s house but left the rest untouched. Anyway, the lower bun had turned soggy due to the tomato slice so perhaps it could have been better if I had sandwiched the tomato slice between the patty and cheese. Another attempt down the drain.

Friday – another lazy bento with cut up fruit cake, some fish fingers and the last of the guava in my frigde in the shape of butterfly.

February 16, 2009

CNY highlights – Playing with sparklers

We left Kuantan for Ipoh on the fourth day of CNY, back to my parents’ home. Even though mum now stays with younger sister in Puchong, we decided to still keep the house in Ipoh, as mum is still much attached to the house. We still go back at least once in two months, to visit my aunts and also to feast on Ipoh goodies and white coffee.

Anyway, when we reached home, elder sister brought out a plastic bag containing some sparklers and two other types of fireworks (after some googling, I learned that those are called conic fountain and roman candles). I was so thrilled to see them as I had wanted to buy some sparklers and fireworks for Yiu Yiu after she had so much fun playing with Pop Pop Snappers (those mini balls that make a pop sound when thrown to the ground) with hubby’s cousin’s children in Sungai Lembing.

Pop Pop Snapper

One of my most vivid memories of celebrating CNY as a child was the fun of playing with sparklers and fireworks and I figured there’s really no harm in letting her have some childhood thrills, under strict supervision. However, we couldn’t find any fireworks seller in Sungai Lembing or Kuantan; I suppose they are a rare breed now with the ban on firecrackers and fireworks.

I don’t think Yiu Yiu had any experience playing with sparklers so she was pretty excited throughout dinner. We ate out and when we adults lingered after dinner for a chat, she kept hurrying us to go home, saying she wanted to play with fireworks. Here are some shots of Yiu Yiu having fun with the sparklers.

These things don’t come cheap now – I remember buying the King Kong brand of sparklers those days for only 20 cents per pack of 10, but the one that sis bought cost RM1 per pack of only 8. But what the heck, CNY only comes by once a year and it’s priceless seeing her excited and happy face.

February 14, 2009

CNY highlights – Sungai Lembing

As is customary on the third day of CNY, we went to MIL’s ancestral house in Sungai Lembing. The house is now occupied by MIL’s fourth brother, and her many siblings typically congregate at their ancestral house on the third day. The house is located at the end of the Sungai Lembing village beside the hills.

Watching hubby's uncle lighting up some fireworks

I love this shot - Yiu Yiu looks so natural

There’s a small stream right in front of the house. After having a scrumptious lunch prepared by MIL’s SIL, we took Yiu Yiu for a dip in the stream. The water was clean, cool and refreshing, typical of water from the hills.

Hubby’s cousin’s three children (MIL brother’s grandchildren) soon joined us in the stream. They had never been to the stream, despite having made numerous trips to visit their grandparents there.

Building an embankment

(Left) Don't move, or I'll shoot. (Right) Nah mummy, take these back as souvenirs

February 12, 2009

CNY highlights – Lion dance

Every year on the first day of CNY, we would visit hubby’s classmate open house, whose dad is a prominent businessman in Kuantan. Coincidentally, his classmate’s wife is my course mate in university. Actually hubby and I met through them - him being the “heng dai” and me being the “ji mui” during their wedding, but that’s another story.

Each year, there will be a lion dance performance during the open house. However, this time around, I noticed that the troupe’s costumes were really nice, and there were poles set up around the compound. We later found out that the troupe was from Khuan Loke, winner of the 2007 Hong Kong World Lion Dance Championship. The performance was indeed superb, with lots of mid-air acrobatics. Here are some shots taken with my new Olympus mju 1050 SW.

Mid-air acrobatics

Passing of mandarin orange from one lion to another

February 10, 2009

CNY highlights – Teluk Chempedak beach

We went back to Kuantan on Friday afternoon to avoid the Saturday exodus. That allowed us to have a leisurely Saturday and we took Yiu Yiu to the beach. She enjoyed herself thoroughly playing sand...

No prize for guessing which footprint belongs to mummy and which belongs to Yiu Yiu

...and even ventured into the water. The waves were pretty strong but she enjoyed having the waves splashing onto her legs as they broke onto the shore.

I love this happy shot, unfortunately it turned out blurry

This is another fave shot of mine, father and daughter bonding

We went there again on the first day of CNY, this time with BIL and his family. Again, the kiddos enjoyed themselves thoroughly – luckily they didn’t fret when it was time to leave.

February 08, 2009

First day of work in the Niu year

I started work on Tuesday, the 9th day in the Year of the Ox. Coincidentally, my company’s Sports & Recreational Club chose the same day for the office CNY celebration. At about 9.30am, the distinct sound of clashing cymbals and Chinese drum was heard at the reception area. The lion dance troupe had arrived

The two lions danced and pranced around the reception area before splitting up – with one going into the sales area, and the other going into the marketing area

After completing their rounds on our floor, these two lions proceeded to the upper floor where the rest of the departments (finance, corporate affairs, HR, IS, medical) is located.

This was then followed by a scrumptious brunch for everyone.

February 06, 2009

Bento #16 - #19

These were her bentos for this week.

Monday – took shortcuts and bought her a char siew pau. Completed her light meal with slices of rose apple, bought at the Tapah rest area when coming back from Ipoh on Saturday.

Tuesday – noodles in soya and oyster sauce, decorated with carrot flowers and french beans as stem and leaves. The flower cutter is a bit too big for her bento box, so the flowers looked oversized. At the side are some home made meatballs and butterfly shaped guava, also bought from the Tapah rest area.

Wednesday – got the idea of making this flower pizza bread from here and here. I made two extra pieces for myself but when I ate them in the office, the toasted bread had turned “rubbery”. I knew in that instance that Yiu Yiu would not eat hers and true enough, the babysitter said she only dug out the fillings and ate them. I used the sausage cutter I got from Chooi Peng to cut the sausages into fish and penguin but they didn’t turn out nice. Not sure what I did wrong. In the silicon cup are slices of rose apple.

Thursday – a simple bento which didn’t take too long to prepare. Just had to cut the almond brownie into three small pieces and fried some chicken nuggets. At the side are guava slices in the shape of bear.

There’ll be no bento today as hubby and I will be leaving for a short trip in a short while. In fact, Yiu Yiu spent the night at the babysitter’s yesterday, and will be there until we come back on Tuesday.

February 04, 2009

Broken bento box

Yiu Yiu came back from kindy on Monday with this.

Here’s the conversation that took place:
Mummy: What happened to the box?
Yiu Yiu: I don’t know.
Mummy: You don’t know? What do you mean you don’t know?
Yiu Yiu: It’s spoilt already lar…
Mummy: Who spoiled it?
Yiu Yiu: Nobody, it spoiled by himself (itself) one!
Mummy: Spoilt already so how, cannot use already lor.
Yiu Yiu: Use the other one lar, the bigger one.
Mummy: (So you say pengsan or not?)

February 03, 2009

*Me in my uniform*

This was a quick shot that mummy captured yesterday morning just before we left for school. Yesterday was the first time I wore my school uniform. Actually, two pairs of uniform were given to us a week before Chinese New Year, and even though I was only given size S, they were still too big for me. I was practically swimming in them. The next day, mummy brought the uniforms back to school and asked if she could exchange for XS but teacher said S is the smallest. So mummy had no choice but to take my uniforms to the tailor for alteration. She only managed to collect them back from the tailor just before we went back to Yeh-yeh house for Chinese New Year.

Don’t you think I look smart in my uniform?

February 02, 2009

My new camera…

…is not a dSLR yet.

The product I’m managing did extremely well last year, creating a record of sorts for my company. My boss was kind enough to put up a request for some reward and recognition for the team, and this is what we got – an Olympus FE 330.

Since one of the senior managers in Olympus Malaysia is hubby’s ex-colleague, he managed to help me to upgrade the camera to their latest Olympus mju 1050 SW – I just needed to pay an additional RM350.

This new compact is timely, since I’m getting increasingly disappointed with the quality of photos taken with my faithful 5-year old Olympus mju 410. I experimented with the new camera over the Chinese New Year period and I’m pretty happy with its many functions and settings, though in some aspects, I feel it is still lacking slightly behind my sister’s Canon Ixus 850, which I’ve been using for most of my overseas trips over the last year or two.

As for the dSLR, well, I’m still contemplating, since it’s a huge investment. I’m worried that it may just become a white elephant as I’ll probably underutilise it, since I know next to nothing about photography. The other consideration is whether to get a Canon or Olympus. I’m more inclined towards Canon, since they have one of the best dSLR cameras around, but hubby thinks I should choose Olympus, since he can get it at below retail price, and servicing and spare parts would not be a problem, since he knows people in Olympus. For now, this plan will remain somewhere in the recesses of my mind.