Month: October 2012

My Baju Kurungs

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

I am parting with many of my baju kurungs (Traditional long garments worn by Malay ladies) very soon. It’s part if the spring cleaning I did pre-moving to our new crib, and for the fact that I wear abayas nowadays, my baju kurungs have mostly been abandoned. I offered them for anyone interested on Freecycle KL, and I had a few interested ladies. There are more than 20 of them, and now that I am folding each of then carefully, putting them into a bag for their new owner, I could not help but reminiscing all the memories I have wearing them.

There is one worn during my first Eid abroad.

There is one bought using my first salary.

There is one I wore on the first meeting with my (then prospective) in-laws.

There is one worn during my engagement day.

I could have clung to every memories attached to these dresses, but they are just pieces of cloth. They might have witnessed all the important events in my life, but I am not losing any of my memories of those events by not having them with me.

And so I am giving them away.

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The Apple Crumble

I mentioned in the previous post that I will attempt to make an apple crumble this weekend. my sweet tooth gets the best of me, so I made it today instead. So here’s the result, following the recipe from http://www.crumblerecipes.com/crumble-recipes/apple-crumble.asp. I made a mistake by mixing sugar straightaway with flour, but to my inexperience taste buds, the crumble still tastes not very different from what I had earlier this week at Hotel Istana.

I reckon there are a few improvements I could make on the texture though. For this weekend.

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I’m surely gaining weight!

Site I Love: Cooking 4 Busy Moms

I’m not very much into cooking unless somebody is willing to clean the mess, but unfortunately, since I have requested for a full set of kitchen cabinet in our new nest, I am at loss with excuses to give for not cooking.

For the time being I cook at least 3 or 4 days in a week (dinner only), and I foresee cooking everyday in one month time (Isa will reach 6 months mark God willing by then that he will start on solid food). You see, I am trying to cultivate healthy eating to our child(ren), so it all starts with me preparing our own meals.

I’ve tried planning our meals but it doesn’t work. I guess it is because there are days where I was too tired to even walk upon reaching home, or Isa’s making a scene that I have to entertain him before anything else. Most often the food ingredients will just go bad. Hence to be able to pull a decent meal with anything I have in the fridge is really a valuable skill.

Then I found this website: http://cooking4busymoms.com/, which is really wonderful. Oh well, at least I don’t have to go around looking for a recipe that only use three ingredients.

And guess what, the desserts listed look good as well! If I were to attend a party (or a gathering) with potluck theme, I would choose making desserts. My culinary skills when it comes to main entrée aren’t that polished to go beyond the boundary of my own house, so desserts would be just nice.

I haven’t tried anything from this website yet, but I am thinking of making BUSY MOMS CARAMEL SQUARES
for this weekend’s picnic we’d be attending.

p.s. I am trying to make my first apple crumble this weekend too. Wish me luck!

Cooking 4 Busy Moms

Home Project 1: The List

I have mentioned in another entry before that Isa was hospitalised. What I didn’t tell is that a day before he was down his fever, we brought him to our new, yet-to-be-occupied house. It could be that the visit tired him so much that he fell sick, but anyhow, I swear I won’t bring him into the house again until it is ready to be comfortably occupied.

We went there with Isa as we had appointments with potential contractors who wanted to take necessary measurements before they’d give us the quotations. From memory I think there were at least three of them visiting at the same time.

Looking at the renovation list, I could understand how this whole thing could be stressful for my husband:

1. Add power points
2. Wiring for water heater and air-conditioners
3. build kitchen cabinet
4. Build wardrobe in master bedroom
5. Install new lighting
6. Change bathroom doors
7. Reinstall new sink in bathroom no.2
8. Paint interior
9. construct new front door grills
10. Repair sliding soor locks
11. Renovate store room door
12. Install shower curtain rail
13. Cornices to cover up those ugly wiring done

I know there are some missing items in the list above. If you ask me, nothing in the list excites me, except for choosing the interior colour – which We decided to stick to one colour (in my evil mind I am thinking of using wallpaper someday). The exciting bits for me are:

1. Choosing the curtains – done first thing. Only waiting for me to collect them from the shop.
2. Shopping for lightings – and this did lighten my pocket, it costs us RM1100+ for almost 14 lamps and almost 30 energy-saving light bulbs.
3. Shopping for furniture, of course! My MIL generously gives us her dining table and single bed frame, so what we need to buy are a living room sofa, a coffee table and bookshelves. The important-but-not-urgent furniture includes a console table, our bedside lamp for reading, carpets and rugs, bathroom storage, a sofa bed… And a new TV to replace our old, free CRT set.

I guess that’s for now. What I could report is that those in the first list are mostly in progress or done, but the furniture-shopping, nada.

And guess what, this weekend my husband will start his weekly classes (he’s sitting for a professional exam in December) so I suppose no shopping trip until we desperately in need of those listed furniture.

Oh my.

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The funny spelling error of the previous tenant.

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Many faces of Isa, who fell asleep in his dad’s hug!

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Measure and measure. Money and money.

We co-sleep with our baby, so what?

What’s the fuss about sleeping?

When I read websites from the West on parenting, most of them does not condone co-sleep. Well, except for askdrsears.com and other pro-attachment parenting websites. I don’t get it. It puzzled me at first, because that was just how it works naturally in my family and those I know.

I slept in my parents’ room until I was 3 or 4, on a mattress laid on the floor. A baby cot is just non-existent in our family history, except for the playpen my sister bought almost four years ago for my nephew.

During my confinement period, my mother insisted that I should sleep well to speed up my recovery (I suffered from low blood pressure and was badly torn, so I was most of the time dizzy and in pain), so Isa slept in either the playpen we borrowed from my sister,  or on a mattress next to my mom at night. My mom will sooth him should he cry, and woke me up only when Isa needed to be fed. I was blessed with the fact that Isa was not colicky, but it took sometimes for him to establish into a sleep routine that makes things easy for me. Letting him sleep with my mother was the best thing to do given my condition.

Post-confinement, as I was back in my own house,  Isa slept next to me on the same bed, until now.The plan was for him to continue sleeping in the playpen, but I found that it would be very hot for him (we don’t use air-conditioner), so he slept next to me.

And when I said on the same bed, it is three of us sleeping horizontally, with dad at the end of the bed, me in the middle and Isa next to the headboard. This is only feasible since:

a)both of us are relatively short – none reach 160cm;

b)I sleep curling;

c) and my husband being an easy sleeper who basically could sleep anywhere.

I don’t plan to do this for long though, only until we move to our new house which will have more space in our master bedroom for a mattress to be put on the floor. But I have to say, the current arrangement really helps in making sure that mommy gets her beauty sleep! When people  say that mothers lose a lot of sleep, it simply doesn’t apply to me most of the time.

Do I think co-sleeping is dangerous?

Yes, if you put the baby next to the daddy, who apparently lack that natural ‘barrier’. I have never once accidentally bump into any part of Isa’s body – it’s just as natural as not falling from your bed while sleeping I suppose.

We did consider buying a cot for him (the one used during the first two months was my sister’s), but now I think I’d prefer letting him sleep on a mattress (on the floor). Partly due to safety issues around cots, another is as Montessori practitioners suggested, a crib doesn’t allow much independence for the baby to decide on what he’d like to do.

We’d definitely train him to sleep in his own room when we feel that he’s ready. Well, I am yet to know when exactly is that – perhaps when he just could sleep throughout the night without waking up – which I presume is still a long way to go.

Upon moving to our new crib, I’d definitely get rid of our bed frame since Isa will start being mobile very soon God willing, and the least we could do to ensure his safety is to reduce the possibility of him being at height.

Do I think co-sleeping will make Isa clingy?

I don’t think so. I wasn’t clingy, for once, being a product of co-sleeping, and  none of my siblings were clingy despite all of us sleeping with our parents for a certain period during our childhood. I like having Isa close to me during night time, due to the fact that it is the only available time for us to bond during weekdays. No, this isn’t a working mother’s guilt. In reality, it isn’t long before Isa starts craving for more independence that I’ll have no chance to being close to him. I’m just living the moment, having seen that co-sleeping will have no adverse effect on children. Oh well, most of us Asians co-sleep – and I don’t think we all grew up being so screwed up.

I may not subscribe  to all natural parenting or attachment parenting principles, but on this issue I just have to take side.

So much ado about sleeping, is not it?