Hahaha. I'm a lazy momma. Been a week since I gave birth to my beautiful second daughter and I only posted her announcement. Eh, what to do la, being a mom to a newborn is not free-and-easy. Nowadays, pantang also sendiri jaga, my Mom only helps out with the kids. Fair enough la, it's not like she's the one getting me pregnant *jeling at hubby*


This is the birth story of Khadeeja Binti Junaidi, beloved daughter of yours truly and Encik Junaidix.

My last day at work was on 7 December 2012. I remembered feeling so relieved that I could finally look forward to a week-long break while waiting for my baby to pop out, either through induced or natural labor. Having GDM sucks, because my obgyn flatly refused to let me carry my baby till Week 40. But I was still hopeful that by going for long walks (albeit in shopping mall and year end sales) and daily swims, I could stand a chance of triggering my own labor, just like all my friends recommended. Besides, I was hoping that this baby will be born on the same day of our wedding anniversary and her big sister's birthday - 15 December. It was what I told her every night, to hold on and only make appearance on that day. Haha. HAHAHA. Next time, be careful when you make a wish huh.

10 December 2012 (Monday) - No such luck. Went for my weekly check up and was horrified to be told that I have to be admitted by that night so that I could be induced the next morning. Reason? My baby seemed to not gain any weight - 2 weeks ago, she was 2.62kg, and this week, she was 2.66kg. My obgyn said it could be due to placenta insufficiency. No amount of persuasion and tears could change her mind (some more go and scare me by telling me that if I delayed further, there's a risk of baby starving inside).

11 December 2012 (Tuesday) - Early morning, I was given a dose of prostaglandin, the tablet which was inserted through my vajayjay to ripen my cervix and start my labour. Then I waited. And waited. Around 10, I felt strong pressure on my tummy and... went to the toilet. Was disappointed that it was not labour yet. At 4pm, started to feel contractions (it was like menstrual cramp at this point of time) and I got really excited. OMG, I'm going to deliver my baby and it's going to be a normal birth! Kept my friends and family posted via FB (what to do, I've got to do something to distract myself from the discomforts!). As the night progressed, so did my contractions and by midnight, the discomfort turned into pain (felt like being slowly drilled down there). Nurses kept checking in on me and asking whether I would like to have something to relief the pain (but at this stage, I could still bear the pain and politely rejected their offer). Had to go through another vaginal exam (VE) to see how dilated I was but was hugely disappointed when told that I had not even opened to 1cm. In total, I had to endure 3 VEs in one day. Tough luck.

12 December 2012 (Wednesday) - Second tablet given as the first tablet was insufficient to start labour. Another VE (I was sick to the back of my teeth already having my vajayjay poked each time!). The thing about VE is it is only a minor annoyance if it was done by a gentle midwife, but it could be worse than the contraction itself if done by a midwife who had poked too many vajayjays to care about the patient's feeling by then. Eh, I'm not exactly expecting any foreplays before having my vajayjay poked but a little TLC could help to alleviate the stress!

So, anyway. Renewed my hope that perhaps I would deliver my baby on this beautiful date (12.12.12).  By afternoon, my contraction pains are becoming harder to ignore and at the same time, I was doing my best to follow advice by the nurses i.e. to walk around and see whether it could help to open up my cervix. Hubby tried to help by giving me back massage, foot massage and we even studiously pored over the 'Beautiful Birth' book to look at the various positions and touch points that could help baby to descend. It is worse than taking final exam, we even have to study for it!

I wanted to go for a walk outside of the room but the midwife on duty did not allow me to leave my room because she was scared that my waters would suddenly break (which is soooo not happening!). Secretly, in my agonised state, I thought she just did not want me to scare other pregnant ladies with my groans and moans whenever the contractions hit me. So back in my room I went, pacing up and down.

By 3pm, I was begging my baby to 'pleaseeee... be good and go downnnnnn...' My hubby had given up on giving me weird looks every time I stopped in my tracks and muttered to myself. I even tried visualising my baby going down the birth canal every time the pain hit me. It was not easy to relax my pelvic floor when the pain built up and hit me full-blown. At times I thought I got it, but most of the time, I ended up clenching up as tight as a clammed-up shell.

My obgyn came again to check on me, did another VE, and regretfully informed me that I was not even dilated to 2cm. Excuse me??! I thought I had been making some progress forcing myself to pace, squat and lean over to help my baby descend, not to mention all those coaxing and visualisation. I wanted to cry already but was too exhausted. By 8pm, I was in so much pain that I wanted to just be angry at anyone - at my hubby who apologetically had to leave for his class (wth? I'm in pain and all you care about is missing a class??! Where's the 'we're in this together' spirit?), at my mom who kept praising God every time I was hit by the strong contraction pains (I know she meant well, but a little empathy please? Saying 'thank you for the pain' by someone who did not suffer the pain, did not sound good to someone who actually felt the pain!) and even at my daughter Khayla for making too much noises. But I felt most anger at my obgyn who convinced me that I need to be induced immediately and it was already the second day, where's the urgency that you kept telling me???

Ok, I was not rational at that time. Pardon me for being racked by the most painful pain that makes most women leave their sanity temporarily.

And so, 12.12.12 came and went, and still no baby. I was beginning to think that the baby is not going to come out anytime soon. I was not ready, she was not ready.

13 December 2012 (Thursday) - Obgyn came to check on me first thing in the morning. She's not a morning person, I guess. After two nights in a row of being in pain, I was exhausted, stressed and not able to think much. When she told me that I could try for a third cycle of prostaglandin and risk uterine rupture and / or another failed induced labor and ended up having to go for C-sec, or I could be rational and just go for C-sec considering that the previous two full dosage of prostaglandin did not even succeed in making my cervix budge open - I mean, my cervix remains fast shut and baby remains well, inside. Or, I could go find another doctor.

At this grim reality, I wanted to break down and cry. I had endured contraction pains for more than 48 hours, and to be told that I could not have a normal labour was a bit too much for me. The only cheerful news was that my baby did not seem to be stressed by all the stress that I had to endure, her fetal heartbeats seemed to be normal.

Only after talking out to some people and also the midwife on duty (who is such a nice motherly lady who after sharing her insights and previous cases she handled, also told us to go for a walk at KLCC to release our tension of the non-progressive labour), we finally decided that we did not want to continue with normal labour seeing that the possibility of it being successful was reduced to just 30% or less.

Before we went out, we met the obgyn again to tell her our decision and then asked whether we could choose to deliver the baby on 15th instead of tomorrow? She immediately called the OT to check on OT room's availability on that date, and we were relieved to hear that OT room IS available at 7.30am on 15 December 2012. The date I told my baby to make her debut appearance and the date I had been dreaming to give birth to my second child.

Spent the rest of the day happily buying birthday gift for my Khayla, watching movie (Twilight Saga) and dining at KLCC. Still felt contractions now and then but was in a much better mind frame.

14 December 2012 (Friday) - still felt hopeful that I could suddenly go into labour. But began to look forward to celebrate my second daughter's birthday on 15 December 2012, along with my wedding anniversary and firstborn's birthday. Oh, and birth did not happen on this date.

15 December 2012 (Saturday) - D-Day. Will continue this in another post ^_^ Hehe.

Having to control what I eat is certainly dampening my spirit lately. I can't enjoy my chocolate treats, nor drink Milo, or anything that will threaten to shoot up my blood glucose level.

So to cheer me up and also because I want to reduce my rice intake, I decided to make a delicious, hearty yet healthy soup that packs a punch of nutritions from a variety of veggies, minced meat and a dash of macaroni pasta for the carbs (because carbohydrates are still needed but in smaller quantity for a diabetic). This soup is really a complete meal on its own and a delish pick-me-up on cold weather like now.

It's none other than my favourite minestrone soup:

Minestrone soup for lunch and dinner

Minestrone with Macaroni

Serves 4-6
 3 oz (75 g) shortcut macaroni
 1 oz (25 g) butter
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 oz (50 g) minced beef
 1 medium onion, finely chopped
 2 celery stalks, washed and finely chopped
 6 oz (175 g) carrots, washed and finely chopped
 2 fresh or tinned tomatoes, chopped
 1 clove garlic, crushed
 2½ pints (1.5 litres) Beef/chicken Stock
 1½ tablespoons fresh torn basil
 8 oz (225 g) leeks, washed and finely chopped
 6 oz (175 g) green cabbage, washed and finely shredded
 1 level dessertspoon tomato purée
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
 salt and freshly milled black pepper

Actually, I modified this recipe slightly to make it simpler and because I don't normally have olive oil, basil and parsley at home. Also, I skip leeks because I don't really like its strong flavour. For protein, I add in minced meat. For those who don't have liquid chicken stock, you can also replace this with the chicken stock cube and just add water.

This recipe is ridiculously simple and quick to prepare - thanks to my new food processor, the chopping and shredding of onion, celery stalks, carrots and cabbage take only 5 minutes. The first thing to do is to melt the butter (you can substitute it with margarine for a slightly healthier version, or you can skip this altogether and just use vegetable oil) and add oil to sauté the minced meat until it's brown. Then add in the onion and crushed garlic, sauté until the onion caramelized before adding in celery, carrots and tomatoes. The vegetables are then left to 'sweat' under covered lids for approximately 10-15 minutes (or until the tomatoes soften) before adding in water and a cube of chicken stock. Leave to simmer / until the vegetables are tender before adding in tomato puree for that sweet and sour punch. Add in salt, blackpepper and for me, dried Italian herbs. Leave to simmer until the flavours blend well. The final step is to add in the macaroni. When the macaroni is cooked, that's when the soup is ready to be served!

Even Khayla enjoys the soup (but she only takes the soup and not the macaroni or any visible veggies!) which is a good way to get her to eat up her veggies. Perhaps it has something to do with the tomato-based soup that makes it yummy to an almost 2-year-old like her!

P/S: After having this soup for lunch and dinner, I'm pleased to say that my blood glucose level is below 7mmol/L! ^_^

Somehow, just weeks before I'm due, my gynae is convinced that I have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). After admitting me last weekend to monitor my blood glucose level, I was referred to endocrinology specialist, Dr Dato' Faridah.

As a result, I have to monitor my blood glucose daily at home. I'm not so pleased with it, but I am not one who dare to go against doctor's order because I know they have my best interest at heart. So I had no choice but to purchase the blood glucose monitor device:

The hospital recommended Accu-Chek Performa as it is the most accurate
This device can be bought at any reputable pharmacy. It comes with 25 test strips (where you deposit the blood sample in order for the device to read your blood glucose level), a pen device which is the pricker (you can set the prick level - the pharmacist recommended that I used the lowest level which is '1' as it is less painful), 10 refillable needles (I have to change the needles after 3 times due to hygiene and since the needle may not be as sharp as before after prolonged use) and of course the device itself. I bought mine at RM199 at a pharmacy in Prima Gombak, nearby my house. I also have to buy the alcohol swabs (RM6.90) to sterilise my finger before I prick it (it seemed scary the first time I have to use it).

At the point of purchase, the pharmacist helped to set the device and explained to me on how to use the device even though the nurses at the hospital have explained to me before I was discharged (after all, it is the same equipment). Somehow, I find the explanation useful as at the hospital, the nurses helped to change the test strip and the needle pricker used was different from the pen device in this set.

Initially I did not dare to prick myself so I asked Suami Terchenta to prick me. To my surprise, it did not hurt (unlike when the nurses did it at the hospital). I guess it has to do with the prick level set by the nurses. Since level '1' already draws sufficient blood from my finger without pain, I stick to that level until now.

So, now we come to the blood glucose reading.

Although I am not fond of doing the tests every day, it is interesting to read the test results. I have to do the test 6 times a day - before/after breakfast, lunch and dinner. My pre-breakfast readings (fasting) normally hover between 5.4 - 5.5 (my doctor claims this is borderline), while my pre-lunch readings are lower at 4.2- 4.7 (maybe because I don't snack in between breakfast and lunch, and I walk to the food court to buy lunch). My pre-dinner readings are higher - between 4.8 - 5.4. I guess because by night, my metabolism slows down even though I'll be busy in the kitchen preparing dinner.

My post-breakfast readings tend to be consistent if I only have a bowl of oat for breakfast. But if I add muesli, nuts and fruits to my breakfast (as recommended by the dietitian), the reading will be above 5 and even reach 7 (but still within the targets for control for non-fasting condition). Post-lunch and dinner are even higher - average is 8.6.

So during doc's visit to my room today, she took a look at my blood glucose journal and noted that at above 8, she should be prescribing me with insulin shots to manage the blood glucose level. Luckily, I also jotted down my food intake in the journal so she agreed that maybe this week the insulin shots can be postponed if I reduce my rice to half portion instead of one portion and reduce anything cooked with soy sauce.

She also asked me to continue with the oat breakfast and incorporate a bit of walking (around 10 times going back and forth at home) but not to overdo it in case I start my early contractions again. I immediately like Dr Dato' Faridah again because unlike the dietitian, she gave me a more practical advice that I can easily follow.

Some mothers can enjoy food to their heart's content before they deliver but unfortunately, that's not the case for me. Apa nak buat, for the sake of the baby and to avoid being stuck with diabetes at a later stage of my life, I have to control what I eat and become vegetarian (huhu...). Caiyok Carneyz! Only 3 more weeks to go (plus 60 days of confinement food!) \O/
This morning I was woken up by a strange sensation on my lower back, tummy and pelvic. Before that, I had gone to the toilet 3 times where else normally I take only one nightly trip to the toilet (I usually empty my bladder before going to bed).

After going to the toilet for the third time and feeling somewhat uncomfortable by the strange pressure on those areas (the lower back started to throb and ache constantly), I sat on the edge of the bed massaging my back and tummy.

To be honest, I've never felt this discomfort before. My first baby was delivered 3 weeks before her due date due to placenta praevia and via c-section. And my miscarriage incident that had me induced happened more than 3 years ago I forgot how it felt like.

The discomfort somewhat felt like menstrual cramp minus the pressure on my cervix during those heavy period flow. It felt so surreal that I could not decide whether the pain was real or I was just over-analysing the feelings.

I almost smiled when I remembered the hilarious conversation that took place in my head as I was internalising the whole situation:

Optimistic self: Oh come on, if it's real labour, you don't have to think too much about it. Just go with the flow! If a horse can do it without all these natural birth plan and hypnobirthing and whatnots, why can't you?
Desperate self: We don't know what the horse is thinking during labour! Probably it would ask for pain-reliever if it could talk!

Somehow even though I was just quietly sitting and massaging my tummy and lower back, Suami Terchenta woke up and asked, 'Why? What's wrong?' I hesitated before replying, 'Umm. I just feel somewhat uncomfortable around my tummy and back area.'

He immediately woke up and asked,

'Is it contraction?'
'I don't know. It doesn't feel like it.'
'Is it symptoms of labour?'
'I don't really know.' Which was an honest reply.

He got up, touched my tummy and then decided to find one of my pregnancy reference books to find out (time2 macam ni baru la dia nak baca buku2 tu!). After leafing through the pages, he concluded,'I think it could be it. Shall we go to the hospital now?' By then, I detected a hint of worry and concern bordering panic in his voice.

I crawled on the bed and lay down on my right where my lower back was not painful. 'Not yet. But can you massage my back? It hurts.'

He was on his feet and emptying the luggage from our last trip to the hospital on Saturday. He stopped and helped to massage the affected area, which brought relief to me. I started to fall back asleep when Khayla woke up and cried for milk. Then I had to turn to my left so she could snuggle against me.

By 7.30am, I started to notice the contractions. I was walking down the hallway and immediately felt a pulling sensation on my lower abdomen as it tightened. The pressure was so intense I held on to the wall and clutched my tummy. Suami Terchenta looked at me with a frown on his face.

'It's contraction right? Time to go to the hospital?'
'Um. I don't think so. It doesn't appear frequent.' I was still reluctant to rush to the hospital over a few tinges because I was scared that my doctor will ask me to be induced. Ouch!

I continued to the back area to get my work dress when I was stopped mid-way by the same intense pulling sensation. This time it made me moan.

'That's it. Let's go to the hospital.' Suami Terchenta made the decision.

In between the contractions (which started to appear at regular intervals), I managed to iron my cloth and tudung, laughed at the absurdity of the painless pressure yet so intense it made me pause while I was walking, and get ready. I texted my boss to inform that not to worry, but I need to get checked out because I'm having unexplainable discomfort which is getting persistent.

We dropped Khayla at her nursery and then drove to the hospital. I started the contraction timer. Everytime I suspected it was contraction, I pressed the button and then endured the uncomfortable sensation. Some of the contractions were mild, but some made me clutched Suami Terchenta's arm in agony. Each lasted between 30 - 50 seconds with 10 minutes apart:

My contraction timer apps
When we reached the emergency entrance, the hospital staff seeing me tottering in awkwardly, greeted me at the door.

'Are you feeling labour pains already?'
'I'm not sure...' I explained where the pains were and informed that this was my first experience of 'labour pains' (if it was what it was).

She immediately brought me to the labour ward at 6th floor using a wheelchair (because I started to groan and almost double over whenever the contractions hit me).

When we reached there, the labour ward staff took over and had me settled on the bed to strap on the CTG scan. Then Suami Terchenta appeared and sat next to me watching my every expressions. Occasionally he held my hands when the discomfort was so intense.

The CTG scan displayed the fetal heartbeats (which was steady between 130 - 170+) and the contractions (true enough, it appeared every 10 minutes, averaging at 68 which is already moderate and the more intense ones reached 104, which is already considered as strong contraction).

After half an hour, the lower back pain on my left transferred to my right. When the nurse staff took the CTG scan output, she asked me to remove my pants as she wanted to check whether I'm dilating. At that point, a very intense and stinging pain overcame me on my upper right tummy that I had trouble breathing. I gasped, grunted and stared incredulously at Suami Terchenta as I was suddenly reminded of the same pain I felt when I was induced during my miscarriage 3 years ago!

Mine was between 4 - 9, I think
Nurse asked me to take a few deep breaths (and boy, it was hard to breathe properly when the intense pain was overcoming me!) but I managed to control my breathing and finally sat up. Then I lay down again for the exam and although I read and heard many people said the exam was painful, it was not that painful to me.

Nurse then proceeded to give me injection to help the baby's lung mature in case I really go into labour. She cautioned me that the injection will STING. This time I agreed with her.

Then my gynae popped in and confirmed my worst fear - yes, I'm in real labour and those are regular contractions. If I continue to be having those contractions and already dilating by tomorrow, she will start the birthing process even though my baby is still 2 weeks shy from being considered as full-term! That certainly got me alarmed, thinking that I am not prepared at the prospect of looking after a preemie.

Suami Terchenta had to leave my side to register my admission and I paced the room and swayed my hips to relieve the contraction pains. I also decided to update my FB status just so I could distract my mind from the pain. After a while Suami Terchenta reappeared and we waited to be transferred to a normal ward to wait out the labour.

I even received a call from work,

'Hi. Are you on leave today?'
'Um. I'm in the hospital, having contractions.'
'I just need to check something. Blablabla...'
'The latest status is, blablabla... Urghhhh....' Contraction hit me and I grunted in pain.
'Err... Never mind. I'll just call your boss. Take care!' My colleague sensing my discomfort immediately ended the call.

After we were in the normal ward, I continued to pace the room and sitting on the sofa to ride out the pain. Lunch was delivered. I ate half-heartedly but finished my meal thinking that I might need the energy later should I ever required to be induced today (although I was still praying that it's not time yet and the whole thing will stop).

After lunch and exhausted from enduring the pain and endless pacing, I decided to try take a nap. I slept for 2 hours clutching my tummy.

Then my prayers were granted.

I woke up when a nurse came in to check my blood pressure. The first thing I noticed was I wasn't in pain anymore. Sure, it still throbbed where the pains were, but it was just a faint and mild sensation. Even the contractions were very mild it felt only like Braxton-Hicks!

The pain gradually went away and by night I wasn't feeling them anymore. This was confirmed when the nurse took my CTG scan again - I occasionally had tightening due to BH but the rest was normal. Alhamdulillah! :)

CTG scan showed that contractions have gone away for the moment!
So now I'm hoping to be discharged tomorrow after my gynae and specialist who is monitoring my GDM give the clearance.

Until now I'm wondering what could have triggered the early contractions - maybe because the night before I had pineapple soup for dinner, or because I let Khayla have the boobs to calm and settle her down (although she only suckled for maximum 20 minutes before she dozed off). Or work is driving me crazy. There are a lot of possible reasons but none really makes sense.

Hmm. Anyway, now that I know how labour pains feel like, I HAVE to make some changes to my routine and definitely need to catch up on exercise to prepare me physically for the labour when the time comes. And practice the whole breathing and positions to cope with labour pains. Lots of things caught us unprepared during this short experience, and I need to read and practice more. So does Suami Terchenta. Well, I hope he'll take it seriously as well! :p

Firstly, I must say Alhamdulillah this pregnancy has been pretty much smooth-sailing and stress-free most of the time compared to my first full-term pregnancy experience.

I did not suffer from swollen and achy feet, nor constant backache. I'm also mercifully spared from the internal heat and eczema that made me most of the time miserable and irritable during my first pregnancy. I still remember how I often broke down in tears because my feet and tummy were so itchy when I'm hot and back then, we didn't even have an aircond to relieve my heat! The eczema problem was equally distressing because the cream and soap the hospital prescribed did little to help.

Except for the episode of non-stop vomiting during my first trimester that had me admitted in the hospital due to dehydration, my 2nd trimester and half of my third trimester has been trouble-free.

So I was not expecting to be admitted to the hospital again before delivery until I had had the OGTT. A week later, my doctor called to inform that my result was not so good - my reading was 11.1 mmol/L. Okaay.... Since I already expected that my blood sugar will be on the high scale, I did not really take serious notice when she asked me to see the dietician. Furthermore, I was on MC, I had a sick little girl to look after and also I had to work even during public holiday this week. So, making an appointment with a dietician who is going to ask me to eat brown rice instead of white rice (I'd seen dietician during my first pregnancy) was definitely not one of my top priorities.

Finally last Friday, I had an appointment with my gynae. As expected, she was not happy that I had not make the effort to go see the dietician immediately despite my reasons. She told me that she had a patient who lost her baby at 38 weeks because of uncontrolled GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus) and she is not taking that risk again. Before I can say, '...but!' she had written a note to have me admitted immediately that night so the hospital can monitor my blood sugar (or known as the 7-point test).
Just wanna say... Salam Maal Hijrah 1434H to all Muslims all over the world. May Allah SWT bless us all this year :)
It's the time of the year again. The season full of the nasty flu bug.

Remember when I told that I had accidentally detoxed myself two weeks ago? Turned out that I actually caught the flu virus from someone and all those headache, muscle pain, blocked nose and severe coughing were NOT because of detox whatsoever.

These couple of weeks turned to be very rough and challenging for all of us in the family. As soon as I caught the flu, my whole family became infected with it as well. Hubby had it too, but he recovered fast, which is within 2 days. It's the pregnant lady and a fragile baby who struggled to fight against the virus.

Let me tell you, coughing non-stop while being heavily pregnant was a very unpleasant experience. Every time I was having cough attack, I had to clutch my lower tummy because it hurt like hell!

My medicines
But what's more horrible is being pregnant and having to care for a sick baby.

Khayla couldn't sleep well because she was having high fever (38.8 degrees Celcius people!) and because she couldn't breathe properly due to runny nose. Since she had to breathe through her mouth, several times she woke up with dry mouth and throat, so she became cranky again. My poor little girl!

Her fever lasted more than 6 days despite her taking antibiotics. When her temperature rose too high, we gave her the suppository that has to be inserted through her rectum.

It brought her relief for a few hours but after that the stubborn fever returned and we had to give her paracetamol again. And cold med. Cough mixture. Something to relief the phlegm. There. So many medicines that she hates but had to swallow.

Night time was a nightmare for us parents. In the middle of the night she woke up crying and kicking up a fuss because she only wanted to sleep on my arm. Most of the time I had to refuse because in the morning I'd wake up with backache from leaning too far on my side. Another reason I had to let her down is because she got annoyed with my growing tummy that gets in the way. She'll kick my tummy so much so that I have to wake hubby to pass her to him.

To sum up the past few weeks we had little sleep taking care of Khayla. Both of us were jaded and weary.

Daytime was no better. Her runny nose was worse, and she cried a lot. She only wanted to be cuddled up and became upset when we wanted to do something else like prepare lunch or do laundry. However after giving her meds, she settled down on her rocking chair and slept. She looked so tired with black shadows under her eyes. It just breaks my heart!

The sick little girl
Another thing that made us so miserable during her sickness was her lack of appetite. She ate one or two spoonfuls of rice with chicken soup and then she was done. She refused her milk and balked at the idea of taking plain water (usually she doesn't mind drinking plain water). So it's no wonder that her body took a long time to get well because she was not getting enough nourishment.

I tried giving vitamin C tablet. She was only interested in them for a couple of days, and after that she refused that too. Then I have to force her to eat Scott's Emulsion to boost her immune system. So far she is still taking that supplement.

I'm thankful that now we are feeling generally better, although all of us still haven't fully recover from coughing. Hoping that we'll be in good health by the time the baby arrives - dear germs, please go away!

Si kecik ni, walaupun dah nak masuk umur 23 bulan masih amat manja.

Tidur, mau dalam dakapan emak. Kalau tak dapat, mulalah tayangan drama. Cebik2 bibir, lalu berguguran air mata dari mata buntangnya.

Lalu sang emak tak sampai hati. Diangkat dan diletakkan di perut yang sudah sarat. Si adik menggeliat dan menendang tanda protes. Apa dia peduli? Asal dapat tidur dalam dakapan emak. Walaupun posisi tak seselesa tidur di atas tilam sendiri.

Hakikat nya sang emak tak sampai hati sebab lepas ni si adik bakal keluar dan perlu perhatian. Lalu si kecik ni akan dipaksa membesar lebih awal dari usianya. Dia kan masih bayi, bayi berusia 24 bulan. Nanti dipaksa berkongsi perhatian dan kasih sayang dengan si adik. Tiada lagi 100% perhatian untuk dia seorang.

Lantaran itu sang emak sedaya-upaya memenuhi permintaan si kecik. Biar perut sudah membesar - jika dia mau didukung, mau tidur di lengan atau di perut, mau cebik2 bibir lalu mengamuk, mau sekotak kismis - sang emak tetap akan melayan kehendaknya.

Kerana dia masih lagi satu2nya buah hati pengarang jantung walaupun untuk sebulan lebih ni sahaja.
Help - the baby is coming and we haven't bought anything for the her!

I feel pretty sorry for the little one - if I don't do anything about it, she'll most probably end up with the Middle Child Syndrome (eh, already I'm planning to have more babies after her!). Even my parents bought new clothes for me instead of giving me hand-me-downs when I was a baby.

Then one fine day, I got a text message from Mothercare - they are having a sale and VIP members get additional 10% discount from 2-4 November only:

I must grab some bodysuits for my baby because I had given away Khayla's to my friends before I found out I was pregnant. They are not just cute, but also made of quality material so the clothes don't stretch even when machine-washed. I also want to get a new raincoat for Khayla coz it's rainy season now.

On Friday, I joined throngs of working ladies buying stuff for their children at Mothercare. The queue was so long that I gave up because I had a meeting at 2.30pm. So after my appointment at the hospital yesterday, I asked Suami Terchenta to make a stop at KLCC to continue where I left off the day before.

I grabbed the clothes and stuffed them in the net bag, and after that we calculated the overall cost and started eliminating the unnecessary ones. In the end, we only bought bodysuits for the baby, new pajamas for Khayla who is fast outgrowing her clothes, nipple shield and milk collector from Avent, and maternity pad to use after delivery. I didn't get the raincoat because it's still too expensive even after the discount. Maybe after this rainy season, the price will be slashed further (crossing my fingers).

After getting something for the kids and me, we decided to go to Best Denki. Why? Jeng, jeng, jeng!

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the latest addition to our gadgets:

Samsung Galaxy SIII
Ok peeps, this one is Suami Terchenta's latest love - Samsung Galaxy SIII. He lost his Android phone a few months back and had to use his durable Nokia phone. Only problem is, he's into developing apps for Android and thinks he must have an Android phone for that purpose.

This time I agree with him. It doesn't feel fair that I own a smartphone and he doesn't. He's been postponing to buy this phone because he has to settle his study fees this semester and other family commitments but out of the blue last week he mentioned it again - 'I wish I can buy that phone'.

I suggested that he used my credit card to buy it using instalment plan. He was not so keen at first because normally when you buy electronics using instalment plans, banks normally charge a nominal interest on top of the retail price.

I took the time during Friday long lunch break to visit some stores selling handphones and gadgets to check out the price and the payment method - even Samsung outlet did not offer 0% interest for instalment plans.

Then I went to the last shop in KLCC - Best Denki. From afar, I saw the banner '0% interest with selected credit cards'. Apa lagi, I fast-fast waddled to the shop and to my joy found that they have the model that my Suami Terchenta wants - hooray!

The sweet thing is, they offer 0% interest not just for 12-month instalment plan, but also for 6-month instalment plan. The price is standard - RM1999. So, for 6-month instalment plan, Suami Terchenta will have to pay RM300+ a month for the phone he much desired.

He wanted the blue model but they only have stock for the maroon and white versions - so he settled for the white version. On top of that, he got 8GB SD memory card for free.

Right now, he's still smitten with the phone (who wouldn't, with a brand new gadget?). I wished he had gone for iPhone as well, but apa nak buat, hatinya lebih kepada Samsung...
I was dreading my checkup today. Seriously.

The last time I went for my checkup, my doctor told me that I have to go through the glucose tolerance test - in short OGTT. This is the test that all expectant mothers are terrified of. We have to fast overnight, have our blood drawn before the test, gulp down a glass of overly-sweetened glucose drink, wait for an hour and then have blood drawn again after the test. Lucky I'm not squirmish about the whole blood-drawing thing or I would have another thing to be terrified of this visit.

To tell you the truth, I am not really happy about having to do this test. I was close to rolling on the floor in despair when I was told that I had to do it - c'on! With my history of having PCOS, what other results can I expect??? Plus, my baby's size is right for her age (33 weeks, fyi), Khayla was born at 2.81kg (a.k.a. normal size) and I declared that none of my family members have diabetes. So what's the point of going through this torture? So, pfft. Welcome to the world of being pregnant in Malaysia where doctors insist that we go through the whole process regardless of my previously healthy state of pregnancy.

No chocie, but to prepare for it - The day before I went for the test I drank a lot of water. Waaaayyyyy a lot more than I used to drink. You see, I am not much a fan of H2O. This week when I keep a food journal of my food and drink intake, I discovered that on average I only drink 3 glasses of plain water per day and another 2-3 glasses of flavoured drinks (Horlicks, Milo, coffee, milk, etc.). In total, it's probably just 1L of drinks per day.WOAH! My doctor would certainly raised the roof if she knows that!

Anyway, back to my efforts to err, dilute my blood sugar level I guess, I drank bottles of mineral water one after another. Being in a meeting where the toilet is just across the meeting room helped a lot. By evening, I started to feel unwell. My head felt dizzy, my body felt achy all over and I felt terrible - like I was about to come down with cold / flu / fever.

It was strange because in the morning I was perfectly fine but after gulping down 2L+ plain water (the only time I took flavoured drink was the during lunch - I had Juiceworks banana+chocolate blended juice), I started to feel unwell. I googled my symptoms and guess what, I had accidentally detoxed my body!

According to this site, these are some of the detox symptoms (I highlighted the symptoms that I had T_T ):

  • headaches 
  • lethargy 
  • temporary muscle aches 
  • mucus or other discharge 
  • a coated, pasty tongue
  • flu-like symptoms 
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping 
  • weakness
  • cravings
  • nausea
  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • gas

  • Read more: http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Detox_Symptoms#ixzz2B9s40ucE

    Tu lah, pandai sangat kan. Dah menyusahkan diri-sendiri...

    After a really bad sleep of tossing and turning (and suffering from extremely parched throat), I woke up feeling like I didn't want to go to the hospital to do the test. While downing another half litre of water after waking up, I changed my mind though. Might as well get it over and done with...

    So as early as 8.30am, we were at the hospital. Suami Terchenta had to leave to go for his mid-term so I had to look after Khayla myself. Luckily she was in a good mood today - she woke up without a fuss and was really thrilled that she didn't have to take bath as we were already late. At the hospital, she enjoyed herself playing slides in the playroom and hide-n-seek in the playhouse. But when other kids came, she got all shy and stuck by me watching them play.

    Playing slide at the playroom
    Back to the test. I was so desperate to skip the test to the point that I decided to cheat - I sneaked a packet of M&Ms in my bag and was thinking to surreptitiously swapped the drink with a lot of M&Ms. Both are sweet and made of sugar, right? BUT.... this time around, a nurse lingered around to make sure that sneaky Moms like me finish those drinks without any hanky-panky tricks.

    Sigh. What to do? I contemplated my unlucky situation sadly, took a deep breath and chugged down the drink while pinching my nose desperately trying to ignore the sickly sweet flavour.

    Based on my experience, o expectant ladies out there, bring your own water bottle with a slice of lemon to give it a tinge of sour-ish flavour to counter the over-sweetness of the glucose drink. The hospital may provide plain water as well, but my lemon-infused water helped A LOT. Secondly, when you are about to finish the drink, drain the remaining into the plain water glass instead of chucking the drink from its own glass - that way it's less sweet because the non-dissolved glucose remains at the bottom of the first glass. And of course, chug it down the back of your throat where the sweet tastebuds are less - you do know the anatomy of your tongue right?

    The test result will only be made known in two weeks' time, but my doctor told me that I had already almost flunked my baseline test (the blood test before the OGTT) - my reading was 5.8, whereby a 6 means that I am for sure having GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus). She warned me that my post-test will surely show that a higher reading, but I shrugged it off as 'one of those PCOS-thing'. Like I said, I knew it already.

    Note: The baby is doing fine, growing at the right pace and still very active alhamdulillah. I can't wait - 7 more weeks or less to go!
    Hello peeps!

    It's middle of the week and yet I'm blogging about cleaning already? Can it be true? LOL!

    Usually I reserve cleaning activities during the weekend but somehow I was extra rajin plus I don't want to let a good lemon go to waste... Eh, how does a lemon gets into the picture ya?

    Well, let me start from the beginning. The beginning is a description of my now renovated bathroom which includes having glass shower screen installed.

    While I love the elegance of glass shower screen, the problem is after a while, hard water (chlorinated water) and splashes of soap suds left stuck on the glass after shower (admit it, who rinses and squeegees off the shower screen each time after bath?) eventually created this stubborn smudge called soap film.

    Suddenly, my crystal-clear shower screen is no longer clear. Smudges of white films that are hard to get rid of no matter how much and how long I scrub and no matter how strong is the glass cleaner that I used.

    I began to get worried that if left unattended, the stains will be permanent and I will no longer have that new and glossy glass screen anymore! :(

    In times like this, where do I turn to but the biggest database on the Internet - Google. Of course I also checked out Martha Stewart's website (www.marthastewart.com) for tips to rid off this problem.

    Then I stumbled upon eHow.com and this brilliant video:

    How to Remove Soap Film from a Glass Door -- powered by www.ehow.co.uk

    Well people, of course I have to try it out! Not only because chemistry-wise it makes sense (soap = alkali. Vinegar & lemon = acid), but also because it is all natural and not hard to find.

    So when I reached for lemons while on a shopping trip, and Suami Terchenta casually asked whether I had mistakenly taken it for oranges, I replied, 'No. I really want lemons!' Curious, he asked what for and he was left shocked to know that I intend to use it to clean the bathroom instead of for my cooking or to make lemonade! LOL.

    Back to using lemon as a cleaning agent. I decided to try it on the shower screen in the master bathroom first in case it does not really work. Tak de aku end up sakit pinggang, tapi hasil tak seberapa...

    What I used is:

    1. 1 lemon (make sure it's ripe enough so it will have plenty of juice)
    2. Not-so-rough scrubber
    3. Soda bicarbonate or baking soda, mixed with vinegar to form toothpaste-like urm, paste
    4. A squeegee

    I followed exactly like how the video instructed - squeeze the lemon juice on the scrubber or directly wipe it across the glass, scrub in circle motions all over, then rub in the baking soda+vinegar paste. Then I left it for 2 hours for the magic the chemicals to work. After 2 hours, I use a glass cleaner and the squeegee to wipe off the substance. I then rinse it with water and squeegee off the water.

    What do you know? It works! Although, it's not 100% clean and clear as I hoped (maybe because I have left it a tad too long to clean, like, 5 months?) but most of the film has gone. Only the edges remain and the bottom part (where I don't scrub so hard).

    Maybe over the weekend, I'll repeat the process again if I feel like it. Hehe. Hopefully my glass screen will be as clean as how they maintain it in 5-star hotels! Haha!
    As some of you may know, this year we got ourselves a 15" MacBook Air to replace my broken Samsung netbook. Why we decided to get MacBook instead of another Windows OS laptop?

    1. It's our dream notebook ever since we laid eyes on it 6 years ago
    2. It has bigger screen than a netbook but lighter than a netbook
    3. Suami Terchenta wants to try developing apps for iPhone - therefore he needs a Mac
    4. It has become much more affordable with Maybank 0% interest installment plan

    But a word of advice to those who are also salivating to lay their hands on a Macbook - you have to be prepared to fork out more money for something that Windows user don't even have to fret about.

    Truth is, getting an Apple product comes with hidden cost - some of their peripherals are simply different from Windows products. Why, Apple, why???

    So these are among the normal, every day things that we have to buy separately in order to be productive with our MacBook Air:

    1. MS Office Professional 2010
    Normal price: RM199
    We managed to buy at: USD19.99 (RM60+)

    If you walk into a shop and buy a Windows notebook, you can expect that it comes bundled with MS Office. After all, Microsoft owns Windows and MS Office. BUT when you buy a Mac, you have to buy MS Office separately. At the point of purchasing the notebook the salesman did ask whether we want to buy the original Office for Mac at RM199. Yes, it's cheaper compared to the time I bought original MS Office Home Edition 2008 for Windows lappy 2 years back (close to RM300).

    BUT after forking out a lot of money on the notebook we just can't afford it. So we didn't buy it.

    Not long after that, my manager forwarded an email to everyone that our IT partner has gotten a good deal from another vendor which to cut the story short, means we can get original MS Office Professional 2010 including for Mac for only USD19.99 (or below RM100)!

    So MS Office - checked.

    2. VGA Adaptor
    Original Apple adaptor: RM99
    I bought: RM99

    Let's face it - sooner or later you will need to flash the presentation, your work, or whatever on a projector during office / class presentation. The thing is, you cannot simply plug in the VGA connector from the projector - be it Sony, Samsung, Philips, NEC or whatnots - to a MacBook. Why? The VGA port does not match! It's only built for Windows VGA port :(

    A marketing strategy to enrich Apple and its shareholders? Maybe.

    VGA adaptor - checked.

    3. MacBook Air casing
    Normal price: RM148
    I bought: RM0 - using my Maybank Treatspoint :)

    Yesterday, we were at Bangsar Village and decided to drop by at Epicentre - Mac premium reseller to check out if the new mini iPad is already on display.

    It's not - but we left the shop with Speck MacBook Air casing :)

    The best thing about the casing is strangely not because it's purple in colour (I'm a diehard fan of anything purple!), but because at RM148, I actually got it for nothing!

    How's that so? Since the shop displayed a bunting that says 'Redeem Maybank Treatspoint Here', I checked and found that my Treatspoint balance is enough to get me a brand new casing :)

    After buying such an expensive notebook with aluminium casing, the last thing you want is your MacBook to end up with scratches after toting it around. So, an external casing is a must. 

    Well, you must think that if it involves so much investment, why do we continue ahead with getting a MacBook Air?

    You see, I am an iPhone user and  I love to take lots of photos of my daughter for memory's sake. When you have a Mac, you don't need cables to transfer your photos to your laptop. In fact, you don't have to do anything to transfer your photos in your phone to a laptop - it's all done automatically via iCloud. Same thing goes to my music collection, etc.

    There are a various other plus points of having MacBook - read here.

    It also comes with the world's most advanced OS - Mountain Lion. This is more Suami Terchenta's thang - he wrote a lot about it on his blog. As for me? Like using my iPhone, I love exploring the Apps Store - it's like going for window shopping or shopping for free apps now and then!

    Salam and happy Saturday peeps!

    Firstly, let me wish all Muslims 'Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha' :) Hope everyone had a blast of a celebration yesterday and are not suffering from post-celebration tummy ailments after gorging on so much daging korban. LOL

    Anyway, we too celebrated the Hari Raya albeit in a very modest and low-key way. By low-key, I mean that we don't have meat on the menu. Plus, we stayed home the whole day and did not have anyone over to celebrate it.

    So if we don't have meat, what did we have ya?

    Well, we had this:

    From left: nasi minyak hujan panas, acar nanas, ayam kurma and kek batik

    Sorry for the poor quality of the picture because I was hungry when I took it! So I just quick-quick snapped the photo and then tucked into our very delicious lunch. Hehe.

    As usual we love home-cooked feast. So all of the above are home-cooked :) Thank goodness for Google, I can google the recipe and prepared the feast even if it was my first time to get the nasi minyak right! Hehe.

    The first time I cooked nasi minyak was when we first got married and we had friends coming over. I went through the laborious process of preparing nasi minyak, dalca and ayam masak merah. The ayam masak merah was perfect, the dalca was delicious (thanks to my friend Bib who texted the recipe back when we don't have Internet access at home!). The nasi minyak was all right - except that it was bright red!

    You see, I didn't know that I was supposed to just dot the rice with the food colouring. What I did was made a hole in the middle of the rice after it was cooked, and then immediately stirred the rice! Of course the whole pot of rice turned red. Hehe. When our friends asked why was our nasi minyak red in colour, we lied and said that was how we do it in Sarawak. LOL!

    So back to Aidiladha celebration feast. I did not have the red colouring this time, so I only dotted the rice with green and yellow colouring. The green colouring was a bit too strong and even though I only dotted once or twice, my rice almost turned green. Almost, but see it turned ok kan? :P

    I got the recipe from someone's blog but I modified it a bit - like using only Ghee to stir-fry the onion, garlic and all the spices when the blog mentioned that I should use vegetable cooking oil and Ghee. Reason being, I wanted to have a healthier version of nasi minyak.

    To be honest I don't actually know how to prepare ayam kurma and I don't really feel like looking up the recipe online. Ayam kurma has always been a tradition in my family during Hari Raya Aidiladha, along with kek batik. That is the reason why I chose to prepare those two for Raya this year :)

    Since I'm the lazy type, I had instant gravy for my ayam kurma. I just threw in chicken wings and drumsticks in a pot of simmering water, add the gravy, diced potatoes, chillies and onions. Voila! Delicious ayam kurma for lunch ^_^

    The acar nanas is simple to make though. Hubby cut the pineaple in four, a carrot and cucumber, and half an onion and then sliced everything using the food processor. Love the gadget! Then we just mixed the whole thing with water, vinegar and sugar and let it pickled in the fridge :)

    Last but not least, a sweet treat for my family is my used-to-be-famous kek batik :) To make it sweeter, my little girl helped me with preparing the ingredients:

    Khayla helping to measure the sugar
    I had to help her scoop the sugar though, because she is still developing her hands-eye coordination skills :D But she was thrilled to help anyway. She even helped with breaking up the Marie biscuits for the cake. It was so cute and hilarious to see her went 'ooh' when I broke the eggs into the rotating mixer bowl. Hehe.

    When it came to stir the cake batter in the wok, I had hubby to do it because it was hard work. So the whole family chipped in with making the cake. He also helped to compress the hot cake in the cake tin.

    So that's the story of our Hari Raya celebration and the feast that we prepared. It may be simple, but what matters is with whom we celebrate and the heavenly taste of our own air tangan, right?

    Now will you excuse me because talking about food is making me hungry and the baby has been kicking me non-stop :p Time for lunch. Happy weekend guys!
    Mode: Chillin' on the pool lounge while watching my little girl and her doting daddy play in the pool.

    The past 2 weeks had been quite hectic and busy for us. Our family was in town and staying with us. Of course that means having to clean up the house, stocking up on food and playing the role of tour guides.

    Eventually the busy weekends, the restless weather and having to care for many people took a toll on my health. Not to forget having too much durians during this rainy season :p

    So this week we decided that we should treat ourselves to a mini vacation. Since I have to be in Kuantan for a meeting on Sunday (crazy right, Sunday also kena kerja!), I booked a room at the Swiss-Garden Resort for the little holiday.

    And nobody is happier than our little girl who loves nothing more than being out of the house and exploring new surroundings!

    She is, as always, the perfect little traveller who spends her time in the car watching tv or sleeping. I cannot emphasize more how I love having little girls because they are much more calm and well-behaved :)

    We arrived at the hotel at 3.00pm. The check-in process was quick and smooth and we were in the room in no time at all.

    Since it is a resort the room is quite nice and cozy, although the housekeeping was really bad. Can you imagine that we found a dead cockroach under the bed and lizard's dropping at the veranda? :( It just reduced my rating down to just three instead of five.

    Anyway I didn't want to let it ruin our vacation so after a bit of a rest, off we went to the pool for a fun time (more like Khayla's fun time!)

    So here I am sitting on the lounge under a shady tree enjoying the sight of my little girl having the time of her life splashing in the clear blue pool. I just noticed a small brown bird with green feather on its breast perching on the tree's twig, while a red flower fluttered down into the water.

    This is the life.
    Dear Khayla,

    In approximately 2 months, you will turn 2 years old. I'm dreading that age, because I heard and read that a 2-year old is just a monster in disguise - that's why the phase is called "Terrible Two".

    Already you are showing symptoms of becoming a monster little girl - you can turn the house upside down without even blinking your eyes. You can passionately and stubbornly refuse your food and then cry endlessly for a bottle of milk instead (which in the end, just to shut you up, I will give in to you instead of sticking to what your paed told us to do). You climb up the dining chair and the sofa without fearing for the danger of falling down and knocking your head like you often do. You love to open and close the kitchen cabinets, the rice container and also the cutleries drawer and then carry off the contents of the cabinet (forks & spoons, spatula, whips, plastic containers, onions, etc.) to the living room where you pretend to cook by yourself.

    Just looking at the mess you created makes me feel like coming down with a headache. I will have to lie down and close my eyes so I would not see the mess - but then you will climb up on the sofa where I'm resting to jump up and down near my tummy! If I was not scared of you falling off the sofa, I'm scared that you will fall onto my tummy and hurting your little sister inside. You, my daughter, is a force to be reckon with!

    My dear Khayla,

    Sometimes I feel quite sorry for you because you are so full of energy and enthusiasm, yet sometimes your parents just don't have the time nor the energy to keep you entertained. You love to play but I notice that playing alone is no fun to you. That is why you get bored easily with your toys and after a while will sidle off to disturb to check on a near-comatose Mommy. I have to admit that since I become pregnant with your little sister, I am not so much fun to be with. In the first trimester, I slept or threw up most of the time and was a grumpy Mommy. In my second trimester, I had regained my energy to play with you after we reached home from work / daycare but hey, where did the Time go? Suddenly, Mommy is in the third and final trimester and became tired easily. You are forced to play on your own.

    But fret not baby, in another 2 months you will soon be joined by another little girl who will be your lifelong friend and playmate. Then both of you can turn the house upside down play together ok?

    My sweetie-pie,

    Despite your sometimes testing behaviour, you are still most of the time a very cute and adorable little tot. You make me laugh at your adorable antics and when you are in the mood, you can be spontaneous with your showers of affection.

    For example, you will suddenly abandon your toy to give me a peck on the cheek or if you suddenly remember how much you love me, you will give me a kiss on the mouth! Awww... it just makes my heart melt ok?

    When you makes me upset, your face shows that you know that you did something wrong and sometimes will give me a beseeching look before deciding to give me a sweet smile because you know that I cannot stay angry at you with your angelic expression, like the photo above!

    God, sometimes I admit that I really want to smack your bum-bum for being such a naughty girl but I cannot! You look so perfectly innocent twiddling your fingers together and giving me a look that clearly says, 'Mommy don't be mad ok...'


    Dearest child,

    Let's talk about skills you have picked up over the past several months. Swimming for instance. I am so proud that you are now really independent in the swimming pool. You love the water so much even though it's cold and you love the sensation of floating in the water.

    Every time we mention 'Swimming!' your face lit up like a Christmas tree and then you will rush to put on your shoes after we changed you into your swimming attire. The moment we put you in the water, you giggle so hard like someone is tickling you! That is to show how much you enjoy swimming.

    Apart from swimming, you've also begun to show a flair for singing. It started with humming the 'bear song' and then one day, when we returned from daycare, you started to sing 'Twinkle-twinkle little star'!

    May I remind you that at this age, you still could not form a full sentence, or even speak properly except calling out, 'Bapak!' or 'Mommy!' yet you can sing 'Twinkle-twinkle little star' so clearly!

    There are a few more nursery songs that you love to hum or sing along to like 'Old McDonald has a farm' (the only part that is recognizable is the 'e-a-e-a-o!') or 'Are you sleeping?' You also love the Colbie Caillat song 'I do' because I played it over and over again a couple of weeks ago. Hehe.

    But that does not mean that I will feel happy if you decide to be a singer. No, no... You can be a pilot or a successful businesswoman, but being a singer is a no-no.

    My lapis lazuli and sweet little munchkin,

    I just want to reassure you that despite the upcoming arrival of your little sister, you will continue to hold a special and dear place in my heart. You brought so much joy to my life when I needed it the most, and the most awaited gift by God. Remember that when I'm busy taking care of your little sister and seemed like I could not give much attention to you. However, I will try to love both of you equally. Both of you, your sister and you, grow inside of me and hold a special place of your own in my heart.

    I love you very much ok.

    Salam everyone and i know it's a bit late, but I still want to wish everyone Selamat Hari Raya! LOL

    We had a glorious Raya break this year mainly because it was a long break as we commuted between Kuching and Bintulu. Since my cousin got married on Independence Day, I had a good excuse to prolong the leave so we could spend extra time with our loved ones at home.

    Anyway the festive mood continued and last weekend, being the long weekend we decided to host makan2 event @ open house this year.

    Honestly i was expecting massive efforts to be put to prepare the feast. Days before the event, I ambitiously planned to prepare laksa Sarawak, mee kolok and daging masak hitam served with lemang (tak sedar diri tengah pembawakan budak!).

    But as the day drew nearer, laziness took over and I had a brilliant idea of getting a caterer to prepare nasi tomato while we only prepared laksa Sarawak and mee kolok.

    We managed to get a caterer 2 days before the event at very affordable price (RM5 per pax, complete with serving tray, plates and everything needed for the party).

    Then on Saturday, we did some major cleaning before we went out to buy groceries for the feast. We also stopped by Deja Moss' cake shop to buy kek lapis Sarawak to add to my kek lapis cream cheese variety.

    Kek Lapis Tulip from Hadeeja
    What with grocery shopping, going to Kak Retna's doa selamat event, and cake-hunting, eventually we reached home around 8pm to start the preparation.

    I immediately started on the mee kolok recipe for dinner. And that's when I decided to drop it from the menu. My mee kolok was almost inedible! LOL

    So, our menu was - laksa Sarawak, nasi tomato, kek lapis Sarawak, and some Raya cookies that I purposely saved in case we decided to go ahead with the event.

    Senang kan?

    By that night we were already in full mode of the feast preparation that even our little girl decided to chip I'm some help.

    She helped me to fill the cookie jars :) aawww...

    She also helped to clear up her toys (but always got distracted by the toy she picked up!) and even wiped the polystyrene bowls.

    The whole family worked hard that night and only went to bed around 1am.

    Penat seyhh...

    The next day, I became worried that nobody would turn up to our feast because we only had 5 people who confirmed they would come via FB. And we had prepared a feast for 30 pax!

    So apa lagi, sesi calling2 to check whether people were they were invited.

    Needless to say, I was worried over nothing because after 2pm, neighbors, friends and colleagues turned up till we had a full house!

    Meriah sangat rasanya, sampai tak cukup tangan melayan tetamu ^_^

    To my delight, my cream cheese kek lapis was a hit and I had to refill the cake tray several times. Thank God we had the cakes all cut up and stores in the freezer ready to be served.

    We were also amused that children found our ice-dispensing fridge fascinating. They kept refilling their cups with crushed ice every time they finished their drinks.

    Overall I'm so happy that we managed to host this makan2 event successfully although it was a last-minute decision thing. Our normally peaceful home was also bustling with laughter and crowds.

    It was totally worth it to be having people over at our house even though after everything was over, we had another massive clean-ups to do and a really aching feet and back to tend to.

    I can't wait to do it again next year, Insya Allah :)

    I'm also grateful to those who also brought along some gifts (eh, first time pulak buat open house dapat gift!) because they knew that we just finished our house renovation a few months back. So they came along with some housewarming gift for us. Baik kan?

    To these friends and colleagues, we take this opportunity to say thank you for the lovely gifts :) See how Khayla was excited about 'em?

    It's finished. The end. Time to move on.

    We used to finish each other's sentence. Synced with each other's wavelength. When I thought of something, he'd already moved the gear into action. Like the time when I wanted to watch a movie and he had already bought the ticket. Or the time when he felt like eating something, and I had already ordered it.

    Some marriages continued to go on cloud nine, couples grow old being all lovey-dovey just like it was on their wedding day. But some, like ours, evolve. We settle into routine. Every day life takes over, kids come along and we become weary parents whose lives consist of waking up, going to work, coming home, dinner, TV and bedtime (in our case, going to work, going to class, coming home to sleeping kid and spouse).

    Maybe that was the reason we lost touch of the romance that once made us feel alive, special, exhilarated and loved. The exhausting every day routine.

    Of course we still do the couple things. We go to work together, fetch our kid together, shop, cook and eat dinner together. But our thoughts are preoccupied in our own separate world. It hit me hard when this morning, as we both stood bleary-eyed in front of the stove where two pans are heating up, and I pointed the veggie to one pan and the sardine to the other. Instead, he cooked the veggie in the other pan and the sardine in the veggie's pan. I was upset not because he did the wrong thing but because it signified that we no longer understand each other the way it was before.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that my marriage is in trouble, or that we are contemplating separation. I'm trying to come to terms that the honeymoon period is officially over. Where he no longer buys gifts on whims, he makes it up with foot rubs for his pregnant wife (upon request of course). He lets me have rest while minding a very active toddler and also helps around with the housework.

    Therefore it's really selfish of me to ask him to also be a husband who spends his time staring in my eyes when he's already exhausted from doing the housework and taking care of the toddler, or buys me flowers on my birthday after he has spent so much on the house, the car, groceries, baby stuff and also his family back home.

    Maybe I need to be the one who learn to be realistic. Coming to term that marriage needs each other's sacrifice and understanding.

    So hello marriage.
    The 17mo toddler was restless - she had been cooped up in the house for most of the day and because the house is just a 900sqf box, she couldn't run as much as she wants.

    So guess where we brought her for a run? Yup, none other than the lovely Lake Garden :)

    Yeay! The field is bigger than my house!

    Sometimes I wonder whether I was in the right frame of mind when I decided to go ahead with the MBA when I knew I was pregnant - if I could go back, I would tell my child-less self that I would suck as a mother. Good mothers bring their children for swimming, shopping, playing at the playground, not cooped up at home finishing homework and assignments, and dragging their toddler to group assignment meetings. I may excel with flying colors in studies, but I fail miserably at being a mom :(

    This semester break? I made it up, and score countless brownie points in Khayla's book. We brought her to the Aquaria a couple of weeks ago, then last week we brought her to play at the indoor play area at Paradigm Mall and watch her first movie (Ice Age 4, and 10 minutes later she dozed off because the cinema was dark and cold). 

    How little Khayla must have enjoyed her weekends because she always wakes up earlier than usual.

    So back to Lake Garden story. We were fortunate to find a parking space to park our not so compact car anymore. The moment Khayla got off the car, she was already heading towards the playground and pointing at the swings! Oooh... how she loves the baby swing!

    Giggling excitedly, she rocked back and forth as we pushed the swing higher and higher. Her eyes lit up with happiness - watching her adoring her swing moments made me feel, 'That ugly scar from the C-sec, sore nipples, and 10kg gain from the pregnancy? Oh yeah, totally worth it!'

    We also took her to play the baby slides, and she was an expert at pushing herself down the slide, then scrambling up to climb the slide again. 

    Tired of the playground, we wandered off to the park and the baby-Daddy team started to run down the jogging track while I pushed the stroller. This girl puzzled me. She ate maybe 2 spoonfuls of rice, which she ate one grain at a time but heck, the way she sprinted off like an Energizer bunny, where did that extra energy came from???

    I think we must have walked for a half a kilometer, before both Daddy and baby plonked themselves on the curb for a short while - then she spotted the fountain. Shrieking excitedly, she was up and running towards the fountain! Another baby copied her action - wow, babies must have love fountains.

    We reached an open field, and since the day was nice and not too hot, we decided to bring along a mat which we spread on the ground under a tree. Then I went off to buy some ice creams, snacks and a drink for both of us while Khayla was already sipping on her Dutch Lady chocolate drink.

    It was a joy sitting there having our tea while watching other families playing soccer, badminton and frisbee. After a while, Khayla decided to explore the field and the two love of my life went to explore the bridge across the field. 

    We spent about an hour at the field, and Khayla had fun wandering the field and even playing a balloon which a kind lady had given to her. At one time, she was picking up the balloon when she fell on it belly down and for one second, I was filled with horror that the balloon will explode. Instead, she rolled off the balloon onto the ground on her back - looking stunned, like, 'What just happened?!'

    But eventually she did burst the balloon and then the picnic was over. 

    I am looking forward to plan the next weekend. Btw, Khayla added more to her nonsense vocab this week - and she was endlessly babbling in her own language.

    It goes like this - AMIAMIAMICHIWOWO!CHIWOWO!AMIAMIIIIII! So Internet, AMIAMIAMI! (I sure hope she doesn't mean she wants to go to Miami).
    Khayla is now 18 months old. She drinks a lot of milk. She pees a lot. Suddenly, I find that the cloth diaper is leaking!


    But I like being the super Earth-friendly mommy! I don't mind washing her cloth diapers, because it just needs rinsing and then thrown into the washing machine for the rest. And we save 2 diapers (disposable ones) a day, minimum.

    Plus, she doesn't have red rashes on her private area due to prolonged exposure to her urine whenever she wears the cloth diaper.

    So for a few months my not-so-Earth-friendly hubby refused to put on cloth diapers on Khayla. Instead, it's only reserved for swimming activity. But for wearing in the house, especially at the prospect of accidents as Khayla likes to sit in his lap, he's not so keen on that.

    So I look and look for the solution.

    And I found it.

    Turns out I just need to put an extra insert in the diaper. Wearing two inserts means she can play, run, waddle, climb and sit in our lap without the danger of leaking cloth diaper.



    So for the second baby, I am aiming to have at least 20 cloth diapers and 10 extra inserts so we can save a lot on disposable diapers not just for the second one, but also for Khayla.

    Last week, I tried out their online store to order two CDs and biodegradable diaper liner (because a newborn does not wet the diaper that much, but they pee and poo frequently). The service is quite fast. Within 2 days, I received my order.

    I'm also wearing Lunatots Suri Pantyliner, which is their cloth pantyliners during my pregnancy due to leukorrhea. Not only it makes me more comfortable, I don't have to worry about running out of stock of pantyliners as I did last time. And it dries fast! :) I have four of them yet I don't run out of it even though I wear it daily.

    Two thumbs up to Lunatots!