Featured Mommypreneurs

Featured Mommypreneurs
Featured Mommypreneurs

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My Ju-Ju-Be Collection

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ANNOUNCEMENT

I have launched a series of blog posts called Featured Mommypreneurs in collaboration with mommypreneurs (i.e. mommies entrepreneurs). Let me know if you're interested to join me to feature your products / services. :)

 

 

Dinner @ You & Me Kitchen Corner, Zest Point

 
Hubby and I found this newly opened restaurant at Zest Point: You & Me Kitchen Corner.
 
Address: ZP2-27&28, Zest Point, Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil, Bandar Kinrara 9, 47180 Puchong.
 
Tel.: 03-8071 0339
 
Cuisine: Chinese & Western, non-halal
 
Plus points: They use natural oils, sea salt, organic eggs.
 
 
The restaurant's atmosphere resembles that of Wong Kok and Kim Gary but slightly posh-er. You need to take off your shoes before you can enter the premise.


The main attraction is the "outdoor" setting. There are three wooden tables and swings that serve as chairs. I love those pretty rainbow ceiling fans!
 

 
Top: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with Minced Pork and Mozzarella Cheese
Bottom left: Stir-fry Spaghetti with Kimchi
Bottom right: Four Leaves Fried Rice
 
The mushroom dish is a delightful snack. Kimchi and spaghetti combo works out pretty good surprisingly. Four leaves are actually potatoes, petai, long beans, and brinjals. This dish is quite spicy to my taste. Food portion is considerably big. If you're a small eater, you might want to share the main dishes.
 
I'll be back to sample the rest of their dishes and desserts. :)


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2013: The year we become three :)


2013 is a year of phenomenal achievement for my husband and I. We are now three!

Let's recap.


Baby is now 4.5 months and he's getting cuter and wrigglier each day. :P

What can he do nowadays?

  • Smiles spontaneously, especially at people
  • Likes to play with people and might cry when playing stops
  • Copies some movements and facial expressions, like smiling or frowning
  • Begins to babble
  • Babbles with expression and copies sounds he hears
  • Cries in different ways to show hunger, pain, or being tired
  • Lets you know if he is happy or sad
  • Responds to affection
  • Reaches for toy with one hand
  • Uses hands and eyes together, such as seeing a toy and reaching for it
  • Follows moving things with eyes from side to side
  • Watches faces closely
  • Recognizes familiar people and things at a distance
  • Holds head steady, unsupported
  • Pushes down on legs when feet are on a hard surface
  • May be able to roll over from tummy to back
  • Can hold a toy and shake it and swing at dangling toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • When lying on stomach, pushes up to elbows 

Life is good with baby! :)

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How to resolve plugged / blocked milk ducts


I just had my fourth episode of plugged / blocked milk ducts during my breastfeeding journey for the past 4.5 months. The first episode actually morphed into mastitis, a very painful experience.

Thankfully, plugged ducts only happen to one breast at a time. If both sides are affected, there goes my baby's food. :S

A plugged or clogged milk duct usually feels like a hard, tender swelling in the breast which can vary in size from a pea to a peach and may feel painful while breastfeeding. The skin over the affected area may be red and the area around the plug may feel full even after a feeding.

Sometimes a small whitish-yellow milk plug can be seen at the opening of a duct on the nipple. Plugged ducts occur when milk flow is restricted, or there is a delay in removal of milk from the breast resulting in poor drainage of the breast.

Contributing factors may include:

  • Missed or irregular feedings and/or an unusually long interval between feedings (a sudden long sleep stretch).
  • Pressing the breast to provide nostril space for the baby.
  • Wearing a tight or poorly fitting bra that impedes milk flow.
  • Having an overabundant milk supply and insufficient breast drainage.
  • A plugged nipple pore/nipple bleb (looks like a white head).
  • Rapid weaning.
  • Practicing vigorous upper arm exercise.
  • Extreme exhaustion.


How to unclog milk ducts that caused painful engorgement? 

1. Apply warm compress (hot water bottle / hot pads) to the affected area to loosen the plug.

2. Take a hot shower and let hot water flow over your shoulder to the affected breast.

3. Massage the affected breast while in the shower or between compresses, pressing with your thumb from behind the plug toward the nipple.

4. Soak the affected breast with in a mixture of 3 tablespoons of Epsom Salt and warm water for 5 minutes. Then, massage your areola and nipple with virgin coconut oil and try to remove any visible whitish-yellow milk plug.

5. Start and continue breastfeeding on the affected side to drain the affected area better. Nurse (direct latch) baby more frequently than usual and do not skip any feedings. Try position the baby so his chin “points” to the lumpy areas.

6. Pump the affected breast for 10-15 minutes after nursing.

Alternatively, take one capsule of lecithin (1,200 mg) 3 or 4 times a day to prevent recurring blockage. Lecithin thins your milk (lowers fat content) in order to release the plug. You might want to stop after the blockage is cleared. 

You may also use cold cabbage and wrap around the affected area. But don't do this for more than 15 minutes because cabbage as cold compression is an effective milk buster.
 
More info:


Happy breastfeeding!


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Christmas fun: Decorating gingerbread cookies



Pink, blue, green, and white icing on gingerbread cookies that come in different shapes and sizes.


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My mother-in-law's Mini Malaysian Pancake (Mini Apam Balik)


Ingredients:

330gm flour
1 ½  cup warm water
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
Sesame seeds (optional)
Margarine (for greasing)


Filling: Red bean paste

Utensils: Pan, Egg Rings and Turner

Method:

1. Mix the flour with instant yeast and bicarbonate soda.
2. Make a well in the flour and put in the eggs. Mix well.

3. Put in the water and sugar and mix into a smooth batter. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.

4. Leave the batter for 30 minutes for the yeast to work.

5.  Heat pan and place egg rings on pan.

6. Put a little margarine into each egg ring. Sprinkle in some sesame seeds. (The presentation side will have the sesame seeds.)

7. Scoop 1 dsp (dessert spoon) of batter into each egg ring.

8. Put in about 1 tsp of red bean paste into each ring.

9. Spoon in 2 dsp of batter to cover the paste.

10. Remove the rings when almost done on one side. Turn over the pancake to cook the other side.

11. Remove  from pan when cooked.
(Makes 18 mini pancakes, can replace red bean paste with creamy sweet corn.)

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My loot from BBW book sale 2013

 
Hubby and I brought baby to the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2013. We did a dash-in-dash-out and baby behaved very well. :)
 
We bought some nice books for baby:
  • My Itsy Bitsy Spider Tab Book
  • Baby's First Bible Stories
  • Little Yellow Chick plush storybook
  • Snowman plush storybook
  • Lil Goat (with two slots for fingers to move the goat's ears)
  • Jolly Christmas mini plush storybook
  •  
 I also bought two books for myself:
  • Superfoods for Healthy Kids
  • Quick and Healthy Recipes (free plastic kitchen spoons)
 
How things have changed after baby's arrival. Now, baby is everything!


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Nursing in public (NIP)


Baby is almost 4 months old now. I'm glad I can still breastfeed him. I will nurse in public (NIP) when I can't find a nursing room to feed my baby. It's fun!
I bought my nursing cover from summerglitz.com.my but if you prefer to sew your own nursing cover, here's a tutorial for your reference.


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The Birth Order Effect

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A day as a working mom


Let's start from midnight. 

12-1am: Breastfeed baby for 15-20 minutes. Sleep. 

2-3am: Breastfeed baby for 15-20 minutes. Sleep. 

4-5am: Breastfeed baby for 15-20 minutes. Change his diaper. Carry him around the house for a while. 

5-6am: If I'm lucky, baby sleeps. If not, I'll put him on the bed and let him babble away while I pat his back. 

6-7am: Breastfeed baby if he wakes up. If not, I'll continue to sleep. 

7-8am: Talk to baby a while, might need breastfeeding if he wants it. Take a really quick shower. Gobble down my breakfast of oats, milk, cereal, and biscuits. 

8-9am: Prepare baby's warm bath water. Wipe him down. Change his diaper. Dress him up. Talk to him a while. Breastfeed him for 10 minutes until he's somewhat drowsy. 

9-10am: Put baby in car seat. Drive to babysitter's house. Depending on traffic condition, journey takes 35-40 minutes. If the day is hot with sun shining brightly into the backseat, baby will wail and I can't do anything but continue to try pacifying him with my voice while driving in the bloody jam.

10-11am: Work.

11am: Pumping time! Total yield from both breasts is approximately 2oz (50-70ml) only at the moment. Sigh.

11:30-1:30pm: Work, then lunch.

1:30pm: Pumping time! Total yield from both breasts is approximately 2oz (50-70ml) only at the moment. Sigh.

2-3:30pm: Work.

3:30pm: Pumping time! Total yield from both breasts is approximately 2oz (50-70ml) only at the moment. Sigh.

3:30-5pm: Work.

5pm: Fetch baby from babysitter.

6-8pm: Reach home. Watch TV while breastfeeding baby. Play with him a while when he's full.

8-10pm: A combination of playing, breastfeeding, and talking to him while trying to put him to sleep. His dad will carry him around for further play time.

10pm-12am: Sleep time for me! Must sleep before the next cycle starts again. :)


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Here and there

 
Hubby's favorite steamed egg with pork. He cooked this a few weeks back. :)

 
Now that's why I never miss night nursing. My son is gonna be very smart! :)




My first purchase from iherb.com and I bought almond milk and Organic Milkmaid Tea. The Spring Dragon Longevity Tea packets are free samples.


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Dinner @ Obanhmi, Damansara Uptown


 
Venue: 33 Jalan SS21/56B, Damansara Uptown (same row as The Ship)
 
Obanhmi sells Vietnam's number one baguette since 1958.
 
Note: Obanhmi replaced the previous Entree eatery at the same lot.
.

Check out their Meal Deal 1 & 2 before ordering your meal. By the way, if you want to eat freshly baked baguettes, check out their baguette reload schedule.


 They are closed on Mondays.


Stew-O
 
This is my favorite dish. Dipping chunks of freshly baked baguette in a bowl of piping hot, authentic Vietnamese style beef stew is the best way to savor this dish.


O.M.G
 
Size matter? Then this is for you. Twice the load of O-Sunny, i.e. original Vietnamese Baguette served with pâté, homemade mayonnaise, ham, pickled radish & carrot, chili, cilantro, with a choice of pork or lemongrass chicken, and sunny side-up egg.


O-BBQ
 
This freshly baked baguette is served with BBQ pork, sunny side-up egg, home-made mayonaise, pickled carrot & daikon, cilantro, and Vietnamese chilli sauce.


O-GA
Ga means chicken. This freshly baked baguette is served with chicken teriyaki, pickled carrot & daikon, and Vietnamese chilli sauce.

Check out their full menu here.

 
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Hubby cooks red dates lactating tea


Ingredients:
A handful of seedless Chinese dried red dates, a handful of dried longan, a handful of lotus seeds, a chunk of dried white fungus, sugar, water

Cook the lotus seeds for 20 minutes in half a liter of water. Then, dump the rest of the ingredients in. Add sugar to taste before switching off heat. Serve warm. 

This red dates lactating tea is known to boost breast milk supply. It's a nice add-on to my daily intake of fluid, which is mainly plain water, oat milk, soy drink, and full cream milk.


With white fungus


Without white fungus


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Surviving the Fourth Trimester


What is the Fourth Trimester?

The first three months of a baby's life (after birth) is like a fourth trimester, where baby makes an enormous transition from the womb-world to the real world.

What have I been doing?

  • Surviving weeks 1-4. Weeks of baby blues, rebound jaundice, adjustments, realignment of expectations, etc. OMG. Blogged - Behind the scenes: First 4 weeks of motherhood

  • Baby's poop and pee. At first, I worried too much about his diaper counts and his poop's color. After a while, you just gotta stop worrying about every single thing and start enjoying the baby! Blogged - Poop-plosion!

  • Tummy ache. This is a major no fun. Baby will be yelling on top of his lungs with tears flowing and nose dripping. So sad seeing him like that. So, the solution is: 1) What I'm doing continuously is observing my food intake and I find out that baby's tummy has problem with me taking food cooked in coconut milk, spices, and curry. So I stop taking all those food; 2) After his daily morning bath, I'll rub his tummy and the sole of his feet with Yu Yi Oil (we mothers swear by this oil!) to prevent possible build-up of wind in his little tummy; 3) Burp him every time after he unlatches from drinking breast milk.

  • Growth spurt. This is very interesting. Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less). However, different baby may do things differently. Growth spurt signs include: 1) Wants to be fed MUCH MORE OFTEN; 2) Very fussy, crying without a normal reason, i.e. dirty diaper, hungry or sleepy; 3) Suddenly baby wants much more physical contact. For instance, your baby only wants to sleep when he lies in your arms, or he suddenly wants to sleep feeling belly-to-belly contact. In other words, the mother is going to be very, very tired, especially during the first 6-8 weeks of baby's life whereby mother and baby are having crucial adjustments between each other. Husbands, you must sayang your wife more. :D

  • Milk supply. Okay, this is a taboo subject. Some breastfeeding mothers, including yours truly will be experiencing episodes of low milk supply. I know some mothers have plenty of milk and they have a freezer full of frozen breast milk, but some just won't have that much milk. As much as I'd like to boast that my baby is fully breastfed, I couldn't shake away the feeling that my milk supply might not be enough to satisfy baby. To maintain and hopefully, boost my milk supply, here's what I do: 1) Eat oatmeal after each main meal; 2) Drink Pink Lady Oat Milk, Organic Black Sesame Powder, and Shaklee Energizing Soy Protein for breakfast; 3) Drink plenty of plain water; 4) Try to eat healthily; 5) Most importantly, try my very best to stay calm and rested, i.e. no stress, which is almost impossible. LOL.

  • Weight. By weight, I mean baby's weight. My baby is on the small side, meaning he doesn't look like a mini Michelin man. Everyone should read this article by Dr. Jay Gordon: Look at the Baby, Not the Scale. This is the best paragraph ever: Weight gain should not be used as a major criterion of good health. Developmental milestones and interaction with parents and others are more important. Do not be persuaded to supplement a baby who is doing well. Get help with breastfeeding and use other things besides weight to guide you.

  • Sleep. Baby's mantra: Sleep is for the weak. At least, that's what I think baby is saying because he fights sleep so much! Putting him down to sleep on the bed is a battle of will and wits. He prefers to sleep in my arms whole day. LOL!

  • What else to do with baby? Apart from the routine feeding, bathing, changing diaper, and putting him to sleep, I also put him at his little Simple Dimple play gym and let him look at all his hanging toys.

  • House chores. It's almost impossible to clean the house properly. I'm calling in a part-time cleaning maid once a month. Urgh.

Read more about the Fourth Trimester:


My favorite paragraph from the last link above: You cannot spoil a newborn! No matter how much you rock, cuddle, wear, or hold your baby, she is going to turn into an independent little person. Children are not spoiled by love and affection; they thrive on it. The fourth trimester is a time for mama to heal and for a newly expanded family to get to know one another. Some mamas refer to this time as a "babymoon." Much like a honeymoon for newlyweds, the fourth trimester shouldn't be about schedules or expectations. Instead it – and our babies – should be greeted with patience and wonder.


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Poop-plosion!


Yes, baby is finally sleeping peacefully and that's why I CAN BLOG!!!!!

*victory sign*

Anyway, this post is about an episode of poop-plosion at 5:15 a.m. this morning. I knew baby will poop the moment his diaper was taken off but I was caught off guard and a second too late to wrap him up with a new diaper when a stream of warm yellow poop "flew" and "exploded" all over me. My white top was "re-fashioned" with yellow polka dots.....

No worries. Poop shooting is a very normal phenomenon for breastfed babies. From an article on BabyCenter: Poop explosions are another normal part of the new-parent initiation. "At our baby's second doctor's appointment, poop exploded all over my husband's shirt," says one BabyCenter mom. "It was like a jet engine!"

Again, you can thank immature biology. "Babies can't willfully poop until they get older, so sometimes it just reaches a critical mass and it all comes out at once," says O'Keeffe.

There's not too much you can do about poop blowouts, other than carrying a well-stocked diaper bag and trying your best to keep your sense of humor intact.

******************************

More about breastfed baby poop color:

What Does Color Mean?

Baby poop changes color and it's a constant concern for parents. But for the most part, it needn't be.

"Color has not much to do with anything except the transit time of food [in the baby's system] and the bile coming through the GI tract," Steinmetz says.

The poop color timeline works like this: Yellow means milk is moving through the baby's system quickly. When the process slows down, poop becomes green -- and can unnecessarily worry parents. Even slower, poop turns brown.

"That's why infants often have yellow stools, because they have a very fast transit time," Steinmetz says.

In normal infants, bowel movements change color and frequency as the baby's diet changes, as the digestive tract matures, and as it is populated by new, normal bacteria. It's rare that color changes signal a digestive problem. Usually, color changes just mean that there is more or less of the yellow/green/brown/orange pigments that are picked up along the way.

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Motherhood rocks! ^_^V


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Banana & egg pancakes


Ingredients:

One ripe banana, two eggs, three tablespoons of mixed grains, one small chunk of butter

Note:

Makes four mini pancakes

Method:

Slice bananas. Break eggs into a bowl. Mash bananas and mix with egg. Add mixed grains.

Heat up butter in pan, scoop mixture into pan, give it about 20-30 seconds, flip, and it's done!

Serve and eat!

Recipe from here.



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Mitch Albom's The Time Keeper


Synopsis

In this stunning new novel, the inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure time. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more years for themselves. At last, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world - now dominated by the obsession with time he so innocently began - and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Gripping, simply told and filled with deep human truth, this unforgettable story will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.

Quotes

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.

Consider the word “time.” We use so many phrases with it. Pass time. Waste time. Kill time. Lose time. In good time. About time. Take your time. Save time. A long time. Right on time. Out of time. Mind the time. Be on time. Spare time. Keep time. Stall for time. There are as many expressions with “time” as there are minutes in a day. But once, there was no word for it at all. Because no one was counting. Then Dor began. And everything changed.


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Some last things before popping the baby :)


Those cute little fingers belong to my newborn son. :)

Here are some last things before popping him out mid-August. :)

  • Last meal I had - Dry Pan Mee

  • Last person (other than husband) whom I talked to before I went to the hospital - Wai Han, my HypnoBirthing instructor

  • Last day at work - a day before baby was born

  • Last movie watched at the cinema - Pacific Rim (3D)

  • Last DVD watched at home - The Croods (animated movie)

  • Last outstation trip - Melaka

  • Last seaside trip - Cherating for our babymoon

  • Last day I drove my car - one week before I gave birth

  • Last wedding party I attended - Ron & Sue's wedding reception at Passion Road

  • Last photo of baby bump - below



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How to get rid of heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy

Guest post by Edith @ applesonsticks.com

Get rid of heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy and start enjoying your life

What would you say if I told you that as a pregnant woman you don't have to go through all that heartburn and indigestion and all the other nasty symptoms that hit many pregnant women during the second and third trimester, and instead could enjoy pregnancy in peace and serenity? Just because you're pregnant, you don't have to go through all the downsides of your condition anymore!

Follow these easy tips & tricks that I myself learned while suffering from the same symptoms due to a change in diet, and you will be on the fast-track to feeling light again.

First of all, you might be wondering what is causing all these changes in your body. It's the whole pregnancy, of course, but here are the details to it:

1) First cause: progesterone. This hormone that is meant to relax muscles during pregnancy will inevitably relax the sphincter as well, which is the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. Once this muscle relaxes, it allows acid to reach the esophagus and cause an irritation, which results in heartburn.

2) Second cause: the baby, of course! If you haven't noticed yet, there is a living human growing in your tummy, and as lovely as that might sound, it's also causing some trouble to your stomach, due to overcrowding it and thus pushing more acid into the esophagus.

3) Third cause: links back to the hormonal changes your body is going through, which affects the way your digestive tract tolerates certain foods.

Once you understand a little bit more about why this is happening to you, it probably sheds more light on how you can avoid the feeling of heartburn and indigestion. You might have some ideas yourself, but here are some tips and tricks I found worked for me and have worked for other pregnant women.

Tips to follow in order to avoid heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy:

1. Position your body in a way that it prevents stomach acid from easily slipping into the esophagus. This means don't lie down right after eating and keep your head higher than your feet, with the help of pillows and such.

2. Avoid some foods that you feel cause your heartburn and indigestion; some of the most common ones are spicy, fried food, chocolate, caffeine and others such as the ones presented on the graphic below.

3. Eat more frequently rather than bigger meals; eat slowly and chew your food properly; and drink less during meals, rather drink between meals.

4. Wear loose fitting clothes instead of tight ones – this will take off extra pressure from your stomach. When I wear skirts that come up to my stomach, it usually puts extra pressure on my esophagus and creates a burning sensation – so I try to avoid them.

5. Try a natural remedy: many women find ginger to be helpful in combating not only heartburn and indigestion, but also nausea that comes with pregnancy. A nice ginger tea sometimes can make the difference.


In the beginning however, not being very aware of these causes, I was using antacids such as Gaviscon, which work very fast; I still use it in times of emergency, and what I like about Gaviscon in particular is that it comes in small liquid sachets as well, which makes it easier for me to take this medicine while avoiding taking pills.

You can read more about how heartburn and indigestion are related to pregnancy here: http://gaviscon.com.my/pregnancy. But stick to the tips presented above and you should soon start enjoying your pregnancy a lot more!

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Hubby's Ratatouille


Yes, the hubby can cook. He cooked Ratatouille for dinner. I did the chopping and he did the cooking. :)
 
Ingredients (6-8 servings):
 
1/4 bottle of olive oil (small), 3 whole garlic, 1 huge yellow onion, 8 tomatoes, 2 huge brinjals, 2 huge zucchinis, 1 can of tomato puree, salt, pepper, mixed herbs.
 
How?
 
First, peel the garlics and smash them lightly. Mash up the tomatoes with your bare hands. Onions, brinjals, and zucchinis can be coarsely chopped into bite size chunks. Marinade the brinjals and zucchinis with salt for about 10 minutes.
 
Heat up a huge stock pot and add olive oil. Then, add garlic, mashed tomatoes, and tomato puree. You don't need to add water. Keep on stirring until the tomatoes turn gooey. Then, throw in onions, brinjals and zucchinis. Keep on stirring until all ingredients become somewhat mushy. Taste before adding salt. Finally, add pepper and mixed herbs to taste before serving.
 
Looks great and tastes just as great too!

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Behind the scenes: First 4 weeks of motherhood

Photo source 

To be honest, the first four weeks of motherhood was super tough. Baby blues hit me hard and thank God I didn't fall into postpartum depression. This transition as a first-time mother was quite stressful for me. No textbook, no manual, everything is forever changing.

What happened during those trying four weeks?

Hubby and I didn't hire a confinement lady. My in-laws were my biggest support during those weeks. My hubby, being a first-time daddy, was trying his best to cope too.

 Healing from second degree perineal tearing 

I couldn't sit on hard surfaces at all; I needed to sit on a cushioned float but I had to adjust sitting positions many times whenever I felt pressure down there. I didn't want to burst the stitches.

Standing and walking a lot 

That's because I couldn't sit down for long without feeling painful down there. My feet became swollen because I was standing for long periods of time including when I was breastfeeding the baby.

Breastfeeding with wrong latch-on techniques 

Since I couldn't sit properly, my upper back hurt badly when I fed baby with hunched back and on tip-toe.

Cracked / sore nipples 

Due to wrong latch-on techniques resulted from uncomfortable sitting position and tiredness from standing long hours, my nipples were cracked and sore.

Mastitis 

Mastitis was breast inflammation developed from cracked nipples. I was feverish; my right breast with its badly cracked nipple was engorged and a red warm area appeared on one side of the breast. Panicked, I contacted susuibu.com and asked for a home visit from lactation consultant. Pn. Kamariah came and the first thing she helped was to resolve my mastitis issue. My mother-in-law managed to coax a GP to come up to our house to prescribe a course of antibiotics for me and gave me an injection to reduce my fever (39.1 degrees Celsius). Pn. Kamariah also told us that baby might have tongue-tie.

Tongue-tie 

Baby had posterior tongue-tie. We finally did frenotomy at Dr. Koe's clinic when he was about 2 weeks old. Tongue-tie caused poor milk intake and thus jaundice was prolonged and poor weight gain.

Prolonged jaundice / breastmilk jaundice 

On the 5th day, baby had jaundice; he refused to stay under phototherapy lights in the hospital. So we did home phototherapy. His jaundice reading rose from 295 to 314 then dropped to 265.9.

On the 15th day, rebound jaundice and baby was hospitalized for second round of phototherapy in Kuala Terengganu Specialist Hospital with a reading of 395.2!!! Dropped to 194.9 upon discharge. 

I cried and cried every time I saw his little body trashing around in the phototherapy box and every single time his tiny hand or heel was pricked to draw blood. Heart broken to the max. 

I was so lethargic because I needed to juggle between not exerting pain down there and taking care of baby and going to hospital. I didn't have enough rest during confinement. In fact, I did not have a proper confinement month.

On the 20th and 22nd day, baby's jaundice reading was 234 and 249. After a series of blood test was done on baby (yes, blood had been drawn from him so many times) plus urine test, liver and thyroid malfunction were ruled out. Urine test passed, so bacterial infection was ruled out.

Finally it was accepted that baby's prolonged jaundice was breastmilk jaundice which will take weeks (6-8) or up to 2-3 months (in some babies) to disappear. The best solution is to direct latch (breastfeed) him round the clock to make him poop and pee out the bilirubin faster.


******************************


Everything came in one full "package" and I was really pushed to my limits. I was also obsessed about my milk supply and baby's pee and poop counts, even his poop's color. I Googled everything and tried to analyze and "diagnose" whenever I noticed some changes in baby's usual behavior.

Also, being sleep-deprived, having to cope with baby's forever changing pattern, and worrying about his jaundice, I was on the verge of mental breakdown.

But I'm super lucky to have very supportive in-laws and hubby. They help out a lot and never question about my breastmilk quality or quantity. All they want is baby and mother to be happy and taken care of.

My latest mantra: Be a warrior, not a worrier.


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More: Surviving the Fourth Trimester


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Updated! My birth story :)

  

The Predict

13 August 2013, Tuesday - I went to see my obgyn Dr. Noor Fidak at Tropicana Medical Center. I was 38 weeks 3 days pregnant. Dr. Fidak confirmed that baby's head was already deeply engaged and I would give birth very soon. After giving me a letter to allow me to work from home from 14-20 August, she commented that the next time we meet, it'd be in the labor room. I was quite surprised to hear that but I was ready too.

14 August 2013, Wednesday morning - I spotted some brownish discharge but there were no labor surges yet apart from more frequent Braxton-Hicks. I was working from home the whole day.

A 'Show' at Dinner

14 August 2013 evening - Hubby dear fetched me for dinner before we visited a friend. Little did I know that would be my final dinner as a pregnant lady.

After dinner, I sensed that my surges pattern changed. They were more regular and repeated every 10-12 minutes. Each surge lasted between 20-45 seconds. Then at 9:35pm, I had the birth show. At that point, when I saw that reddish blob in the toilet bowl, I knew I would be holding a baby in my arms very soon.

Hubby and I left our friend's house and quickly went home. Hubby served my favorite coconut water to me and helped wash my hair before we went to bed. I was having regular surges every 8-10 minutes.

Midnight Surging

I couldn't sleep from 11pm till 3am, trying to breathe with every surge. I walked around, breathing and grimacing.

15 August 2013, Thursday - I called Wai Han around 3:30am. We were on the phone for half an hour as she helped me to focus on my breathing again. I was obviously in major discomfort and wasn't breathing right. About 4:30am, I woke my hubby up and asked him to send me to the hospital (almost 26km away from our house). The journey seemed to take forever.

I was officially admitted to Tropicana Medical Center at 5:12am. The midwife did the first vaginal examination (VE) with my consent and I was 3cm dilated. At 9:15am, another VE was done with my consent and I was 6cm dilated. Those 4 hours went by quite fast when I breathed following what I have learned during HypnoBirthing classes. My hubby read the birth affirmation to me while rubbing my lower back as I sat on the bed. I was too lazy and in much discomfort to want to walk around.

At one point, maybe around 9:30am, I told my hubby I couldn't take this any longer. Now thinking back, I believe that was the hallmark of labor.

Whooshing Water

At 9:35am, my water bag broke. Whoosh! It felt like someone splashing a water hose at my private part. Then, the "pushing" instincts kicked in. I tried to control the surges but it wasn't easy. I forgot about birth breathing. :P

I was sitting on my bed with my back straight after the water bag broke. Then, around 9:50am, following my body's cue, I changed position to kneeling on the bed with my hands on the bed's headrest.

At 10:00am, I could feel baby's head crowning.

Torpedo Baby

I couldn't remember how many times I need to breath down - I didn't think I had the chance to do proper breathing down because baby shot out like a torpedo at 10:16am - only my hubby was in the room. The nurses, midwives, and even my obgyn didn't arrive in time to guide me to "push" in time. I was saved from episiotomy but wasn't spared from second degree tear. I should have remembered to visualize the rosebud. :P

Baby's chord was clamped after it stopped pulsating. Baby was passed to his father for immediate skin-to-skin because I was still in the kneeling position with the cord dangling between my legs. Then, my placenta was delivered within 10 minutes without intervention. Dr. Fidak stitched up my tearing.

Then, it was skin-to-skin time with baby, I breastfed him and let him stayed on my chest for the next 1.5 hours in the labor ward before I was transferred to my own room.


Baby roomed in with us the whole night and I let him latched on for as long as he liked.

We were discharged the next morning. :)


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