Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ho Hum

There are some days, like this one, when I just want the world to stop so I can get off. Quite a little bit of drama has been brewing in this tiny workspace and although it will surely be over soon (people are leaving), it really drains your energy. I've been trying to stay cool and zen-like amongst this but as my colleague has seen today, I've caved in to spurts of outrage and indignance. While I assure you it's definitely justified, I also don't like being this person today.

So I want to take some time off to just recall a funny/ sad moment from yesterday.

As usual every night, I get out of the car and run to my doorstep. My father-in-law would have seen us drive up so he's be at the door with Miranda in his arms. I would squeal "Darling! I miss you! Did you miss Mummy?" And she would squeal back and flap her hands in delight, waiting for me to take over carrying her.

I always take her and we wait for Dwayne to come in after collecting the mail. He would call her by the 'pet name of the day' (Cutie Pie, Sweetheart, Scooby-doo etc. etc.) and she would squeal the same way back.

Yesterday, In The Night Garden was on when we returned home.

Have you guys heard of it?

Scariest looking characters on a kids show!

Anyway they speak gibberish throughout the show and have some catchy little songs. Kids seem to be drawn to them - I have no idea why! I was hoping Miranda would be one of the few who wouldn't care for them but alas!

Because she totally waved Dwayne away and our little ritual of me hiding her with my arms away from Dwayne while he called for her -what ensues is the cuter than cute baby laughter several times over -did not happen!! He tried a few times and she was glued to the TV like never, ever before!

Well, he gave up eventually.

It was quite funny but a little sad too. Baby's growing up, dude.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Miranda's Birthday Wish List

Miranda's Birthday Wish List

A few people have asked what M needs, presumably for her birthday.

Well to be honest, it kinda puts me in a spot to answer that. I mean, surely we, her parents provide her with everything she could possibly need? Hehe.

But her Mommy definitely would like to get more things for her. Always.

A few years ago, one of my best friends, who had only one son then, was buying all these expensive things for him and I was baffled as to why she even bothered since he would grow out of them so quickly. She is a kind, kind one, that girl. She just smiled.

And now.....ah. I get it.

So this is the list:

A cute little raincoat (or two) and baby Hunters. It's been raining A LOT. And Hunters, well... let's just say I'm conflicted on her being a girly girl and having tons of shoes/ wanting her to walk and splash on muddy puddles and yearning for her to remain a little doll I can carry in my arms.

A Hungry Caterpillar string along toy will go nicely with that book I just ordered.

Hoot, one half of the Giggle & Hoot duo. They are the hosts of the local cartoon shows on all day. Miranda is soooo captivated by them. They are her second favourite after Sesame Street.

A dress. Yes, another one. A stripey one?! Yes.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Cool Babies Club

After so much deliberation, there was nothing else I could do but hold a joint birthday party for my 2 September babies.

I considered giving Miranda her own party but I couldn't stand the thought of Dwayne not having one of his own. Also, if I organised a dinner for Dwayne with our friends, we would be spending time apart from the birthday girl too. There was simply no winning.

But...we all know who the star of the party will be though, don't we?

Dwayne doesn't mind though. Both father and daughter are like best friends forever.

Sneak preview of the party. Here are the invites. I thought it'd be fun for Dwayne to get the same "treatment".

Two more weeks! Wheee~~~

Home Made Iced Tea

Recently, I've been craving the iced tea from McDonald's (in Singapore). It's never easy when I have this Singapore food/ drink cravings because I can almost taste the dish as the thought of it runs through my mind. It almost drives me mad sometimes.

As such, there are two options.

A. Live with it and wait till my next holiday there.


B. Make my own and pray it will turn out.

I have some (rather pathetic) pride in being a hawker food connoisseur. Growing up, we never really ate at home. My mum hates the kitchen with a passion so we always dined at the coffee shops.

And that is why when I try to re-create something at home, I have to gather up my guts, even after poring through countless recipes on the correct ingredients/ method because I know I'll be my own worst critic.

Iced tea? Not the most difficult thing to do of course - especially since I've tried to make chicken  rice, mee pok, teochew muay, that brown economy bee hoon, Marche's rosti etc. In short, just being in Melbourne has forced-taught me to cook.

This iced tea definitely satisfied Dwayne and I. It's super easy, plus I bet I used wayyy less sugar than McDonald's formula.

Once water is boiled, add some Lipton tea bags and let it simmer for awhile and turn off heat.

Once it's slightly cooled, add a few squirts of honey/ agave nectar/ maple syrup as desired.

Half a cup of sugar did the trick for me but again, as desired.

Voila! Enjoy!

On a side note/ pic, I took a picture of Miranda's food this week. Is it totes cray cray that she's eating big girl food now? 

Steamed fish with mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach, Penne bolognaise with spinach.

Whaaaaat? And my baby doesn't even have any teeth yet. =/

Lust List of The Moment

A few things

Thursday, August 9, 2012

White Chocolate Citrus Mud Cake

I don't care much for orange in desserts but strangely enough, the white chocolate orange combo is one of my favourites. Ever since I first tasted my sister-in-law's wedding cake a few years ago, I was hooked!

This recipe is my go-to everytime I'm craving it. 

Because it's a mud cake, it's slow cooked in the oven for 2 hours. The result is an incredibly dense and moist cake, just the way I like it. I topped it off with a white chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of the recipe provided for a white chocolate ganache and it was simply divine!

I guess I should learn the art of frosting like those in the shops but I really cannot be bothered. What counts is the taste for me hehehe.

Packed the bulk of it for our colleagues - we don't want obesity to creep up on us, plus the colleagues always love a bit of morning tea!

And a slice to enjoy all to myself!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Desk Bound

We start building our house in October and I just cannot wait!

I've been planning everything out slowly and thoughtfully, quickly casting aside what I don't want but poring over quality, practicality, durability and colour schemes. The last time we had to buy furniture, we were kind of thrown into it. We only looked at one store because I was new in the city and my sisters-in-law go there to get everything, so I just went with their recommendation.

Not that it was bad. But options are always good, yes?

Anyway, we've been hunting for a new couch, an entertainment unit, a washing machine (and dryer, if D will let me have my way) and a fridge for the new place. All are things we really need since everything except the couch came with our current (rented) house.

But even before the house-hunting/buying began, I'd been on the hunt for a decent desk for ages and I just haven't had much luck. Something was always wrong with the design.

Then I spotted this today! Omg I love it so!!

It's got the cross legged design that I favour and I really love the colour. What was unexpected was the drawer storage. It makes practical sense, obviously.

And the best part is that since it's Aussie made, they can customise it to our requirements length-wise.

Now to find the perfect chair to match!

Don't mind me... I'll be cheating on clothes with furniture for awhile.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Miranda @ Month 10

Delayed post!

Miranda turned 11 months on 2 August. This is the lowdown of her tenth month developments:

- She started to clap.
- She can give you a high five, low five, side five...you get the idea.
- She can do the "twinkle twinkle little star" with her hands - very slow and deliberate, but she tries.
- In the last week of Month 9, she walked with her pusher and we thought she'd walk by Month 10. I was kinda crossing my fingers that she wouldn't and she still hasn't. She's afraid of taking a step forward whenever she's on the floor but she will do so when she's on the couch or the bed. But of course, since it's uneven on these surfaces, she falls. So she's taken to crawling like second nature now.
- She waves "hi".
- She opens drawers and has stopped putting every single thing in her mouth, only those that look a little interesting.
- She gives Dolly and Giraffe kisses.
- She sleeps with her arm across my chest so I can't go away after the feed.
- She tilts her head towards you when carried and smiles as soon as you have something to eat/ drink in your hand (that's meant for you, and not her).
- Yes, she loves food. She'll eat anything. I've also stopped being less Nazi about her diet - offering her bits of sugary treats and a variety of food. She's had chai tow kway and roti prata, with curry!
- She screams. She screams when the next spoonful is not on its way, she screams when she's not included in something (Dwayne and I being affectionate), she screams when she's "playing soccer" with her Dad. She just screams a lot.
- She loves certain cartoons and can get really engrossed in them. I'm never gonna be a parent who stops her kid from watching TV, and personally, I think it's just silly. She loves Sesame Street, the hosting Giggle & Hoot and Play School.
- She has understood the word "finish" incorrectly. She lies back whenever we say the word. At first, she used to do it in her small bath tub whenever I said it. I thought it was because she didn't want to leave the tub. But then she does it when we're on the bed too. She'll lie down completely and then get up. Actually, I will post a video of that soon.
- She still doesn't sleep through the night and feeds constantly.
- She is still as addicted to breast milk as ever. Weaning begins in ONE month.
- But she drinks water so well! She can drink half the water in her sippy cup every day!

I can't think of anything else at the moment but yes, how quick do they grow?

Here's watching you kid

As every working mother would, I watch a lot of videos of Miranda when I'm by myself and have some spare time. We have dozens and dozens of videos of her. In fact, Dwayne has been working on putting together a video of her life thus far for her first birthday and needless to say, there are just so many to choose from.

She's quite simply my most favourite person to watch. Her hands banging on the counter, the way she crawls with a purpose (you have to see it, it looks like a "catwalk" crawl), her latest gummy smile as she tilts to face you when you're carrying her - nothing goes unnoticed by her father and I. To say we adore her is not enough. For that matter, no words, nothing, can quite adequately describe a parent's love.

Below is a video of her eating. It's ordinary, yet not so to me. I've watched it so many times since my father-in-law sent it to me. I watch the way her dark eyes dart around and her confidence that the next spoonful is on its way. I also love the music that is playing in the background. It's very much a grandfather-grand-daughter moment, and you can hear my father-in-law let out a soft chuckle, when he's tickled that she's opened her mouth before he's ready to feed.

Watching this video makes me feel like I'm intruding on their moment again and again. It's beautiful in its own way, to me.