Monday, August 11, 2014

Our blessed Ramadhan

It seems like it is becoming a trend to begin my post with an apology of some sort for abandoning/not posting anything because it is obvious that I haven't been writing much and the periods between posts are getting longer and longer. 
Before I write about raya, I shall write a bit about Ramadhan. It was a blessed Ramadhan indeed. Alhamdulillah I managed to fast without much problems but I missed 2 days of fasting because I was down with fever, flu and cold. I was also on sick leave for a day. I guess it must have caused by the very hot and dry weather. Babycakes was also down with fever during puasa and I had to take an emergency leave to take care of her. It was challenging but we pulled through. 
I hardly visited the bazaar Ramadhan this year because first, the bazaar near my house isn't that interesting because most stalls have moved to a different location, which I didn't bother to go due to its bad traffic. Secondly, there wasn't anything much that I feel like eating or buying at the bazaar. Thirdly, I have a fear that the foods cooked and sold were not clean and unhygienic that it will cause tummy ache or diarrhea and being in my condition, it is not something I am willing to risk. I cook most of the days but I cooked very simple meals. Hubby isn't a fussy eater so I can cook simple dishes without worrying whether he will be satisfied or not. During Ramadhan, we were allowed to go back at 430pm so by 450pm, I already reached Babycakes' nursery. I would pick her up and I usually managed to nap for at least 45 minutes before I start going into the kitchen to prepared foods. I would tell Babycakes that I wanted to rest or sleep. Alhamdulillah she understood me and she would just play by my side or mind her own business until I woke up. 
We also went for break fast at Masjid Saidina Umar Al-Khattab, Bukit Damansara on one fine evening. Hubby suggested the idea so why not? It's a new experience for us. Babycakes was excited when we told her we are going to the masjid.
 Daddy's girl

 The hall where we had our feast. For starters we had some kuih and then proceeded for Maghrib prayers. After prayers, we went down again and had rice with some dishes. May Allah bless those who contributed to the feast that evening.
Here's a pic of me and my Babycakes, wearing her yellow telekung. The mosque was fitted with air conditioning so it was very comfortable and nice. 
We also went for break fast outside several times and I tried to be all matchy-matchy with Babycakes. I mean, when else can I wear colour coordinated clothing with my girl, right?
 This picture was taken at Kelab Darul Ehsan where we had break fast organized by Hubby's office.

 This was at TGIF, The Curve on one Saturday evening. Don't we look alike in this pose? Hehe.

This picture was taken at Eastin Hotel where we had break fast organized by my office. The next day, Babycakes went down with fever.

This picture was taken at Kota Damansara where we joined some orphanages for break fast, organized by Hubby's friend's company.
We also went for break fast at several other places with my family including Royal Lake Club, Country Kitchen TTDI, Dewan Perdana Felda, sil's house and also at my brother's house. We also did some raya shopping here and there and only bought Hubby's baju melayu two days before raya.
It was indeed a blessed Ramadhan and let us all pray that our deeds are accepted by Allah swt and may we all meet again next year, Insyaallah.

Monday, July 14, 2014

3rd Week Already

Before we know it, we are already in the 3rd week of Ramadan. How fast time flies, huh? How have your Ramadan been so far? I hope Allah blesses our deeds in this holy month. I've succeeded to fast thus far, alhamdulillah. There are a few days where I feel so tired but I persevered and managed to pull through. There was one day where I had a continued trial in Shah Alam Sessions Court and I could barely keep my eyes open during cross examination. Oh my God hearings and trials during puasa is a big no-no I tell you. Even on non-puasa days with the help of water and sweets I always feel sleepy during trial, what more now, right?
When I went for my checkup 2 weeks ago, my gynae gave me the green light to fast. She said "only you know your body, how your body feels and as long as you feel fine, I don't see why you shouldn't fast." Alhamdulillah Allah hasn't made it a burden for me. Apart from the super duper sleepiness and the occasional hunger pangs, I feel OK. 
Anyway check out the following traditional desserts I made. *proud*

On the first day of puasa, I made this Thai pumpkin custard. I saw the videos on Youtube and I felt like eating it. The sweetness and softness of the pumpkin married with the sweet coconut milk custard is just too good. I bought a small pumpkin at a vegetarian cafe near my office. Unfortunately the custard didn't set even though I cooled the pumpkin in the fridge after steaming it. It poured out like a molten lava when I cut it. However, the taste was good. Maybe next time I shall try steaming it much longer.

This kuih is called badak berendam. I made it during the second weekend of puasa. It took a bit of an effort to make it because you have to make the dough, turn them into balls, boil them and make the gravy. Luckily my mum already has some inti kelapa (coconut cooked with palm sugar) which she made earlier so it saved me one step of the process. It's hard to find this kuih selling anywhere that is why I made it. Even though I like baking cakes, it is also nice to learn how to make traditional kuih so that they will never be forgotten.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Which is worst?

Contractions or leg cramps?

Both are terrible but for now my answer is the latter. Last night was the first time I had a leg cramp for this pregnancy and boy oh boy oh boy oh boy it hurts like motherf***er!! Sorry for the foul language in this holy month but if there's one word to describe the pain, that would be it.
It happened at 4am. Babycakes was stirring in her sleep so I tried to calm her down. Then I turned to check my phone for the time and when I turned back, BAM! It struck my right calf  without warning. It was so.damn.painful I woke hubby up. He helped push the sole of my feet towards me. It helped a bit but the pain was excruciating. My leg was bent and I couldn't even move it because a slight movement will intensify the pain. It lasted for a few minutes but it felt like an eternity. It was so painful I even cried complete with tears rolling down my cheeks. I just couldn't bear the pain. I asked hubby to spray  the Mothercare It's Your Body Leg And Foot Cooling Spritz which I had by the bedside table. It didn't help at all. I massaged my calf a bit and it eventually ease. Phew.
I can still feel a slight pain on my calf and I foresee more cramps in the future. God please have mercy on me. I know it is common and all especially in the 2nd trimester but it was just too much to bear. What if it happens when I'm driving or when I am walking in Court? Ughhh.
Now I wonder, how am I gonna bear the pain of contractions later on? >.<
I shall not think of scary thoughts. So my mind wanders off and started thinking about food. And now I am craving for some kuih badak berendam and kuih puteri mandi. I searched on youtube and it intensified the cravings even more. Damn it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ramadhan and being pregnant

Alhamdulillah the holy month of Ramadhan is here again. Syukur to Allah that we are still able to meet this holy month. Today is the 3rd day of fasting and we've got a long way to go. Since I am currently 25 weeks pregnant i.e 6 month+-, I no longer suffer from bouts of nausea and morning sickness, Alhamdulillah but of course at this stage of pregnancy, it comes with a whole set of 'packages' altogether. I can't be sitting too long or my butt and groin will hurt. And then I can't eat too much or a huge meal or I will feel bloated and heartburn and short of breath. I have also started to waddle like a penguin and my feet swell at the end of the day. 
IDR2 is actively kicking and punching and somersaulting in my tummy that it sometimes gives me a little shock especially when I am concentrating on something or when I am sitting still. Of course at times IDR2 would also stretch and give me Braxton Hicks contractions, which is neither uncomfortable nor pleasurable.
Anyway, I vow to fast the whole month of Ramadhan but I will also try to take things day by day. There are numerous articles on pregnancy and fasting and all I can say is, if I don't feel like I can make it to Maghrib, then I will break fast. If I stay in the office and not go to court, I think I should be able to fast easily but on days when I have to go to court and walk a lot, I shall see how the conditions are. It doesn't help that the weather is so hot and dry at the moment too. Driving under the hot sun can really take its toll on me, even before fasting begins.
Since I want to fast during pregnant, I must make sure that I wake up for sahur and actually eat something healthy and nutritious. If I wasn't pregnant, I would just settle with dates and water but I can't afford to only have dates and water if I want to sustain until Maghrib. I dragged hubby to wake up with me and if he doesn't want to eat, I made him accompany me eat. He  can lie down on the sofa while I eat but I ain't eating alone! I had rice on the first day of sahur and by noon my tummy was already growling. On the second day, I had bubur lambuk. I was hungry the whole day but I survived. This morning I had a smoothie which I made last night and put it in the fridge. It's a mixture of milo, oats, peanut butter, dates and soya milk. My tummy is growling as I type this. I shall try other options but I gotta be hardworking enough to prepare it to begin with. Sigh.
Yesterday I was so tired that after picking up Babycakes from the nursery, I cooked some rice and then took a short nap. Luckily we have some lauk from the previous day where we tapau from my mum's house. I told Babycakes "Mummy nak rehat OK? Babycakes jangan kacau Mummy. Mummy nak tidur" She then said "Mummy nak rehat ke? Penat ke?" I said yes. I told her to play with her stuffed toys and all and I slept for about 50 minutes. When I woke up, she was lying down beside me. Such an angel she was. I didn't know what she did during the time I slept but she didn't cause any mess whatsoever so that's good.
Anyway I have my check up with my gynae this afternoon and I hope everything is OK in terms of my blood pressure, glucose level and hydration level. I hope my fasting does not affect IDR2 in any way at all, Insyaallah. I honestly forgot how it was when I was pregnant with Babycakes but I did miss a few days here and there if I recall correctly. I pray that Allah ease my pregnancy and also my fasting. 
To my Muslim readers, I wish you Salam Ramadhan. May we be blessed in this holy month. Take  care and together let's make this Ramadhan a much better Ramadhan than the last.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Emotional Wreck

Sigh. You know when you feel down and sad for no reason (or maybe there is a reason or two). And it doesn't help that you are an emotional wreck because of the damn pregnancy hormones! Or maybe you are just blaming it on the hormones because coincidentally you are pregnant while you are feeling like a wreck. Nothing feels right, nothing seems right, your heart is not at ease, nothing you do can cheer you up, nobody can cheer you up. I may have put up a happy, cheerful front but only God knows what I am feeling deep down inside this little heart of mine. Gosh I feel so fragile. I hope this is just a phase, a temporary phase.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pancake Art

I am sure by now you would have heard about pancake art. Gosh they (Pinterest, websites, food blogs, youtube) made it look so easy! It made me think, that looks easy! I can so do them!

So I bought myself a box of pancake mix.

At that time I didn't have the squeeze bottle so I used my soy sauce bottle. I mean, they should work the same, right?
First attempt was a major fail. They look nowhere near those I see online. -_____-

I finally got myself a squeeze bottle (not in picture) and tried simpler images for the second time. Oh well, close enough...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Day I Renewed My Passport

My passport expired somewhere in March so I had to renew it before we went for our holiday. I went to the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara at Jalan Duta (near Publika) on one Friday morning. Of course the place was packed full of people. Then I stumbled upon this notification on the wall.
OK I can go to the Kaunter Khas! Fine I have to pay the normal rate but at least I don't have to wait long in the queue.
At that time my baby bump wasn't very obvious and I was wearing a loose top so I was a bit hesitant at first that they might not believe that I am pregnant but heck, I proceeded and tried my luck anyway. I went to the Kaunter Khas to take a number and innocently said "Saya pregnant". The lady said "Oh mengandung ye. OK" And she gave me a number. I mean, not that I was lying or anything but if she wants to check my tummy to see if I was really pregnant, I don't mind showing her. Hehe. I was lucky to get number 2033 and because at that time no 2029 was being  called. I only have 4 numbers ahead of me.

 See, so many people! Now everyone can fly kan? Hehe.

The process was quick and smooth. When I was called, they took my IC, took my thumb print and took a picture there and then and I was given a receipt. I then waited for a few minutes to make the payment, also at a Kaunter Khas. After that, they told me to come back in an hour to collect my passport. I contemplated on going to Publika to kill time or go to the office and come back some other time to collect the passport but it would be a hassle. Finding a parking spot is difficult because there were just too many people. So I waited around, had a can of Milo and a roti krim and read a newspaper. 50 minutes later, I went up again and waited for my number to be called. Then they made an announcement saying that the system is down. -_____- This lasted for about 20 minutes and then they started calling the numbers again. I looked but my number wasn't called so I went to the counter and asked if my passport is ready for collection. To my surprise, it was ready and I can collect it. If I had not asked about it, I would be waiting there until God-knows-when. 
Moral of the story is always be on the lookout for notices and always be ringan mulut to ask. Unless you don't mind wasting time waiting there all day.

Fun Activities for Babycakes

When you go online, you get so many ideas for activities for kids which are easy to do, easy on the pocket (you can use stuffs laying around your house or in the kitchen) and most importantly, activities that promote fine motor skills and keep the kid occupied. I am always inspired and motivated and get ambitious when I come across posts or websites with such ideas. So when I have the materials and the time (and patience) to do it, I'll try to do it with Babycakes.

I taped a toilet roll tube to a table and gave her some materials like cotton balls, mini clothes pegs, aluminium foil balls etc for her to put through the tube. I also made a dough out of flour and hair conditioner, which smelt amazing. However, the dough balls tend to crumble easily and gosh what a huge mess it created! So yes, I made Babycakes clean up the mess. >.< She loves using the mini broom and dust pan anyway everytime I sweep the house so while she still enjoys sweeping, why not take advantage of it, right?
Take a kitchen colander and some pipe cleaners. Both items can be easily found at Daiso. Let your kid put the pipe cleaners through the small holes in the colander. This promotes fine motor skills. But mid-way through the activity, she became geli looking at the pipe cleaners poking through the holes. She said they're like caterpillars. Such Mummy's girl, this one. Semua benda nak geli. >.<

Painting alphabets and numbers. I took an old cardboard, drew alphabets and numbers with a marker pen and made my own paint by mixing flour, water and food colouring. I gave her some cotton buds and asked her to trace the alphabets and numbers. 
Things can get messy at times but I tried to be  cool about it. It is, after all, a learning process for both Babycakes and I. It is also definitely better than letting her watch Frozen for the gazillionth time, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We chose Perth

Hello! Ahhh how fast time flies. My last post was about me sharing my excitement about our holidays and before I know it, it is almost one month ago when we went on our holiday. 
If you are friends with me on facebook and followed me on Instagram, you would have known that we went to Perth, Australia this time. Last year we went to Sydney and this year it was Perth. We really love the Land Down Under, huh? Well you may wonder, why Perth? I have been to Perth with my family back in the early 2000s and honestly I have forgotten how the city looks like.
The reason why we chose Perth, despite having been to Sydney just last year are:
  • The flight is about 5 1/2 hours only;
  • The flight tickets and accommodation aren't as expensive as going to Europe;
  • We (I) don't need to take a lot of leave days as 5-7 days are enough;
  • The exchange rate is not as expensive as the Euro Dollar or Japanese Yen;
  • The weather when we went was lovely as it was autumn and nearing winter so you don't have to bring thick, wooly winter clothing. A light jacket will do;
  • We would love to go to Goldcoast or even Hong Kong (been to both places with my family too but of course I don't mind going back again, with my own little family) but if we go to these cities, there are theme parks and Babycakes may be a bit too small to go on most of the rides while I won't be able to go on ANY rides because I'm pregnant so it will be a waste. Not that I will go on those crazy roller coaster rides but I would love to go on the tea cups or carousel with Babycakes but you know they have a strict ruling that doesn't allow pregnant women on rides. I will end up waiting while hubby and Babycakes enjoy the rides. No way!
Anyway, the holiday was a very relaxing holiday. I mean, that's what's holidays are supposed to be, right? We took our own sweet time, we don't rush doing things, we even rented a car for 2 days. We stayed at Mountway Holiday Apartments. You can read my review on TripAdvisor here.  
I'll write more about our trip in another post, Insyaallah.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We Are Going On A Holiday!

We are going on a little trip tomorrow night, insyaallah! Where are we going to? Ha! It's a secret, until I post pictures of it on facebook ya? hehehe. It's not really far yet not so near. We have been toying with the idea of going somewhere after our fun trip to Sydney last year and then BAM! I got knocked up. So I kinda pestered hubby to materialize our holiday plan asap. I am 4 months pregnant now and soon will be the fasting month and then raya and then I will be in my 3rd trimester. And then IDR2 arrives and I'll be in confinement for 2 months and by the time it's the end of the year already. When else to travel, if not now?? Short distance travels by car are still ok but I can only think of traveling by plane next year when IDR2 is a few months old. And by that time, we are already a family of four, insyaallah and traveling costs and expenses will increase with the addition of another kid.
Our bags are about 85% packed. Only the little stuffs haven't been packed. Tonight I have to finish packing and then maybe if I am rajin, I'll finish folding the two loads of laundry so at least when we come back, I don't get welcomed by a ton of laundry.
Please pray for our safe flight, safe journey and a safe holiday ya?