Paint me a picture…

I cannot believe it is November. Or actually, it’s halfway through November and I reckon I’ll blink, and the rest of the year will be gone.

The past few months have been a bit frantic yet also rather mundane for no particular reason at all aside from the fact that my once tiny infant is now a boisterous crawler! We have been spending a bit more time at home to give the kids time to explore in their own time, yet it feels like I have been running a marathon each day with them!

Jacob will be 3 years and 3 months old next Monday. He grows more boy-like every day to a point that sometimes I find it hard to fathom that he was once so little.

20161119_144116_1479555492410_resized

Jared will be 9 months old next Wednesday. Many people are shocked when I tell them his age as he is rather big (and also a rather fast crawler).

20161114_145340_1479555491810_resized

It’s also been getting warmer this side of the world. On Thursday it hit 34 degrees, and I was going to do some outside water play but it was quite windy (and that flares up my hay fever) so we opted for a bit of messy play with yoghurt paint.

Yoghurt paint is so simple to make – I just used Greek yoghurt and a few drops of food colouring. The kids loved it – I strapped Jared into Jacob’s booster seat and let him sit a the table, which he loved.

20161117_143736_1479384230985_resized

Jacob did some painting and then took some foam letters to do printing. Meanwhile, Jared painted, sucked on the paintbrush and started licking the yoghurt off the paper until his tongue had a green tinge!

20161117_144800_1479384231594_resized

I hope to get back into blogging and sharing a bit more of our family escapades. Til then, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Advertisements

DIY Cardboard Door Signs

Finally I’ve had time to do a bit of craft with Jacob – or more like incredibly easy DIY projects because I am not incredibly artistic. In fact, I’m good at creating messy, clunky things – hence why Jacob loves making art with me!

We had a dilemma to solve. Daniel and I were constantly confusing Jacob’s and Jared’s towels, mainly because of the frequency of us changing towels for them. One poos on a towel, the other makes his towel completely muddy, etc. We try to put them in the same spot at all times but it doesn’t always happen. Anyway, I decided that I would make name labels for Jacob and Jared and put them up behind the bathroom door to make this process easier.

Hence I employed the assistance of my crafty boys! One loves painting and the other just loves peeking at what we’re doing (though in truth, he was actually just tipping over sideways as I took the photo)!

We cut out two little pieces of cardboard (from a pizza box actually!) and decided to do some painting. For some silly reason, I only had fabric paint at home and was unwilling to lug both boys to the shops to buy paint, so we stripped down to bare minimum to paint the cardboard. I certainly recommend poster paints that can wash out from clothing because it was an absolute struggle to clean up, especially since Jacob dripped paint on our white tiles (EEK!). Just FYI, Vanish works really well for getting these stains out of tiles! It was just a bit of fun really – Jacob was more keen on painting himself in truth!

20160414_123802_resized

This is the finished product of the painting. Yes, it doesn’t look like much. Did I mention I was good at clunky, messy craft?

20160414_200659_resized

Earlier this year, my husband’s grandpa turned 90 and we made a memory jar for him. I bought rustic-looking lettering stickers to decorate the jar. I checked and luckily, we had enough letters for JACOB and JARED. And voila, the finished product below, which we stuck on the back of the bathroom door with Blu Tack! Now we won’t get their towels mixed up again (unless we put them in the wrong spot, of course), and Jacob is absolutely proud that we’ve actually used his artwork for something functional!

Also, another thing I thought was worth a mention is Jacob’s ingenuity in creating a drink that will become a new go-to in this house. I’m not sure if you noticed in the picture further above (the one with the stickers), but there is a box of these absolutely AMAZING cookies that we buy from Coles that are like 40% chocolate chip! That’s like nearly as much chocolate as it is cookie! They also crumble in the most fluffy of ways and melt in your mouth when dipped in milk!

So, anyway, Jacob had been pretty good at mealtime so we gave him one cookie with his warm milk (which he drinks from a sippy cup). Jacob removes the sippy cup lid, puts the cookie in, replaces the lid and gives it a shake. Then he proceeds to drink it and realises he has made the most amazing cookies milkshake hot chocolate concoction! Delicious! I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of him drinking it, but I did get this shot of him having an ice cream yesterday (and lovin’ it!)

ice cream

Hope you all have a scrumptious week ahead!

Mummy of Dragons

Hello to all my loyal followers (to whom I have not delivered of late)

Firstly, I wanted to announce that as of the 23rd of February, I have become a mum of two, not one! My new little boy, Jared, was born at 11.00pm weighing 3.47kg and was 52cm long.

chubba

Since then, he has absolutely smashed his brother’s records and has been putting on abut 50g a day. Here is my little chubba at just 3 weeks old:

chub2

But I also want to announce that I will be shifting my blog to a new space. This is my new blog, aptly named Mummy of Dragons:
https://mummyofdragons.wordpress.com/

If you would like to stay in touch and hear the tales I have to tell, please follow me on the other side!

Thank you once again for reading my blog – I hope you enjoyed my escapades as much as I enjoyed writing about them!

Over and out. xoxo

bitter.sweet

little bird, little bird,
am i enough for you?
will you still love me
if i split my heart in two?
will you still kiss me
in the morning dew?
little bird, don’t forget
how much i love you.

little bear, little bear,
can i watch you play?
i’m trying to hold on
to the ghost of yesterday.
if i wish hard enough,
can i make you stay?
little bear, don’t forget
you showed me the way.

little lamb, little lamb,
do you remember when
it was just you and me,
the chick and the hen?
you are the king of my heart
just as you were then.
little lamb, don’t forget
we will meet there again.

little child, little child,
you may not realise
a new part of me lives
while another part of me dies.
may you see the joy,
not dwell on the goodbyes.

little child, my beautiful child
no matter the lows or the highs
the smiles on our faces,
the clouds in our skies,
you will always be the apple
of your mother’s eyes.

IMG_8391

A day.

Eyes shut, hazy dreaming
Tiny footsteps down the hall
Dusk lifts its veil outside
Into the sheets comes something small

Toys, board books, drool on face
Lights, action, jerking awake
Hazel eyes and pearly white smile
Day begins without mistake

Get up, let’s sing, come and see
Stumble, clatter, fumbling around
Wash face, ouch – stepped on car
Breakfast is served; it’s on the ground

Spilled it, broke it, purposefully done
Sigh, whinge, shout, cry
Who is to be the adult here?
Guilty hugs and wipe it dry

Packing bags, look for the keys
Rushing, pushing, I will be late
Won’t brush teeth, won’t wear clothes
We will still go there in this state

Shut door, in the car, music on
Screaming, angry day care goodbyes
Tell myself it will be alright
Back to life with tears in eyes

Hello adults, coffee, fake smiles
Blame the sniffles on hay fever
Love the work, hate being away
Still much to do, have to leave here

Grubby face, tousled hair
Muddy shoes, played in the dirt
Kisses, let’s get your bag
Sunscreen smell, must soak that shirt

Cook, don’t cook, let’s defrost
Chocolate is not a main course
Eating, dropping, crumbling, throwing
Main nutritional group is sauce

Droplets rain down onto soft skin
War paint melts and suds away
Pajamas on with a tug and tussle
When will it be the end of day?

Toys, board books, put them away
Lights off, singing, quiet prayers
A few false starts, lie down again
Day ends with too many cares

Eyes shut, hazy dreaming
Gentle breaths encompassing all
Sleep, my darling, ‘til the morn
How I love you, my one so small

Joy, relax, finally I breathe
Feet up, drink, soldier on
Dream of days for myself again
Sigh, one day this will be gone

mum and boy

Hitting the spot with hot pot!

I apologise for the hiatus (I have said this MANY times, haven’t I?) but I’ve just been a bit undecided about the nature of this blog. While I still want it to be a place to celebrate my journey into motherhood and the milestones my little boy achieves, I feel that I need to take the blog into a slightly different direction.

Hence, this year at least, the things I’m going to be focusing on are:
– Real life experiences with babyhood/toddlerhood (e.g. travelling with a toddler, veggie smuggling, etc.)
– Food glorious food! (recipes particularly kid-friendly ones, cooking with Jacob)
– My opinions (just because I can!)
– Random pictures of Jacob, like this one of him pretending to be a wallaby. wallaby cob So anyway, onto my post today (which you may be able to tell is about FOOD!!!)… If you are not a fan of Asian food, look no further (but trust me, this is one dish that you can fall in love with!).

Growing up in Malaysia, I think I took food for granted. Good food was always around the corner, and I was never left wanting. Whether it was soupy noodles from a coffee shop or roti canai and curry from a mamak stall, or even if I wanted “Western food” (good ol food court “lamp” chop), there was always something I wanted to eat.

noodleHere is Jacob enjoying kolo mee for breakfast – a Sarawakian delicacy!

Here in Australia, I’m finding more and more reasons to venture into the city to eat my favourite Asian dishes or at least venture to my Asian grocery to get something that tastes remotely like food from home. When I used to work in the city, it was fully possible to indulge in such luxuries but now I’m stuck with an objectionable toddler whose table manners are questionable, cooking things at home just seem to be the norm.

image-d66217a1f71e9ec50fcd3f6e2870fd41d5ab3d6fae57958561d214a1f16fb2da-VWe don’t get snow here, but we did have an icy day over the weekend!

The combination of cold weather and pictures of delicious food coming up on my newsfeed made me really crave Asian food! So, the other day, I urged Daniel to accompany me to my local Asian grocery to pick up some ingredients. Many Malaysian dishes are soon to be made, but for tonight, I felt like having hot pot.

Hot pot is basically dining in front of a boiling pot of broth and adding a myriad of vegetables, meat and seafood (though we don’t eat seafood) into the pot to cook. It’s a longer dining process, but very satisfying, especially on a cold day. In Malaysia, we call it “steamboat” and we usually use a clear broth to cook it – however, my friends and I here usually eat at a Chinese-style hot pot place which has really spicy broth, so I was looking for something of that sort. image-99789a5c3f70e1a0453f163b3defacc96c607fa1a71dbb65e5833299d6ddcc58-VAlas, I found a soup base so that’s a start. Sorry, I’m a bit of a cheat – I suppose I could have found all the different herbs and spices to make a good soup base, but why do that when I can have the convenience of having it all in one packet? The packet says only to add 1.5L of water but I found it way too spicy and flavourless, so I also added 1L of chicken stock which made it taste much better.

Anyway, on to the fresh ingredients – I think it’s so important to have a balance. While I have to admit that I love the meat in it (beautiful pieces of fatty beef and lamb sliced paper thin), it would be hard to eat this dish without lighter ingredients like green vegetables, mushrooms and tofu. image-106da53fb55ca1e7351ee4154e0991eee2a6fdc7eea24c510e110be0227571fa-VI bought the sliced meat from the Asian grocery (because I don’t think I’d be able to slice it that thinly on my own!). I made up a veggie platter with bok choy, spinach, golden mushroom, tofu, potatoes (mainly for Jacob) and glass noodles. Take note that glass noodles are not rice vermicelli – they are made from bean starch and are transparent, not white. I also cut up some fish and threw in some dumplings (bought, not made. Sorry, I don’t have that kind of time!!).

And then the sauce – there are many varieties to the sauces you can make, but I like to make a simple garlicky sauce that just uses chopped garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli flakes. Quantities are completely up to your tastebuds (though I recommend not putting too much sesame oil as it just gets too oily!).
image-f9b822b65c28289a96daf13fccd54fa30f610602780d066bf28ed1aa79c2f334-VReal hot pot enthusiasts actually invest in a burner so that you can control your hotpot on the table itself, but I just made it on the stove and transferred it when it was done. Some simple rules around it are:
– Add the food that takes the longest to cook first – common sense! The ingredients in hot pot don’t take too long to cook really, since they are cut finely.
– Don’t double dip – use “serving” cutlery. As tempting as it is to fish something out with your chopsticks, it’s not nice. Hubby and I don’t really care at home but it does matter if you’re having a meal out with a group of people.
– Don’t put raw food in amongst the cooked food – fish out as much as you can and then put a fresh lot of food in. hot potSo, what’s the verdict by our judges?

Daniel: It was good – could be spicier! (Hubby’s a firebreathing dragon, I reckon!)
Lianne: Achievement unlocked, and craving satisfied!
Jacob: Yucky! (which is his new favourite word) 20150717_171458 I cooked Jacob’s food separately as he probably shouldn’t be having full on spicy food. However, I reckon this was just too many new tastes and textures put together. The soup was too wet, the noodles were too thin, meat was too stringy (even though I cut it into small pieces), vegetables were too vegetably – but he did eat some potato and all the tofu. He’s a tofu monster! He then requested a hash brown and ice cream. Oh well!

Anyway, I’m definitely making hot pot again – anyone want to join me? The more the merrier! 🙂

Just going to end this post with a picture of Jacob having a baby cino – one of the winter luxuries that he certainly indulges in! To my Aussie friends, keep warm – to my Malaysian ones, Selamat Hari Raya and to my friends in UK and across Europe, keep cool! babycino

Bake with Jake: Pumpkin Muffins

Today, Jacob didn’t want to take a nap hence was a bit bored in the afternoon. After eating a mandarin orange, he started pestering me about “cup-cake” again so I decided we’d bake some muffins together. I’ve decided to call these “Bake with Jake” sessions.

Today, we decided to make pumpkin muffins. Jacob doesn’t actually eat pumpkin in its true form, but he loves his pumpkin muffins (we are becoming avid veggie smugglers)! So we got out our ingredients and readied ourselves. We found the recipe online on Kidspot so we had the computer open in the background to check our quantities (though we messed it up a little bit anyway).

20150522_152407Jacob says, “Flour and sugar are in! Now to put in some baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.”

20150522_152433Mummy says, “Oh Jacob, not the whole bottle of nutmeg!”

20150522_152727Jacob then stirred up the dry ingredients with the raisins. I think he ate quite a few of them before we managed to get the muffins into the oven!

20150522_153317Next, we mixed the wet ingredients. In the process of taking all these photos, mummy forgot about her pumpkin on the stove and burned it! Oopsies. Oh well. Jacob mixed the wet ingredients and mummy says, “No, Jacob, don’t eat raw egg!”

20150522_153614I think this was his favourite part – putting the cupcake cases into the trays. Jacob loves solving puzzles and having things put into their right place. After this was the messy bit though – I was trying to spoon the mix into the cupcake cases while Jacob was trying to take them away and pour them into other ones! Argh!

20150522_162850Oh well, a bit messy but they look quite alright, don’t they?

20150522_154601

Just as a reminder – toddlers are pretty good at wiping up too! Jacob even wiped his face with the cloth afterwards, argh! 🙂 He was incredibly helpful today and I am sure he’ll really enjoy eating his “cup-cake” tomorrow. 20150522_163104