Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The sweet lil' one ......

First official post for Vera - Welcome to our fun & loving family ! You are the greatest joy to daddy, mummy and gorgor and the best birthday gift to mummy ! In a blink of an eye, you are going to be 2 months old ! As much as I can, mummy will try to jot down your milestones and every little things about you, so that you can read it when you are much older just like how your gorgor does.


Since birth, mummy realised that you are pretty sensitive in your hearing. I know that you can't see clearly, perhaps that was why you are more sharp in your hearing. You will tend to pause and listen whenever someone who sounded unfamiliar to you was talking to mummy.

Just a few days ago, when Gong Gong was carrying you, you spotted and heard me seated behind and
your pair of bright, little eyes was fixed on me as I stood up from the sofa, till I walked away and out of your sight.

Here's a little summary of you for the past two months if my memory did not fail me due to the tiredness of night wakes for feeds and diaper changing. You jaundice lasted for almost one full month. We have been bringing you for blood test at the polyclinic on every alternate two - three days. Hence, despite the fact that you are able to sleep longer, we have no choice but to wake you every three hourly for milk feed so that you can flushed it out.

@ 1 week old - your feeding frequency per day is about 9 -10 times per day. Milk intake through bottle feeding is between 30 - 60  ml.

@  2 weeks old - you feeding frequency is about 8 times per day. Milk intake has increased to 40 - 60 ml.

@ 3 weeks old - Your milk intake is about 60-70 ml. You had your first tummy down time and was found out by Meijie that you actually have the strength to turn your head to face the other direction.

Tummy time

@ 4 weeks old - Your milk intake has increased to 70 - 90 ml and as usual you like to poo big time whenever you have your feed. Sometimes, you can poo up to three times in a feed.

Most of the time, mummy loves to watch you sleep and standby her mobile phone, waiting to capture those priceless expressions, especially the lovely smile of yours. You are always full of expressions ! You love to smile in your sleep as though you heard the angels whisper ......



After a month, mummy gradually started to know how to distinguish your cries. Your cries for hunger can easier be recognised ! Wonder if it's just you, you tend to be frustrated during the mid of a milk feed just because you wanted to let go of the gas in your tummy and poo it out. Afterwich, you be a happy baby.

@ 5 weeks, 1 days old - You were actually sleeping on tummy down, facing the left. However, after 15 mins, I went into the room and saw that you were facing the right and with a half flip done ! This certainly shocked and surprised mummy !

@ 5 weeks, 2 days days old - You made a funny face !


You love to hear gorgor's voice ! Once you were crying, gorgor came in and sang 'Twinkle twinkle little stars", you kept quiet immediately !

 
How you love gorgor's cuddles and hugs !


The expression of yours when you pee, almost the same as what gorgor did (but gorgor did this when he was doing a "big" one) when he was a baby.

Approaching close to week 8, your night feed is probably once every night, feeding frequency is about 7 times per day.

You looked as if you were asking mummy what have you done wrong, showing me your very innocent face here.

57 days old
Our sleeping beauty & her other princesses

Vera, keep your smiles coming in ! Hope you be on all smiles every day ! Thank you for giving us a chance to experience a total different learning journey on babyhood, to love and grow with you.







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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

For the washi addicts !

 
A few days back I saw one crafter sharing her diy wooden washi tape holder. All in all, materials bought from Artfriend cost $31 and yes of course that really looks good that I asked hubby if he can diy one holder for me too. His reply was "let me propose to you again."


Two days later, he bought these Kitchen roll holder from Daiso ! How smart and it clipped onto the ikea shelving nicely ! Best part of this is, it costs only $2 each !

Of course these four holders are not sufficient to hold my entire collection. Got to get a few more !
Time to go Daiso again ! Incase you are wondering if I'm promoting Daiso?  I'm not and I just want to share what are some great finds you can grab from Daiso.
 
 
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Five >>> Top 5 favourite Daiso buys (Singapore Homes)

Daiso, for sure a well known to all, $2 shop, to shop for anything under the sun ! I have confirmed to have more than these 5s in my house. But these 5s are my top favourites !

The timer, which has been sticking on the kitchen fridge, has served me well for years !

Fridge Timer
Clothes pegs ! How will you choose yours ? Why I like Daiso clothes pegs and chose this particular design is simply because I do not like pegs with "teeth" or grooves at the end of it. I dislike seeing my clothes with "teeth" marks on them after drying. And yes, not forgetting I love white as it gives a clean feeling. If you ever come to my place and saw colourful pegs, those are confirmed not bought by me. I love to have one standard colour. =P



 
Clothes pegs with no "teeth"
Mega Keeper contiainers ! A must have to contain Xav's toys to categorize them. This is one of them to house the Citibloks.

Mega Keeper Containers

If you are going to making Bento, this is another great buy with five different colours ! Just mix into the rice !

Rice colouring
Last but not least, kitchen tools for Xav as he is always helping me out with the bakes and cooking in the kitchen. These are pretty kids friendly, they are either made of plastic or rubber, no sharp edges. Perfect for our lil' kitchen helpers !

Kitchen tools

What are your favourite Daiso buys ?

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Upcycle project : DIY Spaceship lantern

3...2...1... BLAST OFF !


Our annual school project, making lanterns using materials found at home. This year is the same as the previous, focus is on using milk cartons.

So here we go ! I supposed all of us buy new lanterns each year to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival ? So what do you do with the lanterns after the festival, chucked it aside in the store room or bring it out to play next year (Likely not for us because, Xav will receive lanterns from either the Grans or the Aunts )

But we don't throw them away. We will always dismantle the handle and bulb for our own DIY lantern.

This time, credit goes to daddy who came up with this idea. I did not have the chance to take down pictures of how deardear did it. But roughly, I figured it out from what I see.

 
The materials you need:
- 2 empty toilet rolls
- some washi tapes
- 1 milk carton. ( Greenfields, 2L container was used)
- handle and bulb of past year's lantern
- cardboard for the wings


1. Cut 1/3 of the top of the green bottle to be the front of the spaceship.
2. Cut three windows on each side of the milk carton.


3. Cut the cross section of the milk carton's base so that you can insert the remaining balance of the green bottle's body and seal the base by taping scotch tape around. (This way, you get green windows)

4. Tape up the toilet rolls with some washi tapes and stick it at the base of the carton.

Helicopter's view
Side View - Saw his name ? It's owner is Xav. Chua
Best part of the handle was the piece where the music comes from is still working. Being too loud, a black masking tape was used to cover the "speaker" to soften the music. Just nice and I have a roll of planets design washi tape! How it fits into the theme !


and off he goes to school, feeling so proud of his daddy's creation !


Don't throw your bottles, upcycle them and turn them into a beautiful lantern of your very own !

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Moonies "Workshop"

Mid Autumn Festival is approaching but way before I gave birth to Vera, I had opened up my place for a moonies making session for the kids, a last gathering with my shopping network kakis before I'm being tied down with baby.

In 2009, I attempted making mooncakes with these character cookie cutters below as the mould. What you can do is to wrap the filling and pushed them into the cookie cutter and follow by the imprint on top. Be sure to weigh the estimated dough and filling to fill each cutter.

So basically, what we had for the session was :
- some cute cookie cutters/ mooncake plunger


- a box of shortening
- a packet of Phoon Huat Snowskin Premix
- a packet of fillings (we used white lotus paste)

The kids took turns to weigh the flour, pour in water and mix and add colours of their liking to the dough so as to differentiate their own creation at the end of the session.

Amy, assisted the children in rubbing in the shortening, else there may be a big mess. She had also prepared the fillings by rolling them into a ball after measuring to speed things up.

So basically it's just :
- preparing the dough using the premix and shortening
- measure out the dough and fillings for each moonies
- wrap the filling with the dough
*Note that do not handle the dough with your bare hands for too long as it may "melt" the dough and cause it to be sticky.
- Push the wrapped filling + dough into the cutter, flatten it on a flat surface and remove the excess that is spilling out.
*Be sure to dust your cutter with plain flour before you press in the wrapped filling and dough.
- imprint the character image gently onto the top before you push out the moonie.

Children got their little hands busy !
Ermmm... do I see a doctor making moonies here ? Xav chose blue for his moonies and the children went press, press, flattened as they handled the dough.

Press, press, flatten ...
Don't be deceived by the looks, it actually tastes not bad !
By the end of the session, the proud little ones and their moonies, after having a nice shower and changed into  their PJs ! Perhaps a PJ party coming up next ?

Say ... "Mooncake" !
Happy Mid Autumn Festival to all! Stay tuned next to a upcycle lantern project !!

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APS Novice Swim Meet 2013

This certainly marks a milestone for Xav as he took part in his first ever Swim Meet on 10th September 2013.


With the intention to expose him to competition, this is a friendly one of course. ? To also allow him to build up confidence in himself, have fun at the events as well as to teach him on what's about having good sportsmanship.

We have always emphasised to him that in every game or race, be it whatever the outcome is, the most important factor has to be, one has put his/ her best foot forward. Should one wins the race/ game, one has to learn to be humble. Should one loses the race, it is even more important that one does not get upset or feels sore over it and should even have the right mindset to do it better the next time.

The swim meet began with a march past of all the participants.
 

Spot him !
 
The first event he took part was 15 LC Meter "Treasure Hunt", mixed 4-6 years old. He had to go underwater and hunt for 8 coloured chips. He came in third at his timing of 22.16. A trophy officially earned based on his own efforts ! Well done, Xav ! He was beaming with joy and yes of course we were proud of him !


The second fun event that we signed him up was 30m Fun Swim for Front crawl kick. He has to swim using the front crawl kick method and at the same time, balance the bowl containing a ping pong ball, without letting the bowl capsized. Sounds easy for us but definitely not for the 5 year old as I believe it be pretty challenging for them.


We realised through this event that he was so conscious of how fast others were, probably to pace himself better ? Eventually, he did not come into the top three. Still, we encouraged him that he had tried his best and he shall aim to do better the next time, with better concentration on how he himself is performing and not being too concern about how far his competitors have gone.

This reminded me of what his Mindchamps trainer told me. He was so mindful over his scoring that he kept wanting to "look" at how his gradings were, which I told him that this should not be the way. He should just perform his usual self and not stressed by the final result. We have never "pushed" him to perform but allow him to perform and shine at his own pace but certainly from here, I felt his stress. We hope that he enjoys whatever he is doing now to have a happy childhood and not feel the stress which would start to creep in once official schooling starts.

Back to the swim meet, he took part in the 30m Pizza category as well. We watched him, his strokes are not perfect and he didn't come in the top three, but I would still say this to him "Well done, my boy !" Seriously, I have doubts if he can "survive" and finish this 30m event as he just learned this stroke recently. He has definitely surprised me with his determination and confidence in completing the pizza swim.



The school is really encouraging, they encourage the students to strive and perform better by giving medals for 4th placement onwards. See how he was beaming away, another medal to add on to his collection.



 His supporters for that evening of course got to be his best daddy, best mummy and of course Baby Vera was there too! The youngest supporter of all.


All we got to say is, it's more than just a race. We taught Xav the determination to keep going, never give up easily, strive to do better if there is room for improvement and be humble should there be a victory !

Most importantly, we want Xav to "Stay healthy and grow up a happy boy !"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Back to the basic - Mini pork chops

I would not have know that the recipe behind the yummy pork chop which my confinement lady cooked for us is that simple !  Both the father and son has asked Meijie to cook again and yes by request dear asked me to learn how to cook this. So how much do they love this dish ?


Another simple dish which all can put on to your weekly homecook menu ! It does not take long to cook this. Meijie knows that after she leaves, I be left alone to :
- Tidy up the warzone, cleaning and washing ...
- Cook for all meals
- Juggling between the two kids
- Prepare home learning materials as well as to supervise Xav in his work.

Hence, she taught me to marinate the fillets before hand so that when I need to cook, I will just need to take out the amount I wanted to cook and pan fry it till cooked and serve.

Literally, the marination of the pork fillets are these basic; soy sauce, dark sauce, dash of sesame oil, sugar and corn flour.

Layer the base with lettuce if you want. Normally for pan fried/ fried meaty dish, I will balance it up with some vegetables.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quick Fix - Sliced Fish Soup

With a new baby to look after on top of the five year old. I seriously need to come up with quick fix for a one dish meal. Hence, decided to make my first attempt on cooking Sliced fish soup.

I have frozen some stock which my confinement lady helped me to prepare. I de-froze it the night before and added some  water as the soup base and bring to boil with a few pieces of ginger slice.

Ingredients :
-slices threadfin (marinated with a dash of pepper)
- few slices of ginger
- 2 tomatoes
- lettuce (wash and rinse)

You can add other ingredients like tofu or prawns if you want.


It does not take up much time to cook this, probably a 5-10 mins. I added in the tomatoes, as well as the lettuce. Threadfin slices were added in last, bring to boil and there you are ready to serve.


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Monday, September 9, 2013

Family Photography by Orange Studios << Sponsored Photoshoot >>

Orange Studios - Be Loving. Be Fun. Be Spontaneous !

The newly set up Orange Studios, specializes in family photography which includes maternity, newborn babies, children as well as pets. Gearing towards personalization, what you get from Orange Studios is sure to be solely one of a kind ! Just be sure to turn up at the studio, with your favourite things or probably a concept of your own and let the friendly photographer, Ryan know about it.

Thank you Princess Dana Diaries for referring us, we were happy to receive an invitation from Wini of Orange Studios for a photography session. The session came in just nice as we would normally go for an annual family photography session and in addition, we have a new family member in our family - Baby Vera !

(These are the images we have shortlisted )


Seriously, I was really cracking my head when I was informed by Ryan to bring my own props as they do not provide with any and to decide on some colour theme for their background is only a white backdrop.

Initially, when Ryan asked me what is the favourite activity we do as a family during our free time (cycling) and what best describes us (Outdoor kind of family). The idea of bringing our bicycles to the studio as suggested by Ryan was pretty cool but we do not drive and plus carrying a newborn with our bicycles definitely is not feasible. So what else ?

Just a day before the shoot, I finally decided that TOYS theme it shall be ! Since Daddy and Xav are always into it and yes, they are colourful !

As for attire, we wanted to have the same colour theme. But to the pieces Baby Vera has, pink is the most common. Definitely not very outstanding in the white backdrop, but am sure Ryan would be able to bring it out well.

Welcomed by Ryan and Wini, we stepped into the cosy studio, settled down and had a quick update to Ryan on what my "theme" is going to be. Without further delay, we got started with Baby Vera before she gets wide awake.

The sweet lil' one
 After a few attempts of moving her, being the light sleeper her was awake ! And this was before she started to be cranky, Ryan managed to capture her alertness. We totally love this !

Baby Vera
Next was Xav as I was called for milk feed duty to the cranky Vera. I was behind the curtains when Xav was with Ryan. Though I did not see what went on, but I could hear Ryan was pretty good with Xav and I believed he has a way with kids which is one of the important factor I look for if I were to look for a photographer for kids. (Personally I have encountered twice whereby the PG couldn't communicate with the child at all).

Here are some of Xav's shots. We brought his favourite toys for the session.
The Iron man fan !

Minions frenzy
His new friend, Zespri, the golden kiwi ! By Xav's request to bring along for the session.
Xav & his Kiwi !

With his best buddy - daddy
 Now the doting brother with his beloved sister
The Siblings
Mummy and baby ...
Mummy & the babe
Another family picture that we selected. I did Vera's name using washi tapes and canvas boards.
 

We hope you have enjoyed viewing through our pictures.

Thank you Orange Studios for having us and the lovely pictures taken ! We will definitely recommend your personalized service to friends who would want something extraordinary ! Of course we are much looking forward to receive our 20" by 20" family portrait too !

Pricing starts from :
$150 for a Creative Session
$200 upwards for the packages (Excluding Creative Session)
Refer to their menu for the number of photographs for each package as well as the pricing for the different canvas sizes.

If you are planning to have your family photography sessions or a session with your friends, Orange Studios is offering a promotional rate for all Xavvy-licious' Readers.
Simply quote Xavvy-licious for a $150 discount to offset *Packages only*

Bookings to be made by 30th September 2013.

To find out more about Orange Studios,
you can visit their website at : http://www.orangestudios.sg
or visit their Facebook Fan Page, Orange Studios

A'POSH BIZHUB
1, Yishun Industrial Street 1
#07-04,
Singapore 768160
Email : contact@orangestudios.sg
Mobile : 8606-6950


Disclaimer : We are offered a sponsored photography session by Orange Studios. No monetary compensation is involved and all opinions are of my own.
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