Monday, January 31, 2011

Anna @ 10.5 months

Anna is 10.5 month old.

Eating...She is still being offered four bottles (220cc) a day, but rarely finishes them. I am thinking about cutting out the late-afternoon bottle, but until I get my act together in feeding her a proper solid meal during dinner time, her dinner includes whatever she will drink and bits and pieces of whatever we are eating.

She eats two meals of solids a day, but hopefully transitioning to three very soon. She now has tasted: string cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, imitation crab meat, peanut butter, pancakes, kiwi, and cherries. I am sure I am forgetting a bunch of others, though. All in all, Anna will try anything once.

Sleeping...Still sleeping through the night. Hooray! Still taking two naps a day.

As I write this post, Anna is battling her first cold. Her nose drips like a leaking faucet. And she has a bad cough. It has been a pretty miserable two days, seeing her suffering and not eating well. We cuddle and snuggle more than usual during her waking hours and here is hoping for a speedy recovery.

On the development front…Anna loves to walk around and around the house using her walker. She can stand independently and I can see her wanting to take steps.

She does lots of clapping and occasionally waving. She likes to play peek-a-boo behind the curtain and gets a kick out of it.

She plays with her bead maze toy and can move the beads along the path. Sometimes.
drippy nose
Photo: From yesterday - we were on the kitchen floor, waiting for hubby to finish making pancakes. My poor sick baby was still able to muster a tiny smile for the camera.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Lived to Tell the Tale

i take my milk in the dark
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Okay, so maybe I am being a little dramatic here.

We really only didn't have power for twenty hours.
Eight of which were spent sleeping.
The power went off just right after our nightly chores. We were about to retire to bed.
It came back on the following day, just right before the sun set.
We really only had to deal with the darkness for 1.5 hours, in the early morning hours.
We were never freezing enough to have to wear coats and gloves inside the house.
We even had gas stove to cook hot meals. And to heat up bottles for the baby.
For the perishables, we had an even bigger refrigerator outside (our screened-in porch).
Candles and matches were aplenty. (Note to self: buy more.)
We all took a glorious afternoon nap! Something that very rarely happens.
And we devoured an ice cream cake. Oh boy, did we devour. 4 people (3 adults - hubby's mom was with us - and 1 baby) polished the cake pictured below. Oink, oink.
(someone turned 33 today while shoveling snow.)
All in between, without Internet and TV, we spent quality time together.

So, not a bad day.

Dare I say, I wouldn't mind having another blackout again?
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Mmmm...Cake!
PS. Please excuse these grainiest photos you have ever seen. I have a thing against using flash. The highest setting of ISO is my best friend in a low lighting situation.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well, it was bound to happen

sooner or later and it did yesterday, at 45 weeks (also known as 10 1/4 months).

A rambunctious Anna bumped into the coffee table – hard - just right under her left eye.

And now she’s wearing her very first shiner. Still cute, no?
first shiner
She is also climbing steps! Once she reaches the top, she will crawl from room to room, which is actually an excellent way to kill time between naps. :) I just get down on my hands and knees and crawl along with her.
climbing steps
I guess this probably means we should invest in some baby gates?

On another note, I can't wait for the warmer days ahead. Except for some small shopping trips, Anna hasn't gotten out much this winter at all. I am making it my number one priority to take her out (the zoo and the acqurium are on top of the list) once spring comes.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

new soap pump & our green kitchen

new soap pump
Oh happy day! I finally replaced the plastic CVS hand soap dispenser with this much-better-looking soap pump from Target and filled it with Method soap in pink grapefruit. I got the Method soap at a great price, I believe. The cost per fluid ounce was cheaper than the generic Walmart brand! We got the soap pump over the weekend at Target. It was $13 - spendy - but I love the look of the sink area now.

While I was taking pictures, I remembered I never posted pictures of the kitchen after the big paint job. So here it is. Yes, the kitchen is usually this tidy. No kidding. I don't sleep well if it isn't spick-and-span. However, I might have scrubbed a bit more for the pictures. And I also turned on the lights under the cabinets for the photoshoot - something I never do.
kitchen 1/19/2011
kitchen 1/19/2011
The next big thing on my list of to-do for the kitchen is to replace the curtains. I want to add more colors (too much green and too matchy-matchy right now) and I think curtains would be a great place to do just that. I have seen a few fabrics I like online and may take up the sewing part myself ask hubby's mom for help. We shall see.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

iced in

Iced In
Today, the world outside is covered in ice.
The sort of ice that prevents us from going to work. (So disappointed.)
The sort of ice that forces the dogs to be ice skaters. (They are fast learners.)
The sort of ice that means more time at home with baby. (She loves that fort I built.)
fort
PS. My first sewing project - round paper garlands! I just punched out a bunch of circles using a round punch and fed them through the sewing machine one at a time. Seriously easy!
round paper garland
PPS. I am still on the fence about buying a sewing machine...so far I am just playing on hubby's mom's.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, January 17, 2011

drawstring bag

Do you guys remember this shirt?
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And when I made magnets out of it?
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Can you believe that I kept what was left of the shirt and knew that it would come in handy someday for another project?

Well, here it is....a drawstring bag for Anna's blocks!

As much as I would like to take credit for it, hubby's mom was actually the one who made it. I gave her the shirt and said, "a drawstring bag, please." And voila!

Hmmm....now I kind of want a sewing machine.
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By the way, I still have scraps of the shirt in my closet.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, January 14, 2011

10 months

To:

the one who ensures that I am never alone in the bathroom.
the one who tells me to slow down while cooking.
the one who unloads the bookcase 3x a day.
the one who wrinkles clean clothes.
the one who loves to toss Mickey and his pals on the floor.
the one who took her first two steps on 1/10/2011, but nothing since.
the one who growls.
the one who is growing her top two teeth.
the one who mutters “ma ma” constantly.
the one who laughs hysterically when being pushed around on her Kai-Lan book.
the one who goes nuts over cheese.

I thinks the world of you. Just thought you should know.

Happy 10 months, Tiny!
xo, Mama
Watch out for Baby Terrorist
Pesto is still faster
fiercely crawling

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What Makes You Feel Like a Good Mom?

hugs
When your head hits the pillow, what makes you think that “this was a great day” before you fall asleep? I thought I would ask myself that question today and here are my answers as I enter the TENTH month of mamahood:

01. I was “ready” to take care of Anna when I get home from work.
02. I cooked dinner with Anna in the kitchen and I got down once in a while to interact with her. Or I put her on the countertop and let her watch me work.
03. We ate a healthy dinner together as a family at the kitchen table and conversed.
04. I didn’t check emails or Google Reader while she entertained herself. Instead, I used that time wisely and worked on #5.
05. I kept our house relatively cleaned and straightened.
06. I played and read books with Anna. I introduced something new to her.
07. I made her giggle.
08. I didn’t turn on the TV. Instead, I remembered to turn on the music. Any music.
09. I didn’t wish it was her bedtime already.
10. I went outside with Anna, in any kind of weather. Even if it was just to get mail.
11. I was calm and collected through any messes or emergencies.
12. I pet Pargo and Pesto. I didn’t yell at them. I group hug my 3 kids.
13. I tucked a happy baby into bed in clean PJs.

No, not all of them happen every single day, but I do strive to make them happen on most days. And when I have those days, I beam with pride.

As a mom, what makes you feel like you did a job well done? What does YOUR mom do that makes you feel she’s a fantastic mom?

Photo: An oldie, taken on 11.20.2010.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

cheesy

There is nowhere I would rather be than right next to Anna when she eats cheese. Haha, her sweet baby laugh is so contagious that we find ourselves laughing along with her. I had no idea that cheese was so hilarious! But, sometimes, she has so much fun that she forgets to swallow and chokes….(we are working on that).

Anyway…see for yourself.

Going crazy for cheese from sugarlens on Vimeo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Very Easy Project: Songbirds

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I love projects that are no fuss and pennies to make - like these three little birds. Supplies included cereal cardboard box, old sheet music, decoupage, ribbons, and scrapbook paper. I found everything already laying somewhere around the house and in no time, I was skipping from room to room, trying to find these cute birdies their new nest.

Seriously, crafting doesn't get any simpler than this.

(original idea from this crafty girl)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, January 10, 2011

everyone, meet my beloved piano.

what's this new toy?
my parents bought it for me second-hand about 20 years ago.
and for just as long, she (yes, it’s a she) sat in the basement of my parents’ house.
but, over the weekend, she was relocated to our dining room.
so excited to have her here.
am looking forward in filling up the house with music, um, sound…
and have anna bang on the keys daily.

it’s going to be wonderful.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Taiwan-Style Oyster Omelet (but w/o the oysters)

While Anna napped the other day, I made Taiwan-Style Oyster Omelet (่šตไป”็…Ž) – a gooey and egg-y dish with oysters (duh) that is very popular at night markets in Taiwan.

Although not a big fan of oysters, what appeals to me about the omelet is the soft and chewy dough. So whenever I have it, I would carefully pick out the oyster bits and eat the doughy part with lots and lots of sweet chili sauce. Now, that is delicious!

So anyway, I decided to try making my own oyster omelet, but without the oysters, and with button mushrooms instead.

Ooooh, it turned out great! Tasted authentic, but even better! So easy and quick to make. I’ve made it twice already and since I had the recipe memorized by the second round, it went even faster. I was able to prep, cook, take pictures, eat, and clean all before the baby woke up from her nap. Actually, with plenty of time to spare.

For one serving, you will need: an egg, 1/4 cup tapioca starch or sweet potato starch, 1/2 cup cold water, a couple of sliced button mushrooms, and some kind of green veggie (I used bok-choy. I hear lettuce is good too, but spinach is a no-no.)

oyster_omelet

Then:
1. With a bit of oil, cook mushrooms until soft. Set aside.
2. In a measuring cup, mix together tapioca/sweet potato starch and water (note: make sure to add water first to get the most accurate measurement). Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add mushrooms and veggie. Add a pinch of salt.
4. Then heat up some oil in a pan (medium to high heat) and pour in #2. Wait for maybe 30 seconds for the edges to bubble.
5. Pour in #3 on top and give it a stir a few times with your spatula.
6. Turn the heat down to medium and let sit until the bottom becomes crusty and golden. The omelet is ready to flip when you can gently shake it around the pan without any of it sticking. It should take several minutes. Then just repeat for the other side. It’s not rocket science and doesn’t have to be perfect.
7. If readily-made sweet chili sauce is not available, just combine some ketchup, hot sauce, and few drops of soy sauce over low heat. Pour over omelet.

If you like to go the tradition route and make it with oysters, the steps may differ since oysters will have to be handled differently. See this recipe instead - it’s also where I got the measurements from.

To end this post, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane...here is hubby eating the omelet (with oysters) in Taiwan, circa 2005. Sigh, such a good trip.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1st Christmas

wreath
And finally, two week later, after our Christmas tree has been exiled to the basement and our closets have been reorganized, it's time for a Christmas recap - Anna's first Christmas 2010.

Our little family spent Christmas Eve with family, but Christmas Day by ourselves. Completely fine by me. We had no schedules to keep - perfect when there is a little one around. We woke up late (or as late as the baby allowed us) and opened an abundant of presents.

Anna was buried alive in presents, thanks to generous family members. Some fancy Germany-made hand-painted blocks, a cute doggy that sings songs and knows her name, a cuddly bunny suit (that I am already scheming to dress her up in for Lunar New Year – it’s the Year of the Rabbit), some fancy jewels, and a complete new wardrobe.

She received more presents than hubby, me, and her brothers combined.

Christmas 2010

Christmas doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me. We are not religious. It doesn’t equal presents. We don’t have a huge family bash where everyone spends the day together and then dolls up for dinner. But now with Anna in the mix, I am just more determined to make it special and document the memories. This year was low-key - we only went to see the National Christmas Tree. Next year, when she’s older, I hope to participate in more Christmas-y events. And maybe even play hostess to our family on Christmas Day?

Anyway, the rest of the day was like any other, Anna took two naps and, in between, we sneaked in playtime and book time. As far as I can recall, Anna didn't have one single meltdown the entire day, which meant that…

We had a magical 1st Christmas with Anna. Hope your Christmas was magical too.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakery

Mmmm…cupcakes. They are so cute and such a delight to eat.

The other day, we spoiled ourselves silly with some cupcakes from new-to-me Red Velvet Cupcakery. We got a dozen – yes, a dozen! – cupcakes so we got to try out few different flavors:

Devil’s food (chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate ganache) :: Cookies ‘n cream (cookie pieces blended into the cake and topped with buttercream) :: Peanut butter cup (chocolate cake infused with chocolate chips and peanut butter topping) :: B-day (an almond scented cake with Valrhona milk chocolate frosting) :: Summertime(a light and lemony cake with whipped cream cheese topping) :: Southern belle (their specialty, red velvet cupcake)

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Red Velvet Cupcakery
Red Velvet CupcakeryThey all tasted amazing. The cake was moist and dense. The frosting was sweet and creamy, but they didn’t make me sick in the stomach after eating a whole bunch.

I would love to visit again, but these gourmet cupcakes aren’t exactly wallet-friendly. And besides, I would much rather try cupcakes from other new-to-me places.

Now, I do have one teeny tiny complaint about Red Velvet Cupcakery.

I don’t know why some eating establishments are so stingy. At Red Velvet Cupcakery, napkins and utensils weren't readily available for the customers to take. And when we asked for them, they gave us 2 napkins. Okay, we just paid $3.25 per cupcake and you can only give us 2 napkins? Sheesh.

Oh well, at least they provided good service so this utensils/napkins complaint I have isn't enough for me to give Red Velvet Cupcakery a negative review. Besides, I really do like their cupcakes.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Anna @ 9.5 months (or The 10-Weeks Countdown)

Anna is 9.5 months old.

She's also 42 weeks old today, which means she's 10 weeks aways from turning 1! I am dumbfounded just thinking about it. I told hubby: I can't believe we have been doing this for almost a year!

Anna is eating (so glad that whole picky-eating thing was short-lived) and sleeping well. She is offered 4 (220cc) bottles and 2 meals of solids a day. She sleeps 11-12 hours through the night and still taking 2 naps a day.

New last week: Anna can now self-feed puffs. She has perfected thumb-finger pincer grasp and her aim is almost 100% accurate. I am so proud of her!

She has also leaned to kiss on command. Hopefully I can record a video later.

She can now stand up by herself for 10 seconds, straight off the floor, without holding onto anything. Haha, but all she does is realize that she doesn’t know what to do next, so she just sits back down on her big padded bum. Then she runs away on all fours like a never-ending wind-up toy that just keeps going and going and going and going...

New Years Eve
Photo: NYE 2012. Partyin' harder than Dad.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!