Monday, July 29, 2013

It's always hard to say Goodbye ......

Before leaving for work this morning, my helper came and bid farewell to me as it is her last day with us. She was with us since Aug 2011 till today. She has decided to go back to Indonesia to spend 3 months with her daughter, aged 5.

All these while, I would say she has taken good care of Xav, being his companion when I'm at work and keeping the house spick and span. We regard her as one of us, bringing her for meals whenever we eat out, allowing her to choose her choice from the menu, go on her monthly off and incase should she be missing home, she can give a call back home anytime as we allowed her to keep her mobile with her, making her as comfortable as we can so that her performance will not be affected. Brought her along to Legoland Malaysia as well to have a day of fun.

It was until when my pregnancy hormones kicked in, yes, I have to admit that I'm really short fused, really flared up over her repeated mistakes despite telling her over and over again. And if you are wondering am I kicking up a big fuss ? I have to say no, I did not. I hate to repeat over and over again. Patience ran out most of the time. To an extent, I felt like a mean monster myself, with the choice of words used to reprimand her. For the first three months, I was literally depressed and crying on every alternate evening after scholding her.

What made me totally disheartened was two months ago, she was caught by my mum, crossing the bi-directional road without holding onto Xav ! Xav was seen left behind her about 2-3 footsteps away ! She admitted and proudly told me "Mdm, but it's green man" !
My question to her :

1. There are so many construction going around the vicinity. What happen if the heavy vehicles can't see him as he is still so short for his age ? Or what if a vehicle came and knock him down from behind ?

2. Given if it's her own daughter, will she leave her behind to cross the road in the same way as Xav was left behind.

After this episode, my resentment and anger towards her took to a higher level. I felt that I no longer can trust her to take care of Xav. I even told her to stay away from my sight as her presence seriously affects my mood and I cannot concentrate in doing my stuff. Poor deardear in such situation, have to convey my instructions to her as I dont even feel like talking to her or ask her to do anything.

From then on, I dropped Xav to school before proceeding to my office. Thankful for having understanding supervisors and bosses. I gradually took over the cooking. Even preparation for the meals, I took over and settled it myself as well as the massive washing of the baby's clothing. I was telling myself, I wished she could just be sent back as soon as possible.

Back to this morning, when she came to me crying and apologising for making me angry over her mistakes done for this past few months, I did apologised back for the way I reprimanded her. Hopefully, she has learnt something here which can be brought over and practise in the new household that she is going three months later and not bring her bad habits. At the same time, I wish her all the best and wish that she be posted to a better household than ours (if she felt that we had not treat her well enough ?).

I had a mixed feeling, I can't be angry with her any longer, I held back my tears, not wanting anyone to see, silently went to take a piece of tissue and wipe away my tears.

As for Xav, we told him that Aunty Sri is leaving back home to Indonesia. Can you give her a hug and thank her for taking care of you all these while. Not that I did not notify him in advance. Probably for the start of a day, kind of a bit too "shocking" for this 5 yr old to take ? His eyes opened up pretty big and he went silence ... I felt that he showed signs of reluctance to bid his companion goodbye. He went to the lift and I explained to him that it is just excactly the same as how he missed daddy when daddy went overseas for work commitment. I could see sadness and wetness in his eyes but he held back his tears. I gave him a good hug before I left him with deardear.

After I boarded the taxi, tears were streaming down my cheeks, crying silently, hoping the driver will not realize. Why am I tearing ? It's not that I felt a sense of loss that she is leaving but at that moment just felt so emotional.

So who could be possibly affected the most ?

A) Me ? As I'm due anytime within this three weeks. I'm taking over the management of the household (Cooking and washing), Xav's well being & homelearning as well as our second born in time to come. (Can I manage it well ?)

B) Deardear ? Poor him got to help out with the chores and Xav (plus baby) after a tiring day at work in time to come.

C) Xav ? He lost a companion who has been with him for the past two years when daddy and mummy is not around. But he gained back mummy's time for he wished that mummy can stay home to be with him and not go to work. Perhaps emotionally wise, he could have felt a loss of someone who has took care of him and played with him. And not forgetting, he has to learn to be more independant in terms of keeping his own toys after playing.

A super long and wordy post to kickstart a rainy Monday......

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Molly's Nyonya Delicacies

This morning, I was wide awake at 4am when the rest were still in their dreamland. But there I was, made up my mind to leave home earlier and get my cravings fixed. Have been craving for sweet stuff for this pregnancy and especially for Molly's Ondeh Ondeh, for the longest time. Ever since I tried a piece during the morning meetings, I know that I'm hooked. I do not even want to consider buying from Bengawan Solo.

Left home extremely early today, hopped onto a taxi and headed down to Molly's located at Blk 104 Hougang Ave 1. Really thankful to the kind driver who was willing to wait for me while I grabbed the kuehs and send me to my office so that I need not walk out to the road with my heavy tummy to flag down another cab. I bought a box of Ondeh Ondeh for the driver too to express my thanks.

I bought 4 boxes of the Ondeh Ondeh (One box was already gone before the commencement of the meeting), two boxes of five of the other Nyonya delicacies and a pack of Nyonya Nasi Lemak to share among the team.

The ondeh ondehs were made just the right size to pop into your mouth and one bite of it can send the sugar syrup bursting out through the skin.

The kuehs below are nice as well ! Just the right taste, not overly sweet.

The nasi lemak was simple as shown below but thumbs up for the chilli. It's really appetizing, not too spicy nor sweet and not forgetting their Otahs are nice too !

Hougang-ers should know of this shop.

It's located at : Blk 104 Hougang Ave 1 #01-1121 S(530104), Tel : 62860024 / 62864234

Their factory is located at Blk 27 Defu Lane 10 #01-164 S(539208), Tel : 62855628 / 63831305

They do have a variety of services as well ! Check out their website for more info.

For your info, I'm not related to them nor I get free Ondehs from them. Just sharing nice food found. =)

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hotplate Tofu

Over the weekends, I took out my HCP to utilise it before it becomes an white elly. Came upon the post on HCP FB page. Hence, decided to make my first attempt in making Hotplate Tofu.

I got the recipe from Cuisine Paradise. But I did not follow exactly the ingredients used. Mine was a simplified version.

1 Tube of Egg Tofu
1/2 Small Carrot, cut into slices
Some frozen cooked prawns
2 Eggs, light beaten
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon of Cornflour
Some chopped Spring Onion And Chilli

1/2 Teaspoon Chicken Powder
Splash of Cooking Wine

1. Cut the tofu into equal pieces and lightly coat them with cornflour. Pan fried them till golden brown and set aside.

2. Next add in 1/2 tablespoon of oil, add in minced garlic, ginger, mushroom and carrot. Lock and cook on low heat for 1 minute, open and add in sweet peas together with 1/2 teaspoon of chicken powder and splash of cooking wine, give a quick stir and cook for another 1 minute.

3. Lastly, arrange the cooked tofu in the pan, slowly drizzle beaten egg around the mixture. Cover the pan and cook for 20 - 30 seconds depending on your preference.

4. Turn off the heat, remove the pan, sprinkle with slice red chilli , chopped spring onions and serve !

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Fluffy Waffles from Kelloggs !

Fancy a quick fix for a lazy morning ? I came upon Kellogg's Eggo Buttermilk Waffles at Cold Storage and decided to get a box to try it out.

Took me less than 5 mins to heat it up, dust with some icing sugar and topped with some dice some Zespri Golden Kiwi or a favourite fruit of your choice.

The texture of the waffle is fluffy and nice. Xav finished up within 15 mins, best was without having me to nag at him to quickly finish up his brekkie!

They have three other flavours too ! Perhaps shall grab the cinnamon toast to try it out the next time !

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A new role awaits ......

How would you prepare and get your first born to get involve in the preparation of welcoming the new addition in the family ?

At the initial stage, he kept asking us for a sibling, till now he is still very excited and looking forward to the arrival of his little sister. For every gynea visit, he will assist Dr Chong to put me onto the couch, squeezed the gel on my tummy and "helped" Dr Chong with the scan.

Everyday without fail, he will say good night to me and good night to my tummy (Baby). I'm not sure if he is putting up a brave and happy front. He is always so jovial, surrounding us with his silly laughs. Why did I say this was because lately he has been a little attention seeking and his behaviour seriously made me breathe out fire.

Even his trainer in Mindchamps feedback that he tends to be more attention seeking in class. For instance, he gets upset that he is not the first to present his work or answering questions. For the past two years (under the same trainer), he has been alright with it until recently. However, he is still pretty participative and well behaved in class.

I know that it's not easy for Xav to accept the fact that the love and attention he is getting from us for the past five years is going to be shared with a younger sibling. He could have felt insecure. But we kept him reassured constantly that we will not love him any lesser and we will still be spending time with him. He acknowledged.

I see that he needs to feel important as a big brother. As such, I gradually tasked him with little chores to help me out, he happily took them on and was so happy that I gave him praises for the job well done.

What I did recently was, I decided to paint some wall murals to be hang up. I got some canvas and drew out the animals. I got Xav to paint them together with me. One of the activities, I can bond with him at home.

Meticulously painting
Here's another new task for him; hanging up baby's rompers, booties and mittens. He was so happy that he kept coming back to me for more to be hand up ! He even told me "mummy, I will do it ok ? You don't need to help me because I'm your little helper !"

Felt that Xav has really grown when he told me how he can help me. On my part, I told him, it's good that he can help me out and I hope he can continue to do it and teach his younger sister the next time. He proudly nod his head and acknowledge !

What else would you do to prepare your first born to take on his new role as an older sibling?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Preps to welcome our new addition - Clothes and notes !

Writing this post in my 35 weeks 1 day pregnancy and yes, I think we are taking things too lightly. We have yet to even think of a name for precious no.2. For her name, we could not think of a suitable one for a Leo baby gal and still in search for it.

These past few week, my feet got swollen easily and now it reached a stage whereby numbness will set in. This affected my hands and fingers as well. The joints on my fingers hurt and I could not even grip the properly. My leg swelled up until I could not even locate my ankle bone.

I was on leave to rest at home and thought it would be good to start doing something incase if I have an early delivery @ 38 weeks if the second pregnancy follows the same as the first.

I decided to sort out the hand me downs first and then start on the washing. This is the warzone which I'm fighting against. The lil' one sure turns the living room upside down with the bags of clothes handed me down from Edna and Xav.

I labelled the papers according to months and sticked them on the floor for easy sorting.

Sorting of the booties and mittens. That's the difference when comes to expecting a baby girl. You see more pink ! How sweet !

Retrieved the handbook on breastfeeding and baby care from the shelves to refresh my memory and get myself familiarise with handling a newborn all over again after a 5 years break !

And the most important of all, this stash of notes which I paid to attend the Parenting Course to get Xav trained on a routine when he was 9 months old. Shall share more about this later. All I have to say is thankful for being able to attend this course which gave me back my beauty sleep. This helps to put a fullstop to my nightly midnight comfort latch on. Xav slept through the night thereafter.

The undone; wall murals, washing of all the clothes, clearing of drawers to make way for the clothes, setting up of cot, thinking of a name, milk bags not bought ... The list goes on .......

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Our Handmade Gift for Daddy

So what's for dear's birthday this year ?

I was thinking hard of what to get for my dearest. What ran through my mind was he went on a few trips in 2012 - 2013. But he kept all his photos in the portable hard disk and you will never get to see the pics unless you switched on the laptop.

With my new skill learnt in decoupaging, I decided to rope Xav in and make him a double sided accordion album from scratch. Of course this can only be done when he is not around.

I taught Xav step by step to glue, blow dry the canvas and how to dab on the serviette gently so as not to tear the delicate paper. He did well and we managed to make the front and back cover together.

I printed out the photos before hand after a few rounds of selection, cut the pattern papers and then glued them together to form the accordion.

Below are some of the pages I did, trying to keep it as simple as possible as I do not want the album to be too bulky.

Thereafter, I made a box from scratch using my scoreboard to hold the album and tie it up with some twines and there we are done ! Happy birthday to my dearest and Xav's dearest daddy ! We love you !

Of course, we would stick by our annual practice and that's to make a trip to The Icing Room as per request by who you know ? He always says he wants to design & decorate a cake for us on our birthdays.

So now, whose birthday is it ? Ours or Xav's ? (Laughs) He got his wish come true with trips to the Icing Room and we got to eat the cake. =P

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Ba ...Ba... Ba... Ba... Ba.. Nana ! Minions !!

Are you joining in the craze after watching Despicable Me 2 on the screen ? After the movie, I have a minion in my house and you could guess who ? He literally started his own minion language and his blabbering starts all over again !

This came to my mind, to create something personalized for Xav using my Hama beads. I did a trial on the template, got the image done and the crayola mini stampers came into good use. I stamped and coloured the circles(smiley faces here). Instead of making the whole jumpsuit in blue, I made a letter on each jumpsuit, using red hama beads to form his name. What's special here is "Glow in the dark" hama beads were used for the goggles. He loves it and placed both "X" & "A" Minions by the side of his mattress.

He was so excited to do the activity himself ! My self drawn template is not suitable to allow the clear plate to be placed over. Hence, good way to get Xav to study how many colour beads are there on each row and start counting and at the same time placing the correct number of beads onto each row.

Not only that, this activity can also help to train up his fine motor skills which he is pretty bad in.

Just this morning, he told me cheekily, "Mummy, I'm a Minion today because I'm wearing my yellow uniform and looks just like them !"

I have intended to make his full name, get a shadow box or probably a frame to frame up and hang in his room. So if you have excess hama beads in your stash, try this out with your little one. You can make them into keychains or stick them on mini canvas board, I leave it up to you.

To join in the Minions Craze, I'll be hosting a giveaway on a set of personalized Minions (Name of your choice)on my blog (Excluding the frame)

Steps to join in the giveaway :
1. LIKE Xavvy-licious on Facebook and tag and share the giveaway with a friend.
2. Leave a comment in this post on your preference of:
a) A ready made set (Excluding frame)
b) A set to DIY yourself ( For your info, I'm using midi beads here if you have the plate suitable for this size of beads)
3. Your choice of name for the set
4. Leave your email address too so that I can drop you a mail if you are the lucky one to win a set. =)

Closing date of Giveaway : 19th July 2013.

*Note that the giveaway is for local addresses only*

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Coca Cola Wings

So what's for the weekend lunch ? I remembered the last time I made cola ribs was in 2008. After 5 years, I decided to make another attempt to make cola wings this time.

The cola ribs did not turn out as fantastic as today's wings. I concluded that the duration of the marination is an important factor to the taste of the wings.

I had defrosted the pack of mid joints the day before. I marinated it overnight and cooked them today. The outcome of the taste is simply ADDICTIVE ! Dear had asked if I can cook cola ribs the next round.

Sauces for marinade :
1. Oyster Sauce
2. Sesame Oil
3. Dark Soy Sauce (I used Tiger Brand as the consistency is thicker and darker)
4. Salt

Method :
1. Pan fried the wings for 4 mins on each side.
2. Pour in the coke and braised till gravy thickens and you are ready to serve !

My pack contains about 24 mid joints. Hence, I used 3 tablespoons for each of the sauces and poured in about 260 ml of coke.

A pretty easy dish to cook as finger food or for main meals. Have a great weekend !

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