Thursday, September 27, 2007

Homemade baby food

When Olivia started eating solid food at about 5.5 months, I was buying the baby jar food off the supermarket shelves.

Then, I realise that I could actually make my own baby food. Initially, I thought maybe I was being too ambitious or trying to be a perfectionist. Let's face it, I work full time outside of home and barely have enough time for sleep, am I kidding myself that I could find the time to make baby food?

I decided one weekend to try and make a batch of a few different baby vegetables. It is easier that I thought. All you have to do is steam the vegetables, puree them to the desired consistency, then freeze them in ice cube trays. After they are frozen, popped them out and store them in freezer bags.

For my initial batch, I spent about 2 hours in the kitchen and made 2 weeks worth of baby food!

The few benefits of making your own baby food are: there are no preservative, it's cheaper and you can make all sorts of vegetables, fruits and meat that are not available in baby jar food.

Two baby food recipe books I refer to are:

1. First Meals by Annabel Karmel
2. Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

A good website for homemade baby recipes is WholeSomeBabyFood.

An example of Olivia's dinner.

Clockwise from top left are: Brown rice with lentils, carrots, squash with pasta stars and broccoli.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Toys of today and yesteryears

Today's toys have become very high tech. They come equipped with music and sounds and words etc.

We were trying to get Olivia a simple 'Whack-a-mole' toy with no sounds or lights, just like this one.

Believe it or not, we could not find it. Similar toys all come with sounds and lights. So, in the end, we got her this. When you hit the buttons, it either says the alphabet or 'Hello there' or 'Peekaboo, I see you' or it counts!

Olivia plays with it but it's not her favourite toy. Meanwhile, she could spend an hour just playing with the straps of her high chair.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year

Last Thursday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and as a family tradition, we had dinner at my in-laws place. Before marrying my hubby, I had no clue nor do I have the slightest idea what kind of foods are unique to the Jewish people.

Before dinner, my in-laws light some candles and pray, then we sit down for dinner. Below are a few samples of what we had:

1. Matzoh ball soup. The matzoh balls are made from matzoh flour. This is my favourite soup and very popular with young children.

2. Challah (pronouce Hallah) bread. This bread is made from eggs and is commonly used to make french toast. A slice of Challah bread is shown here with mushroom barley soup.

3. Roasted vegetables. This is not a Jewish dish.

4. Kasha Vanishka with bow ties. Kasha is a type of grain and this is an Eastern European dish.

We also had roast turkey and brisket. This is what I have on my plate.

L'Shana To'va.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meme: The glory crown of a sifu (master) blogger

Source: Tiara

I have been tagged by Jamy, my blogging mentor to accept the crown. In fact, I can’t even accept the crown because not only am I NOT a sifu, I’m a dummy in the blogging world. I just started blogging 1.5 months ago.

So, being a dummy, I have no idea what a meme is….hehe. The first step was to look up the definition. According to Wikipedia,
an Internet meme is simply the propagation of a digital file or hyperlink from one person to others using methods available through the Internet (for example, email, blogs, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc.).

So, to continue the chain, here is the meme: Blogging tips from professional bloggers.

Monday, September 10, 2007

10 month well visit update

Source: Clipart

Took Olivia for her 10 month well visit and she is doing well. She is now 29.5 inches long and weighs 21lbs 12oz. HHMMPPPHH….no wonder I have been developing muscles in my lower back. LOL.

Here in the US, or at least with my pediatrician, babies go for a monthly well visit each month until 8 months old, then it’s down to a 2-month interval.

At 12 months, most babies will get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. There was a study/report in 1998 that suggested that there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Naturally, I was concerned because autism rate has jumped from 1 in 10000 children a decade ago to 1 in 150. I raised the question with the pediatrician and he assured me that there is no link between the two. In fact, that study did not provide scientific proof of the link, just interviews with parents of 12 children with autism.

For this doctors' office, MMR shot is given at 15 months together with the chicken pox vaccine. At least now there is one less thing that keeps me up at night.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Motherhood vs Career

In Malaysia, when a woman had a baby and went back to work after her maternity leave, she is considered capable, as she is able to juggle work and motherhood. Very seldom would a woman stay home with her child, even if she can afford to.

In the US, however, it’s the opposite. A woman would stay home with her baby, if she could.

I felt that in Malaysia, women have it a bit easier. Most of the babysitters there take care of your child overnight during the week. Your baby only goes home with you during the weekends. If you work, this really takes the pressure off of taking care of your baby after work and also gives you a good night sleep, especially if you baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet.

In the US, there is no such thing as an overnight babysitter. Even if you have a live-in nanny, the nanny has set working hours.

Can you ever strike a balance between motherhood and career? It is a very subjective matter because it depends on what your definition of career is.

From my personal experience, it is very hard to balance motherhood and career. 2 years ago, when my boss was promoted, she wanted me to succeed her. Hubby and I thought about it and because we were planning to start a family, I turned down her offer. I know I would not be able to devote my time to the family and also my work on an even basis.

I would have loved to be in a higher level in my career but I have no regrets putting in on hold for a few years. I’m actually glad I did not take up the offer because I could never put in the time needed for the position with Olivia being so young.

I read somewhere that career is like a rubber ball, it will bounce back but family is like a glass ball, once it’s shattered, it’s gone.


Source: Istockphoto
Source: Clipart

Saturday, September 1, 2007

15 things I do to save money

Source: Tightwad

I have been tagged by Lynette on what I do to save money. As a self confessed tightwad, this is what I do:

1. Wash dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher. There are only the two of us and not that many dishes to make a load.

2. Drive cautiously instead of aggressively. If I see a lread light ahead, I will cruise instead of stepping on the pedal.

3. Turn off lights when we're not in a room.

4. Use fans instead of air conditioner (AC). If we are using the AC, we'll shut it off when we go out or put in on money saver mode.

5. Buy groceries & household items when they are on sale and use relevant coupons.

6. Brown bag my lunch.

7. Hand me down clothes for Olivia.

8. Buy clothes for myself only when they are on sale.

9. Buy used toys and 2nd hand books online - eBay, Amazon etc.

10. Buy store brand whenever possible.

11. Reuse plastic bags as trash bags.

12. I don't wear makeup, only lipstick, or buy expensive skincare products like Estee Lauder, Clinique etc. I use Neutrogena which is available at the local pharmacy.

13. I use Nobelcom for calls to Malaysia. Rates start at $0.017 per minute.

14. I don't color or perm my hair. My hair is very low maintenance, straight. :-)

15. I make my own baby food instead of buying the jar ones. It's cheaper and healthier.

16. Get my in-laws to buy us dinner. LOL....just kidding.