Friday, February 29, 2008

Friendship Award


A new blogger friend, Andrew & June, presented me with this Friendship Award. Thank you so much. This is my 1st award and I appreciate your friendship.

I started this blog with the intention that my parents and relatives in Malaysia could be kept updated with our lives here in the US. Along the way, I have come to know friends from all over the world especially mommies and new mommies. For that, I am very thankful. :-)

I'm passing this award to Puteri, Beachlover, Carin and Rita.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baby shoes

Do you know it is recommended that babies learn to walk either barefoot or wearing only socks? If you noticed, babies learn to walk or stand by gripping their toes to the floor. If you put thick sole shoes on them, they couldn’t feel the ground, therefore making it harder for them to find their balance.

If you need to put shoes on your baby, pediatricians recommend soft sole baby shoes. Before Olivia started to walk, I have never put any baby shoes on her. When the weather turned colder, as she wouldn't keep her socks on at daycare, I got her a pair of Pediped baby shoe. These are soft sole shoes made from leather and are very flexible. They do not come cheap - $30 a pair but hubby said only the best for Olivia. So, this is the one I got.


Then, she started to walk. One day, she slipped at daycare and the teacher asked if I have a shoe with non-slip rubber soles. Pediped sole is non-slip and I think she slipped because she still doesn’t have her balance yet. Anyway, I looked into Stride Rite – a popular children’s shoe brand in US and they have a new line of shoes for beginner walkers.

My in-laws bought her a pair as a Chinese New Year gift. This pair retails for $46.


Well, I had just ordered another Pediped for her since she has outgrown the first pair. It's their new spring/summer collection. :-)


Oysters

The first time I tasted raw oysters was when I was still in Malaysia, probably more than eight years ago. It was at a buffet brunch at a five star hotel. I was initially concern that the Gulf oysters would taste fishy but to my pleasant surprise, with a touch of lemon, they tasted smooth and delicious.

The consumption of raw oysters by at-risk individuals can result in serious illness or death due to Vibrio vulnificus infection. This bacterium occur naturally in warm, unpolluted seawater.

At-risk consumers can lower their risk by eating oysters that have been post-harvest processed. Currently, there are three post-harvest treatments, namely:

  1. Individual quick-freezing
  2. Low heat pasteurization or heat-cool pasteurization, and
  3. High-hydrostatic pressure
These processes reduced the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria to non-detectable levels, thereby allowing oysters to be consumed raw.



Monday, February 25, 2008

I won!

One of my blogger friends, Sue, has little contests running on her blog each week. The contests are easy and there are prizes to be won. I entered the contests, just for fun, so imagine my surprise when I won her second contest!

That particular contest is guessing how much a cardigan cost. You can see the cardigan here. The prize is a Jane Norman canvas bag (shown below - taken from Sue's blog). Woo hoo!!


I don't consider myself lucky as I hardly win any contest., not even $2 from a lotto ticket. Perhaps my luck is changing....:-)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

First major snow storm

I woke up Friday morning to snow falling steadily and our neighborhood blanketed in white fluffy stuff. This winter has been pretty unusual because it's the end of February and this is our first major storm.



I still have to go to work so I quickly got ready to send Olivia to daycare but not before she has a taste of the snow.

On the way to work, my co-worker called to say that the office is closing, so I turned around to go back home. Yipee....a FREE day off.


When I got home, which is around 9.30am, the snow is already at least 6 inches deep. Looks like somebody has to shovel. Guess who?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chap Goh Meh

Today is the fifteenth and final day of the Chinese New Year celebration. The term is from the Hokkein dialect and refers to the fifteenth day of the first month. In Southeast Asia, it is also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day.

On this day, young unmarried women gather to toss mandarin oranges into the sea, in a hope that their future spouse will pick it up. According to Wikipedia, this custom originated in Penang, Malaysia! Wow...I never knew that.

Question to my ladies readers, how many of you have thrown 'kam' before on Chap Goh Meh? Come on....fess up. :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Finally....

We bought our own digital camera 1 week ago. Just to be safe, the moment we got home, I put it away in the closet, in case we changed our mind to get a different model.

Well, I decided to keep it. We bought a Canon Powershot SX100IS. The IS stands for image stabilizer. This camera has all the bells and whistles of a larger camera but it's size is still compact. It is 4.25" in length, 2.5" in height and 1.25" wide.


The best part is that it came with a 10x optical zoom. It also has face recognition feature, macro, kids & dog, night scene , portrait, landscape mode etc.

It is slightly pricier than other models in the point and shoot category but since we are not the type to change cameras every year, this one should last us a long time.

I love photography since I was young but never had the money to learn more about it. This should serve my purpose since it also has a manual mode. Perhaps I will take up a photography class.

So, I tested out the camera without reading through the manual and using just the auto mode and was extremely satisfied with the outcome. What do you think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cockapoodle

Hubby: My sis got a dog.

Me: Oohh, what kind?

Hubby: A cockapoodle.

Me: What the heck is a cockapoodle?

Hubby: It's a mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle.

Me: Eeewwww....

Don't get me wrong. I love dogs but I have never been a big fan of poodles. The way they are groomed that just sends chills up my body.

So, I did a search to see what a cockapoo looks like. Here it is.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Renting a womb


I read in a newspaper gossip column a few days ago that a certain rich socialite is having a baby but the baby is coming out of another woman’s uterus. Having a baby (with her egg and husband’s sperm) using a surrogate is fine if the woman has health issues or wasn’t able to carry a baby to term.

However, this socialite is doing it just so she won’t have any stretch marks or having to go through labor pains.

So, imagine having your child without the morning sickness, stretch marks, labor pains or carrying a 20lb weight around.

Would you do it if you were filthy rich?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Asian squat

I never knew that Westerners could not do the Asian squat. Not long after I moved to the US, hubby was commenting about that and he demonstrated that he could not do it. I was laughing so hard because for Asians, the squat is as natural as breathing.

In Asian squat, your feet are flushed to the ground and your thighs are pependicular to the floor.

Source: Asian squat

It is quite a relaxing stance and some people can squat for a long time without getting tired.

In a Western squat, you are on the balls of your feet and your thighs are parallel to the floor. In this stance, you get tired easily.


Why is it that Westerners could not do the Asian squat? Maybe it is because Western countries do that have this type of toilet bowl.


Source: Toilet

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Terrible 2's starting early

Since this is my first child, I have no idea what kind of behavior charaterized terrible two's. Recently, Olivia began exibiting some behaviour which I self diagnosed as terrible 2's. :-)

1st evidence - the micro second she doesn't get her way (for example, moving her away from a toy as it's bedtime or she wanting to be picked up while I'm cooking), she will throw herself on the floor and start crying. We know that she is faking it cos after a while, she will sneak a peek at us to check our reaction.


2nd evidence - she tries to put on her pajama bottom by herself but wouldn't let me help when she couldn't do it. She would rather walk around without her pants.


Other than that, she's an angel.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year

Since I post about hubby's Jewish culture, I should also post about Chinese culture for the benefit of my non-Asian readers.

Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated among Chinese people. It is often referred to as the spring festival because it signals the beginning of Spring. It starts on the first day of the Lunar calendar and is celebrated for 15 days. This year, the first day falls on Feb 7.

The origins of the Chinese New Year celebrations were born out of fear and myth. Legend spoke of the beast Nien (mandarin word for 'year') who appeared at the end of each year, attacking and killing villagers. To scare the beast away, loud noises and bright lights were used and thus the Chinese New Year celebration was born.

Today, in celebration, fire crackers are set off to usher in the New Year. Chinese New Year's eve is a time of reunion where families from near and far gather for a reunion feast.

One of the tradition of Chinese New Year is the exchanging of red envelopes, called 'hong bao' in mandarin. The envelopes are filled with money and given to children and unmarried adults. The color red denotes good luck/fortune and happiness/abundance in the Chinese Culture and is often worn or used for decoration in other celebrations.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My Chinese New Year celebration

Since I moved to the US, I haven't been back to Malaysia to celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY), due to the nature of my job. This will be the 7th year of not celebrating CNY.

The first year I was here, we went to Chinatown to look at the parade. It was freezing then. The second year, we went to Flushing (a smaller chinatown) for the parade, it was freezing then too. After that I don't bother because it was always so cold. If you live out of Chinatown, there really is no atmosphere, it's just like a normal day.

Usually, I would cook a special dinner with steam fish and chicken soup for dinner as a CNY meal.

This year, we met with some friends in Flushing for dim sum to celebrate CNY. It has been over a year since I had dim sum.....hehe.



That's the extent of my CNY celebration this year. When Olivia is older and able to understand, I will start my own tradition.

Ecommerce shopping cart article

If you have an online business, you might want to check out this shopping cart article on how to boost your sales with an 800 number.

According to this article, there are millions of customers who do not use the internet and prefer speaking to a person when buying a product. If you have an 800 number, you could tap into this customer base.

If you offer multiple 800 numbers, you can use them to test new advertising campaigns or to measure Pay-Per-Click advertising.

In addition, the 800 number could also serve as a market research tool with some simple configuration to track keywords on each call. The feedback received from tracking these calls can help you understand customers desires and manage your online business more efficiently.

Even though having multiple 800 numbers can be hard to manage but it is still more affordable than a single market research campaign which could cost thousands and provide less accurate results.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Aarrrgghhhh

We don't own a digital camera. The one we used is my father-in-law's. Today, in my haste to go out, I dropped the camera and it bounced down the steps and fell onto the hardwood floor.

Now, it doesn't work, it wouldn't turn on. I was very upset. A blogger without a camera is like a marathon runner without legs or a K-9 dog without a nose......you get the drift.

I was planning to get my own camera anyway so I guess I'll do it sooner rather than later. This is how I feel at the moment.