"If I wait for perfection, I would never write a word" - Margaret Atwood

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Baby Food Recipes : 8-10 Months


    Here are some of home made food recipes I have prepared for Muhammad starting from he's 8 months old. I'm putting them all here for my future reference, which is for next babies in the waiting list. Haha.

    Since I am not working at the moment, I get to prepare his food on a daily basis and serve him with different food at each meal time. Yup, I treat his tummy just like mine. I want him to taste different flavours of food and at the same time making sure they contain enough nutrients for his age.

   Currently, he eats 5 times a day including 2 snacking times. For breakfast, I like to give him either yogurt or oatmeal. The base is the same and I will blend them with fruits of choice so he will not get bored of the same taste everyday. His main favourite is oatmeal with banana.

   While for lunch and dinner, I usually give him rice or pasta served with meat as a source of protein together with vegetables and dairy products. For sauteing, I use either unsalted butter or olive oil.

    It takes effort to prepare all these but with the support from my husband, who never complains when I ask for his help, things definitely get easier. And you have to be prepared too that sometimes your baby will refuse to eat. You may get frustrated but just do not give up, mommies!

Mango and banana oatmeal
Very berry oatmeal

Oatmeal prep : Cook oats on the stove with water. You can add milk powder for a creamier taste. Blend fruits of your choice and add to the cooked oats. If your baby still could not tolerate lumpy food, you can blend oats together with the fruits. Add water to your desired consistency.

Banana and apple yogurt
Banana and blueberry yogurt
Banana rice pudding

Yogurt prep : Keep your fruits of choice in a freezer overnight. The next day, blend them together with yogurt and serve them cold. Your baby will love it. And you will love it too! In case they do not finish it, don't worry. You can take over their job! Wink*

Rice pudding prep : Add some water and blend all the ingredients together.

Cheesy baby pasta
Pasta prep : Cook pasta in a boiling water until soft. In a separate pan, melt the butter and saute the garlic. Add chicken and carrot. Cook them well. Add cream cheese and pumpkin puree. Blend them together and serve with pasta.

Mashed potato with chicken and cheese gravy
Prep : Cook potato in a boiling water until soft. Mash the potato. In a separate pan, melt the butter and add the chicken. When the chicken is cooked, add cream cheese and water. Blend them altogether. Add extra virgin olive oil when it's ready to be served.

Salmon porridge
Prep : Saute the onion with olive oil. Fry the salmon. Add water and the other ingredients. Cook for 25-30 minutes. You can reduce the cooking time by grinding the brown rice into powder.

Baby bolognese
Prep : Cook pasta until soft. In a separate pan, saute the garlic and onion with olive oil. Add chicken and carrot. Cook them well. Add tomatoes, celery and a bit of water. Blend the mixture to desired consistency. Serve with pasta.

Muhammad Solid Food Journey


        My baby Muhammad has actually started his solid food way too long before this post is written (he's 9 months old now!) but as lousy as a blogger I am, coming up with past events is permissible. Ha! 

       Before Muhammad was born I did a lot of research on breastfeeding and while he's about 2-3 months close to weaning, I began to study his solid food. You see, motherhood is a never ending journey of knowledge seeking to ensure your little one gets the best.

    Since it's gonna be my first experience at that time, I've been counting days for him to reach six months and only God knows how anticipated I was because I have got so many things planned for him. I have opted nothing other than home made food for my baby.

      What else is more exciting other than preparing home made food for your baby and watching him eat whatever food you offer. Honestly, being able to serve him with nutritious food is another level of satisfaction next to breastfeeding.

First thing first, I listed down all the equipments needed for feeding.

1. High chair. To teach him table manners. When it's time to eat, he must sit down on his chair and          eat.
2. Feeding set (bowl and spoon)
3. Bib
4. Food storage cups to store frozen puree
5. Baby food processor. I actually did not invest on a baby food processor since we already have a          steamer and a non-used blender, so that will be cost saving.

All the necessities for feeding

         So which food is good for a 6 months baby? There are a few amounts of them such as banana, pear, avocado, sweet potato etc. I chose to start with banana, partly because it's easy to prepare. Just mash the fruit with a fork and it's ready to be served.

         Since Muhammad has a mild eczema I need to be careful when offering food to him. I followed four days rule by introducing single food for four consecutive days before switching to another. That way, if he develops allergic reaction I could determine which food is causing it.

Muhammad's timetable

        Most importantly, avoid sugar and salt in their puree. After all, that's the reason why we choose to give him home made food, right? We want it to be healthy and safe for babies. Most baby's food available in the market contain certain amount of sugar which is obviously not good for babies.

       After he has passed with each food then only I started to combine them to give more flavours to the puree. I usually prepared his puree for three days stock to reduce the hassle since I worked 12 hours a day except for the porridge, which I cooked on a daily basis.

The happy face when he gets to eat

And yes, gaining weight together with ayah!

And now...

My dilemma : I'm happy to watch him growing up as a healthy baby but sometimes I did get emotional seeing him being not so small anymore. Hew.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Husband Underwent a Shoulder Surgery


My husband was once a rugby player and he played other sports too during high school. But now he's totally retired and lost all his six packs (haha) due to multiple injuries. He had had ACL reconstruction twice which entirely refrained him from playing sports again. And as he said, having to give in his passion was the biggest lost he ever encountered in his life at that time. Hmm I turut bersimpati.

His shoulder was actually injured from sports too but he still managed to go around painlessly. It was at the end of last year when he twisted his arm to grab something, then causing his shoulder to be dislocated. It happened when he was in a meeting room and I could imagine how his colleagues and seniors were panicking.

So this time he decided to give his shoulder a rest and went for surgery. Wait, that's not the highlight of my entry really. The actual thing is, because of the surgery, he was entitled for two months paid leave which equals to my maternity leave last time. That's heaven! At least for me who is already tired of workinggg.

Night before the surgery

Alhamdulillah the surgery went smoothly and was performed by Dr Ismail, who happened to be my husband's ex super senior at Sains Alam Shah. We chose Pusrawi Hospital as previously I had my prenatal check up at this hospital too and had a satisfying experience with their service as well as its islamic environment. My husband stayed for 2 nights and I took turn with my mother in law to keep him accompanied.

Muhammad came to visit his daddy too

Husband with Dr Ismail

The day before my husband was discharged, the doctor came in to check on the wound. He showed us some pictures during the surgery to explain how it was done. The pictures might not be so pleasant to look at but I'll just share them here anyway. Haha.

Shoulder was cut open

And being stitched

Up till now he could not use his right hand much but he still wanted to send me and pick me up from work which I really appreciate. Hiks.

Till then, Assalamualaikum.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Muhammad and Eczema


         Muhammad's eczema was triggered after we shaved his hair. It all started with just tiny red dots on his scalp which I mistakenly thought of heat rashes. So I applied bepanthen cream on those affected areas. It did get better for a day but came back even worse. At that point the red patches have spread to the back of his ears, under the neck and on both cheeks.

Muhammad before and after shaving

He kept scratching his face all the time that I needed to put his mittens back on to prevent him getting cuts from his fingernails. But still, I thought it was just normal for babies to have that kind of skin condition since their skin are naturally sensitive.

On top of that, I came out with my own diagnosis that the constant scratching was caused by 'something' inside his ears since he kept tugging those parts even when he was sleeping. And they were smelly too especially when he sweat a lot. So we went straight to the paediatrician. 

Turned out his ears were okay and the doctor informed us that it was all caused by eczema. I was like, errr really? They looked like normal rashes. How do you differentiate that with an eczema? But doctors know better so we questioned no more.

He suggested us to use Oilatum soap bar during bath time and prescribed a cream for his skin. I used that only when his eczema flared up because I was concerned about the formulas of the cream knowing that most eczema's cream prescribed by the doctor might contain steroid. I know a small amount of steroid would cause no harm if used appropriately. But as a mother, I want to avoid using chemicals on my baby at my level best.

Bought at Caring Pharmacy

I put effort on buying all chemical and paraben free stuffs for Muhammad which include his skin care, bottle cleansers and even his detergent. But now I'm applying steroid on his skin? So I stopped using it for a while. The Oilatum soap bar also did not work on him so I switched to Cetaphil and Sebamed.

My husband's friend suggested to use calamine lotion. I googled for its effectiveness. Most mothers claim that it does not help with the eczema but the cooling effect from the lotion itself can comfort the baby. So I bought it. I was in rush that I forgot to check on the formulas beforehand. Many brands in store do carry calamine lotion but the one that I bought contains 1% of phenoxyethanol (not sure of others) which later when I looked up for the information on the web, is not advised to be used on babies.

The one that I bought

Later, the day when he had a check up at HKL, I seek for advice from the doctor in charge. She totally disagreed with the use of calamine lotion as it would make the baby's skin even drier. Instead, she prescribed an aqueous cream to keep the skin hydrated. Other than that, she also prescribed a cream containing 1% of hydrocortisone to be applied on inflamed parts. Again, it's a steroid but I had no other choice this time.

The cream does help with his eczema when it became inflamed. Since eczema naturally come and go, we need to consistently using it and hoping it would resolve immediately. In Muhammad's case, it is still considered as mild alhamdulillah. I've seen babies with severe ones and could just pray for them because eczema could be a total nightmare for the mothers and the babies too.

After all, choosing the right skin care for your baby's eczema is a trial and error process. One product might work on one baby but not another. Always choose the smallest tub if you want to start experimenting a product on your baby. As you know, most products for eczema do not come cheap. Pheww.

Till then, Assalamualaikum.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The Breastfeeding Journey


           When it came to buying baby's stuff, the first thing that popped up in my mind was a breast pump. I do not know for sure as of why I'm so keen about breastfeeding even before I was pregnant. It could be from the blog I read. The journey of mothers out there who continue to breastfeed their babies even after they have returned to work just got me inspired. So when I found out I was pregnant, I started to further educate myself on breastfeeding.

At that point I made myself clear that I'm gonna breastfeed my son until he is two years old in syaa Allah and will never settle down with formula milk whatever it takes. Sounds easy, right? But it's not. Juggling between breastfeeding and working requires a huge commitment.

Believe me, once you get back to work after a confinement period, the only thing that wanders in your mind is the milk supply. How many oz for how many days? How many packs of milk left in the freeze? How much more do I need to pump to catch up with my baby's feeding pace? This is the struggle that I think only breastfeeding mommies will understand.

'You're not producing enough milk? Then keep pumping'. That's what they say. If and only if they know it isn't about the frequency of pumping alone. There will be a certain period where the milk supply itself goes down for some reasons (stress or hormonal changes).

In that case, I need to double up my effort. But it doesn't get easy with loads of house chores awaiting and the baby who wants to keep latching most of the time. I need to get to bed late night and sometimes wake up in the middle of the night just to pump because those are the only times I can do it peacefully without any distractions. As of now while I'm working, one session of pumping in the morning, two or three sessions at work and one last session before going to sleep would be enough for Muhammad's everyday supply. 

Despite of the tiredness, it gives me a full satisfaction knowing my baby is getting his best level of nutrition out of my hard work. Just what else is better than a breastmilk, right? That is the only motivation to keep me get going. And because of that too, I even took a month of unpaid leave to build up my milk stocks. Sacrificing a month income was a worth investment at that time so that my baby was getting enough and I could leave him in peace.

At the end, we need to remind ourselves that everything comes from Allah. I always worried about my milk supply. There was this one time it went down drastically. I was so stressed out and cried while pumping *erghh drama.

But my husband kept repeating, 'Your milk is a rizq from Allah. Stop worrying and make a dua. In syaa Allah whatever amount you produced will be enough for Muhammad. Sebab kenyang bukan terletak pada kuantiti tapi pada barakah. Susu yang banyak tak semestinya mengenyangkan. Kadang-kadang yang sikit itu lah yang buat Muhammad kenyang kalau padanya ada berkat'.

So yeah.. Those words wiped all my tears away. It just took a second to get you back on the track with the right motivation :)

My pillar of strength

Till the, Assalamualaikum.

I'm Back!


*someone has been missing for the whole year of 2017 and finally making her way back!

       How's your 2017 everyone? Mine was full of episodes. I hope it's not too late to sum up my last year's journey. *if it's still valid. Well just a quick one. 2017 has been a witness to a lot of major events in my life. Got married to the man of my dream in March and been granted with a cutie little pie, Muhammad just before we entered 2018. So yeah, from a single lady to a married woman then to a mother. Everything happened in just a year. Seriously, how easy is that? Luls. 

Solemnization day. Oh em gee my husband a year ago. So kuwuss

Some of our wedding pictures..

Le bridesmaid
Outdoor photoshoot 
The backbones

Career wise, it's been the same. I keep dreaming of resigning and be a stay-at-home mom. Every time I told my husband about my intention he would say, 'tunggu abang kaya'. Hahaha. But that's what every mom wants, right? Going to work when the baby could barely open his eyes and coming back home to him already sleeping makes you feel like you have been missing a lot of precious time with him.

Anyhow we're just lucky to have my sister who is still waiting for her housemanship placement taking care of Muhammad while we're both working. Having her around makes things a lot lot easier. Whenever my husband could not make time for Muhammad's check up or other appointments, I still have another hand to get things settled.

Back when there were just three of us, we would take Muhammad everywhere we went including groceries shopping at Tesco to my husband's office at late night when he needed to get important documents. Pheww. Fortunately, this little boy kept behaving well wherever we took him. In fact, he liked it more to spent time outside rather than staying at home. Is that a good sign? Hmm.

Our little pilot Muhammad

It's been a year since we got married, thus last month marked our first year anniversary which we celebrated at home. My husband bought a pavlova two days earlier because we planned to go back to Kelantan on the day of our anniversary which we did but returned to Kuala Lumpur again the next day since my in laws were heading to our house. LOL.

To many more years ahead

That's it for now. I guess the upcoming entries will be mainly about married life and motherhood, maybe? But before that, let's pray this one is not gonna be the only entry for 2018. Haha.

Till then, Assalamualaikum.

Friday, 28 October 2016

How To Deal With a Person You Dislike


How do you deal with your feelings when you dislike a person? Coming through all the way to the adult stage, there must have been some points in our lives where disliking a person is inevitable. The common advice I often heard was people saying, ' Think about their good deeds so you will forget the bad things they have done'. It is true, indeed. But what if their bad manners outnumbered those good ones? Or if the two were equal? Would you be able to tolerate? Now I'm making it even more complex. Haha. But that's how women are born to be, a set of complex working machine, aren't we? Pheww.

When that moment of disliking someone hit me, every now and then, I could not resist thinking how demonic it was to let the feeling growing inside me. And at that point I know, there must be something off with my heart. It was as if I have been allowing a venom settling inside me and let it travel freely through my bloodstream. A venom that could kill my inner self.

"Indeed, in the body there is a piece of flesh - if it is in order, then the body is in order, and if it is spoiled, the whole body is spoiled. It is the heart.     (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

We are all normal human beings after all. Each of us has a dark side, either in a smaller or greater scale. Yet, we tend to overlook ours and judge others for the same mistake. Very bad.

All this while I have been searching for the right method to get rid of the feeling whenever it struck me, and recently I have come through a short story from the book I read. It left me with a great relief. And that's why I'm making an effort to write it down here.

It was about a lady who was going to start her new career. Having to be informed that the senior was a narrow-minded and negative kind of person, she did not dwell herself with the miserable news. Instead, she went to ask the woman who was retiring from that job how she was able to deal with her former senior for some good years.

And that woman simply said. 'I pray for him. It's very difficult to dislike someone for whom you are praying'.

Her answer was amazingly positive and beautiful. The characters in the story were non-Muslim, but the story itself was a good example for us as a Muslim.

Very often we prayed for those near us or those whom we favor, asking for all the kindness to be showered upon us. Nonetheless, the power of dua is beyond that. Instead of hoping for them to change their attitudes, why don't we ignore all those facts and just pray for their best.

In syaa Allah it will clear out the venom that has once resided inside us because we have found the most powerful vaccine, that is our dua   :)

"The dua of a Muslim for his brother (in Islam) in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial dua for his brother the appointed angel says 'Aameen. And may you also be blessed with the same."        (Sahih Muslim)

Till then, Assalamualaikum..