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

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Review : A Visit to the Farm in The City

Salam..


       Muhammad loves animals. That I could see from his preference when he tends to choose books with animals over something else. And whenever I turn on national geographic channel his eyes would be glued on the screen longer than any others. So we think that it's a good idea to bring him to the zoo for him to experience meeting the animals that he only gets to see in books up close.

       Following his long stay in ward, we just want to entertain him with more family time and doing activities together. Since we have been planning the visit for quite some time, I believe it is now the right time to make it real. Farm in The City was our first choice as it brings the concept of a petting zoo which means he will have the chance to feed the animals on his own. That would be exciting, right!

        We reached there on Sunday morning at around 10.00 am. There were not much people yet at that time so you could avoid the queues if you're planning to purchase the tickets on the same day. I have priorly booked the tickets online to save up time on that. Once the payment had been completed they will send out an email with QR code to be presented at the counter for ticket redemption.

        Another good thing with the online ticket is that if you will have to do last minute cancellation on your visit, the tickets would not just burn out since they are valid within 90 days after your purchase date. But they can only be used per entry and the purchase must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Ticket pricing

          For some reasons I think the price is a bit on a high side considering the place is not too big but on a second thought, building up a zoo must have need a substantial amount of fund to maintain the animals' well-being and the place itself. So yeah, it's quite reasonable I would say. We paid for a total of RM 82.68 (including tax) for two persons while Muhammad got to enter for free. Yeay!

          Just opposite to the ticket counter you will find a stall selling animal's food at RM 10 per bucket. Their staff will also provide a map of the place together with the information of activities available. It's best to plan your visit beforehand so that you will not miss the animal's show and their feeding time.

Activities available
              Our first station was at the tortoise shelter and from there we just kept walking from one station to another. Most of the animals were set free and we had the chance to feed them directly.


Feeding the birds


            As for me, the most exciting part was when we reached at the Savanna where they placed deers and goats in one shelter. Once we stepped our foot inside their shelter, all of these animals began to encircled me since they noticed I had the food bucket in my hand. One of the deers was clumsy enough that it literally climbed on me to reach for the food. Gosh!

Just before I was being attacked haha
              Moving further, we reached at the rabbit shelter which was Muhammad's favourite. Opposite the rabbit shelter there was a fish pond where you can use the fishing net provided to scoop out the fish. Lots of kids like this part.

Feeding the rabbit with the carrot stick
                Then, we headed to the exhibition centre where there was a seating area provided. We took some time to rest while waiting for otter's feeding time. In the meantime, we got to watch and touch the parrot, iguana, hedgehog, lizard etc.

That cutie hedgehog...geram!


                Other than that, Muhammad got to feed the raccoon too. We were surprised that he was not scared of it. If you want to feed this raccoon, you can buy their food from the machine using tokens in exchange with RM 1 note.

                Having that close interaction with these animals, one thing we did concern was the hygiene. But worry not, because they do provide few spots to wash your hands. There are also two restaurants inside the place in case you need to fill in your tummy along the way. And before you leave, you can stop by at the gift shop to get some souvenirs.         

             Overall, we had a great time there and it was definitely worth a visit. We took about two hours and a half to complete all stations. By then, Muhammad was already exhausted so he slept all the way back home.


FARM IN THE CITY

Address

Lot 40187-40188, Jalan Prima Tropika Barat
Bandar Putra Permai
Seri Kembangan

Operation Hours

Monday - Friday : 10.00 am - 6.00 pm
Saturday & Sunday : 9.30 am - 6.00 pm
School / Public Holidays : 9.30 am - 6.00 pm



Till then, Assalamualaikum.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Rotavirus and E.Coli Infection

Salam..


       One of the many things that I have learnt from motherhood is surely patience. You will never know your true level of patience until you become a mother to a baby or toddler. That's it. I'm sure most of us mommies would want our kids to stay as healthy as possible as we are well aware how super cranky and clingy they can get when they are not in the pink of health. I can't help but to be proud of myself when I managed to stay calm throughout these haywire situations. Hehe.

      And one of those situations I'm referring to was when Muhammad was warded due to some infections. He started off with high fever since the night before. I kept monitoring his temperature until the next morning when it reached 40 degree celcius. We were freaked out and immediately ran him to the emergency at Pantai Hospital Ampang.

Cranky boy at the emergency
     Muhammad was actually having a prolonged cough for more than a month, so the doctor suggested to do chest xray on him. From there, the first diagnosis came out as a mild lung infection and for that reason he was admitted. Since it was a mild infection, my first expectation was that he's gonna be warded for 4-5 days at most. #positivemom

Fell asleep right after being warded


Daily physio session to clear the chest
       A night went by at the hospital and his fever seemed to be fluctuated throughout the day. So the doctor took his stool sample to check for the presence of some bugs that might be causing the symptoms. After the lab result came out, we were being informed of the true culprit which was rotavirus. To be honest, I wasn't quite surprised with the finding as I thought it was only a bug that's causing diarrhea. While that was true, this rotavirus actually made both me and my son physically and mentally exhausted for how severe its effect was.

         As that wasn't enough, another nightmare came in two days later. This time we were told he had another infection which was E.Coli. Similar to rotavirus, this bacteria also causes diarrhea. The effect of rotavirus alone was acute, so can you imagine how crazy it was when these two worked together? Yup, the effect was doubled. 

         There was this one night we both could not sleep at all. Muhammad was passing stool every 1-2 hours. It was really watery that it sounded like he was peeing. The nurses and the cleaner also had to come in frequently to change the bed sheet and clean the floor. That was the climax and I was emotionally drained. We both cried. It felt bad because I could do nothing to help him alleviate the pain.

         The effect of rotavirus could last for two weeks and we can actually control it at home. He just need to be free from fever for the next 24 hours after his normal temperature was recorded for him to be discharged. Every time his temperature went normal, I tried to maintain it with tepid sponging and get him to take his medicine on time. Well the struggle to give him medicine was another story. This post could turn out into a novel if I were to write them all here.

         Finally after 11 days of hospital stay he was discharged and I was the happiest person to receive the news! He still had diarrhea for another week afterwards but handling him at home was different (in a good way). He had follow-up appointment twice before the doctor confirmed the infections were totally gone off. Therefore, our nightmares ended peacefully. Alhamdulillah.

Before discharged
Follow-up appointment with ibu


Till then, Assalamualaikum.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Baby Food Recipes : 8-10 Months

Salam


    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

Salam


        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

Salam


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

Salam


         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

Salam


           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.