Friday, November 28, 2014

Ian at Eleven Months Old!

I'm eleven months old!

Major news - Ian took his first few steps (five actually!) on the day he turned eleven months. He also stood solo all by himself - this time I was an eye witness, so yeayyy for Ian! When holding on to the (insert name of furniture) for stability, he actually has the confidence to let go of his grip and launch himself walking. Unfortunately, there was one incident in which he released his grip to the kitchen gate, and when he started losing his balance he frantically looked for the gate bars to steady himself. Unfortunately, just his luck, both his arms went through the gaps of the gate bars and he ended up smacking his face on the gate *ouch*

Hanging from the wet kitchen safety gate.

However, come the second half of his eleventh month, he was talking bolder step forwards and gradually increasing his number of steps. And although his steps are still slow and unsteady, he definitely prefers walking rather than crawling. As I am typing this, I am watching Ian walking from one end of the living hall all the way to the dining table (where my laptop is). So yeah, Ian is officially walking!!! Congratulations baby, you beat Abang Aiden's record of walking at one year plus one day old. *clap*clap*

Practicing on the walker. But he doesn't need this anymore to walk. *yeayyy!!!*

Ian now knows how to call out to people. He will call out "Heh!" or "Huh!" if he wants you to look at him. Ian is also getting more and more assertive by the day. He will make his dissatisfaction known by crying out in frustration, especially when we take away the TV remote control that he's sucking on. On rare occasions that he is really unhappy, he would simply fling his body backwards - it's his signature way of showing that he's having a fit of temper. He will also cry if you walk out the front door - he wants to tag along! If he is awake when I am going into the car to head to work, he would insist on following me into the car and would cry when the maid tries to coax him out of the car. So much drama in the morning!

He loves spluttering out water during his meal times. His clothes are usually drenched by the end of the meal and even a bib doesn't help much. He's even starting to hate the bib around his neck. But he loves to eat adult food! Nowadays if we were to eat out, it is much easier to make him stay put in the baby chair by sharing our food with him (bread, rice, cake etc.) rather than tempting him with toys and such. His mouth is always open in anticipation!

Loves trying adult food.

Munching on Edamame, pods included!

Ian is also turning to be another Mummy's Boy - whenever he sees me he would crawl or walk quickly so that I would pick him up. If the maid is holding him and he sees me, he would cry out to get my attention and look at me with puppy eyes hoping that I would take him. If I am holding him and the maid or Hubby attempts to take him (to feed him, or shower or whatever) he would actually push her hands away and turn away from her. If they insist on taking him, he would cry! Definitely on the way to become a clingy Mummy's Boy!

Getting clingy with Mummy.

He is also becoming more manja by the day. Although he doesn't exactly understand the meaning of no, he knows that when we say no, we are not happy with what he is doing. So if we say no to him (or even raise our voice just slightly), he would tear up and cry miserably. And of course, he needs Mummy to pujuk him. Huwaaaa... very manja!

Sprouted his second and third teeth this month too. Loves to bite (read:nibble) on us, it is getting quite painful! Here is his updated tooth chart:

Sadly, in the middle of the month (night of 12th to be exact), Ian cried and cried the entire night, his hands and feet became cold as if he was in a lot of pain. We thought his teeth was sprouting hence the pain, but the very next day he started developing spots on his legs and hands. We brought him to the doctor and they confirmed that he had Hand Food Mouth Disease (HFMD). It was so sad because he was simply covered with spots and was running a very high fever. Needless to say, I became a work-from-home mum that week. Aiden was also infected with HFMD as well, but because he had a similar episode when he was smaller, his outbreak this time wasn't as bad as Ian.

Spots everywhere!

Poor Ian covered in calamine lotion. Lost a lot of weight too.

And guess what? Despite HFMD being rare in adults and all that, I got infected as well. I didn't have any spots but my mouth and throat were full with painful ulcers. It was so painful that I could only have porridge (bubur lambuk!) and lost nearly 1kg from the fluid diet. I was away from the office for 2 weeks; one week taking care of the kids and one week being quarantined at home. My bosses were very specific, "If you are contagious, stay away from the office"! Oh I obviously welcomed that directive with open arms! *grin*

To doze off and drift into deep sleep, Ian needs to have his back rubbed. Which is no easy feat especially as he tosses and turns to find the most comfortable sleeping position. He is also a very buas sleeper. When placed in the correct position, he would almost immediately toss and turn horizontal, and the next morning upside down from the initial position where we left him.

Sleepy baby.

Ian loves watching Sesame Street videos, especially Elmo. I guess babies love the vibrant colours and music because I remember Aiden enjoying the same at about the same age. One night Ian woke up and refused to go back to bed and in the end he watched Elmo videos while I was half asleep pressing the play button every time the video ended. Ian even kisses the characters by kissing the tablet!

Ian also enjoys keeping Aiden on his toes. He would press the off button on the DVD player which would make Aiden soooo angry! Sometimes when Aiden is playing with a toy, Ian would insist on holding the toy too and Aiden would get frustrated because as an older brother, he has to give in to Ian. Aaaahhh.... I can foresee a lot of sibling fights in the future.

The two siblings.

Aiden bullying his brother by forcing Ian's hands to flap up and down. 

Despite all the crawling and the walking, Ian is much chubbier than Aiden at the same age. Ian is now wearing clothes that Aiden wore when Aiden was 18 months old! His feet are also much chubbier. To my frustration, he couldn't fit into his brother's Ferrari shoes nor Aiden's orange crocs. Ian's hair is also much thicker now, but he still loses to Aiden in the thick hair category. Physically, Ian is also tall, similar to Aiden. He is also very creative in his sitting positions; we have seen him bersila, bersimpuh and many other ways of sitting that would simply crack us up in laughter.

Loves pushing his car back and forth.

Ian is very anal about getting himself cleaned. Insists that we wash his poop immediately or he would cry in frustration. He obviously took after me in that attribute!

"I have poop, Mummy! Wash me!!!"

Ian also recently discovered the joy of playing ball. He would squeal in delight every time Aiden kicks the ball or especially if we hold him under his armpit and swing his legs to "kick" the ball so that he can play with Aiden. When he sees the ball, he would walk to the ball and attempt to kick the ball (sometimes successfully) with his feet! Super proud Mummy moment there! We also discovered that Ian knows how to cheer! Just yesterday Hubby dukung Ian in his arms and engaged with a game of ball with Aiden, and whenever Hubby scored and cheered "yeayyyy!", Ian would also say "eyyyyyyyy". Super cute!!

And that brings us to the close of Ian's eleventh month. By the way, I am publishing this blogpost a day earlier, because..... Ian is turning a year old on the 29th which is tomorrow, and obviously deserves a special blogpost in itself. In Ian's words, "Eyyyyyy!" Happy birthday to Ian, Mummy and my Papa!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Bee Killers

Raw natural honey, right from our garden.

We have always had a bee problem. Well, actually we thought we had a wasp (tebuan) problem, but in reality they were actually bees. It became such a nuisance because the kids couldn't play in the garden freely, sometimes one lone bee would successfully fly into the house and Aiden would create a scene until we successfully get the bee out, and of course - the occasional bee stings. My poor maid was stung at least two times recently. Her hand ballooned up so bad, I felt really sorry for her.

Unfortunately, although we acknowledged the existence of bees in the garden, we simply could not find the beehive! We looked everywhere in the garden, but saw no inkling of a hive. We had so many bees in the garden that the bees had even taken to amass together at a spot just above our mighty pokok kari at night. It was their favourite spot to ‘sleep’ (but this was not their hive, mind you)! By mid-day, the bees would fly out in search of nectar.

Then one day, my maid called out to me and said that she saw a bee fly into the roof. The roof of her room to be exact, which is just beside the said pokok kari. We started observing the bees and spotted that there were bees flying in and out of the roof! Then it dawned upon us – the beehive was in the roof!!!

With the help of our neighbourhood security guard, we contacted Jabatan Pertahanan Awam who arrived promptly that night to help ‘evacuate’ the bees. They specifically came at night because apparently bees are blind at night (really??!!) which obviously eased their work.

Jabatan Pertahanan Awam at work.

So we barricaded ourselves in the house (except for Hubby who was outside watching the whole thing), turned off the lights and observed from behind the curtains. The JPA man climbed up the roof, dismantled the roof tiles and found a huge hive inside! First they brought down the roof tiles and used mosquito spray and fire to burn any bees stuck at the tiles. Then they took out the hive, piece by piece and placed it into a plastic bag - live bees and Queen Bee included. The hive was so huge that they filled the plastic bag hitam to the top!

Hubby, being the adventurous one that he is, requested to bring a piece of the beehive inside for the folks in the house to see. Honestly, I have never ever seen a real beehive before. My encounters with honey are usually with the store-bought ones. *grin*

A piece of fresh beehive. The honeycomb was oozing with honey!

Since Aiden, my step sister (who visited us that night) and I were so excited with the honeycomb, Hubby went outside to ask for more. In the end we got a plate full of honeycomb- unfortunately they were the semi charred ones as everything else had been packed in the plastic bag.

Honeycomb - dead bees included.

And all this honey was produced from the nectar of the flowers in our garden!

Have you ever seen a close up of a beehive internal structure? Check out the picture. You can see how the beehive structure is made out of densely packed group of hexagonal cells made of beeswax, which is called a honeycomb!

Beautiful! Cantiknya ciptaan Allah! 

Armed with his plate full of honeycomb, Hubby embarked on his next mission; to collect fresh honey! All he needed was a glass jar, a strainer and his own fingers. And boy oh boy, we were sooooo amazed at how much honey we could get from just a small piece of honeycomb.

Honey dripping off a small piece of honeycomb.

Squeezing honey out of the honeycomb.

Fingers included to give you a feel on the size of the honeycomb pieces.

And with just a few pieces of honeycomb, Hubby managed to collect two full jars of raw natural honey. Have you ever tried natural honey? You know, the one that cost a bomb when sold at supermarkets? Heck, even with those you cannot really verify its authenticity. But our honey, is definitely pure. And when I tasted it, I discovered that raw honey taste surprisingly... not sweet! Well it is slightly sweet and very light, but not at all overpowering nor super sweet like those store bought honey that I eat with my pancakes.

Our two jars of honey. I wonder how much honey the JPA folks managed to squeeze out from that one plastic bag full of honeycomb! I'm sure they can make a lot of money if they sell that.

What made the night even more sweeter than honey? My blog hit 400k viewers that night! Thanks to you, my loyal readers! *blows kisses*

The next morning, I walked out to examine the damage to our lawn. There were a few lost and confused bees flying around in search of their queen and their beehive. Then I saw a huge black patch where the JPA men were torching the roof tiles.

The black patch.

And upon closer examination, this was what the black patch was....

Dead bees. Yes, we are officially bee killers. I am soooooo sorry bees!!!! Next time come in peace and we can be friends okay?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hi-5 Rainbow Birthday

Happy end-November everyone!

I had this post as a draft for the longest time. Simply couldn't find the time to write about it. But since this post is so cheerful and colourful, I decided that I should share this rainbow birthday with you! Certainly beats the Monday blues, right?

I designed the cake and the dessert table for the oh-so-adorable 1 year old based on her favourite TV show Hi-5. Her mother was quite specific about the cake being rainbow coloured, so below is the birthday cake. Slight regret, should have made the cake fondant base white (instead of pink) so that the rainbow colours could pop more against the white background.

Happy birthday Dafiya!

The great thing about being a hoarder, is that you seem to find the darndest things to complement just about any birthday theme you can think of. The bad thing is - your spare guest bedroom seems to have turned into a big huge storeroom overnight! I'm lucky I can even find the bed, sometimes!

Anywayyyyyyy, I found these great items somewhere in the mentioned guest bedroom - sweet polkadots and stripes in rainbow colours. Aaaaahhhh need a baby girl, pronto!

Wall decoration which matched beautifully with the rainbow polkadot table cloth and tutu spreads. Also rainbow striped napkins!
Working on matching printables. I am anal - like that!

And then, of course the baking began. I bought the hand palm cookie cutter in Houston and although it was not the Hi-5 palm, I made do with what I had and decorated it with fondant, adorned with the number 1 as her age. Then I baked macarons in all the basic pastel rainbow colours. Speaking of rainbow colours, this brings back memories of how we used to memorize our rainbow colours in Form 2; Michael Jackson killed his brother in USA (merah, jingga, kuning, hijau, biru, indigo, ungu). *sorry MJ!* Erk, my memory is so rusty that I actually had to google jingga (orange). *sigh* No wonder my son's tongue twists whenever he attempts to speak Malay!

Pastel yellow, green, blue and pink.
Hi-5 cookies.
In the making - three layers of white cake with cream cheese. *wipes drool*
The decorated cake.

The day of the event, a neighbour and I scrambled to get the dessert table ready. I thought the wall decoration was super cute - so fitting for a 1 year old girl's birthday. The colourful polkadot balloons added that cheerful touch too.

Hi-5 dessert table.
Colourful baked goods and candies.
Love that picture of Dafiya in her gown and holding the lollipop.

Just so you get a feel on how hard it was to try to get a one year old to sit still, pose and smile for her official birthday poster; I was literally on my knees, then my stomach, to try to get a decent picture of her. Not only that, I had to run around to keep up with her curiosity as she wanted to run everywhere in the garden to explore. We tried everything, clapping, singing, showing her Hi-5 videos... until finally we gave her a lollipop and I got one (I repeat one) decent photo of her smiling... then she was off running again! *smile* Well, that's kids for you - they're not made for sitting still!

That one decent shot.
Weird looking fingers.
Rainbow polkadots and stripes everywhere.
The birthday girl.
Ah, those layers! *why, hello calories!*
After the party, we actually ripped out the Hi-5 fondant logo from the cake for a selfie.

Happy birthday Dafiya. I hope you grow up to be a beautiful girl, inside and out. With love from all of us!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Inspiring Makeup Haul

Here's a continuation of my previous post on makeup.

Inspired by the recent makeup class that I attended, I hauled quite an impressive bulk of makeup in the the span of a few days. Most of them were as recommended by Syed, while the rest were products that the sales assistant managed to persuade me to buy.

Who knew that makeup was so expensive? I mean, a small jar of tinted moisturizer from Bobbi Brown costs RM220? *sweat* A brush (yes one brush) from Makeup Forever costs RM165? *double sweat*

Anyway, I posted a picture of my recent makeup haul in my jumbo acrylic makeup case on my FB recently, and I received a couple of messages from friends asking me to elaborate on what I purchased. I'm not going to do a review on them cos I have only had them for a couple of days, and also because I am no makeup guru. But at the very least you can use this as guidance for your next makeup purchase as these are all Syed's favourites, hence tried and tested by a professional makeup artiste.

So, here goes!

1. Acrylic makeup case. I have 3 sizes in total. I purchased the jumbo one a few years ago in Bonita. I don't think they sell these anymore. But this is an ultra huge size which I probably want to let go soon, because every time I bring this out, people think I work as a makeup artiste! So I recently bought the medium (RM115, 6x9.5x6 inch) and the baby (RM64, 17.5x11x12 cm) acrylic case (I couldn't decide on which one to get so I got both!) from Sephora. The medium is used at home while I prefer to tote the baby size for my makeup adventures in the car.

This is my makeup stash when in my medium acrylic case. Everything fits, even my facial range products and my makeup brushes!

Jumbo, medium and baby acrylic cases.

2. Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer balm in light to medium tint, RM220. Apply this with a stippling brush from Real Techniques.

3. Urban Decay pore perfecting primer, RM135. Apply this with a small brush. I simply used my fingers! Apply this to your forehead, t-zone and cheeks to give a soft matte finish.

Sephora only has the Urban Decay primer in a big tube, so this will last you for a longgggg time.

4. MAC pro conceal and correct palette in medium, RM145. I apply this with a deluxe crease brush from Real Techniques. (You can also use the buffing brush from Real Techniques for this.) I use this to cover my eye bags and acne marks on my cheeks. Love the coverage so far! But be sure to blend well.

MAC concealer palette - comes in six different shades!

5. MAC foundation in NC30, RM156. Slight regret here, should have bought the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation (RM185) instead as I think MUFE's foundation is lighter and less greasy. Oh well, next time then! I apply this with a MUFE flat paint brush (small size RM165) *cries* For a lighter coverage, you can also opt for MAC face and body foundation.

6. Make Up For Ever loose powder #18, RM122. I dust this all over my face with a fluffy powder brush but I am eyeing a kabuki brush for this too!

Crazy expensive paint brush to be used with the MAC foundation, and then use the MUFE loose powder to set your makeup. Have you ever tried the kabuki brush? So luxurious!

7. NARS eyeshadow base in Copa Cabana, RM140. It makes your eyeshadow last longer and you can simply use your fingers to brush lightly on your eye lids. You can also use the same to highlight your cheekbones and nose bridge. When I was in Nars, I was soooo tempted to also take their sculpting kit in Laguna (RM220?) and blush in Orgasm (RM120) but managed to stop myself in time. The Orgasm blush is a shimmer blush with coral tones to it - lovely! And I am still a novice at contouring so don't think I want to venture into sculpting just yet!

8. Sephora eye crayon jumbo liner in gold (I took beige), RM42. Line the inner corner to outer corner of your lower lid with it to make your eyes look bigger and brighter.

9. Maybelline hyper sharp liner, on sale for RM17,80, and Maybeline rocket mascara also on sale for RM31.80 - both from Watsons. Hey, sometimes expensive doesn't mean better. Cheap can be good too!

10. Shu Uemura eyelash curler, RM65. I have had this for years (10 years maybe), so I decided to get a new one. Even Syed admitted that of all the eyelash curlers that he had used, Shu Uemura is still the best.

11. MAC brow set in toasted blonde (I took bold brunette), RM67. Use this to stroke your brows into place while naturally shading and defining your eyebrows.

In the background is the Nars eyeshadow base (big black tube). In the upper tray is the MAC brow set, Sephora jumbo crayon, the Shu Uemura eyelash curler and the Maybelline eyeliner and mascara.

12. Makeup brushes. I purchased the Real Techniques starter set (RM135) and now I am drooling over the core collection (RM145). But seriously, I regret getting the starter set in KL as it is much much cheaper if you buy it online (USD18). Real Techniques even provide worldwide shipping to Malaysia for just ~USD13 which is about RM45. My neighbour and I are planning to buy more brushes together so we can split the shipping cost.

This is where I store my brushes, especially if I am using the baby acrylic case.

Anway, here's a look on how I keep my makeup in the baby acrylic case for daily use in the car. So only the bare makeup necessities are included in the case. All facial products go into a pouch and the brushes are kept in a separate brush case too. 

The bare minimum.

Super cute!

Anyway, I hope I have inspired you to buy more makeup improve your skills in concealing, blending, contouring and sculpting. Boy, who knew makeup was tougher than baking a cake! *smile*

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