Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lachlan's 3rd Birthday

Three years ago, you brought so much joy, so much happiness into our lives. We are truly blessed to have you, a healthy and robust little boy. Right from the start you have us all besotted, infatuated with your easy personality, your smiles and your antics.

Through the years, you have taught us a lot. You have given us a child's love, so pure and so sweet. Through you, we discovered unconditional love. I hope one day, you will see that of all the joy and happiness you have given us, we give you back a thousand fold.

I can't believe 3 years passed so quickly! You have grown into a boy with so much personality. You are so chatty, so bubbly and you love socialising. You are not shy, you are confident when meeting someone new. You speak so eloquently, you sometimes baffle me with what you say. Then there's the laugh, the big, hearty laugh that is so infectious! It could be a funny ad on TV, or a funny noise someone makes. This could send us into fits of giggles that would never ever end!

You are always curious about things. When we go for walks, you would often peer into letter boxes, every single one of them. You learn numbers really quickly. Before long, you could read out numbers on letter boxes, every single one of them on the street. It takes a long time for us to walk down the road sometimes, because you would touch every bark on the tree, smell every flower, and pick up stones of various shapes and sizes. One day I wondered why my bag was so darn heavy, I emptied out the contents, and there looking at me were pebbles and rocks and twigs and gumnuts!

I love how you care about others. Like when you see me in a daze you would ask are you alright mummy? Or if someone gets hurt at playgroup, I could see that you care. You would perk up, run up and give that person a hug. I love how you cup my cheeks with your both hands, and shower tiny kisses on my face.

This past year saw many changes in your life. You became an older brother. It hasn't been easy, but you have adapted quite well. You are constantly learning and you did that well. It is amazing how eager you are and how much you understand. You often test your boundaries, and you still do. Mommy knows it is still a little confusing, wanting to be independent but at the same time still having to rely. Hang in there young man, you will soon get it right.

And those cheeks that is so you, everyone loves to pinch. They are like stress balls. An instant uplift, when skies are grey.

Lachlan, we wish you a Happy 3rd Birthday! May this year be wonderful, filled with exciting surprises and happiness. We love you heaps! Best Blogger Tips

Monday, 27 April 2009

Lachie's 2nd Day at Kinder

Today was one of the two orientation days for Lachie at kinder.

I asked him if he wanted me to stay, as I would be allowed to stay with him one more day if he wanted me to.

He said "No mom, you go home."

My little boy is definitely growing up!

It was the fastest 2 hours in my life! I had Lachie at kinder and Lucas was asleep at home with his daddy. What would I do with myself for 2 hours? I went grocery shopping, came home and made a cuppa but before I even know it, it was time to go pick up Lachie.

Sigh. Another 3 more days before the next class. Best Blogger Tips

My 30th Birthday

Last night, I celebrated my 30th birthday with 4 very influential ladies in my life. We had a ladie's night out, just 5 of us at Melba Restaurant, at the Langham Hotel. It was a lovely evening, memorable and enjoyable. We ate and we ate, we chatted and laughed, we got to know each other even better than before.

C is my new sister-in-law. She spent the night with 4 lovely mummies, grasping the depth of our conversations of childbirth, breast-feeding and juggling our rather hectic lifestyle that is different to hers. L and H have been my mentor and role models. They're both stay at home moms, the ones I've learnt to respect ever more than before in the last few years. JL, I've just got to know not too long ago but got on really really well like long lost friends, also through playgroup. She is mom of one and another on the way. They are the ones I wanted to share my 30th birthday with.

I enjoyed the great variety of seafood, having platters after platters of fresh sashimi, natural oysters, king prawns and blue swimmer crabs. There were also clams and mussels, but did you know I was allergic to mussels? There was also a wide selection of salads and cold meat on centre stage.

Perhaps, the main attraction was the open kitchen. Here, there are food stations where chefs freshly prepare the food that you select, ranging from an Asian stir-fry, to Italian pastas and aromatic meats from the tandoor. I ordered a herb and cheese naan bread from the tandoor, which was made there and then right before my eyes, that was divine.

The Asian stir-fry was so-so, maybe because I have had one too many platters of entrees and already felt quite full. They also serve Peking Duck, but I've never in my life had Peking Duck with stir fried bean shoots, it tasted a little out of ordinary. The skin was also a little chewy.

The array of food was so diverse, so multicultural and so uniquely Melbourne.

Then, there were desserts! I was really excited about sweets because as I walked in, I saw this: an array of little miniature treats.

It looked almost too good to be eaten. I like how they make them so pretty and in small little portions so you can almost try everything on display!

Verdict: Two thumbs up! I'm not a big fan of buffet style dinners usually, but this one gets the cake. Their selection of cold food is fresh, and their hot meals are freshly prepared. Definitely unlike many other buffet style dinners. Downside is you just stuff yourself silly and end up overeating. Thank goodness I don't turn thirty too often!


The Langham
1 Southgate Avenue
Victoria 3006

1800 641 107
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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Anzac Biscuits

Australians celebrate Anzac Day on the 25th of April. It is a national day of remembrance to honour the soldiers who fought in the World War I.

Traditionally, Anzac Biscuits are baked by the anxious moms and wifes during the World War I and packed into food parcels to be sent out to the soldiers in the trenches.

Every Anzac Day, I would look into my pantry for ingredients to bake these yummy cookies. They are really simple, and require only staple ingredients to make. Yesterday, I made these cookies. I ran out of oat, which I usually have in abundance! So instead of using oats, I subsituted with sultana flakes which worked out very well. Each bite is crunchy, and the sultana bits were chewy and nice. The kids loved them and so did we!


1 cup plain flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sultana flakes/rolled oats
125g butter, melted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp golden syrup

The original recipe asked for 1 cup of sugar. I usually cut down the sugar by half, but find that the cookies were still a little sweet. It could be that the sultanas added the extra sweetness to it.

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in all dry ingredients. Fizz out the soda in hot boiling water. Gently fold in butter, golden syrup and soda mixture. Roll into balls, flatten slightly and bake in slow oven for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before eating!

See? Too easy!
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Happy Birthday Ma-Ma!

After Mia's Bug Party on Saturday, we drove to Geelong to see Ma-Ma on her birthday.

Don't you think Lachie looks so much like his Ma-Ma? Best Blogger Tips

Mia's Bug Party

So, it's the time for birthdays. ONE of the birthday parties we attended this week was Mia's Bug Party. There were lots of butterflies, a ladybug birthday cake and lady birthday bug herself and one totally squirmy green bug with pink tentacles, whatever it could be. A caterpillar? It was cuteness overload! Mia's mummy made the most gorgeous birthday cake ever!

The kids were buzzing with excitement. They played ants go marching musical pillows, pass the bug parcel, they fluttered about in their little bug costumes and made little crafty ladybugs. It is such a well thought out themed party!

This is Lachie's version of a ladybug.

We totally enjoyed ourselves. The kids were beautiful. The cake was gorgeous. The house was lovely and our hosts were charming. So JL and T, thank you for the party!


Squirmy worms!

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Friday, 24 April 2009

Lachie Goes to Kindy

Big news! Today, Lachie started pre-kindergarten. I woke him up at 8.30am, a whole hour before he usually wakes up. He had breakfast, brushed his teeth and changed into going out clothes. But not without some growling, hissing and threatening, from me that is! First day of school and it's mad morning already!

Still dreamy in la-la-land...

In Victoria, you can attend pre-kindy when you turn 3 years old, and the cut-off for the yearly intake is that your child's birthday needed to be before April 30th. It is completely optional. Lachy could just make it this year, his birthday falls on the 28th of April. So he is the youngest in the class.

Because it was his first day, I stayed with him. We went in early, brought with us a pillow for Lachie to sit on for music and story time, a snack box, water bottle and a sun hat. There was a special hook for Lachie to hang his bag and coat at the foyer. You should've seen him, he ran off into the classroom even before I signed him in! I didn't think he needed me there at all.

Lachie blended right in with the rest of the kids. He played with blocks, sorted colourful teddy bears, stuck fingers in playdough, wouldn't touch the shaving cream (yep, the kids were messing up shaving cream and having loads of fun!), participated in songs and dances, do puzzles and played outdoors. He listened to his teachers, and I wondered to myself where my little terrible three disappeared to and here's this little smart and funny kid, displaying his best behaviour for his teachers. I have pride written all over my face, and there's happiness swelling in my throat. Unfortunately, that little terrible three that I know reappeared as soon as we walked out the door.

Lachie agreed it was great and he would gladly attend kinder again next week. He'll be there 2 days a week, 2 hours each time. Aaahhhh.... I am already planning my 2 hour breaks, with one child less! Makes a HUGE difference. Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Pirates and Pilots

So Lachlan wanted a pirate ship birthday cake, but Christopher wanted an airplane. We'll be having a pirate and pilot party, and this is the invitation postcard I designed for the party. If you haven't received one in the mail, fret not. I have just placed my order today and they will arrive tomorrow on priority DHL. It's great having a family printing business!

How on earth do I make an aeroplane cake?

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Turning 30, 3 and 1.

A little less than a year ago, we celebrated Lachlan turning 2 years old. I was heavily pregnant with Lucas, just about to give birth at any time. I thought having 2 kids with their birthdays close together with mine was great! It means we could have a big birthday bash together.

Anyways, fast forward a year, my views have changed. The idea of a dozen three year olds high on sugar, running amok and trampling all over half a dozen crawling almost one year olds sends shivers up my spine. What about when they start going to kinder, to school? They'll have more friends then and their parents would come too. And what about MY friends?

In a couple of days, I will be turning 30. Thirty! Big THREE-OH! 2 days later, Lachlan will turn 3. And a week after that, Lucas will turn 1. WOW!

Turning 30 is no biggy. When you're a kid, 30 is like old! And for a lot of people, turning 30 is a big deal because of the realisation that they're a grown up, with grown up expectations of themselves and what others have on them. For me, it's OK because I'm well on my way in the path of life. A house, a husband, 2 wonderful sons and a part time job. I think I'm OK. No doubt, it is still a big milestone. So I am going to do something special this year. For me.

Lachlan and Christopher was born on the same day. They go to the same playgroup. And this year, they will be celebrating their 3rd birthdays together.

Lucas will have a smallish party at home, with his crawly friends and no 3 year olds trampling all over them. Thank goodness!

So there will be 3 parties, not one big bash. Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Harvest: Blue Jap Pumpkin

It's harvest time again. These little beauts are the last of my vegie crops. Soon, I will be digging in new compost and planting more seeds and seedlings in my little vegie patch. What will I plant next? Snow peas? Beetroot? Rhubarb? I just love the earthy taste of home-grown organic beetroot. And rhubarbs make great desserts! Lachy loves munching on fresh snow peas, crunchy and sweet.

This big momma weighs 2.85kg. An average size for a pumpkin but not bad for an organic, home grown one huh? The smaller one weighs a little less than a kilo. Think it's a dud one. But then again, we went for a long holiday and left it up to nature. Looks like the dry Melbourne weather did it no favour! There is one last pumpkin still growing, the vines are still green. My father inlaw told me that I should harvest pumpkin only when the leaves are drying up. Otherwise, it will taste sappy.

Looks like Lucas will have to share this one!
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He Said That

When Lachie takes a tumble, or knocks himself, he comes to me for a "kiss and make it feel better". One afternoon in Malaysia, I saw him slide off a tall slide at the playground and his bum landed with a big thud in a puddle of murky water. He ran to me, "Mum, kiss my bum and make it feel better!"


One night Lachie woke up and sat out in the living room looking forlornly at some of his toys, I said to him "Lachs, it's still night time. Go back to bed!" He said "Oh, I forgot!"


"I can't go into the bedroom", he whispered. "I'm scared".

"Why?" I asked.

"Zurg. Zurg is watching and I'm scared". He pointed to the movement sensors which has a red light when activated. For those who don't know, Emperor Zurg is Sworn Enemy of the Galactic Alliance, an antagonist in Toy Story 2. He has red eyes and is evil.

O.o Best Blogger Tips

Friday, 17 April 2009

An old favourite: Assam Laksa!

Just a few days left in Malaysia, dear Mom asked me What else would I want to eat, my last fix before heading home. Even before I answered, she knew! It's got to be Mom's Assam Laksa, what else? Before I even finish uttering the words Assam Laksa, she's on the phone with the fishmonger, ordering Ikan Kembung for this wonderful Malaysian classic.

Here's the story. I wanted to catch up with some old friends before I leave. Friends I went to school with, friends I sang with in school, best friends! So I've organised for them to come over one weekend, just to hang out and chit chat. But mom being mom, NO ONE comes to her house without getting a feed (I guess that's where I got my trait from!), she cooked up a storm that morning.

Cooking Assam Laksa is so labour intensive! First there's cooking whole fish in a huge pot of boiling water with smashed ginger flower, Assam and Vietnamese mint leaves. Then it's the hard part of peeling off the flesh from the fish, making sure every single bone is omitted. My grandma and I sat for hours peeling the fish. We were making Laksa for 40 people, it was a mountain of fish. I commented, "well grandma, if anyone choke on a fish bone, you know who they'll blame! I've got better eyes than you! He He!". Truth is, it's all skills. There's a way to peel the fish, and she definitely does it better! Mom then takes all of the bones, inclusive of the head and tail, blends it to a pulp, strain and puts it back into the soup, together with a freshly ground chilli and spice paste. This makes the fish broth delicious and ultra tasty.

Now, a few more things to do before I indulge. Finely slice 4 cucumbers, 2 pineapples, a whole heap of red onions, ginger flower, small chillies, coral lettuce and mint leaves. My arms felt so sore, but there's no time for complaining! Our guests were coming, my tummy rumbling and I can't wait to eat Mom's delicious Laksa! Well and truly worth it, to every single last drop.
It was such a lovely meet up. I think they enjoyed the Laksa and I definitely enjoyed their company.

And I had 3 bowls in one sitting!
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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Books by Todd Parr

Recently I picked up a few books for the boys. I thought they were brilliant!

I was browsing through the ABC shop, and they were having a sale. And then I came across these picture books by Todd Parr.

With smiling child-like stick figures, bright, bold multicultural mix of blue, green, brown, yellow and purple faces, Todd Parr sends a truly optimistic message of love, togetherness and feeling good.

The family book points out how some families look alike, some look like their pets, how some families like to hug each other, some families have adopted children with a wonderful mix of political correctness, humour and fun. RRP $14.95 Sale $4.95

In the second book, Todd Parr tells us that it's OK to be different, it's OK to ask for help, it's OK to be adopted, to look different, to wear glasses, to be of a different colour etc. That it's OK just being who we are. This is a perfect book to read to a little boy who will soon attend kindergarten, who will be meeting the whole wide world, the wise, weird and wonderful. RRP $14.95 Sale $4.95

And finally, he explains the many reasons why reading makes you feel good. It lets you be a princess or a scary dinosaur, it helps you make pizza, it tells you how to look after your pets, it takes you to faraway places and it makes people feel better when they're sick. But most of all, reading is good because you can read anywhere! RRP $14.95 Sale $4.95

Other books by Todd Parr:
Go check out an ABC store near you!
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Monday, 13 April 2009

Vision 20-20

One of the things I did when we were back in Malaysia was IntraLASIK, a form of refractive eye surgery similar to LASIK. The only difference being the method by which the corneal flap is created. With IntraLASIK, the first step of cutting the flap is accomplished using a highly precise laser, the Intralase Femtosecond Laser. Hence, it is also known as "all laser LASIK".

I knew this is what I've wanted, and after some light research, I know that the technology (and no doubt professional expertise) used here in Australia, is at par with the ones in Malaysia. So I snapped up this opportunity to have my very first "cosmetic surgery" done whilst we were there. This saved me quite a lot of money, enough to cover for another trip back for my entire family.



I trusted my brother and Ching to call up on a few clinics and upon their advice, I went to Optimax in Taman Tun, Kuala Lumpur. I was truly amazed with how quickly everything went. I arrived on Tuesday to find out that an appointment was made for me to have an eye examination on Thursday and if everything was OK, the surgery was to be performed that same day!

Thursday came, the kids were left at home with their grandparents. My eyes were checked and I was given a big tick for surgery.

I sat in the waiting room without my glasses, blind as a bat, while a very well spoken gentleman explained to me the steps involved, possible risks and complications and what to expect in the next few days. There were a few other young guys in the room, their surgery before mine and I thought I could hear their teeth chattering while the doctor was explaining these to us.

My name was called out, and I was led to another room. I was then instructed to look ahead at a green light and keep my head very VERY still. This was the intralase laser, sending little air pockets into my cornea creating a little flap. It was not scary at all, all the time I was just concentrating on the green light. It's funny how I thought my head was kept so still, I swear I wasn't even breathing the whole time but the surgeon kept telling me to keep my head still!

The LASIK procedure itself took seconds! 13 seconds to be exact. The duration of it depends on the prescription for long distance viewing. For example mine was -4.0 for both eyes, and thus 13 seconds for each eye. My eyes were blurry for a couple of hours, it wasn't hurting or stinging. It just felt a little uncomfortable, a little dry and very very light sensitive.

I went home, shut my eyes for a bit. I tried to sleep, but could only manage 20 minutes. I couldn't wait to see my boys!

That night, I went out for dinner at a lovely Japanese restaurant! (Against doctor's advise *roll eyes*) I couldn't miss it as it was a pre-wedding dinner for Guaran and Chai. I had my sunnies on all night despite getting a fair few stares from other customers. I could see! I mean really really clearly! All the time I kept reading the billboards outside the window, testing out how well I could read, even the teeny weeny letterings. Unbelievable!

Night time, I had to wear shields for just in case I accidentally rub or knock my eyes. I look like spiderman and Lachy was very very amused! Spider-mom he calls me!

A day after the surgery, I went back for a check-up. Perfect vision. 20-20. I can be a pilot. No more granny glasses. No more contact lens. I can wake up in the middle of the night and see the time on my clock. In a couple of months (just to be safe), I can go swimming with the boys and not worry that my contact lens are going to fall off under water. Now, if only hubby does it, we can once and for all banish all contact lens solution from our bathroom!

A true medical marvel, just amazing!

Read more about it here.

(Photos are TOTALLY random and unrelated to this post, apart from the BEFORE and AFTER shots)
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