Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Veggie or Carrot Beansprout Pancake Recipe

Disclaimer: This is not my recipe - my mom taught me how to do it and I thought it's great to share with more people :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 pack of beansprouts without heads
  • 10 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water
  • 2 eggs
  • cooking oil
Directions:
  1. Slice carrots into tiny pieces about 4 cm long - put aside
  2. Mix flour with salt, pepper and water until even, just a little bit runny
  3. Add eggs and mix until even
  4. Add carrots and beansprouts, mix evenly
  5. Heat up frying pan with oil and fry mixture about 1 spoonful at at time (you can make it bigger if you are impatient like me)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Michelle is Toilet Trained.. Woohooo!!

During the last long National Day holiday weekend, I took the chance to properly toilet train Michelle. I stole the idea from another mother from one of those zillion craft blogs that I'm following. I will put the link here when I find it again!

In the past, I just refused to let her wear diaper and just give her training pants or panties and kept on bringing her to the toilet every 20-30 minutes, but I got carried away with Pinterest and sometimes forget to bring her and she'll also forget to tell me! It got quite frustrating because she would pee on the fabric sofa, on the parquet floor, everywhere!! And when I'm not monitoring her, my husband would simply put her diaper back on. Very supportive eh?

So they have many tricks like pee party etc, I just borrowed the part where they reward the boy for using the toilet successfully. In Michelle's case, since she doesn't really like candies, I substituted it with chocolate, which is her favorite.

I told her that every time she successfully pee in the toilet, I will give her 2 small M&M chocolate and if she poop in the toilet, it will be 1 square chocolate (which is quite big..). I also kept on making chrysanthemum tea for her so that her bladder is always full. She was very excited on the first day and we had no accident at all, but perhaps too much chocolate caused her to be constipated, so no big square chocolate on the first day.

She still wears diapers during nap time and night time because I don't think she can control her bladder at night yet. But sometimes she would refuse to wear diaper for nap time, we haven't given in on that yet. She also wears diaper when we are going out, which is quite often for e.g. after work, so during the weekdays, we didn't really have much chance of continuing the toilet training but her teacher mentioned that the trick is also quite successful in school. I packed a sheet of stickers for the teacher to give to Michelle when she successfully uses the toilet.

This week, since she has undergone the eye procedure, we have been staying at home a lot and we have seen much more improvements on the toilet training. She can say when she wants to go pee, and she finally poop in the toilet (YAY bowel movement!!!). And as a reward, she got 2 small square chocolate - ran out of the big square chocolate :)

So in conclusion:

  • Cute/pretty panties don't really work for her
  • Chocolate works!
  • Stickers work too :)
I hope her progress doesn't go backwards when we go for holiday next week. I read that a lot of kids go backwards when there are major changes in their lives. Holiday is considered as major.

PS: Found the link to the pee pee party here.

Michelle's Eye Procedure

Eyelid before procedure
Last Thursday night, we thought Michelle's eye lower eyelid was getting bigger from the infection so we sent an MMS to her eye doctor as he had instructed us before. He recommended eye procedure to be done to remove the stuff inside the eyelid. It would be a short procedure but would require general anesthesia because she's too little.

I confirmed with the doctor on Friday and wanted to arrange the procedure to be done on Friday because he also mentioned that she would need a few days to recover so I thought it would be better to do it asap so that I can be around longer before I go for my business trip but the earliest slot available is on Sunday morning at 7:30.

Still playing at hospital bed
before the procedure
After admission, we were ushered to the ward where they took her temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen level, and also gave her the hospital robe and head cover. She was still running around at that time. I guess reality still hasn't settled in to her, or maybe the hospital room looks like a hotel room so she didn't know what was going on.

Next, we were brought to the area outside the operating theater and in the beginning she was still fine - playing with the nurse's phone. Cool huh? Actually she was already a little bit scared at this point...

Check out the stylish operating
theater gown..
Finally the doctor arrived, and when I passed her to my hubby, she started crying saying that she doesn't want to go inside. I think at this point, she was quite terrified.. my husband told me that she refused to lie down on the operating table (I would too if I were 2.5 years old!) so my husband had to carry her while they sedated her. It took less than 10 seconds for her to fall asleep. The wait outside was about 20 minutes for me, but it felt much longer. Every time someone exits the door, we (ok.. I) jumped a little bit.

When the nurse called us in, I could hear Michelle crying already, she was very angry and was kicking her feet all over the place. I guess it was because when she woke up, she couldn't recognize anyone and all of them were wearing masks, etc. She was probably also angry at us for leaving her there... sorry baby :(

The next hour was spent carrying her in the ward, while she refused to let other people carry her and also refused to let me sit down while carrying her... biceps anyone? After a while, she got distracted by cartoon on TV (yay TV!!) and slowly she was drinking her Milo and taking small bites of her sandwich... and her chocolate ice cream which the nurse ordered for her (as bribe)..

Lower eyelid after procedure,
swollen because of crying
as well
Her eyelid was still swollen after the surgery - doc told us that it would take a few days for the swelling to go down but the skin will take longer to heal (so annoying lah..). Frankly, I can't really tell the difference from before and after the procedure. However, tonight, it seems that she's much more comfortable than the night before. I guess having a bump so near to your eye is also quite annoying...

So what happened to her eye? According to the doctor, it's bacteria infection and it's quite common for small kids to get it because they tend to touch everything (true...) and then rub their eyes (also true that...), but Michelle likes to wash her hands because she likes playing water, so I thought that she should be of low risk for this. But anyway, we have told her not to touch her eyes, hopefully she remembers that..

But yeah, it's so tough being a parent.. every time something bad happen to Michelle, I always beat myself up guilty even though I know that some stuff are beyond my control... sigh... I just hope that she doesn't go anywhere near an operating theater anymore!! I feel quite traumatized by this small procedure already, I can imagine she must be even more scared than me... :(

Monday, August 13, 2012

To Hit Back or Hold Back?

We have always taught Michelle not to hit or bully other children, and she would go into big trouble if caught doing so and so far she has done pretty well.

On Friday, I brought her down to a playground near our house and she was playing happily. There's this boy who is slightly smaller than her who was playing nearby her. When she was coming down the steps, the boy was pushing her using his feet (?!!?) She didn't hit back, just shouted "Mommy, this friend kicked me..." with a look of plea... At first I just brushed it off as I thought he didn't do it on purpose.

Next thing, Michelle has finally came down but one of her Crocs sandals came off so she was picking it up. Suddenly that same boy appeared out of nowhere and smacked her on the face (?!?!??!?!!!!!) and she cried while holding her Crocs. I had hoped that she would just use it to smack him back in the face or shove it to his mouth, but darling girl didn't hit him back.... probably because we told her not to hit another child...

This is an old photo but still... how can you hit this face?!?!
His grandfather came over and scolded him, but he didn't even shown any remorse... quite a handful one I can tell.. My sister was there too so she was the whole thing, and when Michelle ran back to where we were sitting, both of us had the same reaction "Why didn't you hit him with the shoes, Michelle?!?"

I told my husband about the incident too and we kinda agree that kids should fight back, but not start the fight. What would you teach your kids?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Michelle Dress - A Tutorial

This is my first tutorial, so please give me your comments on how to make it clearer or to improve it.

The Michelle Dress
I made this dress out of imagination and with no pattern just some basic measurements because basically they are just made of rectangles...

You'll need..

The usual sewing materials, like sewing machine and thread, etc..
1 yard of fabric (I have some extra left after making my 3 yo size)
1 button (optional if you prefer to just tie it on the neck as well) (or 2 if you want to make the strap adjustable)

For the neck straps..
  1. Cut 1 inch of the fabric (selvage to selvage)
  2. Fold it and cut lengthwise (now you have 2 of them)
  3. Do it another time (now you have 4 of them) - note that if you are leaving out the buttons, you need to make it slightly longer so that it can be tied
  4. Take 2 pieces of the strips and sew them with right side facing leaving an opening at where you'll insert the strap to the bodice
  5. Cut corners and turn right side out
  6. Do it again for the other 2 piece to make the other strap and now you have these...

For the "bodice"... yeah with double quote because it's not a real bodice, just a slightly wider strap ;)
  1. Cut 2 pieces x 4 inch of the fabric (selvage to selvage)
  2. Put the right sides of the fabric together, pin the straps in between the 2 fabrics
  3. Sew the right sides of the strips together with the neck straps too, but leave an opening at the bottom to insert the skirt later on, like this...


For the skirt..
  1. Cut 1 piece of the fabric of the length that you want (selvage to selvage) + extra for hemming - mine turned out quite long at half my daughter's calves.
  2. Fold each of the end 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch and sew near the edge to hide the raw edges. This is also a good time to insert your own labels if you have one, I used a ready made ribbon for this. So now you have both of the edges of the skirt fabrics with raw edges covered like this...


  3. Fold the fabric so that the right sides are together and sew starting from about 2 inch below the top edge all the way down to the hem line, like so...


  4. Open the seams and press open before hemming
  5. Hem the bottom of the skirt by folding 1/4 inch and then 1 inch, steam iron, pin, and sew - you can also do this step last if you prefer to. I prefer to do it now before the skirt is basted and inserted as it's just easier to do so.

    Use a steam iron to press open the seams

    Fold 1/4 inch and press... and then 1 inch (or whatever hem width that you prefer) and press...

    Sew near the edge of the folded fabric to hem
    Now you have a nice and professional looking hem like this...

    Nice eh?
  6. Use the longest stitch in your machine to gather your skirt piece

    Because I'm lazy, I only used 1 gathering stitch instead of the recommended 2 parallel lines :D
Putting them all together..
  1. Insert the basted skirt piece piece into the opening of the "bodice", pin securely, and top stitch around the entire bodice

    Make sure the skirt piece is pinned properly inside the "bodice" piece...

    Top stitch around the entire "bodice"

  2. Sew buttons and button holes to the next straps - I put mine about 1 inch apart (approx. 2.5 cm)


  3. Put it on a twirly toddler to try on

    Before you call the children's welfare, the car was actually stationery :)

    Back view of the dress.. so apparently even with the 2 buttons, the neck straps were still too long for my daughter so I ended up tying them instead :)
Hope you enjoy the tutorial - do leave a comment if you are using the tutorial or if you have feedback!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What I've Been Busy With...

I can't believe that the last time I posted something was in January..... ;)

Guess I was just too busy with too many things (ignoring the wise saying to simplify my life..)

So work has been so busy because there's people joining the team and they need training, there are also more projects and responsibilities to take on. At home, as usual, there's more things to do: play with Michelle, watch tv with her, tidy up the house, wash the baby bottles, pack school bags, etc... and then there are also so many distractions on the "internet" - Google News, Facebook, Pinterest, etc....

In the past few months, my husband was also thinking of selling our current place and getting a bigger one so that we can have another extra bedroom.. for maid.... now thinking back about it, I think it's quite lame. So anyway, I've managed to convinced to him to just stay in our current place but also to do some renovation to build some built-in storage areas for all our junks! Hence the extra time spent on Pinterest.. ;)

You can follow my boards by clicking on the button below:

Follow Me on Pinterest

I've also managed to improve on my sewing skills, my last creation is a trench coat for Michelle, which is too big because I used the 4 yo pattern because I thought she's bigger than girls her age. I shall blog about the jacket in a separate post...when I have the time!

Photos of the stuff that I made can be found below...



Among all these, I guess the most important milestone that I have achieved is that I have survived motherhood in the past few months~ it's really the toughest job I ever had, with no vacation or sick day, etc but also the most rewarding. She has started talking much more now, as in she can bargain and even do emotional blackmail. A conversation between her and her daddy:

Michelle: "Daddy, do you love me?"
Daddy: "Yes, dear"
Michelle: "Give me chocolate..."

another conversation overheard while both of them were sitting on the couch watching a show and Michelle started to get bored and began taking other stuff, jumping around, etc..

Daddy: "Michelle, sit down!" (a few times... getting impatient...)
Michelle: *sigh* "I don't want to sit here.... you don't love me..."

I was quite angry to him when she said that because I felt that we have spent so much effort to make her feel loved and cared for, and then with just small incident, it makes her feel that her daddy doesn't love her... but maybe that's just her trying to emotionally blackmail him :D

And today.... this is is just a slow and relaxing day... it's her daycare closure day so I took a day off from work to spend with her. From morning, we have watched half a movie (she doesn't like Aladdin... Jaffar is too scary!), went to a playground, had lunch at my sis place, showered and now she's taking her nap :)

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