Thursday, May 28, 2009

Simple cuppies, but they kept me awake till 3 am

I hope you can read "Happy Teachers Day" on first look. I only got to know about the Teacher's Day party today at the kindy, and tried to make do with whatever I have in the kitchen.

Thought of making mini cupcakes but I run out of the mini cups. Then later I forgot that I don't have a container (or box) big enough to have all the letters nicely arranged.

I planned for something fast and simple. Everything was easy except for getting the alphabets done. The instructions sound so simple. Just could not get the fondant to be very thinly rolled. I need more gadgets, maybe. Arghh...if I have more gadgets, I would spend more time baking...and less time for other thing. Dilemma!

Anyway, I hope Bea2 and Bea3 will be happy with them. Just a little extra than just thanks to the teachers tomorrow. Yeah I know I need a lot of improvement, but this is only the second time I play around with the fondant. Besides I never claimed this is a food blog;).

Tomorrow will be a busy day, hubby will be away for most part of the day leaving me without the car, Open Day for both Bea1's schools , piles to do at the office, feeling jittery as I have a feeling new baby will make his appearance sooner that the due date and I just hope I won't get too exhausted due to lack of sleep.

My motivation is hubby and I (YESSSSS...alone!) will catch the Terminator after work!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Excited over cheesecake

For the past few sundays, I kept myself busy when Adel napped with a few cheesecake recipes.

When I first saw the pic of Bull's eye cheesecake, I fell in love and tried making it right away. The first recipe is from thelazychef, second from the creator of the Bull's eye pattern and tired of rich cheesecake I tried a light one from here

With the first recipe, I omitted the blueberry topping but mixed melted choc in half of the batter. I felt so excited that the thick and non-stiff texture of cheesecake batter made it possible to create the bull's eye pattern when you pour cream and choc mixture alternately.

I had the infamous crack on the surface, according to the expect due to overbaking. Also patches of dark spots, but still happy with the look. It also turned out to be too sour, that's why the blueberry topping was suggested there.
This how it looks after being sliced, from the side

Tried the second recipe, the batter turned out to be more runny and feeling more adventurous I tried to make thinner line on my pattern. Still didn't get the perfect pattern but I still love the look after it was sliced. The taste is also better (judging from the servings hubby had, and he does not really like rich cake), and no more crack.

Feeling more adventurous, I thought of making the bull's eyes in tiny cupcakes, with some pink colours since I have 3 girly girls. But this time using the light cheesecake recipe. Got no colouring at home, used Ribena and it turned out to be pale purple. With the addition of beaten eggwhites, the batter was more stiff, so no bull's eyes created for this one. But to compensate that, I decorated with some butterflies. It was a hit among the kids.

Tried again using the first recipe (as I found it most suitable to create the bull's eye pattern), in bigger solo cups. The choc mixture turned out to be too thick, and since the cups are a bit deep, it was just hard to get nice pattern but at least the girls got excited with the colours.

Tired of the pattern, I finally decided to bake the simpler light one, with some blueberry topping. Of all the recipes, I love this one the most and will bring some to the office to share with the colleagues.

I baked the cake in water bath as suggested, it is said to be a way not to get crack but I still got one. Think the water was not deep enough.
For the rich cake, the expert says cake is done when you don't see it shiny on the surface already and the batter no longer jiggly. I managed to avoid that the second time around. But think it does not apply for the light one as the batter is different, in this case more stiff with the addition of beaten eggwhites. That makes it lighter and fluffy, anyway.

Nah...this is for you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Can be a record maybe?

When I'm writing this the ticker for Bea1 says she is 7years 3months 3weeks and 4days old. I've been breastfeeding, breastfeeding-during-pregnancy and tandem-nursing all the kids. Bea1 weaned herself when she was 4 years 2 months old, Bea2 3 years 7 months old and think officially Bea3's done with nen-nen 3 years 6 months old. Adel is still very much at it, even though he is not as clingy as the girls, being a no-nonsense eater (now I only got some colustrum). Look at the numbers carefully (if you have nothing to do), and you know sometimes I have 3 nurslings (sp?) simultaneously.

Nearing to my due date, I feel that I'd miss being pregnant even more after the baby's out. Maybe due to the fact that I have a feeling now and then that 5 is a good number.

Anyway, even with the 5th one and looking at the trend, I would probably be a nursing cow for maybe at least 10 years non-stop! Boleh masuk Malaysian Guiness Book of Records ka?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More stuffs from a warehouse sale!

I got to know about Teka warehouse sale from a paper at the babysitter's yesterday morning and went there with Bea1 after her KAFA class. I got hooked already after getting my 7-fucntion Rubine oven from one, at serves us well after almost a year now!.

I only allocated a space for a 60cm wide fridge in the kitchen and was so in need of a new one. I also wanted one with a freezer at the bottom.

What we have is a small one-door type with minute freezer that we bought when we were very broke newlyweds 8 years ago. It got frosted fast, and ice would fill the freezer leaving us with even less space. A lot of times we had to forget about getting ice-cream in those containers home when we had breastmilk stock. Just how we survived with that, with all kids were on breastmilk only till they are over 1 year old. It has a knob to control the temp. inside. Just above Bea3's head. Once, we got back from 3-day balik kampung trip to a smelly fridge and everything inside was spoilt!

Yeah we have one of those child-lock thingy but bigger kids tend to forget to lock it back after opening it.

In preparation for the arrival of the new baby, I looked harder for a fridge or even a freezer. We seriously do not have any space for stand-alone freezer. I thought of getting bigger fridge, and moved the old one to my office. Storing milk would be much convenient, I thought.

I had Panasonic in mind as they come up with a few freezer at the bottom models, but the slim one is too short with too small freezer, the bigger one is too wide....hubby sakit kepala already.

Anyway, search was over yesterday! Found one with 340 liter capacity, 185 cm (taller than hubby) x 600 x600 at RM2.1 k after 70% off. Freezer with 4 times the size of the one in our tiny fridge. Perfect! There are those two-side-by-side-doors type, but even after 60% off, they are still out of my budget...and of course too big for my kitchen.

It has some little scratch and dent, but I really don't mind as it comes with 5 year warranty for the motor. It has digital control at the top,so no more worries of little hands playing with it. Temp of fridge, chiller and freezer can be controlled separately...I like!

Looks like we need a big grocery shopping to fill up the space;).

I also got a cooker hood from an old model with 1200 m3 suction, at RM700 also after 70% off. But that would stay a bit longer in the box as I need to recover from my spending for a while before getting it installed. Must buy some wall cabinet to finally complete my kitchen (*sigh* after almost 3 years!).

The sale is still on till tomorrow at 10, Jln U1/47, Temasya Industrial Park, Off Jln Glenmerie, if you are interested and do not mind getting 'junks' (some people call that) from a warehouse sale.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dino that scared the hell out of my kid

I took a day off on Friday just for Mothering Mothers. But due to some rescheduling of picking-up, I managed to squeeze some time in between Bea1's KAFA class and school to bring the girls to the Barkyard Monsters and Dinosaurs Are Back (that's what they printed on the tickets) exhibition.

What you're going to read is mostly complaint from a mom, geologist and educator. If you think you can tahan, read on. If not, do something better.

Firstly, it was such a small one for RM12 for adult and RM8 for kids 5 years and above. It is divided into two sections. One is mostly for insects with blown-up replicas (why must they call them monsters!) and the other for dinosaurs. They move a little and got some sound effects.

Bea1 was happy with the whole thing, especially when she got to see a blown-up section of a mosquito's (and a few other insects) head that shows parts that involve during feeding. She was happy walking and observing past the dinosaurs too.

But I have to put up with a very scared 3-year old Bea3. She was like that for the whole less than 1/2 hour we were there.
It was scary for her the moment we stepped in, with gigantic tarantula welcome her. I had no idea how it was like, so I didn't prepare her for that. It was not a good start for her and she refused to let go till the end.

And this is my 5-year-old Bea2. She was ok in the insect section but not in the other. I thought my kids were just penakut, but I also saw another girl and a boy who cried their heart out too. I justhad to cut it short after I accidently touched Bea3's chest and I could feel how fast her heart beat.

So you may think this exhibition may not be suitable for kids 5 and below. Well, I think if that's the case...what a shame! For my kids, dinosaurs in books are not scarry at all. Yup, maybe in reality they were scary in nature but does it really matter?

After the visit, in the car, as usual I was bombarded by questions esp. from Bea2. She wanted to know why dino do not co-exist with human being, how they died. How do people 'find' out about them. And knowing the sequence of living things existence, Bea1 further asked about "What roam on earth before dinosaurs?", and what happened before and before that. I explained about fossils, paleontologist, mass extinction and I thought I might have to do a little about Big Bang Theory...I myself have a problem to fathom that, now with kids asking questions like this...I felt like biting my own hand.

That brings me to the next complain: it is a non-informative exhibition. The insect section is still ok to me but there are only very little information about each of dino, eg: their size, diet, who was first that found them on a board just below the name of each. You can see that at the back of the first two pics.

I wish they have something like a big board that tells a little about the history of the earth, when in the geological time scale did the dino exist, how they extinct and how they were discovered. Something simple with lots of pictures to help students to understand and make it easy for parents to explain to their young kids. Is it too much to ask? I don't know who the organisers are but all this infos can be easily gathered and maybe preferebly they can consult an expert for that.
Are the movement and sound effects more interesting than a little bit more information?

I feel a little upset for my Bea3, she loves her dino books at home. She's been telling me that she would never want to see dino ever again. It may take some time for her to overcome that. I really feel that for kids that are eager to know about everything, the exhibition should not be made in such a way.

Anyway, not happy with the short visit Bea1 is now bugging me to go again but only two of us. I'm not very sure about that, maybe the one at the KLCC is better? I was there a few years ago but now could not remember how was it already.

Another complain is not related to the exhibition but the lunch that we had after that. I;ve been telling people after I tasted Burger King, I thought I'd bid farewell to McD. And after Carl's Jr, I said "Bye, bye' to Burger King. We just love it but that Friday, this is what we got for the Fish n Chips:

The batter turned dark and the size of each piece was 3 times smaller. After complaining the staff cooked another batch for us. To me to be on the safe side, they just should not sell it until they figured out what went wrong with the batter (that's what I'd been told). Now tak pasal-pasal their terrible-looking product appears in my 'famous' blog...hehe!

Well, I also thought maybe due to the many complains I made for the exhibition that we had bad luck with our lunch. Anyway, it was still a relief to see my girl back to her usual self, sipping the iced tea happily after that scary dino episode!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mothering Mothers 2009 - The visit

I can't believe how awfully late I'm in updating about the visit. Told Lil it was the most relaxing MM to me (thanks to all the support) but I was just konk-out after the visit, and well yesterday Mother's Day or not was like a normal big-laundry Sunday to me. And I had to compensate that a few hours away from home the day before.

I was surprised when I reached there on Saturday, to see we were welcome by quite a number of staffs and a lot more trolleys compared to the previous visits.

The last count was 218 parcels. We also received 118 and 52 nicely packed cupcakes and cookies, respectively from Lyza and Raja Azam. We gave each of these together with the gift to each mom at the hospital.

I was busy clicking the camera just before we moved on with the visit that I didn't noticed someone joined us for the photography session. I handed my camera to one of the staff and joined the group, and when it finished a nurse pulled my hand and pointed that someone to me. "Ros, that's the Pengarah...". I was so surprised, and was almost speechless when introduced to Professor Dr. Ikram Shah Ismail (see the guy in the red cap, he is also the Dean of faculty of Medicine). Told him, that was the 4th Mothering Mothers and we never had such a welcome. He said he was happened to be there for some function and came by. I briefed him about the project in conjunction with Mother's Day and he said "But Mother's Day is tomorrow!". I explained due to many visitations they have during weekends now, the PR dept. asked us to do it on Saturday.

Just after he left, someone asked me over and over "Is he a big shot?" and someone else said "He is the biggest shot in the hospital, ok?". It was hilarious to me.

Well, as much as I always want to make Mothering Mothers low-profile, having the biggest shot thanked us personally makes a little difference. I have to admit that.

We then moved in two groups. Well, I guess each mom has their own story to tell regarding their experience. Due to lack of sleep and a little exhaustion I just chose to visit the wards with less critically sick children.

We managed to contribute the gifts to all 6 pead. wards. The rest went to geriatic, maternity, O&G and also Special Care Unit (for premature babies). We also have some to distribute to the nurses who were involved with the visits that day and all in the PICU ward. Nurse's Day falls on 12th May, if you don't know that yet.

We were not allowed in the ICU and SCU, so gifts were handed to the nurse in-charge. However, we were allowed to have a peek outside SCU. One staff mentioned that now, babies as young as 26 weeks and at 500g has a chance of survival. They were taken care there till they reach the weigh of 1.7 kg. That normally takes up to 3 months. I only saw one father with his baby that day, it was Saturday so it is just common that moms are not there, as they may have to attend to their other kids or still in pantang. However gifts will be distributed to them when they are there.

The staff from PR dept. said since we always have overwhelming responce (that leads to extra gifts) she suggested that for next visits, we just applied for approval from other wards to (not limited to pead wards). We will see how it goes, ok.

Firstly, thanks again and again to Lil. After 5 years (since 2004) I still think it is such an awesome idea to celebrate Mother's Day this way.

Thanks to Christene (who handled more than 90 parcels in a very organised manner, I could not do this without her), Shamira, Elaine, Wai Han, Wai Leng, Pauline, Sofhib, Suzette, Geok Hong, Salwa, Redbabe and Alina for being in the hospital.

And thanks to all the contributors and those who passed the words around for making this happen. I could not believe that we manage to collect a total of 218 in about only 10 days after the announcement. I was really sceptical when I started this and kept thinking "I'll be a dead meat if I don't reach the target". But that's just me, I love doing things last minute. Besides, I believe if we do good things, Allah would make it easier for us.

Shamira, Pauline, Sofhib, Redbabe and Alina...I wish could chat more with you ladies!

And I apologise if I missed any of the contributors name. I picked some parcels from Lily's place in Subang together with the name list but it got lost somewhere during the shifting and counting. Plus all the last minute contributions, so close to the D-Day that I had not have the time to update in my blog.

Christene has updated about the visit earlier here and suzette here plus maybe other moms too.

And before I finish, I would like to share with you what I read from sloone. We must also remember and reflect on how these children feel on Mother's Day too.

Message to UMMC volunteers

I'm sure most of the volunteers are familiar with UMMC but here's links to

Road map to UMMC and
UMMC building map

UMMC is just besides UM PJ entrance at the Jalan Universiti and after that just look for Menara Timur.

We shall meet up at 9.30 am. We need to sort, count the gifts before the visit. And we may hear some briefing from the staff there. I still have a prob to cut and past part of the approval letter but important thing is you must be healthy (no cough, flu, fever and has received chicken pox vaccination) and no kids below 18 years old in the wards.

There is underground parking lot and the entrance is just below the lobby where we shall meet. Those who brings a lot of gifts can just drop the gifts at the entrance before proceeding to park. Those who arrive early may help there.

See you there. If you are not sure about anything just email me at

The visits will be from 10 am to 12 pm. I hope that we can spend some time at the cafe after that to just chat and catch-up. It's I hope it won't be too crowded.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothering Mothers 2009 - Update

Update! Lil has posted an entry in her blog. The approval letter from UMMC is there too. I don't know how to put it here so click on the link if you want to see it.

Attention to all contributors
Please drop your gifts at the listed drop-off points by Friday (8th May) noon and please let us know if you have any problem regarding this.

A note to all hospital volunteers
We still have 3 slots for volunteers at the hospital.

We have now extras and we will decide on which ward to go to distribute the rest. In 2005 we went to maternity wards, geriatic (for old folks) and even a ward for premature babies. I thought I could control myself, but I had to hide the tears when I saw babies that were of the size of my palm. I know Allah would protect them but it would be months in the hospital for the moms. Depending on the final total number of gifts and discussion with the UMMC staff that will accompany us, we will make a decision. Maternity wards are huge while not many patients in geriatic. We will see, and the hosp. staff indicated to me that they are flexible.

I will post maybe two maps and some other info regarding the visit in another post soon. Watch out!

Updates on Mothering Mothers 2009:

1. Mama23beas: 5
2. Moo Mommy: 10
3. Lavender: 3
4. Geok Hong: 2 (+2)
5. sofhib: 5
6. Eydd: 10
7. Charine: 5
8. Chanel: 5
9. Christene: 5
10. Lyza: 5 (at least)
11. Eida: 5
12. hui-wearn: 5
From allthingspurple(Christene) blog
13. Misha Paris's Mum - 5
14. Jacss - 5
15. Amy - 5
16. Jessytai - 2
17. Eve - 2
18. Anggie - 3
From Chanel
19. Michele Soo - 3

20. Elaine - 5
21. Hijackqueen - 2
22. Pek Imm - 3
23. WCP - 2
24. NST - 3
25. Sqkiki - 2
26. Javapot - 6
27. Lilian - 5
28. Annieq - 3
29. Adrine -5
30. Wai Han - 1
31. Redbabe - 2
32. Eva Razali, Delliah, Liza Masrina and Ninuk - 13
33. Sheryl Hen – 3
34. JO-N : 5
35. Vedis – 2
36. Pohling – 2
37. Shamira - 5
38. Zainab - 4
39. Inbha - 3
40. Salmiah - 1
41. Suzana - 1
42. Nalini - 1
43. Alina Grace - 3
44. Suzette - 2


Keep the pledges coming in and let me know if I miss anyone.

Thanks to Dayang Lily of UmmikuSayang, Vivian of Fabulous Mom and Elaine:

1. AlimKids Bookstore, 6-1 USJ 9/5Q, Subang Business Centre, 47600 UEP Subang Jaya.

2.Fabulous Mom Sdn Bhd, 2A, Jalan TK2/1C, Taman Kinrara, Seksyen 2
47100 Puchong, Selangor, Malaysia (First floor, corner unit, above Shanghai Coffee Shop)
Tel: 03-80765262,Fax: 03-80765562

3. Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam - email Elaine at for instructions

VOLUNTEERS AT UMMC (limited to 12)
1. Mama23beas
2. Sofhib
3. Geok Hong
4. Shamira
5. Christene
6. Elaine
7. Wai Han
8. Redbabe
9. Yan nie
10. Alina Grace
11. Suzette

Let me know if I miss anyone!

Please confirm your participation with me. Due to the hospital regulation, there is a limit of 12 participants in the visit. Those who are coming can bring their gifts on D-Day, but we need the number of pledges so that we can plan better. For example which wards to go if we have extra or what to do if we have less, number of trolleys that we need etc.

We now have 2 volunteers to help with receiving cash, shopping and doing the packaging for the gifts: Thanks to Christene and Chanel

Bank in your pledge into : RHB Bank a.c. number : 2140-71000-98939

(and please leave a comment in allthingspurple blog to let us know how much each of you have banked in on which day and we will email you with an email address for the printscreen, if any).

For the uninitiated, just scroll down to my previous entry to learn more. Thanks for your support.

These two posts about Mothering Mothers 2009 will stay on top of the page till 10th May. To continue reading a rambling of a geologist-soon-to-be-mom-of-5 who tries to juggle everything without a live-in helper, just scroll down. You will see it, it is better than counting sheeps;).

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Mothering Mothers 2009

The idea was first initiated by Lil. On Mother's Day in 2004, 2005 and 2007, a group of moms from MMB celebrated Mother's Day in the most wonderful way: distributing gifts the other moms who were in a hospital taking care of their sick children. The gift might be small but being there, maybe only a few minutes listening to the mothers really affected us in special ways.

To me, running around taking care of 4 (soon 5) kids while having a full-time job, and without a live-in helper is nothing compared to what some of the mothers have gone through, especially those with critically or terminally ill children.

All a mom wants is to have her child or children to be healthy, loved, happy and well.

I still remember vividly, the expression on some of the mothers' faces upon learning that the presents were for them on that Mother's Days. For most it was truly a surprise as normally people visiting wards to distribute to the patients. It was truly meaningful to me and a lot of us who were there. We were truly humbled by that experience.

Here's some recap from the previous events

Mothering Mothers 2004

We managed to gather about 200 gifts contributed by MMB members. About 130 was distributed to mothers in pead. wards, and the rest for the nurses in conjunction with Nurses' Day that happened the next day.

The news articles from the event can be found here.

Mothering Mothers 2005

We had overwhelming response (maybe due to publicity through blogs) that we managed to gather more than 200 gifts and some cash. The cash was later distributed to a shelter home for single mothers and about 22 mothers from very poor background in AWAM.

We also had a balloon sculpturor to entertain kids in what we call 'happy wards' where the less critically ill children were warded, and on top of the gifts a mother contributed each mom a rose.

Mothering Mothers 2007

Even with a very late kick-off of the project we managed to collect a total of 175 gifts. As usual we have extras that we later distributed to antenatal, maternity and geriatic wards.

While we were at the antenatal and maternity wards, since most of us are veteren breastfeeding moms, we passed the words about what's best for our babies and shared our experiences with new moms there.

Read what I wrote about it here and here

This announcement comes even later than the one in 2007. I didn't plan for this earlier for some reasons. But with some support I have so far (and confirmation from the hospital) I have a strong feeling that we will make it again.

How you can contribute

1. Gifts
As much as we love to have each contributor to put their own personal choice/touch to the gifts, we are aware of certain matters regarding sensitivities related to religion, belief or taboos. Breakable items and perishable food are also not suitable. So we have come up with the following list of gifts:

1. Non-perishable food/beverage
2. Toiletries
3. Journal / Diary (better the one without rigid dates daily)
4. Photo album
5. Framed painting /pictures of landscapes, beautiful moments, etc
6. Mini cushions (for hugs)
7. Mini fancy containers / boxes
8. Small elec. appliances
9. Comfy slippers or socks

As for others: mini card + dry fragrant flower, scarves, aromatherapy candles, magnetic decorative item and sarong can be put as side gifts if contributors like.

Normal shoe-box size, but not so rigid. I mean the size should not be too big or small as we don't want people to think we do double standard. Not necceserily in shoe boxes, some mothers came with nice paper bags etc depends on their creativity. Make sure they are properly wrapped or tied for easy transportation.
We agreed that the price per gift should be under RM20

We tried not to have cash last time, but we receive it on the basis that some volunteers did the buying and packaging. However, this year we may not have enough volunteers for that, so we do not encourage cash contribution.

2. Be in the hospital

Due to some reasons, the event will be held on Saturday a day before Mother's Day 2009. More info as follows:

a. Venue: Menara Timur, UMMC
b. Date: May 9th, 2009
c. Time: 9.30 am to 12 pm

3. Picking up or dropping off

Volunteer to do picking up or offer a place for dropping off.

Keep the pledges coming in and pass the words around (now I wish I have a more popular blog;)). I will update all the information about number of pledges, drop-off points once they are confirmed etc from time to time along the progress of the project.

And now we open this to ALL, not strictly to MMB members only. We consider this as a group of mothers to mothers. Feel free to ask any question.

A note to MMB moms: Please let me know if I have missed anything in this announcement.