July 31, 2012

the bravado original nursing bra

So, yesterday while stalking one of my favourite green online stores; The Tiny Tapir, I came across the Bravado Original Bra. Apparently it's a nursing bra raved about for it's comfort, functionality and support of larger chested women - the latter totally intrigued me because with this pregnancy, my uh-hum ... assets, got a little out of hand and my old nursing bras don't fit anymore. Perhaps it's a sign that my lil' man will get to feed from mama-cow instead of formula from a tin {lol!}.

After reading through rave reviews from other mums who swears by it for comfort during nursing, I made my purchase - a Double Plus (because I want full support and coverage) in Black for RM128.25 after 5% discount from The Tiny Tapir which I think was lucky because the discount ended yesterday. 

However, some reviewers did give it a con whereby to wear it, I'd have to slip it over my head instead of the conventional way but that's really not an issue for me. Some also mentioned that it doesn't give your assets a flattering lifted look like the conventional underwire nursing bras but then I'll be home for 60 days and not going anywhere during my confinement, I'm not really going to care about looking chic and "lifted". I just want to be comfortable after all the hard work of being pregnant, going into labor and giving birth. It's also a little pricey but if it's as good as other mums who's given it a try say it is, I suppose it's a good investment for my sanity and might just get another pair.

July 30, 2012

C&E naturals botanical shower mousse

It's good to have friends working in retail ...

Our company recently sold Crabtree & Evelyn and while clearing out the retail store in our office (Yes. We have a retail store in our office building to cater to staff and management purchase), I managed to score a couple of nice gift boxes for the little one's nursery and a 200 ml (6.8 fl. oz.) bottle of now discontinued Naturals Botanical Shower Mousse in Mango & Grapefruit for my hospital bag.

The packaging is a little torn but it's brand new and never been used before.

The description writes: "Refreshing and invigorating with grapefruit oil, known to help tone and tighten cellulite prone areas." It supposedly contains glycerine, skin-conditioning amino acids from apples, nourished from wheat proteins and Vitamin B5. It's also suppose to be free of harsh detergents with all lathering agents derived from natural botinal sources.

I quite like it scent wise after giving it a trial run on my hands. The blend of mango and grapefruit seems to go well and doesn't overpower one another. You can definately make out a subtle hint of both fruits yet it's not tropically sweet like some other brands which combines fruits in their products. It also didn't dry out my hands, bonus!

I think I might enjoy showering with this after my lil' man is born but let's give it another month before I give you my honest opinion about it.

July 29, 2012

our fourth's inspiration

As usual before I embark on any project, I'll spend a few days stalking my usual inspiration websites (i.e. Pinterest, Craftgawker, Etsy and Google Images) for ideas.

Since I already figured out how to go about cheating on our fourth anniversary's surprise cake for hubby, I needed ideas for the decoration; something that represented us as a family. So, in keeping to my original theme of bunnies since I was going to get carrot cake slices, I found a store on Etsy selling custom-handmade uber kawaii wedding cake toppers called Kikuke Handmade Studio.

I found so many inspirational photos that I could not decide on which figure to draw inspiration on. I wanted to try my hands at all the figurines but then I'd have to change the theme of our cake into a zoo, not that I'm not living in one now especially with my very imaginative princess but I finally settled on these four images which I think sums hubby, myself, our little girl and soon-to-come baby boy as a family.

The bunny rabbits will represent hubby and I and because the suitcase is uber kawaii (it's my new catch phrase now so stop rolling your eyes) and I'm in desperate need of a holiday, I'll incorporate that into my design as well hoping hubby will get the hint. Adrianna is represented by a teddy bear because she cannot be without her Tooh Bear (the teddy bear she lugs around with her all day) and our little boy will be the little pea in the pod since he's only due September.

Kawaii, right?! Now ... wish me luck.

July 28, 2012

free depend sample pack

No. I do not have an urinary incontinence issue but I do have a pee trickling issue every morning I gag while cleaning my tongue or whenever I sneeze, which has been quite often due to the wonderful hormones of pregnancy that finds it loads of fun to tickle my nose at its whim and fancy. Also, living in a warm humid climate and constantly moving from the extremely hot of the ouside into the cool air-conditioning of the office or home doesn't help with in the sneeze department either.

And the other thing that seems to increase as my pregnancy progresses - discharge. Not a pleasant experience and having to change pantiliners every two to three hours is a drag!

So, last night while stalking my usual pregnancy forum on my iPhone, I came across a post; Depend was giving out free samples of their new Women's Depend Sillouhette and the lady who posted it suggested we try it for postnatal bleeding instead of the usual disposable underwear and super long maxi menstrual pads with wings. Since the Depend free samples were an all-in-one and the cut of the underwear is as its named; "Sillouhette" and snug against the body, the chances of leakage is quite minimised.

I suppose that made sense because after giving birth to Adrianna, I bled so much I had to change every two to three hours. I was also double padded then and still I bled right through into the sheets.

I don't think Depend is being sold here in Malaysia. I have however seen Tena which promotes their adult diapers for the elderly so I think I'll be giving that a miss. Then there's also Poise but they only come in pad form.

Hubby already bought and packed me two packs of Sofy Comfort Night Slim 41cm with side gathers and disposable underwears from Guardian but I figured I'd give the Depend samples a try anyway; they are after all free. The catch though is that it's from USA but MIL and BIL has made some online purchase from the US and are planning to send a package back via warehousing services in the next few weeks so the timing was perfect.

Apparently the sample pack includes 2 Depend® Silhouette for Women Briefs in all sizes (S/M and L/XL). Not too sure if I'll fit into the S/M but I'll write an honest review about the samples if I successfully receive and are able to try them out.

Click here if you'd like to try them out too but you will need a valid US address and someone to help you send it back to Malaysia for you!

{ Update! } The samples didn't make to the warehouse so I guess no reviews for this product!

July 27, 2012

my new fancy smancy office chair

Look what I got at work today! Well, not just me ... the entire office but look what I got at work today! A brand spanking fancy smancy ergonomic office chair with a fancy smancy name; The Bristol Soul in black/aluminium.

At first glance, the chair looks rather space age with buttons and levers sticking out almost everywhere. It's very skeletal looking contributing to the "space age" look even more. The part where you seat your behind is cushioned and slightly contoured but the part where your back goes is meshed with a lumbar support piece behind it.

The user manual boasts quite a few moves this chair can do like:
  1. TILT TENSION allows the user to set the resistance of the chair when leaning back to support and balance the user's weight in any position.
  2. TILT LIMITER allows a user to sit in an upright position or partially reclined locked position.
  3. SEAT HEIGHT/DEPTH allows the user to adjust the height of the seat for good support and blood circulation in the legs.
  4. ARMREST ADJUSTMENT allows the user to rest the arms in a position which suits the user best and promote better sitting position - able to be adjusted front-to-back, side-to-side, up-or-down and even angle wise!
  5. LUMBAR ADJUSTMENT allows the user to adjust the position of the lumbar support for good support and blood circulation of the back.
I personally like the seat depth and lumbar adjustment features especially being 32.5 weeks pregnant. The chair cushions the behind pretty well too because it's not flat like most office chairs, it actually has a curvature that contours to the behind, well at least my behind.

It does take a while to adjust the chair contoured specifically to me but so far so good. We'll see how this chair performs in the long run.

The price tag, RM900 plus ... woah!

July 26, 2012

week 32.5

So I paid George a visit after work today to check up on my little boy. After about 10 minutes of consultatation, a prick on my index finger to check my sugar levels and prodding around my tummy with the ultrasound scanner thingy; my little boy is growing well, has already decided to turn head-down cushioned comfortably on my pelvic area and bladder and is 2.1 kgs or about 4.63 lbs.

Wait a sec., 4.63 lbs ... are you sure?!

Adrianna was about 5.71 lbs when she was born at 38 weeks; by the time she met the world I was as limp as a jelly fish due to sheer exhaustion. Now with about 6 to 8 weeks to go before I go into labour, that would give my little man time to pile on a few more pounds which means I'll be pushing out a 6 to 7 pounder baby! I know I shouldn't be selfish, worry about myself during labour which is more than a month away and that I should be happy that my little boy is growing up strong.

Oh well, call me a chicken then.

Oh well, many woman around the world has coped giving birth to bigger babies. I'll manage. But you can still call me a chicken. Pthhh ...

July 25, 2012

a surprise for hubby on our fourth!

While tossing and turning in bed last night due to my newest third trimester symptom; sleeplessness, a lightbulb kind of switched on atop of my head - that would probably have been the reason why I was tossing and turning in bed. *mumble, mumble. dang lightbulb!*

On 8th August 2008; the same day China hosted the Olympics, hubby and I settled into Indulgence and celebrated our wedding with 100 guests comprising of family members and closest friends. Four years down the road, we are blessed with a 3 year old beautiful daughter who takes a lot after her daddy and a little baby boy due in September who's character hopefully will be a little more subdued than her rambunctious big sister.

Since our wedding anniversary this year falls in the middle of the week and hubby will be in KL, we'd probably have an early celebration and I thought I'd surprise hubby with an anniversary cake; it wouldn't be entirely homemade because I'd be 34 weeks pregnant then and probably in an extremely lazy mood to clean. And this is where that dang lighbulb sneaks in ...

July 24, 2012

i can't stop chewing on ice!

I just cannot stop chewing on ice cubes; morning, afternoon and evening. I don't go out of my way to buy ice cubes like I read some woman do but I do make sure I've remembered to refill the ice cubes tray with water to freeze overnight after emptying them when I come home from the office.

{Note To Self!} Put huge neon sticky note on fridge for hubby to do the same.

Termed as a type of pica or cravings called Pagophagia, I started this chewing habit around week 28 of this pregnant, right about the time my third trimester began. With Adrianna, chewing ice didn't kick in a few weeks after delivery and only lasted for about two to three weeks, much to my husband's relieve.

So, is chewing on ice bad for me now when I'm 31 weeks pregnant? My blood test didn't show any iron deficiencies which is one of the main causes for the need to chew ice. Many pregnant woman in the forum I frequent also reports having ice cube/crushed ice chewing cravings, and their blood work like mine all came back normal.

Guess it boils down to me having one of those weird pregnancy cravings. As long as I'm eating right and getting all the proper nutrition in and of course, drinking at least 2L of water a day, George has given me the green light to chew away, except maybe keep my dentist's number close by in case I break a tooth.

July 23, 2012

our honeymoon revisited

I hate Mondays.

This time it is not a pregnancy thing. I just don't like Mondays. Perhaps if I had Saturdays off and actually manage to get a little more rest and snooze into my system during the weekend I'd like it just a little more but right now I absolutely detest Mondays.

So while at work this morning and in a daze of utter tiredness and sleepiness, my brain showhow wondered off to one of the best vacations I've ever had in my life; our almost week long honeymoon in Langkawi right after our wedding which hubby planned all on his own. I think it was his contribution to our wedding since I planned the entire wedding.

Hubby was very secretive about our honeymoon. He didn't let our where we were heading until the very morning we started our 4 hour drive to goodness know where. The only clue he did give me was to expect lots of sand so I figured it would be a beach but which one was a total surprise and he really did surprise me, four times in less than a week and each surprise got better and better.

For starters, after about an hour of driving he told me we were heading to Langkawi Island. He couldn't really hide it for long because I would be reading the road signs and figure it out on my own. The drive to the Kedah jetty was beautiful especially when the sun was just about rising and there was a stretch of the highway which was covered with fog; dangerous to drive through but absolutely beautiful when the sunlight crept in.

When we arrived at the island, his second surprise was where we would be staying at; The Andaman. One of the most beautiful resorts in Malaysia, not to mention one of the most expensive but hubby managed to secure a good deal. It was such a treat!

Hubby's new girlfriend in our room; the expresso machine with complimentary capsules.

A cheesy pose with hubby, his new; toy the camera and his girlfriend; the expresso machine.

July 21, 2012

bolognaise, my style

Had a craving for some spaghetti bolognaise this weekend so after work today, I did something I have not done on my own for a very long time; grocery shopping. Since I found out I was pregnant 31 weeks ago, hubby has either done the shopping on his own since he's the house-chef or I'd waddle along beside him.

I've had quite a lot of spaghetti bolognaise but I never really did like how it's evolved into using chicken or port and using ketchup instead of tomato puree (seriously, ketchup!?). Hubby does one mean chunky spaghetti bolognaise and he's kept "quite true" to the original, minus the red wine and some vegetables and replaced the tagliatelle or tagliolini with spaghetti.

So in my shopping cart today, I've decided to keep it simple and bought just the basic ingrediants since I only have about 3 hours of prep and cooking time while my little girl takes her afternoon nap.

Here's what I got:
  • Fresh red tomatoes.
  • Fresh red cherry tomatoes.
  • Fresh Roma tomatoes.
  • Red Onions.
  • Yellow Onions.
  • Garlic.
  • White Button Mushrooms.
  • Tomato Puree.
  • Butter.
  • Bay Leaves.
  • Italian Herbs.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese.
  • Minced Beef.
  • Spaghetti.
Can you see a lil' Italian chef peeking out somewhere from my trusty EnviroSac?

How to prepare Spaghetti Bolognaise, my style:
  1. Slice the onions then dice the tomatoes and mushrooms.
  2. Sweat the onions in butter, then add the dry herbs.
  3. Add the minced beef, brown the beef.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, sliced mushrooms and tomato puree then cover to simmer on low to medium low heat for about 2 to 3 hours.
  5. Serve with your choice of pasta and sprinkle (or in my case, pour) with some Parmesan Cheese.

I made enough sauce for a week's worth of spaghetti bolognaise and sloppy joes. Taste wise, it was pretty close to hubby's version and since Adrianna had no problems chomping down on it, I guess I have no complains.

July 20, 2012

i have pregnancy brain

Hello. My name is Jamie and I am 31 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I have mom-nesia (aka the pregnancy brain).

When I woke up yesterday, I was convinced it was Wednesday so I dressed my daughter up in her Wednesday uniform. I also went to work the whole day convinced it was Wednesday and when I woke up this morning, I was totally convinced it was Thursday.

Gosh. Don't I feel silly now because I dressed my poor kid all wrong ... again. Fortunately, her nursery doesn't really care what the kids wear; as long as they are dressed decent. I was also prepared to work a full day in the office tomorrow thinking it was Friday.

From all the articles that I've read, there are two things I can blame my pregnancy brain on. The first and the biggest culprit of them all - the hormone which created all sorts of pregnancy weirdness; progesterone and the seond culprit; the lack of sleep of which I've been getting a total 6 hours of staggered sleep a night in the last few months.

The good news is that this condition is temporary and I'm hoping in the next 9 weeks to come, my blunders don't get any worse after baby is born, like walk into Burger King and order a McDonald's Spicy Chicken McDeluxe large meal. Hmm ...

Here's a run-down on what pregnancy brain is according to WiseGeek:
Pregnancy brain is a condition that affects expectant mothers, usually during the first and third trimesters. Sometimes known as placenta brain or baby brain drain, the condition is usually characterized by short-term memory loss or forgetfulness. Some medical experts say that pregnancy brain is a myth, but evidence shows that many women have experienced this condition.

Studies linking memory and pregnancy are limited, and their results have been irregular. However, pregnant women have claimed to experience frustration while trying to remember the most simple everyday tasks. Some working women who are pregnant have become emotionally distressed because pregnancy brain has rendered them unable to work effectively.

It's understandable that women's emotional levels vary greatly during pregnancy. Hormonal surges, combined with the fact that pregnant women must eat for two and may be getting less sleep, are contributory. A great deal of the mother's time is taken up with thoughts of the baby, so a little forgetfulness is expected.

Increased levels of the hormone progesterone are thought to be a culprit in pregnancy brain. Progesterone can often cause headaches, mood swings and fatigue. The increase of progesterone is often greatest in the first trimester and may be the reason for increased forgetfulness.

The effects of pregnancy brain vary greatly among women. They can be as simple as forgetting phone numbers that one has dialed for years or placing toilet paper in the fridge. One mother-to-be drove home only to find she had arrived at a previous home she had not lived in for six years.

Doctors have devised a few key steps that may help pregnant women decrease the risk of pregnancy brain. Sleep is a key factor in keeping the mind mentally healthy. A pregnant woman should try to get the same amount of sleep as she did before the pregnancy. Eating a well-balanced diet is essential to keep both mother and baby healthy. Doctors recommend that pregnant women take prenatal vitamins in order to ensure the intake of vital vitamins and minerals.

Exercise is also essential to keep the circulation flowing, decrease tiredness and make the mother feel mentally healthier. Another tip is to drink plenty of fluids. When pregnant women become dehydrated, their electrolytes may be disrupted, causing decreased memory and confusion.

The good news for pregnant women is that pregnancy brain is only temporary. It should start to decrease once the baby is born, although some mothers claim that pregnancy brain can last for some time after the birth. However, with most of the mother's time spent taking care of a newborn baby, this is only to be expected.

July 19, 2012

the new philips avent natural range bottles

With baby boy due in about 7 to 9 weeks, sheepishly I admit I've yet to purchase anything for him yet. It's not because I'm not excited about his arrival, I guess it's because I'm still hunting for the best in quality and pricing.

The biggest headache I have now is the purchase of the baby feeding bottles. Adrianna has been using the Philips Avent Anti-Colic PP 9 oz. bottles with no issues and I figured I'd continue using the same model Philips Avent for baby boy. Initially I wanted to purchase the Philips Avent Newborn PP Starter Kit now going for RM151.20 from myBBstore.com but then I had to find out about this ...

The brand spanking new Philips Avent Natural range of bottles due to launch end of July 2012.


I managed to track down ONE online shop that sold the new range in a starter kit but it retails at RM210 per set excluding postage ... an extra RM50 but the new range does boast some pretty neat new features especially for moms like me who plan to breastfeed but to also get some rest in between feeding and pumping so a bottle featuring a teat that doesn't create nipple confusion and reduces colic and discomfort would be great.

Here's some of the new features the range boasts in a  nutshell:
  • Natural latch on due to the wide breast-shaped teat: The wide breast-shaped teat promotes natural latch on similar to the breast, making it easy for your baby to combine breast and bottle feeding. This would definately be the selling point for me since I plan to breastfeed my baby boy.
  • Unique comfort petals for an extra soft and flexible teat: Petals inside the teat increase softness and flexibility without teat collapse. Your baby will enjoy a more comfortable and contented feed.
  • Advanced anti colic system with innovative twin valve: Innovative twin valve design reduces colic and discomfort by venting air into the bottle and not baby's tummy.
Decisions! Decisions! Decision! ... I do wish we had baby showers here in Malaysia then I could just register this set in a baby registry and keep both my fingers and toes crossed. 

So, should I splurge an extra RM50 for this new range of baby bottles?

July 17, 2012

week 31

When I found out I was pregnant in January, I literally trudged through my first trimester wondering when I'll reach my third trimester. Now that I'm in my third trimester, I'm wondering what happened to my second trimester. Yes, pregnant women are weird that way and I personally blame my pregnancy hormones entirely.

So, now to the stats; baby boy this week should be weighing about 1.14 kgs to 1.72 kgs, measuring between 15.2" to 16.7" long. My last appointment with Dr. George was two weeks ago and he was already weighing about 1.4 kgs; a healthy weight gain.

Mama on the other hand isn't gaining a whole lot of weight. My pre-pregnancy weight was about 75 kgs and the last time I stood on a scale, I was only 83 kgs, an 8 kgs (about 17 lbs.) gain. Some website says I should have gained about 9.5 kgs to 12.5 kgs by now but I'm definately not complaining. Keeping my weight low for now is definately a merciful thing to do to my already very stressed out back and aching feet. Hopefully I won't bloat up in epic proportions in next 7 to 9 weeks to come.

My little man has been squirming and kicking up quite a storm in the last couple of days. I use to count his kicks during mid-morning when he's the most active but nowadays, he is quite busy in my tummy either rearranging my bladder or doing some karate chops. One way or the other, I'm just happy he's growing well.

July 16, 2012

my first angry birds themed cupcakes

I have been wanting to do fancy shamncy cupcakes for ages and last weekend I finally did a batch of cupcakes for Adrianna's 3rd birthday. Hubby was impressed I could pull something like this off the first time around. I guess he doesn't know his wife as well as he thinks he does. My baby girl was much more estatic about the cupcakes than the cake her grandparents bought her.

Also promised, I redid a new batch of birds and pigs so my baby girl had an extra set and I think the second set turned out better than the first. They just looked neater and the sizes were more consistent.

However, I think the butter cupcakes recipe still needs work. I followed a recipe I found online but it turned out a tad dry so I'll definately be experimenting again with less flour the next time. The cream cheese frosting however was a hit with hubby. I'll post the recipes soon once I get the butter cupcake ratio correct.

But in the meantime, here are some photos of Adrianna's cupcakes ... my favourite cupcake would have to be the King Pig log and frying pan combo. I how dainty the crown turned out.

The letters were stamped on one by one because the spacing looked wonky when I used the slider, hence the weird alignment.

The whole set. I know 14 cupcakes is a weird number. I originally had 18 but 4 ended up in our tummies before it could make it to the decoration table.

You're probably wondering what's with the lil' mouse emoticon ... I'm not sure why it's there but I think it has something to do with my 31 week pregnancy hormones and the utter cuteness of it. I got it here.

July 13, 2012

lil' ee is three today!

My baby girl is three years old and I'm all melancholy because I feel like I haven't spent enough time with her especially in the last 31 weeks I was pregnant.

I was determined to make it up to her today so I requested hubby to come back a day early from KL and I took a day off work so we could spend it with her.

Lil' Ee woke up on her own on her birthday, got ready for school with no fuss and posed for a quick photo all smiles before we dropped her off at school. I think she -ed the idea of having both her daddy and mummy sending her to school.

The rest of the morning was spent finishing up the fondant decoration for her cupcakes and beating up a tub of cream cheese frosting which I'll be posting on later in the week.

Later in the morning, I picked her up from school later in the morning and as promised, took her to the balloon shop and she picked out 3 balloons then collected her Angry Bird themed birthday cake from Sarah's place where she requested for a frying pan. Got to  her memory when it comes to the Angry Birds game!

My happy baby girl (she's always going to be my baby girl) and her birthday balloons.
She got a red flower, a pink heart and a green marbled balloon.

Lil' Ee's Angry Birds themed cake from Sarah Lim.
Thanks for adding the frying pan impromptu for my baby girl!
-ing the sunny side up twist!

After that little adventure, next on my list was giving her loads of xoxo and getting my baby girl to take her afternoon nap. I think the excitement tired her out because she was KO-ed by 1.30pm after a bottle of milk and slept until 4.30pm. I spent the rest of the afternoon finishing up her cupcakes and cleaning up. Needless to say I was a very exhausted but happy mummy especially when lil' Ee woke up and was super happy with the cupcakes I made her that she was literally jumping around.

Later in the evening, I dressed my birthday girl up in her brand spanking new Gymboree dress and we all piled in the car; balloons, cakes and cupcakes and drove to the inlaws for small birthday party which I think totally made my baby girl's day.

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweetheart!

With so much and hugs and kisses always,
Daddy and Mummy

July 11, 2012

of pigs and birds

How was your weekend?

I spent mine with a tub of Wilton's ready made gumpaste, Americolor's gel paste food dye in Lime Green, Holiday Red, Yellow and Black, a small little brush, a tiny cup of water and a box of corn flour. And from all that I made these lil' fellas; the pig clan and the emotionally charged bird clan from the Angry Birds game.

Yup. There are the cupcake toppers for my little girl's birthday this coming Friday. They'll be going on the cupcakes for her classmates.

I made the mistake of having her in the same room with me when I was making them. Naturally being the curious little almost three-year-old that she is, she asked me what I was doing and I told her what they were for. And then she looked at me with her big eyes and said, "Mama, keep for baby girl, please? Don't want to give to friends, please?" and I melted.

So, the next couple of nights will be spent with my tub of gumpaste, more food colouring from Americolor, my trusty brush and tiny lil' cup of water. The things moms do for their kids ...

July 1, 2012

a happy baby makes happy parents

Hubby was home for the weekend and we took Adrianna to her favourite place for breakfast - McDonald's. Add a Sundae Cone to the picture and you get a super duper happy baby.

And yes, my darling daughter is an Angry Birds fan. A very avid one. Oh yeah, stay tuned for an Angry Bird foodie themed post coming up in the next two weeks!