Photos From Before Til Now…

I know right, what an unimaginative title for a blogpost! Nothing new to update regarding bringing up B – and rereading some of my earlier updates are kinda scary. I was way too intense and going crazy. Blame no one but myself for not preparing enough beforehand. Winging it is NOT the way to go for bringing up a newborn. Then again, one can be armed to their teeth with information, and still be rendered helpless in the face of a screaming newborn.

Thank God for the Internet – I really don’t know how people from yore could deal with all the lack of information. You can’t just depend on your mother / mother-in-law for some of the information. You might get kinda crack-y advise. Like someone telling me that I should TWIST my daughter’s nipples so that when she grows up she will be busty. This is the most insane, f*cked up shit that I have ever heard in my life. Of course I BANNED that person from doing that. Don’t know what drugged-up, f*cked up person came up with this kinda idea. Must be some paedophilic sadist!

Anyway, I digressed! Here are the photos and some light commentary on what’s going on…

BEFORE, DURING MY HOSPITAL STAY FOR THE LABOR…

lastfewHusband and I went to the gynae on the 19th of September to see what we had to do regarding B. B was due on the 18th, but by the 19th she was still not out. We couldn’t wait for B to naturally come out because the water levels in the bag were not optimum. Hence, the next day, we were advised to go to the hospital. This was our lunch on when we went to the gynae’s clinic – it is some place in Jaya One called Coconut Shack or something like that. We had this weird pizza which contained yam and other root vegetables, amongst bacon and other normal pizza toppings. It was a strange combo that worked! I really liked the wood-oven baked flavor, and the coconut ice-blended is pretty good too (it’s about RM10 per glass). The bad part is the service though. They only have one waitress during lunch hour, and she had quite a bad attitude. When she seated us, she threw the menu to our table in such a flippant manner that almost had us walking right out. -___-”

lastfew2Dinner on the 19th – in anticipation of going to the hospital and getting our daughter the next day, hubby “celebrated” by calling Room Service and ordering Chillis. This is how delivered country fried chicken looks like. :) A funny thing occured : hubs ordered the chicken chipotle and asked for extra sauce, but they wound up giving me the extra white sauce. Hubs was not amused!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe in the labour room of Pantai Hospital. This is what 40 weeks + looks like. I’m nervous and excited and just can’t wait to meet my baby!

lastfew3Fascinated by this machine that measures baby’s heart rate and my contractions.

lastfew4Nurse only managed to stick in the IV to begin inducing on the 2nd try. I don’t like how they stressed me further by saying, “If you can’t relax, there’s nothing I can do to help you.” FYI, induction by breaking the water bag is one of the most traumatic thing I ever experienced… :(

lastfew6One of the first pics of me and B bonding.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAB and I entertaining visitors… honestly, though its sweet to visit, I highly do not recommend visiting friends that have just delivered. That’s just me personally coz I feel really bad not being able to entertain my visitors properly as I wish to bond with baby and also rest!

lastfew7Taken during the very first few minutes of B’s young life. Edited by my husband… -__-”

CONFINEMENT FOOD

lastfew12One of the first meals I had when confinement “officially” started. My MIL made mee sua and pig kidney with spring onions and a  wee bit of ginger. I was actually not supposed to eat ginger because B had jaundice and it would affect her since I was breastfeeding. I was barred from ginger and other chinese herbs for a minimum of one week. On top of that, I couldn’t eat chicken or fish due to getting a c-section, and they believe those items make the scar more itchy. My MIL was a bit disappointed coz she had planned all kinds of meals with exactly those ingredients (in fact she had boiled a herbal soup for me which I couldn’t drink at all), but she rallied and came up with a lot of alternative meals! But for the first week, all I ate was pork and pig spare parts, haha.

lastfew8I only ate brown rice during my confinement – the meat dish is pork slices fried with ginger and chinese black fungus. The black fungus is supposedly good for “removing blood” from the uterus… helping the women to get rid of the placenta lining faster. The drink is just plain hot water with loads of goji berries. Loads of goji berries have a slight laxative effect, which is good for me coz I felt a bit constipated after giving birth. Not sure if this happens to everyone though!

lastfew9Occassionally, my MIL will serve the pork + ginger + black fungus dish with mee sua instead of brown rice. Super yummy, with the soup which has a bit of rice wine in it as well. I don’t know why rice wine doesn’t have such a “sedative” effect on my baby as DOM does…

lastfew11Again, same dish as above, but with a mixture of pork slices and pig kidney.

lastfew10Pork ribs, stewed with red dates, goji berries and serai (lemongrass). The serai is planted by my MIL’s sister, my Ah Yee. Ah Yee really plants a lot of vegetables, and I was privy to a lot of fresh veg during my confinement! My MIL thought that I didn’t like this dish because I didn’t drink down all the soup. :P Actually, I didn’t realise I was supposed to! So I only ate this once.

lastfew24Broccoli with garlic, brown rice, herbal soup and chicken slices fried with 3 types of ginger. The ginger mainly used in confinement is Bentong ginger, but apparently there’s also a mini type of ginger called “sand ginger” that cannot be bought in the marketplace. It is small but packs a powerful punch. And yes, only planted by my Ah Yee… This dish really heats up the body. Oh ya, in case you want to know, ginger is not only for “heatiness” in confinement, but also helps to expel wind. Yes, you fart yourself back into shape. -__- Some people, like my mom, don’t believe in eating veggies during confinement as veggies are “cooling” and you need to “heat” yourself up. According to my MIL, it’s ok to eat veggies, as long as you fry it in sesame seed oil and with lots and lots of ginger. FYI, I supposedly went thru 1.5 bottles of sesame seed oil during confinement.. -__-”

lastfew15Chicken chop, brown rice and papaya soup to help increase breast milk. Honestly, I don’t think papaya soup helps — I think drinking LOADS of hot water / soup in general helps! Anyway, go to the marketplace and buy a green papaya (a ripe one will just completely break down in the slow cooker). The shopkeeper will 101% ask you if you are making green papaya soup for confinement!

lastfew16I forgot what the meat dish is in that small plate, but this is a closer shot of the green papaya soup – boiled with pig tail. Quite “geli” to eat the pig tail, it’s all fatty skin and bone anyway…

lastfew17Pea sprouts fried with ginger and garlic, chicken pieces fried with ginger & black fungus and a bowl of herbal soup with one big drumstick inside! Heavy or not, the lunch?! By the way, all herbal soups are boiled from pre-packaged herbs from Eu Yan Sang… depending on what type of soup you are buying, one packet costs between RM15 – RM25. I’ve been boiling some for myself back in the condo, it’s really easy! Take half a chicken (chop that into half so you have 2 quarters), pour in the herbs and enough hot water to cover the chicken + herbs, and boil in the slow cooker for 3 hours at least. Enough for two meals. :)

lastfew21Steam chicken with black fungus and coriander… can you imagine eating one whole plate of chicken by yourself? I think there’s half a chicken right there. O_O”

lastfew18Chicken pieces fried with asparagus and ginger, and a serai soup / drink.

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My MIL makes a great “mui choy zhu yuk” (stewed pork with preserved veg)! Add in some long beans for veggies and another bowl of herbal soup. :)

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Big bowl of chicken rice wine – chicken cooked with sweet rice wine, black fungus and ginger!

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Steam fish with goji berries and green chillis (also planted from my MIL’s own garden), more papaya soup. The crunchy looking topping on top of the brown rice is actually fried strips of ginger. Halfway through my confinement my MIL included this with every meal! She likes it so much that she started adding it to her own food as well.

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FOUR fillets of fried mackerel, spinach and an entire plate of crunchy ginger strips! This was probably during my last week of confinement when my MIL deemed that seafood was now OK, and I started having fish for every meal. :)

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Chicken fried with different types of mushrooms and a big bowl of “10 herbs soup”.

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Occasionally, my mom would cook for me as well to help my MIL out and also to show her love to me *ahem*. This was a massive meal of herbal chicken soup, fried celery and my mom’s version of pig kidneys with ginger.

lastfew44Pork ribs (secret sauce made by my MIL’s neighbour) marinated in rosemary and baked… with some scrambled eggs and rice. The ribs were awesome… better than Tony Roma’s!

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Superb chicken chop made by my MIL, with a large serving of broccoli and carrots. The chicken chop was so juicy and flavorful! Hmm… I’m starting to miss confinement, if only for the food! :P

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Scrambled egg with some leaves that I cannot identify. They have a very unique flavor and I feel like I’ve eaten it before, but I just cannot remember what it’s called! I have to show this pic to my MIL and ask for the name… it’s driving me nuts!

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Loads of meat – chicken slices with ginger, turmeric chicken and a bowl of fried organic purple spinach leaves.

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Pork chop with loads of caramelised onions! Yummy!

lastfew36Another one of my mom’s cooking – a superbly insane creation of a pig stomach stuffed with minced pork and chestnuts and other wondrous ingredients, cooked in a rich, peppery broth! This is the SECOND time she made it for me … the first time, it was stuffed with chicken drumsticks! I so regret not taking photos of that dish! My dad delivers my confinement food from my mom, and when I came downstairs to talk to him, I forgot to take my phone along. And since my in-laws ban me from climbing up and down the stairs so much, I couldn’t run up and get my phone. I snapped a pic of it with my dad’s phone, but he doesn’t know how to send the photo back to me….. *so much facepalm*

lastfew34Simple steamed pomfret with ginger, mushrooms and tomatoes. I’ve eaten steamed pomfret for lunch two days in a row recently, so I appreciate this fish very much. Easy and fast to cook, yet nutritious and delicious. :)

lastfew38Chicken meat and potatoes cooked in a dark soy sauce. I really like this! Must ask for the recipe from my MIL! Hubby says the type of potatoes used is very important – only russet potatoes for him. -__-”

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Special mee sua soup with home-made pork balls, carrot strips, tomatoes and kailan.

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Chinese herbal chicken soup made by my mom. She added in loads of dried longan – I love!

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My MIL’s one-pot rice dish – chicken pieces, scallops, chinese mushrooms and scallops all cooked together in the rice pot. She taught me how to make this dish, but with pork slices instead.

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Sample of what I would get for breakfast / tea time – bread with butter & jam spread on it, some biscuits (I think you can recognise the famous Kjeldsens butter cookies here) and a cup of hot Milo.

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Another sample of breakfast / tea time. ;)

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I don’t usually get fruits because they are cooling, but my MIL made an exception when a neighbour gave her this fruit, which is supposedly a hybrid of strawberries and cherry tomatoes! It actually tastes just like cherry tomatoes la… ^^

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A cake that my FIL purposely bought when he found out it was my 30th birthday. Yes, that’s how old I am. Yes, I spent my 30th birthday being in confinement. My family came over to celebrate, but my BIL hasn’t passed me those photos yet. Anyway, it was sweet of everybody… can’t believe that I’m 30! And a mom! Very surreal, I still feel like I’m in my 20s.

OTHER CONFINEMENT LIFE PICS…

lastfew5This giant wooden cot is more than 30 years old … my MIL got it specially refurbished for B. She only sleeps on this wooden cot when she is downstairs – usually before she takes her bath and for a short while after that. B always sleeps well after eating & bathing.. heck, I’m sure you would like a nap in the afternoon after eating and bathing, hehe.

lastfew19B’s remainder of the umbillical cord fell out when she was 11 days old. We were really happy coz it made bathing her so much easier. Plus, what was sticking out was already very dried looking. My sis used to say that my nephew’s one took a while to “dry out”, which made her afraid to bathe him very often. 11 days is pretty fast! Anyway, my MIL asked me to keep this for memorie’s sake… haha, hence it is in such a cute little plastic baggie.

lastfew39 Giant hamper gift from sis Abigail… looks like I don’t have to buy a special blender to make B’s meals when she turns 6 months! Very useful gift, this.

lastfew14At first, I thought I would never get used to cutting B’s fingernails. She is so delicate, and the nails are paper thin! However, it pains me MORE to see scratches on her face, so I’m quite adept at snipping her nails now. Or as my MIL says, “B is getting a manicure from mommy!”

lastfew22 The blue pajamas sets are from my MIL’s friend, and the summer green outfit is from my dad’s employee. We are getting gifts from a lot of people who don’t even know us personally! It is overwhelmingly sweet. =)

lastfew23 This clothes giftset was given by the church, along with a pack of newborn diapers! I guess this is what B will be wearing to church this Sunday. Yep, my hubby is finally letting mother and child out of the house for a non-doctor related outing!

lastfew25And THIS giftset is given to us from… my MIL’s Indonesian cleaner!! This really made me and my hubby go “wtf!” because it was SO unexpected. My MIL hires her once a week to clean the entire house and for 2-3 hours work, it costs like RM50?? And she even bought us a gift??! My hubby told my MIL that it is time to give the cleaner a raise, but my MIL said, “Don’t look down on people just coz she’s a cleaner ok! Her husband is a contractor, and we also hire him to do a lot of other house DIY / fixing / renovation stuff! She brings her son to see the same pediatrician as you do ok!”

After that, my husband met the cleaner’s contractor husband, and somehow got around to talking about kids and he said the pediatrician is really good. The contractor agreed and then (conversationally) my husband said, “… but the doctor’s consulting fees quite expensive huh? One time see is already RM70.” Then the contractor’s face look a bit sad and said, “Is it? Each time I see, never lower than RM120.” WTF x2… lol.. we must have made him feel so discriminated against. Anyway, RM70 was really just for consulting. When you add in all the other medicine, jabs, etc, the fees are higher la! I don’t think there’s really any discrimination going on. :)

There’s more gifts that we got, but haven’t gotten around to snapping photos of them yet. Don’t terasa if it isn’t here ok? :) These are just what I happen to have taken during my confinement.

LIFE BACK IN THE CONDO… 

lastfew45This is an awesome baked pasta dish that my sister made for me. She came over the weekend and passed it to me so I would have something to eat during lunchtime. She is so sweet… she wanted to cook even more than just this, but I really feel bad for troubling her, considering we don’t stay near each other… and she is pregnant! Yes, she has #2 on the way, feel so happy for her. Too bad #2 is not born same year as B, then really can be like “sisters”, hahaha.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy cruel husband thinks I don’t have enough to do during the afternoons when taking care of the baby, so he requested that I start cooking dinner for him. But.. he doesn’t even allow me to go out to get groceries! He told me that HE would do the groceries, so based on what he bought, I whipped this up. I asked him to get me chicken curry paste, and he got me this red Thai curry paste instead from Dancing Chef. It tasted ok, but not the creamy type of chicken curry I like. Threw in taufu goreng, potatoes and chicken pieces for this… well, if it’s simple dishes like this, I still have time to cook, I guess.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy husband only knows kailan and choy sum (I think I labelled this wrongly – this should be kailan), and that’s the veg that we have been eating ever since he started doing the groceries. Following my MIL’s advice, I just fry it with ginger and sesame seed oil.

lastfew46A simple Western-style meal of grilled eggplant (I posted the recipe before here), a side of rocket salad with Kewpie sesame dressing and garlic butter mussels.

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Running out of raw meat, so this is what I cooked, hahaha. And yet my husband is happy / satisfied, as long as he has his green veg. He said that when I was in confinement, he ate out almost every day. Then he found this weird brown sauce in the grocers, and he started making fried beef with this brown sauce + rice. Occasionally (when he remembered) he would throw in some red / green pepper. Soon, he found that he was constipated… ahahhaha. So, this is why (he explains) he needs me to cook dinner again… Coz he apparently just can’t take care of himself!

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One of the most chock-full of ingredients fried rice I ever made! There’s chinese sausage, baby shrimps and chicken cubes inside here… and I used Rasa Malaysia’s recipe as the “base”. This is the first time I made fried rice that is so “light” in color… usually I add in dark soy sauce! Also the first time I use fish sauce in my fried rice… this condiment just doesn’t exist in my mom’s house. Anyway, my husband said that it’s very yummy and ate two servings (1 whole cup of rice!). Yes, I doubled the original recipe as well.. which is not very advisable. I think it’s better to fry fried rice in smaller batches!

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On days that I don’t cook, husband orders in. I was impressed with the packaging for Nando’s home delivery, so I just have to post this up!

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It’s rambutan season, and my dad delivered this to me! He is a strange man… came all the way to the condo to deliver rambutan, then he sat down and didn’t talk, so I had to talk and talk and talk instead to overcome the awkwardness. Why is my dad like this, lol! Who has a plan to go over to someone else’s house and have no conversation topic, but you intend to stay there for some time, lol. If you say it’s coz he wants to look at his granddaughter, you would be wrong… coz he actually took along the Sun newspaper. If I didn’t talk, I think he would just open up the papers and read. Hence, the conclusion that he actually stayed over for the air conditioning, wtf.

lastfew48 Since I can’t go out shopping and my husband is lazy, I bought this perfume online for my SIL. I hope she likes it! I didn’t have time to write a nice card & wrap it up though… or maybe I’m lazy too? O_O”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       My version of steam pomfret… it looks way darker than the one my MIL made, right? I got the recipe from Recipe’s From A Cook Wannabe, but with some modifications. I poured out the “fish juices” after steaming before pouring in the seasonings, which in retrospect, I don’t have to. It’s just that another site stated that the juices from the fish after steaming is not tasty. However, the 2nd time I made steam pomfret, I tasted the juice, and I find it quite flavorful with all the ginger and spring onions and wolfberries… so what the heck! With just the seasonings alone and without the “fish steamed juices”, this is a bit salty, but still very yummy. Oh, and one additional step I did was putting pepper over the fish before steaming!

Ok, that’s all the pictures I have for now, and I am predicting that my daughter will wake up Any Moment Now, so enjoy! If you complain on picture overload, think of it as all the pictures I owe over those long walls of text post before this. ;) Enjoy!

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