Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ramadan Buffet

As far as Ramadan Buffets are concerned, I learned one thing last night: when you have a small kid, it's preferred not to have your table outdoors. But if you really have to sit outdoors, make sure the place has sufficient fans or cooling systems.

We went to maybe one of the worst buffet places yesterday. The food wasn't bad, on the contrary, the food was quite good. It was just the way the restaurant handled it that was pretty bad. The arrangement too, maybe could use improvement. It took place at this restaurant at Ara Damansara, which shall remain nameless. And since there aren't that many ramadan buffets in that area, you could probably guess which restaurant I'm talking about.

I booked a place for us outside because that was closest to the buffet line. But boy oh boy was it hot! When they started grilling the satay and the fish, it became hotter. The smoke gave me a headache. Salma became uncomfortable fast. She wanted to walk around. I had to let her because it was so stuffy at our table. But people were walking everywhere, to and fro from the buffet table, she kept getting in the way. Dangerous. And there were these antique teak chairs that she wanted to sit on, but had people already sitting there... and I was trying to tell her she can't sit there because it's someone else's table, but of course she didn't get it. It was a messy headache trying to eat and control her at the same time!

The patrons were like piranhas, and the food finished quickly. The worse part was the restaurant didn't even replenish some of the dishes! We didn't even get a chance to sample the sambal udang which looked yummy. I knew I should have taken my plate early.

This is a lesson for all of us: when going for buffets 1) make sure the place is air-conditioned, 2) even though you may look stupid and greedy, take your food early (before the azan sounds) and 3) make sure the place has plenty of food.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Buka Puasa

Salma does not yet understand the concept of "puasa" (fasting), so during the day she is always offering mummy and daddy bits of her biscuit or chocolate to eat. When it's almost time to break fast, she will ask us to go upstairs because she wants to get ready for bed. And if I think about it, before fasting month, we used to have our dinner early. And by the time the sun has set, she has already bathed and changed into her pajamas, readily waiting for us to read her a book on the bed.

Yesterday, I was super tired, and was not in the mood for one of her tantrums right at break fast time. She wanted to "naik atas" (go upstairs). We explained to her that we hadn't eaten yet, and only she had. She was furious. We appeased her by turning on Dibo the Gift Dragon right after the azan was over. But that whole episode just made me exhausted. It was all I could do to keep my eyes open to perform my maghrib prayers before collapsing on the bed.

So far, in this second year of motherhood, I have not been able to not conk out half an hour after iftar. I really do think that breastfeeding while you're fasting zaps energy out of you. I can literally feel the energy being sucked out of me. I often tell her that I can't nurse her, but she'll throw a tantrum, so weaning her during this time is difficult because since I'm already tired from fasting, I don't have the energy to stave her off. You would think that after eating so many sweet deserts at iftar I would have the energy to keep up with her antics, but I don't.

*sigh... I must be getting old...
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Thursday, August 19, 2010


After breaking fast last night, I was clearing the dining table and walking back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen, when I suddenly found Salma sitting alone in the living room.

"Where's daddy?" I asked.

"Daddy blow," she replied.

Stunned, I asked her, "Blow?? What do you mean?"

Salma replied with an action as if blowing out cigarette smoke, "Fuuuuuuhhhhh."

"Oh," I said, relieved, "You mean daddy's smoking!"

Her dad had disappeared to have a cigarette outside. Blow... smoke.

Red Pineapple does not in any way advocate smoking, especially around young children. Smoking kills.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stuff I like

Taken from

Two things that make this mommy happy are: 1) a good tailor (that always makes me look slim in a baju kurung) and 2) a good haircut. I have the best tailor in the world, who shall remain nameless because she specifically asked me not to recommend her to any more customers. And secondly, I have now found another good hairdresser. I have 3 hairdressers that are excellent: Azroy from Gdo Subang Parade (although I don't know if he's still there), Jeremy, formerly of Bianco in Puchong Jaya (he is no longer there, dunno where he is now), and lastly, the latest genius- Mimi Ho of Kimarie at IOI Boulevard.

Mimi is also a working mom with a daughter slightly older than Salma. Yes, I am trying to boost their clientele, because the salon is fairly new, and when I went there, there was just me and this other guy. A professional hair cut will cost you RM54 for long hair. And I love it how she recommends me what type of shampoo to use for my hair without asking me to buy the salon's brand (Kerastase). Sometimes I hate going to the salon just because I know they will pressure me to try or buy their salon products. But Mimi doesn't do that.

I love a hairdresser that understands your needs. I explained to her that I needed to cut my hair shorter but still be able to tie it up because I wear a hijab. And the result is a cut that makes me look younger. Yippee! Usually Jeremy (my previous stylist) used to give me these vavavavoom layered looks which I am supposed to wear with huge dangly earrings, but I'm too tired for that. I hate having to blowdry my own hair. So this minimally-layered shoulder length bob that I have now is good.

A good tailor, a good haircut and a good pair of heels. Those are the 3 things that a woman needs to make her look good. Alas, I have not yet found my great pair of heels yet. Not ones that I can walk in at least.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010


"Krong-krong" is the made-up word we use at home to mean "snoring". Salma was cuddling with me before bed, and I teased my husband and imitated the sound he makes when he snores to Salma.

"This is the way daddy krong-krong. Horrh horrh horhh (nasally-throaty snoring sound)," I said and she giggled. 

"This is the way Salma krong-krong, hmmmt hmmmt hmmmt (air blowing through nose sound)," I said and she scrunched up her nose and slapped her face.

"What sound does mummy make when I krong-krong?" I asked her.

In a small soft voice she said, literally, "Krong krong krong".

Haha!  This is a lesson not to use sounds to make words, cos they'll just lose their meaning.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

When you are sick too

As a mom, taking care of a sick child when you are sick yourself is pretty much the hardest thing to do. Especially when your husband, your only helper is sick, too. That's what's going on in my household right now. My husband has both laryngitis and tonsilitis, I have laryngitis, and my lil girl probably has laryngitis, too. Our sinuses are swollen, our eyes watery, our noses blocked, our throats sore and itchy, and to top it off, we have a fever that comes and goes.

The hardest thing for me at this moment is staying awake during the day when my meds are trying to knock me out. I am so drowsy, I can't "layan" her well at all. And since she's sick, she gets super whiny, which gets on my nerves, since my body wants to get some sleep. The problem is, she can't describe what her pain is like, so I have no idea if it's chest pain, sore throat or headache. The worst part is, she just refuses to swallow her medicine, so every time it's like a battle. I have to aim the syringe right in the middle of her throat for the thing to actually go down, or else she'll spit it back out, arms flaying, kicking and screaming. If you were passing by outside our house and heard it, you'd think we were child abusing... shoving stuff down her throat. Well, it's not exactly like that of course, nothing gets pushed down her throat, it's just a matter of aiming the liquid medication from above, and making sure we push just enough out for one gulp. Teeny small doses at a time. So if the prescription is 5 ml, I'll be sitting there squirting 1 ml at a time.

It was a relief when she finally puked out all her phlegm. If phlegm gets into the lungs, it'll have to be sucked out. But thank god she puked it all out. Now she's fast asleep. Time for mommy and daddy to get some rest!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Potty training

I think it's time I begin potty training Salma in earnest. She's almost two. I already bought her a potty training book: "Lulu's Loo" by Camilla Reid (bought it at Popular bookstore), which she reads to herself every night. I also read it to her, but it's fun to see her read it to herself with her made up words. And I bought her a pink colored portable potty, which so far, she's only sat on once, without producing anything. But sitting on the potty is good practice, too. If she can learn to go do her "business" on her own, then we won't have to spend so much on diapers.

Read the review of "Lulu's Loo" by The Bookbag

"Lulu's Loo" as stated on the cover, is an interactive book. There is a page where your kid can practice taking off the straps of a diaper. This part is important for your kid to learn how to take the diaper off before sitting on the potty. And Salma likes the page where Lulu has the big girl undies. Don't underestimate the lure of big kid's undies to your lil' one! To them, it's a like some sort of special thing. I also can't wait to buy Salma big girl undies... I must go shopping for them soon in order to start potty training her. She's a pretty slim toddler though, so I would need to buy them in extra small size or something like that, or else they'll just fall off right?

I also read this article on that I found really helpful: "Potty Training in Three Days or Less" by Karen Zuercher. In it, the author describes tried and tested methods to potty train your toddler, that she has used herself. The method requires you to make your toddler go diaper-less for 3 days (except at night and at nap-time), and suggests parents carry it out during a 3-day weekend. And since I will be job-less for awhile, I thought I might as well take advantage of my upcoming free time to carry out the 3-day method. I'm not so sure about letting her go diaper-less once she's in school, but she's gotta start some time right...

If you are thinking of potty training your child, do read the article on the 3-day method. It's very informative, and gives useful tips and advice. The portable potty that I bought from Carrefour is very cheap, too, at RM 3.90 for one potty, and I think I may just buy one or two more so that I can have a potty in more than one room in the house. We already have a portable baby toilet seat to place on top of the adult toilet seat, so this can be used for practice in the bathroom, too.

I so want very much for Salma to start realising how cool it is to be a big girl. Being able to wear undies instead of diapers is the definitive big girl thing! Once she has this potty thing down, I hope she'll feel comfortable enough to stop breastfeeding (I feel that 2 years is the limit for me). And then, once there isn't a need to breastfeed her anymore, she can start to sleep in her own bed in her own room! Yay! Lots of big girl milestones ahead...

The reason why it's hard to potty train kids is because they are afraid of the adult toilet bowl. They have a fear of falling in and being sucked into the abyss of what they don't know is under there. My little girl is even afraid of the shower drain. She's afraid that her fingers and toes will get stuck in the drain if she gets too close. Sometimes she will stomp on the drain and yell at it, as if to tell it "I'm gonna put a stop to you sucking down all the water, you evil drain, you!"

When the shower water is running too fast, she'll get scared and ask me to carry her. But if I'm fully clothed and giving her a bath, I can't carry her, I'll get wet. I try to explain this to her each time she gets afraid of the shower head, but she will scream and cry and not understand. So this is the myth that I must disprove to her to make her overcome her fear of the toilet bowl... that she will not fall in and get sucked into nowhere. We've tried putting her on the baby toilet seat on the adult toilet bowl before, and she will scream and cry, even while doing her business. So the next best thing now is to prepare the bathroom, so that there is a little table with a few of her little books to comfort her when she has to go. And of course, to try out the 3-day potty training method!

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