my babies

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wild Swimming - book review

Oh my God, I wish I'd gotten this book sooner.

The book is printed on high quality magazine type paper, in full colour. All the pages are full of jaw-dropping gorgeous photos of magical hidden swimming holes...really beautiful photography..

The author and his friends personally tested all these places. There are very clear directions on how to get there, the nearest postcode, grid location, the nearest train stations etc. The water quality is graded so we know how clean the water is going to be. This book also tells us how far and how hard to walking is from the nearest car park. Some are difficult walks, for the hikers and keen walkers. Some are near and easy, great for families like us. there are descriptions about the places, the history behind swimming in these places, recommendations on good pubs and shops near to it.

There are mouth watering photographs of all the places, inspiring us to swim in the wild. Even for the places that I know I can't go ( some are so hidden, you'll have to walk in difficult terrain for an hour, but of course these are the most beautiful and unspoiled) it feels wonderful just to read about it and look at the photos. The author gives clear descriptions, with the wisdom of the local. You know how these hidden places usually we can only find if we live there and know the local area? He even categorise the swimming holes into catagories like - best for families, best for picnics, best for jumping/diving, best for camping, best for water tubing, best for skinny dipping etc. Also, they are divided into regions with clear maps so you can choose which ones are nearest to you. It sets me daydreaming all day ;)

Those of you in the UK, and love the water (even if you don't you will surely feel inspired to anyway), please get this book. Thats all i have to say!

no i am not paid to do this review ;)

p/s: we're going on another wild swimming adventure tomorrow, yay!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mia's growing...( and growing girls always need new dresses, right ? )

This week has been a really big week for Mia. First she started understanding what 'sit down' means. No, it's not just my imagination. Every time someone says 'Mia, sit down please', she slowly pause and sat her cute little bum down. That little genius. Then we'll clap and cheered and told her what a clever girl she is for sitting and she'll give us that proud smiley face. Even when we're telling her off ' Mia, don't go kacau Along...sit down please' She'll frown and cry but will still sit her bum down. Good girl, Mia..I'll put up a video next time.

Today was especially a big growing day for Mia. She started crawling properly for the first time! finally got the hands and knees coordination right. Terus laju jer crawl all over the place...and then terus nak start cruising! must be feeling pretty confident today. She tried to pull herself up on furniture...nak jalan dah ke anak Mommy ni...

aaannnd, her first tooth came out today too! still tiny and barely visible, but it's there! no wonder she's been so irritable lately, poor baby...

That's a lot of accomplishment in one day. Mommy's proud of you Mia!

But baby, can you stay little for a bit longer honey?

p/s: Photos are of Mia's new summer dress. Fabric from that lovely voile again. Oh i must get more of it...this dress is really simple to make. Just rectangles, and elastic for the top and waist of the bodice. And then I made a simple gathered skirt for myself to match. I hope you're not sick of the matchy-matchy yet...(maybe just one more next week?)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wild Swimming

I've been craving for a swim at a river or a lake for the longest time. I bought this awesome book - Wild Swimming. I need to do a review of this book in a separate entry. Well after reading that book, we chose a place to go last weekend. It's about 1.5 hours drive from our house.

Isn't is just gorgeous? It's a small river, with crystal clear water.

It's right by the side of this English Heritage ruins. .

I told you there'll be mother-daughter matchy-matchy this weekend. My top is a tunic length shirt dress. Love that fabric, so drapey and flowy..

It was secluded, a hidden gem...if you google the place, there's no mention of any swimming in this river...

A lot of kids climbed on this rope and swing, but only my husband actually dove in the water. Cool! oh wait, one guy fell of and hit the side and then dropped in the water in all his clothes..hehe..that was quite funny..

The water is ice cold! But it's really wonderful to be in the cold water...i felt so connected to nature...We were so surprised that Mia actually wanted to get in there. Normally she would scream her lungs out...but I guess she got really curious and excited seeing me in the water with Adam and he practically tried to jump out of my husband's hands to get in the water..

This river is popular for fishing crayfish. It looks like crab mix with lobster. Adam panggil crab...dia suka sgt...

Adam 'swimming' sampai biru2 mulut dia..

Great family time! more summer seizing next weekend hopefully...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mia's pinafore

More summer sewing for Mia. Here's a pinafore, using the same pattern as this one. I like this pattern, easy to follow and sews up pretty quick. And pinafores are easy to layer up next season. The fabric, is cotton voile from Anna Maria's Little Folks collection. This is the best garment fabric I've come across yet. It's thin and yet has a high thread count, really soft, silky and drapes beautifully. It has a little sheen and sews up like butter. What more can you ask from a fabric, right?

I made a matching top for myself. Oh yeah, you're gonna see some cheesy mommy daughter matchy-matchy this weekend.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mia @ 6 months

Mia turned 6 months yesterday! How is she doing?

- She just started to sit by herself. A little wobbly but she looked cute anyways :)

- She's learning to crawl. She just can't wait to catch up with Adam.

- Mommy is her best friend.

- Daddy is her personal clown.

- Adam is her idol.

- She looks exactly like her big bro at the same age.

- She started eating and is thrilled that she can now join us at mealtimes.

- She had her first viral infection a few days ago and got over it pretty quickly. When she was ill and fussy, the only things that could calm her down are Mommy's milk and a massage.

- She is well-loved by everyone, especially her big brother Adam. He takes very good care of her.

Happy half-birthday Adik! We love you so much!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The trip to the (weird) beach

the parents' perspective:

Summer is nearing its end so soon, and I am determined to soak every last minute of it. To that end, we planned a trip to the beach yesterday and really looked forward to it. We packed up the bags the night before, got up really early, cooked yummy food for a picnic and woke the kids early to take the train.

When we got there, there were practically no one around. Wait, where is the water?? Is this it? is this the beach?? It was 10am, the sky was dark and gloomy, it was cold and the wind was blowing. There was no white sandy beaches, just lots of pebbles mixed with some coarse sand.

and THERE IS NO WATER! the sea was so far up (air surut) that we can hardly see it.

FIQ_0284 - Edited

We had the sinking feeling that we might have made a terrible mistake coming here.

Adam's perspective:

He had no expectation of the day whatsoever. He didn't know he was going to the beach. When he woke up that morning all sleepy, he was told he was going on the train and so he jumped up and got dressed very quickly because trains are his favourite things in the world. He had the most fun riding on the train, watching other trains and cows and boats along the way.

The next thing he knew, he was at the beach! Lots of pebbles to play with, sand, sea shells, crabs, and sea weed.

He couldn't wait to get his clothes changed so he can have a dip in the paddling pool.

FIQ_0287 - Edited

He was so happy. He kept saying ' So nice! So nice!'. He was having the best day ever.


I decided at that moment to adopt Adam's positive attitude. No more sulking, it's time to let my child take the lead and see the beach through his eyes.

And suddenly I realised, it is beautiful.


I went wherever Adam wanted to go and played with whatever Adam wanted to play with. I squealed with excitement whenever we found a seaweed or a pretty pebble.


We went 'swimming' in the paddling pool. It is a shallow pool to hold the seawater when the tide is away. We went digging in the sand and collected small pebbles.


My husband took care of Mia and put her to nap on this gorgeous vintage throw that I've been looking forward to use.


Mia had her first taste of solid food (banana). Her six months birthday was 3 days away.


Ok, so the beach wasn't as beautiful as the white sandy beaches in Malaysia, but rather than waiting for that perfect beach holiday to enjoy ourselves, it was so wonderful to be fully present and appreciative of the simplest beauty that surrounds us...


thank you Adam...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sewing for him

How come I rarely sew for my boys?hmm...i don't know, i find sewing for boys rather challenging..anyway, here's my recent attempt;

3/4 pants made with curduroy. Pattern is a simple Burdastyle pants, i added some pockets and belt loops. I ran into a problem with the fabric though..tends to tear at the wonder that curduroy was cheaper than usual..

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

He sews!

My husband has these pair of jeans that have holes in the knees.. I was supposed to cut them off and make them into 3/4 pants but i kept delaying...erk...and then the other night while the kids are in bed;

Hubby: Yang, I think I want to sew it myself la...can you teach me how to do it?

wow...i can't believe he asked. I thought he was just kidding i.e. hinting for me to do it quicker. But, soon after...this was what happened..

He cut it himself...

and sewed the hem!

I can tell he was enjoying the process too! I think a man who sews is rather cool, don't you?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Matinee Jacket

Completed a couple day ago. Isn't the colour just stunning? i took so long to knit it that by the time i finished it, it can only just fit Mia, but its too warm right now for her to wear. I was hoping she can wear it next season, if she doesn't grow any bigger ( i highly doubt it). maybe it'll become a present...we'll see..

i love the pattern, love the little closes with a narrow velvet ribbon. Pattern by Debbie Bliss (Simply Baby).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day out in Camden Market ( and Potty Training results)

It turns out that the 7 days program didn't work as well as i'd hope. I'm almost too depressed to even write about it. Like my husband said maybe he's not ready yet...or maybe it'll take more time. Adam hasn't had a dry day yet....i guess i'll just keep going until we get there. Oh well. No point stressing about it today we decided to take it easy and went out for a relaxing boat trip to Camden Market...

Beautiful Camden Lock.

We found a few treasures at the market today..

This gorgeous thrifted vintage throw..i am loving yellow right now, perfect for summer..I am going to use this one for our picnics..

it turns out that vintage items are much cheaper here than husband got a really neat vintage leather football..

There's this shop that sells handmade quilts..all of them are just beautiful...taktau mana nak pilih..

Friday, July 9, 2010

Potty Training, Day 5

Day 5 was.... a relief.

My husband worked from home again to help out with the potty training. We're like a well-oiled machine, one of us take Adam to potty, the other one entertain Mia. So no baby screaming her little lungs out while the other one is dilly-dallying in the toilet.

Total score of the day: 1 accident. Progress. Alhamdulillah...

Today my husband is at work again, so I am a little nervous. But I think Adam has improved a lot so insyaAllah it'll be ok...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potty Training, Day 4

It was as though we took one step forward on Day 3 and then one step backwards on Day 4.

The day started well enough. After his shower and I was putting on his clothes, I told him as usual;

Mommy : Adam, Adam dah big boy now kan? Adam tak payah pakai pampers dah ok...
Adam: ha...potty! *tunjuk his potty*
Mommy: Very good Adam! Kalau nak pee where?
Adam: there! potty! *tunjuk potty*
Mommy: Kalau poop?
Adam: there! *tunjuk potty*

He already understood the concept now. However, yesterday was about testing his limits, I think. It's like he wanted to see what will happen if he purposely does not pee or poo in the potty.

He had 3 accidents yesterday, 2 of which are done while looking at me and seeing my reaction. I regret to inform you that at the third incident I totally lost it and lashed out at him. It was so much harder without my husband around. When my husband got home from work, he found me in tears and Adam asleep on the couch (lps kene marah).

I wonder if potty training is a test for Adam or for me?

May today bring improvements for Adam and patience for me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Potty Training, Day 3

The difference between Day 2 and Day 3 is like day and night. As if a light has been switched on and suddenly everything is clear.

I suppose Adam has now understood what is happening and is adapting himself to the situation. Bravo Adam! My husband worked from home yesterday to help me out, thank you my big hero! Also, Mia napped as usual yesterday, thank you's like all the stars were aligned ;)

Throughout the whole day, we reminded him to go potty when it's time ( I stretched the intervals to about 20-30 mins around mid- day) . Sure he pretended not to listen, or just said No no no! to delay it but eventually he went to potty himself. I think he can probably feel it when it's coming so he goes potty when he's ready. He didn't want help, he'd say 'No! Adam walk' (maknanye takyah hold his hands/pick him up) and 'Adam bukak' (his pants). Sometimes he just couldn't wait to get it done so that he could start playing again, lps pee terus nak pakai pants nak sambung main..tanak pause to wash hands or wipe..had to help him out with this part sometimes..but it's ok, as long as he still wants to go potty..

Total score of the day - 2 accidents (delay punya delay, terlepas) but the rest are all successful potty, including a poo! score! It's not easy to get a child to do the number two in the potty for the first time right mommies? So i consider this a huge achievement.

Alhamdulillah, I felt so relaxed yesterday compared to Day 2. I was even able to knit in between potty time! I'm starting to see that this 7 days program could actually work, just maybe.

Today's Day 4, no hubby, but I'm feeling hopeful. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Potty Training, Day 2

Ok, Day 2. I was really nervous. My husband wasn't around this time, and I would have to juggle handling Mia, house work, and potty training all at the same time.

Normally first thing in the morning, I would bathe Mia, feed her, then put her to nap. While she's napping Adam and I would take our shower. But yesterday, Mia decided to pass on her morning nap. And her afternoon nap. Oh dear. Ok, Plan B. I gave Adam his bath but I went showerless today ;p

The rest of the day I followed the same plan as yesterday. Oh I forgot to mention one of the most important part of the potty training program - If the the child has an accident, avoid getting upset or scolding or showing any negative reaction. I thought this would be the most difficult part, in trying not to lose my temper if he has an accident. But it turns out, this part is really pretty easy. Afterall, this is his first time without his nappy, of course he would have accidents right? And any accidents are pretty easy to clean up after, if you have everything ready.

But, I did lose my temper a lot, when he refused to sit on his potty. Again and again, every 15 mins. It's just so frustrating for me....and for him too, i think. A lot of tears shed today, Adam's tears, Mia's and mine. Mia was neglected quite a bit yesterday, unfortunately but it can't be helped really. Every 15 mins she's either crying by herself or being held like a football while mommy is dragging Adam to the potty in the other hand. I'm so sorry Mia....

It's always difficult for me when my child isn't listening to me, because it makes me feel like i'm such a horrid mother that my son doesn't want to listen to me. But to tell you the truth, i do understand where he's coming from. I mean, he didn't ask to be potty trained, did he?He probably doesn't even know what potty training means. He didn't read the book on potty training like I did. This whole thing was just sprung on him out of nowhere. One day he's happily playing all day with no disruptions, the next day he's asked to sit on the potty every 15mins. Of course he's annoyed. (Remember when you were pregnant, how annoying it was having to go to the loo every 15 mins?)

But you see, towards the end of the very exhausting and frustrating Day 2, we reached a turning point. At around 6.15pm, I asked Adam to sit on his potty. But at this point, I was tired and had absolutely no energy to pull him to the potty. So I merely reminded him that it's time to sit on his potty. Mia needed my attention, so I went ahead and breastfed her, and at the same time kept reminding Adam that it's time to go potty. He pretended not to listen, but at around 6.30pm, he went to his potty by himself, took off his pants by himself, sit on the potty by himself and wiped himself with the loo roll all by himself. I watched the whole thing on the couch, breastfeeding Mia, almost bursting with pride. I helped him wash his hands in the toilet and afterwards, he asked me for a star on his scoreboard! He definitely deserved that star for sure!

Oh my God, suddenly all that hard work the past couple of days seemed totally worth it. From then on, he went to the potty like that, willingly, until sleeptime.

The total score for the day - less number of accidents than Day 1, and a lot more number of successful potty than Day 1. Alhamdulillah....

Today's another day. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Adam's Potty Training , Day 1

Finally now I think we're ready for potty training so yesterday was Adam's first potty training day. I borrowed a book from the library on potty training and according to the book you can train a child in 7 days so i'm following the 7 days program. I don't know if it can happen but i'll give it a try...

The scoreboard. A star for every successful potty.

The potty, in the living room where we spend most of the day.

child's seat on our regular toilet

a step bench for him to wash his hands in the sink

a pail for wet/soiled pants

In the morning after his shower, we told Adam that he's a big boy now, that he doesn't need to use his nappy anymore and can just wear pants like Mommy and Daddy.

Every 15 mins, I asked him to sit on the potty. And gave him lots of praise and encouragement when he does.

So how was the first day?

it was LONG! omg....what a long long day. You know, the problem wasn't the accidental little puddles. I was prepared for those. I had many extra pants, a bucket for soiled/wet pants, towels for cleaning up after any accidents, wipes etc. Also my husband was around to help me out. And i knew from reading the book that he will surely have a lot of accidents on the first day. What I didn't expect was how hard it would be to get him to sit on the potty. EVERY 15 MINUTES. OMG. it was horrible. He refused everytime we ask him to sit there. My plan was not to force him, just to encourage and at the last resort maybe just bribe with treats. But it was just near IMPOSSIBLE to get him to sit. And if i give in and not force him to sit every 15mins, he will surely have an accident (about 2 secs after him saying 'No, no pee) So there lies my dilemma. I don't really want to force him because i don't want his potty training experience to be painful and full of resentment. Even when offered bribery like chocolates he refused. It was just so frustrating..

The good thing is though that on every occasion that he does sit on the potty, he can successfully do a pee or poo in it.

The scoreboard is mainly for Adam's motivation but i also kept a secret recording of the day's total score. At the end of the day, there are more number of successful potty than accidents. So i guess it wasn't such a nightmare afterall huh? sigh....i can't tell you how relieved we were come sleeptime...phew...

Day 2 today. No husband. oh no...i'll tell you the story tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Aiesha's birthday party

Yesterday we went to Aiesha's (Melina's daughter) 3rd birthday party. Hands down most fun birthday party ever! Thank you Melina for inviting us...she baked the birthday cake (shaped like the number 3) herself and also cooked all the food! powerlah supermommy..we appreciate the personal touch, definitely. I made a dress for the beautiful birthday girl but lupa nak amik photo..hope it fits her, and hope she likes it in all its imperfections.

enjoy the photos! (taken by my husband using his new iphone..boleh tahan kamera iphone..)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Favourite hang out spot

The Memorial Fountain has officially become our favourite hang-out spot. Images from our recent impromtu visit (didn't bring spare clothes which is why Adam's in his overall and he left pretty sexy in his nappy!)

I am totally loving this place. Anyone wants to go here please tell me so i can join you ;)

p/s: Mia is wearing her latest mommy-made pinafore top. Great pattern, will be making more of this pinafore for sure.


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