.:: Week in Review ~ Start of the New Year ::.


Hello and happy new year, this past week D is off work and we spent the whole week at home, doing nothing and just have a down time and enjoying some quality time with baby B – B’s expression says it all – lazy days all week long!

We started the new year with a walk in the park with baby B thinking to do it regularly, but didn’t go again the following days coz it has been pretty windy in the mornings.

B’s breaking into his new Pumpkin Patch onesie, even though we bought it in the 3-6 month size I think it might not last that long!

I had a mommy day out on Monday, getting my brows done – finally feels human again – and a bit of quick shopping. Gosh I hadn’t been to the city since early October! Had a good time checking out Lush and Zara sale. I did feel a bit guilty leaving baby B so I asked D for live report LOL..


We bit the bullet and bought Nutribullet so we’ve been experimenting with different fruit and veg combination. A good way to start the new year eating more healthily.

Having D at home allows me more time in the kitchen, I tried this chicken egg roll recipe – supposedly a dupe to Hoka Hoka Bento, it’s not exactly the same but it’s nonetheless delicious and really easy to make, and it’s freezer friendly!

Spending so much time in the kitchen during this holiday also makes me want to start meal planning again, I’ve done that a lot in the past and it worked so well so I thought I should do it again this year. I’m also starting to use a planner to plan my week ahead and keep track of my daily life. I never really keep a planner for a full year, it had always sorta fall out of love after some time but we’ll see how I’m doing this year!

.:: B One-Month and Two-Month Update ::.

Whew how is it two months already? It feels like baby B was just born yesterday. And he’s grown so much in such a short time span! There’s a saying “the days are long but the years are short” and I’ve come to realize it is so true! So here’s bits and pieces of what’s been going on these past two months.

When he was born B was 3,305 kg / 51 cm and he now 6 kg / 60 cm! He has outgrown his newborn diapers and has moved up to 5-8 kg diaper. He’s also almost outgrown his newborn clothes and it looks like he’s almost ready to move to the three-month-sized clothes. He’s already so big! It makes me a bit sad, how fast he grows, as inevitable as it is. Don’t grow up too fast baby.

Around five weeks, baby B cooed “halo” replying D’s greeting! He started cooing a few times before, but it was the first time he actually cooed something resembling a word. And it was very  clear “halo” as well. Unfortunately I was just walking out of the bedroom when it happened, but I could hear it from outside the room, I thought I was delusional but D heard it too! Since then we’ve been busy trying to get him to say “halo” again, sometimes he just ignores us, sometimes he cooed back albeit not always very clear, but it was clear he definitely attempted to talk! The first time he cooed “halo” back rather clearly to me, at seven weeks, I was over the moon!

We haven’t been taking B out a lot, in fact we’ve only taken him out for his vaccination, check-up with the pediatrician, and a couple of times to the supermarket, one of the reasons being we were wary about doing so before his vaccination at the six-week mark – he was behaving really well on vaccination day, only cried when the nurse have him the injections but went back to his calm self pretty much in an instant. So funny seeing him change his mood in a matter of seconds like that.

B loves stretching, frowning and side sleeping – a couple of times he stretched and rolled to his side and fell asleep right after. He makes an O with his mouth when hungry or pooping, and smiles a lot  especially in his sleep. He loves being swaddled, but sometimes struggles and escapes one of his hands before going back to sleep soundly. So cute!

.:: { Kitchen } Nigella’s Christmas Morning Muffins ::.

Christmas Morning Muffin

Taking care of a newborn means I have less and limited time to spend on other stuff including baking treats. However I still wanted to make something special for Christmas. And this recipe is just what I need to celebrate the season. The spices, the cranberries, the clementines, everything about these muffins screams Christmas.

The original recipe calls for demerara sugar for the topping, but I made streusel instead coz I always think streusel-topped muffins are extra special, and Christmas is just the occasion for special treats.

Christmas Morning Muffins

250 grams plain flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

100 gr caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 clementines, zested and juiced

approx. 125 ml milk

75 ml vegetable oil

1 large egg

150 gr dried cranberries

 

Streusel topping:

40 gr butter

50 gr plain flour

45 gr caster sugar

1/8 tsp cinnamon

 

1. Make the crumble topping by mixing flour and sugar together then rubbing in the butter with your fingers until it has a crumb like texture.

2. Preheat oven to 180′ C.

3. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, except sugar and dried cranberries.

4. In another bowl, beat sugar and wet ingredients until sugar has dissolved.

5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and roughly combine them. Add dried cranberries and mix in very carefully so as not to break up the fruit.

6. Fill in paper cases 2/3 full then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes.

.:: Midweek Me Time ::.

Today has been a really good day. After two consecutive days of scorching heatwave, the rain pouring over Sydney all day long and the chilly breeze have been a very welcomed change. Even baby B seems to enjoy the weather so much, he’s been very good and calm and he takes long naps which allows me to do my own thing – even though it only went as far as a little bit of workout and tidying up, it feels so good to be productive. B has started developing a routine as well, he’s always down at around 8 pm – that again allows me some time to myself. Most times I have dishes to do, or dinner to eat, or things I need to tidy up, but as I’ve done all of them earlier in the day, I have time to do my own stuff. And because the weather is so suitable, I decide to sneak in a little bath and face mask time, while attempting to continue reading this Harry Potter book, followed by a cup of hot cocoa in front of the Christmas tree. Sometimes it’s little things like these that makes my day.

.:: A Day in the Life – Feeding Frenzy Sunday ::.

My routine has been completely changed with a new baby in tow. Gone have the days of Saturday shopping spree in the city just by myself or laid back movie-night-in Sunday. These days baby B is pretty much latched on to me all day long, so it is hard to plan on doing something. Today is such a day, I was thinking to take B to the park, but didn’t get to do it with all the feeding frenzy happening and chores that need to be done – which I didn’t even get to. I’m not complaining though coz I’m such a homebody.

Anyway, I like reading random “day in the life” stuff, it’s like having a peek at what people do about their days, and I want to chronicle some of mine too so I could look back one day and relive those days. So as bland as today was, here goes my Sunday, 10 December 2016.

05.00 Woke up to baby B’s cry. He doesn’t usually wake up this early, but his feeding last night was a bit off schedule.

06.00 After putting B to sleep, I prepared breakfast for myself – homemade vanilla-cinnamon wholemeal bread I baked the night before ( forever grateful for the convenience of a bread machine ) and a cup of soy hot chocolate. I then went ahead and did a little bit of cleaning around the kitchen – washed dishes that didn’t get done last night, cleaned up the counters, and also started preparing condiments for soto I’m making for lunch.

07.30 Snuggle time with this cuddle bug, as he’d woken up and clearly wanted to get out of his swaddle. He had a hiccup which is always funny to watch coz he gets all wide-eyed and has a very concerned look on his face.

08.40 Put B’s on the baby gym which he usually loves, but it wasn’t long before he asked for a feed, and eventually ended up falling asleep in my arms.

09.30 Back to the kitchen to continue preparing lunch.

10.45 Little boss woke up for another feed. He was being very sleepy though so it didn’t last very long.

11.30 Put B on his cot and rushed to shower. Usually I shower really early in the morning before anyone wakes up, but today was an early start and hey it’s the weekend!

12.00 B woke up as I had predicted he would, time for another feed and snuggles.

13.00 Baby bath time, and since he’s happy and cleaned we did a little photo session, didn’t last long before he falls  asleep though.

14.00 Finally had time to sit down and have lunch.

15.00 Chill time while B sleeps soundly, checking social media and chatting away with the family.

16.20 Feeding time..

17.00 Waking up so early has taken its toll on me and this momma needs to take a nap.

18.00 It’s not often I get an hour of nap, feeling so recharged. Only had a few minutes to chill before the little mister woke up fussy. Tried feeding him but he was being difficult and gassy. Such is life with a newborn!

19.00 Put baby B on the baby gym and he seemed quite content for a while, I was concerned he would be fussy later on without proper feeding before his 8 pm bedtime, so I tried again for a good chunk of time, but to almost no avail. D tried to settle him to sleep when B appear tired, while I prepared lunch for D to bring to work tomorrow, but at around 8.30 pm baby B was fussy again.

21.15 Eventually finished feeding and managed to have dinner.

21.45 Finally time to myself and clock off being a milk machine, that is until the next feeding time.

.:: My Tiny Little Wonder ::.

Ben

This past October we welcomed our little bundle of joy, Ben. It has been seven whole weeks – which feels like only a few days as time whooshed by so quickly – and it still feels very much surreal having this little guy in our lives. A lot of times when I see his peaceful sleeping face, I almost pinch myself as I can’t believe I have this little darling boy to call my son. I have a son!

Ben

Ben arrived five days earlier than the estimated due date, but looking back, the timing was perfect. We only recently moved to a new place, and I’ve started maternity leave a week before. I spent the whole week sorting through the boxes, cleaning and organizing our stuff to their new home, settling and enjoying our new place. That week I kept thinking I couldn’t be possibly ready yet coz there was still so much to do. And right after I got everything sorted and all the boxes have been stored away, I heard the news that a friend just delivered a baby and I thought ready or not the baby’s coming, so I convinced myself to be prepared. And the very next morning I was in labor.

Ben

I’m slowly settling into a new routine, staying home and taking care of a newborn and learning a lot along the way, there are extremely good days where I’d have some spare time to cook or clean or watch TV with D, there are also days where I feel like every second of the day all I did was feed him. But whenever I look into his wide curious eyes looking left and right trying absorbing everything in his surrounding, I felt everything was worth it. Darling boy, you make me fall in love every single day over and over again.

.:: { Kitchen } Almond Coconut Granola ::.

This granola is my latest addiction. Lovely golden brown, crisp and sweet-but-not-too-sweet granola, with the addition of coconut chips which I’m also crazy about lately. I love having it with a cup of milk, topping it some dried cranberries. Morning, made.

Almond Coconut Granola

Almond Coconut Granola

4 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

a handful of sliced almonds

a handful of roasted coconut chips

dried fruit, optional

  1. Mix rolled oats, brown sugar, salt, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla extract. Fold the mixture together with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and almonds are thoroughly coated.
  2. Turn the oat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin, even layer.
  3. Bake until the top is lightly browned – about 30 minutes, stirring the oats halfway through. Add sliced almonds and coconut chips, bake for another 15-30 minutes until crisp.
  4. Cool, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container.