Quekling II @ 17 weeks

I wish I had much peace when I turned up for my gynae appointment today.

Alas, the night before found me restless. The OSCAR result was one thing but I haven’t been putting much weight since the last appointment. I wasn’t sure if things were okay.

When you are pregnant, worry just takes place.

I weighed 51.9kg on his scale and my gynae looked at me and asked me,” You vomitted and had diahorrea?”

Nope.

Then, according to him, I should be putting on 0.5kg every week and it has been 4 weeks since I last saw him and I have only put on 0.3kg.

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Thankfully, Quekling II is growing well, it seems. So I told Dr Poon that things should be ok even though I didn’t put on much weight.

He looked at me with a firm and serious expression. “Don’t be complacent. Your body might have reserves and the baby is getting the nutrients from it. But once that is depleted, he will face malnutrition. So better eat more.”

He went through my health report with me. It was stellar except that I might be a little anemic but that’s not much of a concern for now. There is something about my blood that causes the {OSCAR} ratio to be low. Darn! History repeats itself. It’s the same scenario as my first pregnancy. So, my gynae confirmed with me (yet again) if I would go for subsequent tests and I just had this simple answer, “Nope…I have to trust God.”

I really have to because there is nothing I can do.

Before I walked out of the door, my gynae told me to eat more… again.

Weight: 51.9kg

Pandan Kaya Cake Roll

 20150414_141458Recently, I went on a mission to look for recipes on Pandan Kaya Cake Roll and boy, did I have fun! The swiss roll is easy to make and bakes fast. So if you have the Kaya jam on hand, a dessert can easily be made.

Firstly, let me show you how to make pandan juice.

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Pandan leaves can be bought from the wet market or the supermarket for less than a dollar for a packet. Cut the blades into smaller pieces and place them in your blender/chopper. Add about 3/4 cup of water into the blender if you intend to use up the whole lot of pandan leaves from a whole packet. After the blender has done its work, pour the juice through a sieve and squeeze the juice from the leaves as well.

To make the Pandan Kaya jam, you would need the following:

200ml coconut milk
2 large eggs
50g sugar
2tbsp pandan juice
1tbsp corn flour
1tbsp plain flour
3 blades of pandan leaves
(If you prefer a stronger pandan flavor, add 1/4tsp of pandan paste.)

Steps:

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1. Mix coconut milk, eggs, corn flour, plain flour and pandan juice together until well combined.

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2. Strain mixture into a saucepan, add in sugar and pandan leaves.

3. Cook over low fire and stir constantly until mixture thicken. (Do not overcook.  Once kaya is too thick, it will turn lumpy and will be difficult to spread on the cake). The trick is to keep stirring! Discard pandan leaves and set aside to cool.

:: I have tried a few variations to making the Kaya jam. To make a healthier version, I used brown sugar instead of caster sugar and the flavour is more intense. There is also a difference if you use the pandan paste and pandan flavour. The pandan paste will give you a green kaya jam (pic on the left) whereas when I added the pandan flavour, the colour is more natural. So it really depends on your preference.

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Making the sponge roll is easy and for this following recipe, the steps require that you separate the egg yolk from the egg whites. This requires more work, of course. I have added another way to making the roll in which you use the whole egg. for the second recipe, you will yield half the amount of the first recipe.

Sponge Roll
Ingredients:

3 egg whites
70g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
45g cake flour
10g corn flour
1/4tsp salt
40g vegetable oil
1/3tsp pandan paste

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line and grease the baking tray and set aside. My tray measures 24cm by 16cm by 3cm. If you use a bigger tray, then the roll will turn out thinner. But that should be fine.

3. Sift cake flour, corn flour and salt together and set aside.

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4. Use a cake mixer and whisk the egg whites until foamy.

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5. Add in sugar gradually and whisk till stiff peaks are formed.

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6. Switch mixer speed to medium and slowly add in egg yolks and pandan paste. Whisk for another minute till well blended.

7. Fold flour lightly into the mixture in 3 portions until well blended.

8. Lastly fold in the veg. oil into the batter until well blended.

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9. Pour batter onto the prepared tray.

10. Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of the tray you use. 

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11. When it’s done, the surface gives a nice golden brown look. Remove the sponge roll from the tray and cool on a rack with the skin facing up.

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I let the cake roll rest for about 5 to 8 minutes before I assemble. I find that if I wait longer, it will be difficult to roll and cracks will form.

Assembling the cake roll:

1. Carefully transfer the cake onto a greaseproof paper with the skin facing down.

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2. Spread pandan kaya on the cake.

3. Gently roll the cake by using the paper to lift the cake and to guide the roll.

4. Rest the roll in the fridge to stabilize its shape.

5. Remove, slice and serve.

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For an easier method and a smaller portion, the following works for me, using the size of the tray which I had mentoned earlier.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
35g caster sugar
25g cake flour
5g rice flour/corn flour
pinch of salt
20g vegetable oil
1/4 tsp pandan paste

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Line and grease the baking tray and set aside.

3. Sift cake flour, corn flour and salt together and set aside.image

4. Use a cake mixer and whisk the eggs until foamy.

5. Add in sugar gradually and whisk till the colour turns to pale yellow.

6. Switch mixer speed to medium and add in pandan paste. Whisk for another minute till well blended.

7. Fold flour lightly into the mixture in 3 portions until well blended.

8. Lastly fold in the vegetable oil into the batter until well blended.

9. Pour batter onto the prepared tray.

10.Bake in a preheated oven for 10mins.

Have fun baking!
I used and experimented with the recipe from happyflour.blogspot.sg and she has an awesome collection of good recipes!

Learning about Microgreens

In order to have a proper closure for our weekly play date, one of the mummies, Adeline of Growingwiththetans, suggested that we have a gardening session where the children could learn about plants and how to grow them. It’s a definite YES from us since it tied in well with the ‘Fuits and Vegetables’ theme.

Adeline had her friend share with us about Microgreens. For the uninitiated like yours truly, Microgreens are basically baby seedlings of our commonly eaten vegetables and herbs. They are harvested at a young stage (between 5 -14 days) and the whole plant is eaten (except for the roots). Although they are micro in size, they are intense in flavor though they are not as strong as their older sibling.

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We had the session at Bishan Park and Faith was all excited to be out with her friends again. It was warm and humid that late afternoon but thankfully the kids were not complaining!

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When Khai Lin first learnt that she was going to share her passion with a group of toddlers, she was a bit concerned as they were rather young and she wasn’t sure if they could benefit fully from it. ‘Let’s give it a try!’ was our answer to her and so she did. KL showed the kiddos the fully grow pea shoots and had them touch the seedlings. That set the stage for our lesson!

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We started off with some craft work. KL had the mummies and children create a bunny from a toilet roll as we were going to have a ‘carrot’ garden for them. The carrots are the pots that hold the seedlings.

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I like it that KL encouraged the kids to feel the pebbles and the peat moss (looks like soil to me) which is formulated for germinating seeds. Most of the children were curious and attempted to feel them. It’s a good lesson to have the children discover through their senses!

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KL was super patient with the children and showed each one of them the steps to start the gardening process. Here she got them to fill the container with peat moss. Look at Faith’s expression after she touched it.

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I must say that I enjoyed the whole learning process as an adult. Because I have very little knowledge about microgreens, this session is truly informative. I’m not sure if the young ones understand what they have gone through but it’s a good start nonetheless. There was a 4YO boy in our midst and he was really curious and posed KL loads of questions. I guess this session would be more beneficial to older kids?

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We are going to plant the speckled peas and sunflower and both can be harvested between 7 to 14 days. That’s really fast, you know?

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After watering the peat moss lightly in the pot to keep it damp, sprinkle the seeds generously over the top of the peat moss. However, do not overlap the seeds. Then gently press the seeds down using the hands. See how proud Faith is with her ‘garden’.

Before we went home, we were told to cover the big container so as to create a greenhouse effect. What we need to do is to keep the soil moist by misting it each day. Once the seeds have germinated, the cover can be removed and we can place it near the window for some sunlight.

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After about a week, the seedlings have grown and we are ready to harvest. Faith isn’t very enthusiastic about having her greens (sad to say) and I must think of ways to hide them in her food!

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So I decided to make some sliders for dinner and since she loves mushrooms, I roasted portobello mushrooms that were topped with sweet potatoes, breadcrumbs and well, the pea shoots!

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This girl has a sharp sense of taste and could pinpoint if there are any greens in her food. She did eat some but refused the ones that are found in the salad.  Oh well, I did try.

I will not give up!

Overall, we find the session on Mircogreens useful and I’m just surprised that they are so easy to plant and manage at home. The best thing is I don’t see any ants coming near my plants because I’m really particular about that. They also take up little space since I only need to place them near a window in any room (indirect light from the sun is good enough). I thought this can be an awesome project for the older kids as they learn about plants and their nutritional benefits; they should know the source of their food from young!

If you are interested, you can find out more about it via its website at www.microgreens.sg or visit its Facebook page. There will be recipes, kids’ projects and tips on growing Microgreens so stay tuned. 😉

The session above cost $25 per child at an introductory price. Usual price is $40. Materials are included.

#notasponsoredpost

A day in my life with a 29MO

The last post which I had recorded my life as a SAHM was when Faith was still a baby at 2 months old. Now she is about 29 months old and let’s see how my schedule has changed! This is a typical weekday for me.

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6.50am :: The alarm goes off. Faith and I would normally have woken up by 6.30am but we usually laze around till we hear the alarm ring. After that, it is off to get her a bottle of milk and then we would have breakfast together. The little girl has no concept of time and takes her own sweet time to chew her bread and chat with me. I, on the other hand, keep asking her to HURRY UP because every minute counts!

Bathroom time. Getting dressed. And before you know it, it’s time to set off for school!

8.05am :: We usually reach Faith’s school at this time and after that, I would have about 2.5 hours to myself. Schedule’s not fixed. Some days I would do grocery at the wet market or supermarket and on other days, I would brisk walk at the park near my apartment. After that, I would prepare lunch so that the food would be ready when Faith and I return from her school.

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11.30am :: We get back from school and I would heat up the food while Faith plays with her Lego. Lunch is normally simple stuff such as pasta or fried rice.

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After lunch, Faith gets her 30 minutes of screen time when she gets to watch 巧虎, a DVD series which my sister-in-law gave me. Apparently, this programme is a hit with the young children in China. They learn about stuff such as Chinese songs, good habits, words and numbers through the programme. Surprisingly, Faith loves to watch the programme and could even relate to me what she has learnt after watching it, in Mandarin, of course. 🙂

We clean up, read storybooks together before Faith gets ready for her afternoon nap.

1pm :: Faith naps for about 2 hours. Sometimes I nap with her but at times, I will do my own reading or household chores. If I’m diligent enough, I will take this time to create teaching and learning materials for Faith.

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3pm :: It’s tea time and Faith is usually given fruits to snack on. After that, we will work on activities together.  The activities are varied and since a toddler’s attention span is so short, I would normally move on to the next activity when I sense that she is getting bored with a particular one. Obviously, her concentration span is much longer for activities which she loves. The following are some of the stuff we do together in that 1.5 hours (3 activities per day).

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4.30pm :: It’s outdoor time! I make it a point to get us out of the house so that she could work on her big muscles and to breathe in fresh air (this is not to say that the air in my apartment is stale!). We would usually go to the nearby playground for some workout. Some days we will go for waterplay and once a fortnight, we visit the library!

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5.30pm :: We are usually back at home by this time because I would need to prepare for dinner. Faith plays on her own while I busy myself in the kitchen. I’m lazy and love to steam my food or prepare one-pot dish for dinner. Just thinking about the clearing of dishes and cleaning of the kitchen makes me tired. So simplicity is good for me.

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6.30pm :: The hubs is back from work and we have dinner together. The baton is passed to him as he takes over to spend time with Faith. He plays with her and then showers her while I clear the dishes and rest!

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8.00pm :: We have story time or devotion before lights off at 8.30pm.

8.30pm :: It’s literally quiet time for me and I read the Bible and have my devotion or blog before I turn in at around 10pm.

Zzzzzzzz…. Goodnight, world. Another day beckons.

This is part of the “Day In A Life” blog train hosted by Justina of Mum in the Making. To check out what a typical day is like for other mums on the blog train, do click here or the button below. Next up, Jacqeline of The Little Mom will be sharing about her day!

imageJacqeline is a FTWM of 3 lovely kids. She nickname herself “The Little Mom” as she finds that she only knows so little about parenting when she started on the journey of motherhood (she only knows a little more now). Having benefitted from other Mummy bloggers, she in turn likes to contribute through her blog. She shares mainly about activities (from overseas to outdoor to indoor to home base) that she did with her family. Occasionally she also shares her thoughts about parenting and provides tips that she has learned along the way.

The second one

How and when do you decide to try for a second child?

For me, I have always felt that a 2 to 3 years age gap would be good because firstly, I would not completely forget about pregnancy and how to deal with the baby in his first year and secondly, I would not lose the momentum. Does that make sense to anyone? ;p

But it was when I saw how lonely Faith was at home and how excited and happy she was when she was around other people or her friends that got me thinking about trying for a second child. Faith was about two years old at that time and my biological clock was also ticking away furiously, signaling to me that the time was ripe.

The hubs did share that if we were to have another kid, it shouldn’t be because of Faith. On the other hand, it should be because both of us want another child and that we are committed to it. His argument makes sense, of course.

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So we found out that we might be having a second child during early February. Something in me changed and I figured it could be due to a possible pregnancy? The pregnancy test was positive and subsequently a visit to the gynae further confirmed it. We thanked God for this miracle.

The above was just an image of the water bag at week 6. Quekling II was too small to be seen. Couldn’t even detect the heartbeat properly.

Weight: 50.5kg

imageBy the 9th week, Quekling II was 3.22cm but because my weight hadn’t increased much, Dr Poon was concerned. I did eat!

Weight: 50.6kg

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This is the most recent scan of Quekling II and he/she has grown to 6.52cm at week 12. My weight increased to 51.6kg only after I had taken lunch that day. Before that, My weight was 50.7kg. What a difference a meal makes! Perhaps, there is something wrong with his weighing scale.

We did the OSCAR and a week later, I received a call from the clinic informing me that Quekling II is at a high risk for down syndrome. My heart sank. But immediately, there was a small still voice telling me, “Trust in Me.”

This is not the first time I have heard this piece of news. Faith’s ratio was 1:78 as compared to 1:169 for Quekling II and it seems like I’m going be haunted by the emotional ups and downs once more.

Am I comforted that the ratio seems better this time round? Yes. But am I going to say that things will surely be okay since Faith turns out well?

No. Not all all. I’d be too proud to even think of that. Once again, I’m reminded that while we can control many things in life, we have absolutely no control over life and death.

Trust in Me. God did say in His word. And why not?

Pregnancy… worries… sleepless nights. They go hand in hand.

Oh Lord, what a faith stretching period.

I don’t think I will go for the amniocentesis test nor the other more accurate test called Harmony. I don’t see the point now and I can’t afford Harmony which is priced at more than a grand.

I can only trust in Him who gives life and One who gives wonderful gifts to His children. He knows me and understands perfectly how much I can bear. My Father is in control.

“When we are helpless, God stepped in and proved Himself to be faithful to those who persevere in trusting Him.”

This is what I wrote for my first day question for BSF last week and while having QT just now, I was reminded of this.

I didn’t know He is preparing me for this piece of news.

My God is real.

 

The 3rd month that marched past us

I know it is April now but there were memories in March which I would want to record.

It was not an easy month. I was overwhelmed with tiredness and needed much rest because well, I am pregnant. This time round, I meet with morning sickness (unlike my first pregnancy) and need an afternoon nap or else I would have headache at the end of the day. I’m getting old, I know. Sigh! Things got done really slowly. Replies to emails were delayed and that applied to certain text messages. At times, I even forgot to reply. I didn’t have the appetite to eat and became unmotivated to cook. In a nutshell, I became inefficient. How terrible.

Life still goes on. That’s for sure.

The first school term for Faith ended and thus far, she has been enjoying herself. Each time when I picked her up from school, she would exclaim that she liked school. Special mention was made about her principal and her Chinese teacher and she looked forward to school each day. What a great relief!

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Since she started school, I found that I have less time to teach her at home basically because she needs to nap after lunch and by the time she wakes up, it would be mid-afternoon and we would be going out to enjoy some activities. There is really a need to create a time-table so that some home-learning gets done! #kiasumama

The one-week school holiday was a difficult period. The hubs was away on a week-long work trip and my mom went on a holiday to Japan during that week too. Bummer, really! Why must they go away at a time when I needed them most? Faith was with me 24/7 and I think she was bored. My energy was at an all-time low and most of the morning, I had to rest in bed. Poor girl. She didn’t really complain but came up to me, patted and comforted me. When I puked, she would ask if I was okay. I didn’t realise that this girl can be so understanding at such a young age. There was little to no tantrum and I could only thank the Lord for that. That he made that period bearable and joyful (in a way) when I had little strength.

Of course, I couldn’t have made it without the help of my in-laws. My FIL came over on that Friday and Saturday afternoon to spend some time with Faith while I rested. My SIL prepared lunch on one of those days for us and my aunt-in-law volunteered to buy breakfast for me. I am thankful to have wonderful in-laws!

Some of the stuff we did over that one week:

Playground time at the reservoir

Playground time at the reservoir

Waterplay party at a friend's house!

Waterplay party at a friend’s house!

Attending a trial Gymboree lesson

Attending a trial Gymboree lesson

Building her town using Lego (with mama's help, of course)

Building her town using Lego (with mama’s help, of course)

Skate-scooting fun at the beach

Skate-scooting fun at the beach

Our playdate ended in March. It’s a pity, these kids who grew up together since last year. It is, however, an unanimous decision because the timing is simply not ideal for the kids. By 4pm, the children were restless and the mummies found that their concentration level was low. Sometimes, they were cranky and acted up. Two of them could not have sufficient nap time since their school ended just one or two hours before the playdate. Of the mummies, three were pregnant and we found that we were exhausted too. On that note, we decided to call it quits. Sobs.

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I didn’t manage to work on a lot of cakes in March and turned down a few requests simply because I believe I couldn’t do a good job. I needed time to rest and more importantly, time to experiment with recipes. One will do and this is one which I like.

ABM_1427539034Towards the end of March, our nation went into mourning, for a great person in the history of Singapore. He is the founding father of modern Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Many of us were hoping that he would live to witness the 50th year of our independence but it was not to be. Most of the Singaporeans were emotionally affected and our understanding of him came to an all-time high because documentaries and articles were broadcasted and shared throughout that one week of mourning. My brother who has been stationed overseas for more than a decade came back to pay his last respect. It’s the least he could do, he said.

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So I guess March isn’t a fantastic month, eh? April’s now and I certainly hope things will get better. At the very least, I hope to regain my energy so that I could brisk-walk, go for my [Prenatal] Pilates lessons and swim a little. I need to get busy in the kitchen again, not just for the sake of my health but for my family too. Home-cooked food is always better, no?

April, please be good?