31. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, Baby Blues · Tags:

A couple more pictures of Hannah and Mommy from yesterday afternoon’s swinging by parents’ home at Lentor:

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We figured we’d need to bring her there a lot more this couple of weeks leading up to our Japan trip, since Hannah will be staying with grandparents during that period.

She’ll readily do *muaking* on demand now too:

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Hannah at Fairprice for grocery shopping, and making a very unladylike face!

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Hannah has a new straw cup! Ling picked it up from Robinsons at SGD19.90 earlier during a weekday. This is the first time we’ve deployed it for use, and Hannah seems to take to it quite well! She’ll readily drink up on her own now with minimal supervision , and the bottle doubles up as a toy even.

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One thing though: the new bottle’s capacity is a lot more voluminous than what her old bottles held. So, no – on this occasion Hannah didn’t even barely finished half that bottle.:)

23. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, Baby Blues

Rare family pictures of the three of us, so everyone of them is really precious! This was taken just this morning over brunch at our dim sum haunt – Sweet Spring @ AMK Hub:

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Not an easy pose, because Hannah doesn’t remain still, seated or standing! So we cheated by sandwiching her between the both of us, and giving her the E-PL1 lens cap to play with.:)

The restaurant had a new menu of sorts, with nearly a dozen new dim sum items added to the offerings. Too bad several of them weren’t available so early in the morning. Oh well – another opportunity perhaps.

More pictures from our brunch:

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23. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, At Home, Toys & Technology

The Dell XPS Studio 16 notebook I ordered more than a week ago was actually assembled and shipped to Singapore for local dispatch last Thursday evening; at which point it sat in the warehouse for the weekend before actual delivery on Monday late morning this week.

After having spent nearly a week putting the notebook through its paces, installing the entire suite of software and customizing it to work exactly the way I need it to, my sentiment is almost near totally positive with just one or two minor reservations.

– The screen’s color depth, viewing angles, sharpness and resolution are incredible. Easily by far the most impressive notebook screen I’ve seen in existence, and beats the heck out of any notebook screens coming out anywhere else, including Cupertino.

– That said, things do look a little small on the screen when I keep font sizes at their default settings at 1920×1080 resolution. Sadly inevitable when you cram so many pixels towards a resolution that’s really more suitable for 19 inch monitors.

– The notebook came preinstalled with trialware and Dell’s own application dock and system diagnostics. Seemed fairly minimalist, but I didn’t chance it and went with a complete wipe of the hard disk with the included Windows 7 OS disc. Reinstallation of device drivers and the Dell dock went without hitches.

– The FastAccess facial recognition software works pretty well. Basically, what the application does is to make use of the notebook’s built-in video camera to recognize faces and auto-logs into both web sites and into the notebook. There is some initial recognition adjustment, but it’s real cool to be able to just look at the notebook and to see it auto login for me.

– The keyboard indeed has no real flex (hooray!) unless I go about trying to press keys real hard. That said, the keypress has a slightly mushy feeling that’ll require some adjustment period. Typing isn’t quite as light touched as my Macbook Pro, nor as satisfying as my now replaced IBM Thinkpad T60 at work.

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– Built-in speakers’ audio output is amazing! I queue up a whole bunch of Haydn piano sonatas and have them playing in the background in my office.

– The glossy chassis and its affinity to finger prints isn’t so bad after all. The shade of black use in the chassis does an adequate job of hiding the prints and dirt from routine use, though I still casually do a cloth wipe down now and then.

– Heat was reportedly a concern for this notebook model. So, in preparation I picked up a Zalman notebook cooler for the XPS Studio. The arrangement works great. The notebook’s elevated and inclined at a slight angle now and makes for easier typing, and there’s a gentle breeze that’s produced by the notebook cooler’s air vents reaching my palms.

– I would have liked more built-in USB ports. There are two on the left side which I keep free for my portable hard drives, and one eSata/USB port on the right that drives the Zalman cooler. That’s maximum utilization. One more built-in USB port would had been nice but at least the two left ports are widely spaced. I’m amazed how Apple engineers could have missed the Macbook Pro’s design flaw in placing the two left USB ports so close to each other that they can’t be used at the same time, effectively reducing the number of usable ports on it to just one.

So, the Dell’s turning out to be quite a productive, mean machine. More notes to come once I’ve spent more time on it.:)

There are some people who simply adore babies and kids. Jin Ju is definitely one of them. She requested to come over to our place to visit again and especially to play with Hannah. She brought books along to read to Hannah. Eh, Hannah just flipped flipped here and flipped flipped there and then ferried the books around the house in her toy pram. :P

But once Jin Ju flashed her mobile phone before Hannah, she had her glued to it. The interactive-ness of mobile phones have never failed to capture her attention.

And here’s the best I’ve managed to shoot for the group picture!

Thanks for dropping by to entertain our girl, Jin Ju. The mommy here had some ‘peace’ time preparing dinner for Hannah. :D

Doreen, my best friend, is Hannah’s godmother. :)

She visited us on Monday with the fairy godmother’s pattern, you know, shower of gifts. Tee hee. :) Although Hannah has not seen her for a while (she was doing overseas mission work), she took to her godmother extremely well just like good ‘ol pals. There was not a moment Hannah pined for mommy’s attention. *Doreen, you should come more often!* :D

Here’s a picture for memory’s sake :)

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19. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, At Home, Baby Blues

I’ve been trying to get Hannah to drink from a sippy cup with little success. Recently, I need to get her a new sippy cup as the old one has ‘acquire’ a strange smell no thanks to the mothballs placed in the storage drawer.

So I was at Kiddy Palace again, browsing at the variety of sippy cups. I must have appeared at a loss as a sales lady approached me to offer her assistance. I told her about Hannah’s resistance to drinking from a spout. Then she offered me a piece of really useful advice – that babies used to sucking from soft silicon teats would find it strenuous to suck from a relatively harder rubber spout. Unless of course, we introduce the spout early enough. She recommended transiting to drinking from the straw instead. I took up her recommendation and bought Hannah a Pigeon’s drinking straw cup. I liked its slim and colourful design with adjustable handles. And it also has 2 levels of ease of suction. :)

As it turns out, the cup is a good buy. Hannah has managed to draw sips of water through the straw. Yayee :P

17. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, Baby Blues, Baby Videos

Hannah has been able to demonstrate a kissing motion for the last 3 weeks now and we’d been trying to get it on video. Thing is, while she can reasonably demonstrate it for us on request, she’ll typically add all sorts of ‘tail’ end motions on her own too that sort of changes the intent of that little activity.

We finally struck gold on Sunday brunch near KFC. It actually comes off a longer video we took of the both of us taking turns to feed her little bits of KFC’s egg tart. The kissing demo comes towards the end of this very short edited segment. Enjoy.:)

17. October 2010 · Comments Off · Categories: All Posts, At Home, Baby Blues, Baby Recipes

Here’s my little invention: adding baby oatmeal to scrambled egg. It came about when Hannah started to get bored with having oatmeal cereal + fruit for breakfast. In order not to let the remaining oatmeal go to waste, this is one good way of incorporating the goodness of oatmeal in other dishes. This oatmeal scrambled egg tasted surprisingly good. The fragrance of oatmeal complemented well with the egginess.

Ingredients (see first photo)

  • egg (1)
  • oatmeal (2 tbsp) – I used Healthy Times’
  • fresh / formula / UHT milk (2 tbsp)
  • soy sauce (1/2 tsp)
  • white ground pepper (slight dash)
  • olive oil (1 tsp)

Method

1) Beat the egg with all other ingredients (except the olive oil) well.

2) Heat up the oil in a small heated frying pan in medium heat.

3) Pour in the egg mixture and stir periodically for the scrambled effect. Although the runny version is nicer, I cook the egg slightly longer to lower the risk of salmonella poisoning.

4) Serve warm. (Some parts of the egg can be rather hot. So be cautious when feeding your little one.)


The aroma of beef in porridge is a great appetizer. Together with the wonderful sweetness of corn, this dish is a winner. Recipe…

Ingredients

  • white rice (1 Chinese soup spoon)
  • ginger (1 slice)
  • hot water (250 ml)
  • fresh corn (remove kernels on 1/2 cob with a knife)
  • frozen sweet garden peas (2 tbsps)
  • beef tenderloin slices (estimated volume: 2 tbsps)

Method

1)  Bring the hot water to a boil over stove fire.

2) Add washed white rice grains, ginger and hot water into the slow cooker and cook on ‘high’ for 1 hour. Take out the frozen beef to thaw.

3) While the porridge is being cooked, steam corn and peas for 15 minutes. As peas cook faster, cover them with corn kernels to prevent them getting overcooked. (I usually shred the whole cob and steam all its kernels. Half of it would be used for Hannah’s porridge while the other half I’d eat.)

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4) Put the steamed corn and peas in a blender and set aside.

5) When the porridge has been cooked for an hour, add the beef slices and stir to cook for 10-20 seconds. Transfer the beef immediately to the blender and blend together with the veggies to obtain the desired texture. (I’d usually add in some liquid from the porridge to help in the blending.)

6) Remove the slice of ginger from the porridge and stir in the blended veggies and beef.

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7) Scoop the porridge out into a serving bowl. Cool down sufficiently before serving. Yum yum :)