Life's like that!

August 31, 2011

I miss Travel Channel

Especially Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. During this summer, when the kids took naps in the afternoon, these two gentlemen were my best pal as they showed me places I dream of visiting and sample different types of cuisines that I would like to cook one day.

I like Mr. Bourdain's honest and unassuming narration of his culinary travel experience. His travel guides in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia are my favorite episodes.

Mr. Zimmern's bold and fearless spirit to try all types of local food inspires me. The only time I see him cringed at trying a new food was eating durian in Malaysia and smelly tofu in Taiwan.

Now I have another reason to thank YouTube because that will be where I can watch these shows since we no longer have cable telly.


August 29, 2011

Don't be a farmer, be the man on a farm.

I just heard the actor, Robert Duvall, on NBC quoting a philosopher 'Don't be a farmer, be the man on a farm.'

Basically it means to be someone outside the profession.

I couldn't agree more. So.....

I am a woman who raises her children to be responsible and compassionate earthlings.

I am a thinker who advocates for libraries.

I am an educator who supports great teachers' endeavor to faciliate learning for students.

I am an earthling who wants to leave this world a better place for the future generations by buying less stuff, growing my own food and cutting down my carbon footprint.


I'm a big girl now

Yesterday husband took DD1 and DD2 to attend the back-to-school meeting with DD1's teachers.

They visited her classroom and she was so excited to tell me about it when she got home. I am glad that one of my good friends at the school will be her homeroom teacher. Last school year, her own daughter was in my fourth grade class and got commended for writing in the state standardized test. We are so proud of her because she was not writing at her grade level at the beginning of the school year but through the hard work of the homeroom teacher and herself, she did a great job at the end of the school year.

I think it is important to trust your child's teachers to do the right thing in the classroom. But it is also important to pay attention to your own child's learning needs regularly, because it is just not easy for a professional educator to manage more than 15 kids' academic performance on  his/her own. Allah SWT willing I hope that DD1 will have great school year ahead.


August 28, 2011

Keeping away the blues

Just took an online postpartum depression test.

My result:

Total Score = 6
Total Score Analysis
The total score is below the typical score for a major depressive episode.

Husband is going back to work tomorrow, but will take Tuesday off to celebrate the end of the Islamic month of fasting.

All praise be to Allah SWT he has been a great help around the house since the birth of DS. I haven been blessed to have a loving husband who takes good care of me and the kids. He has been taking care of diaper duties, feeding, bathing the girls and letting me rest as much as I need during my confinement. He has been fasting since August 1st for more than 12 hours per day, and taking sinus congestion medicine since last week. His love and devotion has certainly helped to keep the postpartum blues away.

Allah SWT willing I hope I can keep up with taking care of the three kids on my own before I go back to work in October.

Labels: ,

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Xylophone Trash Bin

Dim Sum USB Drive from this web site

Eigenharp electronic musical instrument

 Transparent Toaster & Toast Printer


Article: Can you do real work on a 30-year-old PC?

Benj Edwards writes: “When IBM released its first personal computer, the 5150 in 1981, it was deliberately drab—black, gray, and low-key. That’s because IBM intended it to be a serious machine for people doing serious work. But can a PC that’s as old as I am manage to email, surf the web, produce documents, edit photos, or tweet? I sequestered myself for four days amid boxes of 5.25-inch floppy drives and serial cables to find out. The answer to my question turned out to be both yes and no—but more interesting was all the retro-computing magic I had to perform.”

Read more here.


News: IFLA Selects Singapore for 2013 World Congress

It’s official! Singapore is scheduled to host the 2013 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. IFLA President Ellen Tise made the eagerly awaited announcement at the closing session of IFLA’s 77th annual conference, held August 13–18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Read more here.


August 27, 2011

Secrets of Success: Answers in your room

Posted on facebook by dear Sr. Nor. Thanks!

I asked myself: What are some of the secrets of success in life?

I found the answer right there in my very room.

The Fan said - Be cool.

The Roof said - Aim high.

The Window said - See the world

The Clock said - Every minute is precious. 

The Mirror said - Reflect before you act. 

The Door said - Push hard for your Goals. 

And don't forget, the Carpet said- Kneel down & Pray to Allâh (SWT)."


'This I Believe: On Love'

In these 60 short essays, men and women of all ages and backgrounds write about love: of a teacher, house, step family, the poor or needy, mountains, and even growing old. While "Love on Aisle Three" is about a small group that gathers round an adorable baby in a cart, several essays explore love not of a person or thing, but an activity like cooking or knitting. In "God Is In Her Hand," John Samuel Tieman writes, "Love is in the hand that crafts, sculpts, sews, caresses, soothes." The most moving pieces examine love tied to a difficult situation. In "The Courage to Let Go," Gale Workman's father, after taking care of her mother for months, finally allows himself to say goodbye. Originally started on Edward R. Murrow's 1950s radio show, this effort to get ordinary citizens to discuss their core values has produced essays that vary greatly in quality and suffer in this form from the absence of a human voice. Still, this anthology beautifully captures our need, and the sacrifices we make, for love.

 Checked out this new book from the public library and I cried while reading some of the essays.

Highly recommended. Read this book at the bookstore or the public library.

Check out the web site.


No more cable telly!

After more than one and half years, we are finally ABLE to get rid of cable tv.

When we moved to our current location, there was only one internet service provider (ISP). In order to subscribe to high speed internet due to husband's work, we have to get the cable tv bundled in the package. Early this week, husband found out that another ISP can provide us internet connection and phone service without cable tv. I almost jump for joy when I heard that and we both agreed that we want to drop cable tv.

The only channels that I'll miss are Discovery Fit and Health, Food Network and HGTV. Husband will miss shows on BBC America Channel which include Top Gear, Dr. Who, Star Trek and Stargate. He will also miss watching Sci-Fi movies on the SyFy channel. I told DD1 she will no longer be able to watch Nick Jr. and she seems to be fine with that. I know that she will be able to go on the Nick Jr/ web site to watch free episodes.

One thing we won't miss is the hundred bucks we've been paying to the previous ISP. Now we'll be able to save that extra money every month!


'Happy Chaos' and '365 Thank Yous'

Had the chance to check out new books from the public library.

Happy Chaos by Soleil Moon Frye - Enthusiastic, spunky, and positive, Punky Brewster was the quintessential eighties kid. Nearly thirty years later, Soleil Moon Frye-the adorable girl who played her on TV-is all grown up. Now she's a married mom of two, an entrepreneur who parlayed her successful kids' clothing line into a partnership with Target, and a social media whiz with millions of followers. Many of the same girls who watched Soleil on television are now grown up with children of their own, too, and they look to her as a go-to source for realistic, in-the-trenches parenting advice, inspiration, and fun. Happy Chaos invites those women into Soleil's world, and makes them revel in the chaos of their own lives, too.

Soleil believes that "happy chaos" is the sign of a family operating at its best-when parents accept that they'll make mistakes, that there will be messes, tears and skinned knees. She learned to love a jumbled life during her own childhood, when her own mom created an atmosphere that was thoroughly unconventional.

I kinda enjoy reading her book about parenting and her experience as a child actor. Although I have never watched her sitcom 'Punky Brewster', I can imagine her popularity since she looked so cute as a young kid. She shared some useful tips about sibling rivalry between her two daughters. One thing I learn is that when one of my kids need new shoes or clothing, I should only buy things for the needy child and encourage the others to help pick out the best one.

365 Thank Yous by John Kralik - One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his small law firm was failing; he was struggling through a painful second divorce; he had grown distant from his two older children and was afraid he might lose contact with his young daughter; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer; he was 40 pounds overweight; his girlfriend had just broken up with him; and overall, his dearest life dreams--including hopes of upholding idealistic legal principles and of becoming a judge--seemed to have slipped beyond his reach. 

Then, during a desperate walk in the hills on New Year's Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn't have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had.

Inspired by a beautiful, simple note his ex-girlfriend had sent to thank him for his Christmas gift, John imagined that he might find a way to feel grateful by writing thank-you notes. To keep himself going, he set himself a goal--come what may--of writing 365 thank-you notes in the coming year.

My mother always remind us to have good manners, especially thanking people for the things that they have done for us. Whenever I feel discouraged or disappointed, I try to remind myself about the good things that I have in life and be thankful for them. This book reminded me that when I get into the habit of counting my blessings, I really have nothing much to complain about.


August 25, 2011

Organizing from the inside out by Julie Morgenstern

Just watched this title on DVD that I borrowed from the public library.

The author/presenter has a simple formula S-P-A-C-E that stand for:

Purge (Donate, reuse or recycle)
Assign a home (Transparent containers or appropriate size boxes)
Containerize (Consider off-site storage for 6 months to assess need of items)
Equalize (Daily cleanup and periodically assessment)

The presentation is not too long, and the presenter is quite humorous. The audience were able to identify relevant organizing issues that she mentioned. I would recommend anyone to watch this DVD to get useful tips on organizing things around the house.


We are Survivors

One of my dear sister's best friend since secondary school, Z, has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She works as an accountant and has three young children.

We are praying that since it has been detected quite early, it is still curable. One of the teachers at the school where I work is a breast cancer survivor. All praise be to Allah SWT the cancer was detected at an early stage and she has not have a remission since her last treatment.

Although we are unable to visit Z in Singapore, she is in our thoughts and prayers. May Allah SWT make it easy for her to cope with the chemotherapy and exhaustion from the treatment.


Back-to-School Day

The back-to-school night that is scheduled for tonight has been postponed to this Sunday at 11:30am. Husband will be bringing DD1 to meet her teacher and maybe drop off her school supplies.

I have been 'advising' DD1 to be the best helper that she can be in class, and to be a good listener to all her teachers. Allah SWT willing I hope that she will be the best student that she can be in school.

I am going back to work on October 3rd, so I will pick DD1 up from school while husband drops her off in the morning. I hope I will be able to help DD1 with her reading while I am nursing DS. Based on last year's experience with nursing DD2, I know that I will feel tired from nursing the baby and juggling housework.

I am still hoping that my dear sister will come to help see the baby before I go back to school.


August 20, 2011

Helen Reddy - Angie Baby

You live your life in the songs you hear
on the rock and roll radio
and when a young girl doesn't have any friends
thats a really nice place to go
folks hoping you'd turn out cool
but they had to take you out of school
you're a little touched you know
angie baby

lovers appear in your room each night
and they whirl you across the floor
but they always seem to fade away
when your daddy taps on your door
angie girl are you alright?
tell the radio goodnight
all alone once more angie baby

angie baby
you're a special lady
living in a world of make believe
well maybe

stopping at her house is a neighbour boy
with evil on his mind
cos he's been peeking in angie's room
at the night through her window blind
I see your folks have gone away
would you dance with me today
I'll show you how to have a good time
angie baby

( angie baby ) (angie baby )

when he walks in the room
he feels confused
like he walked into a play
and the music's so loud
it spins him around
till his soul has lost it's way
and as she turns the volume down
he's getting smaller with the sound
it seems to pull him off the ground
toward the radio he's bound
never to be found

the headlines read that a boy disapeared
and everyone thinks he died
except a crazy girl with a secret lover
who keeps her satisfied
it's so nice to be insane
no one asked you to explain
radio by your side
angie baby

angie baby
you're a special lady
living in a world of make believe
well maybe
well maybe
well maybe

well maybe


Helen Reddy - I Can't Say Goodbye To You

you say it would be better
if we stopped seeing each other
if you had only met me first
when you were free
'cause now you've got commitment
i should not expect things from you
that you can't give to me
oh, but baby, can't you see

i can't say goodbye to you
no matter how i tried
you're such a part of me
withour you, i would die
deep, in the heart of me
i know that you and i
were meant to be be together
i can't tell you goodbye

neither of us planned
that we would fall in love this way
but since we did
why should we be apart
sometimes, some things happen
that can never be explained
now, it's too late for me
i've already given you my heart

i can't say goodbye to you
no matter how i tried
you're such a part of me
withour you, i would die
deep, in the heart of me
i know that you and i
were meant to be be together
i can't tell you goodbye

who knows why we choose
when we choose the ones we love
who knows why we do the things
we do when we're in love
i know that you're a decent man
and you try to do what's best
but how can i forget
all the feelings we have shared

i can't say goodbye to you
no matter how i tried
you're such a part of me
withour you, i would die
deep, in the heart of me
i know that you and i
were meant to be be together
i can't tell you goodbye

(you and i were meant to be, forever)
i can't tell you goodbye........


Helen Reddy - You And Me Against The World

You and me against the world
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world
When all the others turn their backs and walked away
You can count on me to stay

Remember when the circus came to town
How you were frightened by the clown
Wasn't it nice to be around someone that you knew
Someone who was big and strong and looking out for

You and me against the world
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world
And for all the times we've cried I always felt that
God was on our side.

And when one of us is gone
And one of us is left to carry on
Then remembering will have to do
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you
Of you and me against the world

Life can be circus
They underpay and overwork us
Though we seldom get our due
And when each day is through
I bring my tired body home
And look around for you

You and me against the world
It feels like you and me against the world
And for all the times we've cried
I've always felt that God was on our side
And when one of us is gone
And one is left alone to carry on
Then remembering will have to do
Memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you
You and me against the world


Helen Reddy - Aint No Way To Treat A Lady [1975]

I guess it was yourself you were involved with
I would have sworn it was me
I might have found out sooner if
You'd only let me close enough to see


That ain't no way to treat a lady
No way to treat your baby
Your woman your friend
That ain't no way to treat a lady, no way
But maybe it's a way for us to end

I was only bein' a picture
With all the colors I know
While you were busy looking into
Wide blue mirrors and lovin' the show


There's a funny kind of consolation
Keepin' me sane
And I'd really like to share it
Crawl on deep in my brain
You see the time you never felt me
Lovin' you or needin' you
So leavin' you now
You still won't know how to feel the pain

I was lookin' out for my happiness
While you were looking within
And before you know your own reflection
Always starts to tire you, it's happened again

(Chorus X 2 and fade)


I Am Woman by Helen Reddy LIVE 1975 Midnight Special

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
'cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul


I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong

I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman


August 19, 2011

National Museum of Crime and Punishment

I just saw this new museum being featured on cable, and visit the web site.

If I were to visit Washington D.C., I would love to visit this museum. I've always have an interest in the history of gruesome crimes committed by people in the 19th century. Actually there are only two main reasons that deadly crimes are committed - money and love. I guess these are the things that people can never get enough of, and will do anything to get them at any price they have to pay to get them.

Cool shirt sold at the museum.


August 18, 2011

Newborn Metabolic Disorder

This past Tuesday, the pediatrician said that DS's first newborn screening test result shows the possibility for metabolic disorder. She also said that so far she has two infant patients who both tested positive for the first newborn screening but tested negative for the second ones. So she told husband not to worry about it.

Allah SWT willing we are praying that the second newborn screening will turn out to be negative.

Texas Newborn Screening from the Texas Department of State Health Services

Biotinidase Deficiency (BIOT) - BIOT is an enzyme deficiency that occurs in about 1 in 60,000 U.S. newborns and can result in seizures, hearing loss, and death in severe cases. Treatment is simple and involves daily doses of biotin. (1)

Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) – 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency - CAH is caused by decreased or absent production of certain adrenal hormones. The most prevalent type is detected by newborn screening in about 1 in 9,000 Texas newborns. Early detection can prevent death in boys and girls and sex misassignment in girls. Treatment involves lifelong hormone replacement therapy. (1)

Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH) - Inadequate or absent production of thyroid hormone results in CH and is present in about 1 in 2,000 Texas newborns. Thyroid hormone replacement therapy begun by 1 month of age can prevent intellectual and growth disabilities.(1)

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - An inherited disease that affects the lungs, digestive system, and overall growth. People with CF have thickened secretions, which clog the lungs and cause breathing problems. It can also affect the pancreas and make it hard to break down and absorb food. (1)

Galactosemia (GAL) – Galactose-1-Phosphate Uridyltransferase (GALT) Deficiency - Failure to metabolize the milk sugar galactose results in GAL and occurs in about 1 in 50,000 U.S. newborns. The classical form detected by newborn screening can lead to cataracts, liver cirrhosis, mental retardation and/or death. Treatment is elimination of galactose from the diet usually by substituting soy for milk products. (1)

Homocystinuria (HCY) - HCY is caused by an enzyme deficiency that blocks the metabolism of an amino acid that can lead to mental retardation, osteoporosis and other problems if left undetected and untreated. The incidence is approximately 1 in 350,000 U.S. newborns. Treatment may involve a special restricted protein diet and supplemental medicines, including Vitamin B6. (1)

Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD) - MSUD is a defect in the way that the body metabolizes certain amino acids and is present in about 1 in 200,000 U.S. newborns. Early detection and treatment with a special restricted protein diet can prevent death and severe mental retardation. There is an increased risk in Mennonites. (1)

Medium Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase (MCAD) Deficiency - The most common disorder in the way the body metabolizes fatty acids is called MCAD deficiency. Undetected, it can cause sudden death. Treatment is simple and includes ensuring frequent food intake. The incidence from newborn screening is not yet known, but is thought to be approximately 1 in 15,000 U.S. newborns. (1)

Phenylketonuria (PKU) - An enzyme defect that prevents metabolism of phenylalanine, an amino acid essential to brain development, is known as PKU and occurs in approximately 1 in every 23,000 Texas newborns. Undetected and untreated with a special restricted protein diet, PKU leads to irreversible mental retardation. Persons of European descent are at increased risk. (1)

Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) – includes Sickle Cell Anemia (Hb SS), Sickle Beta Thalassemia (Hb S/?Th) and Sickle-Hemoglobin C Disease (Hb S/C) - Sickle cell anemia (Hemoglobin-SS-Disease) is the most prevalent SCD and causes clogged blood vessels resulting in severe pain and other severe health problems. Other common SCDs include Hemoglobin-SC-Disease and various thalassemias. Newborn screening detects about 1 in 2,500 Texas newborns with SCD annually. Persons of African or Mediterranean descent are at an increased risk. Early treatment with daily penicillin prevents death in the first few years of life. (3)

Tyrosinemia Type I (TYR 1) - TYR is caused by a deficiency in the liver of one enzyme that breaks down tyrosine. If not treated, the condition causes severe liver disease and other serious health problems.   Treatment consists of medication including vitamin D and nitisinone, and a special restricted protein diet. The estimated incidence is 1 case in every 100,000 live births. (1)

Other Fatty Acid Oxidation (FAO) Disorders include Carnitine Uptake Defect (CUD), Long-Chain Hydroxyacyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (LCHAD), Trifunctional Protein Deficiency (TFP) and Very-Long-Chain Acyl-Co A Dehydrogenase Deficiency (VLCAD) - Disorders besides MCAD deficiency, other FAO disorders may be detected through newborn screening. They are usually described in categories based on the length of the fatty acid involved. Undetected and untreated they can cause seizures, coma, and even death. Treatment may include a low fat diet, frequent food intake, supplementation with L-Carnitine (Carnitor) and medium chain triglycerides. The incidences of various FAO disorders are not known since it is only recently that early detection through newborn screening has occurred. (4)

Organic Acid (OA) Disorders include 3-Methylcrotonyl-CoA Carboxylase Deficiency (3MCC), Beta-Ketothiolase Deficiency (BKD), Glutaric Acidemia Type I (GAI), Hydroxymethylglutaric Aciduria (HMG), Isovaleric Acidemia (IVA) Methylmalonic Acidemia(MMA) (Cbl A and Cbl B forms) ( Cbl A,B), Methylmalonic Acidemia (mutase deficiency form) (MUT), Multiple Carboxylase Deficiency (MCD) and Propionic Acidemia (PROP) - Organic acidemias are a group of metabolic disorders that lead to accumulation of organic acids in the blood and urine and may be detected in newborn screening through analysis of acylcarnitine profiles. Symptoms can be diminished by restricting protein in the diet and supplementation with vitamins and/or L-Carnitine. Because newborn screening for these disorders is relatively new, the degree of occurrence in newborns is not yet known. (9)

Urea Cycle Disorders (UCD) include Argininosuccinic Acidemia (ASA) and Citrullinemia (CIT) - A UCD is a genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of one of the enzymes responsible for removing ammonia from the blood stream. Some UCDs may be detected as a part of newborn screening. They are characterized by seizures, poor muscle tone, respiratory distress, and coma, and result in death if left undetected and untreated. Treatment is by a special restricted protein diet and medications including phenylbutyrate to remove ammonia. Because newborn screening for these disorders is relatively new, the degree of occurrence in newborns is not yet known. (2)

Total number of disorders screened for is 28.
Last updated June 29, 2011


August 17, 2011

I miss my students

The first day of school at the private school where I work will start on Sept. 6th.

Throughout this summer, I kept thinking about last year's fourth grade students who spent 10 months in a classroom with me. They are good kids, and eager to do their best for the fourth grade homeroom teacher who is the best teacher ever that I have worked with. Two students will be going to public school while one will be going to a charter school. These kids have a good sense of humor and are so helpful, I will miss them seeing them.

Allah SWT willing, I hope that all of them will do well in fifth grade during this coming school year.


Bottoms Up

When DS was born, he weighed 6lbs 8oz.

When he was discharged from the hospital, it went down by 5oz. Since then, husband has been giving the breast milk that I pumped out in addition to the infant formula milk to DS.

All praise be to Allah SWT, due to husband's strict schedule of feeding DS every two hours, he has gained weight. On Tuesday when husband brought DS to the pediatrician, he has gained 4oz. Even when DS is too sleepy to drink, husband would persist in keeping him awake and encouraging him to finish every last drop of milk in the bottle.

I always tell husband that after carrying his babes in my womb for nine months, he will have to work for his kids for the next nineteen years. I am thankful that he has held up to his end of the bargain so far.


Why I became a nurse

After my c-section, I did a quick survey of the nurses who took care of me about why they decided to become nurses.

Nurse Cathie: Her best friend was a nurse, so she thought that it was pretty cool to go into nursing school after college. There are eight other family members who are also working as nurses.

Nurse Marlene: Her brother had cancer several years ago, and she was touched by the kindness and compassion that the nurses showed towards the patients and their families. So she wanted to do the same for other sick people.

Nurse Stephanie 1: Her dad works as a surgical nurse, so eventually she wants to work her way up to the surgical department too.

Nurse Marion: She worked as a nurse aide for a few years, so the next step for her career path is to work as a nurse.

Nurse Stephanie 2: She worked at the same hospital in the administration department, and felt that she wants to have a career change. So she finished nursing school as a part-time student and has never looked back since.

Two nurses are from the Republic of Congo, but I did not have time to find out more about them because I was quite drowsy whenever they came to check my vital signs.

On the last night of my hospital stay, I told one of the nurses that I used to work as a librarian. She started to tell me about how she has trouble getting her second son, who is in 6th grade, to read more books. I shared some ideas with her e.g. role modeling reading with her children, getting spy theme books that might interest her son since he wants to be an investigator when he grows up, and getting additional resources from the public library etc. She thanked me for the ideas and said that she will try them on her kid.

I just love it when I get the chance to encourage people read with their children.


Dr. Polite

This morning, I had my OB appointment with the doc who delivered DS via c-section two weeks ago.

I'll call her Dr. Polite, because she is the most polite doctor that I met so far in my entire life.

After examining my incision wound, she THANKED me for taking good care of myself. I was a bit dumbfounded by her gratitude, so I just said 'Thank you' back to her.

When I told her that husband has been cleaning my incision wound, she said to 'thank him' for taking good care of me.

Honestly, I feel like I'm in some kind of a twilight zone to have such a polite doctor.

Even husband was flabbergasted to hear that he was acknowledged for his dedication to his wife.


August 16, 2011

IQ 博士 小雲教你整軟雪糕 廣東話版








小叮当 生物指挥棒


August 15, 2011


Last week, DD1 told husband that 'Mama only buy me junk toys, I never get new toys.'

This is not the first time I heard her said that. And I have gently explained to DD1 about her attitude after I give myself time-out to chill.

I have bought brand new educational toys e.g. Knex, Mu-Lan doll, jigsaw puzzles, Marble Run etc. to play with her. The times when I did so were when she successfully memorized verses from the Holy Qur'an, being responsible for taking care of her toys, following directions and being exceptionally helpful.

Ok, I also bought gently used board games and electronic handheld games from thrift stores because they are in relatively good condition. Whenever I buy those gently used games with DD1, I would explain to her that we are doing our part to recycle and reuse things that that we can make this world a better place. After that she would happily say that she is proud to recycle and reuse things.

I understand that kids will want to keep testing parents' limits and demand to have all the toys in the world, but it is up to husband and I to be consistent and patient with them. I do not believe in raising my children to have the sense of entitlement. I always remind DD1 that we are entitled to only good food, clean water, safe housing and warm clothes because we need these essential items to survive. She may whine when she sees a toys she wants for about 5 seconds, but she'll just give up and agree that we have enough toys at home.

My mother did not raise me up to be a spoiled brat, so I am not about to do that to my own children.


August 14, 2011

罗文/ 甄妮 - 铁血丹心


葉麗儀 - 上海灘


羅文 - 小李飛刀


關正傑/關菊英 - 倆忘煙水裡




王傑 - 一場遊戲一場夢


江蕙 你著忍耐


踏出社會為著將來 離開故鄉走天涯
那知命運這呢壞 前途茫茫像大海
無論三年亦五載 受盡風霜也忍耐
心愛的心愛的你那有瞭解 請你著忍耐
女性不是無氣概 暗暗目屎吞腹內


高凌風 - 忍耐




高凌風 - 大眼睛


Engelbert Humperdinck - After The Lovin'


Engelbert Humperdinck - Les Bicyclettes De Belsize


Engelbert Humperdinck - Quando Quando Quando


Engelbert Humperdinck - Spanish Eyes 1969


Engelbert Humperdinck - There Goes My Everything


August 12, 2011

Sun Tanning for Babies

All praise be to Allah SWT, DS's jaundice level has gone down.

Husband has been given him breast milk that I've pumped in addition to putting him (in his diapers only) under that skylight, and it has helped to bring down the jaundice level.

Back in the old days in Singapore, like the 60s and 70s, when people first began moving into high rise apartments built by the government, quite a number of new parents would put their babies with jaundice on bamboo poles outside the kitchen. As a result, some babies would tragically fall to their death. The government started a campaign to educate people about the danger of these homeopathy treatment for jaundice.

Information below extracted from


A bilirubin test measures the amount of bilirubin in a blood sample. Bilirubin is a brownish yellow substance found in bile. It is produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Bilirubin is then removed from the body through the stool (feces) and gives stool its normal brown color.

Bilirubin circulates in the bloodstream in two forms:

Indirect (or unconjugated) bilirubin. This form of bilirubin does not dissolve in water (it is insoluble). Indirect bilirubin travels through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is changed into a soluble form (direct or conjugated).
Direct (or conjugated) bilirubin. Direct bilirubin dissolves in water (it is soluble) and is made by the liver from indirect bilirubin.

Total bilirubin and direct bilirubin levels are measured directly in the blood, whereas indirect bilirubin levels are derived from the total and direct bilirubin measurements.

When bilirubin levels are high, the skin and whites of the eyes may appear yellow (jaundice). Jaundice may be caused by liver disease (hepatitis), blood disorders (hemolytic anemia), or blockage of the tubes (bile ducts) that allow bile to pass from the liver to the small intestine.

Too much bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia) in a newborn baby can cause brain damage (kernicterus), hearing loss, problems with the muscles that move the eye, physical abnormalities, and even death. Therefore, some babies who develop jaundice may be treated with special lights (phototherapy camera) or a blood transfusion to lower their bilirubin levels.

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倒帶 - 周杰倫 ft. 蔡依林




蘇慧倫 - 滿足


趙詠華 - 最浪漫的事


August 11, 2011

Chage & Aska - 男與女


CHAGE and ASKA // no no darlin'


Chage and Aska - Love Song




伍佰 - 浪人情歌


梦飞船 - 不值得


August 10, 2011

40th Anniversary of Mister Men and Little Miss

Since I was in primary school, I love to read about the funny adventures of Mister Men and Little Miss. The illustrations are attractive and they are just a bunch of funny characters.

My favorite character are Mr. Happy and Little Miss Helpful.

What is your favorite character? Click here to see the full list.


DS is home

All praise be to Allah SWT, last night at 7pm, husband received a call from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that DS can be discharged. Since I am required to sign him out of the hospital, all of us went to the hospital.

When we got there, husband watched the girls while I went into the NICU. After handing over my wrist tag to Nurse Mary Ann, I was instructed to scrub my hands for 3 minutes. She thought that I looked familiar, and I told her that I delivered a baby at the hospital in March, 2010. Since DD2 also stayed at the hospital for one week because of jaundice, she seen me at that time.

The last time I saw DS was on Sunday when I was discharged. Seeing him two days later made me realize how much I missed him. He looked fine and seemed to be happy when I held him. While waiting for the nurse to prepare discharge instructions, I changed DS into his baby outfit and talked to him. I can't help but marvel at the mercy that Allah SWT has bestowed upon me to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

When Nurse Mary Anna asked me DS's birth date, it also happened to be her wedding anniversary! What a coincidence! After an hour later, we were ready to go home. Before I left the NICU, the nurses received a call from the Labor and Delivery department that a woman is about to give birth to a 29 weeks old baby. Two of the nurses left the NICU to attend to this emergency while another set up the preemie incubation equipment in the NICU. My heart goes out to the parents of this baby. May Allah SWT give them the strength and courage to cope with the difficult road to maturity for the baby.


August 09, 2011


DS is still in the hospital because of jaundice.

All praise be to Allah SWT my breast milk has been coming since yesterday. I've been pumping into small containers for husband to bring to the hospital. He visits DS twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon for about an hour when the kids are sleeping or taking a nap so that DD2 will not cry while looking for him.

In the meantime, I can only focus on my primary duty as a milk maid.


Pictures from the Peach Festival, July 9th, 2011

City of Weatherford
Texas Twister Drink Stand

Lots of food and drink stalls at the festival.

Here are the pictures from my previous post on July 9th.


Where are the eggplants?

This is the Chinese eggplant that husband ate in June, 2011.

The plant is now flowering, so we are waiting for more eggplants to come.

I wonder if the 100+ degree F heat has something to do with the delay.


Postpartum Constipation

Feels like I am laboring for the second time after giving birth to DS.

I forgot how horrible it feels to be constipated after the c-section, but I have been drinking gallons of Chinese red dates tea and eating prunes in anticipation of this problem.Finally five days after giving birth, I did it.

Having a big bowel movement never felt so good. Now I know why my babies are always in a better mood when they had a big bowel movement.

Here are some tips for preventing and easing constipation from

  • Never ignore the urge to move your bowels, even though it might be uncomfortable the first few times. The longer you wait, the harder your stool will get, which will only make your pain worse.
  • Make an effort to eat high-fiber foods such as whole-grain cereals and breads, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Drink plenty of water – at least six to eight glasses a day. (You'll need even more if you're breastfeeding.) A daily glass of fruit juice, especially prune juice, can be helpful. Some people find that drinking warm liquid soon after waking up helps get things moving.
  • Go for a walk. Walking may be painful at first, especially if you're recovering from a c-section or an episiotomy, but even a short trip around the block can help kick your sluggish bowels into gear.
  • Ask your doctor or midwife whether you should take a stool softener (sold over the counter at any drugstore). You'll need to start taking one right away if you have a tear that extends into or through your sphincter. Stool softeners are also helpful if you're suffering from hemorrhoids or taking high-dose iron supplements for anemia or narcotics for pain relief.


August 08, 2011

R.I.P. White Leghorn Hen

One of the White Leghorn hens died on last Friday, Aug. 5th.

She was the only one who has been laying eggs, and she was the feisty one who would pick on the other White Leghorn hen's feather.

Temperature here has been between 105 and 112 degree F since three weeks ago. I think the soaring heat has been a major cause of her death. Husband immediately moved the remaining White Leghorn hen into a cage on the sheltered patio. Allah SWT willing, hope it'll help the surviving hen to stay cool.


DS's birth timeline

All praise be to Allah SWT, it's been a really nice surprise to have DS join us two weeks prior to his scheduled c-section. Here is the timeline of his birth on Thursday, Aug. 4th.

3:00am - Contraction pain started at 5 minutes interval. Pain got worse with every contraction.
3:30am - Husband woke up and I told him to get ready to go to the hospital.
4:00am - Called the labor & delivery department, told the nurse about the contractions. She told me to check in immediately. Husband carried DD1 and DD2 to the car, and we left home.
4:30am - Checked into the L&D department.
4:45am -  Nurse checked my cervix and confirmed that I am 2cm dilated.
5:00am - Called the babysitter to inform her about the delivery. Husband drove the kids to her house, about 20 minutes away.
5:45am - Husband got back to the hospital.
6:00am - OB doctor said she will proceed with the c-section.
6:30am - Pushed to the OR for spinal aneasthesia.
7:05am - DS was born! When I heard him cry, I immediately thought of my mother and cried. How I wish she was here with us.

8:10am - I woke up and felt so drowsy. Started to throw up about every 2 hours, so I requested for nausea medicine. Nurse told me DS has a Apgar score of 8/9, very thankful that he is healthy.

The rest of the day passed by quickly as I was so tired and sleepy from the surgery. Husband picked up the kids from the babysitter at around 3pm. DD1 was quite excited about her new baby brother while DD2 wanted to cling to husband all the time. It'll take a while for DD2 to accept DS into the family, I guess.


August 07, 2011

A Pleasant Surprise!

All praise be to Allah SWT, baby #3 came two weeks early!

He was born on the morning of August 4th, and has ten fingers and ten toes!

I came home this afternoon since the incision wound is healing well, but he is still in the NICU because of jaundice. Allah SWT willing, he will be discharged tomorrow.

Ahhhhhh... the sleepless nights of night feeding and diaper changing...

Here we go again...


August 03, 2011

C-Section Pre-Op

The day before my scheduled c-section, I have a pre-op appointment at 7:30am to get the paper work done and get my blood drawn for lab work. The appointment will take about 2 hours at the hospital.

While I am looking forward to delivering baby #3, I am not thrilled for my uterus to be cut open for the third time.

Sigh... seems like sometimes we cannot have the best of both worlds...


August 01, 2011

H. I. C.

Heartburn. Indigestion. Cramps.

37 weeks pregnant and these three new friends would not leave me alone at night.

Are we there yet?


Hear Myself Sound Phone

Image from

In 2007 I worked at the school as a Librarian, Sr. Sakina, a first grade teacher told me about Hear Myself Sound Phone that she would love to purchase for her students to use during reading.

Product Description: This ingenious, fun-to-use phone lets children hear themselves talk…so kids can really focus on every sound they say! Perfect for exploring letter sounds, phoneme blending, sound manipulation and more, the molded plastic phone is sized just for kids, with a lightweight, easy-grip handle.

This morning, husband and I brought the kids to Lakeshore Learning Store to check out their school supplies. Since this item is on sale, I bought one for DD1 and immediately she finds it fascinating to hear herself reciting the Qu'ran.

Allah SWT willing, I am going to let her use this device to learn to read to herself whenever I am busy with the two little ones.

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Image from here.

When I was growing up in the eighties, my siblings and I loved to watch Thundercats on TV. I like the simple messages that each episode contains e.g. friendship, bravery, perseverance, good triumph over evil etc.

Now that this animated series can be watched on cable, DD1 and I have been watching it together. After watching each episode, DD1 and I would have a brief discussion about what she learned from the show. After watching two episodes, she could tell me that main characters and the story plot with enthusiasm. I am so glad that I now have a cartoon buddy like DD1!