Friday, May 18, 2007

Potty Bench

I was doing my daily web surfing/shopping today when I came across this company, Boon inc. Boon specialises in producing innovative products for children, like this training toilet with site storage called the "Potty Bench". This training toilet comes with 2 enclosed side storage spaces for organising potty training supplies, and has a pull out drawer for easy sanitory clean-up. Sure makes toilet training look fun!

{image from Boon}

Sitting up

Last night, I left Vera lying on the floor with her toys while I tended to some things. The next thing I knew, she was in this position doing a split and grinning at me! This is the first time I have seen her sitting up all by herself. Imagine my excitment when I saw it!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Drinking from the bucket

For some reason, Vera likes the bucket the most out of all her toys. She would spend endless time just fiddling with it and pretending to drink from it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Asleep on the bumbo

Vera gets a haircut

Whenever I take Vera out, she will never fail to attract scores of aunties on the streets, especially cleaners and store owners. The conversation often goes like this...


Street auntie: Wah, ah yo! Baby hen cute leh! Boy boy hai she ger ger? (Wow, this baby is really cute! Is it a boy or a girl?)

Me: Ger Ger. (She is a girl)

Vera: smiles =)

Street auntie: Wah, hui xiao leh! Hen cute leh! ( Wow, she can smile! She is really adorable!)

Street auntie (looking at me): Tou fa mei you gen ta jian, ah? ( You haven't cut her hair?)

Me: aaah. (yes, I have not cut her hair)


I actually like Vera's hair messy. Like a crazy baby einstein. But I admit her fringe seems to be blocking her vision. Plus it has been getting really hot in Singapore recently. So, I decided that yes, it is time to whip up the scissors.

These are the Before and After shots...

Wanted to give her the uber-short-fringe-avante-garde-cool cut. Nor bad, right? I am a certified hairdresser trained at TCC, aka Thomson Community Centre, ok!

I am keeping the cut hair as a keepsake.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vera likes oatmeal!

We introduced Vera to oatmeal cereal today. She really loved it! As usual, she gave a "Yucks!! Are your seriously feeding me this??" look when we fed her the first spoonfool but by the end of it, she was literally licking the spoon and asking for more that I dashed to give her a second serving. Success!

This is what we gave her. I tried it myself. It is delicious!

The kids survival kit

I chanced upon this design by David Granath recently. His design task during a 2-day workshop with IDEO was to identify a behaviourial problem connected to food and from that design a product. The objective is not to solve the problem (not that he could) but to bring light on the behaviour itself. The behaviour he picked was the battle between parent and child, where the parent try to control the child through the food and the child is testing boundries by refusing.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Diluted pear juice

Daddy is away in Germany so it is just Vera and Mommy for 2 weeks. Vera had her first sip of diluted pear juice from a sipper cup today. She was quite facinated with the cup and the contents. Daddy, if you are reading this, we miss you!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Food trays

I finally got my act together and drove to the organic grocer's for some apples, pears and bananas. The organic fruits were almost 3 times the price of the "normal" ones but I decided that Vera deserves nothing less than organic. Especially in the first year. After that, she will pretty much eat what the rest of us eats but first year on earth, Food = mommy's milk + pesticide free organic food.

It was lots of fun blending the fruits in the mini-blender and distributing it in the food trays for freezing. Each fruit made 3-4 servings. So we are set for the next 10-12 days.

Vera had her first serving of puree pear. She is slowly leaning to open her mouth and chew a little. but she didn't seem to like the pear all that much. I read somewhere that it is normal for babies not to like semi-solids all that much when they are first introduced to it as it is quite different to milk.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tips for making your own baby food

  • Buy organic fruits and vegetables. Your baby deserves pesticide-free foods. Scrub fruits and vegetables extra well with a vegetable brush. Trim stringy parts and remove any part of the food that could cause choking, such as pits, peels, and seeds. Trim excess fat off poultry and meat.

  • Steam vegetables. This softens them, makes them easier to chew, and preserves more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling.

  • No need to add salt or sugar. Try a bit of lemon juice as both a preservative and a natural flavor enhancer.

  • Avoid deep-frying, which adds unhealthy fats to foods.

  • Don't feel you have to prepare separate meals for your baby. You can simply take portions of your adult food (before you add any strong seasonings) and grind or mash to a stage appropriate for your baby.

  • Make enough for several meals at a time and pour the freshly-cooked and pureed food into an ice cube tray. Cover with cellophane wrap and freeze. Then, remove the frozen food cubes from the tray and store in air-tight freezer bags. Remove one serving-size cube at a time when needed.

  • When baby graduates from cube-size portions, store the homemade food in recycled commercial baby food jars or small, plastic, freezer containers. Be sure not to fill the jars to the brim, as food expands as it freezes.

  • Label all your freezer packages with contents and date and rotate stock like the supermarket does – putting the most recently frozen foods behind the previously frozen ones. Homemade baby foods can be safely kept frozen for three months.

  • For slow thawing, place a day's worth of baby food in the refrigerator. It will thaw in about four hours. For fast thawing, use an electric warming dish or place a heat-safe dish over water in a small saucepan and heat gently.

  • If you use a microwave to thaw or warm baby food, be sure to stir the food well to avoid hot pockets.

  • No matter what method of heating and thawing you use, stir the food well and test it with your finger to be sure it's not too hot.

  • To avoid wasting your carefully prepared cuisine, dole out small portions. Gradually add more, using a clean spoon as needed.

(source: AskDrSears)

Suggested ages for introducing allergenic foods

You can find more information on food allergies on AskDrSears

Fresh Fruit

(Makes 4 food cubes)

Try different varieties of fruit in this recipe.

- 3/4 cup ripe fruit (uncooked peaches, nectarines, bananas, pears, apricots, apples)
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened fruit juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon-flavored water (1 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 cup water to prevent darkening)

Remove skin and seeds from fruit. Puree ingredients in baby food mill or blender until smooth. Serve or freeze.

(recipe from Wholesome baby food from scratch)

Introducing Semi-Solids

We started Vera with semi-solids a week ago at 6 months. Before that, she was breastfed exclusively. As recommended by most websites I came across, organic rice cereal mixed with breast milk was what we start with.

You should have seen the shocked look on Vera's face when we first gave her her first spoonful of rice cereal. "Stunned". She literally froze and stared at us without moving her mouth. Then slowly, she began to chew. By the end of the feeding session, she was really into the rice cereal and even snatching the spoon from us.

However, just about a few days ago, we could tell she was getting bored with the rice cereal. So we decided that it is probably time to introduce something else. I did some research on the web and found out that other starter foods like pears, banana and applesauce are recommended at 6 months.

I will try this a new fuit recipe on her at lunch today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Vera's first media release

This was featured in the Straits Times "Life" on 6 May 2007. Vera was all smiles during the photoshoot for this article on "New Immigrants".

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dr Sears Top Ten Tips for Interactive Play

1. Floor play is fun for two in the early months. Get down on your baby's level for daily interactive playtime.

2. Visual stimulation is important in the early months. Surround your baby with black and white stripes and contrasting patterns.

3. Rhythm and music promote intellectual development. Sing, clap, and dance together everyday.

4. Ball play uses various skills simultaneously. Join your baby on the floor daily for some bouncing and rolling fun.

5. Stay animated during playtime. Exaggerate your facial expressions and voice to your baby's delight.

6. You're never too busy that you can't take at least a few minutes every day for some fun playtime for two.

7. Toys aren't just for keeping your baby busy. Nothing brings a toy to life better than a creatively involved parent.

8. Imagination opens your child's playtime to whole new worlds. Join in yourself and show your child you can be a kid too.

9. Reading to your child is a treasured bedtime ritual. Start this together time early on so your baby will grow to enjoy story time with mom or dad.

10. Bath time can be so much more than a quick wash and dry. Take your time and enjoy some splashing fun with your child.

{tips from Ask Dr Sears}

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Children's Bedrooms

Some design inspiration for decorating children's bedrooms from Designers Guild Baby etoile collection.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Me Too Portable Chair

The Me Too Portable Chair is the perfect solution for travel or an alternative to the high-chair if you are tight for space. Designed to fit almost any table, this chair even and folds compactly so storage space becomes a non-issue. Made of high quality lightweight aluminum frame the whole seat weighs in at only 2 pounds, but can support child weight up to 40 pounds. Recommended for 9 months and up to 40 pounds. You can read more user reviews here.

Monday, April 2, 2007

My pouch

I started experimenting and wearing different baby carriers as soon as my baby girl Vera was born. The baby pouch is my personal favourite and I cannot imagine going anywhere without carrying Vera in my pouch. I recently started designing and making my own pouches to match my wardrobe, and to give to family members and friends. I name my pouches "Pupsik", which means baby doll in Russian. This name is inspired by Vera, who is half Russian.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quote of the Day

A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was,the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.......

Forest Witcraft

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Contented Baby

Motherhood is an exciting journey. While it can be hard at times, I am blessed to have many friends and family to support me along the way. There are also a lot of useful resources out there to help new moms like myself. One resource that me and my husband Vitali found very useful is a book by Gina Ford named " The Contented Baby".

Gina gives a lot of useful advice on how to raise a happy baby. She gives very useful tips on sleeping and breastfeeding and advocates putting your baby on a schedule right from the start. While I do not follow her schedule strictly, I found many of the principles behind her ideas useful and have adapted them for Vera.

You can get "The Contented Baby" from local bookstores such as Borders or at Amazon.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mon Petit Jardin nursing poncho

Besides my pouch, another product I found indispensible over the last few months as a mommy is a nursing poncho by Mon Petit Jardin. The business brainchild of my dear friends Elaine & Louisa, the poncho is perfect for feeding your baby discretely in public places. Made from soft, breathable, 100% cotton fabric.

Mon Petit Jardin currently only offers one design but promises more to come. This is definitely top on my list as a nursing "must have". Perfect as a babyshower gift.

The poncho is currently sold at a promotional price of SGD$23. Let them know you heard about them through this blog and you will get a further 10% off!

{image from Mon Petit Jardin}

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Shabby Chic

One of the first items I bought for Vera was the receiving blanket above from Shabby Chic. It was more like a "Welcome to the World" birthday gift from me. I just so love the prints they have. Made from the finest cotton ever.

Hmm...not sure why you would need the matchsticks for but pretty anyway.
{images all from Shabby Chic}

Sunday, January 14, 2007

In the pocket baby harness

Despite not being able to understand a word of Swedish on this website, In the Pocket Baby looks like a brilliant "chair harness" to seat your infant in most any chair while you're out. It folds away into an easy-to-carry pouch.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sesame Letterpress

Woodcut designs on stationary are so in now. Check out these designs from Sesame Letterpress. Perfect for birth announcements or children's birthday cards.

Little Fashion Gallery

Check this out! This cardboard bed from Little Fashion Gallery comes with a firm foam mattress and complies with all the safety and comfort standards you would expect for a baby’s bed!

Safe and stable, it has large wheels which make moving it easy. You can decide to keep it plain or you can customize it, paint it, or simply decorate it with your child’s name. ( The 2 kiddos on Sofia's bed above seem to be making out.)

Delivered flat-packed, very easy to assemble. Practical and stylish!

And I so love this pic from their website ---->

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Vintage for Kids

I recently stumbled upon this website Vintage for Kids. Founder Olga Perez used to be an interior designer who started to develop a huge passion for vintage children’s furniture and fun objects for kids after the birth of her son. Besides selling vintage furniture and very nice accessories in their store in Antwerpen (Belgium), Olga also designs and produces small items for children herself. Their website is written in dutch but their pictures cross language barriers.

Happiness in a box

These pretty little things from Gobi are actually delightfully (or disturbingly) delicious! A friend of mine gave a box to me as a treat when Vera was born and I was so excited about it that I ordered almost a hundred boxes to give away during Vera's 1st month celebrations. Beautiful packaging!

Gobi recently opened a new retail outlet at Central. Be sure to check them out!
[pictures above from their Fantasy range]