Archive | November, 2013

You got your first taste of solids today!

23 Nov

@ 5 months and 8 days, we introduced you to Healthy Times Organic Brown Rice.

You seem to enjoy eating from a bowl and a spoon, Alhamdulilah.

You saw down on anna Mukhlis baby chair and we had to place 2 pillows in front of you because you kept falling forward.

You have your very own waterproof baby bip. Ummi made sure we take lots of photos of your first experiences. Your expression was more of “give me more, um!”. Not sure of its because you just wanted to put anything and everything inside your mouth.

I enjoyed watching you eat.

Looking forward to more happy meal times, inshAllah!

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Beautiful places to visit

18 Nov

35 Clearest Waters In The World To Swim In Before You Die
Posted by Daily News Dig Admin
Every one loves taking a dip in the clearest of waters on a beautiful hot summers day. So if you are missing the summer already then check out our list of 35 of the most clearest waters in the world to swim, do some underwater exploring, and come back with amazing photographs.

1. Linapacan Island, Palawan, Philippines

1. Linapacan Island, Palawan, Philippines

Photo: Scott Sporleder

This island is in a remote province and home to many beaches with super clear water. The island has a population of just 14,180 people.

[SEE ALSO – Amazing Swimming Pools You Would Love To Dive Into]
2. The Maldives

Photo: Richy

The 26 atolls that make up the Maldives sit in the Indian Ocean about 400km southwest of the tip of the subcontinent. Abundant reef wildlife (including whale sharks) + incredibly clear waters bring in a lot of tourists.

3. Bodrum, Turkey

Photo: Oky – Space Ranger

Along the southern coast of the peninsula of the same name, Bodrum has an ancient history and was the site of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World (the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus). It also has some amazingly clear water.

4. Cayo Coco, Cuba

Photo: O.Taillon

A resort island on Cuba’s north coast, Cayo Coco is linked to the mainland by a 27km causeway. The adjacent reef and clear waters have earned international recognition as a diving destination.

5. Cala Macarelleta, Menorca, Spain

Photo: visualpanic

At the south end of the Mediterranean island of Menorca, the beach at Cala Macarelleta can only be reached on foot or by boat — probably one of the least-crowded beaches you’ll find in Spain and perfect if like to take a swim alone.

6. To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

Photo: To Sua Ocean Trench

To Sua Ocean Trench is a clear water pool located in Lotofaga village. To Sua means ‘big hole’ and has been converted into a large swimming area. A ladder is installed on side for visitors to access this 30 meters deep pool.

7. Crater Lake, Oregon

Photo: Grant Montgomery

Visibility in Crater Lake has been measured at 43.3m — among the highest in the world. There is only one access point down to the lake — a steep, mile-long trail. It is easy enough to get down but the climb back can be tiring. So best decide if it’s worth the swim before venturing down.

8. Bak Bak Beach, Borneo

Photo: Bearnerd Bondly

This unique beach is made up of mostly stone and you can find some interesting sea life here.

9. Jiuzhaigou Valley, Sichuan, China

Photo: Who is taking pictures?

In the north of Sichuan province, the Jiuzhaigou Valley is a national park, nature reserve, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to several crystal-clear lakes, it’s a region of multi-tiered waterfalls and snowy mountains. Tourism arrived late but is growing strong, and while swimming isn’t allowed…there’s always nighttime skinny dipping.

10. Sabah, Malaysia

Photo: Zahriel

Another one from the remote Malaysian state, which covers the northern portion of Borneo and is ringed by reef-rich islands. This photo was taken near Semporna, which is a hub for people who come to dive Malaysian Borneo.

11. Jenny Lake, Wyoming

Photo: Jeff Clow

Jenny Lake sits right below the peak of Grand Teton and is a landmark for many hiking trails, backcountry trails, and climbing routes. Despite the fact that motorboats are allowed on the lake, its waters are still considered pristine.

12. Rio Sucuri, Brazil

Photo: Luiz Felipe Sahd

Located in the Pantanal region of Brazil, Rio Sucuri is a spring-fed river that has some of the measurably clearest water on Earth. Multiple tour outfits run trips that let you snorkel the river.

13. Calanque de Sormiou, France

Photo: Paspog

Calanques are steep-walled coves, and there’s a series of them along the 20km stretch of coast between Marseille and Cassis. Sormiou is one of the largest of these, and it’s popular for its nearby climbing routes as well as its beach.

14. Panari Island, Okinawa, Japan

Photo: ippei + janine

Panari, also called Aragusuku, is one of the Yaeyama Islands, the most remote area of Japan. The islands are also known as one of the world’s best diving destinations, having a number of coral species and marine lives as large as those in the Great Barrier Reef. (Over 400 types of corals, 5 types of sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and all kinds of tropical fish species all live around Okinawa.)

15. Puerto Ayora, Galapagos

Photo: Bill Bouton

The most populous town in the Galapagos still sits right up next to some amazingly clear ocean water. Even here in Academy Bay, you can see pelicans, iguanas, sea lions, herons, rays, and other iconic wildlife.

16. Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Photo: SteveD.

The photo above was taken in the Bonsai Rock area, on the east shore of the lake, which apparently flies under the radar.

17. Cayos Cochinos, Honduras

Photo: Scott Sporleder

The Cayos Cochinos is a unique retreat for travelers looking to escape urban landscapes and crowded tourism centers. The islands have no roads, thus no cars or bikes and all areas are accessed by hiking.
The perfect place for a secluded swim.

[DON’T MISS – Top 10 Scariest Rooftop Hotel Pools]
18. Primosten, Croatia

Photo: Mike Le Gray Photography

Primosten is most famous for its vineyards, in addition to beaches that have been voted the best in the country.

19. St. George, Bermuda

Photo: JoshuaDavisPhotography

The oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World features many historic forts, like the small Gates Fort pictured above. Also: some damn clear water that calls out for you to take a swim.

20. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

Photo: ThomasOfNorway

Visit on a weekend during high season and you’ll be surrounded by busloads of tourists. Best to visit on a slow day with clear conditions, it’s some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.

21. Pupu Springs, New Zealand

Photo: pie4dan

At the very top of the South Island, on Golden Bay, the photographer says: “14000 liters of crystal clear water comes out of these springs per second!”

22. Calanque d’En-Vau, France

Photo: afer92

Another calanque on the southern coast of France, d’En-Vau has a narrower, steeper channel than Sormiou, giving a real feeling of seclusion and emphasizing the clarity of the water in this cove.

23. Rio Azul, Argentina

Photo: David Miller

The entire Rio Azul waters come from the glaciers and snowfields of the Andes and the water is so incredibly clear and pure that its possible to drink.

24. Corfu, Greece

Photo: smlp.co.uk

Corfu sits in the Ionian Sea, off the northwest coast of Greece. Prior to the 1900s, most of the tourists that visited were European royalty. Today, its crystal clear waters draw a lot of package-tours to swim in the waters.

25. Aitutaki, Cook Islands

Photo: Ross Borden

Aitutaki is one of 15 islands that make up the Cook Islands. It has a population of approximately 2,000. and is the second most visited island of the Cook Islands.

26. Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Photo: mynameisharsha

Made famous when its smaller neighbor, Koh Phi Phi Leh, was used as the filming location for The Beach, the main island sees a lot of traffic from both backpackers and luxury travelers these days. Water like this is a big part of the draw.

27. Playa Blanca, Colombia

Photo: Ross Borden

This is a 45-minute boat ride from Cartagena and well worth the trip. In between swims in that crystal-clear blue water, be sure to snag some fresh ceviche from one of the vendors walking up and down the beach.

28. Blue Lake, New Zealand

Photo: Kathrin & Stefan

One of many bodies of water in this list that someone or other has claimed has the clearest water in the world, Blue Lake is located in Nelson Lakes National Park, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

29. Königssee, Germany?

Photo: Unknown

This one’s made the rounds on the internet, but no one really seems to know where it was taken, or by whom. The best guess I found was the Königssee, a lake in southern Bavaria, near the border with Austria. If you have any info, clue us in.

30. Valle Verzasca, Switzerland

Photo: imgur.com/ukgxS.jpg

The clear waters of the Verzasca River run for 30km through this rocky valley in southern Switzerland. A dam of the same name, featured in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, blocks the river’s flow and forms Lago di Vogorno. Just downstream from it, the river empties into Lake Maggiore.

31. Tioman Island, Malaysia

Photo: Unknown
This photo comes from the town of Kampung Genting on Tioman Island, off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Away from its beaches, there’s significant rainforest terrain in the interior, where you can see the endemic soft-shelled turtle and the Tioman walking catfish.

32. Belo Sur Mer, Madagascar

Photo: Ross Borden

Belo Sur Mer is a super-isolated section of coastline known for diving, fishing and the fact that almost no one makes the trip down there for a swim.

33. Lake Marjorie, California

Photo: SteveD.

Lakes in the High Sierra come in a number of colors, this particular one has an aquamarine “swimming pool” tint. Crater Mountain dominates the skyline, with Pinchot Pass to the south.

34. Dog Island, San Blas, Panama

Photo: Scott Sporleder

Another from Scott Sporleder, here is a shot from one of Panama’s San Blas Islands, the largest of the politically autonomous reservations of the Kuna Indians.

[BONUS – Is it Really Dangerous to Swim After Eating?]
35. Mystery spot

Photo: Imgur

Another unidentified location that would be perfect for a swim. Anyone have an idea?

Do you know of any other great places to take a swim?

Source: Matador Network

It’s like he knows

16 Nov

I’ve never looked forward to the weekend like I do now – it means the while day with my dearest son, my cutie pie.

From being with me 24 hours (while in my womb) to being with me almost the whole day but not physically (while on maternity leave) to being with me only in the evenings (back to work). I miss him so badly!

The first few days back at work was bad, I called my mum often but she is the most amazing mother who tries to tell me in as much detail as possible about him so I can imagine him.

I take comfort in the fact that he’s still drinking breast milk Alhamdulilah. My mother has been supportive as well trying her best not to waste any milk because she knows I take a lot of trouble to express milk at work for him. I try to give him milk expressed the day before so as much nutrients still remains.

My mother has recently found him lying on his tummy, thumb in the mouth and sleeping soundly. He sleeps longer than when I put him down for daytime naps on the bed or when my mother puts him down for day time naps in the swing (the Asian yau lan/ tottil/ buai). That was how he slept nowadays.

Babies are resilient and adaptive. He can’t sleep with the me nursing him so he soothes himself with his thumb. That’s makes it so much easier to put him down for a nap. I used to feed him for so long before he’ll sleep.

I used to wish it’ll take faster so I can do other things I need to do but I miss that now. Our special time together. I hope we’ll still share a special bond together forever.

Its like he knows his ummi is not home to nurse him all the time and he doesn’t want to trouble his Emma.

Love you baby!

What about me?!

16 Nov

I see him for less than an hour on weekdays everyday.

I can’t spend all of my weekends with him what with spending time at the in laws, going for weddings and other things to do during the weekends. During the above, I hardly get to carry him.

So what about my precious time with my little boy? 😭

The majestic Ang kor wat

15 Nov

Crazy me just had to do something adventurous so we went for sunrise at Ang kor wat!

It was nice but not like the sunset from the plane on the way home and no way near the subset at Fatnas Island, Siwa, Egypt. 20131114-175537.jpg20131114-175621.jpg20131114-175638.jpg20131114-175650.jpg20131114-175547.jpg20131114-175613.jpg20131114-175745.jpg20131114-175907.jpg20131114-175952.jpg20131114-180013.jpg

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It was not as bad as I imagined it to be with Ilyas. He was awake as soon as the tuk tuk arrived at the entrance of Ang kor wat till we took the tuk tuk again after 3 hours of touring the temple. He didn’t cry or feed either. He was attached to his ummi the whole time in a sling. With its many steps bringing the stroller was just not a very good idea. The husband did tour the temple a little more than me. I went in only after walking around the whole temple.

After all the ancient temples in Egypt, this paled in comparison. It’s a really old temple and the carvings are nice and all but just not for me. We visited the place because it was a unesco site and its what tourists do. And we have a baby so what we could do was so limited. And we were in Siem reap.

My oh my! My little boy has grown big and strong in just 5 months.

14 Nov

Dearest son,

You’ve grown much bigger and stronger Alhamdulilah. You decide when you want milk and when you don’t. You decide how you want to drink milk and for how long.

This is a challenging time for ummi because I’m back at work. There is lots of juggling to do with pumping milk, storing, carrying home, my WORK which just picked off where I left off and my ever-lengthening to do list.

I suddenly spend so little time with you which will never be enough my sweetie pie.

I think you’re ready for solids but I’m still trying to find out more to give you the best InsyAllah.

You’ve been turning alot more and smiling at me so much. Yesterday when I left for work early in the morning for the 3rd day, you didn’t want to smile at me. 😦 Today you were still asleep when I left work. I gently kissed you goodbye and peeled myself away from my angelic looking baby, you. Ummi will be back as soon as I can…

You’re very curious about your surroundings but you already have preferences.

You started sucking your thumb alot and once I saw you sucking your thumb while asleep and few hours after I put you down to sleep. According to your Emma who is taking care of you now, you’ve been soothing yourself to sleep by sucking on your thumb.

You had your first trip to Siem reap, Cambodia last week with ummi and ayah. We went to see the Ang kor wat and soaked into the people as their cultures. You were pretty well behaved, Alhamdulilah. One of the nights there, you turned to sleep on your tummy while still asleep. You looked so cute! You pooped everywhere while we were on holiday!

I hope I won’t miss out on watching you grow InsyAllah…

I hope I will be able to give you the best in life InsyAllah…

I wish I had it differently.

With lots of love and kisses,
Your ummi

I don’t want to leave you!

11 Nov

Dear son,

It’s a feeling like no other, to leave you and go to work after being with you for 14 months – 9 months in my womb and 5 months outside. I hate having to leave you.

I think I have a choice but I’m ashamed to say I chose work. I’m ashamed even though its not easy to manage on a single income in Singapore and its not like we live a luxurious life. I’m just giving excuses. Well if there is no one to look after you, I would definitely quit to be with you. Now you have a loving grandmother to take care of you while ummi help other people at work. These people need help and so does my workplace. Oh no I still feel like in making excuses. 😥

I love love love being with you and time just flies when we are together! I don’t know where the 5 months went.

No matter how much I kissed you this morning from 5.15 till 7.40am, it didn’t seem enough. I wanted to smell you as much as I can so that I can bring you with me.

I yearn to be with you baby, my dearest son…

I miss you so much and it’s just the beginning of the day 😦

With love & hugs & kisses,
Your ummi

Food in Siem reap

10 Nov

We stayed in a Malaysian hotel, My Hibiscus hotel so that we can have access to halal food in the comfort of the hotel.

The hotel is situated around less than 10 minutes by tuk tuk from the main tourists street. Maybe there might be a shortcut by foot there but we didn’t have a chance to find out because we never once walk out of our hotel on our own. Our tuk tuk driver chauffeured us from the day we arrived at the Cambodian airport till we left 5 days later.

We referred to this blog for the halal food places in siem reap. We didn’t really need it in the end because our driver was Muslim so he knew where to bring us.

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I miss going on dates with the husband

9 Nov

I had a wonderful time at Seasonal Salad Buffet. The salad was so fresh and I enjoyed most of what I ate. There was clam chowder and ice cream!

After 5 days of Cambodia, the food was just what I needed. The main course I ordered was sumptous; salmon dish. One of the nicer salmons I’ve ever tasted.

When I think salmon, I think Finland, having Iftar with the Nigerians, Somalian and Iraqi. They cooked the salmon with diced tomatoes and sliced onion and add some seasoning, the result was salmon which remained fresh and soft. Then it was stuffed into bread together with scrambled eggs. And toasted. Omg I so enjoyed it!

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Hello Siem reap!

3 Nov

I just wanted to go somewhere new so Siem reap it was! I know it’s not a place to bring a little baby but its near and so far it’s been pretty alright.

It’s like traveling for the first time for me too. I can’t go through the automatic gated machines at Singapore customs and had to go through the conventional way and have small talk with the ICA officer on how it’s going to be like for little baby on his virgin voyage on board a huge vehicle which flies above the clouds – an aero plane. That was how I described our journey to DS 🙂

The flight itself was pretty uneventful Alhamdulilah. We had the stroller till just before we entered the plane. DS was well behaved on the way up; he slept while I nursed him all the way and then he woke up like 20 minutes while in the air. Maybe there were lesser vibrations and movements so no more natural rocking motions. DS have me the opportunity to use the diaper changing facility in the super small aero plane lavatory but it was clean and pretty easy. A little cold in the toilet but luckily for me, DS didn’t have a pee accident.

I chose My Hibiscus Hotel in Siem reap because its owned by a Malaysian and the food in the restaurant is 100% halal (I read this!).