Archive for January 2008

 

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Perfect Wedding Shoes!

31 January 2008

Miu Miu shoes

Oooh I see these gorgeous Miu Miu shoes and I think of happy, sparkly garden weddings, with parisoles, violins, water fountains and white roses. Crystal Embellished Flats, Metallic Embellished Flats and Flower Motif Flats from Net-A-Porter.


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Getting Ready For Pre-Kindy

30 January 2008

Sean

Sean – my second child – starts his pre-kindergarten classes in a few weeks.

In Perth, pre-kindergarten is for 3 year olds. Kindergarten is for 4 year olds. Pre-Primary is for 5 year olds. Year 1 is for 6 year olds – which is compulsory.

All I can say is GAAHH! My baby is growing up!

When my first son first started school I was nervous, irrational and very unsure. I was so emotional. The days leading up to his first day, and the weeks after school had started, I was the one who was freaked out.

I also thought that once I’ve had that experience, anything else similar would be easier to manage.

Not true.

Even as I stick Sean’s name label to his drink bottle, I have pangs of sadness.

I think of him gluing, sticking and colouring in a picture with someone else, and I miss him already.

But I see him dancing with excitement over the idea of having a teacher, meeting new friends, doing craft and reading new books. He’s very proud that he’s a big boy now.

Sean


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Blog Loving – MetroDad

29 January 2008

As part of my regular posts on Blogging, Photography and Design, I’m also reviewing some blogs that I love reading, and greatly admire.

MetroDad PicIn the blogging universe of Mummy Bloggers, Metrodad is my shining star. He’s my all time favourite Daddy Blogger.

Metrodad is written by Pierre Kim, Asian-American, ethnically Korean with a French name, fashion executive living in New York, with his wife and 3 year old daughter.

My goodness, he’s so funny. I love his snappy ramblings about his daughter and fatherhood. His writing is refreshing, wickedly funny, yet oozes with warmth and love. It’s all good.

My favourite posts (just so happens all of them are parenting posts):

The Lazy List of Fives

The Eight Types of Playground Parents

An Open Letter to All Toddlers

Tales of Future Past

5-1, I guess she really is my daughter

I managed to ask Pierre some friendly questions.

Interview

Karen: When you’re having a really bad day, what are some of the things that will definitely cheer you up?

Pierre: Hugs from my daughter, kisses from my wife, a plate of homemade gnocchi from my favorite local Italian restaurant, and a nice old-school bottle of Montepulciano table wine.

Karen: What kind of father was your father? How much are you like him now?

Pierre: My father was a traditionally strict immigrant father who was raised in an absolutely horrible home environment. He was mentally and physically abused by his parents until he ran away as a teenager. Like many other Korean men of his generation, he was very shut off from his emotions. Hence, his idea of playing a role in my life generally consisted of being a provider and a disciplinarian. We did not have a very close relationship when I was growing up. Now, as we’ve both gotten older and mellower, we’ve learned to coexist peacefully for the sake of the family.

Suffice it to say, we are not very much alike. However, because of his hard work and sacrifices, I was afforded luxuries in life that have allowed me to become the person that I am today. For that, I am forever grateful.

Karen: What inspires you?

Pierre: Travel. Seeing as much of the world around me while I’m still here on this planet. I’ve been to 56 countries during my lifetime and I hope to visit many more. For me personally, there’s nothing more inspiring than exploring a strange city by yourself and meeting people who are never quite as different from yourself as you might presume.

Karen: What’s your favourite way to spend time with your daughter?

Pierre: Without a doubt, going out to eat with her. Food is a great passion of mine and I’m constantly tasting the amazing diversity of incredible food that can be found in a city like New York. Sharing this passion with my daughter is incredible. When my wife works late, my daughter and I will go out to dinner together and these have always been some of my favorite father-daughter memories. Not only does she love having Daddy all to herself but she’s also loves going to new restaurants. Blessedly, she’s an adventurous eater. She’s the only 3-year-old I know who has eaten everything from foie gras to raw sea urchin to clams casino.

Karen: What are 5 things you are working on right now?

Pierre: Becoming a better husband, father, and son.
Getting more involved in volunteer work.
Learning how to cook.
A television show.
Quitting smoking.

Karen: I can’t believe you buy clothes for your wife! And she likes it! What is the one thing that you bought for her, that backfired on you?

Pierre: My overall track record of buying clothes for my wife is pretty good. However, I apparently lack the gene that gives one the ability to choose handbags. For her past birthday, I spent over a month researching Vogue magazines and scouring all the handbag sites. I was absolutely 100% convinced that she would love the bag I selected for her. Totally backfired. She hated it. Thank god for generous return policies.

Now, I’m in full training mode. My wife will show me a handbag and ask me whether she’d like it or not and I have to answer right away. It’s futile. I’m a lost cause. What is it with you women and your handbags?


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12 Embarrassing Things About Me

28 January 2008

1. I hate ironing. I make my husband iron his own work shirts. In fact, I wash and hang my clothes so carefully, that they require little or no ironing at all.

2. I love watching Extreme Makeover. I always cry at the end.

3. I like listening to Elton John. And Metallica. And Justin Timberlake.

4. I know all the words for Hi-5’s Jump and Jive CD. It rocks.

5. My desire to save money (paying off the mortgage) overrides my passion for design (ie. living in a gorgeously designed home.)

6. Given the opportunity, I would eat instant noodles and KFC everyday.

7. At the end of a hot day, I let my kids play in the paddle pool in the garden, then let them skip a bath. C’mon everyone does it.

8. I have to write post it notes for myself, or I’ll forget EVERYTHING.

9. I haven’t cut my hair in 12 months, because I can’t seem to get around to it.

10. When I wake up in the morning I’m really, really grumpy.

11. I’ve watched every episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, DS9 and Voyager.

12. After a lifetime of loathing and recoiling away from romance novels and movies, I recently picked up Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice and I ABSOLUTELY, TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY LOVED IT.

Read: More Random Things About Me


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Moth

27 January 2008

Moth

I was hanging up my wet laundry when I noticed this beautiful, huge, yellow moth perched on one arm of my washing line. I grabbed my camera and took a few snaps.

Then I moved closer. Closer. Closer still.

I could see every little ridge and feathery hair on its body. It was very cool.


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Happy Australia Day!

26 January 2008

Aussie BloggersIn the spirit of celebrating all things Australian, I thought I’d give a plug to a new Aussie Bloggers Blog launched last week.

Run by a bunch of really nice people, passionate about blogging and helping other Australians, they seem to be doing some cool stuff at the Aussie Bloggers Forum.

Ah how I wish I had as much time to devote to helping others on the internet. I can hardly find time to reply my emails, let alone write a post! I still feel that my priorities are to being with my kids and family FIRST, and being a blogger SECOND.

But this year I really want to be a bit more active in the internet community. So hopefully I’ll be popping in and out of the forums. Do come over, join up and say hi!


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Making Baby 3, Part 15: Guaranteed A Girl

25 January 2008

In my investigations into all the ways of increasing my chances to have a girl, I stumbled across some expensive, high-tech, scientific gender selection methods that GUARANTEE A SPECIFIC GENDER.

They all involve artificial means of conception and pregnancy, usually used by couples who can’t have children any other way.

While these techniques have worked for many couples, most are extremely expensive and can not guarantee the pregnancy or birth of the baby.

MicroSort Sperm Sorting
Sperm are sorted into X and Y, then used via artificial insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant. Apparently there’s a 91% success rate for having a girl and 76% for a boy.

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)
Using PGD for gender selection is 100% guaranteed, however it is banned in some countries.

PGD was actually developed for couples with fatal genetic conditions, and it allowed couples to test IVF embryos for genetic disorders, before being implanted into the mother.

But there are some places that allow PGD for gender selection in non-medical circumstances.

The Ericsson Method
This method is similar to sperm sorting, using a kind of filter. It is less expensive and lower accuracy.

As I read articles about these procedures I was also faced with countless discussions about ethics, social implications, religious concerns, possible biological or psychological harm to children etc.

For me, I haven’t really considered these methods at all. They seem like such distant and extreme choices. It makes me wonder, how far would I go to be guaranteed a girl?

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Urge The Boys

24 January 2008

Urge The Boys Jewellery

Ah how I love pretty things.

I bought a gorgeous vintage necklace from a cool new jewellery designer, Adrienne Reid. I love it!

Adrienne has a label called Urge the Boys, and I just adore her style. It’s playful, funky, vintage, sexy.

Her site is pretty amazing to look at. It’s like a children’s story book, with quirky illustrations, cut and pasted bits and pieces everywhere. It’s so original and cool!

Plus, it’s just chock full of yummy, pretty, sparkly things!

Urge The Boys Jewellery


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A Bit of Perspective

23 January 2008

Boys and Oranges

Counting my blessings.

Because sometimes it’s easy to forget. That

At least my boys can shout.

Some kids can’t talk, sing or laugh.

At least they can run around like silly little monsters.

They have happy, playful, spirited energy.

They have legs and arms that work.

They have all the bits of their bodies, healthy and working perfectly.

Ah, my crazy little boys.

Callum and Sean, if you ever read this, I just want you to know, that as much as you drive me totally insane, I love you guys more than you can ever know.


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Kids Behaving Badly

21 January 2008

I dislike writing about my hard times. I don’t like the idea of sharing negative stories on my website. But sometimes, I guess there is much to be learnt from hard times. And you need to experience the bad moments to appreciate the good moments.

These last two months my 2.5yo boy has been really, really hard to manage.

I have been exhausted. I am rundown, stressed and I’m quite lost.

Every single day it’s the same battle with the little one – defiance. He completely ignores my requests. Everything I want him to do will be met with a determined NO. If I dare to challenge that NO, there will be tantrums, tears, shouting, throwing, anger, rudeness and really scary rage that will last for hours.

Every moment of the day I find myself having to ask 5-7 times for both the boys to do something. Most days I can’t get them to do anything without raising my voice and threatening some kind of discipline and punishment.

They ignore me, talk back, speak rudely to me, complain and will look me straight in the eye and tell me to buzz off.

They fight, bicker, shout, and run around at top speed. I’m constantly growling, snapping, and shouting at them.

When they finally decide they WILL do as I say, it will be done with much procrastination, dawdling, complaining, grumbling. It will be done, but guaranteed, it will be differently to what I asked.

It’s not like I’m an intense control freak, or unreasonable… I just want them to do simple everyday tasks, like wash their hands or put on their shoes. I don’t see why I have to explain everything, or give them incentives or negotiate for every task to be done.

I’m stuck. I have no idea what to do. And I feel things are getting out of control.

I’m in this vicious cycle that’s spiralling downwards. I can instantly see my shouting coming back at me. My firm, authoritative voice ringing back in my ears. My angry stares looking me back in the face. My kids are copying me.

I do discipline them. Most times they are taken away from their current environment and have to sit in their room. Or they are not allowed to participate in the fun. Or no dessert. Or they just go straight to bed with no dinner. Or for really, really nasty displays of disrespect, they get a whack on the backside.

But problem is that they KEEP DOING IT. What’s wrong with them? Don’t they get it? Why aren’t they LEARNING? Why don’t they listen to me? I’m being consistent, why isn’t it working? I seem to be doing everything recommended by the modern parenting literature. I can’t be such a crap parent can I? What am I doing wrong???

Argh. Ok. I said it. Sigh.

I know that my kids aren’t bad. They’re energetic and playful. They’re strong and healthy. They’re at a developmental stage of experimenting with their boundaries and rules, and this is the time when foundations are set. So I don’t want to do a crap job. I love my kids so much.

I’m wondering if anyone can recommend any good parenting books, in particular, how to deal with discipline and kids. I just need a new perspective right now. I would love it if you can email me!

Edit: I want to thank EVERYONE who wrote to me! I am overwhelmed, touched, grateful and so deeply encouraged by all your messages, advice, recommendations, words of support and jokes! Thank you all so very much.


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F & W’s Wedding

19 January 2008

Fred and Wendy's Wedding

This weekend, we went to the wedding of some really close friends. It was all so lovely and touching. I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been getting so emotional at weddings. Maybe because all my good friends are getting married, and it’s just another sign that we’re all growing up.

MirrorI kept having these flashbacks of when we used to make enormous whirlpools in my parent’s pool, go on bike rides around the neighbourhood, play crazy beach soccer, make ourselves puke from the roller coaster ride at Adventure World. Ah the good old days.

I was invited to join a small group of friends to sing a special wedding song for the couple. I haven’t been in a choir in years. I was embarrassingly rusty, but I think I did ok. It was a really nice wedding song, so I enjoyed myself.

The “choir” also had a dress code: pastel pink, apricot or yellow. I seriously had nothing in that colour range. So I had to open some old boxes, and dug out a really, really old dress (when I was going through an Alannah Hill phase) and freaked out most of my friends – I wore pink!

The reception was held at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle. We had such a good time! The music playing that night was the funniest collection of old school 80s and 90s stuff – so fun to dance to!

Mirror

A very amusing thing happens when we go to wedding dinners – my husband and I always end up on the “miscellaneous guests” table. Haha we don’t mind, it’s always good fun. We think it’s probably due to the fact that we like talking to complete strangers and we like to switch seats with people throughout the night!

So we chatted to heaps of interesting people, danced, took silly photos and enjoyed ourselves immensely!


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Making Baby 3, Part 14: Charting Ovulation with BBT

18 January 2008

Pink ThermometerWhen you’re trying to conceive a baby, the woman has to work out when she ovulates in order to find her most fertile days.

There are quite a few easy and free methods to predict ovulation. I’ve already written about charting a Cervical Mucus Chart, and it’s often recommended to try charting your Basal Body Temperature at the same time.

Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

The BBT is the body’s temperature when it is at rest. When you chart your BBT everyday, you can work out where you are in your cycle, and exactly when ovulation has occurred.

You have to take your temperature first thing in the morning (before you even speak), and at the same time each morning for a month.

Basically when you have a spike in your temperature, it indicates that you have ovulated. It also means that you are most fertile on the two to three days BEFORE the spike.

It all sounds very easy, but unfortunately it calls for scientific procedures that are much too tricky for me – that is, doing something brainy first thing in the morning.

I can hardly remember where I am and what my name is the moment I wake up.

Nonetheless. I have tried it, and yes I plot a good looking chart.

I’m aware that it doesn’t work for everybody, especially if you have a very irregular cycle, or if you’re sick etc. It’s also pretty time consuming, tricky to get it right and most professionals say women shouldn’t rely on it 100%.

However I found myself quite fascinated as I looked at my little chart.

This is because I also jotted down other regular patterns like: days when I’m depressed, days when my skin feels like crap, days when my hair is really shiny, days when I’m super energetic, days when I crave junk food, days when I’m snappy + irritable. And it’s actually quite freaky to see how predictable I am.

Sample of BBT Chart from FertilityPlus.org

This is not my chart, but it gives you a really good idea of what a BBT chart looks like. You can read about how to chart your basal body temperature here.

Original image by GlobalB2B.


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Callum’s Daddy

17 January 2008

I was cleaning out some of my 4yo son’s old paintings, when I came across this little beauty.

Father's Day 2007

For Mother’s Day 2007, Callum’s Kindergarten teacher interviewed him on how well he knew me!

They did the same for Father’s Day 2007.

Name: Andrew
Age: I think he’s 16
Hair Colour: Light Brown
Favourite Food: He likes everything except sweet things.
Favourite Drink: Water.
Favourite thing to do: Going bike riding and fishing.
Favourite TV show: The football, he likes the Eagles.
Likes to wear: A shirt, black pants and black shoes.
His job is: He gives money to old people who don’t have any money.
I love him because:
He’s fun, he jokes a lot and plays footy with me.

(Note – Haha, my husband doesn’t give money to old people!)


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About Perth, Western Australia

16 January 2008

Perth, Western Australia

I get lots of emails and questions about where I live. So I thought I’d write up a quick overview of what it is like to live in Perth, Western Australia.

Some facts and figures are from recent newspaper reports, some are off the internet (Lonely Planet and WA Tourism), some are just from my own experience.

1. Perth has a population of 1.5million. The whole city and metropolitan area is very flat and spread out, thus visitors are often struck by all the BIG WIDE OPEN SPACES.

2. Perth is a very pretty city, with lots of gorgeous views. Perth’s main aspect is the Swan River. It weaves from the Port of Fremantle, alongside the City Centre, then into the hills.

3. Perth also has great beaches. Clean sand and water. No pollution. Parking is free. Sunsets over the Indian Ocean are spectacular.

4. The Perth atmosphere is generally very relaxed and laid back. There is none of the big city crowds, big city density, big city rushing-around attitudes and crazy traffic jams.

5. There is no INTENSE MEDIA SATURATION in Perth. For example in larger cities, if a blockbuster movie was being released, there would be advertising EVERYWHERE. On the tv, radio, newspapers, on buses, bus stops, posters, digital projections, people handing out pamphlets, merchandise in fast food outlets, people will be talking about it in the streets, offices, cafes – there would be no escape, no quiet, no peace away from the relentless noise of the media.

In addition to that, it’s more probable that TWO blockbuster movies were being released, a huge US music act, a famous ballet performance, some Broadway musical, a charity concert, a Japanese car expo and an European fashion show – ALL fighting for the SAME media attention and it’s JUST ALL IN YOUR FACE EVERY TWO SECONDS AND THERE’S JUST SO MUCH STRESS AND PRESSURE TO KEEP UP.

But in Perth, you can pretty much spend a whole week being out and about having a great time, and not be bothered by any in-your-face-media.

So I think that’s what people mean by, “Perth is very quiet”.

6. In terms of standard of living, the average price of a 4 bedroom x 2 bathroom house in Perth is (officially) $600,000. If you don’t care much for living in $1.2M house by the river, then a 4×2 in the suburbs will probably set you back $500,000 (plus additional $20,700 in stamp duty).

7. Annual cost for my kid to attend a reputable public school = $80.

8. Average cost to see a doctor = $55 per visit

9. Average cost for health insurance (for a family of 4) = $100 per month

10. Average cost for a dental check up and clean = $120

11. Average cost for child care = $50 per day (I think)

12. Average cost for a 2 year old, small sized car = $12,000 (I think)

13. Average temperature in summer is about 29°C (84.2°F)
The hottest it gets is around 40°C (104°F)

14. Average temperature in winter is about 18°C (64.4 °F)
The coldest it can get during the day is around 9°C (48.2 °F)

15. Because everything is so spread out, you pretty much need a car or some form of transport if you want to get around. If you live near the city, you can probably get away with being carless, as public transport is pretty good there. But if you live in the suburbs, catching a bus to the local shops is quite inconvenient.

16. The bulk of the Perth population live in the metro area. And if you work in the city centre, commuting to work might take [at most] 45 minutes one way in heavy traffic. With the new train line, I’ve heard it has cut 20 minutes off commute time.

17. For MOST people who work an office job, hours are usually 8am – 5pm.

18. Perth is extremely multicultural. I believe all the cultures are better integrated into mainstream society, as there are no large ghettos or racial precincts.

19. As for racism, there will always be a drunken idiot with a loud mouth anywhere in the world. I have lived in Perth for 19 years and I’ve never been racially harassed where I felt threatened.

20. At the moment Perth is going through an economic boom – mainly because of the our exploding oil and gas industry. Work is everywhere. Money is being poured into the state. People are working, spending and eating out more than ever.

21. As a result of this, I feel our hospitality and services industry is feeling the strain. Perth used to have a glowing reputation for friendly service. But everyone is slowly becoming more over-worked and less likely to smile and be exceptionally warm.

But having said that, I wouldn’t blame them. I too would rather go for a bike ride, swim at the beach, have an outdoor dinner party with friends, than to be working late!

Original world map from PStut.


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Vegetarian Nachos To Die For

15 January 2008

Vegetarian Nachos

When I plonked this onto the dinner table, my two sons thought they had died and gone to heaven. WE’RE HAVING CHIPS FOR DINNER?

Ingredients for Nacho Sauce

1 brown onion diced finely
½ tablespoon of oil
400g can of red kidney beans, drained
400g can of diced tomatoes, drained
½ small red capsicum
½ small yellow capsicum
¼ teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano
½ teaspoon of fresh chopped basil

Ingredients for Nacho Arrangement

Plain corn chips
Avocado, chopped
Grated cheese
Spring onions for garnish
Sour cream, if you like

Heat the oil and onion until golden. Throw in capsicums, oregano, basil, for 3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes and beans. Cook for 5 minutes, until well heated.

Pre-heat oven to 180 ºC. Arrange corn chips on a large oven-proof dish, pour nacho sauce, throw in chopped avocado, sprinkle grated cheese. Put in oven til cheese has melted (5 minutes). Garnish with sour cream and spring onion.


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Certified FashionJunkee

14 January 2008

Fashion Junkee Off Shoulder Dress

Ever since I spotted the FashionJunkee website, I was dying to try out one of their off the shoulder mini dresses.

I got to know FashionJunkee’s talented and lovely owner Lan, and we worked out a deal where I could talk about the dress and run and ad for her – but only if I liked it.

The dresses came in the mail, and I LOVE THEM!

The black one is Tyra’s Off the Shoulder Mini Dress, Cutout Sleeves.

Slinky, stretchy and drapey in all the right places. Great fit, really comfortable and affordable. It’s really nice as a boat neck dress too (if you don’t like to wear it off the shoulder).

I have to say that it looks better in real life, when the person is moving, walking around, and you can see the drapes. I tried taking some better photos of the dress, but while the dress looked great, I ended up looking a bit twisted in embarrassing contorted angles. Haha. I’m such a crap model.

Fashion Junkee Off Shoulder Dress

This red one is the Off the Shoulder Mini Dress.

Funny moment. When I pulled the red dress out of the mail bag, I held it up to my husband and said, “Ooooooh look at my new dreeeeess!!”

However, because of the way the dress is designed and made, when it’s not worn, it looks like a huge pillowcase. A flag. An outdoor barbecue cover. A small one-man tent, with holes. I waved it in the air and it puffed up like sails on a windy day.
I saw my dear husband’s eye twitch. And then blink a few times.
Then he smiled the sweetest smile and said, “That’s nice honey. I’m sure it’ll look great on you.” What a darling.

Fashion Junkee Jersey Dress

This one is the Jersey Banded 3/4 Sleeve Tunic Top / Mini Dress. Cute, simple, comfy and affordable.


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Mess, Glorious Mess

13 January 2008

Crumbs

I don’t clean my house from top to bottom very often. I just clean the obvious places everyday. In fact, most days I have to sweep and mop the eating area and kitchen THREE TIMES A DAY. It drives me crazy, but that’s the reality of having kids.

This weekend we had a bit of a spring clean around the house.

I lifted up the couch cushion and behold the amazing array of crap!

My fault really, I let the kids have afternoon tea in front of the tv.

I can just hear all the parents nodding their heads. Been there. Done that. You should see the floor of our car. And under the high chair cover. Oh the mess. It’s never ending.


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Making Baby 3, Part 13: The Chinese Gender Chart

11 January 2008

Being ethnically Chinese, I grew up being taught Chinese traditions and ideas. But growing up in Australia, I’ve learnt that my parents hacked away at some traditions and just made up stuff along the way.

Thus I’ve been always very dubious when something is labelled, an “Ancient Chinese Tradition.” What it usually meant was that Mrs Lee told my mother something over the mahjong table one rainy evening.

Anyway. When I gave birth to both my children, my mother insisted I carry out the Ancient Chinese Tradition of Chinese Confinement.

It involves sticking to weird rules like – stay in the house for 30 days, avoid washing your hair and hands, don’t touch cold water, and drink lots of brandy. Ok I exaggerate. But you can read what I wrote about it here. I didn’t do very well, but at least I tried.

During my research on how to increase chances of selecting gender using natural techniques, I came across the Ancient Chinese Gender Chart.

The legend states that the Chinese Gender Chart is over 700 years old. It was discovered in a royal tomb in Beijing and now resides in the Beijing Institute of Science. Apparently it is 90 – 99% accurate, but it is only for entertainment purposes.

There isn’t much scientific evidence, but some say it has something to do with the phase of the moon and the acidity in the woman’s uterus.

How To Use It :

You can predict your child’s gender by using your LUNAR AGE at the time of conception. (To work out your lunar age, just add 2 years.)

Then find which month you conceived, then you can work out the gender of your baby.

My Analysis :

My biggest problem right now is… for me and my two boys = this chart is 100% accurate.

The chart ALSO tells me that I have to wait until May if I want to conceive a girl.

Hmmm.

Chinese Gender Chart

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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Pool Party. For adults only.

8 January 2008

Pool party

The other day we went to a birthday party. An adults only pool party.

While it might conjure up images best left unseen, here is a very amusing photo I took early on in the evening.

All the men were in the pool, building a bridge of inflatable toys for the birthday boy to scramble across. You had to be there. Very entertaining.

No matter what their age, boys will be boys.


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While other kids have imaginary friends

7 January 2008

My 2.5yo son, Sean, walked up to me one day and said,

“Hey mum! Did you hear that? Listen carefully! That sound!”

“Hear what? I don’t hear anything.”

“You have to listen carefully mum! Hear it? There it goes again! My stomach! IT’S TALKING! My stomach is making so much noise I can’t believe it!”

“Hmm, oh really? I can’t hear it. What is it saying?”

“It’s saying… hang on, wait a second, let me try to hear it again…. It’s saying eeer eeerrrr errrrrrr.”

“Sean are you hungry?”

Sean opens his eyes and gasps in surprise. “YOU’RE RIGHT MUM! You can understand my stomach! That’s amazing mum!”

Is it just me, or does he sound like he’s mocking me?


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Water Slide For Summer

5 January 2008

Water Slide

I bought the kids an inflatable water slide for Christmas.

Nothing too fancy. It sprays water and it has a little pool bit at the end.

Add a bit of detergent and it is seriously THE BEST summer toy for little kids ever.

This model doesn’t seem to be stocked at Amazon, but there are heaps of other designs.


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Making Baby 3, Part 12: The Daughter Diet

4 January 2008

We’ve been 3 months into this baby making business, and again, we are not pregnant.

I have received quite a few emails from people suggesting that I could try changing my diet.

A quick search on the internet shows that there are different diets that will increase chances of conceiving a girl or boy.

Some diets are loosely based on “studies”, while others have absolutely no basis whatsoever. Some just sound plain dodgy and contradicting. And each come with a warning “please consult your doctor before adjusting your diet”.

This is the summary of what I dug up.

Diet to conceive a girl : the woman should eat foods high in calcium and magnesium. Some foods suggested are yoghurt, milk, eggs, nuts, brown rice, wholemeal bread, spinach and tofu.

Minimise intake of sodium and potassium. Eg. salty foods, tea, coffee, wine, fish fingers, cheese, oranges, and peaches.

Diet to conceive a boy : the woman should consume food high in sodium and potassium. Eg. Salty foods, dried apricots, raisins, meat, fish, jams, dried vegetables.

Minimise intake of calcium and magnesium.

I suppose there’s no real harm in trying it.

But I believe having a balanced and wholesome diet should be more important for the mother and father. So I probably won’t be committed to any special diets. If anything I’ll eat an extra slice of tofu and take an extra handful of nuts.

Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.


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A Brand New Year

3 January 2008

Sunset Shelly

Sometimes the glory of life can be found in a small green bug munching on a leaf.

Hidden treasures are easy to miss.

But other times it comes at you, screaming and shouting at full volume, down from above.

And all you can do is stand still in its presence and squeak, “Oh.”


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Nominations for The Bloggies 2008

2 January 2008

Nomination for The 8th Annual Blog Awards are on!

Every year I wonder how I should approach the “blog awards season”. Sure, they are always such a great way to discover new blogs, support my favourite blogs, and visit blogs that have dropped off my list during the year. But in terms of being nominated and voted for, I’ve learnt that it pays to beg shamefully and promise lots of love and eternal sunshine.

This is just nomination stage, so it’s really exciting to be one of the finalists. So please please nominate me! Thank you thank you thank you!

Go to the awards site and fill in the URLs!

You don’t have to register, but you do need to give your email (at the end) to validate the nomination.

You also have to make sure that at least three different blogs in total must be nominated throughout your whole nomination form.

And you have to nominate by Friday, January 11 2008. Quick quick!

So www.karencheng.com.au can fit into these categories :

Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog
Best Asian Weblog
Best Writing of a Weblog
Best-Designed Weblog
Weblog of the Year

These are my nominates (I’ve left out some categories, because I don’t know of any blogs in that category or I just can’t decide right now! Will update later!) :

Best Web Application for Weblogs
Wordpress – www.wordpress.org

Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog
Karen Cheng – www.karencheng.com.au

Best Asian Weblog
Karen Cheng – www.karencheng.com.au

Best African Weblog
Tertia – www.tertia.org

Best Photography of a Weblog
The Pioneer Woman – www.thepioneerwoman.com

Best Food Weblog
The Food Pornographer – www.thefoodpornographer.com

Best Topical Weblog
Tree Hugger – www.treehugger.com

Best Entertainment Weblog
The Superficial – www.thesuperficial.com

Best Writing of a Weblog
Karen Cheng – www.karencheng.com.au

Best Community Weblog
Postsecret – postsecret.blogspot.com

Best-Designed Weblog
Karen Cheng – www.karencheng.com.au

Weblog of the Year
Karen Cheng – www.karencheng.com.au


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Happy New Year 2008

1 January 2008

Sparklers 2008

Wishing everyone a wonderful and amazing new year ahead!

May you look forward to the year with refreshed eyes.

May you find inspiration in the simple, everyday things of your life.

And may you to strive to reach the goals and dreams of your heart.

Happy New Year Everyone!

For the image above, I tried to direct my kids to write 2-0-0-8. I think we all did quite well, considering age, attention span and literacy skills!




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