About Me

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Hi, My name is Sienna Chaw Naga aka Baby Si. My daddy's name is Karthik and mummy's is Jamie aka KarMie (Karthik+Jamie). 
I am proud to be a Chin-dian!!! My daddy is an Indian American, mummy a Malaysian Chinese and they met in the States while working together at Cummins, Inc. I was made in China :) Since then, I have travelled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, USA, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia (all while being comfortably in mummy's womb). I took my first trip when I was only 3 months n we went to Phuket, Thailand as mummy needed a vacation! 2 yrs later, my parents gave me a baby brother, Skyler Chaw Naga aka baby Skye! Now we live in Charlotte,NC (USA)...
Do leave me a comment if u think WE r CUTE :) 
Hope u like reading my blog... xoxo, Baby Si!!! Here's my first blog entry: http://karmie080808.blogspot.sg/2012/10/my-first-blog.html 
 To advertise, Plz contact my mummy at: jamiechaw@gmail.com
About my mummy: 

Friday, 12 May 2017

The END...


The END...
The end to my breastfeeding journey with my 1st born ~> baby Sienna

The end to my breastfeeding journey with my 2nd born ~>  baby Skyler
25th December 2016 marked the last day of my breastfeeding (BF) journey. 
I have been fully breastfeeding my 2 kids for the past 4.5 years in total!!! 
(Minus a few months during my pregnancy with baby Skye ~ click here to find out why). 



Wowwww...didn't know I could last this long!!! I guess all mommies are supermommies...
My ultimate goal was to BF till baby Skyler turned 3 years old (31 Jan 2017)... I almost made it ~ just shy by one month plus! 
***It's okay, this momma still deserves a pat on the back***


So we started to wean baby Skye off by having Mr. Hubby put the 2 kids to sleep in their own (shared) room !!! Finally they get their own room (after moving into our new place) n yayyy to us, the parents, for having the WHOLE queen size bed to ourselves and not having to squeeze n curl up like a "udang" aka shrimp!!!
***The feeling is Ohhh-sooo-awesome***
And NO MORE WAKING UP to feed... baby Skyler n mummy can finally sleep thru the night!!! Say no to "panda bear" eyes and no more feeling like a walking zombie... this momma haven't had her beauty sleep ever since the babies were born!!! N COFFEE!!! Yes, I can drink however much I want n like without the guilty feeling (I used to limit myself).

Okay now back to the story (got a little sidetrack)...
So, it worked but with a little tears and wanting mommy. Every night before Mr. Hubby puts Baby Skyler to bed, I made sure to tell him that he's a big boy now, no need nen-nen aka (.)(.) anymore, pray as a family, kiss our goodnight kisses n off I go! Kudos to Mr. Hubby for making bedtime fun and exciting as he will tell a story each with their favorite cartoon characters in it (which they get to choose their fav characters every night)... and then some days Mr. Hubby will let the kids tell him a story n put him to sleep instead!!! Happened a few times where they 3 feel asleep together ... oh wait, Mr. Hubby was the 1st one to be knocked out.... yayyy to mommy having the WHOLE bed to myself!!! Muahahaha...

But then when it came to their afternoon nap, this momma was left to put the 2 kids to sleep... and since I was there lying with them, Baby Skyler was on auto-mode and automatically latch on to me!!! I tried my best to say NO but he's so persistent and adamant that either I gave in or succumb to having my shirt ripped off... yes, it was that BAD!!!

So basically I was still BFeeding him once a day... Looking back, this was a GREAT outcome coz dropping off feedings gradually made my transition super easy as oppose to going "cold turkey"!!! I did NOT get engorged AT ALL and did not suffer any side effect whatsoever.... no mastitis, no block ducts, no aches, no pains!!! I was dreading and expecting the worst....

Thankfully Mr. Hubby got good news that he will be starting his new job beginning of 2017 which was the highlight of it all ... he would be WORKING from HOME!!! No more driving 2 hrs to n fro work...yayyy!!! More quality time with the kids...N best of all, Mr. Hubby can put the kids down for naps too....couldn't this be any more perfect???PERFECT timing!!!

To add the icing on the cake:-
Mr. Hubby and I came up with an ULTIMATE plan!!!
Since we were over at Karthik's parents place during Christmas (for 1 week), we decided to use the grand parents as the "art of distraction"!!! we told Sienna that the crib/baby cot that she was sleeping in whenever we were at the grandparents place, has been donated. So she immediately declared she's sleeping with the grandparents... and as always, "monkey see,monkey do!!!". Skyler wanted to join in the fun too...Little did he know what he was signing up for.
He cried for his momma once the lights were out... it didn't last long, and I declared victory!!! It happened just for 2-3 nights straight n lasted less than 5 mins...
It came naturally and of course with some coaxing.

Update -
A few weeks passed by, n there's still milk coming out when I press my (.)(.)...
I do really miss having our bonding time but at times it CAN and WILL get frustrating too... definitely a love-hate relationship!!! I knew it was for my baby's own good and n i knew he won't be a baby forever...and yes, my baby has grown up!!! Thus, this ends my breastfeeding journey!
A long journey with bumps here and there, uphill and downhill, but it was well worth it...

...
To all the mothers soon to deliver... Breastfeeding is NOT EASY... U need to be surrounded by supportive family especially hubby! U need to have determination, perseverance, hard core, commitment, hard working, strong willed, "kiasu", etc...
But let me tell u, it is soooo WORTH IT...
All the best... "Jia yu"... "GAMBATEH"... "Fighting"!!!
Baby Skye has only fallen sick twice! All thanks to the wonders of this liquid gold...
*sad**happy**sad**happy**sad**happy**... Arghhhh mixed emotions till this very day!!!
I miss my bonding sessions...only bf mothers will understand ;)

Next milestones:
.say bye bye to all the diapers in the house... diaper FREE!!! We are working on that...starting with nap time first...wish us all the best...









Disclaimer: That's Sienna being silly and wanted to join in the fun too!!! no breastfeeding was involved for this "baby"!!! Just for "show & tell" purposes ;)  

Thursday, 9 February 2017

SKYLER 1st day of school in his LIFE...


SKYLER 1st day of school in his LIFE...


Jan 4th 2017 marked his first day of school...(If you don't count Sunday school, that is)
Skyler started at 35 months, whereas "jie jie" Sienna started school at 33 months.
Sienna's 1st day was exactly 2 yrs 1 day apart.
Read all about Sienna's 1st day of school in Singapore here: 

As much as I couldn't wait to send the 2 kids to school (as they've been home school for the longest time due to us moving from west to east in Singapore n then the big move to USA), this momma was a little bit apprehensive sending Skyler to school due to his school timings being 4 hours!!! (3 times a week)
When Sienna first started school, it was only 2 hours daily which was great as the school was located just downstairs.

But I knew it was time for my babies to go to school. Since we just moved to Charlotte, NC, the kids joined in the middle of the school year. Every other kid knew each other, their teachers and the school. Whereas Sienna n Skyler were new to everything (in an "ang moh" environment). To my amazement, they both adjusted right away!!! They made friends real quick...

They both attend the same pre school but they don't see each other at all the entire time. The only time is when they are being dropped off together and when being picked up. Everything is separated by classes. They go to different playgrounds located around the school area, have different timing for going to the gymnasium, etc...

This momma is so not used to kids NOT wearing school uniform. Whoever that came up with the uniform idea is pure genius!!! Makes life so much easier. But now, this momma not only has the headache of choosing outfits for one kid but two??? In Singapore, it was such a breeze getting Sienna ready as she just had to put on her school uniform over her home clothes. And when she got home, just remove her uniform!!! No headaches n no effort at ALL... I super love the uniform idea. But I guess this momma has to get used to this idea for a VERY LONG time (until college?) which means more shopping for the kids clothes!!! Yayyyy... Lols!

Mr. Hubby and I were debating to send them to another school that was further (20mins walk) away as oppose to this one (10mins walk)...
But after touring both schools, Sienna made her own decisions and decided on this school ~ based on the playgrounds and toys perhaps? Even though the other one was cheaper, Mr. Hubby and I both felt that this school was much more organised, structured and overall much better... and the location being a convenience sealed the deal as we had to drop n pick them up. I choose to walk n get my exercise... but with the cold weather, it's a bit of a challenge with 2 kids...

1st day:
Skyler had been with me almost 24/7 since he is still being breastfed (occasionally left with daddy for a few hours). Imagine mommy's separation anxiety... Lols!!! But I knew it's TIME for my baby and ME to part ways. It'll be good for the BOTH of us and i know he will be happy and learn much more in school. So what did mommy do with her first 4 hours of time???
It's FREEDOMMMMM time for mommy!!! (Mommy went to #Target to shop peacefully) ✌
So Sienna goes 4 hrs daily while Skyler goes 4 hrs, 3 days a week!!!
I'll take it... my "me" time... ☕

It was indeed a bittersweet moment sending him off...daddy and mommy were both there to witness this milestone!!! We dropped off Sienna 1st at her class which is just down the hall way from Skyler's class to show Skyler that "jie jie" is just nearby n how happy n fun going to class would be. And true enough Sienna was SO eager to go, after a quick hug n kiss, she dashed into her classroom. Then it came  Skyler's turn. He cried for 1 min. We decided to stay put to help him adjust. I was playing with him at the train set while he was crying n a little boy came over and offered his "comfort smelly" soft toy...
***Awwwww, bless his heart. I wonder if he brings his comfort toy every single day since day 1?***
After a whole minute of crying (felt like eons to me) he was then HAPPY n asking to go again tomorrow!!! even though he goes alternate days...


This school has an open door policy where parents are allowed to drop by anytime (since we have an access card/fob to enter the building). We can eat lunch with them or take them out for an occasional bonding time...but we decided not to (for now) as both kiddos are enjoying their new environment.

After the 1st day was over, Mr. Hubby n I both picked the kiddos up from school although I was 2 mins late from shopping at target...Lols!!! Sienna was over excited telling us EVERYTHING...and since "jie jie" Sienna was talking non-stop, Skyler was just listening away while mommy gave him lots of hugs n kisses telling him how much I missed him but yet mommy is happy seeing him all smiles and HAPPY!!!

2nd day: 
Sienna woke up earlier than usual n was happy and ready to head out for school. Had to remind her to eat her breakfast first. Skyler thought he was going to school too...  Lols!!!

What I observed after they started going to school (especially Skyler in particular as Sienna has been attending school previously) :-
They are both much better at sharing toys.
Less fighting.
Less tantrums.
Kinder to each other.
More polite with lots of "sorry", "thank you", "please".
More independent.
Eat their meals faster (as they only have 15 mins to finish their lunch at school).

#update: 2nd week of school
Mr. Hubby and I decided to pay a visit and to peek at them ... spotted Skyler happily pushing a toy trolley cart going really fast at the playground. The teacher had to stop him n diverted his attention to us! He was so shocked n so happy to see us peeking from the fence. The teacher said that he loves playing with it.
***Skyler loves anything and everything with wheels. ***


After about 2 mins, we wanted to leave n Skyler said he wanted "out" and to follow us. So we said our goodbyes, we'll be back and parted ways. He started to cry for a bit and the teacher consoled/"sayang" him n he was fine soon after.

Next, we stopped by Sienna's classroom. They were all eating lunch QUIETLY.
*** Wowww, am I dreaming? Kids are so extra well behaved in school?****
Sienna was busy eating her lunch n looking around that she didn't even notice us... her friends kept asking the teacher if we were Sienna's parents. And then finally one of her friend told her... and she was all smiles and at the same time flustered...I guess we were embarrassing her... Lols!!! 
***Not at the age ??? She's too young to find us ~"the parents" embarrassing...Lols***

After a sigh of relief, Mr. Hubby and I were off to our 1st EVER lunch date, just the 2 of us! We had subway and a cookie each ~ without having to share!!! We ate in peace n quiet... Lols...cheers to many more lunch dates!!!

Update from their teachers~
Skyler~
.No pee/poop accidents...He's been long potty trained at home except when we are out and about, we put on his diaper... so we wanted Skyler to start school diaper free!
.He's been communicating well...(one day he came home and told me a friend threw a toy and hit him on his eyebrow, with his "broken" words + body language)... true enough, I found a note in his bag left by his teacher confirming it)
.No crying at all...
.He loves doing ARTs and CRAFTs






Sienna ~
.From the very first few days, Sienna has been Ms. Popular... everybody wants to be her friend and she wants to be everybody's friend.
.Very helpful and proactive...
***One day I picked Sienna from school. So happened her friend was walking behind us with her mom. And her friend told her mom that Sienna was her new friend. Her mom said, " OH, u are Sienna ... we've heard so much about you!!!" ***

I'm glad Sienna and Skyler are in school...
They are happy when they are in school and also happy when they are home!!!
I treasure them even more and even miss them when they are away for that few hours... #mommywoes #LetItGo #DontBeSoEmo
















Sunday, 25 December 2016

Grocery shopping made cheap!!!

So pre kids, this momma used to go shopping, shopping, shopping all the time!!! Oh wait, which lady doesn't love shopping? But mostly end up window shopping anyways... Lols!!! 
Still counts as shopping right???

When I was living in the States (more than 10 years ago), I used to live just 10mins away from the outlet malls!!! Yes yes yes... shopping marathon every weekend!!! I used "exercising" as an excuse to head to the outlet malls.

But now that we are back in the States, no more shopping for this momma... but wait, it's a different kind of shopping now. Grocery shopping!!!
With 3 EVER hungry, non stop eating machines, I seemed to be buying food non stop! 
So why not shop smartly n cheaply since you have to shop for food anyways? Everybody has to eat right? 
So everybody has to grocery shop!!! 

And since this momma is a stay at home mom (SAHM) ever since baby Si was born and we, living off one income, every little saving adds up!!! More savings = more shopping for this momma... ok now where's my Gucci/Prada bag??? Lols...

Now let me introduce you to this awesome shopping app...
~> Check out Ibotta to get cash back! 
Use my referral code, utndeyx, and you can earn an extra $10. 

Ok here's the easy peasy breakdown steps:

1) Go directly here to download the app~> https://ibotta.com/r/utndeyx
(Be sure to use the referral code:  "utndeyx" to earn your first $10)

2) Do your normal grocery shopping in your favourite local stores.

3) Keep your receipts.

4) Come home, open your Ibotta app. Look for items you bought that's available on the app. Click "unlock".


5) click "verify purchases"... "choose store"..."scan product barcode"... "take a picture of your receipt"





6) then sit back and relax, while they credit you your $$ within 24 hours (usually it only takes less than 2 mins to see it credited)...different stores varies!
(P/s: your everyday pantry items are available.... milk, banana, bread, eggs)
Do note that they refresh the items every once a week! 

Tips:

1) You can browse and unlock what items are available in your Ibotta app and plan your groceries accordingly before you head to the shop.
2) do note the timeframe given to unlock and get credit for the particular item.
3) You can still use your manufacturer/store coupons while you shop to get additional savings!!! 

By the way, this blog post is by no means sponsored or anything. Just me helping spread the word... and it's a win-win situation!!! Once you signed up the Ibotta app using my referral code "utndeyx" , you get $10 right away in your account!!! 
***Ka-ching***
And I get $5... sweet deal for the both of us!!!


This is a screenshot of my account right now... n do note I only started using this app in July 2016 but have only been actively buying groceries since moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in OCTOBER 2016!!! 
$132.25 earnings...
You can choose to cash out through PayPal (which personally is my choice) or Venmo or u can buy any gift cards from the many choices of stores...


Best part is, it's not only for groceries... it also covers hygiene items, restaurants, Groupon, brand name stores, etc!!!

Shall I screenshot Mr. Hubby's Ibotta account too? (which of course is used by me) Lols... ;)

There's many other apps that's similar to Ibotta...  money saving too! But I find myself using this app more frequent than the rest and my savings are much more. 
There's "Checkout 51", "SavingStar", "MobiSave", etc...

$45.85 of earnings!!! (Checkout 51)

$29.03 of earnings!!! (SavingStar)

But if you are a newbie n it's ur first time, I suggest sticking to one app first! Once you are a pro at it, you can slowly use multiple apps at once! Cheers to MORE savings to you!!! 
Let me know how it goes...

Here's a picture of my pantry aka mini grocery store...

Hahaha... Feels sooooo aunty!!!
***Proud of my shopping haul aka stock***
My model Mr. Hubby...Lols!

And here's a picture of my hygiene items stockpile which can lasts us for a VERY VERY LONG time!!!


Sienna doing her hair advertisement...


Sienna and Skyler showing their armpits for a deodorant advertisement...LOLs!!!

But yeah, we share our stockpile with family
 n friends too and recently donated some to the less fortunate to spread some joy during this festive season! 
Let us be reminded how blessed we are and appreciate what we have that others are striving to have! So whatever little help we can do, lets DO IT!

FOR GOD HAS BLESSED US SO WE CAN BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS...


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Easy, Cheap and kid friendly homemade yogurt

All of know that yogurt contains an impressive health benefits!!!
I shall not go into explaining all the benefits (Mr. Google it)

I've been making home made yogurt ever since baby Sienna was 6 months old when she started solid food and have been continuously making it up till now (4+ years) for my 2 babies (baby Si and baby Skye) + mummy + daddy!!!

I have to thank my mother-in-grace (Mr. Hubby's mom) for teaching me how to make yogurt aka Indian yogurt which the Indians have been making it for generations...

Good, yummy, nutritious yogurt:
The secret is to use a stainless steel container...keeps the warmness n temperature constant.
(But if you don't have a stainless steel container, boil milk normally in a pot and pour it into a thick glass container and wrap it with a thick hand towel to keep the heat in)

Do this at night before you go to bed...

1) boil (the amount you want) full cream/UHT fresh a.k.a in the USA as vitamin D (red cap) milk in a stainless steel container till bubbles is form almost to the top.
(Medium to low flame).
I usually set my timer and come back just in time it forms tiny bubbles then I stand by the stove to babysit it till it bubbles to almost the top... this takes practise but after a few tries, you will get it right!!!
(or else it will easily spill over and cleaning up "split milk" is no easy task!!!)...
Another "safe" inefficient way is to stand by the stove the entire time... Lols!!!

2) turn off flame n leave to "temperature that is warm enough to touch"

3) take one spoon of store bought plain yogurt (can be straight out of fridge)... Just ONE table spoon is needed... And stir it gently into the warm milk. Cover it with a plate/cover.

4) leave it overnight and voila the next morning u will get solid yogurt...real solid!!! More solid/thick than store bought yogurt!

5) keep in fridge (usually last up to 2 weeks). Once you are running low on supply, repeat same process for a new batch using ONE table spoon of your current batch of home made yogurt. Make sure you take the more "solid"/thick yogurt part. We call this the "starter" aka culture... and then start making your new batch with it!

No more buying expensive store bought yogurt!!! Your wallet n Mr. Hubby will thank you for saving lots of $$...then use that savings to go shopping... Lols!!!
P/s: Store bought yogurt is filled with high sugar content, coloring, preservatives, etc!

If your yogurt is not formed, in a pot, warmed up water (water level should be to the level of ur yogurt). Put the closed container containing the yogurt into the pot until your yougurt forms. Make sure water is not too hot or else it kills the "good" bacteria...

Ideas with using yogurt:
~Add pureed fruit, baby cereal, etc to yogurt.

For older kids:
~add kids cereal, muesli, granola, raisins, chopped fruits, honey, chia seeds, sesame seed, oatmeal, crushed graham crackers, etc

~overnight oats (just substitute milk with yogurt or do half milk- half yogurt).
Here's my simple 5 mins recipe:
Http://karmie080808.blogspot.com/2016/09/breakfast-ready-in-5-mins.html?m=1

~substitute the unhealthy mayonnaise with your healthy homemade yogurt!

~curry chicken!!! Substitute unhealthy coconut milk with your healthy homemade yogurt!

~yogurt rice aka curd rice Indian style...

~Blend it with any of your kids favorite food to make smoothies...
Sienna & Skyler top 3 favorites are mango smoothie, strawberry banana smoothie, peanut butter chocolate banana smoothie. (Be sure to freeze the cut fruits beforehand).

~You can freeze the smoothies and serve it as ice cream on hot summer days!!!
I GUARANTEE you that your kids will cleaned up their bowl in no time n asking for MORE!!!
All these are great for adults too...the whole family can enjoy nutritious yummy food..

Tip:
~ if you are travelling (or wanting a yogurt break) keep a tablespoon of yogurt in the freezer n once you are ready for a new batch defrost it overnight in fridge n it's ready as your starter!!!

~ don't panic if a layer of liquid forms on top when your yogurt is ready. It's called whey. Although it consists mainly of water, whey also contains a little bit of protein, potassium, and calcium.
~make a small batch if it's your first time. Once you are an expert, you can make a big batch using the same steps!

Enjoy!!! ;)
Let me know if you have any tips or how your yogurt making goes...