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If you child is more at that stage, it might be better to select a wood option. You can see it gives her such a sense of accomplishment when she is able to open up the fruits with the play knife.

It includes a cute little shopping bag. All of the items fit inside of the bag but do not fit well unless all of the fruits and veggies are assembled.

This is the only "con" I can find with this product. It is a bit overpriced though. I was a bit frustrated when I found another set at Burlington Coat Factory for This is a great set for very young children, compared to most playfood sets that are usually thin and easily chewed.

The pieces are made of a hard, durable plastic that will hold up to toddler playtime much better than most playfood sets.

The knife has been chewed on a little, though. The paint on the peach has worn down a little, but we've owned this set for 2 years now, with 3 kids playing with it.

All the velcro is still in place with no peeling. Toddlers love them as an activity, pulling them apart and of course making you put them back together so they can peel and pull apart again.

But my daughter is 3 now and enjoys playing pretend with it, too! The peas could pose a choking hazard, but I would find it highly unlikely as they are fairly large.

You may want to put them up until the child is older, just to be safe. I think this toy would be best if given between 1 - 2 years old.

My three year old loves cutting up and peeling these veggies. I am very thrilled with the quality and durability of these play food items.

He has had so much fun peeling, chopping and serving up these veggies. The knife works great for chopping through the velcro attached to the veggies and makes a great "crunch" noise which really sounds like chopping through a veggie.

The bag is pretty small so we keep them in a bigger bag with a cutting board I added to make it more fun. We use the bag for shopping instead which is also fun.

I really thought I might like the wooden cutting sets better but I don't. I'm very happy with this plastic set!!

These are definitely for older kids. My two year old son still likes them, but they are difficult to put together and "cut" through because they don't stay still.

Could have better Velcro on them. Definitely for a more advanced kitchen -goer child. The pieces are all scattered about now and we cannot find half of them.

They are like socks in a dryer You have one but you lose the other. We have 2 banana peels, half a cauliflower, and half of a tomatoe.

Good idea just not meant for a 2 year old. See all reviews. Customers also shopped for. Pages with related products.

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Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. But he raised it to his mouth and took another hit of vassopressin, that he would never be tempted.

Fidelity in an aerosol. You can't imprint on someone who isn't even there, no matter how many hormones you snort. We passed beneath the muzzles of sentries panning for infiltrating Realists.

She'd be happy if you did. He smiled a bit at that. I'm comfortable with it. Easy for him to say. Easy even to accept the hurt she'd inflicted on him all these years.

Do you think it's easy when you disappear for months on end? Do you think it's easy always wondering who you're with and what you're doing and if you're even alive?

Do you think it's easy raising a child like that on your own? She'd blamed him for everything, but he bore it gracefully because he knew it was all a lie.

He knew he was only the pretense. She wasn't leaving because he was AWOL, or unfaithful. Her departure had nothing to do with him at all. Helen had left the world because she couldn't stand to look at the thing who'd replaced her son.

The stars were falling. The Zodiac had rearranged itself into a precise grid of bright points with luminous tails.

It was as though the whole planet had been caught in some great closing net, the knots of its mesh aglow with St.

I looked away to recalibrate my distance vision, to give this ill-behaved hallucination a chance to vanish gracefully before I set my empirical gaze to high-beam.

I saw a vampire in that moment, a female, walking among us like the archetypal wolf in sheep's clothing.

Vampires were uncommon creatures at street level. I'd never seen one in the flesh before. She had just stepped onto the street from the building across the way.

She stood a head taller than the rest of us, her eyes shining yellow and bright as a cat's in the deepening dark. She realized, as I watched, that something was amiss.

Totally indifferent to the fact that the world had just turned inside-out. It was Greenwich Mean Time, February 13, They clenched around the world like a fist, each black as the inside of an event horizon until those last bright moments when they all burned together.

They screamed as they died. Every radio up to geostat groaned in unison, every infrared telescope went briefly snowblind.

Ashes stained the sky for weeks afterwards; mesospheric clouds, high above the jet stream, turned to glowing rust with every sunrise. The objects, apparently, consisted largely of iron.

Nobody ever knew what to make of that. For perhaps the first time in history, the world knew before being told: The usual arbiters of newsworthiness, stripped of their accustomed role in filtering reality, had to be content with merely labeling it.

It took them ninety minutes to agree on Fireflies. A half hour after that, the first Fourier transforms appeared in the noosphere; to no one's great surprise, the Fireflies had not wasted their dying breaths on static.

There was pattern embedded in that terminal chorus, some cryptic intelligence that resisted all earthly analysis.

The experts, rigorously empirical, refused to speculate: They didn't know what. How else would you explain 65, probes evenly dispersed along a lat-long grid that barely left any square meter of planetary surface unexposed?

Obviously the Flies had taken our picture. The whole world had been caught with its pants down in panoramic composite freeze-frame. My father might have known someone who might have known.

But by then he'd long since disappeared, as he always did during times of hemispheric crisis. Whatever he knew or didn't, he left me to find my own answers with everyone else.

There was no shortage of perspectives. The noosphere seethed with scenarios ranging from utopian to apocalyptic. The Fireflies had seeded lethal germs through the jet stream.

The Fireflies had been on a nature safari. The Icarus Array was being retooled to power a doomsday weapon against the aliens. The Icarus Array had already been destroyed.

We had decades to react; anything from another solar system would have to obey the lightspeed limit like everyone else. We had days to live; organic warships had just crossed the asteroid belt and would be fumigating the planet within a week.

Like everyone else, I bore witness to lurid speculations and talking heads. I visited blathernodes, soaked myself in other people's opinions.

That was nothing new, as far as it went; I'd spent my whole life as a sort of alien ethologist in my own right, watching the world behave, gleaning patterns and protocols, learning the rules that allowed me to infiltrate human society.

It had always worked before. Somehow, though, the presence of real aliens had changed the dynamics of the equation. Mere observation didn't satisfy any more.

It was as though the presence of this new outgroup had forced me back into the clade whether I liked it or not; the distance between myself and the world suddenly seemed forced and faintly ridiculous.

Yet I couldn't, for my life, figure out how to let it go. Chelsea had always said that telepresence emptied the Humanity from Human interaction.

It's just shadows on the cave wall. I mean, sure, the shadows come in three-dee color with force-feedback tactile interactivity.

They're good enough to fool the civilized brain. But your gut knows those aren't people , even if it can't put its finger on how it knows.

They just don't feel real. Know what I mean? Back then I'd had no clue what she was talking about. But now we were all cavemen again, huddling beneath some overhang while lightning split the heavens and vast formless monsters, barely glimpsed in bright strobe-frozen instants, roared and clashed in the darkness on all sides.

There was no comfort in solitude. You couldn't get it from interactive shadows. You needed someone real at your side, someone to hold on to, someone to share your airspace along with your fear and hope and uncertainty.

I imagined the presence of companions who wouldn't vanish the moment I unplugged. But Chelsea was gone, and Pag in her wake.

Flesh and blood had its own relationship to reality: Watching the world from a distance, it occurred to me at last: I knew exactly what Chelsea had meant, with her Luddite ramblings about desaturated Humanity and the colorless interactions of virtual space.

I'd known all along. I'd just never been able to see how it was any different from real life. Imagine you are a machine. But imagine you're a different kind of machine, one built from metal and plastic and designed not by blind, haphazard natural selection but by engineers and astrophysicists with their eyes fixed firmly on specific goals.

Imagine that your purpose is not to replicate, or even to survive, but to gather information. I can imagine that easily.

It is in fact a much simpler impersonation than the kind I'm usually called on to perform. I coast through the abyss on the colder side of Neptune's orbit.

Most of the time I exist only as an absence, to any observer on the visible spectrum: But occasionally, during my slow endless spin, I glint with dim hints of reflected starlight.

If you catch me in those moments you might infer something of my true nature: Here and there a whisper of accumulated frost clings to a joint or seam, some frozen wisp of gas encountered in Jupiter space perhaps.

Now, a breath away from Absolute Zero, they might shatter at a photon's touch. My heart is warm, at least. A tiny nuclear fire burns in my thorax, leaves me indifferent to the cold outside.

It won't go out for a thousand years, barring some catastrophic accident; for a thousand years, I will listen for faint voices from Mission Control and do everything they tell me to.

So far they have told me to study comets. Every instruction I have ever received has been a precise and unambiguous elaboration on that one overriding reason for my existence.

Which is why these latest instructions are so puzzling, for they make no sense at all. The frequency is wrong.

The signal strength is wrong. I cannot even understand the handshaking protocols. The response arrives almost a thousand minutes later, and it is an unprecedented mix of orders and requests for information.

I answer as best I can: No, it is not the usual bearing for Mission Control. Yes, I can retransmit: Yes, I will go into standby mode.

I await further instructions. They arrive minutes later, and they tell me to stop studying comets immediately. Upon encountering any transmission resembling the one which confused me, I am to fix upon the bearing of maximal signal strength and derive a series of parameter values.

I am also instructed to retransmit the signal to Mission Control. I do as I'm told. For a long time I hear nothing, but I am infinitely patient and incapable of boredom.

Eventually a fleeting, familiar signal brushes against my afferent array. I reacquire and track it to source, which I am well-equipped to describe: It is sweeping a cm tightbeam radio wave across the heavens with a periodicity of 4.

This beam does not intersect Mission Control's coordinates at any point. It appears to be directed at a different target entirely.

It takes much longer than usual for Mission Control to respond to this information. When it does, it tells me to change course.

Mission Control informs me that henceforth my new destination is to be referred to as Burns-Caulfield. Given current fuel and inertial constraints I will not reach it in less than thirty-nine years.

I am to watch nothing else in the meantime. I'd been liaising for a team at the Kurzweil Institute, a fractured group of cutting-edge savants convinced they were on the verge of solving the quantum-glial paradox.

That particular log-jam had stalled AI for decades; once broken, the experts promised we'd be eighteen months away from the first personality upload and only two years from reliable Human-consciousness emulation in a software environment.

It would spell the end of corporeal history, usher in a Singularity that had been waiting impatiently in the wings for nigh on fifty years.

Two months after Firefall, the Institute cancelled my contract. I was actually surprised it had taken them so long.

It had cost us so much, this overnight inversion of global priorities, these breakneck measures making up for lost initiative. Not even our shiny new post-scarcity economy could withstand such a seismic shift without lurching towards bankruptcy.

Installations in deep space, long since imagined secure by virtue of their remoteness, were suddenly vulnerable for exactly the same reason.

Lagrange habitats had to be refitted for defense against an unknown enemy. Commercial ships on the Martian Loop were conscripted, weaponised, and reassigned; some secured the high ground over Mars while others fell sunward to guard the Icarus Array.

It didn't matter that the Fireflies hadn't fired a shot at any of these targets. We simply couldn't afford the risk. We were all in it together, of course, desperate to regain some hypothetical upper hand by any means necessary.

Kings and corporations scribbled IOUs on the backs of napkins and promised to sort everything out once the heat was off.

In the meantime, the prospect of Utopia in two years took a back seat to the shadow of Armageddon reaching back from next Tuesday.

The Kurzweil Institute, like everyone else, suddenly had other things to worry about. So I returned to my apartment, split a bulb of Glenfiddich, and arrayed virtual windows like daisy petals in my head.

Everyone Icons debated on all sides, serving up leftovers two weeks past their expiry date:. Disgraceful breakdown of global security. We should have seen them coming.

They just took our picture. Why haven't they made contact? Nothing's touched the O'Neills. Are they coming back? But where are they?

Jim Moore Voice Only. The text window blossomed directly in my line of sight, eclipsing the debate. I read it twice.

I tried to remember the last time he'd called from the field, and couldn't. I muted the other windows. Still wondering whether we should be celebrating or crapping our pants.

He didn't answer immediately. They're not telling us anything at ground level. It was a rhetorical request. His silence was hardly necessary to make the point.

He seemed to be weighing his words. There's no particle trail as long as it stays offstream, and it would be buried in solar glare unless someone knew where to search.

It was my turn to fall silent. This conversation felt suddenly wrong. Because when my father went on the job, he went dark.

He never called his family. Because even when my father came off the job, he never talked about it. It wouldn't matter whether the Icarus Array was still online or whether it had been shredded and thrown into the sun like a thousand kilometers of torn origami; he wouldn't tell either tale unless an official announcement had been made.

Icarus was overdue for a visit anyway. You don't swap out your whole grid without at least dropping in and kicking the new tires first.

Nearly three seconds to respond. Isn't this a security breach? Radio bounced back and forth. I wanted very much for them to pick someone else. But he'd seen it coming, and preempted me before my words could cross the distance: You're simply the most qualified, and the work is vital.

He wouldn't want to keep me away from some theoretical gig in a WestHem lab. We traced the bearing. The encryption seems similar, but we can't even be sure of that.

All we have is the location. We'd never gone to the Kuiper before. It had been decades since we'd even sent robots. Not that we lacked the capacity.

We just hadn't bothered; everything we needed was so much closer to home. The Interplanetary Age had stagnated at the asteroids.

But now something lurked at the furthest edge of our backyard, calling into the void. Maybe it was talking to some other solar system.

Maybe it was talking to something closer, something en route. But we can't wait for them to report back. The follow-up's been fast-tracked; updates can be sent en route.

He gave me a few extra seconds to digest that. When I still didn't speak, he said, "You have to understand. Our only edge is that as far as we know, Burns-Caulfield doesn't know we're on to it.

We have to get as much as we can in whatever window of opportunity that grants us. But Burns-Caulfield had hidden itself.

Burns-Caulfield might not welcome a forced introduction. The timelag seemed to say Mars. He didn't have to answer. I didn't have to ask.

At these kind of stakes, mission-critical elements didn't get the luxury of choice. Both can be subverted with the right neurochemical keys.

We let the vacuum between us speak for a while. I just wanted to give you the heads-up. Are you coming back?

This is what my father could not unmake. This is what I am:. I am the bridge between the bleeding edge and the dead center.

I stand between the Wizard of Oz and the man behind the curtain. I am the curtain. I am not an entirely new breed.

My roots reach back to the dawn of civilization but those precursors served a different function, a less honorable one. They only greased the wheels of social stability; they would sugarcoat unpleasant truths, or inflate imaginary bogeymen for political expedience.

They were vital enough in their way. Not even the most heavily-armed police state can exert brute force on all of its citizens all of the time.

Meme management is so much subtler; the rose-tinted refraction of perceived reality, the contagious fear of threatening alternatives. There have always been those tasked with the rotation of informational topologies, but throughout most of history they had little to do with increasing its clarity.

The new Millennium changed all that. We've surpassed ourselves now, we're exploring terrain beyond the limits of merely human understanding. Sometimes its contours, even in conventional space, are just too intricate for our brains to track; other times its very axes extend into dimensions inconceivable to minds built to fuck and fight on some prehistoric grassland.

So many things constrain us, from so many directions. The most altruistic and sustainable philosophies fail before the brute brain-stem imperative of self-interest.

Subtle and elegant equations predict the behavior of the quantum world, but none can explain it.

After four thousand years we can't even prove that reality exists beyond the mind of the first-person dreamer. We have such need of intellects greater than our own.

But we're not very good at building them. The forced matings of minds and electrons succeed and fail with equal spectacle. Our hybrids become as brilliant as savants, and as autistic.

We graft people to prosthetics, make their overloaded motor strips juggle meat and machinery, and shake our heads when their fingers twitch and their tongues stutter.

And when your surpassing creations find the answers you asked for, you can't understand their analysis and you can't verify their answers.

You hire people like me; the crossbred progeny of profilers and proof assistants and information theorists. In formal settings you'd call me Synthesist.

On the street you call me jargonaut or poppy. If you're one of those savants whose hard-won truths are being bastardized and lobotomized for powerful know-nothings interested only in market share, you might call me a mole or a chaperone.

If you're Isaac Szpindel you'd call me commissar , and while the jibe would be a friendly one, it would also be more than that.

I've never convinced myself that we made the right choice. I can cite the usual justifications in my sleep, talk endlessly about the rotational topology of information and the irrelevance of semantic comprehension.

But after all the words, I'm still not sure. I don't know if anyone else is, either. Maybe it's just some grand consensual con, marks and players all in league.

We won't admit that our creations are beyond us; they may speak in tongues, but our priests can read those signs. Gods leave their algorithms carved into the mountainside but it's just li'l ol' me bringing the tablets down to the masses, and I don't threaten anyone.

Maybe the Singularity happened years ago. We just don't want to admit we were left behind. The Third Wave, they called us.

All in the same boat, driving into the long dark courtesy of a bleeding-edge prototype crash-graduated from the simulators a full eighteen months ahead of schedule.

In a less fearful economy, such violence to the timetable would have bankrupted four countries and fifteen multicorps. The first two waves came out of the gate in even more of a hurry.

I didn't find out what had happened to them until thirty minutes before the briefing, when Sarasti released the telemetry into ConSensus.

Then I opened wide; experience flooded up my inlays and spilled across my parietal cortex in glorious high-density fast forward. Even now I can bring those data back, fresh as the day they were recorded.

I am souped-up and stripped-down, a telematter drive with a couple of cameras bolted to the front end, pushing gees that would turn meat to jelly.

I sprint joyously toward the darkness, my twin brother a stereoscopic hundred klicks to starboard, dual streams of backspat pions boosting us to relativity before poor old Theseus had even crawled past Mars.

But now, six billion kilometers to stern, Mission Control turns off the tap and leaves us coasting. The comet swells in our sights, a frozen enigma sweeping its signal across the sky like a lighthouse beam.

We bring rudimentary senses to bear and stare it down on a thousand wavelengths. We've lived for this moment.

We see an erratic wobble that speaks of recent collisions. We see an astronomical impossibility: Burns-Caufield sings as we glide past.

Not to us; it ignores our passage as it ignored our approach. It sings to someone else entirely. Perhaps we'll meet that audience some day.

Perhaps they're waiting in the desolate wastelands ahead of us. Mission Control flips us onto our backs, keeps us fixed on target past any realistic hope of acquisition.

They send last-ditch instructions, squeeze our fading signals for every last bit among the static. I can sense their frustration, their reluctance to let us go; once or twice, we're even asked if some judicious mix of thrust and gravity might let us linger here a bit longer.

But deceleration is for pansies. We're headed for the stars. See you at heat death. Warily, we close on target. We are weighed down by payloads which make us virtually omniscient.

We see on every wavelength, from radio to string. Our autonomous microprobes measure everything our masters anticipated; tiny onboard assembly lines can build tools from the atoms up, to assess the things they did not.

Atoms, scavenged from where we are, join with ions beamed from where we were: This extra mass has slowed us, but midpoint braking maneuvers have slowed us even more.

The last half of this journey has been a constant fight against momentum from the first. It is not an efficient way to travel. In less-hurried times we would have built early to some optimal speed, perhaps slung around a convenient planet for a little extra oomph , coasted most of the way.

But time is pressing, so we burn at both ends. We must reach our destination; we cannot afford to pass it by, cannot afford the kamikaze exuberance of the first wave.

They merely glimpsed the lay of the land. We must map it down to the motes. We must be more responsible. Now, slowing towards orbit, we see everything they saw and more.

We see the scabs, and the impossible iron core. We hear the singing. And there, just beneath the comet's frozen surface, we see structure: We are not yet close enough to squint, and radar is too long in the tooth for fine detail.

But we are smart, and there are three of us, widely separated in space. Burns-Caulfield stops singing the moment we put our plan into action.

In the next instant I go blind. It's a temporary aberration, a reflexive amping of filters to compensate for the overload.

My arrays are back online in seconds, diagnostics green within and without. I reach out to the others, confirm identical experiences, identical recoveries.

We are all still fully functional, unless the sudden increase in ambient ion density is some kind of sensory artefact.

We are ready to continue our investigation of Burns-Caulfield. The only real problem is that Burns-Caulfield seems to have disappeared Let superfluous deckhands weigh down other ships, if the nonAscendent hordes needed to attach some pretense of usefulness to their lives.

Let them infest vessels driven only by commercial priorities. The only reason we were here was because nobody had yet optimized software for First Contact.

Bound past the edge of the solar system, already freighted with the fate of the world, Theseus wasted no mass on self-esteem.

So here we were, rehydrated and squeaky-clean: Isaac Szpindel, to study the aliens. Major Amanda Bates was here to fight, if necessary.

And Jukka Sarasti to command us all, to move us like chess pieces on some multidimensional game board that only vampires could see.

He'd arrayed us around a conference table that warped gently through the Commons, keeping a discreet and constant distance from the curved deck beneath.

The whole drum was furnished in Early Concave, tricked unwary and hung-over brains into thinking they were looking at the world through fisheye lenses.

In deference to the creakiness of the nouveaux undead it spun at a mere fifth of a gee, but it was just warming up.

We'd be at half-grav in six hours, stuck there for eighteen out of every twenty-four until the ship decided we were fully recovered.

Light sculptures appeared on the tabletop. Szpindel leaned in conspiratorially at my side. If Sarasti heard he didn't show it, not even to me. He pointed to a dark heart at the center of the display, his eyes lost behind black glass.

Infrared emitter, methane class. Our apparent destination was a black disk, a round absence of stars. In real life it weighed in at over ten Jupiters and measured twenty percent wider at the belly.

It was directly in our path: Like a torsion flare from an L-class dwarf, but we should see anything big enough to generate that kind of effect and the sky's dark on that bearing.

IAU calls it a statistical artefact. Szpindel's eyebrows drew together like courting caterpillers. Sarasti smiled faintly, keeping his mouth closed.

Everyone skittish , looking for clues. Layers of statistical inference piled up on the table while Sarasti sketched background: A thousand telescopic snapshots had been stacked one on another and squeezed through a dozen filters before something emerged from the static, just below the three-meter band and the threshold of certainty.

For the longest time it hadn't even been real: A quantum particle, heavy as ten Jupiters. Earthbound cartographers were calling it Big Ben.

Theseus had barely passed Saturn's orbit when it showed up in the residuals. That discovery would have been moot for anyone else; no other ship caught en route could have packed enough fuel for anything but the long dejected loop back home.

But Theseus ' thin, infinitely attenuate fuel line reached all the way back to the sun; she could turn on the proverbial dime. We'd changed course in our sleep and the Icarus stream tracked our moves like a cat after prey, feeding us at lightspeed.

And here we were. Across the table, Bates flicked her wrist. Her ball sailed over my head; I heard it bounce off the deck not the deck , something in me amended: Very few weapons could pierce armor like that little beauty.

Sure, it's probably mankind's oldest tool, but it has that title for a reason. It's a tool you can use to cut, as well as make new tools with.

It is such an effective weapon that it is the only remaining pre-gunpowder era weapon that still sees consistent use with the military.

In fact, its utility is only limited by the materials used to make it and the amount of force that can be applied to it. Really, a knife is this in spades.

It also falls into Simple, yet Awesome territory when you take into account the sheer versatility of a good unspecialized knife. It has literally countless uses, even around the average home Cutting open packaging, use as an impromptu screwdriver or hammer with the butt, use in place of scissors, and that's saying nothing of its culinary applications , and if you ever ask a survivalist what three things to take into any survival type situation, they'll list off "Knife, fire or way to make fire, and clean water" in that order.

If you're stuck in the woods with just a knife or a hatchet , with a little thought you have it made—a knife can net you all the tools you need to make fire, get food, and get the resources to make clean, drinkable water.

Saying nothing of its self defense applications, a knife is probably the single most versatile tool ever created. In various tropical and subtropical countries, any machete-like blade is this.

Like the axe to Europeans and North Americans, machete has self-defense use as well as mundane use. Frequently used to cut through rain forest undergrowth, removing small branches and plants, for agricultural purposes e.

Basically any weapon derived from an agricultural tool: In the early days of World War One when trench warfare was the name of the game.

Unfortunately military intelligence and supply hadn't yet caught up to the actual battlefield conditions and were supplying long rifles and sword-like bayonets to the troops that were far too cumbersome to use.

So what did the French do for trench raiding weaponry? They stole barb wire posts from the German lines and wrought them into the form of crude stabbing implements that were much more compact and maneuverable.

After it was deployed against them the Germans took a cue from the French and did the same with their own equipment. How 'bout the Simple Staff? A long, plain piece of wood - that can kill a man with a powerful, well-aimed blow.

It was the spear and warhammer before the spear and warhammer were invented. It's got range that swords don't have, heft that can hurt you through armor, pretty light and portable as a weapon, and if you've got a forest of any kind, you've got a staff.

Basically the Jack of All Trades of hand-to-hand weapons. Wanna kill a guy really fast but don't have a knife or rock or weapon of any kind?

The Last Man explained, a human bite delivers more force per area than a punch or kick, and it works a lot faster than a stranglehold or grapple.

Ever bitten into a steak or crunched through bone? You may not be a crocodile and have to get in real close for it to work, but your jaw muscles and teeth can easily puncture through the skin and flesh of any body part.

And even if it doesn't kill, it can still induce bleeding, or expose your opponent to bacterial infection if they manage to survive the initial assault.

It is also hella scary to your enemies and his friends. Nobody wants to take a swing at the maniac who bites people.

Firearms Russia Russian small arms design deserves a standing ovation across the board, at least for the designs which wound up being mass issued in the field.

The AK rifle is the most widely used rifle in the world, it ain't flashy but it can be left in a puddle of mud for months and still be usable afterwards.

Michael Kalashnikov set out to make the simplest, toughest automatic weapon he could, and he succeeded. Spawned a line of successors using a simple long stroke piston and a rotating bolt.

The AK family is the global gold standard of reliability and the AK and AKM have been produced more than any other gun in the world, so much so that nobody really knows how many AK's there are.

Name a war, any war after , and you may be damn sure AKs were in it. Topped by the even older SKS, a simple, semi-auto rifle chambered in 7.

Known for being very reliable. Meant to be used by conscripts with minimal training. While the Kalashnikov replaced it shortly into its career in Russia, the SKS has gone on to be a common sight around the world, and remains very popular on the civilian market as a cheap, yet still highly-effective, sporting rifle.

And despite being largely decommiccioned in the most roles, it looks fancy enough that it's still used as a ceremonial rifle by the Russian military.

It also served as the standard service rifle of the People's Liberation Army for a time, and even today they still use it as their ceremonial rifle as well.

The PPS Submachine gun family. It is similar to the Sten in that it was a low cost weapon using the absolute minimum number of parts, and over 2 million were produced between and This was an often seen weapon in the Red Army, and served alongside the PPSh as the weapon that most often ended up in the hands of soldiers that didn't use rifles.

It was nothing to look at, but it got the job done, and when you have an underfunded, stretched thin army, that's really all that matters at the end of the day.

The Mosin-Nagant and its variants: Perhaps the simplest bolt action rifle ever made, terrifyingly rugged, both it and its cartridge still serve to this day around the world.

Simple as hell to operate, aim, and maintain. If the bolt gets jammed, you can open the bolt with a boot. And in the present day, despite all the modern technology available, the old "garbage rod" has seen use in the various Middle East conflicts as well as in Ukraine.

The good old D Sh K. Just as iconic as a legendary Ma Deuce below, and only ever overcame by it in a length-of-service department, it's still a Navy's darling despite being largely replaced by an NSV as a Ground Forces heavy machinegun.

Rugged to the point of being able to fire with at least some accuracy while being rusted all over, and being easily available because of the so much surplus ones due to being largely retired, it's also extremely popular with all the paramilitaries and rebel forces around the world, and is one of the first choices for the infamous "technicals".

Simple design, chambered in the powerful 7. It still sees formal and informal use worldwide. There's also the Makarov PM, the Tokarev's successor from the late s until The Makarov is a straight blowback design, firing the astonishingly powerful 9x18mm Makarov round.

It has a fixed barrel as part of the frame, making it very simple and very accurate. No linkages, locking lugs, or any of that; all that's going on is simple spring pressure from one that goes around the barrel to bring the slide back after the force of the exploding propellants of the cartridge drive it back.

It's also extremely compact compared to other service pistols. Other countries The Sten submachine gun, a gun that can be — and was — built in people's sheds.

It may have looked nasty, but it provided the British army with lots of firepower in a pinch, and it became more reliable as the war progressed.

The M3 and the improved M3A1 didn't have much in the way of looks, was designed primarily for mass production and had a slower rate of fire.

But it proved to be wonderfully compact, could be easily rechambered in 9x19mm, took a suppressor without much difficulty and was so good in its role that it remained a PDW for AFV crews and drivers up to the Gulf War.

The Philippines Naval Special Operations group have even started issuing suppressed M3A1s again , while their Marines still use theirs for boarding ships.

In spite of its many complainers, the AR rifle and its derivatives. The wooden furniture and large bullets were heavy, and the stock being at an angle to the barrel reduced accuracy.

Stoner replaced the wood with lightweight alloy and plastic, chose the smallest bullet capable of reliably killing a person the. Although the original M16 suffered from reliability issues, the design has evolved into such a well-balanced and reliable service rifle that although multiple attempts over the last five decades have been made to replace it, no weapon is better enough to justify doing so.

The M, both the gun and the design itself. It is often times called an American masterpiece of firearm design, and was only replaced by the American Army after Vietnam.

With very few to no changes the design is still popular today among police officers and civilians, at least in the country of origin. An overyears-old pistol is still the beloved favorite of soldiers generally considered to be at the cutting edge of modern warfare.

A very plain looking black pistol, sometimes ridiculed by old timers as a "plastic gun," it's nevertheless one of the most reliable firearms in the world, easily on par with the AK's famed reliability and tolerance of abuse and neglect.

And to top it off, it has very simple mechanics, lacks a traditional safety, is very simple to clean, and costs about half what most clones or high end revolvers cost.

There's a reason why nearly every police department in the US and many others around the world have adopted them as standard issue.

It's also easy enough to operate and has enough variants and aftermarket parts made for it to be massively, massively popular with civilian gun owners.

Sadly, they are also often prized by criminal elements because they leave no cartridge behind for investigators. Crooks who just held up a convenience store will not spend several minutes policing up their brass.

While we're still on the subject of firearms, how about the lowly. It's rimfire, meaning it's low-pressure and awfully weak compared to other ammunition, and thus is not recommended for striking down anything larger than a rabbit.

Then again, the proven design is older than any human alive , has less shock than a pellet rifle, and is so ubiquitous that you can buy hundreds of rounds for a few bucks.

It's what competitors use in the Olympics. And yes, it can kill someone, although it is highly inadvisable to recommend it for any kind of social use.

Also, being a "weak" rimfire, it escapes most restrictions on what types of guns you can buy in urban America, meaning you can legally possess an "assault weapon" even in gun-phobic states like California, as long as it is chambered for a.

While all the nations used bolt-action rifles to varying extent, Britain was the only one to not pursue a semi-automatic one at all.

The rifle was accurate, had ten shots compared to the Kar98k's five and most importantly was extremely reliable.

In the hands of a skilled marksman, it could fire up to twenty aimed shots in about a minute. In fact, the current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in by a British Army instructor, who managed to squeeze out thirty eight aimed shots in under a minute , all of which hit a inch target at yards.

Bolt-action rifles in general, really. They do not fire as fast as semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearms, but they are easier to maintain, less likely to misfire, cheaper, more accurate in longer ranges in a semi-automatic or fully-automatic firearm, some of the energy of the bullet is used for cycling the action , and more suitable for stealth they lack the clacking sound of the bolt closing and opening in autoloaders, and the user's is less likely to be revealed to enemies since the cartridge isn't visibly flung into the air.

Trying to shoot the more powerful 5. The British, in the run-up to World War I , placed enormous value on infantry rate-of-fire, because this A: Similarly, they used small-caliber, horse-drawn, fast firing small artillery pieces.

Other armies did not. This is why, before Britain raised its conscript army, the British Expeditionary Force of regulars was able to hold off German formations ten or twenty times its numbers.

A famous instance was when a German conscript attack, headed by a company of elite Prussian regulars, attacked a British battalion a tenth of its numbers in a forest.

A shell-shocked Prussian prisoner and the British commander had this exchange. But sir, where is your second line? We seem to have misplaced it - Sergeant!

Where is the second line? Incidentally, four other pieces of equipment that most senior officers came to regard as among the most vital to our success in Africa and Europe were the bulldozer, the jeep, the two-and-a-half-ton truck, and the C airplane.

Curiously enough, none of these is designed for combat. One prominent scientist was asked what the most important invention of the Scientific Revolution was, and he replied "the double-blind study".

The simple concept of testing a hypothesis without prior knowledge of the outcome is arguably the basis on which all rigorous science depends. Humans are often praised for their high intelligence compared to any other animals.

However, this is only the second best superpower humans possess. Even more important and providing humans with an advantage over almost any other animals of the plain was the ability And keep walking for hours on end!

Many animals are a lot faster than humans but also tire much faster. Humans can travel over very long distances with relatively short amounts of rest and their ability to carry water with them extended this even more.

To capture a horse alive, the average human just had to follow the horse until it was too exhausted to take one more step. Of course, intelligence is no small help too: Even the small segment of animals with more efficient energy expenditure mostly birds are far outclassed as soon as a human gets on a bicycle.

One of the few other animals with a similar ability to travel over long distances is the trusty dog. The beginning of a wonderful partnership.

Kangaroos can travel at high speed over long distances by hopping, which recovers most of the energy used in each leap by use of natural spring-like structures in the animal's legs.

This does cost them maneuverability, however. Really, many things on the animal kingdom are this.

For example, for many birds like swans and doves, just beating their wings is enough of a defense weapon, the former being able to break human bones with well placed strokes.

We should reemphasize also that the walking and intelligence are not unrelated; humans' permanent "obligate" in biolo-speak bipedalism, besides probably helping with the endurance aspect, also freed up the forelimbs, allowing us to start carrying things.

Carrying things eventually led to making things to carry—tools. Tool use and intelligence became a mutually-reinforcing cycle: Also more generally, bipedalism has always been a great evolutionary move for land animals that made it; humans simply benefited the most because they had hands with broad, flat nails from our descent from tree-dwelling primates that therefore used their hands to grasp branches rather than claws.

In the case of the dinosaur lineage that led to birds, bipedalism allowed their forelimbs to gradually evolve into functional airfoils, and they did so by assisting in climbing steep slopes rather than for gliding, according to one fairly well supported theory.

And finally, as the simplest and most reliable way to close a short distance, your own two feet can work in any weather, can't be stolen easily , costs nothing, doesn't need much maintenance, can take short cuts many vehicles can't, never have to worry about running someone over, needs no garage to store, helps you get fit and still work reasonably well if you're drunk.

Another uniquely human trait is our ability to throw things with a reasonable balance of distance, accuracy, and power. It often gets overlooked because it's so basic an ability to us that we amuse ourselves by skipping rocks, shooting paper balls at garbage cans, or tossing balls at milk bottles in order to win large stuffed animals.

And yet that simple ability is something that absolutely no other animal on the entire planet, including our closest relatives, can do, or ever did before our own ancestors.

Just one of the many unique benefits of opposable thumbs and arms designed to swing freely. However, this can become Mundane Made Awesome when talking about a superfast baseball pitch.

A 10 year old child can throw a baseball at about mph. An athletic adult can throw a baseball somewhere in between 70mph to over mph.

An adult chimpanzee can only throw something at around 20mph. Considering that kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity, a 10 year old child puts times as much energy into a throw as a chimpanzee and and adult puts times as much energy into one.

Things which are easy for us — like balancing on two legs, or throwing a ball, — are only easy because, while a great deal of our brainpower is dedicated to these things, little or none of it conscious.

To illustrate — when a Major League pitcher throws a ball around 90 mph , releasing the ball 0. Since it takes about that long 10 milliseconds for a nerve signal to travel from the brain to the fingers, the command to release the ball must be sent when the hand has not yet reached that window.

In other words, "swing-and-release" is a preprogrammed sequence, performed without the benefit of seeing or feeling where the pitcher's own arm is.

On the flip side, one of the most difficult physical tasks in sports is hitting an MLB pitch. A batter has less than 0. A batter has to figure out exactly what pitch the pitcher threw, where he's aiming, how it's moving, and how fast it's going.

All of that is visual and the batter must then decide whether or not to swing at it and, when then swinging, how to swing their bat. With an count i.

The third great evolutionary asset of Homo sapiens is incredible endurance. Size vs weight, humans are the most indefatigable animals there are.

There are few animals which can stay on the move with humans, the only ones being wolves and camels. Humans can easily outrun equines and bovines.

Humans are classified as "persistence predators". While many animals are faster than humans and more manoeuvrable, humans can simply outrun them and catch them exhausted.

That is also the reason why most Ancient and Medieval armies preferred carrying everything on their backs rather than employing pack animals, and why conscripts were more valuable as porters and work force: That is also the reason why cavalry-based armies, such as Mongols and other steppe nomads had to have a vast amount of spare mounts: The endurance of Homo sapiens is one of the reasons why there are few climates and terrains where humans cannot thrive.

On the topic of medicine: This sounds as sexy as saw dust and yet if followed rigorously by a population would dramatically reduce the burden of disease.

Even the half-assed implementation in the modern world has lengthened life expectancy by many years.

Regular exercise is an effective treatment for most physical illnesses and ailments and even helps with a surprising number of mental and emotional disorders.

If a medicine were invented with a fraction of that versatility, we'd be in awe of the breakthrough. Humans tend to think of predators as more cool and awe-inspiring than herbivores.

However, the reason herbivores outnumber predators is that eating stuff that doesn't run away or fight back is much more efficient.

Worst case scenario for a predator is burning more calories chasing their food than they get from eating it. The deceased Norm Borlaug was quite possibly the exemplar of this trope in Real Life.

He saved about 10 times more people from death than died in World War II. He spent decades interbreeding plants in a process even he admits damn near drove him insane with tedium.

However, the result was the Green Revolution, which increased crop yields to such an extent as to save more than a billion people from dying of starvation.

Medieval alchemists spent a great deal of time looking for a "universal solvent", capable of, well, dissolving anything. It took a very long time before anyone realized that you'd have trouble finding a more versatile solvent than plain old water.

In use for thousands of years, incredibly straightforward to apply, easily capable of saving wounded people from various horrible deaths, cheap to make, quickly obtained from clothing or other nearby items, it's perhaps one of the most enduring elements of medical technology ever.

Now it exists in thousands of different variants, from the humble Band-Aid to complex and fancy dressings intended for severe trauma victims, but it certainly seems like it's not going anywhere soon.

Carbon, hands down, is the most essential and widely used element in existence. Not only does it give rise to carbon-based life but it is also the most needed element for maintaining modern civilization.

Without Carbon, there would be no filters for making water safe enough for drinking. Without Carbon, there would be no filters for the gas masks needed to protect against chemical and biological weapons.

Without Carbon, there would be no filters for Air-Conditioning units to keep out dust and other microbial contaminants.

Which means no toothpaste, no computer chips, no flour Without Carbon, nothing would BE. It is the only suitable element for creating organic life when using water as a solvent.

Since carbon is used, too, as a catalyzer for the CNO cycle , that is the main way those massive stars fuse hydrogen, it's even debatable if massive stars could exist as well.

Boron is not made inside stars, by the way. Second of the most abundant metals in the world behind alumunium, very easy to process for its versatility, and the most versatile.

Nowadays no civilized communities and nomads which don't have at least one or two tools made from iron. A huge downside of Iron compared to Bronze is that it needs higher temperatures, cannot easily be cast and has vastly different properties due to impurities like Carbon or Nitrogen that are hard to predict or understand without major metallurgical knowledge to make mass quantities of weapons to arm their soldiers , they dominated the region and their enemies finally followed suit.

Good old fashioned engineering and progressively improving on a design. You just need to build it better. With sexually dimorphic bird species, the female having plainer, less flamboyant plumage than the male fits well with this trope—sure she's probably not gonna win any human beauty contests with those feathers, but she's also far less likely to be noticed by predators, which is especially helpful when she's the one taking care of the babies.

With her muted, inconspicuous color-scheme, she can render herself practically invisible when sitting on her nest just by staying perfectly still and quiet.

And additionally, male birds with large trains of plumage like peacocks have the problem of said trains weighing them down when they fly , something the female doesn't have to worry about as much.

Bruce Lee loved this trope up to the point where he developed his own fighting style based entirely around it called Jeet Kun Do way of the intercepting fist.

However, in practice, everything he did off-screen ended up appearing awesome, anyway. I fear not the man who has practiced 10, kicks once.

I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10, times. Traditional data storage Pencils and paper. And a lot cheaper than those i- and e- items.

Even before there were reliable ballpoint pens, you could carry a cheap lead pencil in your pocket, get it wet, dry it out, drop it off a cliff, find it again, leave it in a drawer for ten years, and it would still write as well as the day it was made.

An anecdote about the space race says that while the Americans were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop a high-tech pressurized pen that could write in Zero-G, the Russians simply shrugged their shoulders and said "Meh, we have pencils.

Both sides used pencils at first, but then the Soviets switched to grease pencils wax core, wrapped in paper, a bit like a hard crayon on plastic slates, and the Americans switched to felt-tipped pens i.

Also, both sides eventually adopted the "space pen. That is, a book. These thoroughly tromped scrolls which damaged the paper with curvature, were hard to navigate since they needed to be rolled, and couldn't have sections replaced or repaired.

Although it may or may not be about to be replaced by e-readers, for the last few thousand years there has been no more economical and efficient means of containing information.

The comparison to e-readers is particularly appropriate E-readers have a lot of advantages and, indeed, many e-reader critics seem to gloss over how much space is required for, and how friggin' heavy even a dozen books can be—to say nothing of the fact that with an e-reader, you don't have to deal with the Contemptible Cover , but books definitely fit this trope.

There was a tongue-in-cheek science fiction story possibly by Isaac Asimov. In a distant future, all books and libraries have long disappeared being replaced by microfilms due to their better storage capacity.

One character pointed out the shortcomings of microfilms such as the need for a relatively expensive hightech equipment to read it, equipment that can broke and must be replace at a certain cost, etc; not to mention that you need a constant source of electrical power.

Then someone came up with a brilliant idea: To quote Carl Sagan: Map and magnetic compass. Most of all, they do not need electricity nor special gadgets to use.

Map, magnetic compass, sextant, slide rule, Nautical Almanac and logarithmic tables will get you anywhere in the world. Without electricity or availability of satellite connections or telephone field.

No bluewater sailor should ever leave the port without those six inexpensive items - which may decide between death and survival when things get really pear-shaped.

Cellular networks often go down in an emergency , whether due to loss of power or overloading. Amateur radio operators love to tout ham radio for disaster preparedness, but it requires a license.

You likely have one or even several of them around the house. Even though it's one-way, ordinary broadcast radio is a very effective way to disseminate news and information in an emergency.

Even if local stations were knocked out, it would still be possible to pick up distant AM signals at night due to the skywave propagation effect.

It's even possible to navigate using radio stations if you didn't have a compass. Pilots used to do just that before VOR navigation was introduced.

This is why disaster preparedness instructions recommend a battery-powered radio in emergency kits. If you don't have a portable radio, you could use your car radio in a pinch if the power went out.

It's also a dirt-cheap form of entertainment in normal circumstances. High-Tech Hardware Good old tactile keyboards over cooler, more "advanced" touch screen keyboards.

Because you can navigate a tactile keyboard solely by feel while keeping an eye on the display. Touch screens are, well, flat and more time goes into looking at finger placement than would on a tactile keyboard.

In fact, some mechanical keyboards built over 20 years ago, particularly the venerable IBM Model M which is still manufactured to this day by Unicomp , still work with modern equipment, and are favored by modern typists because they provide excellent tactile feedback, are impervious to water, and never break.

Find one single other year-old peripheral that still works without modification or adapters on your new computer. There have also been cases where people have still typed on tactile computers with damaged monitors.

If the monitor of your touch screen is damaged, you're fucked. The ability to stop on command, move it around freely, and have clear predictability make it the dominant form of pixel selection input for the foreseeable future.

Human-machine interaction studies often use a model called Fitts' law to calculate how easy it is for a user to accurately move a pointer from one point to another in a straight line.

Since the responsiveness varies from device to device, each one is associated with a certain coefficient, and the mouse generally comes surprisingly close to a person's bare hands as reported in this paper around page Also, remember that the mouse moves on a flat surface that's precisely mapped to the screen and unlike with a touchscreen, a mouse cursor cannot move past the screen's edge.

Ever wondered why it's so easy to, say, close a full-screen application in Windows? No accuracy needed, you just slam your mouse in the corner and click.

Also worth noting is that most devices tend to be either absolute-positioning with precise coordinates across a limited physical range, like a touchscreen, drawing tablet or the right stick of a Steel Battalion controller, or relative-positioning with tracking changes from the last known position, like a trackball or flight stick that controls rate of change.

The typical computer mouse blends the best of both worlds, with the lack of physical bounds that a relative-positioning device can offer, and the precision of an absolute-positioning device on a mousing surface of fixed size.

This is why the mouse is the First-Person Shooter controller of choice: Also, your view in an FPS will spaz out if you try to control it with a true absolute positioning device like a drawing tablet in pen mode, because the game sees constant relative mouse movement away from center.

A more specific example would be the wired mouse. Yes, wireless mice look a little cooler by default due to being wireless, but wired mice are much less prone to breaking due to, of course, being wired , and eventually save on AA batteries over time.

In relation the above, keyboard shortcuts and mouse button commands. No touchscreen interface has yet come up with anything so quick and convenient for input.

Many who mastered keyboard shortcuts can use them so well that they rarely have to use a mouse and type really fast, and right-clicking is just plain practical for many quick command options.

While we're on it, boring old PCs over flashy tablets in general, for similar reasons. Marketing for certain tablets can go on and on about how it's the "post-PC" era, but their relative cheapness, mass producibility, and tactile input means that they'll likely stick around for a long time.

Until the day comes that someone creates something that can replace the tactile input of a PC, we really won't be in the post-PC era for awhile.

Don't forget computing power. Even a basic laptop will outperform a tablet, to say nothing of a high-end gaming desktop. Plus, just try writing a term paper, essay or novel with a tablet sometime.

Yes, you can buy a keyboard for your tablet, but at that point you just have a netbook that costs more and does less than a regular one. It's also worth noting that all those "post-PC" devices still require PCs to program and compile the very software that they use.

Until a typical smartphone or tablet allows its user to develop new applications from scratch and publish to the respective app store once complete, without the aid of any other computing devices, PCs will still exist, because you can't run Xcode on iOS only macOS and you can't run Android Studio on Android.

Tablets, on the other hand, also can count as this. Sure, they do not have the gaming performance of PCs, but they are much cheaper and still able to perform basic tasks, such as browsing the Internet or playing Youtube videos.

Also, nowadays many PC applications, such as the Microsoft Office suite, have tablet-optimized versions that are much cheaper than the PC ones, or even completely free.

And of course, they're stupdenously portable and can be carried around in a messenger bag all day. Any and all utilitarian IT standards. ASCII text, for instance, doesn't come with fonts, or nifty accents, but every Goddamn computer in the world can read it.

Dial-up internet access is slow and inconvenient, but everybody who has a phone can use it for low cost. It is a plain text file, with rows of data, and each value separated by a comma.

Doesn't have fancy formatting, tabs, or other genuinely useful tools that an Excel file can have, but is loved by IT Admins and programmers everywhere for how easy it is to have a script read.

In addition, there are a variety of programs specifically designed for editing.

Told everyone to be ready by 10 am. We bought cereal, milk and muffins from the supermarket the night before and had those for our quick brekkie.

I was quite disappointed actually to know that we can no longer be photographed holding a cute koala. Phototaking with the koala bears was not the same like before too — we had to take our pics with the koala AND the keeper.

But poor koalas too. I understand that they get stressed from all the constant handling by humans. So after the phototaking session with the koala and the keeper lol , we walked around the park.

I could see that the girls did not look that impressed. But that was before they had the chance to do some hands on like feeding the kangaroo.

I still insisted the kangaroo was about to give birth. She admitted that it was quite bimbotic of me to have made that giving birth statement. Actually the girls were really looking forward to Target because they thought that they would be able to find all slime related stuff there.

Alas, they were left disappointed. Nura and I both agreed that KMart is way better in terms of pricing and their array of choices. We went crazy at KMart, needless to say.

And we ended up going to different KMarts! At Woolworths, we then bought halal lamb ribs, honey soy chicken and chicken cheese sausages because we wanted to cook them for dinner or perhaps supper the following day.

Of course, that meant that Nura and I would have to go to the kitchen to cook. Once we were done at Woolworths, we decided to try out one of the highly recommended halal restaurants- Aroma Selera.

Aroma Selera is just 5 mins away from Westfield Carousel. Tatek ordered Nasi Ayam Penyet. Esman ordered Nasi Lemak Special.

I ordered the normal Nasi Lemak. Nura ordered Sup Buntut with Rice. As usual, they shared their food and helped us save some money.

Overall, it was a reasonably nice dinner for us. And it was really nice to see how they bonded and looked out for each other.

Maybe this is what bromance is all about. Right after dinner, we went to Coles supermarket situated very near to our holiday home because we just love the supermarkets there so much!

End of day 2. Nura was already so tired by then. This buddy of mine gets tired quite easily, I realised. Hmmm, I remember cooking maggi for the kids for supper.

Was that on the first night? The kids ate too much until I cannot keep track anymore. I was actually super excited for that because it was going to be my first ever fruit picking experience!

We were briefed on how to go about choosing ripe mangoes, and what are the things that we should not do — like picking unripe mangoes and throwing them everywhere.

Their mangoes come in 2 different sizes — the big huge ones and also the little ones. The little ones are seedless.

Do not wear nice or super white shoes when you visit the Mango Perth Farm because your shoes will turn brown, I swear. Once we were done with fruit picking, we decided to drive to WaterTown previously known as Harbour Town.

The kids certainly did not mind the long drives when we were in Perth because they either played together… or napped together.

I used to go crazy at Harbour Town during my first visit to Perth. The family room there is really big and awesome, though. For lunch, we tried Ispa Kebab.

One meal can feed my entire kids and I! Tatek could not finish his kebab and ate only half of it. Okay here comes the tricky part — they have 3 outlets in Perth.

One, somewhere near Perth City. The other, at Swan Valley. And one more at Margaret River. Obviously we chose the one near town because it was only a mins drive from where we were at that point of time with longer opening hours.

Most shops close at 5. When we reached our destination, we were quite dismalled to see that the Margaret River Chocolate Factory in Perth City is just their retail store.

Anyway, for dinner, we decided to cook the lamb ribs that we had bought the day before from WoolWorths. But the cleaning up part was not so fun.

I had to wipe off the oil and stubborn grease — that took me forever man! Thank goodness I had a fellow bibik with me for this trip — Bibik Nura had no choice but help out with the cooking and cleaning up.

The kids always looked forward to going back to the holiday home because all they wanted to do was to play and spend time together. Anyway, dinner was pretty decent.

And that was all that mattered. Ok day 4 was supposed to be a visit to Fremantle Prison. We really wanted to go for the guided 1.

But we ended up not going at the very last minute because we feared the boys would be restless and then bored during the guided tour. Besides, Esman felt that it was quite a gloomy place to bring the kids to.

So we scraped the whole idea off and drove straight to Fremantle Markets instead. Girls had fun checking out the various handicrafts which included Harry Potter necklaces and badges.

I loved the vibe there! If you want to explore Fremantle Markets, do make sure to go only from Friday to Sunday. They are closed on other days.

Tatek also ordered their BBQ seafood platter because he wanted to eat the freshly bbq-ed lobster. A bit pricey but you can share it with 4 pax or more, just like what we did.

After our very satisfying lunch at Kailis, it was another 5 mins drive to E-shed markets. Of course we could have chosen to walk instead but with 2 toddlers who got tired and cranky so easily in tow, driving from one place to another was definitely a better option.

What can you expect to find here? Lots of cheap souvenirs like tees, keychains, and nougat for your favourite folks and people back in Singapore.

And oh, there is one halal food stall here too, and the stall owners are Singaporeans! According to Esman, the sambal belacan was sooooooo syiok and spicy.

And apparently, their food is very nice too, as vouched by many. But please do give it a try if you are there! They even have teh tarik and iced milo!

We bought quite a couple of tees for Shakeel and the girls, including this tee that he wore on his last day in Perth! From Fremantle, it was a 15 minutes drive to Cottesloe Beach.

Cottesloe Beach is by far the most popular and well-known beach in Perth. The exhibition was featured from the sea wall all the way along the sand towards North Cottesloe and on the surrounding grassed areas creating a beautiful sculpture park.

Really a beautiful sight although the beach was too windy and chilling for us. And I especially like this picture because Nura did not realize she was photobombing me.

Can you spot her? Besides Cottesloe Beach, another one worth checking out will be Mullaloo Beach which is a popular swimming beach, ideal for children of all ages.

Children will enjoy playing in the superb playground facilities and parklands overlooking the beach! After chilling at the beach pun intended , it was time for dinner.

That was the plan initially. Halal food spotted as well! They even have live local music adding to the cultural atmosphere.

Such a beautiful sight. Awesome job Dian and Hadi! Since it was too crowded at Twilight Hawker Markets and there was a big group of us, we could not possibly dine there.

That would be a good 15 mins drive from where we were. And the food is by far, the best halal food we tasted during our short stay in Perth! It was an enjoyable dinner with the Saniffs!

Nura and I were actually discussing about how our kids and us should be at our best behaviour during dinner.

But nah, I could not stop myself from cracking some lame jokes along the way like how to go about conceiving a baby boy. Thank you Azhar Sidek and family for the hospitality and for recommending such a wonderful place for dinner!

Hope to see you guys around soon. During our drive back to the holiday home, Tatek heard someone honking at us. He turned and saw Mr Sidek Saniff waving at him in the car next to us!

How often can you have Sidek Saniff waving at you? Oh my, what a night. Something scary also happened on Day 4 but I would rather not mention it here.

Alhamdullilah the unthinkable did not happen. We started packing for Singapore once we were back at the holiday home. Actually Tatek was the one who did the packing for the kids and I.

I really like how he does the packing each time — always so neat, space saving and compact! Our flight back to Singapore was at 7.

We had till about 5 pm to do our last minute shopping and all. First up was lunch at Tokyo Bento at Westfield Carousel. So while Esman did a quick catchup with his friend over lunch, the rest of us simply enjoyed the food before rushing to KMart again to shop again.

We went to E-Shed Markets to get some more souvenirs before rushing to the airport. Traffic was quite bad that day but we managed to reach the airport by 5.

While we were queuing up to check in our luggages, Shakeel dropped a bag of grapes. The grapes basically rolled all over the place.

It was actually a funny sight even though we were quite mad at him. So we ended up laughing instead. Reality check 1 — I will be turning 37 in a matter of days.

Our hair ages intrinsically too, just like our skin. As we age, the pigment cells also decrease. This will slow down the production of melanin. And when you do not produce enough melanin, you will then have grey hair!

Lesser collagen and elastin also cause hair to become drier and more brittle. Shrinking of the hair follicles then results in thinner hair!

And as for me, after giving birth to Shakeel like a year ago, I suffered from excessive hair loss again! I was very bothered by how my hair dropped easily, especially right after brushing or blow-drying it.

Although most women suffer from hair problems, they often sweep it under the carpet because not many want to be upfront about it.

TrichoKare is the leading and award winning Trichological centre that provides expert solutions on hair and scalp problems!

I went to their NEX outlet. Just for your information, they have several outlets in Singapore. Will list them down later. The moment I reached, I was asked to fill up a form based on how much I knew about my hair and scalp.

My friendly Trichologist then went through the form together with me and performed a hair and scalp analysis for me. It was seriously gross to see my scalp and individual strands of hair up close but it was only through that analysis did I actually find out the real problem s with my hair and scalp.

I used to think that I had a combination of oily and dry scalp but surprise, surprise, my scalp is neither oily nor dry….

Did you see those red rashes on my scalp? The Trichologist pointed out that those are signs of irritation of the scalp.

The excess sebum and dry flakes on my scalp will impede hair growth. Not doing anything about it would cause me potential hair thinning and eventually excessive hair loss problems in future!

So when you go for a scalp analysis, the certified Trichologists at TrichoKare will show you what is going up there on your scalp and provide a personalised treatment as well as product recommendations and hair tips.

Time to get my hair and scalp treated! I was informed that the entire treatment would take about 1. The treatment room looks so grand, oh my god!

So the first thing to do was to detox my scalp. High-frequency therapy is a type of intensive hair treatment to cure dandruff, hair fall or alopecia.

It was carried out by treating your hair with high-frequency infra and ultra-rays. It helps to revitalise your scalp, encourage the scalp to increase the rate of hair growth, prevent itchy scalp and put a stop to hair fall gradually.

The experience was tickling, sensational and painless! It also soothes the scalp to reduce redness and irritation. I then proceeded to have one of the most thorough and best hair washes I have ever had in my life!

It was not just a hair wash. It was not just a normal head massage. The Trichologists are trained to provide relaxing head massages that focus on each pressure point on the scalp, melting any tension away.

After the super shiok hair wash, the Trichologist applied a customised tonic onto my scalp to strengthen the cohesion of keratin fibres and infuse hair with proteins to improve the hair density.

It can really help to thicken your fine, thin hair! A thorough scalp massage was given to ensure that the nutrients and proteins were fully absorbed into my scalp.

I ended my treatment with an infrared therapy. This intensive regeneration improves blood circulation and oxygen flow to the hair follicles.

It also stimulates cell renewal, which will help to stimulate hair growth and restore my hair to its former glory. The Review To wrap things up, the Trichologist did another round of hair and scalp analysis so that I could see for myself the results right after that one session of treatment.

The results are so obvious, I was surprised to see how 2hrs of treatment did wonders to my scalp and hair! As you can see below, my scalp looks so much better after the treatment!

My hair follicles are visibly clean too, with all the excess sebum removed. I was very pleased with how clean my scalp felt, which made such a big difference to someone like me who constantly struggle with itchy scalp problems and only premium European herbs are used at TrichoKare!

My hair smelt so good throughout the treatment and even after! And mind you, that was only my first treatment session with TrichoKare!

Imagine how much healthier and less sensitive my scalp would be after more treatment sessions with them! And after several days, my scalp still felt super clean!!

Even on days when the weather were so humid, my scalp was perfectly free from itch! Am experiencing little to NO hair fall throughout the following week!

This clearly proves how effective TrichoKare can be when it comes to promoting healthy hair growth, preventing hair fall and hair loss!

They are really well-versed at what they are doing! I also love the warm, welcoming and non-threatening environment at TrichoKare — I totally stopped being so conscious about myself the moment I met my Trichologist.

So for those of you who asked me via IG about the hair and scalp treatment at TrichoKare, hope this post is useful to you!

Having seen results myself, I definitely recommend you to try! A healthy scalp prevent future hair loss! As the caring mum of a toddler, I feel that diaper changing is a partnership between my son and me.

But there is more to it in terms of science that I am so kicked up about sharing with you. With an active toddler like Shakeel, diaper-changing time needs to be as fast and fuss free as possible.

I mean, I cannot possibly hold him down and expect him to cooperate. Tape diapers and an active toddler will never get along.

I have tried using tape diapers with Shakeel but my goodness, it was like wrestling and trying to pin him down with all my might! And if I did that, Shakeel would struggle even more and escape whenever possible.

And I would be so tired by then! Once he ran around the whole house without any diaper on because he just did not want to go through the wrestling session with me!

It really saves us so much time and unlike before, Shakeel no longer struggles. All I need to do is to tell him that it is diaper-changing time, and he will cooperate and just wait for it to be done.

More often than not, it usually takes less than 5 minutes! Removing it is just as easy as well — just tear off both side seams of the diaper and you are done!

And I like how the diaper comes with a tape at the back so that I can just roll up the soiled diaper and secure it with the tape!

The diaper is really comfortable plus soft and stretchable, giving Shakeel more flexibility to move around.

No matter how active Shakeel is or how many stunts he performs in a day, the diaper will stay in place. Just look at the yellow strips and if they are blue, that means the diaper is wet and it is time to change!

But I am not as worried if I do not get to change his diaper right on time because the diaper can really absorb well!

This is definitely awesome for overnight use without having to worry about diaper leaks. There will be days when we either forget to change their diaper or we just pretend to forget.

Click HERE for free samples! At the end of the day, diaper changing is a partnership between Shakeel and me. Oh, you can also read my post HERE!

So I let her rest for a while but I will not give her titties a break no matter what! Ok a bit too much information there.

I really love Chinese New Year because there are lots of sweet oranges everywhere. Well, I am the boss! I can just mess everything and anything up and get away with it like all the time!

I will announce that in a jiffy, so do not be so mean and scroll down immediately before reading what I have to type out first with my tiny fat fingers.

Why must you aunties and uncles book an appointment with them during their CNY Fair? I think it has something to do with saving lots of money.

I heard that renovating a house is very expensive — way more expensive than my baby shark pajamas! And I still do not understand why my mummy has to complain so much about me owning so many baby shark pajamas!

I want to own all the colours of the pyjamas, is that so wrong? I cannot even count using all my fingers and toes because you will save a lot!

Except for number You will really save a lot of money, aunties and uncles, as you can read and see. Errrr…my mummy just told me to move aside because she wants to take over for the rest of the blog post!

She said I was blabbering too much. Now go put the money to good use, you guys! Like treating me to dinner, for instance lol The good people from Icon Interior Design will be contacting you to give you details about the prize presentation!

Buying a home is a huge investment and many new owners do not have the means to jump straight into major renovations.

At Icon Interior Design, they truly understand this and will try their very best to match their design with your budget!

So for you homeowners who have just gotten the keys to your new house or are intending to source for a renovation company, be sure to not miss the CNY Fair by Icon Interior Design!

No harm calling them up for an appointment and have them work out your quotation for you for free, right? Even if it is not, the interior designers at Icon Interior Designer will be more than willing to work out a quotation that is solely based on your budget.

I will not lie and tell you that your renovation will be smooth sailing although mine was pretty much smooth sailing!

Planning and imagining your dream home with your interior designer should be fun, so do not turn it into a stressful period! Do not try to rush the process, and end up regretting it later.

Take your time, and most importantly, spend within your budget! House renovation can possibly give you the biggest headache, but it can also make you the happiest the moment you see your dreams transformed into reality!

Thumbs up, Icon Interior Design! And for that, they are still at the top of my list for the best interior design company in Singapore!

So anyway, back to Icon Home Challenge — this time round, two lucky homeowners who just renovated their home with Icon Interior Design will compete with each other for the top two prizes.

Uhuh, both of them will win cash, regardless. Both are winners, in other words. Why you think like that, ah?

In fact, you do not even have to renovate the entire house before you can qualify for the Icon Home Challenge!

All you need to do is to be sporting enough to let Icon Interior Design showcase your beautiful house.

Your home does not even have to be fully furnished although having a fully furnished home is pleasing to the eye and can earn you some extra points!

They can definitely do a bit of shopping for their new home with that amount of cash prize! I am going to showcase pictures of the home finalists, and all you need to do is to vote for the most deserving winner!

Nice photography as always by the one and only Zee And Marina! I will announce the results on Friday, 9 February too, at 6 pm!

I will also be revealing some too good to be true promotions by Icon Interior Design for homeowners who are intending to promote their house!

Then you can panic and quickly book your appointment with them! But if you are super kiasu, just call now lah to enquire!

That said, do make it a point to drop by to shop, grab a bite and enjoy the ambience of the market with your friends and family. Stroll through the vibrant flea market, dig into a variety of delicious treats, enjoy live performances and movies under the stars!

Best of all, it is air conditioned and situated at Suntec City Convention Centre! Popular activities from the first edition of Twlight: Time to step out of your comfort zone, Mak and Daddy!

Otherwise, just purchase online HERE! Kids will LOVE them! You can purchase slimes from them too! I am sure everyone who went for the first edition of Twilight: If you have no pressing plans and just want to immerse yourself in a bit of laidback Singapore, this is the place to hang out this weekend!

Now that Shakeel is already 15 months old, being a fussy eater is part of the package. Toddlers are very good at listening to their hunger cues so really, we should leave it all to them to decide how much they want to eat.

I am still breastfeeding Shakeel as often as he wants it, but I also offer him solids a few times a day. I was drinking a glass of milk one day when he pulled the glass towards him repetitively.

I let him take a sip of it only — I was so worried that he would have a reaction to it. As we all know it, we must always wait for a few days and check for possible reactions to new foods such as food sensitivities or food allergies.

I have read that rashes, gastrointestinal or stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea can all indicate a milk allergy!

He did not want to taste it anymore after that. I have read that warming the milk first before offering it to our toddler helps.

Using a straw or special sippy cup might help too. Sippy cups can be a great way for your baby to transition from nursing or bottle-feeding to a regular cup.

Some babies start using sippy cups as early as 6 months old, and others will not be interested until after their first birthday!

Shakeel for instance, started to show interest in the sippy cup only when he reached one. Here are some tips for introducing the sippy cup to our little ones:.

Or cut it half and half. HPB also recommend giving your toddler ml of milk. Otherwise your toddler may be more likely to get cavities and be too full to eat at mealtime.

Mummies, if you need to find out more about fresh milk, you can view the video below! Where to go to if you need to shop for stylish, quality and most importantly, kid friendly bedroom furniture and accessories for your kid s?

Their safety is of utmost importance, and at Piccolo House, you can rest assure that all their products are safe for kids. Recently, I decided to set up a reading corner for Shakeel and his sisters at the living room.

Since my living room is mostly in white and black, it is only apt for me to choose the same colours for their reading corner. And I know I would not have much of a problem finding the furniture and accessories for their reading corner at Piccolo House.

The colours of the furniture at Piccolo House are either white or in pastel tones. I love those kinds of colors when it comes to furniture.

Spare me the loud tones, please. When I first visited Piccolo House, I knew what to look out for because I already visited their website http: Can you please get this for us?

Can we each have one? Can you please get it for us? So we made that much needed trip down to Piccolo House one Sunday afternoon. And they were quite persistent about it.

Of course I had to explain to them that we could not possibly choose or buy everything due to space issues. Remember I wanted everything too when I visited their website?

The apple does not fall far from the tree, after all. But seriously, Piccolo House offers an extensive range when it comes to kids furniture. You can expect to find modular beds, thematic cabinetries, play desks and essential storages that cater to your every need.

They also have a wide range of bed frames and mattresses to cater to every kid. When it comes to our little ones, storage is always a problem at home!

Piccolo House understands the concern that most parents like you and me have, and provide a wide range of bookcases and storages for toys! Whenever you are at Piccolo House, be sure to check out their bestselling products like….

At Piccolo House, the beds are designed with both the child and parents in mind. The modular beds can be transformed from single bed to a four poster bed, to a loft bed and also into a bunk bed.

Their beds that grow with your kids. What I like about this wooden play kitchen is the fact that it is sturdy enough for our little rough players but yet not bulky enough.

It does not take up a lot of space too. They have different types of book shelves! You can even mount some of the bookshelves to the wall to save even more space!

After much consideration, we decided to create a little reading corner for Shakeel. My next goal is to turn one whole bedroom into a library.

Click HERE to participate! He will still need to latch on every 2 hours or so at night, just for comfort I reckon.

So that also means I can forget about date nights for now. But with a face like this, I think date nights can wait. I truly enjoy breastfeeding Shakeel, and I still refuse to stop.

There are so many things that I do to motivate me further in my breastfeeding journey with Shakeel like shop for cute nursing covers, for instance.

Or when he sees me putting on the nursing cover, he will squeal with delight. Other than that, Shakeel generally enjoys his food and meal times these days.

However there are also days when he will eat only a small portion or refuse to eat totally. It is therefore normal for toddlers to peck and poke at their food.

Toddlers need less food, and that means they may prefer snacking their way through the day rather than sit down to a full-fledged feast.

This boy runs everywhere now! So these days, I just ensure that I prepare the right food for Shakeel and I try to make it as nutritious as possible for him.

I will also allow him to enjoy what I am eating as long as it is not hot or spicy. And oh this boy loves to snack in between his meals!

So I always ensure that there will be some snacks ready at home like:. When I first introduced solids to Shakeel, I was initially alarmed when he finished a bowl of rice cereal one day, and totally refused it the following day.

The same thing happened to some other foods, which I introduced to him like egg and cheese. But as mentioned earlier, it is actually normal for toddlers to be confused and be inconsistent with their likes and dislikes as far as food is concerned.

Familiarity with foods is key, as a toddler may need to be exposed to new foods more than 10 times before they try it.

A child will usually eat at the second meal. So what can we as parents do to help our little eaters enjoy a range of foods?

The rule of thumb or rather hand is, the size of their stomach is approximately the size of their fist. If he is not eating so much, then I will let him latch on like every hour or so.

Encourage them through healthy eating habits and pleasant mealtimes! For tips and more information, may I suggest this website which I think is really useful for us mummies?

Now that he is already one year old, he can pretty much eat whatever we are eating sans the salt and other seasonings.

Prepare him an entirely separate meal read: Can you stop growing up so fast? Suddenly you are eating what we eat? For starters, weaning is the process of moving your little one on from a diet of just milk to solid food too.

All babies will eventually wean, whether they are allowed to self-wean or are encouraged to wean from an earlier time frame. To get your baby used to solids, it will be a great idea to establish a routine for eating.

Once he is used to it, the process will get easier and enjoyable for your baby. This will help to prevent them from becoming fussy eaters as they get older.

I try my very best to include vegetables in every meal of Shakeel. He still loves his chicken porridge for lunch every day so what I will normally do is to cook the porridge with broccoli, carrot and spinach as well.

When he was slightly younger, I would blend the porridge to puree it before feeding him — this was to prevent him from choking. Now that he is bigger, likes textured food and chew his food better, I no longer blend his porridge but I do ensure that the vegetables are soggy enough for him to swallow.

You can read up more from http: Shakeel loves to eat, especially when he gets to eat together with us. But of course, he can get pretty fussy at times, especially with new food.

If he likes it, he will demand that I feed him the same food again. Between 4 and 6 months, this reflex usually disappears.

Since my darling boy loves to eat, I have been pretty adventurous too in the kitchen as far as preparing his meals are concerned.

And on most days, I will prepare for him the same thing that I am preparing for the family. Everyone including the little boy loved it that I cooked the same thing again a day after.

I love it when the boy gets so excited to eat! When he saw the plate of Roasted Salmon with rice, he could not wait for me to feed him!

Excuse me boy, do not be so cheeky and try to be Salt Bae okay because strictly no salt in your food! The husband who is not really a salmon lover like the kids and me enjoyed the Roasted Salmon with Garlic Herb so much till his entire plate was empty!

They are extremely easy to eat too, and make a nice snack for the entirely family! Now, when our little ones start to eat solids, it is important to teach them to feed themselves.

Allow them to pick up food with their fingers or a spoon and to put it in their mouth. This is especially essential for developing their motor skills.

Do not be fussy about neatness during mealtimes. Expect lots of mess and just close one eye, mummies.

And when they are enjoying what they eat, they will just ask you to talk to their hands if you try to engage in a conversation. Confession — I also tried to make homemade chicken nuggets, but they did not turn out that nice.

After tasting it twice, Shakeel basically pushed the plate away until the nuggets rolled all over the table.

Let me perfect the recipe and share with you some other time? Oh, perhaps I should mention this part — even though Shakeel has started to eat solids, I am still breastfeeding him.

He does not latch on as often as before anymore, but I like the fact that he will look for me and latch on when he wants comfort or when he is simply hungry.

Do not believe in the myth that the benefits of breastmilk stop at a certain point — they do not! Instead, they continue and are more significant and longer lasting for both you and your child the longer breastfeeding continues.

And have even more fun watching them eating and learning through mess. I was never the kind to slather body lotion on myself because I have always found them to be greasy and sticky on my sensitive skin.

Whenever I tried to apply body lotions, my skin would react and I would scratch all over. Furthermore, with the hot climate here, slathering the skin with heavy body lotion is not quite a good idea.

And it can get flaky at times. I guess it all boils down to finding the right body lotion so that my skin stays moisturised without irritating me.

NIVEA recently launched the 1st oil-infused body lotion that is ultra-lightweight for 24 hour deep moisture! Ingredients include well-known and well-loved argan oil and jojoba oil.

When I attended the private launch weeks ago, I was in awe when they did the live product tests because the moisture level did increase like almost immediately after NIVEA Body Oil in Lotion was applied to the skin.

The oil levels also decreased. Worth the money and they always deliver what they promise and claim. The lotion itself contains Jojoba Oil and lots of other essential oils, which are definitely great for the skin!

It feels super light on the skin and like mentioned earlier on, it gets absorbed into the skin within a few seconds! My skin will look super healthy after I apply it and it will stay moisturised for hours!

It has the baby scent. So at the end of the day, I am okay with either or. But why not you try both variants out yourself and you decide which is your favourite?

My breastfeeding journey with Shakeel has been a rather emotional one. No matter how well you prepare yourself for it by reading online, nothing can honestly prepare you for the depth of truth behind all those words.

One of the decisions I made when pregnant with Shakeel was to breastfeed him for at least a year. It was not easy but I wanted to at least try because I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of breastfeeding.

I had persevered through multiple hurdles and challenges with my daughters just to breastfeed them. That said, I wanted to also try my best for Shakeel and see how far I can go!

I am sure fellow mummies who breastfeed or have breastfed will understand some of the challenges of breastfeeding. As for me, I had to cope with namely:.

There were occasions when I felt like giving up. The worst was when I had cracked and bleeding nipples but Shakeel wanted to constantly nurse.

It was worse when he was unwell. That was a nightmare! I remember crying each time he latched on because it was just too painful! Good family support is essential.

In my case, I am glad to have my husband who understands how challenging breastfeeding can get. For instance, when I had my cracked and bleeding nipples, he told me to take time off in the morning while he fed Shakeel direct from the bottle.

It will get worse and you will end up hating breastfeeding. So I was given time off for about three consecutive days from about 9 am till 1 pm.

And on days when my husband was not working, he told me to take a longer break so that I could spend my time expressing my milk while Shakeel drank from the bottle.

It was not easy — Shakeel refused the bottle initially. He did not drink much from the bottle. And at times, he even cried endlessly because he only wanted to latch on.

Again, thanks to the strong support at home, I managed to go through the ordeal. I almost felt like giving up. But when I thought about those precious breastfeeding moments with Shakeel, I told myself to persevere.

My nipples healed and I could breastfeed without complications from thereon. Motherhood is funny that way. He is one year old now and I have stopped having bleeding or cracked nipples no matter what position he is in.

Having cracked and bleeding nipples during the first few months of breastfeeding is normal. You just need to persevere and get all the support you can get so that you can continue your breastfeeding journey with your baby at ease.

A baby friendly hospital can help you get on the track to successful breastfeeding. I am glad I made the choice to give birth at KKH. The moment Shakeel was out, the midwife ensured that Shakeel had skin-to-skin contact with me.

I was also shown how to properly breastfeed and maintain lactation, even when separated from Shakeel. I clearly remember how it was like when Shakeel was hospitalized for jaundice.

At the hospital, I was also given the breast pump to express and maintain my milk supply before passing bottles of my expressed milk to the nurse while I was there during the daytime.

Whenever they brought Shakeel out for his feeding, they would ask me to latch him on for a while to maintain my breast milk supply. And whenever I latched Shakeel on for a while during his feeding time, the nurse would always be next to me to ensure that I was doing it right.

Mothers who are experiencing difficulty breastfeeding are encouraged to always consult a lactation consultant, doctor or nurse for advice, especially during the first six months of breastfeeding.

This also helps to determine whether there is a need to introduce formula milk. Although the overall composition is not the same as breastmilk, infant formula milk is enough to meet the normal nutritional needs of non-breastfed infants.

Breastmilk is always best for babies, but if breastfeeding is not possible, formula feeding is the next best alternative to breast milk.

Both breastfeeding and formula have their places in society, and as the mother, it does not matter which way we plan to nourish our babies as long as they get all the necessary nutrients.

As of now, I do not want to stop breastfeeding Shakeel as yet because I truly treasure the special bonding experience that comes with it, and for any urgent feeding moments I can just latch him on and soothe him.

I can even go out without the need for the diaper bag on days when I feel lazy. I do not want to be too dependent on the bottle or formula milk for now.

The diaper bag can get pretty heavy with the bottles and all, I think. On several occasions when I felt like stopping breastfeeding, I would remember how he looks at me and smile while nursing.

I would also remember how he snuggles in close to me every single night. One day he will no longer need me as much and I will have to let him go.

But for now I still nourish him as much as he still needs me. Mummies, do not give up easily if you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed your baby.

Should you need information on breastfeeding, , visit www. He likes elephants so I thought a little elephant smash cake would be really cute!

The idea is for them to smash it! It will get really messy, but the photos are priceless! Yup, the tradition is to have a proper photoshoot for the smash cake.

If you were to visit their website, their cakes are categorized as such:. Their baby friendly cakes do not contain any form of eggs, dairy, nuts, and cocoa powder.

I was really trying to get Shakeel to experiment and get dirty with the cake! Okay fine, I am sorry! It will be fun — you can never know how your little one will react to you insisting that they smash the cake!

Special thanks to Fauzi Anuar for the funny shots! Not quite a piece of cake, but he managed to capture those precious moments for us nevertheless!

My baby Shakeel Adly turned 1 on 5 August and boy did we have a bash at the zoo! Got to thank Sprinkie Parties for designing the e-invite for me!

The initial idea was to print out the invites and mail them out, but based on past experiences where some guests either did not receive the invites on time or at all, I think it would be a better idea to whatsapp them the invite instead.

Plus, we got to save some trees! Let me backtrack a bit- after every birthday party, I told myself that would be the last time — no way would I want to go through the planning, the cleaning up, and the exhaustion which would last for days AGAIN!

Ah see that face of mine? When I have that face, just do not come near to me. There were also many reasons as to why I did not want to throw a party for Shakeel initially and they included:.

Just entertain me while I debate with myself for all the points mentioned above. Even though he will not remember it, it is still something nice to do something special to celebrate his first year.

Besides, we can always look at the pictures and videos together with him when he is much bigger. Those will serve as memories, which will last a lifetime.

Besides being a really good friend, he is also a skilled photographer who is most importantly, super passionate about his trade and what he does best.

Thank you Fauzi for doing this for me and Shakeel! I am not a photographer, after all. To enquire more about the services provided by Fauzi Anuar: So yes , the party must go on.

A week after the party now and I am still thinking where to store his gifts. With a little more effort and thinking being put into the planning of the party, the party can also be for the birthday boy to enjoy.

She had everything under control! But adults, you too can ride on them with your kids like this one adult here.

We thought it would be a better idea to have the rides outdoor and by the pool so that kids had more space to move around.

The party was at level 2 of the clubhouse, by the way! It was really like going to the zoo! I actually could not contain my happiness when I saw how the birthday boy and his little guests enjoyed the rides throughout the entire hour!

The funniest thing that happened was when the security guard approached me and asked whether I was making money out of the animal rides because a resident saw the kids inserting tokens into the animal rides.

The only way to get the animals moving was by inserting the token! Sorry but I would not give you a token even, Uncle. Anyway, matter was resolved in just 5 minutes and the security guard in charge apologized to me.

So the kids were invited to do craft work related to the theme of the party! After the craft activities, the storyteller from ZOOMOOV gathered all the kids to tell them a story related to the party theme as well followed by games!

I also decided to have a section for Shakeel and his guests to play at. And since Shakeel is only 1, I had to plan something that was age appropriate for him.

I do not think it would be a good idea to have henna, face painting or even body tattoo this time round. I could so imagine Shakeel having fun!

Unfortunately, when the items arrived, they were not as what they seemed at the website. The Lakeshore Tot Tunnel Climber was in such a pretty bad condition, and covered with hideous bedsheet like material.

When I removed the bedsheet cover, what was underneath was even more shocking. The entire vinyl material was covered with tapes. Yes, I am referring to the edges of the playpads, the tunnels and the ramp.

We decided to just put the whole thing aside during the party because no way was it safe for babies and toddlers to play with! The store owner got questioned by me after the party, of course lol.

Again, Shakeel and his friends had so much fun in the ball pitt! Definitely something appropriate for a first birthday party, I think!

Besides ball pitt which comes in different sizes, depending on the space you have, they also provide rental services for:. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1.

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Compare with similar items. See questions and answers. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention year old fruits and veggies back together fruits and vegetables highly recommend month old good quality putting them back put them back hard plastic play kitchen pull apart great toy melissa and doug fruits and veggies motor skills old son fine motor daughter loves son loves.

Showing of reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. First of all, it is identical to the Small Worlds sliceable veggies and fruit.

The canvas tote is nice. It isn't smaller than I expected, and I haven't noticed a loose seam or anything. Everything fits without spilling out.

I agree with another reviewer that the cutting foods are more fun that the peeling foods, and there is a lot more peeling. You get to cut the peach once, the cauliflower once, the onion twice and the orange times.

So, about 7 slices. You peel the lettuce twice, the cauliflower twice, the corn thrice, the banana thrice, and the orange four times.

So, twice as many peels. The peas, you just open somewhat like an easter egg. The orange is just a wee bit of a pain to put back together, but the rest is easy enough.

The toy butcher knife is almost macabre to me, but I suppose not to a child. We have only had it for one day, but I haven't notice the velcro come loose anywhere yet.

I assure you I will update if it does, or if the canvas bag rips, or anything like that. It would be perfect if not for that. One person found this helpful.

This is such an awsome concept, although I am a little disapointed that most of the fruit is peeling not cutting.. Im not sure if my almost four year old will be into this because he really likes cutting things and he's way to small so I thought this would be good for him.

I'll update after Christmas! I purchased this as part of a pretend food preparation gift for a toddler. This set was then also used by his little sister 3 years apart when she became interested in imaginative play.

In fact, they now play in their "kitchen" together creating all sorts of exciting "meals" and so forth. These food items are very dynamic and the velcro allows for many different iterations of interacting with each piece.

The food items are plastic though If you child is more at that stage, it might be better to select a wood option. You can see it gives her such a sense of accomplishment when she is able to open up the fruits with the play knife.

It includes a cute little shopping bag. All of the items fit inside of the bag but do not fit well unless all of the fruits and veggies are assembled.

This is the only "con" I can find with this product. It is a bit overpriced though. I was a bit frustrated when I found another set at Burlington Coat Factory for This is a great set for very young children, compared to most playfood sets that are usually thin and easily chewed.

The pieces are made of a hard, durable plastic that will hold up to toddler playtime much better than most playfood sets. The knife has been chewed on a little, though.

The paint on the peach has worn down a little, but we've owned this set for 2 years now, with 3 kids playing with it. All the velcro is still in place with no peeling.

Toddlers love them as an activity, pulling them apart and of course making you put them back together so they can peel and pull apart again.

But my daughter is 3 now and enjoys playing pretend with it, too! The peas could pose a choking hazard, but I would find it highly unlikely as they are fairly large.

You may want to put them up until the child is older, just to be safe. I think this toy would be best if given between 1 - 2 years old.

My three year old loves cutting up and peeling these veggies. I am very thrilled with the quality and durability of these play food items.

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