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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Five More Days....

I am counting down to the day.  The most tensed day in 2014 for me since the start of the new year.  In 5 days, Cass and I would have to go to HKL again.

Cass is scheduled to go for a Urodynamics Test to see her bladder activity.  If this was just a simple procedure sans pain, I would not feel the tension.  I feel tensed as I am worried Cass will not be able to take the pain and discomfort when the doctor inserts 2 catheters into her urethra and rectum.  How will she be able to tolerate the pain for a whole one hour?  Only God can remove her fears and pain.

If you know what Cass has been going through since she was 6 weeks old (problem detected in-utero), I hope that you will kindly say a little prayer for my baby girl for her to have a smooth sailing Urodynamics Test next week. Please pray that she will feel no pain and no fear throughout the test.

Thank you...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fresca Mexican Kitchen And Bar @ The Gardens, Mid Valley City

On Saturday, the foodie hubs brought us to have some classic Mexican food for dinner.  Sherilyn had gone to B (her bestie)'s house for a so-called revision and later dinner at B's house.  So it was just hubs, Alycia, Cass and me at Fresca Mexican Kitchen And Bar.

As it was a rainy day that night, we were freezing cold and shivering inside Fresca.  It did not help that their air-conditioning was super powerful. Cass and I had to cuddle each other with only one shawl over our shoulders.  So when the hot seafood soup arrived after a long wait, we attacked it, to get some instant warmth for our body.  And it was lip smacking good with 3 huge mussels, fish and prawns, though a tad fiery to the tongue. Sorry, I did not manage to snap a picture of the soup as I was too famished and I knew that if I whipped out the phone and waste 5 minutes snapping away, the soup would be gone by the time I am done photographing the soup!

Hubs also ordered a Tacos Alambre, Burritos, Fajitas and Pollo a la Parrilla.

The Mexican green rice (short grain rice with coriander) in hot plate with spicy chicken was sizzling flavorful, albeit too spicy for the girls and me.  Even the salsa dipping for the Fajitas was spicy.  But we were enjoying the food and the spiciness generated some much needed warmth for our freezing bodies.

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The pictures turned out a tad dark as the lighting in the restaurant was dim, with the intention of creating a romantic ambience, I think. This is the only downside of the restaurant that I can think of and I would have enjoyed my dinner more if the lights were brighter and air conditioning not too freezing cold.

The pictures do not do justice to the food. They look and taste way better than presented her.

Below is what my hubs called Mexican popiah.  It is a dish composed of wraps to go with minced beef and salsa and an assortment of healthy and delish dips.

What is a Mexican meal without Margaritas right?  Hubs ordered a glass of Margaritas Classic Glass.

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We enjoyed our Mexican dinner very much, albeit the girls complained a wee bit that the food was too spicy for their taste bud to handle. Nonetheless, they still whacked every bit of the fiery food on the table, followed by gulps and gulps of water.

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Fresca Mexican Kitchen Bar
Address: The Gardens, Midvalley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Phone:+603-2201 2893

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Obsession with Seashells

And during our car ride back to KL, Cass was still admiring her new collection of seashells and corals...

  photo seashellsIpoh4_zps07599d7b.jpg 

So who says expensive toys are more superior?  Sometimes things from the nature which are free and plenty can hold a child or even an adult's attention far longer than expensive gadgets!  Those with more than 2 kids will know what  I mean ;)

Oh yes, at the graveyard during Qing Ming, we saw red saga seed scattered everywhere on the ground and they looked so magical!  Cass wanted to bring some back to KL but I said NO!!  I bring nothing back that belongs to the graveyard *shudders*

Old Treasure Found

During our recent trip back to Ipoh, my mum dug out some very, very old seashells and pebbles and showed them to the girls.

When I saw them, I felt really sentimental.  I felt as if I was brought back via a time machine to the early 1980s!  These seashells were collected by my older brother, Ray and me from the beaches that my dad brought us to for holidays.  I remember some were collected in 1979 when I was only 6 years old at Golden Sands in Lumut.  Some were collected from the beaches in Teluk Batik.  And some were collected by my mum when she was a child (the hugest one, held by Sherilyn in the below picture)...

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I could not believe that seashells and corals do not decompose and ours still look very solid!

You see those shiny brown and grey pebbles?  My maternal granny brought them back from China for my brothers and me circa 1988.  I remember we placed them inside a plastic aquarium that we kept our 2 pet tortoises.

"These are MINE!" "NO NO, they are MINE!" And the row went on and on over some old seashells! *roll eyes*!

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Oh yes, the colorful marbles belonged to my older brother and they are over 30 years!

As with all bickering and tug of war, there must be a concession, so...

each one has some of everything :)

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lunch at Ippudo @ Gardens Mid Valley

These days, I hardly do food review posts though the foodie hubs is still bringing us everywhere to 'jalan-jalan cari makan' and to try out new eateries.

First, I find it very time-consuming to do a food review post as I need to Google for some information on the eatery.  Secondly, there are just too many impatient hands and growling tummies who just cannot wait for me to say "Wait ar, take photo first!" and then spend a few minutes moving the plate of grub so that it appears in the most appealing angle for me to photograph it. All these food porn  must be done really really quick, lest I get chided and squawked at.

Most of my food pictures will be smeared with a hand or two, a tumbler, half a face or a hidden thumbs-up from someone cheeky somewhere near the food, like this one... with an impatient hand grabbing the prawn.

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By the time I finish snapping my pix, what was once nicely presented in front of me will be gone!  That is why I can never be fat though my hubster is a food caterer and foodie!

Anyway, we had lunch at Ippudo Japanese restaurant @ Mid Valley on Sunday.  Hubster ordered an array of delish and unique Japanese delicacies but I only managed to capture 2 pictures, one of which inevitably showing the hand of my hungry darling Alycia.

This ain't picture perfect too but if I did not hurriedly swipe  the button on my phone, I will be squawked at again like a despised paparazzi!  #@*!

 photo Ippudo1_zps3b90f967.jpg 

Finally HFM and gang's rating on Ippudo is 7/10.  We all love the food there, especially the ramen with delish broth and the pork bun.  For someone who hates rice but find the above rice sushi delish, it must be really good!  Do give Ippudo a try when Zanmai Sushi has a crazy long queue, though Ippudo is also packed during peak hours. Zanmai Sushi and Ippudo are located just next to each other.  Between Zanmai Sushi and Ippudo, I still prefer Zanmai but do not have the patience to queue up for half an hour.



Cass Eats Fish Head

Cass is the youngest kiddo I ever know who will nibble on a fish head. Yes, a fish head of all parts!

This picture was taken at a Chinese restaurant on my birthday 2 weeks.  My dad ordered a fish and after everyone had taken the fish meat, my baby girl attacked the fish head and patiently dug out the fish meat from the cheeks, eyes and neck, put it into her mouth and fed me with it too.  She even helped me peel prawns and put the de-veined them into my mouth, knowing that I don't like to dirty my hands peeling seafood.  When she's good, she's really a God-sent angel :)

 photo Casseatsfishhead_zps38b36209.jpg
Ans she tried to duck away from the paparazzi, who secretly tried to photograph her in action, HA HA HA!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Purple Porridge For Lunch Today

Wednesdays are simple lunch days for Cass and me. That is because I do not have a fusspot to please. Cass is pretty simple to please. A simple toast with eggs will make her happy.  Or porridge.  Cass loves porridge.  But if the fussbudget sees porridge, she turns sulky right away.  She wants rice. Rice with dishes but Cass and I hate rice. 

So today being a Wednesday, I happily made a big pot of porridge with purple sweet potatoes, orange sweet potatoes, pork slices, shredded cabbage and shell fish. Cass loves it and so do I.  I whacked a bowl without guilt as I used low GI Basmati rice to cook the porridge.

There is still a big pot of porridge sitting in the Thermos Shuttle Chef now, keeping it warm.  Tonight Cass and Sherilyn will have that for dinner.  As for the fussbudget, I will have to cook some rice for her.  And I am grilling Saba fish and Salmon fish head too, in the oven.  Dinners are strictly carb-free for me, so I'll be fine with just fish and some leftover tofu with minced meat that I cooked for dinner yesterday.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Cassandra's Morning Workout

Today we 'smuggled' Cass into the gym for 10 minutes :D

And she truly enjoyed her short session on the treadmill and air walker.  I wish that she could stay longer so that I could work out longer but nope, rules are rules.  So baby girl, you will have to wait for another 6 more years before you earn your free passport to the gym.  Your che che is waiting to get her passport to the gym very very soon :D

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hourly Paid Maids - Yay or Nay?

Today, after almost 2 weeks of being maidless, I finally called our regular part-time maid agent to get a maid to come to help us iron the mountain high pile of clothes and to clean the fans and windows.  Now, let me tell you that I was very, very hesitant to use hourly paid part-time maids. I have had bad experience with them.  And still feel unsatisfied with their work today.

This morning, I asked the agent to send me only 1 maid as it is easier to monitor only 1 maid but he said, it must be 2 maids. Fine, what choice do I have?  Much later, he Whatsapped me and said, he will send 3 maids. I said NO, I only wanted 2 maids, but he did not reply me and  sent 3 maids later, GAWD!  *HEADACHE*!

With 3 new part-time maids at my condo at 5pm, I had to divide myself into 3 places to supervise them. In between, I had to prepare dinner.  Today, I grilled some beef burgers and grilled chicken mayo sandwich in the oven for dinner.  But the dinner ended up burnt!  I just could not attend to 3 maids plus watch the oven simultaneously.   The bottom slice of bread was burnt and the girls only had the top slice of bread to eat with the chicken mayo.  And the expensive beef burger that I bought from Jason's @ BSC was dry and over-cooked :(

After the maids left, I remembered that I had forgotten to ask them to wash Alycia and Sherilyn's school shoes that had not been washed for 3 weeks, OH BUMMER!!   Abuden, Alycia and Sherilyn had to wash their shoes themselves just now.   And upon checking the 'aftermath', I found the dustpan not washed and it had sand and dirt on it.  My indoor slippers were kept outside and all wet. The brooms and mops were scattered everywhere. Abuden?  I had to wash the dustpan myself and tidy up the house again!  I was dang fuming that despite having to fork  out RM70, I still had to do so much more myself?  Oh yes, after dinner, I had to mop the floor again and had to wash the dishes myself!  RM70 for a bunch of inconvenience?  In just a short 1 hour 20 minutes, the 3 maids were rushing off every single chore, producing slip shod work! And you know what?  The maids had no time to iron a single piece of shirt! 

Lesson learnt.  If I ever call these hourly maids to come again, I'll make sure I eat out on that day.  And I do not think I will call them once a week anymore.  The fans and windows can go dusty for 2 weeks or even longer. I am fine with that.  I know a friend who has never wiped the windows and fans of her own house (not even rented house) and she is fine with that!  As for ironing, the hubster can ask his kitchen helper to help out to iron.  Alycia and Sherilyn can wash their school shoes themselves.  I am SO not happy with hourly part-time maids!

Do you use the service of hourly paid maids?  How is your experience with them? Do you feel happy and satisfied with their work?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Junk Food

On the last day of school for the first term last week, Cass brought home a party pack. It was from her friend who celebrated her birthday in the kindy. As usual, all that was in the party pack was junk food! I had expected it.

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My girls love to receive party packs and if what they get are junk food, they know that they ain't allowed to eat most of the items in the party pack. Most of the junk food go to our part-time helper or to the guards at our condo.

Please don't throw darts at me for being a health food fanatic ok. Junk food is really bad not just for kids but for adults too.  If you look at the ingredients printed on the packaging, all you see is a long list of chemicals ranging from MSG to coloring, preservative, nitrate, sugar, sodium, artificial flavoring, artificial sweetener (which is worse than real sugar) and some scientific names that I don't even have the slightest idea on what they are. O_o. Do you want these to get into your kid's body? Sorry if I threw cold water on you if you are a snacks lover. I was once a junk food and deep fried food junkie.  Now, I have kicked off the addiction 99%.   Yes, I still have 1% craving and still do indulge in them once in a purple moon ;)

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Vegan and Vegetarian Diets

People have the power to make drastic changes in their lives by adopting a new diet or exercise routine for the sake of better health. Some individuals decide to follow a vegetarian diet while others follow a more strict vegan diet. People often change their eating habits in order to improve overall health and well being. Sometimes, there may be a certain satisfaction of abstaining from eating animal products. People may be thrilled by the idea that they could survive on only plant based food.

A vegetarian diet restricts the consumption of any animal products including meat and seafood. Vegan diets are more strict in that they do not allow the consumption of dairy products, eggs and fats derived from animals. Seafood is also off the table in a modern vegan diet.

Vegetarians and vegans rely heavily on obtaining their daily nutrients from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sometimes, dietary supplements featuring all natural ingredients are also taken in order to obtain certain vitamins and minerals. Tofu and beans are often used as major sources of protein for vegan and vegetarian diets that exclude raw meat and seafood. Nuts are also used as rich sources of fats that would otherwise have to be obtained from seafood and certain meats.

It's a proven fact that a new diet can change the way you live. Eating certain foods may also provide emotional satisfaction. For example, animal rights activists can enjoy meals that are derived fully from plants and not any living creatures.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mackeral Fish From Lee's Frozen

The hubster went to Lee's Frozen to buy lamb and beef for his clients' functions today. At the same time, he got us some saba mackeral fish. The girls and I love mackeral fish.  We love it pan fried and grilled. Oven-grilled fish is one of the easiest dishes to prepare and since the MIL will be away for over a month, the girls will be having lots of oven cooked dishes!

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RM40.74 for 4 huge saba mackeral fish is really quite a good price eh?  I should have asked hubster to get more!

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Fresh Frozen Fish Shipped to Consumers' Doors

Families looking for ways to improve their diet should consider adding more frozen fish and other frozen foods from a reputable distributor who will make sure the meats and fish are properly packed and stored on their trip to their consumers.

Ordering fish online or via telephone call to a reputable seller puts consumers in direct contact with a professional with immediate access to fresh fish such as salmon, shrimp, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, caviar, fish steaks, whole fish and much more. With a satellite type of service, featuring one main seller and customers will receive their frozen packed fish days and sometimes several weeks sooner than a grocer would. Therefore, this frozen and packed fish is weeks fresher than anything consumers might buy at their local grocery store or fish market.

Consumers looking for fish that comes directly from sustainable fisheries in any particular fish’s native region can find all that with companies that serve to broker this exchange that is favorable for all parties involved.

With all this, consumers know that when they purchase directly from a wholesaler, they are receiving fish that will provide the best amount and quality of vitamins and nutrients that they are seeking. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals, fish retains more of its benefits when prepared for shipping as soon as the fishermen bring it to market.

Also, fish fans can simply order their favorite fish and wait for its arrival and scratch one Saturday morning errand off their shopping list.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Happy Wet Thursday - 21 March 2014

Every day things that we always take for granted will only be appreciated if those things have been taken away from us, such as the rain and water flowing from the taps. After weeks of drought, we finally had a good session of heavy rain yesterday.  It did rain last week and when it did, many of us were proclaiming our joy in Facebook. But our joy was short-lived as the rain in most areas in the Klang Valley only lasted for a pathetic 5-10 minutes! That rain was probably induced from cloud-seeding.

Yesterday it poured for over an hour, woohoo!! I hope that it rained at the water catchment areas and dams too. I was doing the rain dance and just had to snap a picture of the precious rain water pouring from heaven! LOL!

Rainy day 20 Mar 2014

After a heavy downpour, Cass went for swimming lesson.  How I missed the cool and breezy weather in the evening. I can finally sit on the deckchair next to the pool and watch her swim without getting roasted by the sun :)

Cass swims 20 mar 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Our Saturday - 15 March 2014

After dinner just now, grandma prepared a pail of water, threw in 2 sachets of herbs and soaked her feet while watching news on TV. The 3 rascals who are TV-deprived got perky immediately and zoomed to the sofa to get their fix of TV. Never mind that it was news in Mandarin, as long as there was something to watch on the TV. Then the littlest rascal pulled her chair next to grandma and sneakily put one of her feet into the pail when grandma was engrossed with solving her Sudoku puzzle on the iPad. And not long after, both her feet went into the pail of water! . Monkey see monkey do. Rascal no. 2 followed suit. But the ever indulgent grandma happily shared her pail of herb water with her 2 precious grand daughters :D

Grandma's only condition was "don't show my face anywhere!"  Hence the Line Camera girl pasted on her face LOL!!

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Six chubby legs squeezed into a small pail, just too funny not to share this in my blog :D

Shopping To Bust Stress

Stress stress stress, busy busy busy! That's what I've been put through for the past few days as both our regular part-time maids have been unable to attend work. Yesterday one of the part-time maids told me subtly that she is unable to work for me anymore. I was quite devastated. The other part-time maid is on sick leave. The MIL has just left for Hawaii today, which means that there will be no help rendered to me, not at all, anymore :( But I am not about to sit and cry. Things at home just have to be re-organized. If eating out makes my life easier, then eating out shall we for several days in a week. Cooking can be done twice a week in big portions and batch frozen. And I am so not going to succumb to stress and be a slave to my own home. This Sunday is going to be another retail therapy day for me. I should get the hubs to get me some stuff that I heart like Reeds for guy harvey jewelry to help me destress. Yup, shopping is my best stress buster, still!

Monday, March 10, 2014

World's Most Expensive Tomatoes and Strawberries?

My eyes almost popped out from the socket when I saw the price tag to some supposedly premium tomatoes flown in from Japan, sold at a supermarket. At a glance, they look like some regular tomatoes. I thought the price was written as RM29.99 but at a closer stare, I realized that the price was RM299.99! Holy cow! One sen short to RM300 for a box of tomatoes?  Crap! And they are from the land where the soils have been polluted with radiation. Who would even want to buy them?

exp tomato 3

And should you decide to buy only 2 premium Japan tomatoes to try, you can fork out RM74.99.  At RM37.50 for a tomato, I rather spend my money on some homegrown organic tomatoes. I can buy a gunny sack of organic tomatoes with RM299.99 LOL!

exp tomato 1

For strawberry lovers,would you even spend RM99.99 on a punnet of 12 medium-size strawberries from Japan?  That makes it to about RM8.30  for only one strawberry, which can me mouthed at one go!

exp tomato 2

I wonder what this supermarket will do with these premium tomatoes and strawberries should there be no takers say after a week. Maybe some Japanese will buy them when the prices are slashed by half.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

How Often Do You Change Your Mattress?

People in the mattress industry often tell us that our mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. But do we really need to change it once every 10 years? According to the answers that I have gathered from some websites, your mattress only need to be replaced every 10 years if you wake up having aches and pains on your body and if you cannot sleep through the night soundly. I have not changed the mattress that I have been sleeping on for over 15 years. I think it is high time that I get a new one this year. It is not so much about having aches and pains on my body but more for hygiene reasons. Our mattress has been stained with pee, poop and vomit from 3 babies over the years. A good mattress ain't cheap and can cost thousands of Ringgit. We really have to shop around before settling on one. I am also going to check out a foam mattress at this site.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

When You Washed Your Dark Colored Clothes With Tissue Paper!

The culprit left tissue papers in her pocket again! Grrrrrr!!! As usual, I am always in a rush to complete my laundry chores, so that I can proceed to the next chore. After sorting out the dirty laundry and slotting them into washing nets, in they go into the washing machine. Hardly do I check the pockets. I had told them umpteen times that tissue papers washed with clothes in the washer is a major disaster and that they should never ever conveniently leave tissue papers in their pockets.

But habits die hard. Someone left her brain in the drain and thus left the tissue paper in her pocket! So die la. My load of clothes, which had hubster's black shirts and black pants kena badly! Boy was I fuming mad! Happened when I was rushing to bring Alycia and Sherilyn down to the lobby to wait for the transporter early in the morning. And I had no time to fix the problem. All the clothes in the washer were stained with bits of tissue papers. The washer tub and the gutter were stuck with tissue papers everywhere. Everyone said "NOT ME!!" Gawd, I was so irate I could explode! When Cass came back from school that day, I assigned her to help me stick the disintegrated bits of tissue papers off the clothes with celo tape. She was excited and very earnest to help ha ha!

little helper 1 

  little helper 2

 An hour later, all the black clothes were salvaged!  Told you she's a very  good baby.

Beside using celo tape to painfully stick the tissue papers off the clothes, what method do you use to salvage your tissue-stained clothes?

Monday, March 3, 2014

How Often Do You File Your Documents?

When busyness gets the better of me, unimportant things like filing takes the back seat. Since September last year, my documents have been piling up. From one clear folder to two, then three, four and five.

With five clear folders of over a hundred of documents received over the past 6 months, I spent over an hour filing my documents last Friday.

So what was I so busy over?  Three girls sitting for their last term exams, MIL away overseas thus my limited free time was spent cooking, part-time maids not available, vacation, attending to kids' welfare, bringing Cass for medical consultations and therapies, busyness, tiredness and procrastination!

So glad that I managed to file all the documents into the respective arch files last week. But immediately on the same day, I started to receive more documents to file. 

With 3 kids, a condo unit, utility bills, my own banking records, online store and personal documents, there are really quite a bit of letters and documents that I receive everyday.  Being a trained secretary and former PA to a Dato', filing to me is sup sup sui *flips fringe over my head*  :D  But how I hate filing them.  Regret for not filing will often only kick in when you need to refer to previous documents  and fark you just can't find the darn paper!

All I need is some quiet time at a time when the girls are all in school and I can easily sort out, punch holes and slot in the documents into the respective arch files in a jiffy  *blows dust off my hands*!

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How often do you do your filing? As and when you have documents to file? Or daily, weekly, monthly or once yearly? Or never file them - after 1 year, the documents are binned?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Alycia's Class Teachers

I am very thankful that since Standard 2, Alycia has been assigned very dedicated class teachers.  Ms L was Alycia's class teacher from Standard 2 through Standard 4.  She was one of the best teachers in the school.   Towards the end of last year, Alycia was telling me that she really hoped that Ms L would continue to be her class teacher.  Though Ms L is a very firm and strict teacher, she is nonetheless very caring and has all the qualities of a 5-star teacher.

I was really disappointed when Alycia told me at the start of the school term this year that Ms L is now teaching another elite class.   Her new class teacher is  Ms Y, who was the class teacher of the first elite class  in Standard 6 last year. There are 2 elite classes for each standard in the school and if Ms Y was the teacher for the first elite class in Standard 6, she must really be the cream of the crop in that school.   On hearing that, my hope was raised and boy was I happy to know that Alycia has another 5-star class teacher, woohoo!

A few weeks ago, when I was at the night market with Alycia, we bumped into Ms Y, Alycia's class teacher.  We chatted a bit and I could gauge that she is another very dedicated and caring teacher.  And I was right!  Alycia can now do revisions on her own without my constant nagging and reminders!  There is a 'watchdog' helping me to monitor her all the time and she can't escape from her grips muahaha!

Ms Y would use her own money to buy 'expensive cakes' (that's what Alycia said LOL!) to treat her students in her class for celebrations.  She would also use her own money to buy gifts for her students as incentives.

Throughout Alycia's four years of primary schooling in this school, I have never seen how hardworking like she is now.  In the past, revisions done were a result of me  nagging her to no end. Now, revision is a daily routine for her, done without me telling her.    Before Alycia hits the sack, she will go through her books every night. I know that all these are  fueled by Ms Y, through lots of pep talks,  motivation as well as 'threats'.

Ms Y would throw surprise mini tests to her class several times in a week.  In Alycia's note pad last night, I saw a handwritten note on some marks -- 80% - 85% along with some Chinese words.   I asked her what it was and she told me that this is just one of Ms Y's goals for her class.  Should anyone in the class get below 80% - 85% in any of the subjects that Ms Y teaches, which includes Math and Science in Chinese, the unlucky one would get 2 'gifts' from Ms Y, which is 2 work books on that said subject.  The student would have to complete the 2 workbooks before the next quarterly exam! 

I know that some of you may think that this 'Tiger Teacher' method of instilling fear in kids is not appropriate but I am ALL for it, 100% for it.    This teacher has been producing straight As students and ASEAN scholarship recipients too.  I am not placing hope that Alycia would get an ASEAN scholarship for I know her limits.  All I am hoping is for Alycia to get a dedicated, responsible and caring teacher to nurture my child and to propel her to achieve good results.  Don't get me wrong. Alycia is not terrified of her teacher. She loves this teacher and Ms L, her previous class teacher. She loves to attend school.  I think she has been blessed with the right teachers :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Water Rationing?

With daily newspapers headlines on high possibility of  starting water rationing in many parts of our country (it has already started in some areas), we are not taking any chances and wait till the eleventh hour to buy pails and containers.  After dropping Cass off in kindy, I zoomed to the mini mart to buy a pail.  Back home, I asked hubs to buy 2 huge water containers with covers to be placed in each of the bathrooms.

For landed houses, owners can rely on external water tanks for water storage. Living in a condo, you need to have your own water containers inside your unit.  In 1998,  the neighborhood that I lived in was hit hard by the water rationing that lasted for several months. We are still living in this neighborhood and this area is a hard-hit area whenever there is a water rationing.  During the rationing exercise in 1998, we had water supply to our houses every other day.  I remember that on days where the areas were to get their water, many of my colleagues took leave to stay home to do house chores! I was stressed to the max throughout the water rationing exercise, though I had no kids back then. With 3 kids and more chores now, I may very well land myself in the hospital with stress of having no water!

I read that in this impending water rationing, there will be 2 days of water supply and none for the next 2 days. I think this is not practical. We would need at least 10 water containers in our house should we be living without water for 2 days. Bigger families would need more water containers. We need at least 5 water containers for a day and that itself is not sufficient. We would have to eat out on days when we have no water.  Dirty laundry would have to be sent for laundrette service. Writing this is already making me stressed! Oh God, please send the rain to the entire country right away and let it rain for days to fill up all the dams!

If you are living in high risk areas, don't wait till the eleventh hour to scramble with everyone else to buy your pails and water containers. Go get some now before the traders jack up the prices. These water container traders will be the only ones laughing throughout the drought. And I still don't understand why our dear water management companies can never ever solve this recurring issue even after more than 16 years!!

Mouth Guards For Bad Sleeping Habits

Some people may develop a poor habit of grinding their teeth at night while sleeping. Such a habit can create multiple health problems. For example, the grinding mechanism can gradually chip away tooth enamel and lead to an increased risk of developing cavities and dental caries. Additionally, chipped teeth look unsightly and may require cosmetic dental procedures such as bonded veneers. In addition to causing problems in the mouth, teeth grinding also creates issues in other parts of the body. For example, excessive grinding can lead to earaches and headaches because of the strain placed on the jaw and surrounding muscles. Trying to stop teeth grinding at night is an example of an attempt to improve one's health due to a poor habit.

The best way to stop teeth from grinding against each other is to use a physical barrier. A mouth guard needs to be worn in order to prevent any contact between teeth. Some guards are made to fit anyone's mouth thanks to patented designs that automatically adjust to a unique layout of teeth. Sometimes, a dentist can make a custom molded mouth guard that can be worn at night to prevent too much grinding of the teeth.

Mouth guards should be washed daily with special solutions. Rinsing with water is simply not enough to remove all of the saliva and bacteria that may be on the plastic mouth guard. Sometimes, special heat solutions are applied in order to thermally clean a mouth guard that is worn daily.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cranberry Cheese Scones

Earlier this week, the MIL baked some cranberry cheese scones for the kids to bring to school as the kids are totally fed-up with bread, cookies, biscuits, buns and cakes.

 photo scones21feb_zpsa7b2a70f.jpg

The scones tasted divine!  I like mine sandwiched with strawberry jam. The girls like theirs sandwiched with Surgers butter.  Sometimes, the MIL will whip up some fresh cream to go with the scones.

Do you like scones? How do you like your scones eaten?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How often do you give your kids money to buy food from the canteen?

When tiredness and laziness get the better of me, there will be no lunch boxes for Alycia and Sherilyn. I will give them RM2 each to buy food from the canteen during recess. 

Alycia and Sherilyn are not simple girls who would accept  anything that is packed into their lunch boxes.  Due to time constraint, I can only prepare simple snacks like bread with strawberry jam, marmalade jam,  kaya, nutella or peanut butter chocolate jam.  These are the only jams that Alycia and Sherilyn have approved and they would not accept any other types of jams.  Sherilyn loves seaweed slices with her bread too.

Besides bread with jam, biscuits and cookies go into their lunch box.  Occasionally, edamame beans make a place in their lunch box, but that will depend on their mood. Alycia does not want edamame beans as she says she does not have enough time to eat them, duh! 

I have other easy to prepare snacks in my mind, which I used to give them when they were in pre-school. They are cut fresh fruits, bananas,  steamed sweet corn kernels, steamed sweet potato and hard-boiled eggs but the 2 fussy pots say that they do not have enough time to finish these kind of snacks. Hard-boiled eggs are messy and dry, that's what they said.

I know they would be delighted to have nuggets, sausages, SPAM meat and fries but in my house, these are forbidden food.

So, this means that besides bread with jam on Mondays, biscuits or cookies on Tuesdays, buns on Thursdays, Wednesdays and Fridays would be canteen food day. Sometimes when they tell me that they are sick of bread, bun and biscuits, they get money to buy canteen food for 3-4 times in a week. This makes all of us happier! :)

How often do you give your kids money to buy food from the canteen? And how much?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sherilyn's Birthday Lunch at iCook Italian Gastonomia @ Plaza Damas

After turning the little social butterfly's plea to have a birthday party at home, she finally accepted a birthday lunch out of home, with her 3 besties.

The choice of restaurant was however her daddy's as he's heard good reviews and ravings on iCook Italian Gastronomia @ Plaza Damas.

Picture of the girls, all fresh before they ate, played and sweat...

Here's what the hubster ordered. We first started off with mushroom soup, pumpkin soup and an authentic Italian beef soup with fresh mushrooms and veggie. But no picture was taken. I was busy serving the girls.

We were served this very tasty flat Italian herbs bread, to dip with olive oil and vinegar, as appetizer. 

Then came the salad with buffalo cheese garlic toast and tomatoes.
 photo iCook6_zps94ee9d3b.jpg

Two types of pizzas. The one shown below is the mushrooms and sausage pizza, topped with a raw egg in the centre.

 photo iCook3_zpsdbc17283.jpg 

Grilled pork ribs with big onions and fresh mushrooms, which was super delish and stood out among all the dishes that we ordered.  Still can't get this out of my head. Will definitely order this dish again in our next visit.

 photo iCook7_zps7394ad57.jpg

Clamps tomato soup.
 photo iCook1_zpsf3b20220.jpg 
Not sure what this unusual dish is called.  It is fresh rockmelon wrapped with smoked bacon.
 photo iCook5_zpsfc3d2bd0.jpg

Seafood pasta.
 photo iCook4_zps251461fe.jpg

Squid Ink Tagliatelle with seafood. The pasta there is made fresh.  The Squid Ink Tagliatelle with Seafood is made with fresh pasta. — Pictures by Eu Hooi Khaw

As you can see, all the dishes were very authentic Italian, cooked by an Italian chef, who is the owner of the restaurant.   For those of you foodies who are keen to know the prices of the dishes, I have included the bill here for your viewing. I have no freaking idea what the dishes in Italian names are called in English.

 photo 3c47c211-b059-4522-837f-f67b4b2461b6_zps261b4d1d.jpg

Overall, the food was good and definitely worthy for another visit to try other dishes on their menu.

iCook Italian Gastronomia
Plaza Damas
3 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
Kuala Lumpur
+60 3-6211 4000

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thoughtful Sweetie-Pie

Cass has always shown a maturity level above her age.  The things that she says and how she thinks are way above that of a 5-YO girl. 

Yesterday, as I was going through my kids apparel supplier's website, I could not resist those pretty dresses and wanted to buy a few for Cass.

Me - Baby, come and see these dresses. (showing her the pix on the website). Do you like this one?

Cass - NO!

Me - what about this one?

Cass - NO!

Me - this one leh?

Cass - yes!  But... I think you better not buy.  I have too many clothes.  You better not waste your money ok. I don't want any more new clothes. I have enough clothes to wear.

Awww, isn't she thoughtful? Not only is she a brave little soldier, she is also very thoughtful and sweet.  Throughout dinner yesterday, she peeled crabs and put the crab meat into my mouth coz she knew that I don't like to peel crabs as this makes my hands smelly.  I am totally awed by this sweetie-pie :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Paying For December Pre-School Fees. Norm or Overboard?

Towards the end of October last year, all the parents were asked to pay RM340 to the pre-school that Cass goes to.  That amount was for purchase of books for the first half of year 2014.

In January this year, at the start of the new school term, we parents had to pay RM1,060 for the following items:
1) January 2014 fees
2) Snacks for half the year
3) Insurance
4) Concert fees
5) Class photo
6) December 2014 fees - this is a new item to pay effective 2014. Previously, I never had to pay for December fees! Never during Alycia and Sherilyn's time at this kindy.

When I saw item no. 6, which is fees for December 2014, I was shocked. I called up the principal to get a clarification as to why I had to pay for December 2014 when (1) it is the school holidays and the child would not attend a single school day in December and (2) Cass would never have to return to the pre-school again as she will be going to Primary 1 next year.

The principal cum school owner replied me by saying that all the students MUST pay the December 2014 fees to help her pay the teachers' salaries and the rental of the school building!  Some of the teachers would still have to work to teach and care for children sent to the school's daycare program.  "But Cassandra will not return to your kindy anymore. She will go to Primary 1 next year. Do I still have to pay??" I asked.  Yes, all the parents have to pay.  At that moment, I felt like I was held ransom, with a gun at my neck and forced to pay.  I could not change kindy as Cass has been going to this kindy for 2 years already and this is her third year. She is happy at this kindy, she likes her friends and all her teachers and classmates know her health issue.  So I felt like I was forced at point blank to pay the principal.

For your information, come June, which is the third semester, we parents would have to pay in advance the fees for November.  In November, students only need to attend school for half a month, after which the 6-week long school holidays would commence.  This practice has been in place ever since Alycia attended this pre-school in 2007.  This practice serves to 'tie up' the parents and child to the kindy, so that they are unable to switch pre-school. Well, you still can switch but the November fees is non-refundable.

My question to all my dear readers -- is this practice of compelling the parents to pay the fees for December a norm?   IMHO, I think that it is still quite acceptable if the child is continuing attendance at the pre-school the following year. But for kids who will be starting Primary 1, I find this totally unacceptable.

What say you?

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