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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playing Happy Family And Donkey Cards With Granny

During my mum's 1-week stay with us last week, she bought 2 pack of kids' cards and taught Alycia and Sherilyn how to play.

Does this Happy Family card game look familiar to you, albeit the packaging is now different?

Granny teaching Alycia and Sherilyn Donkey card game....

Baby did not want to be left out too and kept tugging at granny's lap and wanted to be seated on the lap and watch them play the card game.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heart Stopping Moments And Baby's Wholesome Meal

Baby is getting more and more active and mischievous by the day. I spent almost the entire afternoon standing guard behind her watching over her as she climbed and dived from one couch to the other like a stunt-woman. Lately, the second I place her into the playpen, she will scream murder. This rascal now knows how to threaten me to get her out of the playpen by attempting to climb out of the playpen like a little tiger cub with her feet clawed to the net of the playpen - with half her body hanging precariously outside and the other half hanging inside the playpen. I can't imagine what would happen if she falls head down onto the hard floor *shudders with cold sweat* She is just as manipulative as Sherilyn. When Sherilyn was Baby's age, she used to gag her throat and mouth with her fingers until she puked each time we placed her into her playpen! She always won the battle.

I had another heart stopping moment today when Baby accidentally closed the drawer and squashed Sherilyn's finger. I was watching them and I just knew an accident would happen as Sherilyn was standing on top of a table and opening a drawer and Baby was on the floor opening another drawer. I was yelling away and then just as Sherilyn was about to climb down, BANG..... followed by BOO HOO HOO and AAAAAAAAAA, WAAAAAAA, WAAAAAAAA! Sher's finger was 'dented' and bruised. I shall blog about this and post pic in my next post.

On a side note, here's Baby's wholesome lunch consisting of Japanese buckwheat noodles with soup of the day. My 3 gals love buckwheat noodles. They taste almost the same as green tea noodles.

....and steamed fish with tomatoes, red dates, brocolli and a drizzle of sesame oil. It tastes good - naturally sweet and no fishy smell, thanks to the aromatic sesame seed oil. Tastes good even without soy sauce or salt.
and also a bowl of soup of the day.

These days, Baby's meals are pretty exciting. No more boring porridge everyday. She has something different everyday ranging from pasta to spaghetti, macaroni, green tea noodles, buckwheat noodles, vermicelli, oats and porridge.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kids Nap The Darnest Ways

Kids are really versatile - they can sleep anywhere in any position and they have auto-balancing skill too, so that when they sleep in the wierdest position, they would not fall off the chair or the couch.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yuzu Japanese Restaurant @ The Gardens, Mid Valley

On the second day of Hari Raya, we spent our day shopping and eating at Mid Valley Megamall and Gardens. We had dinner at Yuzu Japanese Restaurant @ The Gardens. It was our second time at this restaurant. Yuzu is a very cozy and classy Japanese restaurant that serves fine, delectable Japanese food. Very nice interior and ambience too. Here's what we had (food for 6 adults and 3 kids):

This Japanese steamboat is very unique. The soup and ingredients are placed on a piece of special non-porous paper on a rattan basket on top of the electric stove. The soup is very clear and not salty at all. Even Baby C had her share of the cod fish and tofu, which she simply loved.

We had a very satisfying and enjoyable sumptuous dinner at Yuzu.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Binge Eating

During the long Hari Raya break, we pigged out quite a bit. We had 3 days of binge eating – 2 buffet lunches at hotels and a day of eating out at Mid Valley Megamall. On the fourth day when the hubs suggested that we went to another hotel for a buffet lunch to utilize the complimentary hotel vouchers, I told him that I felt really stuffed and felt queasy at the sight of hotel food. My jelly belly had ballooned further and I had gained one pound! If I continue binging like this, I think I need to consider getting some effective weight loss pills to help me battle the bulge.

Bestest Jie Jie In The World

I still wonder why rascal #2 would only eat her food if there is someone feeding her. This happens most of the time if she eats rice with dishes. However if it's noodles that's in her bowl, she will have no problem chomping down the noodles.

When no one was free to feed her the other day, Alycia came to her rescue and fed her. Within 15 minutes, she polished off all the rice and dishes on her plate!

Alycia coaxing Sherilyn to eat.....

When her bowl of soup was finished, jie jie even knew how to ask kakak to top up the bowl with soup.... and then continued feeding Sherilyn. She's really the bestest jie jie in the world!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Random Pix

Alycia reading to Baby who is seated on her potty in the kitchen doing her routine morning poopie business. Baby can now poo poo in her potty and I have now trained her to empty her bowels every morning. I can now say bye bye to messy poopie diapers!

Baby had woken up very early one morning, so I lugged her along when I went jogging. When she dozed off in the stroller after I had finished jogging, I didn't want to wake her up. So my maid and I carried the stroller into the living room, so that she could continue sleeping. But when my maid reclined the seat, Baby woke up and wailed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Simple And Wholesome Meals For Toddlers And The Amazing Thermos Shuttle Chef

I made a pot of delicious fish soup (ma yau toong fish meat and fish head) with tomatoes and ginger the other day. Baby loves soup and she drinks 2 bowls of soup every day. Drinking soup is one good way of making her drink fluids coz she dislikes water. She even dislikes drinking formula milk more and up until today, it is still a battle each time I spoonfeed her with formula milk 2-3 times a day.

This is Baby's bowl of Japanese green tea noodles with fish, veggie and fish soup.

Alycia and Sherilyn had chilled green tea noodles with cold Japanese green tea noodles sauce, shredded seaweed, some veggie and toasted sesame seeds and a bowl of fish soup each.

Our soup is normally boiled using a special Thermos pot on the stove. Once the soup is ready, the pot is transferred back to the Thermos Shuttler Chef where the soup will continue to cook and will be kept hot for more than 10 hours.

Sometimes when I need to go out early in the morning and don't have enough time to prepare soup or Baby's meal, I would boil the soup at night, then transfer the pot of hot soup into the Thermos Shuttler Chef. The following morning, I'll boil some noodles or pasta with veggie and fish. Then add in the hot soup and put Baby's lunch into a small Thermos flask before we go out.

The Thermos Shuttle Chef consists of a steel cooking pot that fits inside an insulated outer pot. You partially cook the food in the inner pot on a stovetop or camp fire, then place the inner pot into the outer pot and put the lid on. The outer pot has vacuum-insulated double walls so the food keeps cooking slowly in its own retained heat.

Because food only needs to be partially cooked before being transferred into the insulated container, the Shuttle Chef uses less energy than it would take to cook the same dish completely on the stove or in an electric slow cooker. You can leave the food to cook while you do other things, or even take the Shuttle Chef with you on a picnic to enjoy hot food al fresco.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Big And Pleasant Surprise For Me

I had one of the biggest surprises of my life yesterday when my mum planned a last minute surprise and turned up right in front of me when I was having lunch at Lemon Garden Coffee House @ Shangri La Hotel. It was also the first time my mum had sprang me a surprise visit. When the hubs kept asking me "Shireen, did you see your 'friend'?", I looked right, left, back and front but failed to see who was seated next to the hubs hahaha... see how blind we can get sometimes. It was a real pleasant surprise for me. And for my mum, brother and dad, they had fun keeping this from me, which was a decision made by my mum at the eleventh hour.

We had yet another pigging session yesterday. How can anyone resist not binging when they are at the Lemon Garden buffet? There's just too much good food. But I didn't really binge coz I felt fat after a buffet lunch on the first day of Hari Raya at PJ Hilton and another day of eating out on the second day of Hari Raya.

Anyway, this was my plate of comfort food....
Carrot cake, a very tasty walnut pie, boysenberry cheesecake, heavenly mango pudding and strawberries on skewer (supposed to be dipped into chocolate and white chocolate at the chocolate fountains but I skipped that sweet stuff).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our Sunday

On Sunday, we brought our maid to Paya Serai Coffee House @ PJ Hilton for lunch. That's our treat for her on Hari Raya. Despite what she is, we still bought her a nice lunch. Hopefully she felt touched and will change over a new leaf.

Joining us for lunch were my brother and his wife who came up from Singapore and also Jeff and Shir Lin, Joshua's daddy and mummy. Jeff and Shir Lin were previously Alycia and Sherilyn's volunteer Sunday School teachers at our church. They are now staying in Singapore. I kept yakking and yakking with them so much that I had forgotten to snap some pix. Joshua is such a cutie. Though younger than Baby C by 5 months, he looks like the kor kor as he's tall and chubby, towering over Baby C!

Shir Lin also bought these gifts for my gals:

Animal biscuits from Organix and 2 hard cover books for Baby. The panda book is really cute. At the squeeze of the panda's nose, there will be a squeaky sound, which Baby really likes.

Some cool stickers for Alycia and Sherilyn's room....

Shir Lin also gave me a tub of Organix beef with parsnip mash for Baby to try as this is not available in KL. The next time my brother comes to KL, he'll get a few tubs for Baby. This is such a convenient and tasty fast food for toddlers and great when dining out or traveling.

Thanks Shir Lin for all the gifts. We hope to see you guys in December!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lunch at Champs

After the bloggers' mini gathering at Paik Ling's house last Sunday, we had lunch at Champs @ Centre Point, Bandar Utama. Here's what we had:

Chicken chop for me...

Steak for hubby

Sang har meen (deep fried wheat flour noodles with big prawns). Tasty but the prawns were not really fresh. The prawn meat was a tad soft.

Fish and chips...

Fried rice

We find that the Western food is only mediocre, nothing to shout about. The local food is more popular amongst the patrons. If we ever go to Champs again, we will just stick to prawn noodles, laksa, fried noodles or fried rice and their roast pork ribs. I wanted to order their spring chicken, which looks really good but was told that I had to wait 25 minutes for the chicken to be roasted. I couldn't wait as I was famished. But as it turned out, I waited for more than half an hour for my chicken chop and was told that it would be served in less than 25 minutes. I was also really disappointed with the taste of the chicken chop.

Overall, I was not too satisfied with our lunch.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lemon Grass Tea

Ever since we found out the many wonders of lemon grass, we have been making our very own lemon grass concoction or tea. It's pretty simple. Just slice up the stalk of a bunch of lemon grass, boil a pot of water and pour the boiling water into a pot or a jug with the thinly sliced lemon grass stalks. Let the lemon grass steep in the hot water for about half an hour to an hour before drinking. You can drink it hot but it tastes better and really refreshing when chilled.

This is our lemon grass tea. We get our lemon grass supply from a friend who stays nearby who has lemon grass in abundance planted in his huge garden.

Check out my health blog to read more about the wonders of lemon grass.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Never-ending Maid Stories

That foreigner in my house gave me more sky-high blood pressure shooting moments today. This morning, she snapped at me and answered me sarcastically when I asked her how many minutes she had set the kitchen timer for the soup. Just a moment ago, I was fuming mad again when I noticed that the steamed egg with pork had lots of tiny black twigs on the surface. I knew instantly what it was and was enraged coz I did not ask her to add that in. She has been helping me to prepare this dish for umpteen times and I have never ever instructed her to put mixed herbs inside. I think nobody would add mixed herbs into this dish coz it just doesn't blend in. It's like adding some curry powder into your steak or eating spaghetti with tau cheong. I think she added the mixed herbs coz she likes the taste of mixed herbs but not my kids. Why can't that lady just follow instructions? When I asked her what was inside the steamed eggs, she told me this : "saya letak sangat sikit mixed herbs saja" but that wasn't sangat sikit at all. She added the mixed herbs without first asking me and that's what irritated me. That lady has a habit of doing things the way she likes without first asking us. Doing things as she fancies and not as per instructions is not being initiative.

During my stay in the hospital with Baby C, she even gave wrong info to the nurses when they came to check on Baby and asked questions when I wasn't in the room. She didn't know and didn't bother to ask me what the implications were if she gave wrong info. She just loves yakking and yaks at the wrong time and wrong situation all the time. But when she's supposed to talk, she remains dumb, like when she's asked to do something, she hardly answers us. That's another thing that pisses me off. In another incident, when I brought Baby to see the surgeon, the moment we entered the surgeon's room, she excitedly reported to the doctor how Baby was doing, even before I opened my mouth!

Anyway, back to the steamed egg with pork and mixed herbs. It tasted wierd but I still ate it coz we only had 2 dishes today. But Alycia and Sherilyn, my 2 fussy eaters sensed the difference in that dish instantly and were hesitant to eat the eggs. I'm sure that lady must be grinning inside her heart that now, the entire egg dish is hers coz nobody likes it. And did I tell you before that I caught her many times using the same serving spoon that we put on the plate of egg dish to discreetly scoop up the egg into her mouth when she thought I wasn't looking? And that same serving spoon was later put back on the plate of steamed eggs for us with her saliva and all! I'm perplexed why she likes to eat food so discreetly like curi-curi when the fact is that she gets to eat everything that we eat.

Tell me, would you be angry too if you were me? I wonder why some people just can't follow instructions.

Tomato fried chicken

My gals love anything cooked with tomatoes - pasta, spaghetti, omelette, fried fish with blended tomatoes and big onions, tomato sauce on fried rice/noodles and even raw tomatoes. Early this week, I whipped out a tomato chicken dish, my first try ever cooking a tomato fried chicken dish and it turned out really well. My gals loved it and even my fussy, pernickety foodie hubby liked it.

Here are the ingredients:

1) Chicken
2) About 2-3 large tomatoes
3) About 2-3 large onions
4) Lea & Perrin sauce
5) Tomato sauce
6) Pasta sauce
7) Mixed herbs
8) Soy sauce
9) A dash of brown sugar
10) Pepper

Marinate the chicken with all the sauces and seasonings and set aside in the fridge for at least an hour.

First, brown the big onions. When they are soft and fragrant, throw in the chicken. Toss and turn the chicken for about 10 minutes.

Then add in the tomatoes and some tomato sauce. Continue frying for another 10-15 minutes. I had intended to put several tablespoons of tomato sauce but ran out of tomato sauce. So I found an alternative and added 1 huge tablespoon of pasta sauce.

Add water and cover the wok. Let the chicken cook/simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remember to toss and turn occasionally.

When the chicken is ready, half the chicken goes to a stainless steel bowl from the tiffian carrier. This bowl of chicken is for deep freezing.

And the other half of the chicken is dished out and served....

The ingredients used - tomato sauce (not in pic), Lea & Perrin sauce, pasta sauce, pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar and mixed herbs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alphabet Board Puzzle

I bought this alphabet board puzzle for Sherilyn more than 2 years ago, when she was 2+ years old. She liked it a lot and learnt her ABCs through playing with this board puzzle, apart from all the educational VCDs. 2 weeks ago, I fished out this board puzzle and introduced it to Baby. She was fascinated with the colorful ABCs but she got frustrated when she did not know how to put them into the right slot. I tried to teach her but she was a tad impatient and threw them all over the floor!

Perhaps it's still too early to introduce her to board puzzles and jig saw puzzles. I'll just stick to books, flash cards and VCDs in the meantime.

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)

Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? :

1) You have a strong desire to increase the amount of time spent using the internet.
2) Withdrawal symptoms – when the amount of time spent on the internet is reduced or ceased, you feel agitated, anxious, has obsessive thinking of the internet, fantasies or dreams of the internet, and voluntary or involuntary typing movements.
3) Using internet more often or longer than intended.
4) Unsuccessful attempt to cut down internet usage.
5) Considerably large amount of time spent on internet activities.
6) There is cessation of or reduced social, occupational, or recreational activities because of internet use.
7) You persistently and continuously use the internet despite the knowledge of the risk of losing social relationships.

If you have any of these symptoms, chances are you are suffering from internet addiction disorder (IAD). These are the diagnostic criteria for IAD as listed out by the American Psychiatric Association.

Before I had Baby C, I had many of the above symptoms. I spent more than 8 hours on the computer on most days, mostly to work on my paid posts and to surf the internet. I was earning quite a comfortable income from writing paid posts. Well, those days are now long gone. These days, I am lucky if I get an hour of uninterrupted time on the computer. I think if it wasn’t because of the global recession (which affected the advertisers too) and if I hadn’t have Baby C, I would need treatment for my IAD because all my family members were complaining of my addiction hahaha! These days, there are many websites that offer treatments and support groups for those who are suffering from IAD, similar to those of a drug rehab.

So tell me, do you sound like one who has IAD?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Low Sugar Mooncake And Super Soft And Light Cheesecake

A friend gave us a box of low-sugar mooncakes from Tai Thong Restaurant last week.

This green one is low-sugar lotus paste with mint. The minty flavor gives me a cool feeling in the mouth as I chew on the mooncake.

This one is low-sugar lotus paste with lemon. In case you are wondering why this lemon flavored mooncake is cut so horribly, that's because my 2 older monkeys kept cutting and poking it with a butter knife when I wasn't looking! The green mint mooncake was totally ruined by them with the knife!

Verdict : I would not buy these 2 flavors again!

Though it's called low-sugar, I still find the mooncakes too sweet for my liking. I still prefer the 'cee cai peng' (mooncake pastry, without any sweet filling, baked in the shape of a piglet encased inside a pig basket). I would also eat mooncakes with lots of nuts, seeds and bacon. That's less fattening (though still fattening) and at least there're some protein and calcium (from the nuts and seeds) in the mooncake, instead of eating a piece of empty calorie fattening cake.

This is my all-time favorite super soft and light cheesecake from RT Pastry & Bakery, my favorite bakery that sells really delicious cakes, buns, breads, tarts and pastries. We go to this bakery every week and once you're in there (especially if you haven't taken you lunch / dinner), that's it... you're bound to put everything you see on the tray coz everything looks so tempting!

This cheesecake tastes exactly the same as the Miki Ojisan No Mise Japanese cheesecake and costs way cheaper than it. I can whack this entire cake myself in just 3 days! That's why I have to pull myself up from bed at 6am everyday to run. I am not ready to give up all my favorite sinful food and follow a weight loss diet just yet!

In Love With Stickers

When Baby was hospitalized after her surgeries in May this year, Michelle came to visit us and gave her some presents. One of the presents was a sticker book with 100 over colorful fairy stickers. Baby liked that sticker book instantly. 3.5 months later today, Baby still likes this book pretty much and she can sit inside her playpen for at least half an hour flipping through the sticker book, now with a few pages torn off. She would then pick the stickers that she likes, peel them off the book and stick them on her hands, clothes and face!

And when her 2 jie jies snatch the sticker book from her, she will scream murder!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Up until today, it's still a battle each time I spoon-feed Baby formula milk. She's always put in front of the tellie with her favorite VCDs played. While she's absorbed watching the TV, my maid or I will quickly shove the spoonfuls of milk into her mouth. However, on some days, she would still refuse to drink the milk. That's when I have to put on my thinking cap and come out with novel ideas that will interest my little fussy pot, so that she will remain on her highchair for at least half an hour.

Here's Baby roll-playing 'feed the baby' . While she was busy feeding her baby, my maid quickly shoved the spoonfuls of milk into her mouth. But this doesn't work all the time though. Sometimes she will fling the dolly away and everything else placed on the highchair table, arch her back and sssshrriekkkk! Eeeeekkk.... this drives me crazy! Can't blame her coz her mummy has a terrible hot temper too!

Drink your milk dolly...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Amazing Toy Fish That Can Grow Everyday

If your kids are constantly bugging you to get them some fish as pet but you find keeping fish as pet too troublesome, now you can buy them a toy fish that can really grow in water!

My visiting sil from Saipan bought Alycia and Sherilyn each a toy fish that can grow in water, up to 600% of its original size! Here are the 2 fish - one is a black and white shark and the other is an orange colored fish.

Day 1...

Day 2....

Several days later.....

The black and white shark outgrew the mineral water bottle and I haven't had the time to remove it from that bottle to place it in a bigger container, just to see if it can expand to 600% its original size. The growth of the orange fish got stunted and it just stopped growing at that size. Well, it did expand horizontally but not vertically! Maybe it will just grow into a big obese fish instead of grow longer hahaha!

Do you have any idea how the fish is to be removed from the bottle? Not by cutting up the bottle, which I had originally thought so. Just pour away the water and the fish will shrink! Amazing toy eh? My sil bought them from Mid Valley Megamall.

My sil also bought these goodies when she was in Japan recently....

I love that Hokkaido potato crisps (on the right). Even a health freak like me who does not eat potatoes can't help gorging on these sinful crisps that taste so good and addictive, a packet a day - shared with Aly and Sher. I find the orange flavored KitKat and that cute bunny biscuits with cream filling too sweet though.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Disney Princess Pasta And Organic Veggie Pasta

My 3 gals love pasta and spaghetti to bits. If I would allow, they would not mind eating pasta and spaghetti everyday. It's easy and quick to prepare and there's fuss-free eating from them, all 3 of them. I normally cook a huge pot of minced beef, chicken or pork sauce for the pasta / spaghetti and store them in separate containers in the freezer.

I cooked pasta again yesterday - Disney Princess pasta (which sil bought from Hong Kong) for my 2 older gals and organic veggie pasta in the shape of tiny flowers for Baby (bought from Village Grocer, Bangsar Village).

Disney Princess pasta and organic tiny flower pasta made from beet root, spinach, durum wheat semolina and pure barley powder. The tiny flower pasta is so tiny that I don't need to cut them up. Baby who has only 3.5 teeth can swallow them without much effort chewing the pasta.

First, boil the Princess pasta. Scoop out the pasta from the pot with a siever when the pasta is soft. Then, throw in the organic tiny flower pasta into the pot of still boiling water and cook till soft.

The minced beef cooked with tomatoes, big onions and pasta sauce which I had cooked a few days earlier and frozen. Here, I only reheated the sauce in a non-stick pan.

Once the sauce is boiling, pour the Princess pasta back into the pan and mix well. You can toss in some grated Parmesan or Mozarella cheese.

Here's the Disney Princess pasta for my princess wannabe...

Baby's organic tiny flower pasta, with minced beef all cut up into really tiny bits. She loved it so much that she whacked the entire bowl clean! I did not mix her pasta into the pot of sauce. I only scooped up a few teaspoonfulls of sauce and mixed it with the pasta in her bowl.

I also made some tomato omelette for my gals for that extra protein, DHA and nutrients. My 3 gals love tomatoes. They love anything cooked with tomatoes.

There you go, another wholesome and well-balanced meal for growing toddlers. Oh yes, I also squeezed some fresh orange juice for my 3 gals to wash down their lunch.

Tonight, I'm cooking tomato fried chicken for my gals!