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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mastering Math and Sukukata

Yesterday while waiting for our food to arrive, my impatient and restless Cass again bugged me for Math questions and Sukukata (basic reading in the Malay language).  For a good half an hour, I gave her Math addition sums and Sukukata with all the vowels (a, e, i, o, u).  She got almost all her Math sums correct, up to 100 (eg. 2 + 83, 5 + 75, etc).  She could also master all the sounds of the vowels in Malay (eg ba, be, bi, bo, bu, ca, ce, ci, co, cu, etc).  Albeit she knew sa + ya in pronunciation, she however did not know how to say out the word when told to join sa + ya.  My next mission with her is to teach her how to string the 2 or 3 sukukata together into a word. I think it ain't going to be hard since this girl has interest in Math and Sukukata. That is already half of all the hurdles accomplished. Way to go baby girl :)

Cass at 4 years 8 months.
I can't believe that in just a week's time, my baby girl will be in her second year at kindy. Next year, she will have spelling, ejaan and ting xie on a weekly basis with twice yearly exams, just like both her che ches! Time really flies... one moment she was still a sickly and frail baby addicted to my boops and in just a few blinks of my eyes plus loads of eventful events, she is now going to sit for exams *GASP*

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ray of Hope Cafe, Ipoh

On of the eating places that my parents love to frequent to is Ray of Hope Cafe in Bercham, Ipoh.  This cafe is no ordinary cafe. It is a very special cafe managed by kind souls with the help of special workers.
The Ray of Hope Café in Bercham, Ipoh, is a Community Link initiative by CIMB Bank Ipoh Garden branch. The Café provides sheltered employment and vocational training to empower young adults with mental disabilities. By working in the café, they are able to interact and communicate with customers, which facilitates their integration into society. They are trained in frontline and backroom work such as cutting up vegetables, serving customers and cleaning up.

Before we stepped foot into Ray Of Hope, my parents and I warned our young girls not to be shocked with how the workers look and act. We told them that most of the waiting staff have Down Syndrome and other mental disabilities.   We told them not to make loud and unkind remarks on the workers in the restaurant as this would  cause an extremely embarrassing situation for everyone. We explained to the girls that most of the waiters and waitresses in the restaurants are special people who look and behave differently and told them not to laugh at them.

Below pic shows one of the disabled workers. I think that apart from their appearances, they all behaved and performed pretty well.

Chicken Chop - very delish, though I think it would taste even better had it been less saltier.

Wat Tarn Hor (flat rice noodles with egg gravy and seafood)

Fried vermicelli. This is so tasty that we ordered another plate.  Again, health freak mom preferred it to be less saltier.

Cheese baked rice - very delish and cheesy!  After tasting this, I told the girls I will dish this up for them soon.  I am drooling now as I am typing this post.

Home baked cheese tarts. This is really good. It was so tasty that we wanted to order more but they were all sold out. The owner only sells limited number of pieces everyday.

This mango cake is also very fresh, spongy and not too sweet with loads of fresh mango pieces. Love it to bits.

This cafe won 1st placing in the 'Cleanest Restaurant In Ipoh' contest and yes, the cafe and especially the loos are very clean, surpassed my clean freak standard!

The bill was unbelievable. For all these items, it was less than RM60. We also ordered 4 fresh fruit juices (not in pic).  There is definitely going to be another visit to this cafe the next time we are back in Ipoh to my parents.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Keeping Track Of My Kiddos' Books

Each of my daughters have at least 15 work books for tutoring by our Mandarin tutor.  In the past, they have so many books that the tutor and I could not keep track.  Many times, the books went MIA, which means homework was not done. It is always only months later that when I went through their drawers that I managed to fish out the hidden treasure... their long-lost work books!!  Now I am not sure if they had purposely 'lost' their work books or what!?

This time, the tutor and I came up with a new way of keeping track of their work books... by snapping pictures of all the books that they each have, followed by snapping close up pic of each book LOL!  I asked the tutor to store these pix in her smart phone for reference each time she comes.

Alycia's Standard 4 work books for tuition...

 Sherilyn's Standard 2 work books for tuition...

And even Cass has work books...

And I have this summary of who owns what written on a sticky note, stuck on my desk.  Now listen up girls, don't you think you can escape tiger mummy ok, muahahahaha!!

For those of you with more than 3 kiddos, how on earth do you keep track of their books? Especially if you are a busy working mum with no maids.  It's crazy, eh?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Her Midas Touch

I could not believe it when her Midas Touch damaged the ceiling-mounted clothes hanger at our balcony. It was starting to rain and I told her to get the clothes in. I just had a hunch that she may snap the delicate wires of the clothes hanger by moving the handle clockwise and anti-clockwise non-stop to see what's going happen to the wires holding over 20kg of weight. Knowing this girl too well, I just knew she would not obediently collect the clothes ONLY. She always does extra... of mischief. She loves to try new things without thinking or fearing of the consequences. We had just replaced the clothes hanger and that cost us over RM500. True enough, not even 5 minutes later, she ran in and reported to me that the hanger was spoilt! I ran out to check the clothes hanger. The wires turned flimsy and the handle could no longer move the hanger up nor down. I was terribly upset as we would have to fork out another RM500+ to replace the hangers. And I felt like strangling that rascal. Thankfully hubs is a handyman and he managed to salvage the hanger, albeit the hanger is now acting strangely.

This is not the first time she had created problem whenever I asked her to help out. Just last week, she dropped a bowl with spring onions that I had just chopped all on the kitchen floor. After chopping the spring onions, the phone rang. She passed me the phone. As my hands were wet and stinky, I told her to hold the bowl of spring onions for me and warned her with these words "please hold for me and DO NOT drop it ok "... just after I said the words OK, the bowl just slipped out from her butter fingers!! The chopped spring onions were scattered everywhere! All my effort of washing, soaking and chopping the onions went into the bin again! Just a day earlier, she also dropped a bowl of chopped onions. I could not believe this rascal!!

This rascal has now earned a nickname Butter Fingers and Miss Clumsypot in the family. She spills drinks and drops things all the time. I hope she will outgrown this clumsiness in her, just like how she took 6.5 years to kick off her thumb-sucking habit. God please help her and me!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Super Pissed Off!

Some of my suppliers are sent from the gates of hell. I have ditched about five of such suppliers in the last 3 years. Currently, I am facing another of such supplier from hell. This supplier has zero customer service and acts high and mighty. When he was unable to meet some of my requests, he told me that I am a creator of problem for his shop and that he did not need such customer (implying ME!) and told me that he rather lived poor than to have customers like me who creates problems for him!! WTF, go to h*ll! The next thing that infuriates me is that whenever I have detected mistakes (whether minor or major problems) that they had made, they will just brush it off without an apology. Worse still, they do not even want to reply my emails! That's it, I am so going to write you off my list of suppliers. I rather go poor than to have a supplier like you, you read me?

Do You Take Vitamins and Minerals?

If you google search on whether you really need to consume vitamins and minerals, you will get contrasting and contradicting information from the internet. Some websites will extol the benefits of consuming vitamins and minerals while some website will say that vitamin and supplement consumption is unnecessary, and many products could be a waste of money and potentially harmful. How do you make a decision then?

I think that if you eat a well-balanced diet everyday consisting of fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein, calcium and good carbs and stay away from junk food, you do not really need supplements. Including exercise in your daily regimen and exposing your skin to the morning sun to get your daily dosage of Vitamin D is beneficial too. But the truth is the majority of us are unable to follow this healthy regimen on a daily basis due to a variety of reasons, including myself.   I do consume calcium supplement and a good brand of multi-vitamin and minerals supplement everyday. I remember I used to suffer from pain in my heels and ankles as well as on my knees a few months after giving birth to Cass. After switching to a good brand of calcium supplement, the pain was contained and up until today, I have no more pain on my legs.

If you are suffering from certain disorders, you may need to consume a higher dosage of the required vitamin and mineral to counter the problem. My former colleague was prescribed by her doctor with a high dosage of Vitamin E to counter the outbreak of severe acne on her face. Another friend was prescribed with magnesium oxide as she had some kind of muscles and nerves disorder.

If you are in doubt and need clarification on whether you or your children need a supplement in their daily diet, you can always consult your physician.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Alycia's 9th Birthday Pressies

Months before her 9th birthday, Alycia had already placed her birthday pressie wish.  Tintin comics was her top choice, followed by story books by her favorite authors.  And her birthday wish was granted.

This Tintin comics is from granny and koong koong

Geronimo Stilton (again!!) from granny and koong koong as well.  I have been telling her that she has way too many GS books but this is still her first love.  I allowed her to get them for the last time as it's her birthday.  She should venture out to other authors this year.

Enid Blyton The Wishing Spells and Helen Moss' The Mystery Of The Invisible Spy from mummy dearest.

Funky Things To Draw. I chose this book for her. This book teaches beginners how to draw a whole range of funky stuff from animals and fairies to princess, dragons and all that jazz. Alycia has a strong passion in drawing, just like her daddy and can spend the whole day drawing without leaving the table and chair for breaks. This is from granny and koong koong too.

This is a step by step instruction on how to draw an elephant calf.

Last week, daddy brought her to Borders and got her more Tintin comics and story books (not in pic).  Now, we really have to get a new book shelf to house the girls' collection of books!

Choosing The Right Flooring

Today the girls have been very good. I gave them a pep talk and they all roped in to mop the floor, cleaned up the rooms in addition to their compulsory task of doing the clean laundry. Alycia cleaned the wall-mounted shelf in her room, where she displays all her lego collection and manga figurines. None of the part-time maids wanted to clean this shelf as they were worried that they would not know how to place them back to the original display. Plus, the figurines are fragile and the lego assembles will break up once they are dropped on the floor.

When it comes to the kids mopping the floor, they are always given disposable wet papers as these papers do not leave the floor wet and slippery. The floor of our living room is marble, with a slippery surface. When the floor has too much water on it, anyone stepping on it is bound to slip and fall. The kids have slipped and fell many times when our previous live-in maid mopped the floor with water. I have slipped and fell several times too and thank God no bone was broken. The worst to happen to anyone is a fall resulting in back injury which would render one wheel-chair bound for life. This  happened to my art teacher. She fell when the maid was mopping the floor. The fall has rendered her paralyzed in one leg. She had to stop teaching in school but she was strong-willed and resilient. She turned her large garden into a tuition class of sorts and conducted art classes for secondary students in her garden.

If we ever move to a new house, apart from turning the kitchen into my dream kitchen, I will change the floor tiling of the living room to tiles with non-skid features. I like hardwood flooring and I think it gives the living room a very rustic and warm feeling. You can learn more on flooring at baycarpetsflooringamerica.com.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Choice

If you have been a regular reader of my blogs, you may be wondering how I am still thriving without a live-in helper, despite the fact that I still have an online business running, online assignments to write and have to cook for the kids everyday and manage them.  The fact is that I have engaged a part-time helper who comes in for 2 hours everyday in the evening to help me clean the house and wash the dishes.  I know some of you will probably say that you'd rather save the RM30 and do the work yourself but for me, if RM30 can buy happiness and keeps me sane, why not?  Or some of you may prefer to eat out everyday or have catered food delivered to you to save the hassle of cooking and washing up.  But I want my kids to have homecooked food, even if it means more work and stress for me.  Some of you spend RM30 a day on luxuries like a cup of coffee and a slice of cake from coffee boutiques or on a nice nail art or on a stylish coiffured hair-do.  I can live without those luxuries and be happy without them.  Having them is icing on my cake.  I prefer plain cakes as a matter of fact ;)

My choice is that I have decided to keep my online business running and continue with my online assignments.  To see the figures in my bank accounts growing  everyday gives me a lot of self-satisfaction and security.  And I know I am just not cut to be a full-time housewife who cooks, washes and drives the kids around for activities. This is just too mundane for me.  I need a certain level of stress to keep my brain alert ;P

Chiropractic To Overcome Back Pain

Some time early last year, I injured my lower back and was in excruciating pain for 3 days. I think I had sprained my lower back when I lifted Cass up. That was the most painful episode of back pain I ever had. For 2 nights straight, I could not sleep at night and had to be in an upright sitting position with my back propped up by pillows. It was so painful that even a slight cough or sneeze would bring tears to my eyes. The hubs could not sleep too as he was hearing me whine and cry in pain the entire night long. I really thought that I had suffered from a prolapsed disc and was all ready to head to the hospital to visit the orthopedic for an X-Ray on the third day. But thank God, the pain subsided after the hubs used the OTO e-Cell electromagnetic gadget to treat the injured part of my back.

Had I really suffered from a prolapsed disc last year, things will go hay-wire at home as the mil was overseas during that period and the hubs was as usual busy with his catering business. I always wonder what the hubs will do if I land myself in the hospital and am rendered immobile? Perhaps he will then realize all of a sudden how peaceful his life had been when the captain was maneuvering the ship. When there is no captain, the ship will stray and disaster looms ahead.

If you suffer from a sudden back pain or have been suffering silently with back pain, you may want to seek chiropractic treatment. Do select a good chiropractor, like the well-known Stockton chiropractic specialists.

Can't Wait

Alycia and Sherilyn have been going to bed way past midnight almost every night this school holiday.  I know it is pretty bad and I have to start training them to go to bed by 9:30pm again, starting from end of  next week.  School will reopen in 2.5 weeks' time, YIPEEEEE!!!  I CAN'T WAIT! LOL!!    I find that I have lesser time on hand to do my things when all 3 of them are around.  The house is forever noisy with their chatter, bickering and sound of TV blasting away -- they are watching The Voice most of the time.  And I hate it that I can't even listen to my favorite radio stations on Astro as they are hogging the idiot box all the time, aaaarghhh!!!

A Complete Metamorphose

This year has been an overall pretty good year for me in every area of my life.  I thank God that all my loved ones are pretty healthy and are not inflicted with any life-threatening illnesses including myself, though I did suffer from a bad fall on the road while jogging and I injured both my palms pretty badly. Career wise is also pretty good for my hubs and me, albeit we have been under a lot of stress from work the whole year through.

I am also glad that I managed to have a chance meeting with two of my erstwhile colleagues this year. I have been thinking about them occasionally all these while and wonder how they are now, as we had worked together very closely more than a decade ago and had gone through thick and thin in the company. But I just did not know how to look them up until the two separate chance meetings.

When I bumped into this erstwhile colleague of mine recently, I could not recognize her for a moment. She has doubled up in size and looked totally different now. She used to be very slim and had an hour glass figure to die for, but her body has now metamorphosed into a pear-shaped figure and her neck could barely be visible. This is probably due to her perpetual good appetite, irregular and late meals and zero exercise. I think that if she continues with a sedentary lifestyle with more input of calories than output, her health is in for trouble in time to come. She should really do something about it before it is too late. She should go on a diet, take red cell press to suppress her appetite, goes for a lap-band or even better, exercise and control her calorie-intake simultaneously.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kids Say The Darndest Things

Just a moment ago during the girls' Mandarin tuition class at home, Alycia jokingly said this in Mandarin to her tutor : "Miss M, I know why you still don't have a boyfriend... because you always dress up like a boy! HAHA!"   Gosh, that was a real embarrassing moment for her teacher. Alycia can be very forthright in her words to people whom she is very comfortable with. Many times, she will highlight the weaknesses of the person directly to the person, without first processing the words in her head, thus causing embarrassment to the 'victim' and to me, if I were in the picture. Though I am seated just next to the table where the class is on-going, I pretended that I did not hear what Alycia has just said. I am too embarrassed to even reprimand her. If I were the teacher, I would feel hurt with the comment, albeit it came from a 9-year old child. I better reprimand Alycia when the class is over, lest she says something similar to other people next time!

The Clown Ballerina

Today my princess wannabe attended her ballet concert organized by the dance centre that she goes to.   For second grade ballerinas, their dance was entitled "Fun" and is a clown dance of sorts as the graceful ballerinas were all donned in clown costume LOL!  When I first saw Sherilyn after the make-over in that costume, I could not recognize her for a moment.  And I was thinking why on earth did the ballet teacher dress her students up like a clown? Like ridiculing them.  Initially I did think that the ballerinas look really hilarious in the clown costume but when I saw how they performed, my point of view changed.  The five graceful 'clowns' danced really well, were very vivacious, very confident and they received the loudest cheer and applaud from the audiences.  I was uber proud of my little clown. Well, she did clown around but she did it really well this time without putting a frown to my eye brow, LOL!

And my little clown made me even prouder when the teacher announced that she scored a Merit for her Grade 1 ballet exam which she sat for in May this year.  For RM170 a month, now I am starting to feel that our hard-earned money on this rascal's ballet lessons is money well spent :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finally Clearing My Wardrobe

I managed to clear my wardrobe the other day. Clothes that I hardly wore but was feeling a tad heavy-hearted to part with were finally given away after keeping them for years! And I gave them all, including some of the husband’s custom military shirts to the part-time maid who came as she is the only person I know of who is smaller size than me and could fit into my extra small size dresses and pants. She couldn’t be more thankful and wore them to work the next day. And I couldn't be happier that my clothes fitted her so well!

Wacky Taste Buds Too

Another wacky moment from my princess wannabe. Yesterday during breakfast, while Alycia dunked Oreos into her cup of cold fresh milk, Sherilyn followed suit BUT she dunked the Oreos into her mug of Manuka honey! I would never put such stuff into my mouth. Is that even palatable? NO, it does not look palatable at all to me but this wacky princess claimed that her combo tasted good *rolls eyes"! Sherilyn is always going against the grain. Well, I'm hoping that this girl will stand out from the crowd and will make me proud of her in future.

Another Year Older

The hubs will turn another year older in less than a month’s time. I still remember attending his birthday party 23 years ago! It was my first time to his house in our hometown. He is a classmate of my elder brother. Did you know that he had already set his heart and eyes on me back then and even years before that? Time flies. I did not get him a birthday gift back then as we were still not very close with each other. The best birthday gift for my basketball fanatic man is still some basketball gifts or an unforgettable night....in private of course, ahem! LOL!

Wacky Fashion Sense

My princess wannabe has a wacky fashion sense at times. Today, she made my jaw drop when she wore her new leopard print skirt under a sexy short beach dress. I told her that if she wore that outfit to the hotel for her ballet concert, everyone will call her CRAZY! How could she have thought of wearing a skirt under a dress? That's fashion nightmare! And she told me "I don't care!" I screamed at her and ordered that she changed her clothes into something more decent, which she did reluctantly. Another shake head and hair pulling moment with this pig-headed girl of mine, sigh...

Slacker In My Exercise Regimen

I have been a slacker in my exercise regimen ever since my live-in helper left. Instead of exercising on a daily basis, I have now gone down to two to three times in a week, especially during the school holidays. But I am not gaining weight either as engaging in household chores burns calories too. I can still indulge in ice-creams and desserts without gaining weight though I do not work out on the air walker or use the theraband band loops anymore. I do miss exercising and sweating it out every morning. I am still hoping that the right live-in maid will appear in our lives very soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Of All The Things To Forget...

Can you believe that in my entire life,  I hardly ever cook rice?  Before the kids came along, I've always had my meals outside after work.  After the kids came along,  I've had a maid who would cook for us for over 10 years and even after she left recently, the MIL would cook rice. Never me to cook rice.  So naturally, cooking rice was never my forte and it was hardly in my to-do list. I would even feel helpless each time I cook rice and would get worried that the rice would either be too soggy or too hard or not thoroughly cooked.

So... today I made a big boo boo.   After the 3 girls had gone for art class, I was enjoying the peace at home and quickly did all the work on my PC that needed thinking -- churning out invoices, writing my ads and replying my customers' messages.  I told myself that I could just reheat one of the dishes that the MIL had cooked and frozen just before she left for Hong Kong.  And I would blanch a veggie when the girls returned from art class.  Watercress soup is already prepared in the afternoon and already sitting nicely and warmly in the magic pot.  When I picked up the girls from art class, Alycia was announcing that she was freaking hungry. I said, no problem, dinner will be served in a bit but....

When we stepped inside our house, Alycia ran into the kitchen to check out what was prepared for her and then she asked me worriedly,  "MUMMY, WHERE IS THE RICE???"  O_o  I said "Shiats, I FORGOT to cook rice!!" and then burst out laughing foolishly at my forgetfulness!  How could I have forgotten to cook rice?  Rice of all things, great!  I told the girls that since they were so hungry, I might as well just cook some spaghetti noodles which would just take me 10 minutes.  But my rice pot Alycia insisted that she only wanted rice and nothing else!   This fan thoong girl of mine  would go to bed feeling really uneasy if she did not get to eat rice for dinner,  sigh!  Then both of us thought of the same thing at the same time.  Haha, great minds think alike, deng deng!!  So off we went downstairs to the Japanese restaurant to take away Japanese rice which cost me a freaking RM6.70 including tax.  What the heck,  a mum has to do what a mum has to do when her 3 babies are famished.  LOL!  And my 3 babies enjoyed their Japanese rice with homecooked food and soup for dinner tonight :D

Lowering My Standards

In the last 10 years that I have had the privilege to hire a live-in maid, I have to say that in terms of cleanliness and paying attention to details, none of my live-in maids met my expectation. From one who is very pernickety with cleanliness, I have to lower my standard. I used to come home after work to check the table tops, windows and floors and would question my maid if I spotted dirt on the places that the maid was rostered to clean for that day. This gave me a lot of stress, as well as to the maid. And over the years, I had learned to close both my eyes to the maid’s slip shod work. I have learned to accept the fact that I can never expect too much from a maid who has to work long hours. As long as she does the laundry, mops the floor, puts meals on the dining table and washes the dishes, I have to be contented. I cannot expect my live-in maid to produce 100% satisfaction guaranteed work, like those cleaners from CommercialCleaningUT.com or other well-trained cleaners from professional cleaning companies.

If I want 100% satisfaction guaranteed work from a maid, whether live-in maids or part-time maids, I might as well do the chores all by myself. That would save me a lot of money, albeit this would put a lot of stress on myself too. Well, I cannot have the best of both worlds.

Friday, December 7, 2012


When my girls were babies through toddlers, I would have to go through sleepless nights each time they had high fevers. I would sleep on the floor with the child who was having fever, on a mattress. Next to me were an alarm clock, a small bucket to retrieve vomit should my baby threw up, plastic mats to line the bed just in case they puked, a digital ear thermometer, a small tumbler of water, wet towels to sponge my baby’s body and suppositories! I would wake up at every hour to check their temperature, sponge their body and to force feed them with water and at times to insert suppository. Those were the nights I wish I never have to go through again. Having a baby is indeed a joy and a gift from God. But raising children is the toughest job God has ever created too. 

High fevers in young children can cause epilepsy and damage to the brain. I have a friend who almost lost her son when he suffered a bout of high fever. While she did not loose her son completely, she lost half of the son. Most unfortunately, the son suffered a brain damage and is now in a vegetative state. I also have friends whose young children suffered from febrile epilepsy resulting from high fever.

Epilepsy has a lot of causes, ranging from brain tumors to infections. Sometimes, a sudden, high fever can also trigger a seizure. Known as febrile seizures, they usually occur in very small children who have a viral infection. Epilepsy can be a very scary experience for the child as well as for the parents or caregiver. While febrile seizures are rare and usually do not result in another seizure, there is a small chance that these children may develop epilepsy later on in life. Do you have a child who has had an episode of epilepsy recently? If you do, it is advisable to bring your child to an epilepsy specialist for consultation and check up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sherilyn The Menace

This rascal not only drives me nuts with her ever mischief and clumsiness. She has driven my parents bonkers too during our week long stay in Ipoh. Yesterday, she made my dad blow his top when she :

1) At Tesco, she placed her tumbler on the moving escalator's hand rail to see if the tumbler would drop. Of course it dropped and it landed on the floor beneath  where the coin-operated kids rides were. Thank GOD no one was downstairs, else the heavy bottle of water could have injured someone's head badly and could possibly kill a toddler if it dropped on the toddler's head! My dad had to run downstairs like a mad man to retrieve the tumbler. He was enraged. He is hardly mad with the kids but this time he was fuming mad.

2) Moments later just as we were about to get into the car, she dropped her tumbler again and the tumbler rolled underneath the car!

3) That evening, while playing cushion-war, she threw a cushion onto a ceramic cup on the table and the cup dropped and broke!

4) In the evening, she pushed the dining table chair and hurt Cass' toes and made Cass wail in pain.

5) That night after her shower, she ran out of the bathroom in her birthday suit to look for her towel. She stepped onto the mattresses on the floor with her wet feet and wet the entire floor and mattresses. I was boiling mad! I had just bought her a pair of expensive and pretty Barbie ballerina flat and gave her a pep talk and thought she would be good but...

Sherilyn oh Sherilyn, why are you such a trouble-maker and making everyone so terrified of you? When will you ever be more considerate and keep your mischief contained?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jooi Hooi Cafe, Penang Road

After the anxious wait and consultation with Cass' surgeon at GMC Penang, I told hubs that I needed to have some street food therapy to de-stress.  Next to retail therapy, good food can be very therapeutic for me too lol!  My suggestion sounded too good to my foodie hubs and without hesitating a wee bit, he inched his way around Penang town to bring me to Penang Road for the well-known Teochew Chendol.

During our 3-week stay in Penang in May 2009, whilst I waited stressfully in the hospital, the hubs went food hunting round Penang,  Now, he is very familiar with all the well-known makan places in Penang!

The Penang Road famous Teowchew Chendol and Ice Kacang outside Jooi Hooi Cafe.

Whilst I only suggested Chendol, the hubs took a step further. As usual, this ambitious hubs of mine ordered a plate of 'kar liu' char koay teow (with about 4-5 really huge prawns) @ only RM6, a plate of fruit rojak, a bowl of assam laksa and a bowl of ice kacang.  My tummy was already a quarter full after chomping down 3 hot Ah Guan apom (my no. 1 favorite food in Penang!) on our way to GMC.  By the time we finished these yummy hawkers fare, I felt like puking and told the hubs to ditch the plan of eating seafood for dinner that night.

 The Penang Road famous Chendol is stalled just outside Joo Hooi Cafe, at the side. 
assam laksa with ambala juicejoo hooi cafe
Picture taken from http://www.journeymalaysia.com/MI_penangfood.htm

But guess what, after a light dinner at the Executive Lounge of G Hotel, we walked to Gurney Drive and digged into some popular Penang hawkers food and ate under the drizzle !

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Princess Wannabe In A Gown

We spent the whole afternoon shopping at Jusco in Ipoh yesterday. Nothing beats stress better for me than retail therapy. Funnily, spending money can be really therapeutic for me but the guilt trap can never escape after the adrenalin rush dissipates very much later LOL! The guilt is even more corrosive when the credit card bill comes the next month!!  That's why I never like to swipe my credit cards. Anyway, I bought nothing for myself yesterday but spent a few hundred bucks on my 3 precious.

When I saw Sherilyn in this ankle-length pink beaded gown yesterday, the first character that came up my mind was Cinderella!  She looked really sweet in this gown and was begging me to have it. BUT I did not give in as the main reason was the beads. Being in the apparel line of business, I have seen too many incidents where the string holding the beads snapped and all the beads dropped right in front of me. That's 100% wipe-off and no customer would want a defective dress and it is also not salvageable at all, so I had to say no to my princess wannabe and got her 2 other dresses instead.   Ever since kakak left, I have been buying only clothes that are washing-machine friendly. Strictly no 'hand-wash only' clothes haha!

Perhaps I should enlarge this pic and frame it up in Sherilyn's room. This will be her motivation to study hard and work hard so that she gets to buy a gown with her own money when she grows up! :D

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I'm still around, pretty busy as usual and even busier for the past 2 weeks as it's the school holidays plus my youngest SIL from Hawaii with her hubs were here. So there were lots of outings and entertaining.

Today, the girls and I are taking the ETS train to Ipoh. It will be the girls' first ever train ride and my first after over 15 years!  Just a short update for this blog before you, my dear reader thinks that this blog has shut down lol!

Friday, November 23, 2012

My 3 Earnest Helpers

These are not child laborers but very earnest child helpers. The moment they saw the stack of courier consignment notes and bags at the door step, they could not wait to help me 'process' them by first tearing the consignment notes and then sticking the plastic pockets onto the courier bags. With 3 helpers spending over an hour working, I don't need to spend half  my day on them, bliss!!  Best of all, they did not even ask for a reward!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Handmade Cards From Alycia

Alycia made this card, which is a Christmas Wish List card. For whom the card goes to, I dont' know la. She just loves making cards and bookmarks lately.  The love for art is in her blood and she inherited it from daddy who is a very artistic person who can draw very well too.

The picture of the girl in a car was from a plastic stamp set (in black ink) which grandma bought for her from Hong Kong. It comes with a set of colorful cards and ink. She colored the stamped picture and added dots as snow with a while color pencil, drew the X'mas tree, wrote the words Christmas Car and her Christmas List.  She has improved loads in her coloring ever since she attended art class.  I think it's a very beautiful card from a soon-to-be 9 year old girl, don't you agree? :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sol-U-Mel From Melaleuca

During the school holidays, I am even busier than school-going days.  When the girls get bored, they turn mischievous and the tricks from under their sleeves would be unveiled, one by one... like rascal #2 would be doing water color painting inside her bedroom on the WHITE table without lining the table with newspapers or cloth,  thus splattering paints everywhere!!  Next up after reprimanding her, she would wash the palette and paint brushes in the bathroom sink which I have just washed and causing more paint splattering everywhere on the sink, bathroom top and floor... then with her dirty hands, she would put the toilet seat down and pee and then more paint marks on the toilet seat, aaaargh!!!  

Here, I don't know which rascal spilled some glue on the white table top. It must be rascal no. 2 coz after reprimanding the girls, she took a magic sponge to try to remove the stain on the table but to no avail... instead caused a big puddle of water on the table. Then I remembered I have just bought Sol-U-Mel from Melaleuca. I dabbed a little of concentrated Sol-U-Mel onto a piece of tissue paper and as I scrubbed the table, I saw the glue vanished!  Indeed a miracle household helper for health and clean freaks like yours truly!

 Before Sol-U-Mel...

After Sol-U-Mel... a squeaky clean white table again!

You can use Sol-U-Mel full strength to remove:
Gum in hair
Permanent Marker
Road Tar
Tree Sap
Paint and fingernail polish
Pet stains
Oil Glues
Ink and crayon

You can also use diluted Sol-U-Mel to eliminate unwanted smells:
Deodorize garbage cans
Eliminate moldy odors
Freshen the bathroom
Remove smoke or pet odor from air and furniture

The secret behind Sol-U-Mel’s power is Melaleuca Oil. In fact, full-strength Sol-U-Mel contains 10% Melaleuca Oil (tea tree oil), more than any other cleaning product.

Many common household cleaners can contain ammonia, chlorine bleach, and other known offenders. Sol-U-Mel contains no ammonia, chlorine bleach, and is made from natural biodegradable ingredients. It is a must-have item in a house with kids!

TMJ Disorder

I learned to never take simple things in life for granted when Cass was lying in the hospital for 3 weeks after 2 major surgeries. I did not know whether she would be healed and whether she was going to make it. Her condition remained bad even after the first surgery. Only God knew how hopeless I felt. Though she had x-rays, a CT scan and a few other invasive scans done, the results were not conclusive to find out why she just could not poo, could not let out gas, she threw up after eating and drinking (even a few drops of water made her threw up green stuff!) and her tummy was growing bigger by the day, like a balloon about to explode. We were all hanging on tenterhooks in the hospital after the first surgery, which led to a complication. I prayed to God to help Cass fart and poo and for the surgeon to be able to find out what was wrong with her. Yes, simple things like farting and pooing mattered SO MUCH to me in May of 2009. Words cannot express how thankful and happy I was when I finally heard my baby girl let out a long fart after the second surgery. And the poop that came after the surgery… which was like gold to me!

Even being able to eat and let out a yawn without feeling pain is taken for granted by most of us. For those suffering from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), having a pleasant meal without wincing when they chew is something that they can only dream of.  If you or anyone whom you know of suffers from pain each time they chew or open their mouth wide, they may be suffering from TMJ. Please do visit a dentist like the Abbotsford TMJ dentist for further investigation and treatment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Funny Little Story From Cass

My youngest SIL from Hawaii came back 2 days ago.  Today, as she was lying down on the bed with Cass, she asked Cass to tell her a story. So here goes the funny, short story from Cass...

"Once upon a time, there lived an ice-cream.... a talking ice-cream.  Sarah ate the ice-cream and the talking ice-cream ate up her kidneys..."   .... upon hearing this, Alycia, my sil and I broke out in a loud guffaw....

".... and then the ice cream ate up Sarah's bones and the ice-cream said "yummy"  and lived happily ever after"

I was amazed with how Cass can cook up such a witty and funny story without even stopping to think what she was going to say.  I can't wait for Cass to know how to read and write. I'll bet she'll write loads of funny stories and stories related to KIDNEYS!   For those of you who follow my blogs, you will know why Cass and I are so obsessed with kidneys.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ice-Cream On Toast

I love mornings on school-going days. Why? That's because I have PEACE at home, absolute silence, save for the sound of jazz music playing in the background. And I can munch of junk food as and when I wish without doing it stealthily in the wet kitchen and getting choked at times *COUGHS*!

See, I can even have ice cream on hot toast, how blissful!  Cold food like ice creams are something that I have been keeping away from my kids as they get cough pretty easily.  So it is during the morning when all 3 rascals are in school that I can freely eat and savor every single bite, yumz!

 Love this Freezy vanilla flavor ice-cream on my walnut toast.

My Pet Dogs

I had 2 pet dogs when I was a teenage girl. The first one, named Ricky was slightly over 1 year old when it was run over by a school bus when my brother left the gate opened. I was devastated and locked myself in my room to cry my eyes out for 2 days.   I was thirteen.  Ricky was euthanized as the pet told us that its ribs were crushed. I remember that I begged my daddy to bring me to the vet after swimming class to say my last good-bye to Ricky. I was controlling so hard not to weep out loud when I turned my back on Ricky to walk out of the vet’s clinic. Ricky was resting in the cage. He was staring at me with tears in its eyes. I will never forget that moment. 

My second pet dog was named Spotty as it had light brown spots all over its body. My hubby (then only friend – my brother’s classmate actually) gave me Spotty. It was a Spitz mixed with Mongrel.  Spotty was a ball of cutie when it was a puppy.  He was my source of joy and my playmate every evening.  I would walk Spotty round the neighborhood to let him release himself.  Those days, our pet dogs ate what we ate and they ate lots of bones, except for fish bones.  Dog food was not very popular about 20 over years ago.  These days, dog owners would cringe at the thought of their beloved pet dog eating left over food and bones, fearing that their precious dog would choke or would have watery stools.  Pet owners these days even join pet forums to mingle with fellow pet owners to discuss about their pets.  In those days, forums were hardly heard of, much less pet forums.  Though he was never fed with dog food, never really received any jabs for dogs, save for some Vitamins when he was showing signs of aging, Spotty was as healthy and strong as a tiger. He lived till a ripe old age of 12 human years and died of old age in the vet.  When he died, my mum called me on the phone to break me the sad news.  I cried for a day. I was very disappointed that I did not make it back to Ipoh on time to say my last good-bye and give a last hug to my beloved Spotty – the dog that had brought me so much joy throughout my teenage years.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Loving My Melaleuca Products!

I received my second batch of Melaleuca products and am loving them !  Now that I am the maid of the house and am constantly in contact with detergents and cleaners, I do not mind investing in products that do not contain harsh chemicals and are environmentally friendly.  Melaleuca's range of shampoos and body shampoos are free from SLS (sodium laureth sulfate - which can cause cancer) and paraben.

Renew Intensive Skin Therapy is by far the best dry skin relief cream that I have tried.  My cracked heels and extremely dry sole of feet are improving by the day after applying Renew.  I just need to keep my itchy hands off peeling the dry skin though as pricking and peeling will aggravate the problem!

The mouth rinse and tooth polish contain melaleuca oil (tea tree oil) and I bought them with the hubs in mind as he is very prone to getting ulcers in his mouth. Hopefully after using these, those nasty mouth ulcers will be kept at bay.

Health Freak Mommy is 5 Years Old!

My life will be totally different if the internet was not a part of my life. Because of the affordable accessibility of broadband internet, I can communicate with the world at my finger tips at a few clicks of the mouse at any time I like. Today, as I was walking to Cassandra’s kindy to pick her up, I was trying to take stock of my life and then went on to have an ‘audit trail’ of what I am today. Six years ago, I was a not-so-contented housewife with only 2 young toddlers. Life then with 2 toddlers who were not even in school yet was pretty monotonous. I had a live-in helper who was by far the best maid I’ve ever had, no blogs to update and no online store business to worry about. Can you imagine what a humdrum life was for me then? I am one who needs a little challenge and ‘good stress’ to add a dash of spice to my life. I spent most of my free time socializing in a reputable mom forum, a forum for Glenn Doman inspired parents and a few other forums for parents. I was an active member of these mom forums and made friends with a bunch of new mommies like me, who remain my good friends up until this day. From these forums, I clicked on links to blogs written by SAHMs. And from some of these blogs, I gathered that I could actually make lots of money from blogging… in US Dollars that is! A light bulb moment struck 5 years ago!  I was very excited. Being the impatient and ambitious me, I spent many late nights on my ‘project’ and the rest is history. Health Freak Mommy was conceived in April 2007 and now has over 37,000 visits a month (with over 15,000 unique visitors a month) (statistics for January 2012).

Today, I am a writer of 3 blogs who also churn money from my blogs and am a small-time entrepreneur. I cannot imagine my life without the internet. I guess I would be a full-time housewife without a live-in helper who spends all my time doing household chores, cooking, fetching the kids everywhere and coaching them in their school work. I wonder if I will like this kind of lifestyle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Junkie Sunday

Sunday is a day where we eat out the whole day. It is a day of junk for us. After our outing at Pavillion on Sunday last week, we took away some snacks for dinner.

Our dinner on Sunday last week...
Egg bread from Lavender, fish balls from New Shanghai dim sum restaurant, colorful sandwiches, Hokkaido crepe cakes, cream puffs and Japanese buns from The Loaf.

Charcoal bread and beet root bread sandwiches and my favorite Japanese buns from The Loaf.

But my fan thoong (rice bucket) Alycia did not feel satiated after eating all these snacks. She wanted rice with chicken and fish and kept fantasizing about rice for hours after dinner that night! It's always not easy to please 3 girls who have different preferences, SIGH!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Colorful Blu Tack

Cass has an obsession with Blu Tack and play dough. I guess this is partly because I do not encourage my girls to play with these at home as they are too messy -- mess on the table, on the floor, on the walls and the worse part is these sticky stuff will get stuck underneath their finger nails or get stuck like chewing gum on their hair, blah!  And I have absolutely no time to dig those sticky dough out from under their finger nails before meal times.  So my girls secretly kept the play dough that they got from Sunday School aeons ago and would steal some of my Blu Tack which I bought some time back.  At times, Cass would pinch some dough from mah mah's cake mixing bowl when she prepares dough for bread making and would play with the flour dough for hours till the white doughs turn into greyish black dough, eeeewwwwwww!

When I saw Blu Tack Colour at Ace Hardware shop recently, I bought a pack and am now using this as rewards for Cass.  She can be quite rebellious and disobedient at times.  So this colorful Blu Tack comes in handy.  Cass gets a small piece on days that she earns her 'Blu Tack points' ! 

Blu Tack Color is a much better alternative to  play dough as it is not as sticky and does not disintegrate as easily as play dough does.


A Match Made In Heaven

Do you believe in a marriage made in heaven with a life that is as blissful and as perfect as in fairy tales?  I never believed that it can happen in real life until I saw this happening to my close friend. She was 30 and he was only 28 but they were madly in love. The boy’s family did not quite like the girl. What else? The boy's old folks’ old school of thought that a wife cannot be older than her husband. But they got married anyway.  That was 10 years ago and their marriage is still as strong as ever now. The wedding was like a fairy tale. They both had unique wedding rings and she had a big bling bling diamond ring too! She was and is still a very beautiful lady, though she has doubled up in size now.  Never mind, her man still finds her the most beautiful woman ever. They have 2 beautiful kids and have now migrated to a neighboring country to expand their business. Talk about luck, guardian angels and shining stars, they have them all and their business is soaring up until today. A perfect marriage plus a very successful business that is generating big bucks.   What more can they ask for?  This pair must have been made in heaven!

If you are wondering what unique wedding rings or unique wedding bands are,  they are rings designed and hand-braided!  I know handwovenbands.com has a very talented artist named Todd Alan who makes unique wedding bands. Each ring is made one at a time as they are ordered and they are braided - which is something that most other jewelry artists do not do. If you are interested, do hop over to http://handwovenbands.com/. They have a free 30-day risk free return policy, secure online ordering options and all the bands are made from the finest materials.


Friday, November 2, 2012

More Home-cooked Dishes Pix

Here are more home-cooked dishes pix to replace 'words posts'.  Brain feeling a tad void (blame it on the darn PMS!) and time is not on my side the past few days, thus only pix... just to let readers know that this blog is still very much alive :D

That's our dinner on 22 Oct 2012...

My favorite jai choi dish (vegetarian dish) cooked with fermented tofu and glass noodles, blanched organic greens...

my favorite turmeric chicken cooked with organic Thai lemon grass and sliced organic Japanese pumpkin cooked with pork slices.  My girls never really liked pumpkin cooked  mashed or mushy but when cooked this style, this dish was all polished off. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Delish Homecooked Meals

Whenever I run out of stories to dish up in my 3 blogs, the best posts to dish up is to show pictures of homecooked dishes, no pun intended :D

So here goes... pix of some of the dishes that my mil dished up over the past 1 week...

Stir-fried spaghetti with beef slices, fresh mushrooms, homemade sundried tomatoes infused with olive oil, big onions and black pepper.

Stir fried vermicelli.  I can never produce fried vermicelli like hers, just wonder why!  The reason why she can cook such delish fried vermicelli for so many mouths is that she divides all the ingredients into half and cooks two times!  Yes, twice the time needed so that all the ingredients get the 'wok hei' aka heat from the hot wok.

My all-time favorite minced pork with fermented beans (tau cheong) and chilli.  A very appetizing dish to go with rice. For my non-halal readers, you can try using chicken meat or perhaps minced beef.

Braised chicken with Chinese chestnuts and dried mushrooms.

Braised fish belly with tofu pok.

Organic baby yau mak veggie and organic yeh far heong (a kind of flower veggie that resembles coconut tree flowers, thus the moniker.  These are only blanched with some oil and my girls have no problem eating their greens.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Getaway At Hilton Sentral (26-27 Oct 2012)

We returned from our short getaway at Hilton Sentral this afternoon. After 1.5 days of blissful eating, sleeping and watching TV in the hotel room, it's back to the grind for me.  Thankfully there's still tomorrow to catch up on my sleep before Monday and school week start all over again.

The most dreaded part of a post-holiday...

Thankfully I have helpers...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

'S' For Snakes!

My 4.5yo baby girl drew this. When Alycia and I saw her art work, we ROTFLOL! 

What was my baby girl thinking of? 'S' for snake and lots of snakes that is! And that botak person with a scared face must be her I guess? LOL!!

And I just realized why there were 5 snakes in the picture - 2 big snakes are her daddy and mummy... and the 3 smaller snakes in different length must be her 2 che ches and her LOL!  Such a cute drawing.

She still gets her 'd' written the other way round.

Shot Execution Style

On our way out for brunch last Sunday, we saw a big commotion outside one of the houses with police cars, ambulance and sirens wailing away. Many people were seen at the main road, just opposite the house. When we saw that the entire road was cordoned off, we knew that a serious crime resulting in death had just happened. As we approached the scene, the hubs exclaimed that the house is his friend's house. He called his friend on the mobile phone and I only heard my hubs saying "I'm sorry". His friend's father was shot on the head, execution style and was dead on the spot. Life is just too unpredictable. The man was on his way out to the market with his wife and maid and without even having a chance to say goodbye to his loved ones, was shot dead.

Perform Better Under Stress

My brain always works better under stress with deadlines. When there is no stress at work, the brain is in a plateau mode and I need to give it a little excitement to jump-start it. I almost fell off my chair when I saw the long list of online assignments allocated for me yesterday. I put aside work from my online store and worked on the assignments at full steam. I am almost done with the assignments and am now working on the most difficult one on coilhose pneumatics.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nihon Kai Japanese Restaurant @ Old Klang Road, KL

One of our favorite and most visited Japanese restaurants  is Nihon Kai located along Old Klang Road. Years ago, hubs and I used to frequent Japanese restaurants in hotels to dig into buffet lunches almost every week but as we grow older, our tummies can only fill up this much of food and buffet meals often make us sick after 2 hours of crazy digging LOL! So, we prefer ala-carte meals these days and prefer to patronize Japanese restaurants that offer ala-carte menus. The portion is not big and this often leaves us raring to savour more and to come back for more... and not a feeling of overly stuffed sick with oily fish.

Nihon Kai is quite a small restaurant and simply decorated, yet it offers good quality Japanese food that is not too taxing on the wallet. Although this shop is located in a hidden area along Old Klang Road but they still enjoy brisk business for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is perpetually packed to the brim and never go there on a Saturday evening unless you are there at around 6ish pm.   We went to this restaurant several times on a Saturday evening at around 7ish - 8ishpm and each time, we had to leave with tail behind our legs.

One of the items on their menu that often leaves me craving for more is their phoenix sushi roll? (well, not really sure of the name of the sushi). It is wrapped with soft shell crab, avocado and lots of crunchy stuff on top. For one who eats no rice, I have to succumb to this sushi and give it a rating of 10/10!  No pic of this sushi this round as we did not order this item.

Several days before Aly and Sher's final exam, I told the MIL not to cook so that I could have more time to do revision with them.  So we headed to Nihon Kai for dinner.

Here's what we had:

 Ramen with bacon and eggs, which is the girls' all-time favorite.


Grilled salmon for moi... no rice for me, as usual.

Deep fried chicken with eggs on top of rice for my fan thoong Alycia, to be shared.

Alycia's all-time favorite and the most expensive -- grilled Unagi fish with rice.

Restaurant Information
No. 4-2, Jalan Telok Gadong, Off Old Klang Road, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-7982 3668