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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alycia's Book Collection

If there's anything that can please my 8.5YO girl, it has to be books, not school books or workbooks though, but storybooks. The Geronimo Stilton fever is almost coming to a sizzling end now. Instead, Diary of A Whimpy Kid and Ronald Dahl books are slowly making their way into her book shelves.

Her latest interest is Science Spy, a kids' magazine on interesting Science topics which can be purchased from Cold Storage and other major book stores.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Child Safety Harness

Cass is like an overly excited puppy let off the leash when we bring her shopping. Many times, I was unable to keep all 3 of them within my radar, especially no. 2 and no. 3. After reading news of kids being abducted and never to be found again (which is getting very rampant lately), I am not taking any chances. Moreover, we do not have a helper anymore to help keep an eye and hold the hands of the girls. Thus, I have to be extra vigilant myself. So I got her one of those child safety harnesses that I sell from my online store and put it on Cass whenever we go shopping now. The sight of my 4YO daughter in a 'dog leash' (like what many people would term it) drew many stares, some had a shocked expression on their faces and some would just laugh. But who cares. Safety comes first. The thought of losing my child is terribly fearful and the pain suffered by the parents of losing a child is unimaginable.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Throes Of Motherhood - Maidless

Ever since the helper left us a week ago, life has been even crazier for me. To begin with, I did not even have enough time to get sufficient sleep even before the helper left. Now that she's left, it's worse. On most days, I can only find the time to do work that requires thinking at night, when the girls are asleep and when there's absolute silence and serenity at home. But I can only afford an hour or two. Much as I would like to continue working on the PC, but my eyes and brain would just shut me off. The only thing that I want is the BED! But there are washed laundry to be hung, a sink full of oily dishes to be washed, rubbish to be thrown in the refuse room and a house to tidy up.  Though I hate doing it, I nevertheless enjoy the absolute silence whilst hanging the laundry. I also get to enjoy the night view of KLCC and KL Towers whilst doing this much hated chore.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Glorious Durians!

The husband's friend gave us some supposedly 5-star 'kunyit' durian from some old durian trees last week. By the time the durians reached our house, it was way past 9pm and by the time the husband was free to open up the durians, it was almost midnight. The aroma of the durian was really tempting and I was really tempted to try some but I turned down the husband's invitation to sample them as I was drop dead tired and sleepy and only wanted to go to bed.  Moreover I do not eat anything after 8pm but I finally succumbed to his continuous invitation and the killer aroma of the durians. So what the heck, I told myself just one seed, then another, and then another and finally, I think I walloped about 5-6 seeds of durians with thick, sweet and bitter flesh ! It's been ages since I last had durians as midnight supper and it was indeed satisfying. And I have already lost all the weight I had piled up during this durian season these few days, after our helper went back for good. Now, I have achieved my pre-Cassandra weight once again at 44kg, tee hee hee....

For those of you who are residing overseas and are a lover of durians, sorry if this post made you salivate. I know how expensive durians are overseas and you get only frozen ones haha! Oops, sorry!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Food Delivery

This is the 2nd time I am trying out daily food delivery for our dinner.  The first time was done last year, also when my mil was away. It lasted only for a month as I could not stand the dishes heavily coated with sauces and burnt wok residue.  This time, I am ordering from Tammy Food Delivery.  Sadly, the dishes did not meet my low expectations as well.  What I do not like is that all the dishes are also cooked heavily in salty and thick, gooey sauces.

The chicken meat given for the past 2 days have was very tough. I noticed that the way the caterer cooked the meat dishes is that the meat and fish (Dory fish used) are all deep fried until the meat turns really tough. Even my fork cannot poke through the chicken breast meat at times.  Then, the different types of sauces like sweet and sour sauce, oyster sauce, Thai sauce, etc will be used to mix with the deep fried meat, creating a different name for each dish.

Deep fried chicken coated with some oyster sauce and mixed veggie, Japanese tofu in thick oyster sauce and sweet and sour deep fried Dory fish coated with a layer of thick batter. 

My kids ain't that used to the heavy sauces for the dishes and I have to put a bowl of hot water for them to wash the dishes before they eat.

For 2 days straight, the Dory fish dish went into the bin. We all did not like the heavy coating of batter on the Dory fish. Last night, the veggie dish had to be binned too.  While the portion is really large for 4 pax, taste wise, it still does not pass my very low expectation.  But I guess I will have to continue as I really cannot find the time to cook right now.  I hardly have the time to sit down. Any free time will be used to guide the kids in their homework and school work and yes, to sleep.

I am almost surrendering without a live-in helper and it is only the 3rd day. Even the hubs feels the same and he has been consoling me that the new maid will come soon. Yea yea, new maid from where?   Anyway, I hope that given time to adjust to the new routine, I will be able to spring back into my top form again.

The good side to being maidless is : I have lost weight haha!!

Cass washing the chicken meat with hot water before putting it into her mouth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jaded On The Job

I am getting a really comfy massage to nurse my bad backache from my portable OTO massage chair as I am typing this post. The clock shows 12 noon. I have not prepared lunch and have some household chores to do. In 20 minutes, I have to pick up Cass from pre-school. But it feels so darn comfy I just do not feel like moving my butt. But heck, I have to force myself up from this super duper comfy massage chair and start to march into the war zone. Each day my march into the war zone begins at 12:30pm and ends at around 9:30pm. Since yesterday, the war zone has been unbearable, leaving my back battered and whole body achy. After 10 years of having a live-in maid, it ain't easy to do everything myself again, on top of my online work. The household chores are still bearable, it's the kids who are not. They sure know how to take advantage of the situation and will lax in their homework when the tiger is busy with work. I need to holler and nag till my voice turns hoarse. I am really tired and just wonder why they lack the drive and initiative to study if I am not at the table to watch guard them.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Impending Water Rationing In Klang Valley!

The most dreaded news by me finally made headlines in the newspapers today. For those of you who had gone through the 3 months of hardcore water rationing in 1998, you will know what I mean. But there is still a glimmer of hope that in the event of a confirmed water rationing exercise to be carried out, it will only be for several hours in a day instead of a cut every other day. Living in a condo where space is limited, it will be a challenge trying to fit the huge containers of water into the bathroom and kitchen. How many containers can we place inside our unit?  We need at least 2-3 huge containers of water to bathe and can only limit our bath time to once a day instead of the 2-3 luxurious showers a day during this hot and humid season. On my part, I have started to instil in my 3 girls the importance of not wasting water and the terrible inconvenience should a water rationing happen. My daughters have a tendency to let the water run from the tap whilst brushing teeth, despite umpteen reminders from me not to and taking their own sweet time having a long shower in the bathroom.

 I have also started to cut down usage of water and to recycle water in our household through:

1) Always have a small pail / basin in our sink to collect 'not so dirty' water after we wash our hands and rinse cups, plates and cutlery with the clean water from the tap. The recycled water will be transferred to another bigger pail in the bathroom, to be used for flushing the toilets and washing the bathrooms.

2) Filtered dirty water flowed out from the second outlet of our Panasonic Alkaline Water Purifier is now stored in a pail, for washing dishes and flushing toilets. In the past, the filtered dirty water will just flow onto the sink and into the drains.

3) Place a small pail inside the shower area. I have taught my girls to put the pail next to them and to rinse their body and hair as close as possible to the pail, so that the shower water can be collected in the pail. The recycled water from the pail can be used to flush the toilet.

4) Instead of a 1.5-hour washing machine cycle, I have since 2 weeks ago changed the mode to a 30-minute cycle, so that lesser water is used and electricity can be saved too.

5) No more washing of the balcony until there is no more water rationing. We just have to bear with the dust and dirt. We can always sweep instead of wash. Just have to close 2 eyes to dirt and imagine we are living in the 'kampung' !

6) Instead of flushing the toilet after every pee, I make my 3 girls pee one after another, followed by me and then I dump the pail of recycled water into the throne! Half a pail of water for 4 pees LOL!! Pressing on the flush button is now only reserved for big business!

7) Cut down on rinsing the cup with water before each use. How dirty can the cup be right?

8) In the event of a water rationing, I will have to resort to using disposable paper plates for meals. I know that this is not environmental friendly but heck, when there is not a trickle of water from the tap, you need to find alternatives and measures that will not add more stress to your bag of stress. And this is only temporary until God decides to let the skies shower.

9) I can only exercise on the days when there is water flowing from the tap. There will be no luxury to bathe twice a day on the days when the taps are dry. So I can only take a shower at night, just before bed. Again, think kampung-style living! LOL!

10) Use wet wipes to replace water for cleaning.

Please add to my list of measures to cut down on water usage if you have any good ones. It will be good for everyone who reads this post.

Pray tell that the water rationing exercise will be cancelled and that some better alternatives for the Rakyat will be in place by the government. Water is a necessity and cutting its supply will cause severe inconvenience to families with kids.


 Filtered dirty water from the water purifier second outlet is now collected in a small pail, the water of which will be used to flush toilets.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Importance of DHA And Gangliosides To Your Growing Child

Have you ever wondered why some people who keep going on a frustrating diet and never seem to lose any weight? Or why is it that some people who keep engaging themselves in sports and exercise and yet have a body weight that seems stagnant? This is because they are not doing both together. In order to lose weight, you need to control your calorie intake and exercise together. A healthy diet and exercise work hand in hand in losing weight. When these two virtues are in place simultaneously, they synergize and bring about the desired body weight loss and help to maintain a healthy body weight.

Likewise, in order for a young child’s brain to develop and function well, DHA is a very important nutrient needed by the brain cells. DHA is a key building block of brain cells. But DHA alone is not sufficient. For optimal brain development and function, other very crucial nutrients are needed. One of these is Gangliosides, a nutrient that is involved in the formation of brain cell connections. The more connections, the faster a kid learns. The functions of DHA and Gangliosides are complementary in that they work in synergy to deliver a better outcome. Having one without the other just cannot be as good.

Do you want to know which GUMP (growing up milk powder) that has both these important ingredients in combination? This GUMP is also the only brand that has no added sugar in the local market. Stay tuned. I will let you know soon ;P

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pasta with Homemade Pesto Sauce

Before the MIL left for Hong Kong, she stocked up the freezer with lots of meat and seafood, baked several loafs of bread and made 3 big jars of Pesto sauce enough to last us until her return a month later. That's because she knows that I will be too busy to whip up elaborate dishes for her 3 beloved grand-daughters.

This is one of the girls' favorite lunch menu - Pasta with grandma's homemade Pesto sauce. This pasta dish can be whipped up in under 20 minutes. Just cook the pasta noodles al dente, drain the water, drizzle with olive oil over pasta until they do not stick and clump together and mix the pesto sauce to the noodles. Easy peasy, fuss free, wholesome and super yummy too!

Grandma's homemade Pesto sauce cum bread / crackers spread consists of 3 packets of fresh basil leaves, garlic, toasted pine nuts, sea salt, olive oil and cheese.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alycia's Art Work #3 From Art Class

This is Alycia's art work done on her 3rd art class.  I think she has improved by leaps and bounds even after the very first art class. I am very satisfied with what she's learning from the Art teacher, money well spent!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cassandra's Fetish

My 4YO baby girl has a fetish with my nighties! She loves putting them on and pretends to be mummy. She loves smelling them too, telling me that they smell so nice. Last week, she asked my permission to hug one of my nighties to sleep. I allowed. Since then, she has been hugging one of my nighties to sleep every night. Even deep in her sleep, she would be clutching on to the nightie. My baby girl still misses sleeping with me. From birth to about 3 years old, she slept under my arm pit, seeking comfort from those boobies. I miss having her next to me too at night.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cassandra's First Sports Day Event

I remember very vividly that Alycia attended her very first sports day event in pre school in June 2008. It was held on the day after Cassandra's full-moon party. Only the hubs and my dad attended Alycia's sports day, along with Sherilyn, as I had to care for a newborn baby. In the past, I had never attended any of Alycia's sports day event, pre-school concert and ballet presentation (I am ashamed!) and only attended one of Sherilyn's sports day event and pre-school concert as I was too pre-occupied with Cassandra's health issues since her birth. Ever since Cass recovered, I vowed that I have to try to attend all my daughters' school events to give them moral support, albeit I really hate to be exposed to the sun (those who know me well will know that I will literally melt in the sun!) and I find all the school speeches before any concert or competition so boring that I can doze off right away!

Cassandra attended her very first sports day event in pre school yesterday. Her friends and she had been practicing marching and practicing their respective class events very hard for the past 2 months. Cass was really excited yesterday and she darted off from bed immediately the minute I woke her up in the mornng (which is something that is very rare for this dilly dallier). Cass did pretty well in the marching and bean bag event for her class. The hubs, who is the ever sporting daddy, took part in the family event as usual. It was an eye opener for Cass and she was very proud that she received a trophy from her school. She has been telling everyone  "I won this GOLD in my sports day" LOL!!! We took many pictures at the sports day but I ain't going to post any pix here for my kids' safety as everyone was in the school uniform. And nope, my Facebook ain't going to have any pictures of my girls in their school uniform or in their school as well. Kidnap cases are too rampant these days and there are thousands of pyschotic paedophile out in the w.w.w. lurking around. So I better be safe than sorry.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Throes of Motherhood... How To Raise Kids To Be Obedient?

My kids, especially no. 2 and no. 3 are not the obedient type, not the type who would do as told, NO!  I tell them  "NO, DON'T DO IT" nicely, they seem to be deaf on both ears.  I repeat the same words and they reply and say "OK" but still continue doing what they are not supposed to do.  I holler the same words and add "I will CANE you right now!!"  Suddenly, their ear drums seem to work again and they stop short of what they are told not to do and look at me. 

Why do I need to threaten them with the cane all the time? Most times, the cane did end up on their skin, at times leaving marks.  Sometimes I am too tired of hollering and threatening and it seems like THE CANE REALLY HELPS ME TO BE SANE, no pun intended!  Sometimes I have thought of stashing a cane in my bag when I go shopping, so that I can control the 2 smaller rascals, lest they get lost and never to be found again. 

I wonder what is wrong with my teaching. Why wouldn't my kids listen and be obedient?  I wonder if disciplining them would be more effective if I don't work anymore and spend more quality time raising them up with my utmost best effort. Perhaps I should try.  Just like a young creeply crawly plant. If  the plants are not straightened  with an aid, they will creep and crawl all over or perhaps grow up crocked or slanted.  Plants can be assisted to grow into all types of shapes that we want.  Same goes with human.  With the proper guidance and aid at a young age, they will grow up to be the kind of person whom we want them to be.  This is yet another issue that's playing wildly in my mind lately.  I have to sort this out before all 3 of them become wayward. Regret and tears are too late then.

Ravenous Appetite

My 4YO baby girl has an appetite as ravenous as a tiger. If I don't control her food portion and what she puts into her mouth, she can very well balloon up to double her size in a matter of months. She's got her daddy's foodie genes. Give her a chicken drumstick or an animal rib, she will gnaw on that piece of bone and wipe out every single visible strand of flesh off the bone, leaving the bone shiny and clean, as shown here:

Many  well-meaning friends and relatives would tell me to let her eat to her heart's content but my mil and I think otherwise. They think that Cass was deprived of all the food that she should have taken when she was a sickly baby for over 14 months of her early life.  I still think that one will have more illnesses if she/he is overweight. Have you ever seen a living 100-year old mean mortal who is overweight? I have not. Each morning when I jog around the neighborhood and park, I see a handful of 80 or 90-something year olds who look pretty fit and healthy (physically) strolling too and they are all lean. Also if you are overweight, this will put a heavy toll on your knees as the knee caps will 'wear out' sooner than it should if the top is not overweight.  So my take is that I will let my kids eat wisely, emphasizing more on proteins and fibre and cutting down on carbs, sugar and processed food.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Homemade Seafood Spaghetti

Just before the mil left for Hong Kong, she whipped up this seafood spaghetti for her 3 beloved grand-daughters. And it's bursting with aromatic flavor of homemade tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes, with generous amount of fish fillet, squids, prawns, garlic and red bell pepper. Super yummy and wholesome and in my daughters' case, it's plate-licking good too!