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Friday, April 28, 2017

Cassandra's Exam Week

It is not that a stressful exam week as I had imagined it would be.  I guess I have gotten used to going through exam week with the girls for 10 years now.  But I was a tad panicky when the Mandarin tutor Whatsapped me on Monday morning to inform that she'd fallen ill and couldn't come.  Chinese language is Cass' weakest subject and the tutor could not come on the eve of Cass' Chinese paper. And the next day, the tutor Whatsapped me again to inform that she was still sick and thus, could not come on the eve of Cass' Science paper. So I enlisted the help of the mil to guide Cass 😁

Last night, I did some Science revision with Cass and had to rely on Google Translator. I also googled for the tooth anatomy in English when I went through the tooth anatomy (in Chinese) with Cass. I solicited Drama Queen's help to test Cass on some Science questions.

Just now when Cass came back from school, she told me that the Science test paper today was easy. I asked if all her friends said it was easy too and yup, they did.  Strong competition from smart kids from the top class!

On the day after the Chinese language papers, Cass told me that she didn't know how to answer many questions. It's OK, even if Cass fails to remain in the top class next year, I am perfectly fine with it.  I want Cass to continue to look forward going to school everyday (thank God she still prefers to be in school than at home!) and I want her to be an all-rounder and be happy everyday. Let me tell you that she hates doing revision and does not quite have the discipline to revise on her own yet. She gets very crabby and cantankerous when asked to sit down continuously for an hour to study.

Cass during a break from revision and all absorbed in her Enid Blyton novel. 

Cass has been reading so many Enid Blyton novels these days that her spoken English is getting very British.  The other day I asked Cass' opinion on a pink dress that I wore and she commented "the dress is too pale a pink" 😀

My lunch today of nasi kerabu. I shared this with the mil. This is home cooked and a Malay lady in the neighborhood sells it outside her house every morning. It's one of the best nasi kerabu I have tasted. She cooks insanely delish nasi dagang (with curry tuna fish / ikan tongkol) too.  YUMMMSSS!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gloomy Wednesday - 26 April 2017

Today I am feeling a tad melancholy. In the car just now, whilst the hubs was driving, I took the opportunity to check all my Facebook updates from friends and fans on my mobile phone while I enjoyed being chauffeured around. Within a short span of 15 minutes browsing Facebook, I read about the demise of 3 friends from Facebook. What saddens me so deeply is that these ladies are still too young. One of them is a young mother in her early thirties with 2 little girls aged below five. Her death came so sudden that it's so surreal.  None of her friends could believe that she's gone in a flash.  The other lady is a mother in her late thirties with kids aged below 10.  And the third is a 47-year old lady. Her loved one who posted the announcement on Facebook on her passing used the word "she has migrated for good".   I didn't ask how they passed on as their loved ones must be so grieved now. They must be busy preparing for the wake and funeral.

It struck me again that our life on earth is so fleeting and we'll never guess when God wants us back to be with Him. It could be today, tomorrow, a year from now or 50 years from now. Anytime. Unexpected, unbeknownst and without warning.  I am one who gets the hung up easily over everything and I have lots of "what ifs" constantly running on my mind.  I then asked myself a question: "What if today is my last day here?"  Have I been happy on my last day? Was I angry? Did I live my life to the fullest?   Did I tell my loved ones that I love them?  Did I leave with a bag of regrets?

Next week I will be seeking a third opinion from a gynae whom my friend strongly recommended. I have exchanged messages via Whatsapp with this gynae and she has suggested a minimally invasive surgery called transcervical resection of fibroid process to remove the fibroid (either whole of partially) from my uterus. It has low risks and I could go home the next day... IF all falls into place nicely.  But a surgery is still a surgery and every surgery carries with it risks.  The gynae has to first perform an ultrasound scan to see the position of the fibroid before she could confirm that this procedure is viable as this can only be done if the fibroid is inside the uterus and not outside of it.

My ertswhile boss lost it all on the OT table during a surgical procedure. He was not even 60 yet. A minister's son recently died while having a dental procedure carried out under GA at a dental clinic.  I have a lot of reservations about going through another surgery (I have gone through 4 major surgeries in my life) but everyone who knows  my problem has advised me to get the fibroid removed.  So yeah, it looks like I will have to go through a surgery even though I am scared shit of all the "what ifs" that could go wrong during the surgery. I am totally not ready to 'migrate for good' yet but like what another friend told me recently, our life is fated. There is nothing to be afraid of.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Sunday - 23 April 2017

Today is Jogathon Sunday for Alycia.  I woke up at 4:45 a.m. (on a Sunday!) to get Alycia ready.  Her friend came to our place at 5:30 a.m. and the hubs uber-ed the girls to the place for flag-off at 6:30 a.m.

A banana and Izumio for the big girl to power charge her up for a 2-hour jog. 💪

We met Alycia and her friend at Mid Valley at 11:30 a.m. and had brunch with them at Purple Cane. We wanted to eat at Village Duck and Canton-I but these restaurants were full to the brim. We didn't want to queue up.

Green curry chicken with potato, tofu and sauteed pumpkin with cabbage.

This bowl of curry noodles has a tinge of Chinese tea leaves in the broth.

Braised beef with radish and tea leaves.

Sauteed 'chee cheong fun' with pine nuts, onions and tea leaves.

Deep fried 'yau tiu' with yam and fried chicken.

Fried 'lui char' rice with green tea.

After brunch, I did some shopping at Daiso with Cass while the rest of them had coffee and cakes.  
Below - Alycia with her friend.

Alycia is super proud with the medal that she received after the jogathon today. She didn't get any  medal at last year's jogathon.  She is now determined to participate in more jogathons and marathons!

Cass and I entered a contest organized by Mid Valley / The Gardens and submitted this picture to the mall's Instagram page. I wonder what's in store for the winners.  I submitted in the name of fun 😁

Back home, it is back to the grind - revision with Cass and slavery duties. Cass' first term exam is scheduled for Tuesday this week through the following Tuesday after Labour Day. Wishing her loads of luck in her exam!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mulberry Leaves Powder

The latest health food added to my daily health regimen is organic mulberry leaves powder. Basically, I am adding more chlorophyll into my diet.  I have been drinking a teaspoon of organic lemongrass powder, half a teaspoon of organic green lemon powder together with a teaspoon of Bentong ginger powder every day for the past one month. Now, I rotate lemongrass powder with organic mulberry leaves powder.

Sang Ye (Mulberry Leaf)
Mulberry leaves

Chlorophyll is a pigment found in all green plants. This includes leafy greens and other veggies we commonly eat, plus certain types of algae or bacteria. Chlorophyll is packed with a range of powerful nutrients. It is a good source of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and beta carotene. Chlorophyll is rich in antioxidants, vital minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium and essential fatty acids.

Chlorophyll aids in restoring and replenishing the red blood cells, which is excellent for me as I am anemic.

Below: my organic mulberry leaves drink.  Sometimes I drink it on its own. Most times, I mix it with Bentong ginger powder and organic green lemon powder with a small cube of ginger brown sugar.

Mulberry leaf contains 18 amino acids, minerals and vitamins such as calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A-B1-2. The most important ingredients are ‘phytosterol’ and ‘gamma-amino acid’ which help to decrease cholesterol level in the blood and high blood pressure.

Healthy digestion -- The Chinese use this tea to regulate the digestive system, as it's loaded with both potassium and fiber. You'll find that the tea also promotes healthy gut bacteria - ensuring proper digestion.

Heart health -- The tea has antioxidants that can fight cholesterol and lower your blood pressure, so it's definitely a heart-smart beverage.

Blocks enzymes -- Mulberry leaf tea has been known to block the enzymes that break down carbs and sugar in your stomach, thereby reducing the amount of sugar absorbed into your body.

Keeps liver healthy -- The leaves are known to be effective at detoxifying the body, which can clear up a lot of the toxins that are clogging up your liver.

You can get a wide range of organic plant based powder from De Market supermarket, at the organic food section.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mother In Law's Tongue

I had a good laugh today when Cass told me that she saw a plant with a label 'Mother In Law's Tongue' in the garden of her school.  I never knew that the Snake Plant is also called Mother In Law's Tongue! What a name to describe a plant 😆

I can see why it is aptly named Mother In Law's Tongue as the plant has long, sword like leaves that are toxic. Some people have evil mothers in law with sword like tongues that only spew out toxic and hurtful words. 😰

sansevieria trifasciata picture

Did you know that if cats or dogs ingest parts of this plant it can cause them to feel unwell?  Your pet will start to vomit or have diarrhea. They are not highly toxic but still can cause uncomfortable symptoms to cats and dogs.

Do you have Mother In Law's Tongue at home? 😝

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sisters Forever

They fight like cats and dogs, they bicker over trivial issues but they are still the best of friends at the end of the day.

When I am too busy with work to steal even 15 minutes to test Drama Queen on her BM Tatabahasa, I will enlist the help of Alycia to do the testing on her sister. With my method of tutoring BM to Alycia, she had always scored 'A' in her BM Paper 1 in all her primary school exams. BM Tatabahasa (grammar in Malay language) is all about memorizing (since BM is not our first language) and purging out by way of doing lots of exercises. With less than 5 months away to the UPSR exam, I am putting pressure on Drama Queen to memorize all the different scopes that fall under the Tatabahasa every day with me testing her at the end of the day.

Picture below - Alycia testing Drama Queen in Kata Kerja, Sinonim, Antonim and Peribahasa.

Learning A Musical Instrument

Are you an adult that has a deep interest in learning a musical instrument? You're not alone. There are a lot of people that have felt the calling to play a musical instrument but never got the chance for a variety of reasons. Maybe you were too busy with sports growing up or your parents didn't see the value in it.

Many adults are turned off from learning the piano because they don't think they will ever be able to get good at it. It is a fact that children are better at learning new things because the human brain is designed for it in that stage of life. There is some truth to this, but you shouldn't let it make you shy away from attempting to learn a new hobby. Here are some tips that will help any adult learn the piano.

1. Play music you like - You probably aren't setting out to become a master piano player who can play all styles of music without fail. Start out by learning some of your favorite songs in your favorite genre of music. First, this will make you more excited to learn because it's fun for you. Second, most music is related, so learning one thing will also help you learn other styles.

2. Get a Teacher - If you have the time, hire a private teacher. These pros will get you started on developing good habits and technique right off the bat, making it much easier for you down the road as you get into more complicated and difficult styles of music. The cost of a private instructor is well worth what you get out of it.

3. Play With Others - If you have friends that play an instrument, try to set up a "jam session". Playing with other people is one of the joys of playing an instrument and will also help you pick up on things you might not have found on your own or through music workbooks.

4. Be Patient - Don't give up. Nothing worth having will come to you easily. There are going to be moments when you get so frustrated that you want to give up, but don't let these deter you because, for every one of those moments, there is a moment of self-discovery and improvement that cannot be matched in any other way. The rewards of playing a musical instrument are unmatched by another discipline.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Shrunken Teviron Singlet

Early last week, my beloved Electrolux washing machine of 8.5 years konked out with clothes and soapy water inside the machine a quarter way into the cycle.  The washing machine technician came and carted it away.  I was devastated. Life is so miserable without my most trusted and helpful electrical gadget around.

When the washing machine door was opened, the soapy water flooded the kitchen floor.  After cleaning up the mess, I quickly put the soaking wet clothes in a pail and hurried off to the laundry shop without even checking what clothes were inside the pail as I had to send food to school for Cass and Drama Queen who were staying back for CoCo activities that day.

When I collected the clothes from the laundry shop in the evening, I was in for a big rude shock when I opened the plastic bag of clothes.  Cass' Teviron negative ion singlet shrunk to half its size!!  And the material hardened too, as if it was coated by a layer of starch.

When Cass saw her singlet, she was in tears. She was very, very upset as this is the singlet that she's been wearing almost every night for the past 3.5 years.

And I was very, very upset as the Teviron singlet cost me about RM200!!  Though it is already worn for 3 years, it is still a very costly imported singlet from Japan.  Oh why didn't I check the clothes before dropping them at the laundry shop?! 😭

Fortunately Cass still has another Teviron singlet. She was really upset that day and was in tears for the longest time. I consoled her and put the shrunken singlet on her favorite soft toy, Lammie the baby lamb and said that the Teviron singlet is now Lammie's night gown 😁

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Health Freak Mommy 10th Anniversary

Health Freak Mommy was created in April 2007. This year marks her 10th anniversary in the world wide web, WOW!  Can't believe that I have been blogging for 10 years already!!

Admittedly, my main purpose of setting up a blog back then was to monetize the blog to earn some side income. But after years of blogging and having  made so many good friends and loyal fans from blogging, the main purpose of retaining my three blogs now is PASSION and love.  At times, I have thoughts of giving up on blogging due to lack of time and lost of mojo to keep blogging. Sometimes, just to fill up the space, I write vapid articles.  Sometimes my mind goes blank for days and I struggle to purge out something just to update my blogs. But how can I just let my three 'babies' turn orphans and left hanging in the world wide web neglected with cob webs?  So I guess you'll still be reading crap from my blogs for some time 😁

April is also a special month for me. It is the birth month of Cass, my youngest daughter. In a few days, my baby girl will turn 9. Cass has really come a long, long way from being a sickly baby. Though she still has battles to fight now, which I will be rooting for her all the way, I am pretty sure we can overcome all of them with her positive attitude and determination of steel. 💪💪