Cass Cooks

For the first time, Cass cooked something. It’s something that I rarely buy though everyone loves it!  She cooked instant noodles!  It’s for her dearest daddy on Father’s Day 💓 Her daddy bought the Korean noodles, which are his favorite junk food for movie nights at home, which he will indulge in whenever the moon turns blue.

After a very simple dinner at home on Father’s Day, the hubs said that he was still hungry! He asked who would cook him some instant noodles with eggs and just like a reflex action following the question, Cass sprung out from her chair and said “ME ME ME!” and then darted to the kitchen, bursting with enthusiasm to help.   With help from her daddy, she cooked the noodles and eggs. When the noodles were ready, her two sisters (though very full from dinner) scuttled to the kitchen to get bowls and helped themselves to the noodles. This happens ALL THE TIME whenever the hubs cooks instant noodles. To the girls, instant noodles are like the most rarest and tastiest food ever served to them. Instant noodles taste like a million dollars to them.  Thus, the hubs would always cook 2 packets of noodles with 5 eggs and share them with his Charlie’s Angels. Everyone would chow down every single strand of noodles and be as happy as a pig in mud, with someone looking quite like one too 😂 The sight of the four of them seated in front of the TV enjoying a movie and slurping their noodles warms the cockles of my heart.💓

Smoothie Of The Day – 16 June 2017

I have not prepped fruit smoothie for the girls for a long time.  Today I decided to make mulberry smoothie since there’s a box of organic mulberries left sitting in the fridge for almost a week.  I know that the girls will be delighted to find chilled smoothie in the fridge when they get home in a bit. I love to hear them rejoice to a “YAY!!” when they come home to find surprises awaiting them.

Mulberries are filled with nutrients that are important for our body, including iron, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, phosphorous, and calcium, as well as a significant amount of dietary fiber and a wide range of organic compounds, including phytonutrients, zea-xanthin, resveratrol, anthocyanins, lutein, and various other polyphenolic compounds.

My mulberry smoothie composes of mulberries, 3 oranges, 1 pear, juice of 1 lemon, raw honey and water and all these yield 1.2 liters of smoothie.

 

Our Mid-Term School Holidays

For the first time in many years, we didn’t bring our girls anywhere for a holiday during the mid term school holidays which ended yesterday. We were supposed to join our usual group of buddies and their kids on a boat-stay at a river in Grik, Perak but had to cancel our plan because of my operation.

On the first three days of the school holidays, our ‘staycation’ was at the hospital. But our girls didn’t complain one bit. When I asked them if this was the most unhappening and boring school holiday, Drama Queen quipped that she still enjoyed the school holidays as never in her life before did she have the opportunity to drink a total of 3 cups of frappuccino for 3 days consecutively  at Starbucks 😎 Each cup cost RM15. We don’t normally splurge on gourmet drinks and beverages on our girls, except for the occasional fruit juice and smoothies at Boost Juice.  The hospital (Sunway Medical Center) was like a luxury hotel to the girls. They had their meals at Starbucks and O’Brien Sandwich and had access to free WiFi at the hospital for 3 days.

Two weeks after my surgery, we went for a brief shopping trip at Mid Valley Megamall to get new school shoes for the girls. I did some shopping at Daiso. I had 3 personal helpers to help me carry my shopping loot 😍

On Sunday (14 days after my surgery), I am finally all better and felt very much like myself again. The three holes on my lower abdomen and the sutures have dried up. Cass was begging me to bring her down to play at the playground. She wanted to play with the two stray cats at our condo. I have not smelled fresh outdoor air for two weeks and was also raring to start exercising once again. We went for a leisurely evening walk at 7:30 p.m.. I missed my daily exercise regimen and breathing in fresh outdoor air so much.

 

For once, I really enjoyed my walk with the girls at the walking tracks. The smell of the trees, frangipani flowers, the jungle reserve next to our condo and the cool evening breeze was truly invigorating.  Today the new school term commences. I started my early morning exercise again today, albeit with only walking and nothing strenuous.  When I reconnected with nature after a 2-week absence from the walking tracks, it felt like two lovers reuniting after a long absence from each other 💕

 

Video Calls Bonding

After having my parents around for a week, Cass misses her koong koong and granny very much. Yesterday she made a Whatsapp video call to her grandparents in Ipoh and spent a whole half hour talking to them and playing the piano to entertain them.

Yesterday Cass’ piano teacher told me that Cass will be ready to sit for the Grade 1  ABRSM exam next year.  When I first sent Cass to Yamaha to learn piano 2.5 years ago, I did not have intention to let her sit for any exam.  I just wanted to instill the love of music and piano in Cass. I wanted her to play the piano as a hobby.  Practising the same exam pieces every day on end for months was such a bore for me, not to mention the anxiety of sitting for the exams. In those days, the examiners were flown in from England and I’d get really nervous talking to them.

I’m having a change of mind now.  I’ll let her Cass go through the exams leisurely at her pace with no pressure. If she has the talent, I believe that she’ll breeze through all 8 grades and hopefully even the Diploma. I think it’s good that Cass has a backup skill in life which can be a golden ticket to help her earn a living 😉

Cass at 9 years 2 months

Post Laproscopic Myomectomy Surgery

I got my period yesterday – 9 days after the laproscopic myomectomy surgery.  My surgeon had warned me that the flow will be very heavy  this time but subsequent periods will see a normal flow.  Though my Aunt Flow is quite heavy this time, it pales in comparison with the periods I’ve had during my fibroid days. There are no ‘feels like dying’ abdomen cramps and no chunks of blood clots. Thank you God! I pray that period cramps, blood clots and super heavy flows will be behind me now.

I am still pretty much holed up at home, except for brief trips to the coffee shop for breakfast and supermarket to get groceries. I have been enamored with love from my papa, mum and mil with lots of TLC and yummiest home-cooked confinement-like dishes. I am having such a cushy life now, with nice meals served to me and not having to do much of house chores.  All these will come to an end soon when the mil goes to Hawaii early next month, for a whole month. That’s when I have to take over the kitchen and the girls’ meals everyday *gasp*

The typical meals that I would have each day ever since I was discharged from the hospital 9 days ago consist of rice wine chicken with ginger and wood ear fungus (I can never get bored of this confinement dish), mugwort omelette with ginger strips, boiled red dates + black dates + tong sum tonic, double boiled chicken essence (2-3 times a week), lots of meat and lots of green vegetables. Pretty much like confinement dishes. Each time I pour out the warm red dates tonic from a flask, it reminds me of my confinement days.


Chicken cooked with rice wine and ginger wine, ginger and wood ear fungus strips, fried fish, stir-fried red spinach and blanched ladies fingers.


Sauteed young lotus root with pulled pork, char siew and roast duck.

I didn’t touch any of the duck though as it’s considered a ‘tuk’ (poisonous) food for the Chinese and I don’t fancy eating duck anyway.


White bitter gourd omelette with homegrown basil leaves and fried fish.

Have you ever seen white bitter gourd? It looks like an albino bitter gourd to me 😁.. but it tastes like the regular green ones. Bitter gourds / melons are superfood. They kill cancer cells, prevent gout, diabetes and have a whole lot more of health benefits.


Minced ginger (with skin) + sesame seed oil omelette and blanched ladies fingers with roast sesame seed dressing.


Steamed brinjal with fried garlic oil and soy sauce. This dish is SO easy to prepare and insanely addictive.


Onion omelette, sauteed siew yoke and roast chicken (leftover) with ginger, garlic, sugar, wine and soy sauce.

With SO MUCH ginger, wine and meat that I eat everyday with no exercise, I am surprised that I am not feeling heaty. Must be the Izumio that I am drinking that’s helping to cool down my body. The weather these days is crazy. I am sweating buckets everyday and need the ceiling fan and stand fan blowing at me at full blast and yet need at least 3 showers a day. I don’t even need to cover my body with a blanket in an air conditioned room at night.  Can’t wait to rest for another 2 weeks before I start swimming and running again!

Post Surgery Restaurant Meal

Yesterday was the first time I got out of the house to have a meal after my surgery six days ago. We had dim sum brunch at Jaya Palace.  The hubster ordered an array of 24 types of delectable dim sum.  The brunch was for a 2-in-1 occasion: farewell to my parents who were to return to Ipoh after a week’s stay in KL to nurse me back to health and a celebration for an all-clear biopsy report, YES!! 💟💝  Thank you Lord!💗

We had the usual must-have dim sum items like char siew pau, siew mai, fish balls, egg tarts, cheong fun, et al.  I was especially happy that my favorite black vinegar trotters and rice wine chicken were available and ordered a bowl each *swoon*

My health is going from strength to strength each day with my papa and mil’s nourishing dishes and my mum’s tender loving care. I am prohibited from squatting down, driving and carrying heavy things, just like a lady in confinement after the birth of a baby. I am even asked to bed-rest but for someone who is so used to a super hectic day, I would go berserk having to lie down all day for a whole freaking month like an invalid!  I feel so much more energetic supervising my kids in the chores and working at my computer vs. sleeping and laying in bed all day.  My mum is very worried that the stitches in my uterus will rupture when I exert myself as that was what happened to her after a surgery of her breast some 30+ years ago. The sutures on her breast ruptured when she sneezed and omg, it was such a bloody sight. I still remember that night very vividly. I was 12 (Drama Queen’s age now) that year.

The 2 ‘chan ka’ cooking up a storm to nurse me back to health.  

I am indeed blessed to be pampered by so many people. 💕💖

Our Saturday Morning – 3 June 2017

My parents, hubster and MIL left the house at 6:30 a.m. today for the Taman Midah, Cheras wet market. My aunt (my papa’s sister) runs a vegetarian food stall at the said wet market. Today, their mission is to try my aunt’s homemade vegetarian food.  My aunt has been making her own vegetarian food and selling them at a stall at the Taman Midah, Cheras wet market for over 20 years.

Our brunch today is a kaleidoscope of colour. I love all things colorful.


Mock meat rendang, which tastes as good as, if not even better than real meat. Yums, tastes like a million dollars!


Vegetarian ‘Suen Poon Chi’ or Hakka Yam Balls made by my aunt, who is a Hakka.

The chewy ‘Suen Poon Chi’ is another must-try dish at my aunt’s vegetarian stall; she doesn’t make this dish everyday though.

Vegetarian ‘Mee Siam’ and ‘Char Siew’.  


‘Ka Heong Jai’, braised super smooth mushrooms with mock meat and deep fried mock goose.

Vegetarian cheong fun (with turnip and carrot strips), ‘choy po ko’ and ‘mei tau’ (black eye peas) cake. My aunt makes all the dishes herself in her humble home.

Since they were already in Cheras, at my request, the hubster used Waze to find his way to the Cute Cute Angku shop to get me more cutesy handcrafted angku 😋

 


Yummy pork balls noodles soup

A big portion of pork ball noodles for lunch later

My parents will be with us for another day before they return to Ipoh. I’ll definitely miss them a lot. 💔  I’m feeling disappointed that this mid-term school holidays, we are unable to make a trip back to my lovely hometown of Ipoh 😓

 

Storytime Encourages Literacy

It’s no secret that small children love time and attention. One of the best things we can do for our little ones is to engage with them as much as possible. This stimulates their growth and makes them feel loved and important. This is perhaps why storytime is a magical activity that you can give to your children at bedtime. It’s an opportunity to express love for your children before they go to sleep and it encourages literacy as well.

A Little Love Before Bedtime
Taking the time to select a sweet story to read to your little one is the prerequisite for starting the loving habit of sitting with your child and reading before they close their eyes for a full night of rest. You and your child can select a book and then sit down to read it as a family activity. This becomes a bonding moment for you and your child to be close to each other.

Family reading bedtime. Pretty young mother reading a book to her daughter.

Something to Look Forward to
Storytime also gives children a warm loving activity to look forward to. If you make it a family ritual, children will use this activity as an opportunity to settle down, relax, and engage with the story you are telling. The more you stick to this ritual and make it a habit, it will become a loved and cherished activity that your child will look forward to. Your child will associate as an act of love that will resonate with them for years to come. Although they won’t be interested in stories about advanced medical imaging in Toms River, NJ  you can select stories that will entertain and stimulate them.

Storytime Encourages Literacy
The earlier you begin reading to your child the better. As your child gets older and begins to read, you can transfer the role of reading to the child at different times. The child will learn from you initially and gain the confidence to attempt reading on his or her own as time passes. This rite of passage will teach your children to not only enjoy storytime but to also become a part of it. This move, in turn, will encourage literacy by challenging the child to continue to read more challenging books.

Incorporating storytime into your child’s bedtime routine has many positive benefits. It’s a special way of expressing love and it gives your child something to look forward to every night. It also encourages literacy by allowing you to transfer the role of reader to the child as soon as he or she begins to learn to read.

Post Surgery – Day 3

Ever since my discharge from the hospital, I have been treated like a woman in confinement. I eat confinement food, drink red dates + blue dates + tong sum tonic everyday, not allowed to shower more than once a day lest the wound gets infected (though the dr. has given me the green light to shower), not allowed to get out of the house, not allowed to walk too much, coerced to lie down in bed to rest though I am not tired, not allowed to carry heavy things and do heavy house work.

So I got my little darlings to help me with the chores. Cass would always help me to carry the pail of laundry to the clothes rack and I would be seated on a chair while I hang the clothes. Can you spot who is helping me wipe the floor in the pic below?

Yesterday I had visitors at home. They brought along some goodies for me from fruits to chicken essence, red dates, bak chang, kuih and some delish pies from Kenny Hills Bakers.


Colorful handcrafted angku kueh made from natural colors and ingredients and tapioca balls from Cute Cute Angku.

These angkus are totally out of this world. The colorful skin is super soft and chewy, filled with a generous amounts of mung bean filling which is not overly sweet nor cloy.


Delish pies from Kenny Hills Bakers.

These pies, made with top-flight ingredients are some of tastiest commercial pies I have tasted. I especially love the mushroom truffle pie and slow-cooked beef pie. But the tastiest pies are still the ones made by my talented Drama Queen 😊

This morning I received a call from SYMC that is troubling me quite a bit.  Out of the RM26,000 hospitalization bill, the insurance company is not covering the cost of the power morcellator and the morcellator bag, totalling almost RM6,000.  I have enlisted the help of my insurance agent to help me fight this claim. Do pray for me that we win our case 💪 Thank you folks💓

The Story Of My Laproscopic Myomectomy Surgery

Hey folks, I am back home since yesterday!

I am sure many of you have been waiting to hear my story. It’s a long one, but I’ll try to make it as brief as best as I can.

Monday, 30 May 2017
Today is the day of my laproscopic myomectomy surgery by contained power morcellation. My surgeon is Dr Tan Ee Ping. You can check with Mr Google on what this surgery is. The surgery is scheduled for 4 p.m.

In the morning, my parents came to the hospital to accompany me, followed by the hubs and our 3 girls at 2 p.m.  Hubs had to wait for Drama Queen to come back from school at 1 p.m.


Moments before I am wheeled to the OT. – all my loved ones by my side. When there was nothing else to say, everyone was glued to their electrical gadgets.

At 3:45 p.m., my entire family walked with me till the door of the OT. When everyone started kissing and patting me, I felt like it was their last goodbye to me. I was overwhelmed by emotions and cried. The nurse who pushed the bed consoled me “this is not your first time ma, you already went thru 3 c-sections. You’ll be OK la”

The anesthetist came in at 4:30 p.m.  He first tried inserting the IV catheter on my left hand. He gave me a LA jab to numb the hand but that stinging jab was even more painful than the catheter itself!  But when he found out that the line wasn’t smooth after flushing some saline into the catheter to test it, he had to try my right hand.  Oh. My. Freaking. Gawd! Another round of torture.  Thank God, the line on the right hand was A-OK. That were 4 torturous pokes on my hands. The most anxious time came when the anesthetist brought the tube of whitish liquid that was the GA. I felt something cold going into my right hand, then felt dizzy and closed my eyes….zzzzzz.  I opened my eyes after I heard the anesthetist said “Shireen, surgery is over, wake up”  

Cass and my younger brother, Roy walking around the waiting area while waiting for me to come out from the OT.

When I came to, I saw the time as 6:30 p.m. on the big wall clock and I was in the recuperating bay. I was shivering uncontrollably as usual (side effects of GA). My throat was terribly sore and I felt like there was a clump of phlegm stuck in my throat.  The sore throat is caused by the oxygen tube inserted into my throat during the surgery. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel drowsy this time vs. the time I went in for an Ovarian Drilling laproscopic surgery to counter infertility in the year 2002.  I was very alert this time. I used my tongue to check all my teeth to ensure that they weren’t damaged by the oxygen tube. I tested my memory to see if I had lost a part of my grey matter. All was well as I could remember everything before the surgery. Then I heard my super anxious and ‘kan cheong‘ papa outside the OT asking “mana Shireen” and the OT staff replying him “uncle, dia di sana, tengok” 😁 He had barged into the OT recuperating area to check on me 💘

My loved ones kept checking on the Operation Schedule on the TV in the waiting room to see when my surgery will be completed.

After I was wheeled back to the room, everyone was in good spirits and relieved. Mum kept urging me to rest and sleep but I was not drowsy or sleepy at all.  In fact, I have been having insomnia since the day of pre-admission right until I came home. Even at home last night, I was not sleepy nor tired and had trouble falling asleep. It must be all the Izumio that I have been pumping into my body, giving me all the energy and mental alertness.

The pain I have is very much similar to my very first C-Section delivery but with a lesser pain intensity. There is a cut in the uterus to remove the fibroid and a suture too. I had pretty heavy bleeding immediately after the surgery and Dr Tan ordered the nurse to give me an anti-bleeding jab.  The jab gave me an instant nauseous feeling and I managed to suppress the feeling with lots of essential peppermint oil that I had brought along with me.

My very first ‘meal’ post-op was a few sips of Izumio.  About 2 hours later and with no nauseous feeling, I gulped down another packet of Izumio and a few sips of Milo.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Dr Tan came in to check on me at 10 a.m. today. She checked my wound and then told me that I could be discharged today! What, so soon?! I was totally stunned that she said that. Mum and dad wanted me to stay in the hospital for 1 more night to rest but I was reluctant and raring to be back to my home sweet home.

My girls surprised me with some gifts at the hospital when I was discharged. Cass had wanted to get me a stalk of flower since yesterday. Today, her dad ‘lent’ her some money to get me a stalk of daisy and some grapes from the gift shop at the hospital 💗😍

I thought that I could sleep to my heart’s content at the hospital but it’s the exact opposite. I was insomniac and still am insomniac. Izumio is indeed my power drink!!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The 3 holes on my abdomen, adding more scars to it.

I’d like to thank everyone  who have prayed for me. Thank you to those who messaged me privately to wish me best of luck for the surgery and to check on me after the surgery. I am indeed blessed 💓