Wednesday, 8 November 2017

I had lunch with the hubs and the mil at hubs’ favorite cafe, Les Deux Garcons (LDG) Patisserie today.

We ordered a very refreshing and crisp kale and beet root salad…

Grilled chicken chop with buttered mushroom sauce…

And steak for the hubs…

After our scrumptious lunch, I went to the supermarket to get some flour and yeast to make bread using the Tesco bread maker that my mum recently gave me. And the gourmand hubs bought 2 tubs of dark chocolate almond  Häagen-Dazs ice-cream 😮

It’s been over 9 years since I made my last  loaf of bread using a bread maker. I used to make one or two loafs of bread a week using the bread maker before Cass was born. After she was born, my life was literally thrown into the roller coaster as I was consumed with never ending worries and exhaustion  due to her health issues.  Thank God, her kidney reflux issue is now resolved.

Ok, back to foodie talk!

The first loaf of bread that I made using my mum’s Tesco bread maker was  multi-seed bread. As I could not find plain high protein flour at the supermarket, I had to substitute it with organic high protein wholemeal flour.  And the result was a very crusty bread.  Except for the rather hard crust, the overall texture of the bread was pretty fluffy. I love the assortment of seeds which gives the bread a nice chewy texture. I used sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white and black sesame seeds.

 

The next day, I made melted Swiss cheese with purple onions toast for breakfast for Cass and Drama Queen and they loved it! It’s impossible not to be in a good mood despite me prepping the toast for them at an ungodly hour at 5a.m. when the house smells like a pizzeria! Even waking them up at 5:20 a.m. was  easier when they could smell ‘pizza’ outside the room 😀

As I am typing this post, my second loaf of bread is baking in the bread maker. Keeping my fingers crossed that the bread will turn out soft and yummeh!

Mr Whiny

The technician from the oven company came to fix our faulty oven today.  And he’s one of the grumpiest technician I have ever come across.

When he saw how squeezy our kitchen was, leaving him with minimal space to pull the fridge out so that the oven plug could be detached from the wall socket, it irked him. And then he  just babbled away in Cantonese to himself, hoping that I would hear it:  “Walaueh, ngam ngam fit fit the space here. How to remove the socket?”  And he let out many, many sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s as he pulled the fridge and oven out, like an Olympic weightlifter attempting his 10 tonne barbell.

Half way through fixing the oven, he complained to the mil that it was very hot in the kitchen and asked if there’s a fan to blow him. The mil then asked me to pull out the stand fan with an extension wire to cool the man down. I gave him a sarcastic look and said “what?!”  and he got the message and said “it’s ok, never mind then”. *roll eyes*

After about 45 minutes of loud sighs, “uuuh” and “ahhh“s and complaints that his hands were going to break, he summoned the mil and I to help him when he was attempting to put the oven back onto the cabinet.  The mil went “what, you want me to help you carry the heavy oven??!” LOL!

The mil and I helped him anyway as he was so just so pathetic.  We felt sorry for him too. The mil went behind the fridge to help him pull the wire and plug while I stood in front of the oven, helping to hold it.  In our 9 years of using the oven, never once did we get such a whiny technician.  When he first commented that it was impossible to fix the oven because of the positioning, I told him that in the past 9 years, all the technicians were able to complete the job without any complaints.

Thankfully Mr Whiny managed to complete the job despite tons of hilarious expressions, huffs, puffs and repeated comment that his hands were going to break.

Friday, 13 October 2017

So finally today is the last day of final exams for Alycia and Cass.

For Cass, it’s not all over yet. After the 1-week Deepavali holiday, exam continues with Moral and Physical Education on 23 Oct 2017.  But at least the core subjects are all over and done with for this year.  Moral and PE marks are not included in the calculation of class and standard positioning.

But this is enough for a celebration!

Best yet, I can finally sleep in for the next 9 days and chuck the alarm clock inside my wardrobe. So happy!!

Today has been a super wet, wet, wet day from morning through evening.

Though we had 2 huge brollies, we were still wet when we got down the car to get to the supermarket. It was raining cat and dog shit. The mil and I had brunch together at at cafe inside the supermarket:

Dry curry noodles and black glutinous rice dessert

Today our house is turned into a makeshift laundry shop with 5 fans (3 ceiling fans and 2 stand fans) spinning at full blast to blow dry our wet laundry and dishes.

The best news that I received today is from Cass. The moment she alighted from the school van, she excitedly announced to me that she scored a 100% in her Science test paper!  Three other boys in her class scored full marks. The news was totally mellifluous to my ears.  The other papers will be given back after the week long Deepavali holidays. I know Cass didn’t fare too well in her Chinese language. With a B (perhaps even a C) in Chinese, she may not make it to remain in this class next year.  She also did not fare well in the second term exam. And to be able to be the top 36 students in the elite class of a Chinese high prestige school (SBT), her Chinese language must be very strong. Sadly, Chinese is her weakest subject. The hubs and I are total yellow bananas and we are unable to help her with her Chinese.

I am having a medley of emotions now. A part of me wishes for Cass to remain in the elite class and yet, a big part of me secretly longs for her to be out of this ‘torture chamber’. The pressure is too much for me to bear.  However, exams and competition mean nothing to Cass.  She still loves going to school to see her friends and teachers. Exam days do not mean much to Cass, except that at times, she feels extra grouchy and stroppy from revising. Cass loves her novels and exchanging novels with her besties in school.  She loves school, her friends and teachers. And I think that’s more important that achieving a string of As but feeling exahusted with competition.

To the tune of “Reunited and It Feels So Good” by Peaches & Herb (my all-time favorite R&B) ~~ today Cass finally ‘redeemed’ her favorite ‘The Land of Stories’ that was confiscated by the growling Tiger Mom last week >.<

Stress Over High Schools

Today is a day of mixed emotions for me.  The results for acceptance into the Chinese private high school for Drama Queen are out today.  Drama Queen’s name is not listed in the acceptance list when I checked the results at the school’s website.  While the hubs ain’t too happy, I, on the other hand am very relieved.  From the very beginning, I have been trying hard to convince the hubs against sending Drama Queen to this school. Although this high school was voted best Chinese private high school in our country, but it is very academic driven. Alycia is still surviving there, thank God. But Drama Queen does not have the materials of a Chinese school student. Thank God she survived 6 years in a Chinese high prestige primary school, albeit struggled in Chinese. Both she and Cass hate Chinese. They often query me on why they have to be forced to study in a Chinese school.  Drama Queen would fare well in an English medium school, which means sending her to an international school or home schooling center.  But the hubs is strongly against home schooling centers and international schools are out of our budget.

Drama Queen would definitely be accepted by the Feeder school, which is an SMK in our neighborhood.  The hubs is 101% steadfast against sending any of his daughter to this school. He says that this school has high incidences of truancy and gangsterism.

What’s next then?

Wait for the UPSR results to be announced come mid November. And wait for the letter from MoE on the allocated school.  Then pop in to the said school and request for a transfer of school.  Next, we would have to make a trip to JPN (Jabatan Pendidikan Negara) Selangor in Shah Alam to submit our request.

The school that I have in mind for Drama Queen is a Cluster School of Excellence and located in Selangor. We are in KL. Priority will be given to feeder schools in Selangor and straight As students. Next batch of acceptance will be for schools out of Selangor and students with good UPSR results.

Tough luck I know. But I will try to submit the transfer application and if it’s rejected, I will appeal.  So I am on tenterhooks now and feeling pretty stressed out over high schools for Drama Queen.

What if the application for our school of choice is still rejected despite several appeals?

We’ll cross the bridge when we reach it. Hopefully by then the hubs would have hit the Jackpot and become an instant millionaire.  And our 3 girls would get the opportunity to study in a good international school. End of headache and stress. Hah!

Who knows? Miracle does happen and it has happened to me not once but many times.

Today is the 16th day of the 8th month on the Chinese calendar (Moon Festival was yesterday). And the moon tonight is still exceptionally huge and bright, thanks to a heavy down pour earlier which cleared the skies.

At 7 p.m. today (below), the moon could be seen hanging majestically on the cloudy sky:

And it’s still there, at the same spot, big and bright at 7:30 pm (below):

Hopefully all my wishes made on this special day with a big bright moon would materialize.

 

Friday – 15 September 2017

T. G. I. F.!!  Today I am feeling a little relaxed as tomorrow will be an OFF DAY for me. Since February this year, I hardly got an off day on a Saturday. Sundays are early for me too as we have to go church.  As a result, I am always feeling enervated. It’s a public holiday (Malaysia Day) tomorrow and Alycia and Drama Queen needn’t have to go to school, which means that I will get 2.5 hours of extra sleep, I am SO HAPPY!

Over lunch today, Cass is as usual absorbed in her Land Of Stories fiction, adventure and fantasy book, her absolute obsession right now.

One more day on Monday next week and UPSR will be over! But Drama Queen is already feeling the heavy sack off her shoulders. She’s in a relaxed mood and helped to vacuum the house after lunch to let off the exam fever steam 😳

Wednesday – 13 Sept 2017

Today is day 3 of Drama Queen’s UPSR exam.  Subject tested today is Math. Tomorrow will be Science, followed by a no-exam day on Friday and finally the last paper will be Chinese on Monday.  On Monday, I can expect the house to be back to ‘normal’ with pandemonium and silly guffaw with Drama Queen jawing away with her stories and drama-of-the-day. I miss her knee-slapping antics too. And I can finally have my best helper back in the kitchen. I can also expect a hive of activity in the kitchen with Drama Queen resuming baking. I know she is raring to kick-start all her baking projects.

Today is a school off-day for Cass as the school needs the classes for UPSR candidates. After brekkie, Cass and I did grocery shopping. This girl is happiest when she goes grocery shopping with me. She has definitely inherited her dad’s DNA as she’s a real food lover; a gourmand and connoisseur in the making.

Lunch today is sandwich of wholemeal English muffin with chicken curry, tomato and cucumber.

Our Saturday – 9 Sept 2017

Breakfast this morning was with Cass alone again. The mil was feeling a tad dizzy, thus stayed home. The hubs left for work at the client’s function early in the morning. The 2 older girls just wanted to stay longer in bed as it’s been months since they last got their Saturday off from school.  It was music to my ears when Alycia and Drama Queen told me that they needn’t go to school today. I badly need that extra 3 hours of sleep.

Today is also the eve of the eve of the UPSR exam for Drama Queen. But the girl is still unperturbed. She’s still very relaxed, though studying just a little more than usual.

When Cass and I reached our usual Saturday coffee shop, we were terribly disappointed when we found out from the owner of the coffee shop that our favorite bitter gourd pork noodles stall is no longer there anymore. For the past 3 years, it’s been our Saturday breakfast routine to dig into this bitter gourd pork noodles and now it’s no longer there. Why didn’t the stall owner whom we’ve befriended even tell us that he will be moving when we went there last week? Sigh..

We were about to leave the coffee shop when the owner coaxed us to try another stall selling fish head noodles and it was da bomb! It stands out from other regular fish head noodles. The soup is thick and luscious (naturally thickened with yam), milky, has a hint of Chinese cooking wine and lots of coriander.  I guess we’ll be digging into fish head noodles every Saturday from now onwards. Bitter gourd noodles out and in comes fish head noodles, yay!!

Cass is one very happy camper as she, along with all her classmates received a kite from their class teacher. During PE on Friday, they were brought to the tracks to fly kites.  It was Cass’ first time flying a kite on her own.  Cass has one of the best teachers in that school. She is strict and firm, competent and competitive yet funny, caring and kind.


Kite-flying in school on Friday. It was a first for most of Cass’ classmates.

My Wednesday – 6 Sept 2017

After a good 40-minute brisk walking and jogging this morning, I ‘worked out’ for another 2.5 hours at Mid Valley Megamall.  That’s another 200+ calories burned, indulging in my favorite past time. I could have burned more calories as I have a habit of walking briskly whenever I go shopping. In fact, brisk walking is just how I walk since the beginning of time.  Brisk walking = time saved = more work accomplished.  I am just not the type who walks slowly dragging my feet.

Today’s shopping trip was totally unplanned. After breakfast at home, the mil asked me to accompany her to Mid Valley.  Since Cass and Drama Queen were staying back in school for CoCo  today and I needn’t have to rush home, why not? I’ve not gone shopping for more than a month and was actually itching to do some retail therapy.

The one shop that I can never refuse to enter when I am at Mid Valley Megamall is Uniqlo. I have nothing in mind to buy actually. It was mere window shopping. But when I saw some AIRism sports shorts new arrival staring at me, luring me to try them on, my butt and hands got itchy! Took 2 colors and 2 sizes, off I scuttled to the fitting room, bought 2 different colors and ended up RM120 poorer 😂

And I am glad that I can still squeeze into an S SIZE, yes!!! 💪😁

That’s me in a size S AIRism sports shorts.

But I didn’t get the size S; would have done so when I was still in my 20s and 30s and could still afford flaunting off half my buns when I bend down.  I took size M  instead as I’ve always preferred pants that are slightly lose and can protect my modesty.   Welcome to “aunty-hood, Health Freak Mommy!” 😊

 

Near Miss

Today I had a brief taste of how ‘moments before death’ must have felt. And I can only thank God for saving me.

Today is yet another school-going day for Drama Queen and Cass, though it’s a school holiday. The hubs did the first round of school run in the morning. I did the second round at 10 a.m. to fetch Cass back from school. And the last round at 1:30 p.m. to pick up Drama Queen.

On my drive to school at 1:15 p.m., the hot scorching sun was making me really sleepy. I was struggling to keep my eyes from shutting. After picking up Drama Queen, I felt even sleepier and drowsy. I had to take deep breaths and lean my body forward to the steering wheel to keep myself awake. I think I must have closed my eyes momentarily for about two seconds for about five or six times throughout the drive from school back home. When I turned into our neighborhood, I think I must have closed my eyes for about 3 seconds when I suddenly heard a loud bang and felt my car swerve to the left. I was immediately jolted up from my sleep. I could feel myself jump out of my skin. I was totally shell-shocked. The left tire of my car had hit a curb. There were several cars in front of my car and I am so so thankful to God that I did not hit the car in front or drive my car up the curb and land in the big monsoon drain. Drama Queen and I would have been finished if that had happened.

Thank you Lord Jesus for saving our lives. I am not ready to knock on Heaven’s Door yet ok?

The front left car tire rim had been scraped off slightly when it grazed the curb. Thank you God once again that the damage doesn’t cost the earth.

Till now, I still get the heebie-jeebies each time the eerie incident replay in my head. The loud bang of my car tire hitting and grazing the side curb and me waking up to the sound of it still scares me to death. And this happened in the month of the Hungry Ghost. My late maternal granny died in the month of the Hungry Ghost. Two weeks later, the hubs’ father passed on, still in the month of the Hungry Ghost. Creepy!

Now am I lucky or unlucky today?  I think it’s both. And it’s definitely a wake-up call for me too. I should think of a good way to prevent myself from drifting off again when I am behind the wheel. I may not be lucky the second time.

My Wednesday – 23 Aug 2017

This morning I had an unpleasant encounter at the car park outside some shops. I was there to get some buns for the girls for their recess tomorrow. This particular business centre at my neighborhood is one very busy area. Getting a spot to park is highly unlikely if you are there between 8am through 7pm. Double parking is thus nothing new.  When I saw an empty parking lot a few steps away from the bakery, I thought to myself that  today must be my ‘lucky’ day. Not.

When i stepped out from the bakery 10 minutes later, I saw a black Mercedes double parked behind my car. I honked for a while for the owner to come out but no one came forward. Then I noticed a piece of paper stuck to my front windscreen with these printed words “You have parked at my reserved lot!” There was another similar piece of paper stuck to the back of my windscreen too. I went over to the black Mercedes to see if the owner had left a number for me to call and true, she left her business card on her dashboard.  I gave her a call with a thumping heart for I knew I had courted trouble.

Me – hello Cxxxxx, your car is at the back of my car.

Before I could finish what I wanted to say, she replied frostily…

She – NO!! Your car is at MY parking lot!
(Oh my, this lady sounded very very fierce and angry!)

Me – I thought it’s meant for parking as the DBKL pole is pulled to the ground?

She – that pole is spoilt. Someone banged onto it.  My parking lot has a red outline on it, which means that it is reserved!

Oh no, I didn’t know that. How dungu can I be!

Me – oh, sorry..

She – ok

Then I waited for another 10 minutes for the lady boss in her late 50s to come down.

Omg, she looked like a fierce junkyard dog about to pounce on me!  As she walked towards my car with a pissed off face, my heart thumped faster. She knocked on my window and signaled for me to return the two pieces of papers to her.  When faced with danger, your best defense when you have no ammunition is to apologize to subdue your enemy and that’s what I did. She then walked away infuriatedly like a boss who had just chided off her staff, got into her black Mercedes with black tinted windows and backed off for me to reverse out.

Phew, thankfully she ain’t some Mafia who threatened to smash up my head for parking at her reserved parking lot.

Today I am a lone ranger at lunch as Cass has to stay back for CoCo activities. The mil has gone out for a lunch date with her visiting daughter from Hong Kong and the hubs was busy with work.

When I don’t have to prepare lunch for the girls, I eat very simple food. Before the mil left, she boiled some purple sweet potatoes for us. I had two of them, a mug of Marmite and some super crispy fried fish and fried chicken from last night’s dinner. I indulge in fried chicken occasionally and I figured that if I remove all the skin off the chicken, I won’t get that scratchy feeling on my super sensitive throat. I know it’s disgusting to have all the fried skin removed but that’s life saving. My girls do that too. They’ve been trained. Try it and you’ll be doing your throat, heart and  waist a huge favor while you tuck away on your piece of yummy KFC 😉