The Love For Reading

Alycia and Sherilyn love ‘reading’ books. Every morning after drinking their milk, they will sit on the potty to do their little poopy business whilst I read to them or they read themselves. I think it’s good to start inculcating the habit of reading to kids from young so that they will have a life-long love for books and reading. It’s much easier to nurture and shape kids from young.

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Disney Bunting

Recently, my SIL from Hong Kong sent another package of goodies to the girls and me again. This time, the box was full of Disney knick-knacks and souvenir and some very nice blouses for me too. Mmmmuack…. thanks tai kar cheh once again. When the box was opened, the girls went gila over the colourful cute cute Disney items. Amongst them were 2 Disney Mickey Mouse buntings, one blue and one red. When DH got home, the girls got him to hang the buntings across the dining room. Now, my house looks even more like a playschool. I suggested to DH and my mum that I can now even start a small comprehensive childcare service business to earn some pocket money but both advised me to DITCH this idea completely. Think very easy to earn this kind of money ar, can’t even handle your own 2 kids!

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Battling PCOS and Infertility

I will never forget that particular morning in December 2000 at the office of my first gynae. After experiencing very irregular periods, spotting, unexplained weight gain, acne on my face and moodiness for a few months, I just knew there was something really wrong with me. That prompted me to drag my feet to the gynae’s office. After a scan of my ovaries, Dr F told me that I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS in short. When I heard that diagnosis, I was really stunned and horrified. What the heck is that disease? Dr F then gave a brief explanation of this disorder and drew out a step by step treatment plan. Wah, wah, wah, wait a minute, what is this laser treatment to ‘drill’ holes in my ovaries and did you just say PCOS will cause infertility? You are saying I can’t conceive? I just couldn’t absorb so much info in a mere 20 mins or so in the clinic. So I went home in a daze and for the next few days, weeks, months and 2 years or so, there I was, surfing the net to study my ‘disease’ and how I can treat it. Dr F told me that I can’t cure the disorder but can only treat the symptoms. The symptoms are unexplained weight gain, obesity, acne, hirtuism (excessive hair) and also loss of hair, irregular periods, insulin resistant, infertility, among others. PCOS is actually a hormonal imbalance disorder.

Long sob story cut short and fast forward a bit ok…… in summary this is what I had gone through :

Consulted 6 gynaes in 3 years.

Took 3 cycles of Clomid only to suffer 1 miscarriage which was the saddest day in my life.

Went thru Hysterosalpingogram or HSG which was by far the most painful procedure in my life.

Went thru Ovarian Drilling keyhole surgery so that my ‘eggs can be released from my ovaries’ .

Went thru years of emotional roller coaster, tears, fears, worries and pain.

Had uncountable number of trips to my gynaes’ office.

Burnt a big hole in my pocket for treatments and sustaining both pregnancies.

Went thru 1 cycle of Intrauterine (IUI) fertility treatment.

Went thru an extremely difficult and high risk pregnancy when carrying Alycia. Was on semi bed-rest for 5 months when carrying Alycia as I had symptoms of pre-term labour. Had spotting and threatened miscarriage when carrying Alycia and Sherilyn.

Never had so many jabs in my entire life before. I had more than 50 jabs in a period of less than 3 years.

Whenever my gals made me feel like giving up being a SAHM, I would sit back and think what I had gone thru to have them. When my gynaes told me that it wasn’t only me with problems but DH also had very poor little swimmers, I had almost given up hope of ever having my own babies. It was really double whammy. Even on the day of my IUI, my gynae had put on a ‘no hope’ look on his face and told me that DH had very poor little swimmers, only 3% was good. But God really does answer prayers you know, not only 1 miracle happened to me, but 2 in a span of less than 2 years.

Everytime when I think back on how much I had wanted Alycia, how anxious and worried I was for 10 months, the sleepless nites I had before each consultation with my gynae, I would hug Alycia tightly and tell her that she’s mummy’s little ‘precious baby’, the term gynaes use to describe hard-to-get babies.

Each time Alycia made me mad and boiling with anger, I’d think back what I’d gone thru just to have her and my anger slowly dissipates, like I had just gotten an antidote shot in my arm. The day I gave birth to Alycia was the happiest day of my life which no word can describe.

So to all mommies out there, every baby is indeed a miracle and a gift from God. Ain’t we just so lucky to have our own kids? Love and appreciate them more coz there are many women out there who are desperate and would do anything, just anything just so to have a baby of their own. Go give your lil’ ones a big hug tonite and say “mommy loves you very much” and thank God for them.

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What A Lovely Sunday

Today has been a lovely Sunday. Despite the fact that I feel damn tired and sleepy now as I had worked until 1am on my blog last nite and woke up at 6:30am for my fitball exercise and jog, today is still a great Sunday. We went to the church at 10:30am. Whilst I attended service in the church, the gals and my maid attended Sunday school. The gals look forward to Sunday school every week because of the stickers that the teachers will reward them at the end of the class. After church, we went for a sumptuous buffet lunch at Zipangu Jap Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel. After gorging on lots of healthy sashimi, raw oysters, shitake mushroom, endamame beans and also on some sinful, mouth-watering grub, the gals went down to the garden to have some pictures taken with the clown and got their balloons. Though Sherilyn has always been terrified of clowns, she still loves to see them to get her balloons. Not a day goes by without Sherilyn drawing her balloons and talking about balloons and clowns. My gals are crazy over balloons, so much so that both of them can draw pictures of balloons pretty well, in all shapes and sizes.

This is how we typically spend our Sundays. How I wish everyday is a Sunday… in my dreams lar.

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Terrible Twos

Is it true that all kids will go through the ‘terrible twos’ (TT) phase? Well at least for my 2 gals. For both Alycia and Sherilyn, the symptoms slowly started to appear a few months shy of their 2nd birthdays. Sherilyn is now 2 yrs 2 mths and is at the peak of the TT phase, though she’s not as teruk case as Alycia. I had a real hard time when Alycia was 2 yrs old. Here are some of Sherilyn’s TT ‘symptoms’ :

Super rebellious and disobedient. When talked to nicely, will not listen. Will only listen when I flash out the cane.

Super vain-pot. Loves to choose her own clothes each time she’s being changed. Refuses to wear anything that mommy or maid have chosen for her. A few nights ago, she insisted in wearing her favourite sleeveless dress to sleep. She cried and kicked till she almost puked when my maid put on her pyjamas for her. Thankfully, daddy came home in the nick of time to play hide-and-seek with her to placate her, otherwise my maid and I gotta clean up puke again.

Very manipulative. If she can’t get what she wishes for, will cry, kick and roll on the floor till she vomits. When distraction doesn’t work on her, I normally ignore her and let her cry her eyes out. Normally after a 15 – 20 mins tantrum outburst, she will ‘self heal’ and be herself again, laughing and playing with her sister.

Likes to whine for no reason. Sounds of whinning from my gals drive me bonkers.

Refuses to sit still when I read to her. She used to love me reading to her. She’s more of a Glenn Doman baby than Alycia but lately, displayed very little interest in reading or looking at my flashcards. So I reduce the frequency of these reading sessions and let her enjoy her TT phase. I know she will mellow down when she’s nearing 3 yo, just like Alycia.

So how do you handle a kid with a TT behaviour?

Patience, power of distraction and some humour…. these are the virtues to subdue a kid with TT behaviour.

Do I have them? Yes, when I’m in a good mood.

That’s why everyday, I pray to God to bless me with tons of patience, tolerance and wisdom to be a better mom. I hope God answers my prayer.

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How Alycia Finally Recognizes Her Alphabet and Numbers

I have been teaching Alycia to recognize her alphabet and numbers since early last year. As she is the type who can’t sit still when I teach her, I bought numerous educational VCDs for her to watch. These VCDs only helped a little and she still occasionally got her alphabet and numbers all mixed up. When it comes to recognizing numbers, no matter how many times I had shown her the number on the flash cards, she still could not recognize them. Each time I showed her the flash cards, she displayed little or no interest at all, which made me really geram. One day, I decided to stick and hang the alphabet and numbers flash cards everywhere in the house and bedroom so that I can point the cards to her throughout the day. She found this fun and challenging. Within weeks, Alycia finally recognizes the numbers 1 through 10. This is how I made the learning fun :

Me : Alycia, what letter is this? (as I point to the flash card with the letter ‘A’ stuck on the wall)
Aly : Big ‘A’
Me : Good job. Alycia is so clever.

I then point to another flash card stuck on the door.

Me : Alycia, what number is this (as I point to the number 9 on the door)?
Aly : Number 9
Me : Very good. If you turn number 9 upside down, it becomes number 6. Alycia is so clever. Mummy is so proud of you.

I then give her a hug and wah…. Aly feels so happy and proud of her achievement. Kids…. they really love praises, words of encouragement and hugs and I think that’s the best motivation a mother can ever give.

Alycia can now recognize all the letters of the alphabet (capital and small) and numbers 1-10. She can also write a few letters, numbers, draw shapes and ‘stick people’. I am so proud of her.

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Stickers craze

Alycia and Sherilyn are crazy over stickers. They will stick their stickers everywhere…. on their daddy’s bare belly, their faces, their bodies, on the walls, on our bed, you name it they’ll stick them there. What motivates Alycia to attend her Sunday School class is also stickers because at the end of the class, the teacher will reward the kids with stickers.

Last nite, DH bought some cheap cheap but cute cute Winnie The Pooh stickers from the pasar malam. I should have stopped him from buying these stickers coz after their stickers craze frenzy, my maid and I spent half an hour peeling off these stickers from their clothes, from the wall and floor and had to wipe the floor with wet wipes whilst DH happily dozed off on the sofa. Seeing the gals happy makes DH happier. What to do….. be happy also lor. Sherilyn was so happy that early this morning, I heard her giggling in her sleep/dream… aawwww….. that was just so cute. She has a tendency of giggling in her sleep all the time.

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Happy Our Beagle

We used to have a pedigree Beagle dog. But we were only capable of keeping it for 1 year. Happy was a result of DH’s impulse purchase and he (Happy) cost a whopping RM2k. Though my gals and I are avid dog lovers, we just couldn’t keep Happy….. happy, how ironic. Because I had had my hands full with my 2 gals and hardly ever have any time for myself, we had neglected poor Happy. He was always kept in his enclosure in our wet kitchen. As a result, I think Happy suffered dog depression and kept falling sick. Consequently, DH spent an average of RM300 – RM500 pm on his food, medical bills and vet / hotel bills (Happy would be placed at the vet whenever we went back to Ipoh). I then pursuaded DH to find someone who loves dogs to adopt Happy. Very reluctantly, DH spread word around and in the end, our vet found a lady who adopted Happy. Every time when my gals and I see a Beagle on the street or on TV, they would excitedly scream “look mummy, Happy boy”. Every now and then I will think of Happy and do miss Happy, but what to do, for Happy’s happiness, we had to release him to someone who can shower him with more time and love, sob sob : (

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Self-Defence Gadgets For Ladies

Reading about the case of the KTAR female student who was almost raped in yesterday’s newspapers sent chills down my spine. She could have been brutally raped and murdered like the case of Canny Ong. Whenever I read news like this, it brings back old memories of me when I was still a college student, renting a house at Jalan Ipoh. The bus-stop was quite a walking distance from my house and I had to endure 15 mins of walk one way, twice a day. I’d encountered many flashers and perverts during my daily walks and also on the mini buses and Selangor buses. My last straw was when my handbag was snatched by a motorcyclist one morning as I was walking to the bus-stop. Thankfully I wasn’t really hurt, apart from a few scratches on my arm. That incident made me pack my bags and I moved somewhere else.
It is a good idea for all ladies to carry some form of self-defence gadget whenever they are walking alone. Last year, DH bought me a pocket-size pepper spray so that I can carry it with me during my daily morning jog. It can also help me ward off dogs from chasing me. When I was still working, I used to wake up at 6am every morning to jog. I used to carry a baton with me but lost the baton after the great flood which destroyed almost everything in my house last year. So to all ladies out there, please get your DH or DB (darling boyfriend) to get you a self-defence gadget now. It might help save your life.

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Homemade books

My gals love ‘reading’ books but commercial books are full of attractive pictures that easily distract kids. Whenever I read story books to my gals, I will most often than not end up feeling really cheesed off by them coz they (esp. Alycia) will not focus their eyes on the words as I point the words to them. Instead, Alycia’s eyes will start wandering off to the pictures and she will imagine herself being one of the characters in the pictures. She will then start her “why, why, whys” and will ask me loads of questions pertaining to the pictures in the book.

With some ideas from the forum, I made my own books using pictures of the gals printed from my home printer and wrote stories about them. My gals love the books as the stories are all about them. I could have made more for them but because of time constraints, I have also printed out some from the childbrain forum, which my gals love too. All you need are some A4 size papers, plastic protector sheets and a plastic fastener to bind the pages as shown in the pix above.

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Toys, toys, toys

DH loves to spoil the gals with toys and food coz he spends very little time with them. 2 days ago, we went shopping at Mid Valley Megamall. Whilst I did my own shopping, DH brought the gals to Toys R Us with the maid. He bought them their 3rd Fischer Price Doodle Pro but this one comes along with stencils and colored marker pens with eraser. Even I like it and spent this morning tracing with stencils and colouring with them on the Doodle Pro during breakfast. He also bought them yet another masak-masak set. This set comes with a 120-piece toy food from french fries, chips, croissant, pizza, ice-creams, tarts, sausages to cans of drinks, boxes of cereal, chocolate and a complete range of fast junkie food. Wah, the moment I opened the box and poured the toys out, they went crazy over them coz they really look like real edible food, esp the ice-cream on a cone. I second the Doodle Pro purchase but not the masak-masak set coz Alycia already has more than 10 sets of masak-masak in KL and Ipoh, 2 toy kitchens and 1 battery operated BBQ stove which emits sounds and lights flown from HK to the gals by SIL. Everyday, my maid and I will be stepping and tripping over their toys and of course keeping them at the end of the day. Next time, I’d better follow them to Toys R Us and make sure that DH only buys educational toys. All purchases must in future be approved by me first!

No. of times viewed = 186

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Learning To Read Through Nursery Rhymes

My gals love nursery rhymes. I play them nursery rhymes CDs, let them watch Barney’s Mother Goose nursery rhymes and karaoke nursery rhymes VCDs whilst the 3 of us sing and dance together. Alycia can sing and recite more than 10 rhymes. Recently, my mum bought the gals some nursery rhymes posters and I stuck these posters on the wall at our dining area. On most days, I will sit the gals on the floor with me in the middle holding on to a pencil/ruler as pointer and I will point to each word on the poster as we sing together. This is truly a very fun and effective approach in teaching my gals reading.

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Nutritious Healthy Nutty Pancake

Recently, I created a nutritious healthy nutty pancake recipe for my gals. How did this creation come about? Well, I had earlier bought a tin of chocolate flavoured milk formula for Sherilyn but both she and Alycia didn’t like the milk, probably because of the brown color that made it not so ‘milky looking’? So there I was cracking my head on how to finish off the 1.8kg tin of choco milk plus 1 600gm alu foil packet choco milk that comes with it free. Finally, I came up with this creation and here’s the recipe :

3 tablespoons of chocolate milk powder

6 tablespoons of organic wholemeal high protein flour OR plain flour OR soya flour

2 eggs

Dash of salt (optional)

1-2 tablespoons of sesame (white or black)

2 tablespoons of almond nibs

1 tablespoon of wheatgerm (optional)

Add water and stir until batter becomes smooth

Olive Lite butter or ordinary butter

Heat up some olive butter in a round non-stick pan. Pour batter into pan and fry under low fire for around 3 mins, turning both sides occasionally.

I’m so happy my gals went goo gaa over the pancake. Sherilyn who is one very picky eater and a bad feeder too kept asking for more. Wah, I am so proud of my yet another novel creation of healthy food for my 2 lil’ angels.

I also ‘concealed’ the chocolate milk powder into my homemade ‘nutritious, healthy, nutty, seedy bread’ baked with my breadmaker which my gals love. I either toast the bread or use the bread as the crust base to make pizza for them.

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Homemade Flashcards

I’m a firm believer that babies should and can be taught to read. I started making my own flashcards Glenn Doman style since Alycia was a few months old. Till today, I am still flashing cards to my gals, though now I have to modify my approach in flashing and showing the cards to them. What works well for Alycia for now is I hang / stick the homemade cards (which are actually A4 size papers printed from my home printer and placed into plastic protector sheets) everywhere in the house and bedrooms.

I gathered most of my knowledge from this fabulous website, which is a Glenn Doman inspired website with parents round the world participating and providing resources. Do check out this website.
Ok, my gals are jolted up from their naps by the sickening drilling sounds from my neighbour who is renovating her house. Shall blog about my homemade books, Glenn Doman style soon.

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A Relief For Backache

After I gave birth to Alycia 3 yrs ago, I developed bad backache, resulting from the spinal block anesthetic administered during my C-section. I could only sleep on my sides and could hardly sleep on my back. My 1 month of confinement was nightmarish as I had bad breast engorgement and bad backache. When I slept on my sides, my breasts leaked out milk and hurt terribly. When I slept on my back, it hurt me too. Both ways, I just couldn’t sleep. Long story cut short, I must thank my SIL who was a Malaysian sportswoman then who suggested that I exercise on a fit ball everyday to relief the backache. I took heed and voila, after days of exercising on the ball, the backpain gradually went away. I was so happy with the miraculous result that I religiously exercised on the fitball almost everyday till today.

How do you do it :
First, sit on the ball, as shown in the 1st pic. Gradually slide your body down the ball and arch your back on the ball and stay in the arched position for between 3-5 minutes everyday. It’s better to place your feet next to a wall so that you will not slip.

The fitball can also be used to do sit-ups as shown in the 2nd pic. It’s an excellent way to do sit-up on the ball as there is no pressure to you back. The weight of your body is supported by the ball.

The results I get from working out on this ball are superb. No more back pain and no more flabby tummy. However, consistency and discipline are needed coz if you are not consistent and only exercise as and when you feel like it, the backpain will surface again.

Disclaimer : This is not intended to be a medical advice. This article is written purely based on my own experience.

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Natural Remedy For Flu And Throat Infection

During my recent bout of flu and throat infection, infected to me by my 2 little gals and DH, I’ve decided that I will cure myself naturally and vowed not to take antibiotics again, if necessary, coz antibiotics destroy all the bacteria in my body, whether good or bad bacteria and each time I’d taken antibiotics, I’d develop Vaginal Yeast Infection, something which I really really hate. So I surfed the net to find the best remedy for my ailment and pored thru my Natural Remedy book by Readers’ Digest. The result? I was completely cured WITHOUT having to visit the dr., yay! Here’s what I ate :

1. Popped garlic pills 2-3 times a day.

2. Popped Echinacea pills 2 times a day.

3. Drank raw Manuka honey. Method – either mix it with lemon juice or swallow a teaspoon of the honey without any water. Do not drink water thereafter for at least 15 minutes. Manuka honey is well-known for its antibacterial properties.

4. Popped probiotics pills.

5. Drank Redoxon Zinc + Vit C effervescent

6. Popped Vit ACE

7. To alleviate pain in throat, sucked Difflam anti-inflammatory & anti-bacterial lozenges. This really helped to alleviate the pain in the throat for a few hours but I had to bear with the side effect of a slightly numb tongue.

7. Popped Nurofen caplet to reduce fever & alleviate flu symptoms.

8. Gargle salt water throughout the day.

9. Asked maid to cook me ‘Sick People Soup’. Check out recipe here.

Well, this concoction worked for me. Hope it will also work for whoever who is keen to try it.

Disclaimer : This article is not intended to be a medical advice. It is purely based on my own experience.

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