Out Of Her Dilly Dallying Habit Now!

For the past 1 week, rascal #2 has been getting herself ready for school pretty early. Her daily morning daydreaming and dilly dallying have been reduced significantly and I do not need to help wash her up, dress her up or to comb her hair every morning anymore!! And the source of what motivates her is ?? Well, some old newspapers! Alycia and Sherilyn’s school has this ‘sell old newspapers to raise funds’ long-term project where all the students are encouraged to bring old newspapers to school for the project. The student who brings the most old newspapers in the class will get a small token of appreciation.  Whenever she dilly dallies and gets late preparing herself for school, she will have NO newspapers for the school!  And if she can get herself ready early, she will get a big bag of old newspapers from me!   And this is what motivates her!  Also  she wants to have her hair kept long – I told her that if she can proof to me that she can get herself ready for school early every morning without my help, she shall have her long locks!  Something that is so simple and inexpensive can bring my 7YO girl out of her hardcore dilly dallying habit, that’s something that I ought to be proud of and I have been praising her and encouraging her non-stop to keep up her good behavior. But do you know who’s the new little Miss Dilly Dally in the house now?

My Princess wannabe in her ballet character skirt, which she loves to bits!

No. of times viewed = 434

Of Water Color Painting

Sherilyn has been struggling to do her Art homework, especially with water color painting ever since she entered P1. According to Sherilyn and Alycia, the Art teacher did not show them the proper way of doing water color painting, i.e. how much paint to use, how much water is needed to dilute the paint, how to do shading, color tone and all that jazz. What kind of Art teacher is that?! Yesterday, her Art homework was to do a water color painting of sea creatures under the sea. All of us had a good laugh at Sher’s painting when she painted one of the fish dark grey with thick paint, which turned out to look like a piece of badly burnt fish at the bottom of the ocean. After laughing, I felt terribly bad as I too did not show her the correct method of painting. How could I have laughed at her when it was not entirely her mistake? So she had to redo her piece of art work today.

Today, I decided that I just have to show Sherilyn once and for all the basics of water color painting and color tones. After all, yours truly was an A1 scorer for the subject of Art all through her secondary school years (in Science stream), ahem! I must thank my mum for sending me to a very good Art tuition teacher who made drawing and painting such an interesting subject for us to learn. She had also brought out the artistic side of me. But after I left school, I have never held a paint brush to do a proper piece of painting. Today I did water color painting again, my first in 22 years! And I am glad that I still remember the techniques of painting and color toning *satisfied grin* The moment I started to paint, all my fond memories of water color painting that I did over 20 years ago took over me once again. But I did not have the time to show my girls more, much as I would love to as Sherilyn had to get ready to attend ballet class. I would love to teach my daughters painting but due to time constraint, I think I would have to leave this job to the Art tuition teacher, which I hope to engage very soon to teach them drawing and painting.

No. of times viewed = 244

Of All The Electronic Gadgets…

The little assistant will take over the helm each time the big boss takes her shower at night.  It has always been the big boss’ ‘directive’ that absolutely no one can touch the desk top computer during the day. They have the lappie and the iPad2 to use, so the desk top computer is totally out of bounds, lest some important business data is wiped off at the wrong click.  So this rascal would feel really ‘honored’ to be given the approval to sit at the big boss’ chair for half an hour, on condition that she touches no other tabs but the tab that is put on screen for her.

Cassandra reading from www.storyplace.org, a great website for free online kids’ stories while waiting for the big boss to shower.  Of all the digital gadgets that we have – iPad, laptop, android mobile phones and the desktop computer, my girls still prefer the one with the largest screen.  Me too. Nothing beats reading from a wide screen, easy tapping on the keyboard and loud speakers 😀

No. of times viewed = 596

Sherilyn’s Grade 1 Ballet Exam – 2nd Trial

We dedicated half our Saturday yesterday to Sherilyn and accompanied her to the ballet studio for the 2nd trial of her Grade 1 ballet exam. The studio was pretty far from where we stay and the journey itself clocked up to almost an hour, both ways. My childhood friend SF and her daughter Mel car pooled with us. Mel and Sherilyn have been friends ever since they knew how to babble – they went to the same kindy, same tuition centre, same ballet school and learn swimming together at our condo now.

After watching how my rascal danced, I am pretty convinced that ballet/dancing is her forte! She just needs some reminders from me every now and then to practice her movements though.

At the changing room, getting ready…

Sherilyn doing a solo Poca dance…

The 3 ballerinas putting on their character skirt and shoes …

No. of times viewed = 435

Everyone Can Be Slim If They Set Their Mind On It

I believe everyone can be slim if they set their hearts and mind towards being slim. I know that I can be very fat too if I do not control what goes into my mouth and fall prey to lack of discipline. Despite my hectic life being a WFHM, I force myself to squeeze out at least 30 to 40 minutes of my very limited time every morning to exercise. Being married to a man who is in the food business with a family where everyone enjoys good food, I have myself turned into someone who enjoys traveling to every nook and corner to tuck into some good food too! So if I am not disciplined enough in my exercise regime, I am darn capable of doubling up my size in a matter of months!

My exercise regime every morning involves 20 minutes of running in the outdoor and another 15-20 minutes of working out on the air walker in the gym. I get ‘high’ from the adrenalin flowing in my body each time I exercise. And it is during this time that my clogged up mind will unclog by itself. My creative juices trickle out too. Some of my friends have asked me if I am working out in the gym to build some muscles but no no, having bulky muscles on the hands and calf is the last ‘asset’ that I want to have, albeit sadly I already have those muscular runner’s calf. But I’m proud to say that I do not have those ‘grandma’s flabby arms’ yet but still have pretty firm upper and lower arms 😀 But for those of you who are aiming to build some muscles, you can work on them in the gym with those weights and google search on how build muscle, where you will get thousands of search results.

No. of times viewed = 477

Verbal Diarrhea

My youngest rascal is into a verbal diarrhea lately, very articulately that is. She out-talks me and ‘corners’ me many times. And she is becoming more and more like rascal no. 2 in that she is picking up the dilly-dallying habit from her, oh gosh of all the traits, she has to pick up dilly-dallying!! She takes forever to drinks her cup of water, milk, eat her fruits and meals. She is sounding so much like Sherilyn now!
2 days ago while showering Cassandra, she promised me that “I will not dilly dally tomorrow” (meaning yesterday). True, she kept her words and she finished off her water, milk, fruits and breakfast rather quickly in the morning yesterday. But today, she dilly dallied again. When I reprimanded her this morning…

Me – Baby, you broke your promise. You promised me that you will not dilly dally anymore. I am so disappointed with you….
(when she was about to open her gap to defend herself, I could read her mind 100% and anticipate what was about to be purged out from her mouth)

Baby – I said I promise for ONE day only.. I didn’t say TWO days or forever!!

Me – NO, you didn’t say ONE day!!

Baby – YES I DID!!

When I heard those words, I was floored! I was again verbally assaulted by my almost 4-YO and yet-to-attend-preschool daughter. I hope she will put her gift of gab to very good use and not use it to torture me mentally in time to come!

No. of times viewed = 339

‘March’ing Into Ikea

My girls love books. My hubs and I along with my mum have invested and are still investing quite a bit on books for them. They have so many books that I can find them at very nook and corner — under the beds, under my computer desk, under their pillows, inside some recycled boxes, on their study desk,  on the throne top (which I absolutely hate and despite me telling Alycia not to put them there, she just never listens, aargh!!) next to the sink, you name it! I was telling hubs that we should get a new book shelf so that their books have a proper place to sit in – a one and only place for all the books to rest and no where else! So off we went to Ikea on a Thursday morning in search of our dream book shelf…

First shelf on our shopping list…

Next on our shopping list…

Next, a Billy bookcase and we got this – cheap and nice!

But when we reached home, we found out that the Billy bookcase didn’t really blend in with the other furniture, so the hubs placed it in the storeroom and used it as a shoe rack.  The Billy bookcase fit into our storeroom just right and our storeroom now looks so much more neater with all the shoes sitting in the shelf neatly.

My handyman whose hobby is fixing and assembling things always finds much thrill and challenge putting pieces of wood planks together.   I am always floored to see how patient he can be spending hours assembling planks of wood together into a beautiful, perfect piece of furniture when he has zilch patience shopping with me, aargh!!!

We also got some stackable stools from Ikea as we have always ran out of chairs for guests who are at our place for dinner.

Also got some colorful hangers to hang the girls’ clothes and a set of bib-bowl-cup-spoon set.

After 4 hours of shopping, here are our 2 cart fulls of loot, causing a damage of over RM1K!

After shopping, we had a quick lunch at the Ikea cafeteria. I of course ordered my favourite meatballs and pan fried salmon.

As usual, our trip to Ikea will never be complete without an indulgence in the RM1 nett ice cream.  Tell me which kid does not like slotting in a coin into the vending machine to ‘make’ her own ice cream eh? Total bliss!

So this is our March trip to Ikea. Our trip to Ikea in April will be to get the book shelf that we wanted and I’m hoping that there will be some new designs for us to choose by then.

No. of times viewed = 696

Colorful Cup Cakes

Check out these Sesame Street characters cuppies from Wondermilk! Pretty attractive and cute eh? Of all the ‘branded’ cup cakes that I have tasted, my personal preference is Wondermilk. There is something about the taste of the icing that makes it stand out from other cup cakes. It could be the type of vanilla used in the icing, which is very aromatic. The smell of the icing on the cake is like aromatherapy to me! If only they have uncolored icing, I’ll chomp down the whole cuppie with the icing and then go on a diet the next day 😀 But the bright colored icing is too scary to be put into the mouth, especially for kids. After devouring on the cuppies, the tongue and teeth of my girls had a coating of blue, red and green!! And the colored icing which got stuck beneath the finger nails and on the clothes were like paint, which was quite hard to be removed, not to mention super oily!! Aiks, I hope the colors are not toxic to the body.

Do you allow your kids to eat such bright colored icing or other food that has too much artificial coloring?

No. of times viewed = 250

The Girls Welcomed Their New Baby Cousin

We finally got to meet a new addition to our family – baby Raelyne (BBR), who is the first child of my eldest brother and sil in Singapore. Though BBR was born in December last year in Singapore, her very belated full-moon party was only held yesterday at the pool-side of our condo.

The girls were absolutely delighted to meet their new cousin and doted on her! Though all the attention is now diverted to BBR, Cass who was once the baby of the family with all the attention doted on her was the least bit jealous. She doted on BBR with so much love. That morning before the arrival of my parents, brother, sil and BBR, Alycia and Sherilyn spent the whole morning in their room making a card for their kau foo and kam moh. They went through their box of ‘old treasure’ and recycled their toys as gifts for BBR 😀

The girls were really delighted to have a living doll to play with – a doll who could cry, laugh, gurgle and blow raspberries! Baby handed over her favourite First Few Years stacking cups to BBR and was very generous with parting with all her once loved toys except for her smelly pillow, which she was a tad reluctant to lend BBR, LOL!

Delectable spread of food at the buffet table… the food was prepared by hubs who is a food caterer (Catermate). Check him out if you need a caterer to help you plan your function 😀
Learn to make exquisite foods like these with a culinary degree at www.onlinecollegeclasses.org.

My parents, brother, sil and BBR have just left today. The girls miss them so much and can’t wait to have the next reunion, which we hope will be next month in KL again.

No. of times viewed = 224

Ready For Pre-School

My baby girl will be 4 next month.  Initially I wanted to delay sending her to pre-school and plan to only register her when she turns 4.5 years old.  But since the start of this year, I observe that she is more than ready to start pre-school. She now knows her ABCs, 123s, all her colors and shapes, knows how to speak in BM and starting to learn how to speak in Mandarin and recently she even knows how to do simple addition using her fingers. She always tells me that she wants to go to school, is yearning with all her heart to participate in the concert and even aspires to give speech in the concert and be the top student! She adores to bits being a ballerina too. The only thing that is holding me back in sending her to school and ballet classes is a minor post-op problem that she is facing with her bladder. Well, hopefully attending pre-school will in a way help to ‘train’ her ‘lazy bladder’.

Cass learning spelling from the iPad2…

… and learning simple addition too.

So it’s confirmed. My baby girl will go to pre-school in April, just a few days shy of her 4th birthday!

No. of times viewed = 349

Using Fun Quiz To Do Revision With My Kids

Alycia and Sherilyn are not the type who can sit for hours on end at the table to do revision for their exams or even to do their homework. Alycia is a tad more disciplined and well organized. She knows the meaning of urgency and she knows the consequences of her actions. Sherilyn is the exact opposite. She is fearless! Sherilyn is one who needs me to be seated next to her to ‘spoon-feed’ her, spoon by spoon and telling her what to do. I think she needs attention, loads of them. The moment I leave the table to pee or to get a drink, this rascal will bounce out from her seat and stray. I can never ever leave her alone to do her homework or to do revision, else nothing gets done. Teaching her can really wear off the patience of even the most patient of person. Lately, I even have suspicion that Sherilyn is dyslexic for she often shocks me with her output. She cannot seem to remember or memorize things that her teachers and I have been teaching her since her pre-school days up until now. She cannot seem to remember concepts and she is not very good with her spelling and ejaan. Classroom style of teaching bores her terribly and can lull her to sleep! Many times, she bawled when I told her to read her Sukukata, do Math and other academic stuff.

However, when I try to tweak the teaching method into something that creates fun and competition, I notice that all of a sudden, Sherilyn has found where she had left her brain behind and has put it back into her head. I always tell Sherilyn to look for her missing brain and put it back into her head whenever she does not remember a single thing that I have repeatedly taught her. The other night, on the eve of Sherilyn’s English test, I did a quiz on Common Nouns and Proper Nouns in the kitchen. The quiz was between Alycia and Sherilyn. I told them to name me a few things on the kitchen top that are Common Nouns and a few things that are Proper Nouns. I could see the excitement in them as they raced with each other to find the answers. The next time Alycia and Sherilyn have school exams, this is just what I am going to do to test them. I can use an exciting quiz to test them on Tatabahasa and English Grammar.

No. of times viewed = 195

Cassandra Says The Darndest Things

We were in a hurry to go to Ikea yesterday morning to claim my monthly reward, which I get from blogging for Ikea. We wanted to leave the house early to beat the peak hour traffic jam. After I had prepared her, this rascal dug out some old play dough and was rolling the dirty play dough with her clean hands. I snapped at her as I didn’t want her to get herself dirty, which meant I had to wash her hands again… and we were already running late. I was nagging away and then…

Baby – mummy, can I have a minute please?

Me – why do you want a minute? (I was surprised that my almost-4-YO girl could speak so eloquently!)

Baby – I want to talk to you. (and she said this with such politeness and gentleness in her voice that I could feel my heart melting!)

Me – ok say…

Baby – I got that play dough from Sunday School. The Sunday School teacher gave me that play dough.

Me – it’s ok. Next time, let me know before you play with play dough ok?

Baby – OK!

Me – where did you learn how to say “can I have a minute?”

Baby – from Strawberry Shortcake, hehe…

So watching cartoon ain’t that bad after all. Yes I do agree that too much TV viewing can be detrimental, but with proper supervision on the type of programs and limited hours per day, it ain’t that bad after all, well at least for my girls. They learned their ABCs,123s, nursery rhymes, first words and picked up many new words through the not-so idiotic box 😀

No. of times viewed = 292

Breakfast at Antipodean

On Sunday, which was the eve of Alycia’s first term exam, we spent the entire morning in Bangsar. I had planned to stay put at home the entire Sunday and do a rapid revision with her on all her subjects as I had not started doing any with her yet. Saturday was a replacement school day for the girls. But the hubs being the cool and composed one said it would only be a short breakfast but as usual, our ‘short and simple breakfast’ became an elaborate breakfast at Antipodean, Bangsar followed with a groceries shopping trip at Bangsar Village. There goes our precious Sunday morning!

The hubs had wanted to bring us to another cafe in Bangsar but as we were walking to that cafe in mind, we came across Antipodean, which was located at the corner lot. The newly opened cafe looked interesting and the waitresses were quick to usher us in, so off we went in. Most of the patrons were expatriates. Not a surprise as the owner is a gwai loa.

Here’s what we had for breakfast:

Latte with heart shaped froth… these 2 cups of coffee sure captivated the girls’ hearts… and they all tried it…

BM workbooks were brought along but as usual, nothing got done when there was too much distraction!

A long list of menu written on the blackboard walls…

Banana pancakes with butterscotch sauce, which was very tasty. I got so hooked on the butterscotch sauce that I went round Bangsar Village hunting for it after breakfast but no luck finding it.

Our sumptuous American breakfast with foot-long yummy sausages and fresh mushrooms..

My ballerina wannabe enjoying her breakfast.

Antipodean Cafe,
20, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar.
Tel: 03-2282-0411

No. of times viewed = 361

Learning All Over Again For Me

The Bahasa Malaysia that Alycia is learning in Standard 3 is getting tougher now.  I get really stunned each time I read her BM books and BM workbooks that I have bought for her to practice. The vocab that the Standard 3 kids is learning now is much deeper than my time 3 decades ago. I see many ‘flowery’ words scattered on every page. Even the BM for Standard 1 is tough, as compared to other subjects like English and Math.  Teaching my girls suku kata, kata ganda nama, simpulan bahasa, penjodoh bilangan, kata majmuk, etc in Sistem Bahasa or Tatabahasa is like attending a refresher course in BM for myself!  Their text books and other school books do not explain and expand much in many areas.  Thus, my need to spend quite a bit on workbooks and worksheets, which I normally buy from a school work books wholesaler in Ipoh.  I then study the Tatabahasa myself before explaining them to Alycia.

Thank God I bought this BM workbook on Tatabahasa for Alycia. It explains when saya, aku, awak, engkau, anda, baginda, patik, hamba, etc are used in different scenarios.  A lot of memorization is needed for this as she hardly speaks in BM. In fact, Tatabahasa is all about memorization, frequent memorization and frequent usage too, else what goes into the brain at the point of memorizing will only go out after a few days.  Her school books do not explain very clearly and systematically and she told me that her BM teacher did not give them this list which I find is very important.

Tomorrow Alycia will be sitting for her 1st term exam and the first subject to be tested on is BM. I have no idea how she will score well when she does not practice speaking in BM and does not like to read BM books (despite me buying storybooks in BM for her and coercing her to read them). The only thing I can do to help her is to make her practice doing BM workbooks every other day and force her to memorize the relevant sections in Tatabahasa before her exam. This stresses me up as she will sulk and turn crabby each time she is told to do the BM workbooks.  While Tatabahasa can be mastered through memorization, Pemahaman requires quite a bit of effort on the kid in terms of reading and putting what she has learned into practice.

Good luck to Alycia! I hope you’ll still get a score of 80/100 and above.

No. of times viewed = 323

Alycia’s Collection Of Toys

This is the collection of figurines and Lego owned by my 8-year old. Dolls and soft toys are definitely out of her interest. Jewelry and vanity accessories too. I think she must have been influenced by her male classmates and also her daddy! Yep her daddy still buys guns, character figurines, miniature air planes and other toys that he was deprived of owning when he was a little boy. Now, he is buying them all to fill up the missing piece of puzzle since his boyhood haha!

Star Wars Lego.. which cost over a hundred Ringgit.  Lego constructed into a KLCC, cars, robots and don’t know what!

Collectible air planes, which daddy bought recently…

And Alycia’s latest collection of One Piece figurines. One Piece are Japanese Manga warrior cartoon characters. They are sold at over RM20 each at Tokyo Street and only RM20 for a packet of 6 figurines at a toys wholesaler at Petaling Street.

No. of times viewed = 661

Would You Pay RM2 To Use A Premium Toilet

Would you pay RM2 to use a premium toilet? When we were at KLCC last Saturday, we were looking for a toilet and stumbled upon this premium toilet located at the same level as Chinoz. As we can still ‘hold’ our bladder, I told my girls that we should hunt for another toilet. Paying RM2 to use the loo is a bit ludicrous I think, unless I really cannot ‘tahan’ anymore, then I would have no other choice but to bite the bullet, dig that RM2 of mine and dart straight inside and remain there for half enjoy to enjoy all the ‘benefits’ haha!

Would you pay RM2 to use a premium loo, which supposedly smells nicer?

No. of times viewed = 641