Our Last Weekend in September 2013

I have been a super busy bumblee bee mummy buzzing around for the past few days, thus the lack of update in my blogs.  Have been very busy with my online store, with planning and cooking the kids’ meals, chauffeuring the kids and just busy with things that cropped up unexpectedly.  Thank God for weekends!

Today the hubs has to be at his shop to supervise his staff for a major event. So he brought us for a very early breakfast this morning.  We wanted to go to a nearby coffee shop for breakfast but it was not opened yet, so we headed to our favorite breakfast place – Antipodean @ Bangsar.  The roads were jammed up due to road closures for the 2013 KL Marathon and by the time we reached Antipodean at 9ish am, the ever packed Aussie cafe was already spilling with patrons. Thankfully we got a table pretty fast and the food came out in a jiffy! Awesome!

Antipodean’s mushroom dishes have always been been a hit with the girls and just about anyone who loves mushrooms.  We ordered another plate after the first plate of mushrooms was polished off in just seconds by 3 ravenous brats.

After breakfast, we went across to Devi’s Corner to pack some roti canai, tosei and chapati for lunch later.

Here are the 3 happy and satisfied girls after their breakfast. They are now helping me mop the floor while I do a quick posting in my blogs! 😀

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Feeling Bleh, So?

Today is one of those days when I feel really bleh! Just tired and no zest. Throat still hurts and body feels like I have carried tons of weight yesterday.  I have been telling the girls almost everyday that I feel freaking tired.  Not sure if it’s caused by a deficiency in iron, my low blood pressure, PMS or combination of all or is it because I have been coughing throughout the nite for the past few days, thus have interrupted and insufficient sleep. No point complaining as I can’t get an MC anyway.   The least I can do is to pack food for lunch and dinner but I am sick of packing the same old food that is available at the nearby shops. So soldier on lor, what to do.  And like I always complain to the girls when they are bratty and make me climb up the wall: “My job is worst than a maid and slave. At least a maid and slave get paid and get rest days. I DON’T!”

Despite having to face the blue devils and having had a hectic day, I managed to whip up a nice dish for the girls yesterday.

Tangy turmeric chicken fillet –  the chicken fillet were marinated with lime juice (which is a natural meat tenderizer because of the acid from the juice), turmeric powder (I used McCormic), freshly pound turmeric (thanks to my dad for the pound turmeric) and cooked with lots of shallots and garlic.  Alycia’s comment of “oooh, smells so delicious and looks like a restaurant dish!” seemed to have defeated some of the blue devils in me.

Our dinner last night:

By the way, I found a way of cooking 3 over easy eggs or wallet egg (荷包蛋) at one go on the same pan. It requires some practice though when it comes to separating the eggs and flipping them.  It is the kids’ constant request for wallet egg that I tried frying 3 eggs on the same pan at the same time, to save time.  The eggs will turn out quite well on a Tefal-coated pan, albeit you will have to compromise on the shape, as shown in the above picture.  My kids are A-OK with the shape as long as their wallet egg still tastes like wallet egg 😀

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Fancy Schmancy Dessert In Under A Minute

This is no fancy schmancy dessert from some 5-star hotel.  My designer wannabe daughter concocted this for her breakfast on Sunday.

She fished out a fancy glass (which she calls a Tiramisu cup) from the kitchen cabinet and told me that she wanted to whip up a nice breakfast.  Her concoction composed of strawberry yoghurt, Granola, cashew and almonds and a handful of colorful Fruit Loops cereal.

Looks enticing eh? Well, it tasted delightful too.

I’d give Sherilyn a 10/10 for ingenuity but a 2/10 rating for punctuality! She took over an hour to finish this cuppa and all of us had to wait for her to get ready for church!  This girl still has an issue with her sense of urgency. She has a composure as cool as cucumber and literally nothing will make her panic.  Sherilyn oh Sherilyn, when will you ever learn?!

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Fashion Designer Wannabe

In terms of ingenuity, I would give Sherilyn a 9/10 rating.   She is one person who always thinks out of the box.  Her forte lies in her passion for fashion and her creativity, not to mention her boldness and her ‘dare to fail’ stance.  In school, she will be the audacious few who always raises her hands to answer questions, though her answers may be wrong. She will be the one who dares to take part in all the competitions opened to her, irregardless of whether she is adept or competent in that area. She had taken part in numerous drawing and talent-time competitions thus far.  Her latest winning is a second placement in a drawing and coloring competition for Primary 2 students.

At 11ish pm when all her sisters were fast asleep with me struggling to open my eyes, this Melinda Looi hopeful was still at the dining table, trying to finish sewing a bridal gown.  She hijacked my measurement tape, scissors and sewing kit.  I gave her an old hanky to practise her sewing before she undertook this  ‘project’.

She was poked umpteen times by needles but that did not stop her a wee bit to finish off her first bridal gown. Her perseverance paid off and she managed to design and sew an awesome wedding gown in bright red! Even her critical sister praised her!

The  wedding gown, 80% completed. And I had forgotten to snap a picture of the finished gown, bummer!

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Simple Dinner – 22 September 2013

Sunday is a day of outing for us. My kitchen is normally closed on Sundays but today, I decided to whip up something simple and easy as everyone ain’t in their best form, health wise.  When my kids and I are not well, I try to minimize outside food.

So I grilled Salmon belly and sweet corns in the oven.  I also reheated some cooked Japanese rice (which we took away from a Japanese restaurant the previous night)  in the oven when the fish was being grilled and topped 2 slices of cheese on the rice to make a cheese-baked rice.

The salmon fish was marinated with dried parsley and oregano, EVOO, ground black pepper and garlic salt.  The girls were very, very satisfied with this simple dinner, cooked without a drop of oil splatter *feeling happy*

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Watery Porridge For The Fussy Rice Pot

This is the kind of ‘watery porridge’ that my fussy rice pot likes to eat, as  mentioned in my earlier post.

Alycia likes it that the rice grains still look, feel and taste almost like rice, just like how rice is eaten with soup.  If the consistency is thick, she finds it gross and hard to stomach!

This is the ‘watery porridge’ that I cooked for the kids’ dinner last night. I used one whole Ipoh ‘yim kook kai’ (salt baked chicken), carrots and sweet potatoes to cook the porridge.  And guess what? The fussy rice pot could not be happier with her watery porridge and she ate it again for lunch today. Since there was still some porridge left, she told me that she does not mind eating this for dinner as well tonight! LOL!  But of course they ain’t going to eat just porridge alone again.  I will be cooking some dishes to go with the porridge 🙂

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What’s For Dinner?

While cooking dinner yesterday, I have been thinking hard what I should be cooking for lunch and dinner today. It is not easy to please 3 fussy brats OK.  The oldest brat is the hardest to please. She is a hardcore rice pot.  To please her, I need to give her rice and 2 dishes. Brat #2 and #3 are pretty easy to please but they ain’t no fans of rice. So on most days, I will have a hard time deciding on who to please.

Yesterday I decided to please all 3 brats. I decided to reheat some cooked Japanese rice in the freezer for brat #1 and to boil some Japanese citrus noodles for brat #2 and #3.

But when brat #1 saw the plate of delish noodles, she decided against having rice. SO, I had to put the container of rice back into the freezer, eessssh, what fickle-minded girl!

This is what we had for dinner yesterday.

Morikawa Hand-made Iyokan Citrus Somen Noodles (the MIL bought from Japan) with a one-pot quick-stew dish composed of chicken, red and yellow bell pepper, baby french beans, loads of big onions (which added so much flavor to the dish) and  Bunashimeji mushrooms.

The 3 ravenous brats polished off this big pot of colorful chicken dish! 😀

Tonight, I am going to please MYSELF. Since I am still having a strep throat, I will be cooking chicken porridge. Brat #2 and #3 will probably accept the porridge but brat #1 has already contorted her face in protest this morning when I told her that we are going to have porridge tonight BUT being a good daughter, she said “oh ok, just make sure that the porridge is really watery and the rice still looks like rice in water ok?”

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Would You Allow?

For the first time in my life, I have with much reluctance, allowed my first born to go on a school trip scheduled for next month.  Since last year, Alycia has been pestering us to allow her to participate in school trips.  I have on all occasions said no due to various reasons. Firstly is the increasingly high crime rate that has plagued our country. Kids are kidnapped, raped and murdered with no mercy.  People are robbed and shot to death in broad daylight.   It is just not safe to go anywhere anymore. Secondly, it is the nightmare that I had 9 years ago when Alycia was only a few months old. I dreamt that she was drowned. The dream is still vivid and lucid to me up until today. It is because of this dream that I am reluctant to let go of my precious baby to go to places unaccompanied.

Thirdly, I have no confidence in tour bus drivers anymore and I am sure many of you would feel the same too after reading news of fatal bus crash time and again.  And lastly, you would have probably read that Alycia was a hard-to-get baby. She was conceived via IUI fertility treatment, hence the name ‘precious baby’.   She will forever be my precious baby, the baby whom I had dreamed of for years.  She was the ‘designer baby’, perfect in every way.  We have had so many firsts with her and she will always have a special place in our hearts.  I have been telling her that she will be allowed to go on trips with her school only when she turns 12.  But she retorted and asked me why she has to wait so long when most of her classmates could go since years ago.

After much argument with her over this trip, with her pleading, throwing tantrums and almost in tears, we have finally allowed her to go, albeit with great reluctance. It is a day-trip to some outskirt towns in Selangor. The hubs and I tried to find excuses and tried reasoning with her but to no avail. She was darn adamant on her insistence in joining the trip.  She told me that there will be no swimming pool or sea or river, thus I need not be worried of her drowning!

Alycia kept reassuring me that her teacher said that “it is VERY, VERY safe to join the trip!”.  I am quite certain she cooked up this sentence to try to convince me!  She told me that there will be four teachers in each bus.  I cannot wait for the day to come and be over with her coming back safely to me.

Would you allow your 10-year old daughter to go if you were me?

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Down But Not Totally Out

I am down with a bad strep throat and throbbing head, no thanks to all the vicious and ravenous virus lingering in our house. Everyone in the house was down with cold and strep throat for the past two weeks.  Sherilyn got it first and I think she must have gotten it from school or the tuition centre. Next was Alycia, Cass and the hubs.  When everyone is sick in the house, it is pretty hard to escape from those pesky virus, especially so if you get coughed at, sneezed at, puked at, goo-gooed and boogered at all the time! Oh yes, those wet kisses too. How can you say NO to kisses, hugs and I Love Yous?

The one distinct con of being a WFHM is that you have no sick leave and no annual leave. No perks and no remuneration package. The only non-monetary rewards you get are hugs, kisses, a good body massage (from the kids, not the hubs ok) and just seeing the kids growing healthily. Well, that was my choice 6.5 years ago.  My choice to leave the corporate world for good.  My choice to loose financial freedom, impulse shopping, the luxury of having 2 live-in maids, splurging on things which I did not even have to think twice. Do I have any regrets? Not exactly a NO but at least I know I will never have to worry about the kids whilst I am away in the office.  Did you read the news about the caucasian mother in Singapore who fainted when she came home to find her 3-month old baby boiled to death in a container? The maid boiled the baby.

Since I have zilch appetite to eat, I made a big pot of antioxidant-packed ‘purple soup’ today. My ‘purple soup’ consists of 1 huge beet root, half a head of organic purple cabbage, 6 carrots, a big chunk of lean pork and several chicken feet.

purple-soup-17-sept.jpg

This was my lunch today and I could not be more satisfied with this bowl of goodness. I have just had a quick lunch of 2 hard-boiled eggs and this bowl of soup before I pick up Cass from school in a moment.

Now, who says that healthy food often tastes bland? This bowl of antioxidants-rich soup tasted so good and was full of sweetness from all the vegetables.

It is time for me to pick up Cass from school now.  My slavery begins the moment the kids are back!

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Char Siew Bread Pizza

Bread Pizza is one of the girls’ favorite home-prepared ‘fast food’.  This is an excellent way to get the girls to eat capsicum, something which they do not normally fancy. I normally top my bread pizza with lots of chopped antioxidant-packed capsicum (red and yellow ones), vitamin-packed cherry tomatoes, power-packed big onions, super mushrooms, protein-packed roast chicken or char siew and calcium-packed cheese.

This time I used lean char siew and all those ingredients that I mentioned above.  I cleared all the frozen wholemeal bread that the mil baked before she went to Hong Kong.

Pizza bread  is so easy to prepare that my almost 10-YO Alycia can help me with it.

Once all the toppings are spread on the bread slices, I baked it in the oven for 7-8 minutes (pre heated).

This is our delish bread pizza. It is SO tasty and even yummier than Pizza Hut and Dominos, so said the girls!  And way healthier too.

The crust/bread was pretty crispy too.

I will add in some fresh pineapples and fresh button mushrooms the time I prepare bread pizza, which will be next week!

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Cassandra’s First Written Journal

Monkey see monkey do.  Alycia and Sherilyn are required to write a daily journal. This is part of my efforts to help them to improve their writing skill, both in BM and English.  Every evening at around 7ish pm, reminders of “Have you written your daily journal?” resonates in the house, without fail.  Alycia has to write her journal in BM and Sherilyn has to do hers in English.

Yesterday evening whilst I was busy washing up in the kitchen, Cass came running back and forth to me, asking me the spelling of some words.  I did not ask her why she needed to ask me as she is very fond of writing cards for her grandparents and classmates.

After I’d finished my chores in the kitchen, I saw this written journal by Cass.  She said “this is my daily journal”! After I praised her sky high, she told me that she also wanted to write a daily journal, just like her 2 sisters. Well, I shall see how disciplined she is…

Check out the exclamation mark and heart sign after the word ‘mum’. I broke out laughing seeing it. It shows that this rascal knows the usage of punctuation marks. She has definitely been listening whenever I teach her 2 sisters!

Cassandra’s first written journal, at 5 years 5 months.  Her corrections are in red ink.

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Gesture Of Appreciation

This black sesame chiffon cake is for Alycia’s Mandarin tutor today.  I give her stuff all the time.  Last week, I gave her a box of mooncakes and some pomelos. Whenever the mil is around, she will give her homemade cakes and breads.  This is my gesture of appreciating Miss M as she’s one of the most accommodating tutors I have known.  She is on a 24-hour standby call from Alycia, literally.  Alycia calls Miss M all the time to ask her for help in homework as her yellow banana mummy and daddy cannot help her.  Alycia also takes picture of her homework and Whatsapp Miss M… and expects an immediate answer from Miss M, else she will call Miss M to chase her for the answer *roll eyes*.  For this, I am very thankful to Miss M for accepting all these nonsense from my girls without any complaint.  Miss M teaches Cass Mandarin too and used to tutor Sherilyn until Sherilyn started going to after-school tuition at a nearby tuition centre recently.

I think I am going to keep Miss M as our Mandarin tutor for as long as she can help my girls.  She’s God-sent!

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Yes Or No To The Idiot Box?

A few years ago, my 3 girls were TV junkies. Even  up until today, they are still TV junkies and I have since a year ago, decided to put my foot down when I observed negative behavioral changes and unfavorable academic results from school as a result of spending more than 2 hours immersing themselves in front of the TV daily.

I now limit TV watching to only weekends or school holidays, with a maximum of 2 hours a day on their ‘happy days’.  On school days, I sometimes relax a wee bit and allow a maximum of half an hour viewing session when homework and house work are completed. The same applies to playing games on the laptop and iPad. My kids hardly play with these gadgets these days. They are only allowed to use the laptop and iPad to assist them in their homework.

These are some of the negative consequences as a result of TV-watching that I have observed from my kids:

1) They get so overly soaked in TV watching that they are totally oblivious to anyone who is talking to them. Only when voice is raised or cane is flashed do they get out of their ‘TV trance’

2) Homework is not completed or totally not done because of TV addiction

3) The kids ignore my instructions because they do not want to leave the TV.  This always makes me upset and angry, which drives me to holler at them.  In fact, most of my screamings often result in the kids disregarding my instructions because their eyes and mind are affixed to the idiot box.

4) The kids fight among themselves because they fight over the remote control and who gets to watch what.

5) Kids throwing tantrums at me as a result of their ‘dependency’ taken away from them when their addiction is not fixed.

6) Kids become social recluse because they do not want to go out to socialize.  They prefer to get slumped in front of the screen.

7) House chores are neglected. The result is a messy house and I have to do them myself.

8) Kids are not as active as they should be, they do not partake much in outdoor activities.

9) Watching too much TV will damage kids’ creativity, proportional growth of intelligence and several other physical skills of kids

I have several friends who have no TV at home.  One of my friends home-school her 5 kids and she has no TV at home. I do not mind living sans TV. I am self sufficient with the computer and honestly, I have absolutely no time to watch the TV. I have threatened my kids many times that if they disregard my instructions, I will pick up the phone to cancel our Astro subscription right away.

TV watching is like fatal drugs where kids and adults can get addicted to. There must be a limit to how much TV kids can watch.

Do you allow your kids to watch TV?  If yes, what is the time limit and frequency you set for them?

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A Health Freak Mommy’s Breakfast

The below plate of raw goodness was my breakfast during our stay at Hilton Sentral two Sundays ago.  Many people will attack the ham, bacon, sausages, nasi lemak, pancake, muffins and desserts counters first but for me, it is straight to the fresh juice counter. My health savvy girls know that they are to eat fresh fruits and fresh fruit juice first and they will always queue up at the juice counter to wait for their juice.  Next will be eggs, some Edamame beans and then they will only be allowed to take one sausage (small ones) or half a sausage (big ones).  They used to love whacking on ham and bacon but after years of being ‘brainwashed’ by a health freak mom, they did not pick any of these deli meat during our last two buffets meals.

I know, for the life of many of you, you will probably never eat pickled beet root, raw alfalfa sprouts and almonds for breakfast, out of all those more delish and more flavorful grub lining the tables out there eh? 😉

Health freak baby nibbling on Edamame beans and pumping in fresh juices for breakfast.  She got to eat a small slice of roti canai as reward.

Health Freak Mommy’s angels 🙂

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Alycia’s First Guitar Lesson

Today marks an important day in Alycia’s life. It is a day that she will remember profoundly for the rest of her life as today is her first guitar lesson.  After years of talking about learning guitar, I finally chanced upon this guitar teacher exactly a week ago at the lift of our condo. Actually, I had seen this guy lugging a couple of guitars with him several times at the lift of our condo and I had wanted to ask him many times if he teaches guitar.  I finally summoned my courage to ask him last week and bingo,  jackpot.  I found my daughter a guitar teacher who could come and teach her one-on-one.

Since Alycia was 2 or 3 years old, she had already indicated to us her interest in learning the guitar but we thought that she was way too young, so we bought her several toy guitars to play with, to placate her 😀

Finally, today she is learning the real guitar and here, the teacher brought us 2 new Ukulele (smaller than a guitar)  to choose…

While I was immediately drawn to the pink Ukulele (pink is MY favorite color! Even my car is pink hehe!), Alycia made a puking look and said NO!  So we took the brown one, which is more expensive and produces a better quality tone.

As a beginner, Alycia is taught the Ukulele  and when she has mastered the strings and notes, she will graduate to a guitar.

All in, I paid over RM500 for a new Ukulele, a month’s fee to the teacher, a book and a tuner.  This is still way cheaper than learning a piano.  And we get to see a handsome teacher too *coughs* 😀

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