Harry Potter Fanatic

Cass turned into a Harry Potter enthusiast early this year. It all started when her classmate loaned her a Harry Potter book. She was instantly hooked to the thick novel.  Since then, she was determined to get her hands on the entire Harry Potter series, which consists of 7 books!  That would cost over RM300 for the entire series.  In her collection is now 3 books; two books were her reward for her last exam and another a gift from her Hong Kong aunt.

Last Friday, she chanced upon a very old Harry Potter book in her school library. When she alighted from the school van, I saw her holding an enormously thick book which resembled a dictionary. I thought she was reading one until she  told me that she found an old Harry Potter book in her school library. She was ecstatic. But the book is without a cover and a broken spine.  The book is easily 15 years old with yellowish pages and stains.

This JK Rowling fan spent her long weekend getting herself lost in the old HP book. She brought the book along with her everywhere that she went. When she was at the kopitiam and restaurant waiting for her food, she got lots of double takes from strangers.  They must be wondering what a book worm this girl is, engrossed in such a thick book with super teensy words.  But I’m not too proud of Cass at all as she is neglecting everything else that’s more important.  Besides sleeping, Cass is spending 80% of her time on the HP book. Final exam in 3 weeks? This girl is totally lost in her Harry Potter book! I shudder to think of her grades this time.

Within four days over the long weekend, Cass is almost reaching the last few pages of the Harry Potter book today (Monday).

Yesterday we were at Popular bookstore to get Alycia some revision books and Cass saw selected Harry Potter books with a 20% discount. She went berserk over the HP books! She begged me to get her one but I told her NO as her exam is 3 weeks away. She promised me that she would use her birthday angpow given to her by her koong koong and granny to pay for the book. She promised me that I could keep the book and release it to her after her exam.

Deal.

The new Harry Potter and The Cursed Child book is now kept at the highest cupboard in my room. In a month’s time, the book shall be released to Cass.

 

 

Meeting With Cass’ Teacher

I had an appointment to meet Cass’ class teacher this morning.  It’s not a good thing when you’re called to see your kid’s teacher.  I was actually expecting to be called to meet the class teacher as Cass has changed a lot lately.  Negatively. She is almost totally opposite from what she used to be just a year ago~ her attitude especially. I feel like I have lost a part of my baby girl who used to tug at my heartstrings. I really miss how Cass used to be when she was younger.  Instead, she’s now morphed into my most challenging child to deal with.  I know she may be partially influenced by the friends whom she mingles with and partly, it’s a transition from being a little girl to a tween.  Blame it on the raging hormones too? She can still be the sweet little thing that melts my heart when she’s in a good mood. But most of the time, she likes to have things done her way. Always her way, hardly ever mine. Blame it on her headstrong DNA too.

At the meeting today, I asked Ms L (Cass’ class teacher) whether it’s only Cass who is facing problems with her Chinese language subject and issue with her attitude and what do I know?  I was told by Ms L that many of the students in her class are like this since the start of this year!  She said that from her experience as a teacher, some children start to change at age 10.  As they reach their double digit birthdays, they find that they have found their new freedom and want to have their voice heard; no more a yes-girl or yes-boy who listens to almost everything that teacher or mummy says. They find that they have stronger bargaining power and like to test our patience till it breaks.  Ms L said that she is also feeling stressed out by the changes in these students, the majority of which has been with her since Primary 2.

I was shocked to hear from Ms L that the top scorer boy is also facing similar issues as Cass. To me, this boy looks like the trophy kid who is a good kid, smart and obedient. But since this year, he’s changed too. The more Ms L tells me about some of the students, the more I get to solve the mystery  on why my baby girl has changed lately.  Cass sounds just like her classmates! Monkey see, monkey do.  Birds of  a feather flock together, yeah?   I was totally unexpected when she told me that I am not the only parent that she has called to meet lately.  She has been meeting other parents as well on their children’s deteriorating grades, progress and attitude.

Maybe all 10-year olds go through this phase? Or maybe kids from the top class start to change at this age? I don’t know. But I am relieved that Cass is not the only kid who has changed into a wilful and argumentative kid who challenges me mentally, emotionally and physically all the time.

Judging on the amount of effort (or totally lack of!) that Cass had put into preparing for her current exam, I was expecting  her position to be ‘the bottom ten’.  Or rock bottom.  But Ms L informed me otherwise. There are some kids in the class who did worse off than Cass.  I shall wait patiently for the report card  🤨

Ms L also informed me that the BM papers in this exam were tough and many students from other classes flunked. No wonder that brat came back with her BM papers with marks so shocking I almost had an atrial fibrillation. I really felt a few missing heart beats with a chocking feeling seeing her test papers.  The cause for the dismal grades is lack of communication in BM in school and at home as well as lack of interest on the part of the student to read BM books. Ms L confirmed this and this is happening rampantly in the school.

Ms L has been Cass’ class teacher for three years. Being a teacher in the so-called best class, naturally, she sets higher expectations on these students.  Ms L is competitive in nature, is a no-nonsense person and a very caring and helpful teacher. She’s truly a gem of a teacher and a shining example of what a good teacher should encompass. Cass is really blessed to have such a good teacher.

After my long chat with Ms L that lasted almost an hour, I felt relieved that my fiery little creature is not the only student having issues with her grades and attitude. Yet, I have to find ways to deal with my pre-teen wilful child to bring the best out of her and to nip the bud of her  problems.

Recently, a relative of mine with 3 successful working adult children told me that ‘naughty’ and strong-willed children will grow up to be successful leaders, earning higher salaries than the ‘obedient’ kids. That sort of gives me solace that it’s not that bad having strong-willed children with strong opinions on everything from choice of clothing to bedtime to what goes onto their plates.

Being a parent is never easy. I am learning everyday. Some days are shitty while some days are pure bliss. To me, bliss means children who are obedient, good health for myself and my children and peace at home. That’s not a lot to ask for from God, eh?  Hopefully…


Cass playing board games with E, her 12-year old cousin from Hong Kong. E and his mum are in town for a holiday.

Cassandra Decoded

Today has been an exciting day. I finally decoded why my baby girl has morphed into a vomit-blood inducing kid since late last year. The more I spend time with her, the closer I was to decoding this enigmatic child.  And this evening, the enigma was decoded!

After her shower in the afternoon, Cass was all excited over having me revise English with her as tomorrow is her English test ~ her favorite subject.  I was surprised. I thought Cass has lost her mojo to study and her raging pre-teen hormones are wrecking havoc. But it wasn’t the case.  After just half an hour with Cass, I told her that I was done revising with her.   But Cass was pleading with me to do more with her. The level of English competency at SJKC and SRK is pretty easy for any kid coming from an English speaking family, especially if the kid also loves reading English novels.  Cass’ English competency is advanced for her age as she reads a LOT of English novels and like Sherilyn, she loves everything English.

Cass – that’s it with revision?  Can you ask me more advanced questions? Can I try doing Standard 6 test papers?  (Cass is only in Standard 4) I need to do more revision.  You haven’t even gone through all the books with me yet!

Me – I don’t know what else to go through with you. We have covered everything already. We have been going through the same Grammar for 4 years.  You already know all the idioms in the list. I think you can score 100% if you are NOT careless. And mind your horrendous handwriting. Make sure it is legible. OK?

This afternoon, I gave Cass a past year Science exam paper to practise.  In under an hour, done hurriedly so that her tutor can mark it, she completed 40 questions and  made 3 careless mistakes. Unlike Chinese and BM exam papers, Cass had the focus to sit at the table to finish answering all the Science questions without begging for breaks every 10 minutes.

Cass working on an online past year English exam paper:

And then the light bulb moment came. Why didn’t Cass have  any complaint completing the Science exam paper? Why does she choose English, Math and Science test papers over BM and Chinese all the time when given an option to choose? And why are her Math and Science grades so much better than BM and Chinese?  Why does she find practising scales and piano classical pieces a big bore but can play Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and Despacito by hard and keeps playing her favorite pop songs and Christmas carols over and over again?

Aha!

I finally decoded my enigmatic child!

And the answer lies in Chinese and BM, her two weakest subjects.  These two subjects are boring her to the core. Sometimes she does not know how to read a Chinese character or does not understand a Malay word. When there are a few words in a questions that she can’t read or does not understand, she won’t be able to answer the question.  And this is killing her academic interest.

Cass’ BM vocab is very limited, so is her Chinese.  No matter how many times I have gone through the same BM words with her, she seems to have dementia each time she comes across the same words.  She hardly ever reads BM story books or speak in BM and does not have interest in Chinese novels except for the occasional comics. She communicates with her friends in English most of the time.  She finds Chinese grammar and BM Tatabahasa a big drag. She has always been questioning me why she has to be sent to a Chinese school.

By nature, if we find something boring and have little interest in it, we tend not to listen or read anything related to it. I would always fall asleep at a boring seminar or training course.

Forcing Cass to have a liking for BM and Chinese would only be counterproductive.  She is already in Primary 4 and I want her to have a proper closure to what she has started. She still loves being in her school though. She loves her friends and her teachers.  Sadly her two besties will be leaving the Chinese school next year for international schools.  Cass will most likely stay in the same school and complete her UPSR exam in 2 years’ time. At the same time,  I may be planning ‘something’ for Cass, which I can’t reveal yet. All I can say for now is that Cass will most likely be in a different path as her two sisters when she goes to high school.

Busy Week

The entire last week was a busy week for everyone ~ hubs with his back-to-back catering events, Alycia with tests every other day in preparation for the PT3 and UEC exams  in 2 months in addition to PT3 History and Geography projects, Drama Queen with homework, tuition and church activity, Cass with exam revision and me, I provide support to everyone in the household, including the mil 💪 .  If there is a title to describe what I do, it would be “One-leg-kick PA, driver, tutor, cook, maid cum small entrepreneur”.

In between homework and revision, Cass ‘de-stressed’ herself with gardening 😄 👩‍🌾.  We are simple people and I’ve taught the girls to find happiness from simple inexpensive things within the house.

Here, Cass is composting fruit peel into the soil of the potted herbs in our tiny balcony garden. The latest additions to our herb garden are spring onions and coriander. The spring onion is springing well and I see tiny shoots sprouting from the coriander roots. Our spinach didn’t quite make it after sprouting a few baby leaves.

Sunday was the most hectic day for me.  Didn’t have much time to revise BM with the vomit-blood inducing kid as I had to chauffeur Alycia and her friends to the mall for them to work on their PT3 History project and Sherilyn to and fro church.

I pre-ordered our Sunday dinner on Saturday evening from Dragon-I @ Mid Valley, delivered FREE to us by Food Panda. I found out about Food Panda when they approached me to write a review on their company several years ago. I’ve since been using Food Panda to order food from our favorite restaurants. Love it that they provide FREE delivery and accept COD.

This is my pre-order meal from Food Panda:

Food was delivered punctually at 5:45 p.m. on Sunday!  Quality of the food is almost perfect. My only beef was that plastic containers were used.  Well, this is unavoidable given that most food delivery companies have little options other than plastic ware or cardboard boxes.

We had an early bed time last night as I got so incensed with the vomit-blood inducing kid with a “exam so what, no need to study la!!” attitude that I refused to revise with her at night and sent her to bed at 9:30 p.m. 🤮  It’s time that she learns to be responsible over her  lackadaisical attitude and faces the consequences. I can’t be sitting by her side, spoon-feeding and shielding her from falls and failures anymore. Whatever her results are this time, I am mentally prepared to accept them.

Exam Fever

Thai cave boys fever is over, so is football fever. In comes exam fever now and this fever takes years away from my life, prematurely!

This girl is a vomit-blood inducing kid.  I kid you not.  She wasn’t like this when she was much younger. She was the cute as a button, obedient, angelic little girl who could melt my heart instantly, now transformed into a life-sucking devil in disguise of a petite 10-year old girl.

One moment I would feel like strangling and slapping her, another moment, she can be the sweet little girl she used to be, massaging my temples, feet and shoulders and saying sweet little nothings to me. Tween hormones raging to be blamed? Maybe.

She seems to have lost her mojo and focus when it comes to revising. All her mojo and focus have shifted to her novels.  She is still pretty disciplined when it comes to doing her school homework (thanks to her class teacher who seems to be able to do a little magic in motivating her) but anything beyond homework, it’s a torture for her and me.

These days, she needs to sit next to me when she does her homework, with her hands, legs and body touching mine, as if to get her inner batteries charged from having bodily contact with me. Like I’ve said before, she is like my twin. Three years of breastfeeding this rascal has created a very special bond between us.  Not that I like someone snuggled next to me when I am doing my work on the computer. It is already super hot in the afternoon. With someone leaning on my side, that’s something that annoys me.  But a mother’s sacrifice has  no boundary. I let her snuggle and lean next to me, with 3 fans blowing at us at full blast 😍

After an hour of revision, she gets to claim her screen time but she’s not totally free in front of the idiot box. She has to help to peel garlic skin 😀

My lunch yesterday (Sunday, 15 July 2018) was spent with only Cass and Drama Queen. Alycia stayed home to revise for her History test, the hubs was at work at Cyberjaya and the mil was away in Ipoh. After sending Drama Queen to a BM talk at the tuition centre, I spent my afternoon doing chores and revising BM with Cass.

I can’t tell you how suffocating it was for me to revise with that stroppy pre-teen. It didn’t help that I was PMS-ing and was feeling extremely short-fused and hothead.

Lunch at PappaRich:

I bought 3 boxes of takeaway chicken + cha siew rice and grilled jumbo Portobello BBQ mushrooms for dinner.

This time I delegated the task of prepping the mushrooms completely to Drama Queen.

We all love this grilled super juicy and meaty jumbo Portobello. Prepping this dish just takes 5 minutes:  rinse and dry the mushrooms, grease a baking tray with olive oil, sprinkle chopped garlic and butter at the back of the mushrooms and grill for 15 minutes in the oven at 170C.

Once removed from the oven, season the mushrooms with freshly ground black pepper and scrape a little rock salt on them. Drama Queen tried her hand at carving patterns on the mushroom skin and it looks awesome!

I put an eraser on the mushroom as a comparison to show how huge it is.  At RM13.90 for a punnet of 4 mushrooms, it is a tad expensive. But it’s A-OK, mushrooms are superfood loaded with nutrients and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, they are delish and most of all, minimal cooking is required to prep a yummo dish which I can delegate to my 13-year old 😉

Squishy Craze

In case you’re still living in a fidget spinner or slime world,  squishies are brightly colored foam toys that come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from a  tiny panda face on a key chain to some fake-but-looks-real sushi. The shapes and varieties are endless. Some are scented with bakery-appropriate flavors like strawberry or peaches and cream. As the name suggests, their most important quality is their immensely satisfying texture. Squeezing a squishy is like crushing a loaf of Wonder Bread between your fingers, only to watch it magically re-inflate back to its original form. I have to admit that I am inside the squishy bubble now, joining Cass and Drama Queen!

Squishies are on their way to becoming the next big toy craze in the US, according to toy-store owners interviewed by New York Magazine and the New York Times. So far they’re being marketed, much like fidget spinners, as a way to relieve stress and anxiety.

When we were back in Ipoh during the recent school holidays, I brought Cass to Kinta City shopping mall to claim her reward.  Apart from  some novels and a few rounds of claw machine games, I also bought her a squishy as her reward.  The squishy stall is on the first floor concourse of the shopping mall, outside Aeon.  It’s been there for at least 2 years.   Drama Queen shopped for her primary school bazaar’s lucky draw prizes from this stall 1.5 years ago. The range of colorful and oh so squeezable squishes is pretty wide and not only can a child go crazy at the stall, adults too.

 

Cass’ pick was this little pink paw, which is extra squishy, soft, squeezable and highly re-inflatable. No wonder Cass loves squeezing it, I love it too!  After paying for the paw squishy, we both had a tug of war over  who gets to squeeze the paw 😆

Super satisfying!  Good stress and anxiety buster too.

Vegetable Paint Stamping

One of Cass’ Art projects in school last week was vegetable paint stamping.  Being an arty type, she was excited naturally. I remember that this activity was one of my favorite when I was Cass’ age and I never got tired of it. Mum who was a teacher, would show my brothers and I how to carve patterns on halved potatoes for the stamping. Mum even managed to get us banana stems for the stamping. We would line our house floor with newspapers, sat on the floor for an hour or so doing vegetable stamping and were very easily contented with life way back in the early to mid 1980s.

During school holidays, mum would bring us to the supermarket and each of us would be treated to a punnet of Cadbury mini chocolate thins. That was our little luxury that mum splurged on us during the holidays.  Evenings were always spent outdoors playing and climbing trees after watching Scooby Doo and Flinstones.  Dinner was always at 6-ish p.m. and bed time was at 9 p.m. Our lives were very structured, with no tuition during our primary school years, no computer and no mobile phones. No evil distraction from electrical gadgets.

Back to Cass. A day before the art project,  I showed Cass how to cut the vegetables. She had a great time cutting the vegetables, though she struggled with cutting the lotus root which was very hard.

But when Cass returned from school, downhearted, she told me that her vegetable stamping piece was a disaster.  The paint to water ratio was done incorrectly, resulting in stamps that were hideous. I felt really bad for her.

This school holiday, we are going to have another try at veg paint stamping. This time, let me be the teacher.  Yours truly scored an A1  for Arts in SPM, though I was in the Science stream *ahem*

Kids And Chinese Whispers

I have learned something yesterday. When my daughters tell me a piece of news, I have to expect it to be only 95% accurate. And had I believed it to be 100% true, I’d have made a fool out of myself.

Yesterday Cass told me that her classmate, S’s father had passed away and that her friend had not gone to school for 3 days. I was flabbergasted as I know S’s dad. We had met in a few of the class parties and birthday parties. He was about my age. I could not believe that he had such a short life. I was thinking about his death the whole afternoon.  I wanted to send a Whatsapp message to the class teacher to ask if the girl was OK, how she’s coping with her dad’s passing and how the father died.  But I was worried that Cass’ class teacher would think that I am a KPC, so I Whatsapped D’s mother whom I have made friends with since last year to ask if she knew of the unexpected death.

Thank God I Whatsapped D’s mother instead of the class teacher.  D’s mother later found out from D that it is NOT S’s father who had passed away but her grand father instead!  Had I Whatsapped the class teacher to ask, I would have made myself look like a ludicrous KPC! 😅

Moral of the story is this ~ never trust a kid’s words 100%.  What they hear from their teachers and friends can sometimes be like a Chinese Whispers (or Telephone) game. They hear something else and tell other people a distorted story.

Also keep your secrets from an under-10 kid.  She may promise you, cross her heart and swear to die if  she lets out the secret; and the next thing you know, she had let the cat out of the bag to your relative or friend by a slip of her tongue!

Pix below were taken at Cass’ school yesterday. There was a Parents Appreciation Day in school and for the first time ever, the school organized an event where the students had to publicly declare their love and appreciation to their parents with such filial piety acts as giving their parents’ a shoulder massage, feet wash, feet massage, hugs and words of love and appreciation.

In Confucian philosophy, filial piety (Chinese: xiào) is a virtue of respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors.  It is a norm for Chinese schools  to teach  filial piety.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Today Cass my forgetful girl forgot to bring her purse to school again! I only realized that she had left her purse behind at around 8 a.m.  On the spur of the moment, I wanted to drive to school right away to save her before her recess starts. Just last week, she had forgotten to put money into her purse and had to borrow money from her class teacher.

But wait a minute…

If I keep popping up at her side like her 24-hour guardian angel at the onset of a problem whether it’s due to her negligence or not, am I helping her? Would my cosseting parenting do more damage than good to her?  She would then think that mummy will always magically pop out like a genie in the bottle to solve all her problems, thus she would never use her logic and interpersonal skill to think of a solution.

So I decided to just let her be and wait patiently for my baby girl to come home at 4 p.m. to find out from her how she dealt with her negligence. Today is CoCo day in school. I was super anxious to find out from Cass what she ate for lunch without a single sen in her pocket!  I knew she wouldn’t be thick faced enough to borrow money from her class teacher again. Tak malu ke? 🤨

While waiting patiently for my baby girl to be home, I went grocery shopping. Today’s damage is RM153.95, spent on a quarter head of organic cabbage for my salad, organic tomatoes, pineapple and oranges for the girls’ smoothie of the day,  honey mandarin oranges, avocado, sesame seed oil, kampung chicken eggs, lemon water kefir, baking soda for my DIY toiletries and cleaning, cha soba from Japan, etc. etc

My salad today is composed of organic cabbage, organic tomato, cilantro omelette and a small piece of pork chop; drizzled with sesame seed dressing. Super love the crisp and crunch of the raw cabbage. I could eat this everyday!

Cabbage is a rockstar vegetable: it’s cheap, versatile and packs a seriously healthy punch. If you’re trying to save money, cabbage is practically a steal at only a few Ringgit for a medium size head of non-organic cabbage. Organic ones are about double the price.  I spent RM4.49 on a quarter head of organic cabbage. It’s still way cheaper than imported organic alfalfa sprouts, kale or hydroponic vegetables.

Cass was lucky that today a few of her classmates brought junk food  snacks to school for a joint birthday celebration in the class.  So she had junk food  snacks for her recess at 10 a.m. and saved the small parmesan cheese bun that I gave her for lunch at 1:15 p.m..  She also had some free ‘chap fan’ (economy rice) from C, her bestie.  C’s mum orders catered food from the canteen just so she has a place to sit comfortably in the canteen during recess and lunch. But C doesn’t eat the food from the canteen. Her driver and helper would bring food for her on most days.

So that was how Cass managed to go by today in school without a sen in her pocket ~ with junk food, pecking on her friend’s lunch (which was also shared with another classmate) and a small parmesan bun. And a packet of Izumio hydrogen water (her antioxidant water) on top of 1,ooo ml of water in her tumbler.

My ever optimistic baby girl with a humongous appetite quipped: “mum, I don’t know why but I am not hungry though I didn’t have a proper lunch. And the good thing is I get to save the RM4 that you gave me for lunch!” ❤

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

It’s day two of Cass’ first term exam and she sat for her Chinese Understanding, Chinese Writing and Moral papers today. Chinese has always been the toughest subject for Cass, so is BM. She hardly reads Chinese and BM novels. She barely ever talks in BM,  does not attend BM tuition and the only practice that she gets apart from the exercises from school is from the exercises that I give her from the BM workbooks that I bought from Popular Book Store. Before exam, I do some intensive exercises and revision with her for her BM subject and these sessions always jack up my blood pressure reading many notches up.

Breakfast for Cass was a slice of wholemeal bread spread with butter, avocado and hazelnut chocolate bread spread. And Izumio.  Lunch box for school recess is hot cross bun with herb cream cheese spread and avocado.

My brunch with the hubs at Good Taste:


While enjoying my bowl of sui kow, at the corner of my eye I spotted something black flapping its wings behind a packet of bread. I turned to my side and oh. my. gawd. I saw my no. 1 enemy on the wall and it was huge! It was flying towards my side. I told the hubs and he told the waitress who then nonchalantly put on a disposable plastic glove on one hand,  chased after the huge roach, caught the fler, squashed it maybe (I don’t know) and then dumped it into the big bin at the side of the restaurant. By then, I had already lost all my appetite and the hubs walloped the rest of the sui kow. What a terrible brunch I’ve had!

Thankfully the mil dished up a big pot of aromatic and colorful fried Basmati rice with curry leaves, French beans, traffic light colors bell peppers and diced pork and I had that for lunch.

Cass tends to be overly confident with her English papers and I usually do minimal revision with her. An hour max of going through English Grammar with her and giving her  some handy last minute reminders and pointers.  Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be English Paper 1 & Paper 2 and RBT.

I’ve done my utmost best and now it is all on this girl’s effort in self-revising and her memory retention power. I’ll see…

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Today I had another opportunity for a few hours of morning ME TIME as Drama Queen had to be in school at 9 a.m. for her weekly librarian meeting.  Ever since she started high school, I hardly have the time to go out for more than two hours as my morning time is reserved just for her ~ to Uber her to the tuition center (3x a week) and to school for her back to back activities.  This year Drama Queen is into volleyball, athletics and taekwondo.  She’s also a librarian and has to be in school in the morning twice a week for meeting and duty.  In church, she’s starting to get actively involved in church activities, which includes a compulsory street-feeding project.

I jumped at the opportunity to do some CNY retail therapy since I have about 4 hours of free time before Cass comes back from school. Off I went to Mid Valley Megamall, the nearest mall to where I stay.  Traffic in and out of Mid Valley for the past two weeks has been horrendous due to shoppers doing their last minute CNY shopping.   I was extremely lucky I got a spot to park right outside the entrance of the mall, effortlessly,  in less than 5 minutes!  So true to the adage “the early bird catches the worm”. And it’s so easy to be early when I shop alone and don’t have to wait for the dawdlers at home to get ready.  Mothers with many kids will relate to me on this 😉  Traffic back home was congested, partly contributed by the bumper-to-bumper traffic jam on Federal Highway that spilled onto the KL-Seremban Highway and Old Klang Road.  The iconic EPF building on Jalan Gasing was 40% on fire around noon yesterday, which was around the time that I drove home.

I got home just on time to receive Cass from the school transporter.


Today is the school’s CNY celebration and students donned on their red CNY clothes.  The tee that Cass is wearing here was wore only once by Alycia when she was Cass’ age 5 years ago, also at the school’s CNY celebration event.  This is the second time that the tee is worn and it still looks brand new. On regular days, the girls don’t like donning on bright red clothes. They find them too gaudy, especially those with CNY motifs.


Cass saying “hi” to our neighbor’s cats on the 7th floor. Our neighbor has 4 cats that look identical. They must be siblings.  These 4 adorable cats’ favorite pass time is to lay precariously on the outdoor air cond unit, taking their peaceful siesta.  I always wonder how they never fall off the air cond unit in the midst of their beauty sleep, lol!

The Tooth Fairy

Cass shed her molar tooth early this week.  When the tooth finally dropped after days of causing her extreme discomfort, Cass was pleased as punch. She was relieved that the tooth no longer  obstructed her mouth movements and she was also looking forward to the ‘tooth fairy’ coming to give her a dollar under her pillow. My youngest baby girl, almost turning 10 and still hopes for a tooth fairy to pay her a secret visit while she’s in lala land. She’s still cute like that.  Forever a baby in my eyes.

Three Boxing Days ago, a real life tooth fairy cum Santa Clause who happened to be a complete stranger to us gave Cass a hundred Ringgit note. We were at our usual coffee shop with my parents who were in KL having breakfast. As we were leaving the coffee shop, an elderly man, about 60 plus asked Cass to call him ‘uncle’.  When Cass called him ‘uncle’, the elderly man with white hair pulled out a hundred Ringgit note from this trousers pocket and said “kwai” (good child in Cantonese) to Cass and  put the RM100 note in Cass’ hands.  And within seconds, he walked away, leaving us entranced, as if he came from no where as a tooth fairy cum Santa Clause to reward Cass and then phoofed he vanished into thin air, just. like. that.  A few minutes after the old man left, Cass’ loose tooth fell off. It’s as if the tooth fairy came to give her the RM100 note!!   I still think this is a real life fairy tale came true for Cass!

OK, back to Cass’ tooth.  Since Monday, Cass has been reminding me that she put her tooth in an angpow packet under her pillow. Obliquely, she wanted me to put a Ringgit note in the angpow packet.   Upon return from school each day, she asked me whether the tooth fairy came and I would reply her by saying that the tooth fairy has been too busy and didn’t come, while feeling terribly guilty. Four days passed and my baby girl never stopped asking me each day.  How could I have forgotten and shirked my responsibility?  Cass knows that I am the tooth fairy and she would play along with me acting as if she believed that there was really a tooth fairy.  I forgot all about the tooth under Cass’ pillow until I changed her pillowcase yesterday.  I felt even worse seeing the angpow under the pillow, knowing that my baby girl has been feeling disappointed that the tooth fairy didn’t visit her for almost a week.  I put a Ringgit note into the angpow and when she returned from school that day, I casually told her that I found something under her pillow.  The look on Cass’ face when she opened the angpow packet was priceless 💓

First Sunday In 2018 (7 January 2018)

After church, I took Uber with the girls to Pavillion to meet the hubs.  Our lunch on the first Sunday of this year was at Din Tai Fung, the hubs’ favorite Taiwanese restaurant of all times.

In an article published on January 17, 1993, the New York Times rated Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten gourmet restaurants in the world (Din Tai Fung was the only Chinese-run restaurant to receive this accolade).  We have always been  very satisfied with the food at Din Tai Fung.

The first Sunday of 2018 did not start well for Cass and me.

After Sunday School, Cass flexed her biceps at the monkey bar at the church playground while waiting for me. She spent a good 20 minutes hanging like a monkey in the merciless hot sun.  After service ended, we walked back to the car under the sizzling hot sun. It was exceptionally hot that day, easily at 38~40C.  Puteri Lilin (Candle Princess) me suffered  first-degree burn on the cheeks, which made me looked like I had just returned from a tropical beach holiday that lasted for 2 days.

In the car on the drive back home, Cass complained of headache, stomach pain and leg pain.  The headache continued until the next morning when I woke her up for school.  Her body felt like burning charcoal. I checked her temperature and it was a burning 40.4C!  I quickly gave her a packet of Izumio and  a suppository to bring the temperature down pronto.

Then I remembered that Cass is exactly like me, a Puteri Lilin with fair skin and with a propensity to have fevers whenever exposed to the hot afternoon sun for prolonged periods. Even 5 minutes of exposure to the hot sun would cause me a throbbing headache.


Cass with an ‘ice cap’ on her forehead.  The ‘ice cap’ is a frozen wet hanky that Cass swears by in bringing her fever down. She would prepare the ‘ice cap’ whenever she feels feverish or hot.  When she has fevers, I would diligently ensure that an’ice cap’ is on her head / forehead throughout the day and night.  The last time that Cass had a fever was in February last year, after the first day of CoCo activity  in school after running in the field in the unforgiving afternoon sun.

Today is the second day that Cass is on sick leave and thank God the temperature has made a descent.  But after an entire night of checking on Cass, I am now beginning to experience chills and a back-breaking back pain. I am always at the mercy of sleep deprivation.

After a horrendous 11-hour bumper-to-bumper crawl from Singapore back to KL on a van during the school holidays recently, I have developed a bad backache.

On Sunday after we returned from Pavillion, Cass and I experienced a spell of insatiable thirst. We were gulping down packets of Izumio and plain water but no amount of water that we drank could quench our deep thirst.  Our lips were scarlet red and our cheeks were flushed.

I Googled to find out what the symptoms of a heat stroke are and realized that we may have suffered from a mild case of heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat stroke:
Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 40C, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures.

Other symptoms may include:

Throbbing headache
Dizziness and light-headedness
Lack of sweating despite the heat
Red, hot, and dry skin
Muscle weakness or cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
Rapid, shallow breathing
Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
Seizures
Unconsciousness


Breakfast for everyone this morning :  pork ribs + carrot + millet + quinoa + rice porridge slow cooked in the crockpot for 12 hours.

Our Thursday, 7 Dec 2017

I spent almost the entire day with Cass at Pantai Medical Center today.  Cass’ routine yearly ultrasound scan of her urinary tract for this year is overdue. The date that I got from HKL (Hospital KL) to see the doctor is in January 2018 but I didn’t want to wait so long and didn’t want Cass to skip school, thus I brought her to a private hospital to have it done before our trip to Ipoh and Singapore. I want to have a peaceful holiday without the nagging worry that I have not done what’s important.  Each year I will go through the same worry each time Cass’ ultrasound scan is due.

Waiting for the nurse to check Cass’ blood pressure  (high blood pressure is often a tell-tale sign of poor functioning kidneys) and radiologist to scan her kidneys was nerve-racking for me. Thank God all her readings are perfect.  Cass’ kidneys are growing well and there is no scarring on the right dilated duplex kidney. Praise God again for his blessing and healing upon Cass.


Breakfast at Subway.

Cass loves Subway sandwiches while I relate them to hospital food. Most private hospitals here have a Subway outlet. I ate Subway sandwiches on the day of my surgery in May this year. I ate at Subway when I did my yearly check-up at Pantai early this year. So Subway to me is hospital food and does not appeal to me at all.


Cass trying to dodge the paparazzi! 😀

By the time we reached home, it was way past 4 p.m.  After completing some work on the computer, I whipped up a very simple and quick dinner.  Cooking for just one kid is such a breeze!

We had breakfast for dinner!  This is what Cass loves and she could eat this kind of meal everyday for lunch or dinner.

Mushroom omelette with Havarti cheese, milk, black pepper and lots of onions; grilled organic tomato, cucumber and butter on toast.

Well Done

The long-awaited day finally came today. Cass brought back her report card for the final term exam. She gave me a huge surprise!  From almost rock-bottom in her class in the 2nd term exam and was told by her teacher that she would be out of the elite class next year if her final exam scores are bad,  she worked her way up to 4th in class and 5th in the entire Standard 3.  Way to go baby girl!

My promise to her if she gets a position of top 20 in the entire Standard 3 is two Land of Stories novels costing over RM50 each and a spin at the Japanese soft toy claw machine.  Though already 9, Cass secretly adores  cute soft toys and figurines. In fact, she has an eye for everything kawaii. Currently, she’s eyeing a Samoyed and Corgi puppy. Real life pups, that is, and has been bugging me to get us a pup. Yeah, keeping a dog in our condo.

And with this, Cass gets to remain in the elite class next year, something that both of us are not too excited about.  I want us to be more relaxed and not be too academic-centered.  We both do not want the pressure of being in this class. For 2 years, we went through the same sentiments and situations. Hopefully by next year, the school will stop segregating students as per the latest directive from the FT Education Director.

Lantern Party – 23 Sept 2017

Cass and I attended a pot-luck lantern party to celebrate Mid Autumn Festival organized by her class teacher on this lovely Saturday evening. It was held at one of the classmate’s abode at Sunway Vivaldi, Mont Kiara. Thankfully the rain didn’t rain on our parade tonight (literally) and the kids could play outdoors and walk around the condo with their lanterns.


Class of 3S with class teacher, Miss L (in black).


Miss L announcing to her class the activities lined up for the night.


The students attempting to answer the riddles hung on each lantern.

The students who answered correctly received a little prize from Miss L, the ever dedicated and passionate class teacher of 3S.


Brain-teasers hung on each lantern.

After digging into all the yummy food, there was a night walk around the vicinity of the condo with the kids holding their lanterns.

Cass with her besties.

The girl in floral dress on Cass’ right is the school’s Year 3 top student 2 times consecutively this year. She’s an amazing girl – sweet, charming, polite and bright.

Parents lighting up a floating lantern.

The highlight of the night was lighting up a floating lantern to send it up the sky.  The floating lantern works on the same principles of a hot air balloon.

After a tough time lighting up the lantern and to get it to float up the sky,  alas the lantern was blown away and got stuck on a tree branch. What bummer and anti-climax! And the parents had to hurriedly hose down the lantern with water. Nonetheless, the kids had a great time. It was the kids’ first out-of-school class party.