RMCO Day 18 ~ Saturday, 26 June 2020

I have to make a decision by this week on which high school to send Cass to next year. The high school that Cass wants to go to is the one that her Alycia che che goes to, which is one of the top Chinese Independent High Schools in the Klang Valley.  Her main reason for choosing this school is because almost all her classmates will be going to this school (95%). The remaining 5% are going to international schools and national schools.  Applications for entrance test to this Chinese independent school can be submitted online by early next week.

However, I have reservations in choosing this Chinese independent high school for Cass because I know this girl too well.  Her Chinese is weak and her choice of language is English. She will thrive in an English medium education environment.   Before our country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, I was almost 100% certain that I would be sending Cass to this small-sized international school located conveniently right smack in our neighborhood.  But when our country came to an almost standstill on 18th March this year for two months, the hubs’ catering business was impacted.  Social gatherings were prohibited, which meant that his catering business was reduced to zilch.

When the government recently reopened almost all the economic sectors, hubs’ catering events slowly trickled in again.  It would take  some time before his business returns to its heyday. Thus, we would have to reconsider our plans in sending Cass to an international school which costs almost RM2k a month.  Things are so uncertain now without a Covid-19 vaccine.  With almost every social and economic sector returning to normal now, our country could experience a new wave of Covid-19 cases, just like in Beijing, Tokyo and Australia, which are seeing a surge in new cases after the state of emergency/restrictions in their countries were lifted recently. If this happens, another lockdown would be imposed and the whole vicious cycle affecting our country’s economy will be repeated 😪.  With so much uncertainties over our country’s economy and hubs’ business, I am taking the conservative approach and have made up my mind to send Cass to a national school — the one that Sherilyn is currently going to.  I had a lengthy discussion with my education consultant, aka my wise mom who was a school teacher for almost 40 years and she has given me the same advice.  I also had a brainstorming session with Alycia and Sherilyn over the choice of high school for their baby sister and they all think that a national school suits Cass more, for now.

Cass has now accepted our decisions for her and I hope that she’ll thrive and be really happy in the high school that she’ll be going to next year.  I’ve been praying hard that she’ll be getting dedicated and caring teachers as well as cross paths with new good friends in this high school.

This morning I went to our favorite coffee shop to get takeaway fish paste noodles for Cass.  When I got home and poured the noodles out from the stainless steel food carrier, I was stupefied.  There was not a single piece of fish paste or ingredients in the container except for plain vermicelli and soup!  The seller must have totally forgotten to add all the ingredients and fish paste into the food carrier. And I paid RM9 for it!!   I quickly googled the name of the fish paste noodles and thank God I found the seller’s mobile phone. I gave him a call and I think he realized too that he’d forgotten to add in the fish paste into my food carrier. He promised me that he’d give me a rebate or give me extra fish paste the next time I patronize his stall.

My 3 perpetually hungry girls walloped all the noodles and soup anyway, though it’s vegetarian and without any ingredients, except for some tomato skin floating in the milky soup 😆.  My girls are really pretty ‘cincai’ (simple) kids who don’t mind eating anything as their main meals, though their dad always spoils them with luxurious meals. They’ll be happy with just biscuits or bread for lunch or dinner when the mom is lazy to cook. I’ve always instilled a sense of humbleness, modesty and thriftiness in them so that they will be able to face the real harsh world when they’re completely on their own in future.



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MCO Day 84 ~ Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Today marks the last day of the Conditional Movement Control Order.  Effective tomorrow, 10 June through 31 August 2020, our country will be placed in a Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase.

Today our country recorded no cases of Covid-19 transmissions among locals, over the last 24-hours.  According to our very capable Health Ministry Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah today, he expressed confidence in Malaysia achieving zero transmissions in the near future.   Here’s to Malaysia following suit New Zealand’s latest declaration of a nation that’s free from Covid-19 soon!   New Zealand prime minister on Monday (yesterday) announced her country had no active cases of the novel coronavirus and that the country is moving to lift almost all restrictive measures after midnight yesterday. I’m so happy for hubby’s relatives who are residing in New Zealand. I can’t wait to hear this from our very own prime minister too in the weeks to come  🙏

The littlest brat was insomniac again last night (repercussion of prolonged home quarantine) and it was almost midnight. As online classes resume the next day (today) after a 2-week break, I shooed her to her room and threatened that I won’t be waking her up in the morning. If anyone’s late, he/she won’t be allowed to ‘enter’ the class. I thought she wouldn’t care but this morning I heard two alarm clocks blaring away at 7:45 a.m.   She does care after all ☺️

The Education Ministry will announce tomorrow on when schools will reopen for Form 5 and Form 6 students.  Alycia ain’t very happy that her freedom is about to come to an end but life has to return to how it used to before Covid-19.  She still has to sit for one of the most important exams in  her life (SPM) by the first quarter of next year. I wonder how long more Cass has to be engaged in online learning. I can’t decide if I should be happy or sad that she, too, will be going back to school soon. And I can’t decide if I should continue to let Alycia and Cass take the school van or be a full time Grab mom for their safety sake but lose all my me time and freedom that I used to have pre-Covid19.  Decisions, decision, decisions!!



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Cassandra’s MRU @ Hospital Wanita Dan Kanak-Kanak, KL (HWKKKL)

18 May 2020 – MCO Day 62 (Monday)

Hubs drove us to the hospital in the morning for Cass’ MRU procedure. Magnetic resonance urography (MRU) is a radiation-free exam that uses magnetic waves to create detailed pictures of the kidneys, ureters and bladder. It is a radiation-free way to look at the structure and function of the urinary tract, which is the part of the body that produces and transports urine.

We reached the hospital at 8:30 a.m. and  thinking that we were early  and feeling relived, I had no idea that we would be camping at the hospital until 8 p.m.!  And because there was no proper communication between the Urology Department and the Day Care Ward doctors and nurses, there was a lot of confusion and frustration.

The pediatric Day Care Ward is mainly for Cancer kids and other patients who need daycare treatments and scans with insertion of IV catheter. When the oncologist on duty saw the prescription papers, she was pissed off that no one from the Urology Dept. informed her of Cass’ case today.   Each time I asked her a question, she snapped at me impatiently and angrily as if I was wasting her time that she could better spend on more chronic patients who needed her prescription for the different cocktail of drugs.  While the nurses were all patient and helpful, I felt terribly chided that the doctor totally lacks empathy and compassion.  She could have toned down her voice and spoke in a more refined manner.

After waiting for more than an hour, Cass was sent to the OT to have the IV catheter inserted and blood drawn for a renal blood test. The oncologist and the nurse didn’t know that this test was needed before the MRU could proceed.  The oncologist tried to call the Nephrology Dept. (which is in another building) but the line was as usual uncontactable!  Had I not done my own prior research and reading, I would have blindly followed what the Oncology staff instructed. Different departments have different SOPs.  None of the staff at the day care ward was aware that Cass had to do a blood test first and only after a doctor has reviewed the blood test result can she be sent to the radiology dept. for the MRU.  Reason is if renal function is not good, the contrast may cause damage to the kidneys.  I really think that the Urology Dept. staff could have given clearer instructions to the Day Care Ward to minimize all these unnecessary confusion and frustration.  The Day Care Ward doctors and nurses are already very busy attending to high needs patients, some of which are chronically ill.

After waiting for half a day at the Day Care Ward, we were brought to another ward to wait for Cass’ turn to do the MRU.   But it wasn’t until another 5 hours later that it was finally her turn!

After spending a couple of hours at the ward, we were brought to another ward just outside the MRI room and we waited for another 3 hours there!  When I asked the nurse why we had to wait the entire day for our turn when we were at the hospital so early, it was only then that I found out that priority order is by patient’s age and not on a first-come-first-served basis. Again, different departments have different SOPs.  As there were many babies and toddlers today and Cass is the oldest kid for the MRU, she was the last on the waiting list!  Cass was finally sent into the MRI room at 6pm and the procedure lasted 2  hours.  I sat at the end of the room just staring at her and the gigantic doughnut shaped machine for 2 freaking hours whilst listening to the piped in music from 94.5 Mix FM.  Though I was given a pair of ear plugs to wear, I didn’t use them as the noise emitted from the MRI machine was bearable, kind of like super loud techno beats and someone blowing a trumpet into my ears… for 2 hours.

Just before Cass’ turn for the MRU was a baby with urinary tract problems. The baby had to re-do his MRI three times as he woke up in the middle of the MRI and had to be sedated again and again. Poor baby and his anxious parents! Because he was sedated thrice, the oncologist told the parents to admit him for the night.

Another area that lacked clarity and communication from the hospital – the staff were unsure whether Cass needed to fast before the MRU.  Initially I was informed by the Nephrology Dept. staff that Cass needed to fast for at least 4 hours prior to the MRU.  When I called the Radiology Dept. two days before the procedure to reconfirm the appointment, I was informed by the staff that no fasting was required as Cass didn’t need sedation. On the day we were at the Day Care Ward, the staff were still unsure whether Cass needed to fast as she was sent from the Urology Dept and they only have experience handling Cancer kids. Thus, Cass was advised to fast, to be on the safe side.  Cass only ate some mangoes and guava in the morning and I brought fried rice and a bun to the hospital, thinking that we could eat while she waited for her turn but it was only 13 hours later that we could eat!  Thank God she didn’t have any colic pain and gastric pain, like she normally would if she skipped a meal. I wasn’t so lucky. I had gas trapped in my abdomen that caused me terrible pain and nauseousness.

Our next hurdle is the MRU report and appointment to see the Nephrologist, which I guess will only be after the Hari Raya holidays. I hope that this time, the Nephrology Dept. staff will be more efficient and won’t make us wait for another half a year.   This is the price that we have to pay for getting free consultations, diagnostic tests and treatments.  Today’s MRU procedure is absolutely free as I have a letter from Cass’ school confirming that she’s a student. Had this been done at a private hospital, it would have cost a few thousand Ringgit.  This is the privilege that Malaysians get to enjoy.  Overall, apart from the lack of communication from the two departments, it’s not exactly an icky experience. At 5 p.m., the grouchy Oncologist from the Day Care Ward came to explain things to me before she left.  OK la, she’s forgiven.  I know she must be stressed out dealing with drugs and her high needs Cancer patients.  This hospital is new and clean but if you are there for the first or second time, you may get lost in the building!  The nurses and most of the doctors are very helpful, patient and compassionate. The facilities are definitely comparable to private hospitals.

At the Day Care Ward – the little girl on the bed opposite Cass is also 12 years old and she has Leukemia. She has to be sedated to do a spinal procedure.  Such a pretty girl she is, even without hair. I saw her sweet face when she removed her Tudung and face mask. I hope that she will overcome Cancer and enjoy many healthy and happy years ahead of her.

Having her temperature taken:

Another young girl is on this bed and she was also sedated to do a spinal procedure.  When she woke up, she threw up everywhere and her father carried her to the sink. Bless her loving father and the cleaner who had to clean up the vomit on the floor.

Cass at the OT to have an IV catheter inserted. Not a pleasant sight here as blood is everywhere on the floor and gobs of hair on the bed (from cancer kids) and there’s not enough time to clean up given that there were so many young patients and the doctors were working at full steam.

Having her blood drawn out by the doctors. This tough cookie said that it’s not that painful!

Backflow of blood dribbling out from the catheter – another caring young doctor (who’s handsome 😆) helped to flush the line and put on a new cap.

Mobile signal strength is super crappy throughout the hospital. I can’t even use my own mobile data.  At this ward pictured below, there was hardly any human and I just sat there staring at the four walls waiting for time to tick away.



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MCO Day 49 ~ 5 May 2020

Today is just another uneventful MCO day at home. My poor car is still stuck at the car repair shop as the boss is facing difficulties getting the spare parts to his shop due to the MCO.  I can’t wait to have my car back and give it a good scrub. She’s not taken a  shower for almost 2 months! I imagine myself dusting away inches of dust from my baby before getting into the car  😷

When May rolls in every year, my mind automatically brings me back to the year 2009 –   6 May 2009 to be exact.  It’s the day that Cass’ life and mine would change forever.  11 years ago today was the eve of Cass’ major surgery.  Cass and I and our helper, Dyah, checked into GMC Penang exactly 11 years ago. I couldn’t sleep the entire night with too many what ifs and worries on my mind. I could never sleep well in any hospital.  Never in my worst case scenario imagination would I have expected to be cooped up at GMC for almost a month.  And during our 3 weeks stay at GMC, everything that could turn wrong, went wrong. Even hubs was hospitalized (in GMC too), in an isolation ward for suspicion of H1N1 on the day of Cass’ surgery! And I was all alone, worried and having chills outside the OT, waiting for half a day for my baby C to be wheeled out of the OT. I, too, had high fever on the day of Cass’ surgery.

The GMC nightmare is now behind us, though Cass is still not 100% out of the woods yet.  She’s scheduled to undergo an MRU at HKL in 2 weeks. Hubs went to Cass’ school to collect a letter from the principal today, to confirm that she’s a student at the school so that we don’t have to pay for the procedure. This procedure would burn a big hole in our wallet if done at a private hospital.

May has always been an eventful month for me. I’ve never liked the month of May.  But this year’s May may be a better May for me, maybe? I hope and pray that it will be. ❤️

Our lunch today – reheated beef bolognese dip that I’d made a week ago, to go with baked wholemeal tortilla.

Our baking queen used the entire packet of Gardenia wraps to make the tortilla chips.

Many of my friends asked me why I’m still so slim despite having a hubby who lives to eat and who’s in the F&B industry, and now Sherilyn’s favorite past time is baking.  Well, the answer is here —

By the time I’m done snapping the best photos of the food, what’s left for me is just one miserable spoonful of whatever that’s on the plate.  I have 3 perpetually hungry piranhas with bottomless pits.

Dinner of bitter melon omelette, pan fried scallop nuggets, braised organic Japanese pumpkin with dried shrimps and garlic, ‘pak choy’ soup with pork bones, braised sand ginger organic chicken and blanched lady’s fingers.

Something light-hearted in the light of Coronavirus  😆



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MCO Day 23 ~ 9 April 2020

Today is Cassandra’s 12th birthday!  It’s another birthday celebration in house quarantine for our family but we are very, very blessed that hubs could still get sumptuous takeout food and cakes for dinner from Red Kettle, our favorite cafe in the neighborhood.

This is not the first time that Cass has to spend her birthday in house quarantine. 11 years ago, she had to spend her first birthday in house quarantine too.  I had to keep Cass free from infections and sicknesses as well as plump her up from 7kg to at least 8kg so that she is healthy and strong enough to undergo a complicated surgery on 5 May 2009 to fix her urinary tract.

Today’s breakfast is pork ribs porridge just because the Ketua Keluarga craved for it and his wish was her command. No I didn’t cook it.  The mil did; she cooked it in the slow cooker last night so that everyone could have it for breakfast today.

In our household, we have organization of duties. The matriarch usually cooks. The eldest daughter cleans the dining table, brings the garbage to the refuse chamber; the second daughter washes the dishes and the youngest dries the dishes and keeps them. The Ketua Keluarga sometimes helps to wash the dishes, keeps them and he does the bulk of the groceries shopping.  I do all the shit that no one likes to do like bending my back and knees to mop floor, clean up greasy kitchen floor and stove, scrub bathrooms and climb up the ladder to clean fans and air cond filters.😑  I can’t wait to have Maria back in our house to help out!! And I symphatize with her that she too, has a loss of income throughout the MCO.

MIL made scallion pancakes for tea time, for the first time.  This ‘lockdown pancake’ has been trending on social media lately and many of our friends have been making it.  Not bad for a first try, though it would be better if the pancake is thinner and crispier. Not totally satisfied with the end result, mil vowed to make this pancake again soon.

Our delectable spread from Red Kettle to celebrate Cassandra’s 12th birthday!

Someone wasn’t in the mood to take photo (as usual 🙄) but she’s got no choice as it’s her birthday! 😆 I had to hide behind my girls as I was in my night gown, sweaty and sloppy from house cleaning.

It looks like Cass would not be getting her My Kad (identity card) any time soon.  I’m sure JPN will waive the penalty. Even when the MCO is lifted, no way would I be risking Cass and myself at the overcrowded government department to apply for the My Kad, even it if meant paying a late penalty.

Happy birthday Cassandra! My only wish for you is for you to be healthy and happy everyday of your life. When the MCO is lifted, you will be allowed into our condo gym without dad & mum accompanying you. Congrats! 😆



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Update On Cassandra’s Appointment at HKL – 5 March 2020

I finally got an appointment to go to HKL today, but not to see the Urologist. I went there to sign a Consent Letter and to get a date for Cass to do an MRU (Magnetic Resonance Urography).  The parent needs to sign a Consent Letter as the procedure has some risks tied to it. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In the past, Cass had gone through MCUG and MAG3 scans that required contrast injected via IV and thank God, she didn’t suffer from any side effects. Hopefully her body will have no issues dealing with the contrast again this time. Fasting is required and besides having contrast injected via IV, Cass MUST NOT move throughout the 1.5 hours inside the MRI tunnel, which emits deafening sounds. Any movement will render the images unclear.  Cass had done an MRI before 6 years ago but that was without any contrast injected. The images were not 100% clear.  I think the hardest thing about this procedure is not being able to move for 1.5 hours and being strapped and wrapped up like a mummy;  not fasting for 8 hours or more.

The Consent Letter:

I was late for almost an hour for my appointment with the Urology Dept nurse as I couldn’t get a Grab driver. None of the Grab drivers wanted to accept a passenger who’s going to HKL, thinking that I must be sick with some suspicious virus.  HKL is one of the government hospitals to handle Covid-19 cases besides Hospital Sg Buloh.

I then downloaded the My Car app and finally managed to get a kind driver who came to pick me up. We chatted throughout the ride to the hospital. He went to the wrong building (HKL is really HUGE!) and had to make a detour; I had to pay extra and was terribly late. He told me that he’s now very careful with accepting orders to and fro hospitals; orders to and fro the Sg Buloh Hospital will never be accepted as it’s the centralized hospital for all Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley. Thank God I managed to get a Grab driver after the appointment some 4 hours later, as the driver had to drop off a doctor at HKL. On both trips, the drivers wore face mask. The My Car driver told me that he has to sanitize his car every 4 hourly and fumigate his car with potent disinfectant once a week.

I wore a mask 😷 throughout my time at HKL; also washed and sanitized my hands umpteen times till my hands now feel like a 100-year old woman’s wrinkled hands.

Hand sanitizer located on every floor and at the lift areas:

From the Specialist Centre at HKL, I had to walk under the sizzling hot sun to the Women & Children Hospital, some 10 minutes walk away.  This is housed in a new building, which is so huge that I kept getting lost inside.  Each floor looks like a maze inside, with many doors unlabelled.  From the 9th floor, I had to go the 2nd floor, then back to 9th floor and finally 1st floor.  Even finding my way out of the maze was mind boggling and I had to stop several times to ask the guards and doctors for directions back to the main lobby for me to order Grab.🤪  The only upside is my Fitbit buzzed and vibrated to inform me that I had hit 10,000 steps! Yay!

This is the Imaging Dept and there is no signal and no mobile network here, thus couldn’t do anything but people watch for more than an hour in freezing temp.

At the ward, I saw small kids undergoing dialysis and it’s really heartbreaking.

At the Registration Counter, I saw this little boy of about 5 years old hooked to a machine with tubes. It must be an oxygen tank or something.

At the Imaging Department, I saw a Malay man with 2 boys – one is about 12 and the other about 14 and both of them, though mentally normal, were on a wheelchair each. One of the boys has dwarfism and digestion issues and the other boy couldn’t walk and has a slightly enlarged head.  And I thought how unfair can life be for this man as both his sons are wheelchair bound and sick but he looks like one very loving and patient dad.

Another Chinese lady walked out of the Imaging room with her maid carrying her daughter (about 8 years old) and this girl’s body is floppy and looked ‘twisted’. I could only guess that she has severe Cerebral Palsy and some other issues.  At the lobby several Down Syndrome and cancer kids walked past me.

Like I’d mentioned before, whenever you feel like life’s unfair to you and you feel dissatisfied with your current life, just take half a day off and make a trip to HKL. You’ll instantly feel that your life ain’t that bad after all when you compare your life with what you’re bound to see at the hospital.

Cass and I now have a little over 2 months to prepare ourselves mentally for her procedure. Wish us luck. We really need loads of it.

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Chinese New Year 2020 – 8th and 9th Day

Last Saturday, 1 February 2020 was the 8th day of CNY. It was Sherilyn’s Lunar birthday. She was born on the 8th day of CNY 15 years ago. I remember so vividly the thunderous fireworks let out for about half an hour that midnight when I was struggling to breastfeed this fiery infant who suckled my boob so aggressively that a small piece of the tit was bitten off by this toothless infant who wasn’t even a day old. My boobs were terribly sore, painful and bloody but I persevered with nursing this precious baby girl of mine. What a grand presence she’d made into the world with her loud and long first cries (loudest and longest of our 3 babies) in the OT and then later bit off part of mummy’s tits just several hours later  😂  Her character was already so prominently displayed the moment she announced her arrival into this world. My dare devil and drama queen!

On Chor 8, we had dinner with our old buddies at Oversea Restaurant @ Jalan Imbi. Dinner time allocated to us was at 8:30 p.m. and by the time we finished dinner, it was already close to 11 p.m. We were the last group of patrons to leave the restaurant.

The damage came up to over RM2k for 2 tables. The kids could wallop as much as us adults!

A big bulk of the bill came from the tiger prawns and Soon Hock fish.

My favorite dessert from this restaurant is their signature double boiled almond paste with egg white. It’s so addictive it’s illegal! Every mouthful is chokfull of silky smooth and creamy aromatic Chinese almonds, thickened with egg white. Though it was already 10 p.m. and way past my last eating time, I just couldn’t resist chomping down a bowl of this ‘hung ngan tun tarn tong sui’, all my myself.


Fireworks seen from our unit on the midnight of Chor 8 / Pai Ti Kong night.


The next day Cass had a gathering at her ertswhile class teacher, Ms L’s house in Ampang.  Ms L was Cass and her classmate’s class teacher from Primary 2 through Primary 4. When Ms L announced that she would no longer be teaching them in Primary 5, Cass and her classmates were terribly disappointed. Her classmates then created a Whatsapp chat group with Ms L in the group. As Ms L is no longer their class teacher, she’s now like a good friend to them.  Cass dots on Ms L.


Cass gets a hug from her favorite teacher, Ms L.


Cass and her classmates at Ms L’s CNY open house.

The boy in blue jacket in glasses is a Malay boy and is one of the top scorers in the entire standard (Chinese school). I am always very amazed by him.

After dropping off Cass at Ms L’s house, we went to one of the famous Ampang Yong Tau Foo stalls to have lunch.  In all honesty, I think the Yong Tau Foo at that stall is nothing to shout about.  There are stalls in my neighborhood that sells  similar Yong Tau Foo and stuff that taste just as good.

Hardly with her hair let down, Cass had to let it down as her hair tie snapped while she was in the car. Alycia commented that Cass looks gorgeous with her curly brown hair let down  😄


From behind, my baby girl looks so grown up. She’s going to be 12 soon!



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KL Book Exchange

For the last one year, our avid bookworm has been pestering me to bring her to the book exchange ground at our neighborhood held on the first Sunday of each month. But I never had the time to do it. Firstly, it’s on a Sunday where the girls have Sunday School and Youth Fellowship  at the church at 11 a.m.  Secondly, it’s starts frigging early at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 10:45 a.m.  Though I’m already up by 7 a.m.,  I don’t have the luxury of a live-in maid to help with the chores. My mornings are usually spent doing chores.



Last Sunday the hubs was already up at 8:30 a.m. and took Cass to the book exchange ground. An hour later and with body drenched in sweat after being roasted by the scorching morning sun, Cass got home with 6 thick novels. She was one very, very happy camper!

 

Cass managed to stumble upon Dan Brown’s mystery thriller novel – The Da Vinci Code, a novel which she’s always wanted to buy but mom said no as it’s too expensive! She also found another old gem – a very ‘seasoned’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,  a fantasy book written by British author J. K. Rowling and the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series. The pages are so seasoned I think they were most probably been feasted on by termites – the papers provide nutrients to the termites 😱  This book should be around 20 years old!

Thank goodness we did not donate all the girls’ old books. A few weeks ago I gave away 3 big bags of books to the Tzu Chi Recycling Center. We kept some in a box and now Cass gets to exchange them with new titles. Books make her one very, very happy girl. I wish I could say the same with her school books too 😔

If you have tons of books that you want to get rid of, bring them to the KL Book Exchange grounds. Effective February 2020, they will be in Taman Desa and Sunway Velocity Mall on the LAST Sunday of the month. Books will be exchanged on a one-for-one basis, in the same language of the book.



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She Still Cares :)

My baby girl still helps me to deshell crabs and feeds me the crab meat with her hand so that I don’t have to dirty my hands. She started doing this for me since 3 or 4 years ago when we were in Penang and had a feast of seafood. She was about 7 or 8 years old. I told her that I hated the fishy odor on my hands and she’s since taken on the job of deshelling the crabs and feeding me my favorite part of the crab – the claw 😁

I know Cass is going to cringe when she reads this post. She does not like me to call her baby girl nor display any form of public affection to her anymore😭



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Emotional Day

The past 3 days have been nothing short of highly emotional for me. My blood was up and my emotions were running high.  I was really upset and incensed with someone the past 2 days.  And the situation is inexorable. A catch-22 situation. No way out kind of situation.  Thankfully I had someone whom I can pour out my feelings to.

I was still in a crappy mood today until Cass came back from school and told me the best news ever. I was so overwhelmed with emotions from the news that I teared up a little.  And that’s the best news ever that I’ve received this year. I am so thankful to my heavenly Father for hearing me out. I had expected and fully accepted the worst but today, in a twist of event, a miracle happened.  I now need another miracle to happen to Cass, a big miracle with divine intervention.  Through Him, nothing is impossible. Something that was impossible just had an about-turn and I still cannot believe it. Thank you my heavenly Father.🙏❣️


Cass and her dad bought this cicak from a toy shop in Chinatown to scare me. Like father like daughter. Cass is a mischievous rat and slap-happy just like her dad.  First she stuck the cicak to my hair whilst we were in the car, on our way home from Chinatown.  Then she stuck this sticky cicak on the wall, next to the lights switch of my bedroom, thinking that she could scare me.  🤣

A rare pic (these days) with my pre-teen girl. She now dodges the camera like a plague. She gives me the most disgusted look each time I call her baby girl or BABY now.  What happened to my clingy koala bear?  😥



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Cassandra’s First Field Trip

I was already up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday to ensure that Cass reaches school by 7 a.m. for her maiden one-day field trip organized by her school for Primary 5 students. Places covered include a soy sauce factory, a theater at The Curve, a Nyonya kuih factory and lunch in Selayang.  She’s waited for so long for this day to come and I don’t want to disappoint her.


Lovely view of sunrise at 6:45 a.m.


Cass with her BFFs, A and J.  They have been in the same class since Primary 2.


Group photo before departure.

Cass’ caring teacher, Ms L, volunteered to put Cass in her group so that she can watch over her.  Ms L is aware of Cass’ bladder issues and I briefed her about Cass’ health do’s and don’ts before the trip.  Honestly, I was still reluctant to let Cass go on the day of the trip but I knew that I have to let go. Cass has to learn to take care of herself knowing very well of what she can and can’t do and the nasty consequences she has to be faced with should she get another UTI attack.


Cass sat at the back of the bus with her besties. She turned her back on me and pulled the curtains when I tried to steal a photo of her in the bus🙄.

She kept her promised and Whatsapped me throughout the trip, telling me where she was and what they were doing.  The day passed really quickly and I was too busy chauffeuring Alycia and Sherilyn the whole day that I didn’t even have the time to worry too much about Cass.  I was so happy when I saw her alight from the bus after the trip but refrained from giving my baby girl a big hug and kiss. She now resists all forms of public display of affection  😥

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Back To Her Old Self

I’m so relieved that Cass is back to her usual self now. She’s no longer giving me the cold shoulder.  Last month on the first day of school after the third term school break, she woke up and morphed into a girl I barely recognized ~ stroppy, surly and extremely moody. And this went on for about 3 hellish weeks!!  Thank God the black cloud that hung over her head had drifted away.  But now we have another type of black cloud hanging above us ~ hot and humid weather and choking polluted air.  🌪 This morning, I had to wear a suffocating face mask when I went outdoor for my morning exercise. 😷  I dared not exert myself too much, lest I breathe in toxic air and embed it in my lungs.  Thus, I had to skip the strength training and did the lower abdomen exercises at home.

With a cheery and loquacious 11-year old who keeps regaling me with the happenings in her school, I couldn’t be happier. I miss this chatter box who waffles non stop. She even started to write out coupons for me again! Each time I cook something nice for her, she’ll give me a coupon and after I’ve collected 10 coupons, I can redeem a free 30-minute massage and a keto pancake, which she says she’ll cook for me after her final exam 😍

Yeah, final exam is here again!! We can’t wait for it to be over.

Last week, the brat lost another baby tooth.  The ‘tooth fairy’ wrote her a note and inserted it  into an ang pow packet with a Ringgit note and tucked it under her pillow 😊

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Random Updates

The littlest one is back to her usual self finally and we’ve started to have our nightly before bedtime light-hearted chats on the bed once again. But as with most cuddly toddlers who turn into tweens and teenagers, she still greets any public display of warmth with revulsion and sullenness. Grown children do not want to be the object of all our affection or the main repository for all our dreams. I totally understand it and I’d gone through this phase once when I was a teenager. How I miss those days when my baby girl still loved her Telly Tubbies, High 5 and My Little Pony; those super UHU glue days when we would even hold hands when we were in the car 😥

Anyway, onwards and upwards!  On the bright side, my baby girl is growing up.  Today she told me that her teacher has chosen her and a few other classmates to take part in an inter-school drawing and painting competition. Cass is pretty good with her hands. She’s good in drawing, constructing things, putting together gadgets, self-assemble furniture, jigsaw puzzles and LEGO when I would freak out. She’s just like her dad.  She’s so happy that she gets to take part in this art competition and can’t wait to start on it.

Here are the photos of our late dinner or rather supper last Sunday on 8 September 2019.  The next day was a public holiday.

I can’t even think of the vaguest connection between these food pix and how Cass has morphed and remorphed, so I’m not even going to try.   So jumping right into it – after rounding the roads of KL and PJ and don’t have any idea on what to eat, hubs drove to Green View Restaurant, PJ to dig into crabs and jumbo prawns. As it was already 9 p.m., I told him to go easy on the dishes.  I don’t normally eat after 8 p.m.   So we only had 4 main dishes, juices and dessert.

Ice Plant served with sesame dressing.

Fresh prawn noodles

Sweet and sour crabs with fried mantou

Longan herbal jelly

There was also an individual bowl of crab meat sharks fins broth that hubs ordered for himself which I didn’t snap the photo.

Food was superb and by the time we finished our dinner, it was already close to 10:30 p.m.

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Dealing With A Difficult Tween

I’ve been feeling a tad melancholic since the start of school on Monday. On the first day of school, my 11-year old found it extremely hard to wake up for school. And when she woke up after much resistance and kicking, she morphed into a totally different person… like someone has just cast a spell on her.  Errr, it’s still the 7th month in the Chinese calendar  👻🥶

The moment she got up, she was very moody and extremely stroppy. Suddenly, everything that I said to her wasn’t well received by her. Everything I did and said were wrong in her world.  Suddenly she became so volatile and disconnected from me that she’s a totally different person. It’s a shock to me as my previously sweet little baby girl starts tantrumming and hating me!  Hate is such a strong word but this best describes her behavior towards me.

Who is this girl?!

What did I do wrong?!

This went on for two days and today is the third day and she’s still behaving coldly towards me. It could be the lack of sleep that’s affecting her growing body and mind. She’s been waking up at 9 – 10am everyday for the past one week during the school holidays and forcing her to get out of her comfy bed at 5:30 a.m. can be ruffling this angry bird’s feathers. Ideally kids need to get 9 hours of sleep but I’ll be happy if she can chalk up at least 7.5 hours. Sleeping early is another issue that I am currently battling with my Gen Z girls. For those of you with Gen Z tween and teens, you’ll know what I mean.

Another factor is at her age, this girl is seeking to find more independence. She’s a tad more sheltered and controlled than her two sisters when they were her age because of her health issue. Until the repeat MRI is carried out (too long a wait at HKL), we are now waiting to know anxiously what’s going on in her urinary tract that’s causing the issue. Because she feels that her wings are clipped and she can’t fly like her peers who are all like birds who have just learnt to fly, she feels that life is unfair to her and she’s left behind in the baby nest alone.

I’ve read that the more I insist on controlling all her choices, I am inviting rebellion, or worse. If I can find appropriate ways to give her independence, she won’t have to rebel against me to start standing on her own two feet. Of course she’ll make mistakes. That’s how humans learn. And of course she isn’t ready to make all her decisions. I’m still the parent. Deciding how much to weigh in is the hardest part of this parenting dance, especially so when I am dealing with a tween who is facing not only wacky hormones flooding her body but also with an undiagnosed condition that may require another surgery that’s causing the both of us a lot of anxiousness. It’s been a long and frustruating 11 years for the both of us.

Feeling down, I had brunch alone today after dropping Sherilyn in school. Hubs was busy at work.  At the shop,  my eyes were bigger than my tummy ~ I over-ordered and had to doggy-bag some of the food home 😬

Two portions of spinach, 3 types of balls, 1 lobak, 1 stuffed bitter gourd, 1 stuffed brinjal and a bowl of pumpkin barley sago tong sui. This shop uses premium Sanbanto pork in their fish paste. Even their pork balls are from Sanbanto.

It’s an achievement that I could eat so much food for brunch! I was so stuffed to the gills that I felt like my denim skirt was going to burst. I am a pathetically small eater, thus I always find someone to eat with me to share my food.  I had to tapau the stuffed brinjal and lobak home.  I couldn’t finish the pumpkin tong sui.

I love the yong tau fu from Taman Desa Yong Tau Fu & Dessert but the bill can be a tad stressful on your budget if you, like me, get too excited and ambitious and stack the tray mountain high with all the stuffed items, balls, vegetables, etc.  My brunch today was RM18 plus RM1.50 parking ~ budget exceeded for lunch but I felt some of the blues melt away as I tucked into the delish food and yummy tong sui.  Food indeed has some destressing effect!

Exactly my sentiments!! A slow death with doses of cortisol injected into the body everyday 😩

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Academic Excellence Reward

Each time we go shopping, Cass would ask to window shop at the Lego shop.  Lego is something that Cass likes since she was 3 years old, besides jigsaw puzzles. She could spend hours on end absorbed in these two toys and be completely oblivious to her surroundings.

The other day I threw a challenge at my Harry Potter fan ~ I told her that if she gets outstanding results in her coming final exam, she’ll get a Harry Potter Lego of her choice.

For the top 3 positions in the entire Primary 5, this Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle with a price tag of RM1,943 will be hers to claim!

And this Hogwarts Clock Tower @ RM499 will be hers if she is within the top 10 in the entire Primary 5.

Let’s see if Cass is able to claim her reward this year. I’m pretty flexible with the prize and it can be carried forward to the following year with no expiry date so long as she meets the target! ☺️

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Grandma’s Game Partner

The mil is hooked on Rummikub, a best-selling and fascinating board game that she learned to play with my 13-year old nephew when she was in Hong Kong. When my visiting SIL #2 from Hong Kong came to visit recently, she bought a set of Rummikub for the mil from Hong Kong. We were unable to find the original Rummikub at leading toy stores in KL. I ordered a set from Lazada (shipped from China) but it wasn’t an original set and the quality was so trashy that the tiles couldn’t sit firmly on the stand.  Our friend later ordered a set for us from Shopee and the quality was just as cheesy.

Besides Cass, no one else is interested or has the time to play this game with the mil. Actually Cass has an ulterior  motive playing the game with her grandma 🤑

Tell me what motivates you best?

Yeah, that’s what motivates her too. And me. We all work hard for it.😁

The game got so intense between Cass and the mil that the both of them stayed home on a Saturday night to play while Alycia and Sherilyn and I went out for dinner at a Korean restaurant.

See how $$ motivates eh?

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