Saturday, 13 April 2019

This week is another NO REST week for me. I want to bawl my eyes out. It’s enervating having to wake up when it’s still pitch black outside, knowing that it’s a damn Saturday or Sunday, but instead of under my comfy blanket, I have to force my butt out of bed to do my Grab driver duties. I usually catch up on my beauty sleep on weekends but not this week. I’ve been flipping my calendar to check when the next public holiday is and it’s not until Labour Day on 1st May. Two more weeks to go!

On the bright side, today I managed to convince Cass to continue with her BM tuition. Cass has just started BM tuition three weeks ago and she’s totally not happy that she’s coerced into it. If she has a choice, she would choose zero tuition.  We had a very heated argument over this last week and today she’s agreed not to quit tuition.  A big thank you to my mum and the tuition center lady boss for talking her out of quitting.  It’s not easy dealing with this moody tween these days. She sucks out all the patience and energy from me lately. And I’ve just realized that with this girl, I can no longer use corporal punishment or threats.  It used to work but not anymore.  I am still experimenting with other styles of parenting and the best is still through a combo of soft parenting and tough love parenting.

Through all the articles that I’ve read on parenting difficult teens lately, I’ve come to understand that my tween and teenage daughters have little control over their bad attitude.  They are not manipulating me on purpose or spending all that time in their room scheming about new ways to annoy me. I often ask them if they are all scheming to drive me to a premature death so that they get what’s written in my Will and I tell them that they won’t get a cent!  🤨 In fact, they too are victims — of all sorts of biological and psychological changes over which they have little control. They are going through a roller-coaster of adolescence, and I am on the ride with them.

Gosh, it’s super tough being a parent!!   Letting my “baby” grow up is indeed a painful and difficult process.

Why do I see my friends taking it so easy parenting their super well behaved kids? Or is everything through rose tinted glasses on social media?

Do you have difficult tweens and teenage kids at home? How do you deal with these dopamine-frazzled zombies teens?


Beautiful colors of sunrise skyline taken at 7 a.m. today and it’s been another super super hot and humid day today, so bad that I showered five times again today! 😬

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Fearless Helper To The Rescue

Thank God for a fearless daughter, I needn’t have to go through a Fear Factor moment to remove this life reptile that got glued to a sticky paper on our floor sticky roller!

Yes, that lizard was still alive and writhing.  I guess it crawled behind it and got glued on the sticky paper. I didn’t realize it and happily cleaned the floor with the roller until I felt something bumpy and when I took a closer look, Oh. My. Gawd. **SHRIEK**

I quickly jolted my fearless Drama Queen up from her sleep and didn’t care if it wasn’t time for her to get up yet.  She just had to remove that lizard that’s still squirming on the sticky paper coz I just couldn’t do anything knowing that it’s still there!  Sometimes I wonder where she inherited her fearless DNA from!

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46th Birthday

After I touched the 4 series, I often lose track of my age!  I often have to use my birth year to calculate my age in the current year 🤫 🤭 I wonder whether I’ll still remember my age when I touch the 6, 7 and 8 series.  Do you face the same issue as me?

The original plan for my special day was to go to My Town Shopping Center – a movie for the girls and retail therapy for myself. But late yesterday evening, I received a bunch of writing assignments from my online boss 🤑  So I had to cancel my plan and have been cooped up at home and  writing all day since last night.  But no complaints from me and the girls.  Work comes first. Entertainment has no deadline.  While my fingers were glued to the keyboard, the girls had their fingers glued to their devices. This is what happens when I am busy with work – the girls morph into dopamine-frazzled zombies!

It’s a quiet day at home today. Alycia has gone to her friend’s house to work on a school project and the mil has gone out with her visiting daughter from Hong Kong. I feel no pressure at all rushing off my assignments as I have no driver duty to do, no errands to run and no need to cook today.  I needn’t even have to drive out to buy lunch as Sherilyn settled all my meals!

She cooked broccoli + scallion omelette and sauteed organic mixed fresh mushrooms with butter and cajun. Both dishes were yums and right up my alley!

For dessert, she made salted caramel apple crumble for the birthday mum, with no specific recipe. She assembled the dessert with leftover whipping cream that she used for my birthday cake and the salted caramel apples were for her oats this morning. She whacked several pieces of plain crackers to use as the crumble.

Yesterday Sherilyn whomped up a mango cake for me, in under two hours.

Fresh mangoes were used to decorate the cake into the shape of a yellow rose. The cream is made from fresh whipping cream and matcha powder.

Dinner will be at Stone Nine by Jiro Shabu again, a place that I’ve fallen in love with after our first dining experience last weekend.

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Different Kind of Hide-And-Seek

There’s a different kind of hide-and-seek game in our home. It’s a “mum hides gadget, mum soon forgets hiding place, kids look high and low for it and finally gadget pops out when you least expect it” sort of game. All the time. Because mum has too many things to sort out in her mind and her grey cells are depleting so fast that she experiences short-term memory deficit on trivial and unimportant things.

The gadget that I usually hide are the iPad, mobile phone, power bank, TV remote control and story books. Just because some people won’t listen. I hide them at lightning speed just when they turn their backs on me.  With a million drama to deal with and chores to do every single day, who has space in the brain left to remember where those gadgets are hidden, right? Right?

Just the other day, I hid the TV remote control in the mil’s room when she was overseas.  Weeks later, I forgot where I hid it… until the hubs asked for it. When he hollered for the TV remote control, the girls said “mummy hid it!”  But I have no frigging recollection on where I hid it!  Then the four of us (girls and I) went hunting for the TV remote control, to no avail of course. 🤭

Fast forward three days later. When the mil was unpacking her luggage bags and putting her clothes back into her wardrobe, she found the TV remote control!  After 1.5 months of missing in action!  The house was a barrel of laughs when we saw the hidden and found remote control 😆

Does this happen in your house too?

 

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Big Rat In The House

Someone did it again. After sneaking out my favorite Whittaker’s hazelnut dark chocolate bit by bit on a daily basis and finishing almost the entire bar, she left one itsy-bitsy piece of chocolate in the Tupperware container for me.

Because she was scared I would reprimand her for eating chocolate everyday and say that she’s a greedy little girl, because she was lazy to wash the container and because she had an itty-bitty piece of conscience left that made her feel bad. Thus the pathetic piece of chocolate left in the container for me!

That frigging bar of Whittaker’s chocolate cost RM25 and gone in  days!

Next time, I have to stash all my chocolates or buy a container with a padlock to keep all my favorite food out of bounds.

The hubs is right. We have reared piranhas!

 

 

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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!” ❤

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Grocery Bill 2

Shopping for groceries is my almost daily affair. I get my dose of retail therapy even if it means shopping for groceries, in a chic and clean air conditioned supermarket that is, where I can get everything that I want and not in a stinky and hot wet market  😏 I know I am spoilt like that. But I do get sick of grocery shopping at times, especially when I know that the bill is going to break the bank, like when I need to get a bottle of extra virgin olive oil on top of a bottle of organic raw honey, a pack of organic blue pea + lemon grass tea, organic pork, fruits, et al. Imagine getting all these in a day and you haven’t even bought lunch, petrol and grab some stuff from the pharmacy. And the tuition and piano fees and it’s just the first week of the month. Wait, the van transporters’ fare too! Horror!

This is my grocery bill on 9 April 2018:

Only 10 items and the damage is RM100.19.  Remember the cheese that I bought on 5 April 2018? The moment I brought the groceries home, someone who was about to pack lunch to school quietly ripped off the packet of cheese and put 2 slices of cheese on only ONE slice of bread.  She got a tongue lashing from me and what do I know? Within 3 days, the packet of cheese was finished and none left for me. None!! Thank God I don’t really fancy cheese. It’s confirmed. I am living with a bunch of piranhas!  So honey, you see again? Your money has gone to these carnivorous piranhas on a feeding frenzy!

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Grocery Bill

It’s been a while since I last posted about what’s in my daily groceries shopping cart!

Being a health freak mom who believes in eating natural and organic food with minimal to zero processed food, our monthly grocery bills exceed RM2,000 per month.  If we can afford going fully organic, our grocery bill will be double or even three times this amount!  And this is not inclusive of our supplements and other household items.

Hopefully our clean eating is our insurance to having good health with zero major ailments.

My shopping cart yesterday was pretty empty. It’s usually half full or full, filled with organic pork, chicken, milk, yoghurt, vegetables, nuts, seeds and the whole enchilada for our 3 growing piranhas.  Though I only bought 10 items (free range chicken eggs and almond strips not in the cart yet), the bill amounted to RM100.13!

Honey, you always wonder why you have to give me money everyday, nah the proof. No Hermes, no Versace and no luxury items. Just healthy stuff for your darlings.  Worth it, ain’t it? 😉

 

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Pan-Fried Soy Sauce Prawns

Today I wanted to teach Cass to be responsible at home by helping to clear and clean the table after lunch. If Alycia and Drama Queen are around, they would be the ones to clear and clean the dining table after every meal. They are normally not around for lunch on school days. After lunch, the little spoilt brat with a cavalier attitude would leave the table and dash straight to the bathroom. Today, I decided that Cass is old enough to take on the duty.  She should start to be responsible just like her 2 older sisters. As there were plastic takeout boxes with watery gravy inside, I warned her specifically to be extra careful before she brought the boxes to the bin, lest she dropped them onto the floor.

Me: Cassandra, be VERY, VERY, VERY careful when you bring the boxes to the kitchen. First, close the lid tightly so that the gravy won’t spill out.  Be very careful NOT TO DROP THE BOXES on the floor, else the gravy would splatter and it’s going to be a big big mess. Understand?

Cass: OK!

And what do I know? The second she turned her back from the table with the gravy-filled takeout box, SPLAT!!  Her butter fingers dropped the box with gravy onto the floor.  Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t believe her!! That scatty girl.  I was seething!!

I made her clean up the floor and showed her how to clean up while berating her.

Does this sound familiar? Do you have a child like this too? That “I can’t believe you” anger can really send you a few years earlier knocking on Heaven’s door. Right? Right?

OK, moving on to the food scene!  Just a few days before the mil returned from Hawaii, I discovered that there was still a packet of prawns in the freezer. It was sitting in the freezer for over one month. She bought them just before she left for Hawaii.  What would she say when she returned and saw the packet of prawns?  I didn’t want her to have the impression that I hardly cook. Truth is the girls and I are not fans of prawns. Thus, I hardly buy them.   So I quickly cooked the prawns  the same evening that I discovered them.

This soy sauce pan-fried prawn recipe is the mil’s signature dish. And it’s SO easy to cook that you’d think I’m not revealing all the ingredients and steps.

Don’t you just love the vibrant colors of the prawns, broccoli and tomatoes? I love traffic colors on my plate 😀 I am utterly enamoured with this colorful dish that tastes as good as it looks. Even the ‘fussy king’ (a moniker the girls and I give the hubs, HA HA!!) loved it and had no criticism darted at it. Being a perfectionist caterer, the fussy king is VERY VERY critical of the food people cook, his mum and I inclusive!

Ingredients:
Medium / large size prawns – devein the prawns with a pair of scissors
Cooking oil
Soy sauce
Sugar – I used organic muscovado sugar
A dash of Chinese cooking wine
Spring onions and Chinese parsley cut into 10 – 15cm length (as this was a last-minute dish, I didn’t have the time to buy spring onions and parsley, thus omitted them)
Cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, whatever vegetables you have to decorate the plate.

Method:
Heat up oil.

Pan-fry prawns until they turn orangy in color / thoroughly cooked. That will take approximately 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns. Be very careful not to over cook the prawns or they will be rubbery and dry and that’s the last thing you want. You don’t want the prawns to end up being ‘recycled’ in fried rice the next day.

Dish out the prawn and leave aside.

With the remainder oil in the wok / pan, add in soy sauce and sugar. Mix well. You can add a little water if you wish.

Add in the spring onions or Chinese parsley and a dash of Chinese cooking wine. Let them simmer for about one minute. Do not overcook the spring onions and Chinese parsley.

Pour the sauce over the prawns

Decorate the plate with the vegetables.

This is a perfect dish for Chinese New Year or any Chinese festival celebrations and is a total crowd-pleaser.

Do give this one a try, it’s a winner! Bon Appetit!

 

 

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Updates – 25 July 2017

Sorry for the lack of update in my blogs. It was only after a phone call from my dearest mummy this morning to check on me on why I have been so quiet lately that I realized that I have not been updating my blogs for days.

So why the silence?

Whenever you do not read updates from me, I am either:

  1. feeling under the weather
  2. busy with the girls
  3. internet down
  4. out of town / country
  5. simply couldn’t find my mojo to write.

This time, it’s no. 1, 2 and 3.

I have been busy revising with Cass and Drama Queen over the weekend. Also, I caught the flu bug from the hubs and Drama Queen and started to have a nose that dripped water like a leaking tap and an irritated throat since yesterday. I was running to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes to blow and clean my nose at the sink. I don’t use tissue papers as this will only cause a sore nose.  I was struggling to keep myself alive the whole of yesterday — dragged myself into the kitchen to cook and to revise with Cass who is sitting for her term exam which started yesterday and only ending next Wednesday.  To compound matters, the internet at my house was down for more than half a day yesterday and by the time it was up again, it was time for me to cook dinner already. I was really down when the internet was down as I could not do anything on the computer, except to use my mobile phone but that’s using the mobile data. Furthermore, with a phone, my work is limited.  When it rains, it pours hard!

This morning while I was waiting for Cass to dress up for school before I tied her hair into a bun, I told Cass that my eyes felt very  heavy and I didn’t feel like exercising. Cass looked at me with a stern look and with a serious tone, she said this:

Cass : mummy, PLEASE don’t go jogging ok? We can go down to the lobby ourselves. We are not babies anymore. You go back to sleep. And don’t you dare go jogging!

And so after sending Drama Queen and Cass off to the school van, I snuggled back onto my cozy bed and slept for 2 hours (with dreams some more haha!), only to wake up at 9:30 a.m. for a breakfast of a slice of Japanese chiffon cake and a bowl of light Marmite soup (1 teaspoon to 300 ml of water).

It’s usually safe to exercise when you have a cold as long as you listen to your body. You’ll need to watch out for certain risky situations, like shortness of breath, a congested nose (which may cause difficulty in breathing) and fever.  As I felt very lethargic (from lack of sleep) with tired eyes and a beat up body, I decided to catch up on my sleep. Sleep is equally as important as exercise and when you have a cold, you should listen to your body’s calling. It is during deep sleep that our body repairs itself.  I listened to my body and took a 2-hour nap, woke up and felt like I’ve recovered from the cold.  With just natural supplements like carotenoids, hydrogen water, Esberitox, raw honey, Manuka honey, propolis and lots of sleep / rest, I am on my way to recovery in just a day!  PTL!

 

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Final Exams Are Over!

FINALLY the day that all the exams for year 2016 are over and done with is here today. For all 3 girls. Can you feel my relief? Can you? 😀 😀

If you are a parent with school-going kids, I am sure you’ll feel me deeply.

I have not planned out what to do with the girls yet as they still have 1 more month of school to attend before the 1-month school holiday starts. But tomorrow we will be attending a food and fun fair at our church. The girls have been looking forward to attend this fun fair for months.

For me, I have nothing much to look forward to except to catch up on my sleep this weekend.  And it is just about the right time for me to do my yearly medical screening again.  Much as I hate going to the hospital to have blood works (hate the fasting!) and scans done, these can be life-saving.  Don’t scrimp on medical screenings and investing in some good supplements. These are the little things which may seem insignificant to you now and  you may not see the immediate benefits yet. Or you may say that you do not have the budget for them. Not  until  you are dealt with a  shocking diagnosis by which time regretting is the one thing that will corrode you. I wish this will never happen to anyone. I have a customer whose mother skipped just 1 year of not having a medical screening done.  The following year when she went for her medical screening, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had less than a year to live.  She was only in her early sixties.

Have a good and relaxing weekend world! 🙂

Yesterday’s dinner…

Sauteed okra with organic ‘milk white’ vegetable (lai park), big onions, tomatoes, shredded kafir lime leaves and Baba’s rendang curry powder.  The ‘milk white’ veggie is added into this dish coz some fussy pot hates okra.  This kid literally pukes each time I force okra down her throat, I kid you not!

Baked garoupa fish breaded with wholewheat bread crumbs.  If you have kids who dislike eating fish, try baking breaded fish. The bread crumbs lend a very crispy texture and aroma to the fish. My kids who are not great fans of the fish love fish cooked in this style.

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Award-Winning Dawdler

Someone just spoilt my afternoon and I am still burning with anger!

Just a moment ago, I received a call from a sales staff from a bank trying to sell a product to me. I wasn’t interested and I told him straight. Then he said that he won’t take long and just wanted to give me some quick info on the product.  But I am freaking busy alright.  I had and still have 1001 things to do and I just told a white lie to the caller: “I am in a meeting right now”.  And before I could swipe the end button on my phone to end the call, some smart alec hollered loudly across and said “NO, YOU ARE NOT IN A MEETING!”  

HOW DARE SHE DO THAT TO ME?!! 

I am certain that the caller heard that!! Though I didn’t give a hoot.

I quickly swiped the end button on my phone… then shot killer dagger stares and spewed lava on this eat-full-nothing-to-do kid! She’s got a Math exam tomorrow and she had already wasted an hour in the bathroom faffing around and when she came out, she hadn’t even taken her shower!!   I was so enraged I wanted to swallow her up. I would if I were a ruthless giant.  As I am typing this post, this dawdler is at the balcony tending to her plants. Aaaarrrgh… I so want to swallow her up right NOW!!

 

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Exam Fever

Today is finally the end of Alycia’s final exam. It has been a tough one week for her with lots of last minute revising and only getting 4 hours of sleep each night. My constant nagging to the girls to revise daily has fallen on deaf ears and she prefers to do an eleventh hour revision, in which case, hers is a seventh hour revision just before sitting for her papers! Let me see how she has fared in her exam this time. Since it is such a tall order for me to get her to follow my method of revising, the next best would be for her to do a trial and error on her own studying methods. Her first method of revising during her first semester exam was with her iPod next to her books with music blasting into her ears via ear plugs. The method failed.  Her grades were middling. This time, she surrendered her iPod to me a week before her exam, albeit with reluctance. She studied in total silence in her room with the door locked to prevent her sisters from annoying her. If her seventh hour revision method fails too, I believe she will try another technique in her next exam. One thing for sure is that she needs tuition for Math and I have already found a tuition center for her to begin tuition next month.

Alycia and her classmates have planned to have a little celebration in school with a basketball game after the end of their exam today. I’ll bet when she comes home later today, she’ll plonk herself on the bed and sleep like a baby the entire afternoon. Today marks the end of all the exams for Alycia for this year. Drama Queen and Cass will be sitting for their exam next week and I can foresee tomorrow being a nerve-racking day for me revising with the two dawdlers in the house! I can’t wait for next Friday to come to mark the end of all exams for the girls for this year…

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Smart TV Lessons From Drama Queen

Can you believe that ever since the hubs replaced our old TV with a WiFi-enabled smart TV one year ago, I still do not know how to turn it on? HA HA HA!  Unbelievable right?

Truth is, I have NO TIME to watch the TV.

Am I the only work-from-home-mum of 3 kids who is so outdated and still living in a world of dinosaur TVs? Tell me I am not the only one, tell me!! I feel dumb ya know.

Last week, Drama Queen had to give me a short tutorial on how to operate the smart TV but know what? Half way through it, I was interrupted by work again and by the time I was done replying my customer, I looked at the clock and dang it, it was time to cook dinner already!  So yeah, I still do NOT know how to switch on the frigging damn smart, smart TV!!

How many of you here is just like me and still don’t know how to operate the smart TV? Raise up your hand!! 😀

 

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Bribing My Kids

Today I bribed the small brat.  Cute as a button and can melt my heart when she is in her angelic mode, this brat can be a little monster when she is switched to devilish mode, spewing out the molten lava from my within through my nose, mouth, ears and all outlets in my body.

Though she is doing pretty well in her studies in school, she has an ‘attitude problem’, which is driving me NUTS!   Something must have happened between her and her tutor and she started to dislike her Mandarin tutor recently.  The brat will act up each time the tutor comes and this is DRIVING ME INSANE!  Now, this Mandarin tutor is the nicest teacher I have met. Alycia loves this tutor and got along with her really well throughout the 5 years that she tutored Alycia.   Cass and the tutor started off with a very cordial and chummy relationship since the beginning of time.  Cass was about 5 years old when she joined her 2 sisters during Mandarin enrichment classes.  When her syllabus got tougher as she progressed from pre-school to Primary 2, naturally the tutor had to increase the homework load.  Coming from a family consisting of yellow banana parents, our girls are gravitated towards English. They speak in English at home, watch TV shows, listen to English songs and prefer reading English books. With so much influences from pop stars from the West, they are pretty much ‘westernized’.

It was the hubster’s idea of sending the girls to a Chinese school. I had already anticipated all the problems that would brew and crop up one by one should our girls be educated in a Chinese school and tried to change his mind 8 years ago, but the hubster stood his ground – only Chinese school. Period.

Fine then.

For a child coming from an English-speaking family with yellow banana parents, mastering the Chinese language will be tough – most of the time, as they are unable to receive much guidance from the parents. Naturally, our girls had a very tough time picking up the Chinese language since they were in pre-school. While spoken Chinese is still manageable as their grandma speaks in Mandarin with them whenever she is around, written Chinese is one of the toughest languages to master and they all struggled during the initial years.  They are still struggling with Chinese writing.  I personally find that whether a child can flourish in a Chinese school depends very much on the character of the child. Does the child possess the material to study in a Chinese school?

Alycia survived 6 years in a Chinese high prestige primary school (SBT) and breezed through it, though she had had many minor melt-downs during Mandarin tuition classes.  She had a very good tutor who would entertain answering her questions sent via Whatsapp round the clock. Yes, I am referring to the same tutor.   Alycia did not protest when her daddy was adamant in sending her to a Chinese independent high school (private).  She is doing OK now. It is too soon to comment further as she is only in Junior High One.

For Sherilyn, she has a typical ‘kwai por’ or ‘Mat Salleh’ character. When she was younger, she used to tell us “I am an English girl, not a Chinese girl!”  She would greet me “hey mum” (and she still does),  reads only English books, watches English movies and listens to English songs and tells me “I HATE CHINESE SCHOOL!!” all the time.  She even recites the times table in English though they are required to do so in Mandarin.  She would morph into another person during Mandarin tuition classes.  She gets so bored that she can snooze off during Mandarin tuition classes.  She would find ways to stall time like faffing around pretending to look for things or pretend to have urges to use the bathroom.  And now, the littlest one is just like Sherilyn during Mandarin tuition classes!!  Monkey see monkey do.  Which is why I feel SO stressed out lately whenever the Mandarin tutor comes.  On bad days, she would refuse to cooperate with the tutor. This is when corporate punishment is meted out.   I feel so harried by the two brats and I am sure the tutor feels the same.

When I run out of ideas to get the 2 brats to behave during Mandarin classes, I bribe them. I use threats and corporal punishment.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. It is easier to use bribes on the littlest brat.  Today I bribed her with something that she really likes from my online store, which is some magic clay.   And it worked. She behaved 90% well, which is a vast improvement compared to the previous class.  I know my way of dealing with these 2 brats is not ideal.  There could be some better ways.  But I do not have the time and money to find a better solution. You may suggest  finding another tutor who uses a different approach in teaching them or perhaps have a better chemistry with these 2 brats. But it is not easy to find another good tutor. I am very comfortable with the current tutor who is one of the nicest teachers around and her fees are very reasonable.  Also, I know that a child cannot be compelled to like something which she naturally dislikes. This will backfire and have serious negative consequences.  These 2 brats hate studying in a Chinese school but are compelled to.

I can’t rant out to the hubs for he will comment that I am harping on the same string again and again. And I can anticipate his replies to me.  He is by nature a very happy-go-lucky person and does not place high expectations on academic achievements on his girls.  He’ll be satisfied with mediocre marks and positions while I am the total opposite.

OK, enough of ranting.  I just have to accept the ebb and flow of life of a mother with 3 head strong kids.  My motherly instinct tells me that they will turn out well in future.  And just like Lukas Graham sings – my mama said that it was OK.  Mama said that it was quite alright.

My mama always tells me to let it go and chill… she was not pushy on my studies when I was young (and she was a teacher) and I still turned out fine now 🙂

 

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Supermom

On some bad days, the term “I am a good mom” is not by any stretch of my own imagination. I’d feel incompetent and unfit to be a mom. On some good days, “I am a good mom” does not really measure my own worth.   On these good days, the girls would think that their mummy is out of this world. 🙂

Saturdays are usually busy days for me. My day would start at 4:45am to do some chores and then to wake Alycia up to prepare her for school.  Alycia attends full day school on Saturdays.

Then, I send Sherilyn off to the tuition center by 9am, have a quick breakfast with Cass, do some quick shopping for groceries and rush back home before 11am.  Cass has tuition from a private Mandarin tutor at 11am.

At 1pm, it’s time for me to fetch Sherilyn back from the tuition center.

Back home, I sit with Cass and guide her when she practices her piano.  Yesterday, I spent my afternoon revising BM with Sherilyn and Cass. Today is another blood-vomiting and hair-pulling session for me!

By 2:30pm, Alycia is back from school. After her lunch and shower, she does her homework. Since she does not have any tuition, I guide her in whatever subjects that I can whenever she asks me to.  Thankfully, most of her subjects are in English.  Though she attends a private Chinese school, subjects like Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology are taught in English (Cambridge syllabus).   English subject is Cambridge syllabus too.

Math for Junior Middle One is super duper tough. I don’t recall doing anything like what Alycia’s doing now when I was in Form 1,  30 years ago.  The Math book is Cambridge syllabus but edited by the school’s board of Mathematicians.

Below are the questions for Alycia’s Math homework yesterday.  They were considered the ‘easiest’ I have seen thus far.   On a few occasions in the past, I wasn’t able to help her solve the sums and had to Whatsapp my younger brother (UK educated electrical engineer) or friends for help.

I felt a sense of achievement when I could solve the two questions that she tossed to me yesterday.  Since I did not have the time to help her at home, I snapped a picture of the page and brought it along with me to work on the sums when I waited for Cass to finish her piano class at Yamaha.  Once I was done, I snapped a picture of the answer sheet and messaged it back to Alycia on Facebook so that she could complete her homework 😀

My old brain ain’t rusty after all.  Though I don’t remember much about the Math and Add Math formulas that I learned 30 years ago, I applied common sense to solve those questions. What I learned decades ago was pretty different from what my girls are learning now in a Chinese school. I was a product of a Kebangsaan school (Methodist Girls School).

Today (Sunday) is another long and hard day for me. My day started at 4:45am.  Alycia has a jogathon to start off at 6:30am.

I prepared a slice of toasted wheat bread and a glass of Manuka honey to help fuel her 10km run.

 

Life as a mom is really tough. But I am not complaining.  The man will always remind me of our struggles and battle with infertility 16 years ago. His reminders have never failed to wake me up and remind me to appreciate our 3 princesses, however tough it is to raise them – mentally, physically and financially.  Because that was what we earnestly prayed and asked for from God 16 years ago. 🙂

 

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