Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to make ice-cream warmer?

"I want to make my ice-cream warmer."

Wyng made a fuss when Hoe bought him a plain vanilla cone sundae instead of chocolate fudge as topping for his sundae. He said the chocolate fudge will make his ice-cream warmer as he doesn't like his ice-cream too cold!

What are you talking about, Wyng?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Enjoy the ice-cream and save money

He savours it as though it is his last.  He will take his own sweet time to eat his favourite ice-cream.  He enjoys it, licks it and doesn't bite until he really has to.

When I tell him to hurry as it will be melting very soon, his answer will be, "Enjoy ma.. Why eat so fast? Waste money!  While he was licking the ice-cream in this video, Mom,Dad and Qo Qo had already finished theirs much earlier.

If only Mom can save money when the kids enjoy and eat their ice-cream ssslowwwly.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have a blessed Christmas

This is the second piece of art Wyng brought back after his second Arts class.  The shape of the Christmas tree was drawn following a specimen (obviously).  Being a detailed boy (not consistent though), he pointed out to me that there were two flaws that he made and the teacher didn't realise them.  First, the one of snowman's bow was not coloured. Second, the second (from the left) Santa Claus' hands were not outlined.

The decoration on the tree was drawn according to his imagination.  As for the snow flake, only one is drawn by the teacher, the rest were drawn by Wyng. It's quite easy to spot it, can you?

I take this opportunity to wish everyone, especially visitors of my blog,

A blessed and joyful Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

He is a real reader

On an outstation trip as we were travelling in our car heading towards KL, Wyng kept reading the small signs located along the highway.  These are signs which indicate the distance to KL.  Guess what, he was patient and persistent enough to read for a good 5 to 6 minutes.

Twenty six, twenty five point five, twenty five, twenty four point five, twenty four, twenty three point five, and so forth. It was so mundane that I have to stop him from rattling some boring numbers on and on .  No one was paying attention to him except Mom and after the long journey we just needed some quietness for a while. But, Wyng never seemed to tire.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What are neighbours for?

Nothing. They are disappointingly selfish too. I was already wasn't so hopeful about having helpful neighbours. An incident last year proved this.

Hoe had problems with our house lock and could not unlock the door when he tried to enter the house.  I was out then.  All he could think of was to contact me and having no handphone or a single cent, he tried frantically to borrow a phone from someone in the condo where we stayed.

He only sought out help from two places in our condo and gave up after the fruitless attempts. First, at the mini market located at the ground floor of our condo. The old lady (the boss' mother), in her late 70's who was manning the counter at that time was adopting a 'don't care-less' attitude. In an unconvinced attitude, she said her phone was spoilt and suggested Hoe to talk to her son who was in another room in the mini market at that time. Hoe was,of course, reluctant and left the mini market without even approaching the man.

The second place Hoe went to was our neighbour staying at the same floor. The owners of the unit were an old couple in their early 60's. The lady is a retiree who had a stroke a few months ago which left her with speech problems.  Prior to this incident and her stroke, she was kind of friendly whenever we met in the lift.  I don't doubt that she recognises Hoe as a next-door neighbour.  Well, this incident proved her self-centredness despite her stroke condition.

As Hoe related to me how he approached this old couple, it just pissed me off even more.  He told me he was standing at the door explaining to the uncle that he needed to borrow a phone to contact me.  The stroke-stricken lady was in the living room, not only did not help. She yelled quite audibly 'don't care about him' to her husband at the door.  The man then walked back into the living room, ignoring Hoe.

Having no choice, Hoe waited for me for two hours before I finally reached home.  He was too exhausted and starving by then.

After hearing his story, I was furious and pissed off. Not satisfied with just grumbling to Hoe and Wyng about our selfish neighbours, I proceeded to confront the couple. The husband appeared lackadaisical (as he always does whenever we meet at the lift prior to the incident) and gave excuse that he didn't know my son when I demanded an explanation. Do you need to know someone to help them? 

Being very blunt, I went on to say that Hoe is just a boy who needed help and would have no intention to harm anyone. How could a helpless and hungry twelve-year old boy harm anyone? I didn't wait for an explanation from him.  From the living room, I heard the old lady trying to murmur something and she was trying to signal that she didn't know what happened and that she couldn't speak or do much.  All of a sudden, she appeared to be so feeble when she was just yelling at the top of her voice earlier! Talking about self-pity.

I walked off, relieved that I had said what I wanted to.

I didn't approach the mini-market's boss' mother. They will never get any business from me from that moment onwards.  Even if I have to drive a few miles away to get a grocery item, I swear I will never buy anything from them.  That old lady who used to portray a very friendly and kind person whenever I patronised her mini-market was in fact a hypocrite, all for the name of business.

This incident left me an impression that people, worse still neighbours can be so cold-hearted and self-centred especially in a situation when their help is needed.  They conveniently forget the meaning of giving just because they do not want to lose.  Or are they so negative that helping may land them in trouble or become poorer? But, it would only probably be 50 sen that they may be losing by offering to lend a kid a telephone or handphone.

So, what are neighbour truly for? Just to smile, say 'Hi' and 'Bye' and nothing else? One wonders.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Arts class to keep the kid occupied productively

What better way to keep the kid occupied during these holidays than to enrol him in Arts classes?  As Wyng always draws on loose pieces of paper (though Mom purposely bought him an A4-sized book just for his drawing), I am not reluctant at all to send him for classes.

Wyng was adamant at first, as usual. Even after the first lesson, he was a little hesitant to go while I was dropping him at the centre for his second lesson.  During his first lesson, he drew a Santa Claus sock using colour pencil.  On the second week, he was taught to draw and colour a Christmas tree. Surprisingly, he came contentedly into the car and said he enjoyed the class.

That was what Mom wanted to hear. Anyway, December is a probation month for Wyng's Arts class. If he likes it, he will continue. Otherwise, Mom will not insist.

For this, Mom bought him poster colour and magic colour.  He will only get a big bag (to store his arts supplies) after he is sure that he will continue with the class.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The kids at the world's longest indoor tube slide

As soon as we stepped into the mall from the lift lobby, Lex Slide, the world's longest indoor tube caught the guys' attention.

Make sure you watch til the end of the video for great sound effect!

Don't close the videos until you have watched Hoe (in red tee shirt) spiral down

As we were window-shopping, they couldn't help but kept wondering which floor the tube starts.  Their wish came true when we went up to the top floor and saw two young chaps manning the entrance to the tube.  Three enthusiastic pre-school kids were already getting ready for the exciting ride.  Wyng and Hoe were anticipatively observing them.  Thanks to Mom, the kids got to ride in this spiralling tube.

For something thrilling but (too) short during the holidays to make the kids happy, RM10 for each kid for 3 rides, it's not too heavy on our pockets.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Is your kid a reluctant actor?

The one-eyed pirate sitting down on the left, wearing a pirate hat, in a black and white striped tee is Wyng.

With only a few lines for this year-end drama, this is a drastic difference from his main role as the bridegroom last year. Why was he given a smaller role? Mom isn't pointing the fingers at anyone except that Wyng wasn't doing his best this time. What makes Mom think so?

I remember Wyng was holding a script after his drama class one Sunday.  The following week, he had ANOTHER script! This time it was a much shorter script, just about two short lines.  When I questioned him the reason he was given a different and shorter script, he just couldn't give me a satisfactory answer.  His body language and expression told me that he forgot his script and wasn't doing a very good job. Later, I found out that he forgot where he put his old script.  Sigh... To self-comfort myself, it may be better for me to think that this villain role is better given to someone more aggressive. This Indian boy is acting the role of Pirate Joe very well. He received quite a thunderous applause.  

This guy didn't seem to enjoy the stage,his look in this photo can probably tell. Why? Was it because of the eye patch or the hat which was bothering him? I am not surprised if he wasn't comfortable with those costume accessories.  He refused to wear the necklaces initially. Mom had to bribe him again to make him wear them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A premium priced but lousy dinner

Have you ever walked into a Japanese restaurant without being greeted in Japanese? Yes, you can find it at Little Tokyo at Cheras Leisure Mall.

Not only were we not greeted, we were not served in a friendly manner.  Although we were queueing for vacant seats, we were not allowed to sit at a table supposedly for seven person.  There were four of us. We had to wait for a few more minutes until another table of four being cleared.

We waited quite a while for our food.  Actually, we don't mind the waiting if our food was delicious.  What made me fumed was that another table who came after us was being served their food first.  When I 'threatened' to leave, the waitress was not apologetic at all when she emphasized that 'our food will be served SOON'.

We were finally served! With the premium price we are paying, the serving and quality seem more like those served at 'lower-class' Japanese restaurant.

 Salmon Sashimi at RM18.90
I am never a lover of salmon sashimi so I don't know how this taste compared to other Japanese restaurant. According to Hoe and Daddy, it tastes good but Daddy gives the thumbs down for the price.

Ebiko prawn sushi at RM7.90 
Two pieces for RM7.90 may seem pricey though the size is bigger than the ones sold at Sushi King.

 Tuna sushi
Tuna (the canned type) sushi is one of my favourite. Sigh... only when they served that I realised it's actually fresh tuna sushi. I didn't know there's such tuna sushi sold until that day.

 Unagi tamado don RM18.90
For this price, the serving is too small.  The unagi is too precious for them to serve too many pieces.

 Kimchi noodle (I think sold at RM15.90)
Hoe adventurously ordered this noodle though Mom had warned him. Certainly not his cup of tea. There's not much meat, which is Hoe's favourite and the sour kimchi, yucks! Even Mom doesn't take a liking to it.

 Beef ball noodle (again I think sold at RM15.90)
Beef ball noodle, Mom has tried this else where and certainly knows what beef ball taste like. Should Japanese beef ball noodle taste like this? The beef ball doesn't taste like beef.  The soup is rather bland. 

Teriyaki Chicken at RM18.90
I was glad I ordered this.  This is the safest dish I will pick from a Japanese menu. It's rather disappointing though. How tough is it to cook teriyaki chicken? Well, for the price I paid, the teriyaki isn't flavoursome enough.  It's just ok. 

I missed that loud but warm 'Sumimasen!!' by waiters and waitresses from Japanese restaurants such as Sushi King, Sakae Sushi and Ichiban Boshi.  The total bill came to RM117, not so costly but it's not worth it for the kind of food and service rendered to us. By the way, there's NO service. When I had paid for the bill and we walked out, no waiters or waitresses bothered to thank us.

So, Little Tokyo, first and last visit!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Should you bribe your kids to behave?

I do know parents should not bribe their kids with money to accomplish tasks which are their responsibilities.  For example, to complete their homework or tidy up their room.

When it comes to 'additional' tasks or responsibilities, a small bribe might not be damaging. At times, I will use it even when they are asked to complete their homework on unearthly hour or time of the day such as a public holiday when they still have ample time to do the next day.

So, what do I bribe my kids to do? For teenage kids such as Hoe, it will be used for tasks such as:

* house chores on top of those which he is responsible for
* completing additional school work on top of his school or homework
* accomplish stuff which he is reluctant to do such as trying a new kind of food

For his younger brother, Wyng, bribes work for things such as:

* more work relating to studies such as completing more pages of exercises for subjects such as BM and English
* house chores such as scrubbing the toilet wall
* finish his meals at lightning speed
* sleep earlier than his usual time on holidays
It's quite hard to convince this fella to do things he won't do such as eating vegetable. He'd rather not receive any reward at all.

What's my bribe reward for them? Computer time is the best reward for them.  They would kill for it. For Wyng, television time, ice-cream or a meal at McD works as good at times.

Be careful though Mom, it may be a painful lesson if bribes are used too often.  Moderation is always the name of the game!

Friday, December 9, 2011

What's that black and yellow thing?

Here is something Wyng asked from his favourite joke book.

Wyng : What's black and yellow and buzzes at 35,000 feet?

Answer : A bee in an aeroplane.

There are dozens more jokes that Wyng had memorized from this book.  It has gone to a point when he was reading it day and night.  This obsession will take a while to subside.  After reading (and memorizing) the jokes, he will excitingly test if those jokes are really funny by asking his Daddy, Qo Qo and poor Mom.  Some jokes are quite ok and acceptably funny when we can't answer them.  Some are beyond our imagination.

Whatever they are, one needs to be in good mood to listen to Wyng patiently tell his jokes or ask a joke question.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The television programmes my kid watches

Wyng's favourite programmes are from channels such as National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet and kids' programmes from TV IQ such as Kids United, Backyard Science among others. Sometimes, he also loves to watch Wipe Out, Masterchef and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

I do not have problems with him watching all these shows at all.  Why complain when most of his science and general knowledge come from watching all these programmes?  However, lately ever since the commencement of the year-end school holidays, he is hooked on the Animax channel which shows a Japanese cartoon called Fairy Tail. He watches this programme and nothing else and his addiction has been going on for about a week.

So obsessed is he that when we go out to the grocer or nearby supermarket, he will be asking me how long have we been out.  This way, he knows how long he has missed the show.

I definitely want him to go back to his usual habit of watching those educational programmes. I am resorting to bribing him to watch these shows or he will not get to touch the computer.  It works!

Anything the kids are obsessed to is no good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This is obedience!

This was posted on 2 May 2009  in my previous removed blog. Here is a reposting.

I had just gobbled some leftover of beancurd and fish paste while watching TV with Wyng.

Lazy to walk to the kitchen, I instructed Wyng nicely,"Can you help me to put this (the plate) in the kitchen?". He smiled and said,"Can! This is called obedience and attentive." I don't know why he used 'attentive'. But, I am so impressed that he is really such an obedient boy (only, at times).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My kid explains food chain

Wyng and I were watching National Geographic's "Built for the kill, Birds of prey" on television this afternoon.  An eagle was ferociously chasing after a rabbit in the wild. Mom felt a scene when the eagle coldbloodedly tear off the rabbit's flesh with its strong beak disgusting.  To Mom's yucks, Wyng knowledgeably explained, "It's the food chain, food chain is like this one.  We are also like that.

Thinking that I wasn't convinced, he elaborated, "We eat chicken. We cook it and eat it."

Time for Mom to test him. "What's a food chain?"
Wyng: "A grasshopper eats a leaf, a lizard eats grasshoppers. A wolf eats lizards.And then, tigers eat wolves."
Mom further probed, "We also eat junk food."
Wyng enthused, "They are living thing or meat!"
Mom asked again, "So, is food chain important?"
"We need to eat. Every living thing needs to survive, no?"

Friday, December 2, 2011

The advantage of staying in a condo

Just when I thought we could have interruption-free surfing, we were plagued with another technical-related problem with our internet again.  All of a sudden, on a clear morning, when I did not expect anything wrong after just less than a week when my technical woes were solved, my internet seemed to go dead.  Clicking the internet connection icon on my desktop, I was quite perplexed with the 'no connection' message.

Upon further clicking, the troubleshooting said 'an ethernet was unplugged'.  Who unplugged when I was only on the net the night before?  Nobody touched it over the night.  Nothing was unplugged from the computer, further investigation revealed.  Hoe checked that the modem was 'dead'. There was not any light indicator.  So, what was the problem when the modem was only a few days old? 

The IT doctor reckoned it could be that the wiring or cabling or some kind of hardware connection malfunction.  I never had this problem in our more than 10-year-stay in a condo.  So, this time the culprit was lightnight surge on the adapter.

After more than 10 years of complaining about staying in a bird's cage, now I learn the benefit of it. It doesn't give problems to internet users.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Humpty Dumpty Mom had a great fall!

This was an accident I posted in my lost blog in 2008.

What was supposed to be a normal evening after dinner turned out to be a minor 'mishap'. After dinner, I took the kids for a stroll at our condo. Trying to add some fun to a dull evening, I thought of a wild idea to play hide-and-seek with Wyng. I gestured to Hoe who was behind me to hide from Wyng's sight when Wyng was a few steps ahead from us.

In another 30 seconds, we went to the original spot where we parted from Wyng. He was not there! Panic overtook me. The next thing was we heard Wyng screaming for 'Mommy!Mommy!'. Sending Hoe to one side of the condo to locate his brother, I went to the opposite end.

The clumsy side of me had almost lost her sharp senses of her surrounding. Not noticing the few flight of steps in front of me, I almost lied flat on the ground after a few balancing tripping steps forward. I landed on my stomach with my left hand stuck under a door with a rather soft metal door leaf. I felt like one of those emergencies in '911' TV programme.

Any slightest move of my hand triggered sharp pain. I yelled to Hoe which he screamed with echo telling me he's gotten Wyng and on his way. I was groaning in pain, the more I pulled my hand trying to release myself, the worse the pain got. Rescue came when a young lady passed by. She tried to help me lift the door leaf as it was locked. Realising this wouldn't actually help and with all the courage that I could gather then, I pulled my hand away from the door leaf.  I was overwhelmed that I didn't even remember whether I thanked the lady.

By then, my guys were back with me. My hand was shaking and I could feel the pain peaking in the first few seconds but slowly subsiding. Probably, it was because my guys were safe and sound beside me, other pain and discomfort didn't matter anymore so long my guys are safe with me.

I picked myself up and confessed to my guys that Mommy learnt a lesson. No more hide-and-seek next time. Only in the next hour or so did I realise the bruises that I suffered (as pictured) and I could even feel the pain on my knee and joint of both my big knuckle toes. The toes must have been hurt when I tripped on one of the steps. The knee must have suffered from the impact of falling down.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shall I stop my kid's drama class?

This November marked the third year Wyng's drama classes with Helen O' Grady.  I have a dilemma whether I should continue to let him be with this class or switch over to another one, hopefully somewhere nearer to our home.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The third pair of glasses for my kid

Possessing a terminator's abilities, it is not surprising that he broke his glasses again for the second time. As can be seen from the picture, it was obvious the screw came off causing the lense to fall off from the frame.  As though this was not 'rough' enough of him, he must have sat on the glasses causing the frame to bend in the middle. As usual, he pointed his finger to his friend.

Thankfully, he inherited two pairs of old glasses from his Qo Qo, which were still in very good condition despite being six years old.  Anyway, his Qo Qo wasn't really short-sighted, he just followed the crowd.  He hardly wore them. 

The glasses just needed a change of lenses to suit his shortsightedness and alas! they look brand new.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Starting the holidays with Kumon

The kids were full of enthusiasm when I decided to sign them up for Kumon Maths. Hoe is not new to Kumon, having attended their Maths classes for a year.  He quitted after having trouble completing his daily worksheets alongside with his school homework then.

I have decided to let Wyng try Kumon after quitting his short course in Olympiad Maths. Both were very excited when I enrolled them two weeks ago.  Yesterday was their first class in the centre.  Wow! the centre is packed with hopeful students. 

It was Hoe's idea to join Kumon this time.  Daddy has no problem 'investing' in him. He wants to occupy his time with something useful, it seems. So, Mom is okay with it as long as Daddy is not complaining about the additional commitment. Afterall, Kumon can play a role in instilling discipline and a sense of focus in this boy, not to mention helping him to excel in Maths.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What did my kid say about adults?

Last month, Wyng said something to us, to my annoyance, in the car. It was his reaction to something which his Dad didn't allow him to do.

"Adults are very good at changing subject.  They do that when they don't like to hear something they don't like."

Can I say he's wrong?

Absence from the net

2 and a half days without internet access... what an inconvenience!

Our modem got struck by lightning and thanks to a relative who helped us to instal a new one with a very very reasonable and unbeatable service charge. I hope this modem which has a warranty of 3 years can last us for a few good years without problems.  The old one was less than a year old and so we can probably claim against its warranty.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My kid was infected twice in 32 days

In September, he was down with sore throat, a cough and fever.  As expected, he was prescribed with antibiotics, cough and fever medicine. As a result, he missed school for two days.

One month and three days later, he was defeated again, this time by a different type of germs, according to the doctor.  'His throat is very red' so said the paeditrician. Still having some of the remaining fever tablets, he was prescribed with the 'must-have' antibiotics.  The doctor is right when he gave him 3 days' MC. In my mind, I was wondering whether the doctor was being too generous with giving MC. 

True enough, Wyng was really sick this time. He slept most of the time from day 2. On the first day, he was too addicted to TV that he wanted to 'nap' in front of the TV.  With my insistence, he napped for a few hours in the day time.  On day 2, he was really conked out. Feeble, he was almost bed-ridden, he didn't even ask for his favourite TV.  He could only take in less than 5 spoons of noodles in the morning and a very small portion of porridge in the evening.  I've never seen him in such condition.  Either the medicine is working in him or he just wasn't resting enough on day 1. 

Thankfully, the doctor gave him sufficient MC.  Now, I have no doubt about this paeditrician.  Wyng needed the third day away from school.  Although he's chattier, he is still not healthy to spend the whole day in school.  After 3 days of battle, he's lost so much of weight from the look of his face and tummy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to occupy the kids during the holidays?

The year-end school holidays are just around the corner.  It's good and bad news for parents.  Good news is for obvious reasons.  The bad news is the kids would be spending hours in front of the computer. School holidays are the only time they get to have long hours of computer time, so they will not forego this golden privilege.

The problem is there is only one computer at home, they will definitely be fighting to get more computer time. 'It's not fair Qo Qo can play so long', this will be a very common whining from Wyng. 

One activity I have in this adventurous mind of mine is indoor rock climbing.  I wonder whether this kind of activity is really easily accessible to novice like my kids.  Saw this place called Madmonkeyz at Wangsa Maju. 

Outbound camps will be suitable for Hoe,  he can probably join his cousins in their church camps.  Hopefully there will be one this year as they don't have it last year. There are not many holidays camps that I have come across suitable for Wyng yet.  Gotta keep surfing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My kid's own IQ tester

He's hooked on it, no doubt, ever since his Dad bought him a book.  He will never get bored of asking us (his Qo Qo, Mom and Dad) his collection of questions.

One fine day, as usual, in the car, an IQ question popped out from him.  He caught Mom in the right mood. 

Wyng : What do you get when you cross sports with a book?
Mom :  Any clue?
Wyng : The answer is a thing. And it's 'something' book.

Mom didn't give up as easily as Wyng has thought with dozens of tries, all with a name of a sport or game plus the word 'book' after it. but none were correct.  Wyng was rather impatient that I wasn't willing to give up and I took so long to solve it. 

'Activity book' is the answer. And, after that, he told us that he created that IQ question.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Are kids of this era exposed to the right thing?

It is not uncommon now to see kids, as young as two plus, playing on their iPads. Thanks to Steve Jobs, kids now grow up with Angry Birds, not Sesame Street's Big Bird. I doubt if kids now know who is Big Bird.

So, is there anything wrong with this scenario? Parents who want the best for their children know the answer.  How often do we observe such sights nowadays?

* a child playing an educational toy such as Lego or even a toy gun or those detachable toy pieces.  Toys are essential in a child's life, no doubt about this.  It stimulates their mind, it occupies them in an intelligent way, they discover their own strengths and weaknesses in the process of handling and playing the toys and a host of other benefits. I used to occupy my kids with toys while we were out on trips, while on waiting line etc. Now, you hear deafening shooting sound coming from a 'book-like' digital gadget.

* a child reading. With the hoo-ha about how little Malaysians read, what are we, parents doing about this phenomenon while our kids are still young? Do we now see parents reading together with a child, while waiting for their turn in banks or clinic or any public places?  Sadly, what can be seen are situations where the mother is 'watching over' a poor kid 'struggling' to complete her homework. This is more common.  Or, kids glued to a rectangle gadget while the parent is busy surfing on his iPhone.

* how about just a mother-daughter's or father-son's small talks? Communication is important, what more in this society where everyone seems to be so very busy with their life, pursuing, most of the time wealth or others which ironically doesn't benefit the children so much. Lack of communication or bonding with parents is said to be a factor for juvenile delinquence. Yet, we find this becoming so rare, especially in this IT era.
Kids talk but to their friends via a digital gadget using broken language, they write in acronyms only they understand on the web with all their friends. Four letter words are so commonly used on this era's most-loved book, Facebook.

Parents are well-aware of the danger of exposing young kids to excessive television or computer games and yet you see parents bringing along the 'must-have' iPad when they go out with kids. Isn't this bringing the computer games closer to them? The only difference is iPad is mobile whereas the computer is sitting at home.

Kids are now fed with iPad time, seen as a norm now to occupy them with this 'in' gadget. Kids gather, not to talk or chat or 'fight' their kungfu stunts. They crowd around an iPad, shooting pigs. What a smart game!

Understandably, our family doesn't own any iPhone or iPad.  A second-hand older version of iPad is very much within reach and it's rather tempting to be part of this current trend of technology. However, we opt out in this aspect.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My kid is testing my intelligence

Always wanting to win Mom, Wyng loves to test me with 'his' IQ questions. He had completed his final year examination recently and managed to achieve As in most of the core subjects.  Proud that he had done well and achieved the targets set for him, Mom then asked him who had helped him to do so well.  Looking bright-eyed at me with his sheepish smile, he assuredly replied, "Half you, half Yeh Lao Sher". Yeh Lao Sher is his tuition teacher who tutors him in BM, English and the other Chinese subjects.

It seems that Wyng doesn't want Mom to be smarter than him and that's why he doesn't want to say that he has Mom to thank for his good results. This was what he told me when I talked to him. Realizing this, Mom assured him that he would be smarter than Mom as he grows older.  Right on the spot after I said those words, he challenged me with his 'mind-boggling' questions.

Here are some of his so-called IQ tester:

Is wood stronger than steel?
Is kitchen waste top quality fertiliser?
What can suck away dirty blood?
If you fold a piece of paper into like a paper fan and place an empty pencil box on it, will it crush or still be like a fan?
Can you fold a paper 9 times?

All seem like a breeze to Mom except for the last question which made me pause for a while.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

He reads everywhere

This post appeared on 22 December 2008 in my previous blog.  Here is a reposting.

Wyng was 5 plus then
At any bookshop we frequent, on the bed, in the car, at the music centre and anywhere where he can lay his hands on books. He got the hang of reading sometime middle of this year. Since then, reading is no longer a struggle.

He seems to be hooked on it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My kid threatened me

My sister told me it's normal. All kids do it.  My kid did it more than twice to me.

We were friends on Facebook.  Well, it was a break and make 'friendship'.  After realising that I know too much of what he did or did not do through his postings, he unknowingly removed me as his friend.  And of course, I sensed his 'absence' from FB and confronted him.  He was made to add me as his friend again. I believe adding me as his friend earlier was his most regretful thing he had ever done in his life. 

Things went on as usual until one fine day when I was again curious about his inactivity on Facebook, I questioned him what had he done to his FB account.  After probing, he admitted that he had set some privacy settings to 'block' me.  "All my friends do that" was his excuse. So, it's peer pressure again.

Needless to say, he reluctantly reset the settings to normal.  Life went on and again today I interrogated if he had changed the setting again.  Mumbling some inaudible remarks, he tried to evade the topic.  As I was on the computer, he was 'forced' to restore the settings there and then.  Guess what! He asked if he could do it other times but I relented. 

Without doubt, he must be trying to remove some postings from FB which he didn't want Mom to see.  He was lucky that I was on the phone then that I did not stop him from deleting those 'confidential' posts.  Still not learning from his lesson, he threatened that he would be quitting Facebook and opened another account on Google Plus. 

When being questioned reason for doing it, he rebelled, "I just want to join another social network."

It seems that all kids set privacy settings to their mother who are friends to them for obvious reasons.  But, at least my nephews dare not do that to my sisters.

Monday, October 17, 2011

He destroyed three bags in two years

His first school bag , a trolley bag, when he was in Standard One met the end of its life in less than six months.   His second bag (a backpack) was slightly luckier, it met its death only after about more than a year.  Well, the reason is very simple.  He couldn't drag this bag like a trolley which he did to his first bag.  Having his classroom located on higher level made things worse as he ignorantly drags his bag down steps.  It is understandbly why kids do that judging from the tonne-like bags they carry. 

His current bag was transformed or rather salvaged from being a trolley bag to a backpack. (as shown on the picture).  Actually, Mom had earlier wanted to remove the handle to convert it into a backpack after realising that the books are just too heavy for Wyng's back, much to Wyng's annoyance.  As it's not easy to 'break' or 'remove' the handle without damaging the bag, Mom just left it as it was. 

Come one day Wyng brought back another surprise.  He came back with a 'handicap' bag, as shown in the picture.  Mom was overjoyed but a little stunned how on earth the handle could have broken.  Glad that the bag naturally converted itself to a backpack, Mom questioned Wyng what happened to his bag.  Twisting and turning his words, Mom couldn't get much sense out of the story he cooked up.  As always, Wyng pointed fingers at his friend. Everything, including the base, was broken too.  So, Mom removed the handle and the base and Voila! the old bag is given a new life!

With the trolley bag being destroyed, he now carries a backpack. This will last him until end of the year before the school holidays begin.  Beginning Year 3, he will be owning his fourth bag, a record-breaking event in the family.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My kid cooking up a dish

Hoe was finally allowed to demonstrate his culinary skills, cooking one of the easiest dish to prepare, Japanese curry chicken.  As Mom hasn't really tasted this dish before, it really depends very much on Hoe when it comes to buying the ingredients and its preparation.  Now, buying the ingredients was a bit of a hassle as Mom and Hoe argued on what type of chicken to use.  Learning to cook this dish in a church activity, he was quite certain that chicken fillet was used but Mom was adamant as Chinese prefer boned chicken.  We finally settled for the latter, much to Hoe's agitation.
The most important ingredient
Vermont curry was the one we bought. There are many in the market, I realised only after helping to cook this dish.  Mind you, the price for one pack isn't cheap, RM12 if I am not mistaken.  Oh yes, this is only available in supermarkets such as Isetan or Cold Storage under the Japanese products section or other retails shops which sell Japanese products.
Carrots and potatoes are part of the dish
As this is supposed to be 'his' dish, Mom chose not to interfere and allow Hoe to have free hand in the kitchen, well..some free hand, actually. Afterall, who will clean up the 'aftermath'? None other than Mom. Hoe prepared everything including cutting the carrots, potatoes and garnishing.

One thing Hoe learnt from this cooking activity is that the carrots and potatoes are supposed to be cut in similar sizes so that they cook evenly ie we won't get potatoes which are too soft or carrots which are too crunchy. 

Hoe, serious when it comes to cooking
Prior to cooking the chicken, Hoe was quite sure that fillet should be used.  He then removed the bone and only put in the meat into the pot, without my knowledge.  So, what's cooking was mainly chicken fillet.

This is what gives the curry its rich flavour
 The best and most flavoursome... Until now, I am not sure whether he had put too much (two packets in a box) into a serving for about four person. 

Does it look mouth-watering? Not so...but wait til you taste it
 It might be too thick and overly rich but for a novice like Hoe, I still think this simple dish was not bad at all.

Japanese curry chicken, the easiest to prepare
Voila! Japanese curry chicken ready to be served.  Daddy gave a 'not too bad' rating. Mom gave 'ok, quite tasty'.  'A little too thick' was Ah Pho (Grandma)'s comment.  Now, even the picky Wyng was bold enough to try this dish and said 'not spicy one and just like the dahl curry for roti canai'.

With all those encouraging comments, Hoe feels a great sense of satisfaction.  He promises to do better next time. Whether the dish turns out great is not important, what's comforting is to know that Hoe is committed and serious when he ventures into something.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What small talks are the kids indulging in?

When they are in good terms, you will find them engrossed in talking about their stuff.  So, what do a fourteen-year old and an eight-year old talk about?

* a computer game where they were discussing how best to play to win or what are the best ways to attack some targets.
* a movie, be it a comedy or a science-fiction thriller which they have just watched. What the actor had done to escape or defeat the villain, accompanied by sound effect from the weapons used in the movie.  What the foolish actor had done or said in a funny movie and what follow would usually be laughter and mad giggles.  Mimicking the comedy actors is also part of their conversation and this part is the most amusing and boisterous.  Often Mom has to step in to stop the unruly chattering especially in public.
* a kind of sports, say basketball or football, sometimes after watching a football or basketball tournament on television.  As the Qo Qo, Hoe will be displaying his skills to his brother in attempts to show that he is more superior.  Wyng would innocently listen and tried to be as good as his Qo Qo. At times, our study room turns into a football field, much to the annoyance of Mom.

Wyng: I don't think it pricks to touch this.
Hoe: Yeah, it won't hurt you. Just prick harder.
Whatever the kids talk about, as long as they are not immoral and they don't turn uncontrollably boisterous, and no exhibition of superiority by Hoe, Mom is perfectly fine with it. Afterall, what other time can they bond if not by chatting or playing?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

He's luckier than his older brother

This was posted on 13 November 2008 in my previous blog. Here is a reposting.

This is his second trip in less than 3 months. How lucky is he? His first excursion was to High 5 bread factory in Shah Alam. When he came back, he told me lots of bread-making stories. His animated gestures amuses me.

Yesterday, I allowed him to join his school to Aquaria,KLCC. He told me a little fish story, not too much though. But, I think he enjoys the trip. None of us in the family has been to Aquaria yet. So, he's very fortunate. By the way, when I asked him again about his adventure to Aquaria, he told me dissatisfactorily that his friends pushed him away and wouldn't allow him to watch the fish.

Compared to Wyng, Hoe wasn't as lucky. When he was at Wyng's age (he's 5 now), I'd never allow him to join any outdoor trip organised by the school. He was our 'jewel of the eye' then. And, we just find him too petite and fragile to be allowed to venture out of school compound even though we were assured of security and what not. I don't take any risk at all with Hoe.

Hence, he had NEVER joined any trip in his kindy days. He was green with envy knowing that his little brother gets to visit all those places.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why can't they be happy birds?..for the sake of positivity

Out of the blue, this character is becoming so popular among kids, ranging from those in early teens to those as young as three.  Even Wyng who I hardly allow much computer time knows this character. Kids are owning pencil cases, bags, tee shirts and what not with faces of this angry bird, even cakes are now 'architectured' using these faces. 

But, why can't these birds be called happy birds? Yeah, their eggs got stolen by err...pigs.. So?

With the kind of immense popularity that this bird enjoys, I doubt if any kid still remembers Sesame Street's
Big Bird.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mom's first attempt at baking muffins

And what a failure! First, I forgot the oil. How can this happen when oil is one of the most important ingredients? Second, I didn't sieve the flour using a proper sieve. And lastly, I should have used butter instead of olive oil!

Despite the failed infant attempt, the consolation is I had a very enthusiastic helper in the kitchen. In fact, prior to the baking session, I had ambitiously assured him that he could be having muffins as his snack the next day.  And, he was convinced that Mom can really bake edible muffins. 

The recipe seems simple enough. I thought this shouldn't stop a novice from making nice muffins, what with Mom who used to bake banana cakes umpteen years ago.

This was what we used to sieve the flour.  I thought this would be better than not sieving at all as I had totally forgotten about buying one.  Sigh....
As Wyng was the one who beat the eggs for me, I had carelessly forgotten about adding oil or butter into it before mixing the egg and milk mixture into the flour.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into it. Stir well but do not overmix.
This is the result of the batter. Wyng enthused and pointed eagerly at the recipe book that the batter looked exactly the same as that in the picture.
Separating the batter into two portions.
Instead of cocoa, I used Milo to make my chocolate marble muffins. Wyng had such thrill just by mixing the Milo into the batter.
The batter, separated into two portion, one portion with Milo, one without, was to be spooned alternately into the tray.

It was only at this stage when the muffins were being baked in the oven that I realised, OMG! Mom had forgotten something!
Look at the flat muffins. See how dry and unappetising they are! They look so different from the glossy and mouth-watering muffins in my recipe book.  Not wanting to give up, I made another 6 more muffins, this time I didn't forget the oil but I used olive oil because that's the only type of oil I have in my kitchen. 

Sigh... Probably because I was using the healthy olive oil, the muffins weren't moist at all and they didn't rise! The recipe did say sunflower seed oil or butter. So, I figure olive oil will do the job.

Oh no, and I thought making muffins was easy. My 18 muffins turned out to be rather flat, dry and hard. The hardness is similar to 'nien gao' when it's not cooked.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Should I sell the piano?

Now that Hoe has taken his Grade 5 piano exams and would not be attending music classes (not until he has decided whether he will commit some time to piano), the piano seems to be a white elephant at home. Not only that, it reminds me (and Daddy) of the hard-earned money spent on investing for a piano for the kids.

It is almost a month now since his practical exam, and the piano is still untouched! Dusts is thickening day by day.  My reminders to play the piano (play just for fun) fell on deaf ears.  Probably a sterner reminder is called for. Or perhaps a threat will work better. 

Wyng is not musically-inclined to want to even learn the piano. So, there is no hope on him to even touch the piano.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Children Learn What They Live

I'd like to share this with readers of this blog.  It was from the editor of

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Long-life drink for Mom's mom

This was posted on 12 January 2009 in my previous blog. Here is a reposting.

My Mom is already 72. That day, Hoe told me he wishes that his grandma lives forever. He really can't accept it if she is not around anymore.

After saying those things, he then served her a mug of 'long-life' (as Hoe called it) drink (it's just plain water) that day and wished her long-life. At the same time, Hoe served me my drink in my usual little tumbler. You know what he's trying to do? To prevent jealousy, what else?

My Mom gladly drank the water with a big smile. Hope this means good.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Talking about males and females

We were watching one of Wyng's favourite TV programme, Animal Planet. Mom commented that the female snake was much bigger than the male snake.  To this statement, Wyng quipped,"Of course la, like praying mantis and spiders."

Mom tested,"What else?".  The seemingly knowledgeable Wyng replied, "Lizards, frogs, beetles, even fish and sharks." Mom scratched her head and immediate Google came to mind to check the accuracy of his statement.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reading without Mom's guidance at 5 years

Wyng was 5 years and 3 months old then. We were in a car when he picked up his 'No Monsters Allowed' book and read it for the first time without Mom's prior guidance.  He has never read this book previously.  From this book, he learned a new word 'excellent'.  I still remember I tested him for a second time and he actually remembered it.

As I was driving, I was pleasantly surprised that he could read words such as 'thought', 'cheered', ' imagine', 'butter', 'scrambled', 'ladder', 'blushed', 'slumped', 'wondered', 'everybody', 'different', 'moment' and 'voice'.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My kid saw a smile in the sky too

This was posted on 15 December 2008 in my previous blog. Here is a reposting with minor changes to the wordings.

Got this picture in my email recently. Coincidentally, while at a house-warming party of a relative, Wyng pointed up to the sky and told me that there was a smile in the sky. It was 6 December 2008.

The smile was almost like what was shown here in this picture emailed to me. This picture was supposedly taken from Perth, Australia. At that very moment, I didn't really appreciate that there was such a phenomenon in the sky. Not until I receive the email and when Wyng pointed up in the sky.

With their naive and clear minds, kids are able to 'see' a lot of things which adults miss. Don't we always miss the nice things?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wolverine and my kid

Wyng got upset that I accidentally scratched his hand with my long fingernail.  Apologetically but jokingly, Mom said, "Sorry! You think I'm Wolverine who can keep his long nails?"

Wyng asked me as though testing my knowledge," Do you know that wolverine is also a kind of animal? Like a hedgehog.."

Mom, uncertain but kept her cool, "Ok, let me double-check this."  Before I post this on my blog, I searched the online dictionary and true enough, Wyng is right again.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The family's favourite food

The first time we had Teochew porridge, Wyng did not like it at all, neither was Hoe.  Mom and Daddy love  the porridge.  Surprisingly, after a few times, the kids start to love it. In fact, they were 'addicted' to this food.  Whenever it's time to decide where to eat out, "Teochew porridge!" would mostly be the kids' choice.

So, Mom started to investigate the reason they like this food.  We discover they are intrigued by the dishes which are served in small plates.  Wyng particularly love the canned ground nuts from China and the pickled radish omelette as well as stew potatoes.  They are not allowed to take the porridge but rice as the latter is more filling for them. 

As opposed to eating other local hawker food, Wyng gobbles this food without Mom's intervention at all.  This meal is not so cheap as compared to mixed rice.  With about 6 or 7 dishes, the bills comes up to around RM30.00 most of the time.  Daddy doesn't mind at all as long as Wyng enjoys it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mom bids farewell to traditional steaming

As I advocate steaming as a healthy and grease-free way of cooking for the kids, the traditional steaming with a wok has become a regular part of my cooking routine until I found this wonderful invention.  This appliance is definitely not new in the market.  Not knowing anyone close who has owned such electric steamer before, I began to google for reviews of food steamers in the market. 

After analysing some reviews, I settled for Tefal Invent food steamer. It has made my life easier in the kitchen.  Oh yes, by the way, being frugal, I had checked with my credit card reward catalogue first before surfing for reviews.  In short, I am enjoying the benefit of this wonderful appliance without forking out a single cent. 

No longer do I have to wait near the gas cooker to make sure the water in the wok doesn't dry out when I am absorbed in my work. Or run helter-skelter to the gas cooker when I realise the water in the wok is drying out.  My misjudgement can also land me having more work when I had to add water to the wok as the food wasn't 'cooked' perfectly. 

With this steamer, the steaming time can be set to suit the type of food.  The keep warm function works wonderfully for me.  Alas, I can now steam my food and leave the kitchen without having to worry about over-steamed or dried wok.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A bowling game for the family

I've never even played so many games of bowling when I was young. All four of us played 3 games. It was the Christmas and the year-end school holidays last year, I actually asked Daddy to take a few days off. The kids have been wanting to go for a bowling game since their first game in the previous term break.

We had quite a good game. Hoe and Mom took turns to lead, except Daddy, of course. He topped each game, of course la, I think he used to be a top player among his friends in his younger days. I never like bowling. It was like rolling coins into the drain. Well, it was like that for us if not for the rail on both sides of the lane which was for kids' training. Having the rail is bad and good for bowlers. Hoe and I didn't like it but at times when we really lost badly, we hoped that we didn't remove the rail as it really helps to push the ball back to the centre to hit the pins.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Strolling down memory lane with the kids

Despite having been to Cameron for four to five times, this place failed to attract my interest until the recent trip. It was only after some persuasion by the kids that I agreed to walk into this 'tunnel', well, it's not exactly a tunnel.  My, I was in for a pleasant surprise!  At the end of this visit, I was glad that the kids were persistent enough to convince Mom to change her mind.

Walking through the place was like taking a stroll down memory lane.  It reminded me about my childhood and teenage as well as the early part of adulthood.  The kids actually caught Mom and Daddy's enthusiasm as we walked on enthusing and feasting our eyes on a wide array of old and antique items on display.

'Tikam' was what Daddy called this.  This used to be my favourite but we rarely had a chance to play as our parents were not financially comfortable enough to give us so much of pocket money. 

Looking at this old Gameboy reminds me of the current PS2 or PS what version now.  Kids are so fortunate nowadays that almost each of them can be seen playing a PS but not my kids.  How satisfied were we then if we could even own this?

Just a few weeks ago, I was talking to Hoe about this favourite pastime of mine.  I was telling him about how in those days kids don't get to play electronic gadgets. We actually had to make our own toys or games.   I told them how their Mom used to make dozens of fashionable clothings for these picture models when Mom was not given any money to buy these.  Indirectly, I was trying to tell him that he can still enjoy with less things. 

 Ermm...Sarsi was my favourite drink during the Chinese New Year. Kids nowadays are so lucky that they get to savour soft drink in cans. For us, we only get to do this during festivals such as Chinese New Year. We cherish more of things we don't get enough of.

My family could only afford a telephone when I was in upper secondary.  Unlike now, where the kids do not even appreciate a telephone but keep demanding for a camera or 3G mobile phone.

Still remember these piggy banks?  These remind me of fun fairs in those days. Going to fun fairs was one of the outings we'd love to go.  Now, these lacklustre fun fairs are deserted as they failed to entice kids with the thrill-filled rides we have at Sunway Pyramid.

We could only have one of these sharpeners or erasers during our time. This is definitely a contrast with the dozens of stationery items kids can possess nowadays.  I reminded my kids that they should appreciate the many sharpeners and stationeries they own now.

Roller skates!  Mom's favourite when she was young.  However, we could only own ONE pair to be shared among three girls in the family.  And, we were not allowed to go outdoor to play this. So, we ended up playing along narrow and short balcony of our old flat.

This visit gave the kids a very valuable lesson that Mom didn't have a lot to enjoy last time.  And, they should appreciate what they have now. This trip is much better than just talking to them as they got to see in their own eyes what Mom used to have. 

Verdict by the kids supported by Mom : this is the BEST museum that we have visited.  

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chilling out with the kids on Gunung Brinchang

A trip to Cameron Highlands will not be complete without going up Gunung Brinchang, by car. We never failed to access this hill each time we came. It's quite easily accessible by car but we have to be cautious of the winding narrow path leading to the hill. 

Gunung Brinchang is the second highest peak in Cameron, I just found out.  After googling about this hill, I realise we didn't get up to the peak.  Most of the time, we would go up to Sungai Palas tea plantation to have authentic tea and enjoy more breathtaking mountaineous view.  Unfortunately, this time we didn't get to go to Sg Palas as it was closed on a Monday.

If you have never explored Gunung Brinchang yet, this video takes you for a short ride up to a part of the hill.

This was Hoe's third trip and Wyng's second trip to Cameron but they had such jolly moments this time.  Tireless of posing for the camera amongst the tea plants, both these laughing kids became a little unruly as they daringly wove in and out of the infinite rows of tea plants. 
Come catch us if you can, Mom!