Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cooking a simple chicken dish for the kids

Chicken thigh boiled in soya sauce

Simple and healthy chicken recipe for the kid
Cooking for the kids has always been quite a challenge for me.  Working from home is not a breeze especially if I prefer that the kids have nutritious and healthy meals.  Apart from variety and nutrition, I look for simple dishes to cook for them.  Here, I have just learnt preparing a very simple meal from my Mom.  This dish is also one of my favourite dishes.

It just struck me one day that I should learn this simple dish from my Mom since she mentioned before that I can cook it myself when I am not tied up with work.  Voila! I tried and cooked up this dish successfully in my first attempt.  The flavour was exactly the same as how my Mom cooks it.

Wyng loves chicken.  He even thought that this particular dish was cooked by Grandma.  It's really very simple.  First, fry some garlic in a pot.  Then, add the chicken into the pot, simmer for just a while and soya sauce will be added.  It depends on how much of soya sauce you need but remember to add some water as it will be very salty.  Add a little bit of sugar, if you like.  Boil for about 20 minutes (depending on how much of chicken).  I always make sure I test the meat (by cutting the chicken with a knife) before making sure they are thoroughly cooked.

Lesson from this is 'When there is a will, there is a way'.  Cooking a meal is not so tough afterall.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A mom's birthday wishes

Yes, I said 'wishes', greedy Mom. But, afterall, it's only once a year.

I wish the day to be housechores-free
I wish the day to start with a glee
I wish to watch TV all day minus the worries about responsibilities
I wish to munch all day minus the calories
I wish to shop with limitless budget
I wish to receive even a floweret
I wish to have a relaxing spa
and, at the kopitiam, I 'yumcha'
while being oblivious to duties awaiting
and to precious time ticking
I wish there be no frowning and yelling
to the kids of their room tidying
I wish the kids could obey
and not go astray
I wish they need no reminding
when their homework and responsibilities are piling
But what will life be
for me as a mom if life is stress-free

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scratched in school

Ouch!! It hurts, Mom
His 'injuries' in school are not only confined to his limbs.  His face was not spared.  Here, he came back home with a scar on his face made by a pencil, much to the amazement of Mom. How could he have scratched his own face with a pencil? No result even after interrogation.

His compassionate teacher not only did not reprimand him, she took him to the office to have some ointment applied for fear of infection.  She felt pitiful for him and asked if it hurt.

Mom was so worried that this kind of accident might happen again (God knows how it happened!) that he was bombarded with a lecture on the damage of lead in his body and that he might have a permanent scar on his face if he is not careful.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

His second play

Groom: We are finally married and you look so beautiful today, honey.
Bride: Behave yourself and listen to the priest, honey.
Wyng had, so far, acted in his second drama production in Helen O' Grady since he joined last year. In the main cast as the bridegroom, he wasn't so much of the groom the picture portrayed here.  A picture means a thousand words but it can also deceive.  Saying his lines almost flawlessly and at the right cue, he still lacks the facial expression of an actor.

Well, all Mom knows is for him to enjoy the drama as much as to learn the right speaking skills so that he can speak confidently in public.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Handling kids' questions

In the car while driving ferrying Wyng to school, a question which I thought easy enough for Mom to handle, popped out.

Kid : What's the meaning of insult?
Mom replied : 'Insult' means talk bad about someone to show that he is not as good.
Kid : Like this ah..

I thought the questioning would end there. But, listen up, Mom.
Kid : Then, what is a polite way to tell someone that he is not good?

To this question, Mom was a little stunned and paused like for a good 30 seconds.
Mom : Errr.. maybe a comment first.
Before I even finished the sentence, another question came quickly from him.
Kid : What's the meaning of 'talking behind people's back'?
This is an easy question for Mom.

Mom : It means talking bad about someone when he is not around. Just like how you always complain about Qo Qo (his brother) when he is not around.

No more questions from him after that. Phew....Mom managed to handle all her kid's questions.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Should a kid be allowed to own a mobile phone?

Even though Hoe is going to be 13, he does not have a mobile phone yet. I feel that he does not have any urgent need to own one yet. Yet, due to peer pressure (the kid's) as well as relative pressure (Mom's), there is a need to get him this gadget.

Examining whether there is a real need to get him this 'inseparable' asset of most teenage kids this era, it's really no urgency now especially now that I work from home.  Here are the possible reasons he may need a mobile phone:

1) He needs to contact me or home while he is out. This is rare as mobile phones are prohibited in schools and he doesn't attend any tuition classes.  When he attends music class, Mom waits for him until the class ends, so there is no separation from Mom at all! Once in a blue moon, I do drop him at the centre to run my errands. So far, so good. No need for mobile phone yet! 

On days where extra-curricular activities are held, students do bring their mobile phones to school.  Those could be the time that he may have to contact me, in case.  However, I expect him to return home after the activity. Again, why the need to call home? Afterall, the public telephone is in working condition in school.  And, it's not hard to find a friend with a mobile phone either. So, no need for a mobile phone yet!

2) During family shopping trips, the need to contact me may arise.  Yes, this is the only inconvenience for Mom.  At his age, he may choose to hang around a book store to browse some books while Mom would steal the time to check out the latest bargains in the Ladies Department.  Mom will just return to the book store to fetch him.  With a mobile phone, we could have just called each other and meet at a designated place.  But, Hoe has to be responsible enough to make sure his younger brother does not wander without him. Yes, there is a need for a mobile phone for convenience and practicality in this case!
A mobile phone is also a need in the event we lose each other in a crowded mall.  Now, without a mobile phone, he is vigilant and makes sure we don't get out of his sight.  Yes for a mobile phone as time is saved hunting for each other. No, as this guy may just 'deliberately' lose his way and may probably be wandering without his parents.

3) With a mobile phone, he could be wasting money and time texting his friends.  This is a common scene I find in eating and most public places.  Teenagers were seen texting away while their poor parents seemed to be talking away, to the tables or chairs, perhaps.  No wonder communication breakdown happens! A big NO to mobile phone.

4) Being a pop music lover, Hoe enjoys listening to pop songs.  I can imagine he will be using the mobile phone as an MP4 more than a communication gadget.  He will not mind music all day long. But, Mom does. So, another reason for a NO to mobile phone.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Farewell to these creatures

He is not someone trying to loot something from my cabinet. He is a technician from Rentokil removing the baits (two boxes of baits were placed in my kitchen, one of them is on the left of the technician here) which had been placed in my kitchen to get rid of the termites.

After a series of visits and baiting these creatures which had invaded my house, my house is considered safe (temporarily) from these creatures and the baits could be removed safely. Over the past few months, the termites had been fed with baits containing odorless poison which is supposed to poison the entire colony. The soldier termites were the ones responsible to bring the so-called the bait (ie food made of fine and soft pieces of cotton-like paper smeared with poison) to the queen in their nest.

They are supposed to have been killed after a few rounds of topping up of baits. So, for the time being my woes are gone. They may be attacking again, nobody can tell, not even Rentokil.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

'Thank you' for not using plastic bags

This was posted in May 2009 in my infected blog. Here is a reposting.

I have been accumulating so many medium-sized plastic bags. How not to when I am now (in just two months) frequenting the notorious pungent slimy wet market more often than I've ever done in a few years? Most of the time I end up being straddled with bags. Even W commented that I'm like 'Ah Poh' ie grandma now.

These plastic bags are not as functional as those bigger ones which could easily used as garbage bags. So, I end up having so many of them still filling my plastic bags box.

To play a small part to help the environment, I've actually rejected plastic bags a few times when I did my marketing. It was pleasurable to know that the sellers are appreciative when I reject their plastic bags. I got a few 'thank yous' from them.

Next step is to adapt to using recyclable shopping bag and make do with NO plastic bags.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How much of computer time is enough for kids?

I have been branded as two extremes 'too strict' and 'too nice'. Accessing the internet once a week is all that I allow H. And this is provided he has completed his homework and housework promptly. The maximum time allowed for him to go online is between two to three hours and this is normally on Saturdays during school days.

Well, this rule is imposed since sometime last year when he is becoming more and more active in Facebook. Initially, he showed resistance to this rule as he will not be able to post or responds to Facebook as frequent as he would like to, as what most of his friends and other teenagers do.

I was labelled 'too strict' as I was supposed to permit him computer time or else he would have no other pastime and he is supposed to be 'grown-up' enough to access the computer apart from his other duties. Questions and remarks such as 'How will he spend his time if not going online?', 'He will retaliate if you don't give him what he wants', 'He will demand for other things such as going out if you don't give him his computer time', 'It's hard to control at this age' were posed to me. Yet, I took no chances and proceeded with this rule. This rule is relaxed when there are public and school holidays.

'Too nice'? I don't agree at all. Once a week is not over-indulgence at all. Afterall, this is a modern era. No one can live without IT now.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My kid did it again!

Just when I thought I had barred all access and he has no chance to gain 'illegal' access without my permission, Hoe hacked my computer and created an account for himself, again! This time he did it in another older PC of ours. He got away for a while with his initial antic, I didn't know how many days of freedom he enjoyed the first time.

I believed I caught him quite early this time as I noticed from his Facebook posting which was a very recent one. It was posted at an unearthly time which aroused my suspicion as to how and where did he get access to internet.

Predictably, I saved my breath this time of reprimanding him. Action definitely IS louder. I hesitated no more and deleted the account, right on the spot.

Lesson to learn from him is he will NEVER give up when it comes opportunity to indulge in his first love.

Friday, July 15, 2011

It's time to wake up

I posted this in my previous 'lost' blog more than 3 years ago, in April 2008.

Wyng is a very light sleeper. As an alert toddler, he would wake up at the slightest sound. This is especially so in the early morning when I am getting ready to send Hoe to school. At times, he can even be awakened by the sound of a switching light button, not to mention slamming of the door.

I practically have to be 'soundless' in order not to wake him. In fact, as he grows up, sometimes he wakes up before his brother does. Most of the time, I'll shoo him back to sleep and he obliged. But, at times, his alertness couldn't bring him back to dreamland.

Now that Wyng is going to school, he'll naturally wakes up on his own when the time comes. On certain days when he didn't wake up on his own, he'll get up almost instantly on the first wake-up call. And, he would even flash you a smile. He'll even speak if you talk to him.

Hoe, on the other hand, would not wake up even when there is a fire. He needs at least 8 to 10 times of jerks, face-slapping or even water spraying at his face before he could slowly and drowsily get up from bed. He would still be in dreamland so don't make any effort to talk to him, not until after he washes his face.

Verdict is Wyng takes after me as I would be awaken by just a jerk (minus the mornings when I just had late nights the nights before). Hoe takes after my other half. An earthquake right in the bedroom would not bother him.

Now, at this present moment while I am blogging, three plus years later, Hoe has not changed. As long as he is in dreamland, it takes tonnes of patience to wake him whether from a nap or from his morning sleep. Old habits die hard, how true!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

With so much of publicity about the author and her writing, I must get hold of this book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The author is a Chinese Harvard graduate and is currently lecturing in Yale. So, it's really worth reading to learn from her.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

He created a new user account

My new desktop PC's CPU doesn't indicate if the power is still on after some time of inactivity unlike my old one where there will be a light indicator if the desktop is still on. What I have to do each time is to press the ON/OFF button and if the desktop is still on (but on sleep mode), I need not log in again.

Because of this, at times (quite a number of times already) I have left the PC inactive,sometimes overnight, without shutting it down. Now, Hoe has discovered this 'wonderful' feature and he makes full use of this to his advantage, of course! He has secretly created a new user account to access the PC. Yes! the computer is only accessible to Daddy and Mummy WITH password. Each time if he wants to use the PC, I will log on to enable access to it. With the new account that he has created, he can liberally use it until I discover it that day. I was almost in for a shock when I saw an additional account, 'Guest account'. Needless to say, Hoe's 'brilliant' deed popped into my mind.

The consequence? An earful from me and immediate deletion of the account.

Lesson to learn here is I have to be sharper and smarter than my kids.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why does a kid behave like that?

He has such laid-back attitude. After coming back from school and his shower, he will have his lunch. Predictably, switching on the television is the next thing he will do. He doesn't even touch his schoolbag.
'Exam is just over' was his response when I asked him to revise. Surprisingly, there is no homework too. Was it a lie or an excuse to defer doing his homework? When even television is disallowed, he will hit the sack for his afternoon nap.

The scenario is typical if this guy has no homework (as claimed by him) and will last at least a week or two right after his exam.

How much influence does a mother has on her kid's behaviour or attitude? Hasn't diligence always been inculcated since young? At their teenage now and the most rebellious stage of their life, are parents to be blamed if they fare badly in exam or 'misbehave'?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

No DVD for my kids on weekdays

This rule (not new though) came as a 'she can't be serious' to the kids. But, what's the difference between TV and DVD. Well, if they are watching the TV, they have to choose their favourite programmes to watch whereas for DVD, they have free access to the DVDs and they can watch as many times as they want.

Moreover, some of the DVDs are not 'child-friendly' and are not suitable for Wyng's viewing. Of course, it's always the Qo Qo ie Hoe who masterminds the whole thing and turns on the DVD player without Mummy's prior approval.

So, the ultimate thing to do is to ban DVD on weekdays to their annoyance.

Guys, there are discipline and rules at home.

Monday, July 4, 2011

How to make him a great boy?

Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown

I stumble upon this quote and I am thinking that this is what I (and I believe all mothers) am trying very hard to do each day. It is when they are growing that it's much easier to instil positive and moral values in them. But, it is a going to be a long and treacherous journey.

I am struggling with my growing teenage son. After years of drilling, educating and reminding of positive traits, they don't seem to bear any fruits. He gets unpredictably rebellious most of the time initially. Now, he gets outrightly bold.

What's ahead is a great lesson to be learnt on how to handle my teenage son.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Kids' rattling

"Low resistance tyres can reduce usage of fuel".

Wyng apparently learnt this line from a TV commercial. Just to test if he knows what he was talking about, I asked the meaning of what he said. He went on to explain that 'this means you can drive longer, like 5 or 6 times without pumping fuel.

So, the commercial did manage to drive home some messages.