Monday, February 27, 2012

Simple chicken recipe for busy Moms

I tried cooking this simple oven baked chicken recipe for lunch. Instead of marinating for 1 hour, I marinated them overnight and I've added more spoonfuls of honey for sweeter flavour. I've also omitted ginger since I couldn't find any in the kitchen.  It still tastes good.

It's so fuss-free, you don't have to worry if the chicken overcooked, too much of oil or smoke and grease everywhere in your spotless kitchen. And because my kids love gravy to go with their rice, I've concocted my own gravy.  The potatoes and carrots are used as these are the only types of food that Wyng like and has no complaints about.

Water (quantity is up to your preference), oyster sauce, a little soy sauce are all I used. Just stir all these in a pan until it boils. Add the cut potatoes and carrots and simmer for at least 20 minutes or longer if you prefer your potatoes and carrots to be softer.

Wyng gave me a rating of 8 whereas Hoe said it's good for a first-timer. I'm satisfied with my performance.  Not of chef standard but the kids love this nutritious and simple home-cooked chicken dish.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is it too late for the kid to learn up multiplication table?

I started Wyng with his multiplication table about two weeks ago, he is already in Standard Three this year.

I could recall I drilled Hoe on his multiplication table when he was probably 9 or 10.

Actually, I've had complaints that Wyng was not familiar with his multiplication since last year from his Maths tutor. I didn't take any action then.  Then, lately this year, I got the same feedback from the Kumon facilitator that he isn't very good at it.  It was then that I've decided that I should not leave this boy alone to master this important element in Maths.

So, since early this month, I started this boy to recite the multiplication table from 2 onwards during his car journey to school in the morning.  It was painful at first.  He was not familiar and it took him quite a while to complete until multiplication 6.  There was a lot of struggling going on in the car which is just about 10 minutes drive.   Today, after only about 2 weeks, on a daily basis, he is able to memorize the table from 2 to 7 with no problems.  He started 8 two days ago and today, he even did until 9 without any pushing from Mom.  Can you believe it when he told me his classmate can recite until 12!  Come to think of it, it may not be surprising at all.  Maybe, Mom is late in drilling Wyng.

With this positive behaviour of his, Mom promises to buy him McFlurry after lunch, much to his joy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do you ground your teen for hacking?

His previous acts
Is your teen a computer hacker?   
Does your kid hack into your computer account?
My kid did it again!

He's an opportunist when it comes to hacking. He wouldn't forego any opportunity to hack my computer.

Just when Mom is reminded to be extra vigilant, she has forgotten again to shut down the computer after a late night,'s actually in the morning 1am... completing some last minute preparation for her classes the next day.  When he wants to do it, he will try all means. The saying "When there is a will, there is a way" can never be truer for this effort of his.  How does he know when to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and access the PC to see if it's accessible?  He has to pray real hard for Mom to keep forgetting to shut down the PC.

This time, he was smarter than his previous act.  Instead of removing Daddy's password, he changed the password.  I had earlier told him that I had checked if he's done anything to my PC clicking on Daddy's user account icon and it'll be fine if there's a password request. By just changing the password and not removing it, Mom may just stop at clicking the user account icon and not proceed to type the password.

I was smarter than him this time, I'm glad that I was but I was not glad that this guy never gives up with his notorious act.  Sigh.. I said I was smarter because I discovered his deed in about one day.  I proceeded to type Daddy's password (I set the password for Daddy and will give it to him. The password that Daddy sets are too easy even Wyng has no problem with it.) and lo and behold!  Incorrect!

What on earth is he trying to prove? He never tires!  Just when I had just the night before denounced that he would have his mobile phone confiscated for one month if he continues with his 'crime', he did it again. I am beginning to get a little adaptive to this intelligent and secretive deed of his.  I tell myself that each time I turn on the PC, I will click on Daddy's user account icon and type the password to make sure Hoe has not meddle with it.

He derives thrill by hacking the computer.  He doesn't see anything wrong with that as long as he gets to use the computer, even without his Mom's knowledge.  And by the way, my Mom is one of the first few persons to discover his 'date' with the computer at unearthly hours of the day and decided to keep mum about it for a while.

It's not that Mom does not know the root of the problem but this guy must be made to understand what he does is not right.  It's not uncommon for him to defy my instructions but until he learns obedience and discipline is the rule of the game, he will not get any computer time. He has committed too many 'sins' that he had yet to repent and giving him this 'must-have' (computer time, of course!) is not a priority yet.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is your teen a computer hacker?

It makes my blood boil, he gets on my nerves, I'm going to kill him!!!!! Sights of this guy stealthily 'in action' at my PC appeared in my mind as I clicked on Daddy's user account and discovered that no password was required to access the PC.

My kid removed the password AGAIN after being caught in less than a week ago.  What was in his head! Why did he have to do it after so many rounds of harsh lecture and grounding? I wonder, I really wonder what he is trying to prove.

Not thinking twice at all, I went into Control Panel and set a password for Daddy's user account.  Next, I went hunting for his hand phone with Wyng's help and confiscated it. All this was done without Hoe's knowledge as he was still at school.

"I knew it, I knew you would set the password back, I'm just testing if you will do it."  That was the reply which came out from his mouth when I told Hoe off for hacking the computer again.  Of course, he wasn't going to 'escape' so easily.  A very stern warning that if he is ever caught hacking again, his hand phone will be confiscated for one month.

Why hasn't Mom learnt?  I HAVE to log off whenever my kid is around, especially with Hoe's presence. He is an opportunist when it comes to hacking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Does your kid hack into your computer account?

He never gives up.  It's not the first time, I believe he did it for not less than 5 times.

This time, he removed the password for his Daddy's account which we have for access to our home PC.  How did he do it? You may wonder.. Well, most of the time, I would leave my PC on while I do my other stuff at home.  As our study room is just next to his room, it's not difficult for him to walk in and access the PC (which is left idle) to meddle with it while Mom is downstairs busy attending to other things.

Using Daddy's account which is obviously free from any parental control, he could be sneakily surfing (though it may just be for a few minutes) without Mom's knowledge while she is preoccupied with other things.

This may not be the best way to overcome his hacking but as a temporary measure, Mom has to keep reminding herself to LOG OFF before leaving the computer.

Lesson from the kids : Log off from the computer, there may be some hungry 'thieves' waiting to hack it. Do this only if you believe in parental control. Otherwise, don't even bother to read this post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What pests can you find in your house?

Can you imagine this creature in your home?
First, the relentless mosquitoes. Then, come the cats. (Well, if they are not welcomed, I will consider them pests though certain households treat these kinds of beasts their pets). Oh, I shouldn't forget the ever mighty termites.

I was in for a shock when one fine day my neighbour next to me told me the neighbour living beside her found a poisonous snake in their toilet.  According to her, The Fire Brigade had confirmed that it's a rare kind of poisonous snake and it had been sent to the zoo.

I've had cats coming into our car porch. Once, the irritating feline walked into our house and finding its way upstairs until my other half yelled and threw a newspaper at it.  Now, a snake is really hard to comprehend! Where the world did this kind of creature come from? And, we are residing in an urban area... Nothing seems to escape these slithery creatures? I can never imagine finding a snake in my house.. and worse still, a poisonous one. So, after this incident, I will surely take more precautions just in case this creature find its way to my house. My windows, at the kitchen and toilet, would be shut more often.

If there are snakes in the neighbourhood, I will not be surprised to find spiders (not the tiny ones ah) and other creepy crawlies in the future.  Eee....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pests, pests, go away and never come back

What do you think this looks like?

Not an air freshener.Certainly not a special-purpose power point as no wires are visible.  Is it some kind of hi-tech sensor?

Something I never knew existed until we went hunting for something to ward off mosquitoes from our home. Mosquitoes are found in 'abundance' in our home.  Unfortunately, they mostly prey on me, not my other half.  They love my 'sweet' blood, it seems.   Once in a while, my kids fall victims to them and my Mom too.

They attack me when I'm washing dishes in the kitchen, when I'm hanging the laundry at the car porch and of course in the study room and bedroom.  I can even find them in the toilet while taking my shower.  My most torturous moments with them are when I am enjoying watching television in the living room.

This repellent here is the second one that we bought. The first one is one of those that come with a UV light.  It is supposed to chase away mosquitoes instead of the UV light ones which attract the pests before killing them.  Equipped with a buzzing sound (only audible to mosquitoes), it will only be effective after being turned on for 1 month, it seems and works the best for rooms with area of something like 2,000 square feet.

Nothing seems to be different in the first few weeks.  I still find mosquitoes in my room. However, they do not seem to 'bite' me. After having this in my room for a few months now, (I still find one or two of these creatures flying in my room), I can say that the mosquitoes seem to be made 'less active' that I don't get attacks from them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What is Encarta encyclopedia?

One day, while I was working at the PC, Wyng pestered me to google this word 'encarta' encyclopedia.  He said I can search about the animals that appear on his text book.  So, to satisfy him, I googled 'Encarta' and true enough it's a kind of digital encyclopedia.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why we shouldn't trust the nanny?

Hoe with his Frankenstein-like forehead, after the rubbing
This was what I got when I entrusted Hoe, my only son then, with his nanny.

It all started with a mistake Mom made.  In the midst of busy house chores and wanting to place Hoe at a safe place while Mom was busy, Hoe was placed in his crib.  Nothing was wrong except that Mom had also erroneously placed an adult-sized pillow in the crib.  Just like any normal child, Hoe curiously stood on the pillow (which was placed by the side of the crib), raising him a little higher in the crib.  Not long later, Hoe was found crying on the floor.  After some self-blaming and coaxing Hoe, Mom carried on with her work. Nothing very serious except for the slight bulge (thank Goodness! falling from that height didn't seem to leave very serious impact) on Hoe's forehead.

A couple of days later, Hoe was playing and somehow the mischievious him stepped into a plastic box big just big enough to seat him.  Just as he was standing up,trying to step out of the box, he tripped and fell flat on his face.  The impact was the greatest on his already bulging forehead.  His forehead ended up slightly more swollen by then.

Anyway, he was sent to the nanny's house as usual in the morning. Nanny was told not to rub his forehead.  The shock came when I went to pick Hoe up after work.  Who or What greeted me was not Hoe! It was little Frankenstein ! Just look at the picture above.

Overwhelmed with Hoe's pathetic condition, I didn't expect any further explanation from the nanny.  She had already been written off from my mind at that moment. I would never send Hoe back to her.

What followed was visits to specialists.  Hoe's regular pediatrician who advised us to take Hoe for a MRI scan. Hoe was taken for an MRI scan at a medical centre in Malacca.  Thank Goodness! We were relieved to know that there was no internal bleeding.  The bulge would take a few weeks, a month to two to subside.

Hoe had a tough time coping with his 'new' forehead.  He was grouchy most of the time, easily irritable and would cling to Mom for no reason.  Uncomfortable with his condition, he turned into a 'sad' toddler.  There was no smiles on his face, even TV didn't seem to attract him.  After about a month, the size of his forehead started to return to normal.  Hoe was his old self, happy and adorable child.

I never took him back to his nanny.  I sacked her.  The reason was obvious.

Lesson from the kid:  Never, ever leave your sick child with his nanny unless you have no choice.   They may mean good but a sick child under his mother's loving care is always better than being cared for by uneducated and those with a lackadaisical attitude.  This was what happened to me. The nanny actually meant good. She wanted to reduce the swelling but used the wrong method.  Instead of rubbing with ointment, she should have used ice.  And, she didn't even want to notice the dramatic change in Hoe so as I would not make a fuss or condemn her.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Look who are helping to springclean

Having no maid at my disposal, maintaining the house can get really challenging.  Thankfully, I have two guys who can give me a great helping hand in such times.

Spring cleaning can be really backbreaking for a house like ours.  After some delegation with clear instructions and the compulsory follow-up after a chore, we have a reasonably clean house to usher the Chinese New Year.

Wyng taking out the bulbs from the Christmas tree

Back into the box until the next year can't go anywhere now.

Magic wiper does the job better here
Lesson from the kids - When Mom gets too tired from her endless chores, get the kids involved. Sometimes, the kids, especially the younger ones, will be too happy to be part of what we are doing.  If they get too reluctant or lazy bones start to appear, 'bribe' them.  Do the job together with them, not just sit back.  At the end of a chore, the kids and you will feel a deep sense of satisfaction, having accomplished a tough job together.