Saturday, March 31, 2012

I forgot my kid is lactose intolerant

I forgot he is lactose intolerant until he came back one afternoon and told me he had diarrhea at school.  And because of this, he missed copying down the lesson written on the board.

It was then only I remember that he has been lactose intolerant since a baby.  His condition is not so serious that he could only take soya milk. He can still take cow's milk provided it is of premium brand.  After checking with his nanny (who happened to be my sister), I discovered that every other day he would be passing watery stools. Whilst under my care on weekends and nightime, I noticed the texture of his stools. I could then confirm that he is mildly intolerant. In order not to spend so much on premium milk, I opted to mix normal milk with premium branded milk.

To save the hassle of the milk preparer, I even mixed the milk ready and have it stored in milk dispenser for the nanny.  And, I have been doing that until he was in Primary 1.  After Primary 1, his consumption of milk powder lessened.  He drinks fresh milk at times of which he does not complain.  However, I noticed he purged after a few days of consecutive consumption of 'normal' milk powder or fresh milk.

Not wanting to stop his milk intake, I am forced to buy a tin of Pediasure. Mind you, a 400g tin now costs RM35 (about USD11).  For two teaspoons of Pediasure, I added another teaspoon of normal milk to his Milo drink in the morning.  There was no complaint after two days.  Come the third day, he came back and complained, 'Mommy, I don't want milk anymore.'  Mom was perplexed with his condition.  I may have to space off his milk consumption. Instead of daily, he may have to just take milk the most for two days, have a gap of a day or two and later resume.

Introducing soy milk or other kinds of milk may just puts him off.  Already a picky eater, the last I want is for him to detest milk.

Lesson from this is for Mom never to lose track of the kids' eating habit or 'disorder'. It may just really cost them serious consequences.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How to teach your kids to be tidy?

Wherever he goes, his 'tools' are following him. 

Toys, toys.. a big headache. He never knows how to place toys properly in their boxes after playing

Read books are seldom put tidily in their original place

A very common sight..books and stationeries strewn on his desk

His arts work chucked behind the computer monitor
Can mothers train their kids to be tidy if they themselves are not? I am not a very tidy person,actually. Yet, I cannot tolerate mess.  Talking about mess.. they are abundant in my home, some made by me, some by my kids, Wyng is the culprit, most of the time.

The thing is I clear my own mess but who are going to clear those made by my kids? Mothers? No, absolutely not! If mothers continue to clear for them, when are kids going learn to be tidy themselves? Then, what are mothers, who stay at home, supposed to do with these mess?

Wyng is a mess-maker. The pictures tell a thousand stories.  There is worse mess than these. If only my eyes are my camera as I'm greeted with mess everyday, at his room.

I don't clear these mess unless it's one of those once-every-few-months 'cleaning up'. And when I do that, Wyng is going to be in for great trouble.  There will be flinging of stuff, useless most of the time, in the air as Mom will be sieving through bits of papers, empty boxes, pieces of broken erasers, pencils and other stuff which are not supposed to be where they are found.  During these times, I will make sure he puts those books back at their proper shelves.  Certain stationery stuff is in toy boxes or what not will be dug out and placed at appropriate places.  At times, lazy Wyng will just simply place an item and he will be reprimanded if ever Mom goes through that place and finds the same item he is asked to put it.

I will make sure Wyng clears his mess or untidy desk and shelf once every few weeks. If Mom is not so preocuppied, he will be reminded sternly to tidy them up quite frequently.  He seldom does it on his own without any reprimand.

I have done these reminding and reprimanding countless times and I will be doing these countless times again until this guy knows how to stay tidy. At least, he should learn to clear a mess after making it.

Lesson to learn for Mom is to be tireless in reminding and reminding even if reprimanding has to follow. Kids don't learn fast enough in this aspect, sadly.  So, this just means stress and follow-up for Mom.  Who says being a Mom is easy?

Monday, March 26, 2012

The kid's favourite food

This is what happened when he is taking two of his favourite food together, chocolate on ice-cream, Kit-Kat ice-cream.

Each time we go out, he never fails to ask us for his ice-cream. He doesn't like soft-drinks or french fries, just ice-cream.  It is not uncommon for him to ask for another one although he already had one earlier.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I have a bigfoot kid

He had worn out two pairs of sandals in less than 6 months.  Didn't I say he is a terminator? I didn't exaggerate.    After ruining a rather good quality pair of sandals,  the casual Bata sandals I bought him aren't durable enough for his rough characteristics.  In fact, I bought two pairs which received the same fate.

With the second pair of ruined Bata sandals, he was still able to 'cling on' to them as he wore them.  So, Mom went hunting for another durable pair hopefully, a value buy.  To my surprise, Wyng' feet have grown so much that he is now close to outgrowing shoes of kids' size.  If I were to buy kids' size shoes for him, they would not last him two months as they fit just nicely, with no space to allow for 'expansion'.

So, off we went to the adult section at Jusco.  We were quite glad that we found a pair of size 5 adult sandals with rather small cutting.  The length of his feet fits the sandals but not the width.  Being barely 9, his feet definitely lacks the meat to fit the sandals comfortably unless he wears a pair of socks.  How funny to be wearing socks with sandals?  Feeling 'loose' and uncomfortable in that pair of sandals, he persuaded me not to buy them which I agreed, of course. He had to endure another couple of days wearing the 'torn' sandals.

I was so relieved I got what I wanted from this shoe shop at Wangsa Walk.  The adult sandals are also available in size 3!  Though they are priced at RM39.90, I didn't hesitate.  I've learnt my lessons for buying him sandals under RM30, I ended up spending more as those wore out faster than I can imagine.

Let's see how long this new pair lasts.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My digital dictionary is the best

Before I went hunting for a digital dictionary for my kid, in the market, the features I'd like to have in it are:

* meaning of words in English explained in Chinese
* meaning of words in Chinese explained in Chinese, English and Bahasa Malaysia
* a speaker so that words in Chinese can be pronounced and learnt by my kids
* inclusion of words (in all the 3 languages) found in dictionaries with the highest number of words

I'd done a simple verbal research on the type of dictionary available and their pricing.

Games is the last thing I want but as the promoter was showing me the features of the gadget, I was told that those in the dictionary are actually 'educational' Math games which stimulate the mind.  I'm left with no choice as those games are indeletable from the gadget.

The short demo of the gadget is an eye-opener for me.  Apart from the fundamental explanation of words in the 3 main languages, little did I know that digital dictionaries nowadays are equipped with so many additional features:

* meaning of words for 24 other foreign languages
* translation (of phrases) from English to Chinese and vice versa
* proverbs (English)
* idioms (Chinese)
* antonyms and synonyms (Chinese and English)
* English phrasal verbs (with explanation in both English and Chinese)
* picture dictionary (of certain words only). There are also pictures of particular items such as market, city, school, occupations, parts of body etc identified by the 3 main languages with pronounciation
* scientific and technology as well as mathematical terms
* learning modules where academic questions in the 3 languages are also loaded together. So far, I've discovered that there are the language papers but yet to explore further to discover more.

I was pleasantly surprised that one can even watch a movie and play songs using this educational device.

All the above functionalities are available at the price of below RM800 (USD258) for an Apple Tree's Xplain.  I have no regrets buying this.  I told my other half not to let both the kids know about the device's multi-media capabilities.  Though sooner or later they will discover, I prefer to keep this a secret for as long as possible to avoid headaches.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How many times do we cry?

Wyng : Do you know that we cry 250 trillion times a year? Because our tear glands at the bottom of our eyes release a bit of water droplets to keep our eyes moist, that's why we cry so many times.

Mom : What's moist?

Wyng : It's like moisture. I mean, to keep your eyes from being very dry.

Mom : Where do you read this from?

Wyng : From my book, 'More,Tell Me More'. It's not like those encyclopedia.  All those things about why? why? why? Like, why do people...

Mom : I see.

Lesson learnt : 250 trillion times? Did I hear it wrong? I can't even comprehend this figure. Could it be that when the eyes are moist, it's also considered 'crying'? Yet to know the truth of this new found fact from Wyng.

Friday, March 9, 2012

IT gadgets, a boon or a bane?

Here are the scenarios....

In the company of the wonder gadget
The iPad is a toy to these enthusiastic kids
Gone are the conventional toys, picture cards, cars, Lego puzzle, even the favourite toys for boys, the guns are not seen anymore.  An iPad seems to be the must-have now, in most households.  We now see kids engrossed in playing Angry Bird or other digital games on either an iPad, iPhone or any smart phone or laptop/Netbook.

I often see preschool kids in front of such gadgets in public places such as restaurants while the parents are busy chatting away. No communication with the kid while the kid's eyes are glued to the small monitor.  So, this IT gadget has replaced toys? Is it going to limit communication soon?

3 fighting for a laptop, to Facebook, of course!
For most teens, Facebooking has become a daily routine for them.  I doubt they will pass a day without updating their status on Facebook.  If this gadget brings these teens closer together, this seem to be a good thing.  What if one of the become an evil and start to dominate the laptop? What will ensue? A fight for computer? Well, this happens when there is only ONE of such gadget around. So, is less better so that they learn the meaning of sharing?  Imagine, a laptop to each kid. Each will be in his world, no interaction among them.  They may probably be 'talking' in the cyber world, but not in person.You know what I mean? More isn't necessarily better.

All huddled together, just to get a glimpse of the iPhone and other smart phone
From this picture, the gadget seemed to draw them together. How often can you see such closeness among cousins other than to browse the ever amazing things on the net?

Wyng has been in this squatting position for a good few hours, using his aunty's Netbook
Wyng, as seen here in Aunty Flo's house, enjoying hours (at least four) of games without any interruption and restriction.  Yeah, this can only happen during family gatherings.  During this time, we didn't see him visit the toilet. Understandable as he didn't drink much.  Guess what? He suffered cramps after this indulgence.  What an unhealthy pastime? He will never get to do this at home!

Here are how kids behave without the wonder gadget..
Without an iPad, restless and frustrated?
Since there were no toys around, these kids seemed restless in the absence of the gadget.  Nothing said, just sulking.
A 'hostile' kid, walking away after the iPad was dominated by an older cousin

Let's take a good nap since there is no iPhone
I hope they were indulging in some kind of cousin talk. At times, it is better to be free from the wonder gadget for a while.  Afterall, it's always the 'personal touch' which is better. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting the physical aspect of it but the personal sharing of thoughts and ideas.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mom contributes to potluck for the first time

Onion (10 cloves) chopped finely
Garlic (8 cloves) chopped finely

Marinate with the seasoning sauce,onion and garlic overnight
Bake in oven for about 35-40 minutes
Mom's oven baked chicken for the party

I like this dish because it is simple enough to bake and it doesn't need a lot of ingredients.  Lots of onion and garlic, that's all that are needed for the flavour.
I have to thank my electric oven for this oven-baked chicken.  As I'm not a pro in the kitchen, I hate grease as time is the last thing I want to part with to clean my kitchen from the grease.  When my sisters suggested a potluck and each sister was to contribute at least a dish, I was glad at least I had something to contribute that time.  I've learnt up this dish so no more tapau-ing (packing) of outside food.  It was not the best chicken but Mom was filled with contentment as the chicken emitted pungent aroma (from the onion) and browned in the oven.

By the way, I don't follow the exact recipe given.  For the seasoning, I have used at least a third of a small bottle of soy sauce, 8 tablespoons of honey and a little bit of sugar (optional if you are health-conscious). I used a little too much of the soy sauce so that the chicken would not be too dry.

Voila! I cooked up two casseroles of chicken.  The feedback was good and not bad for a first-timer like me.  Ha...Ha.. at least my food can be served at parties..not just for my kids. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Do you teach your kids to use chopsticks?

I don't.  I don't see the need to really teach them as they will sooner or later pick up the skill.  Wyng is a natural at it.  He surprised all of us when he used the chopsticks like a pro during his pre-school years.  In fact, he may be using the correct method even better than Mom.

He doesn't like a fork for his noodles.  Whenever he eats out, he will be handed a fork, much to his annoyance, as most kids don't know or don't prefer chopsticks. A pair of chopsticks will be requested as I have to explain to the hawker or food helper that he CAN use the chopsticks.

At 4 years 2 months, eating his favourite dried noodle.
Barely 4 and a half years old then, savouring his favourite food

At Poh Poh's (Grandma) house,he accepted a challenge to pick a small piece of meat using the chopsticks . He was 5 years and 5 months old.
As far as I can recall, Hoe didn't use the chopsticks properly until he was in middle primary school.  Anyway, compared to Wyng, Hoe's motor skills are weaker.