Friday, December 20, 2013

It is the season to be Jolly!

2013 is coming to an end.. It has been an eventful year, but then every year is always an eventful year for us. Haha! It's hard to have a "staid and boring" year when you have three kids. They are constantly growing and going from one phase and into another.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Re-inventing MY life - Part 1: Being Maid-less

Have you ever reached a point in life that you decided that enough is enough? And YOU woke up and smelled the roses.. poo?! Well, I reached that point when my maid went back for her home leave.

Here's the start of (perhaps a very long) story...

I renewed my maid's contract after 2 years.. We verbally agreed that we would hire her for 2 contracts, meaning 4 years.. provided she does a good job for us. However, when she left for home leave, I discovered that many things weren't done properly. Perhaps, I wasn't sufficiently strict with her or clear with my expectations. Hubs says I'm lousy at people management. =P

Anyways.. My house was in shambles. (Drastic word eh?) My washing machine was mould coated, downstairs toilet was rarely scrubbed, cabinets were filthy.. Best part - I moved in to this place only a year ago!

We decided that we will try to cope without a maid. All of us pitching in, including the kids helping to do their part in chores. So after she came home from her home leave, we told her we decided that we didn't want her services anymore. Granted, we could have save her a trip back here but we wanted to let her have a chance in finding another employer here. However, she decided to go home.. So we compensated her sufficiently and sent her back.

It has been almost a month without her,  two if you count the time she was away for home leave. We are still trying to get a handle on things. We are pretty much okay for most of the time.. UNTIL this week.

The washing machine broke down, MIL was down with stomach flu (she is better now so its my turn to lie in bed), my mum and I are down with bad flu. Being sick is the worse.. cause we are the main caregivers (MIL and I) with my mother as the standby for the girls. As I type this, my head is feeling really heavy, ears stuffed up from being congested. So, it is HARD when the housework piles up. I've got a PT helper coming in twice a week, that helps relieve the housework load.

I won't say life is easy without a maid.. Do I really need one? I would say its really nice having someone else being in charge of housework. But I am young enough to accept the hard work. I am OCD and I love seeing my own house clean and tidy. Will I hire another in future? Perhaps. Maybe. Maybe not. I will hire one only if I desperately need to.. For now, it is nice to see the girls pitch in and learn some responsibilities.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vesak Day - Lunch Date with the Hubs

It's Vesak Day!

This morning, I mentioned in passing that I felt like eating laksa. The Hubs thought long and hard where he could "magically" produce GOOD laksa for me. And he suggested the claypot laksa at Alexandra Village hawker centre! *claps in glee*

So... off we go! Please-don't-ask-why-I-feel-compelled-to-put-on-makeup-when-I'm-going-to-a-hawker-centre.... but I do wear makeup as and when I feel like it.

I had the smallest claypot.. My pot has a good amount (about a spoonful) of chili added into the gravy. The heat (from the extra chili) is awesome. It can really burn your stomach. The cockles tasted fresh, but a little small in size. I would have prefer more cockles in my laksa, that would have made it the best local laksa for me. Next round, I would definitely order extra "hum"!
Claypot Laksa
Since we sat in front of the "orh lua" stall, we couldn't resist getting it. OH SO GOOOOOOD! So much better than Bedok 85 Market's famous "orh lua" stall. Please keep your Hep. B jab current if you love to eat as much shell fish as I do!The eggs were crispy and had the right amount of flour. The oysters tasted fresh. The chili was the usual one that they serve with this dish, a little tangy to taste. Fresh spring onions is always a plus in my books. Although, I felt that it could have been better if they did mix in some chinese parsley.
Fried Oysters ("orh lua")
After our lunch, we were so stuffed that we didn't even wanted to go buy the famous A1 curry puffs. The thoughts that came to my mind was... #theregoesmydiet and my trainer's face when she sees me stuffing myself with oily food, but it was totally worth the gym sessions and torture the trainer puts me through.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Random Good News - May

Recess Area
Yay! Our appeal to buy over the recess area has been approved after almost 10 months here. *drags out all the Reno stuff again* I'll be in Reno heaven - again

BFF is coming to town
What more can I say? I miss my BFF and her sweetie pie, Clara. Looking forward to spending time with them - hopefully sans the kids!

Bangkok trip
Hubs decided that this year we'll celebrate our wedding anniversary with a short gateaway. With 3 kiddos and 2 below 5, it's so hard to take a break and we both need one. 

Goodbye to Breastfeeding
My Breastfeeding journey with no. 3 has ended. It lasted a few more months longer than I expected, as we initially found out he was allergic to diary. Now, we realized he is actually badly lactose intolerant. So, he is currently on soy formula and/or HA formula. It took some time to get him used to drinking milk but we made it work.

Life is short. Always look on the bright side, folks! Count your blessings no matter how big or small. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Dinner at Binomio - Spanish Restaurante

Last Tuesday, we went to Binomio, a spanish tapas restaurant for dinner. It's been a while since we brought #1 for "ang moh style" food. It has always been Chinese food because a. convenient, b. crowd pleaser, c. nearby. So it was a real treat for her and the mummy (me!). However, we had a moment with her where we had to explain what/who is Spanish.. Okay, it was a little tricky but hey, Handy Manny 'yo!

We started off with a refreshing cold tomato soup.. I think it was a real experience for #1, since it was her first cold soup!
Salmorejo Cordobes
Then, it was followed by some cold cuts which was a hit with #1. She loves salty, preserved food! They had a really good light tomato puree and toasted bread served along side.
Embutidos ibericos
One of the nicest tapas that they had was the croquettes! It was stuffed with ham, chicken and boiled egg in a light bechamel sauce.. The initial impression was.. is this a cheese sauce? but it taste so light! The hostess came and clarify it was bechamel sauce. Definitely a hit with us.
Croquetas de la casa (sorry for the blur photo)
Then, came the thinly sliced squid! This is definitely my favourite.. I love squid.. deep fried calamari, sambal sotong.. etc etc. We jokingly called it fried kuay teow coz it was so nicely sliced like hand cut noodles.

One of my least favourite dish was the roasted white asparagus with tomatoes, green spinach garlic sauce (if I remember correctly). I do not like the bitter tinged that came with the white asparagus and it was rather fibrous. I usually am a fan of asparagus so.. this was a no go for me. The redeeming quality of this dish was the tomatoes... It was perfectly done!

Then, came the meat dishes.. It was roast beef and a char-grilled Iberian pork. The pork was good but the beef was better! Juicy and tender!
Secreto Iberico
All in all, it was quite a good experience. The service was impeccable, even though their service staff's English was heavily accented, but I'm glad they made my #1 felt comfortable in such a formal setting.

Binomio is located at Craig Place #01-02, 20 Craig Road, Singapore 089692. Please note that they only open for limited hours on Saturday and they are closed on Sunday.

Would we head back there? Definitely. Perhaps to try the Spanish cocktails, paella and more tapas.

Despedida! Till the next post. =P

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Experimenting with local Malay dishes

I don't cook often these days only when the mood strikes me. :( Which means I'm way behind my 2013 resolution. Life is really busy now.. Between ferrying no. 1 and 2 around for school and class, I hardly have time to go to the market.

Anyways, here is the two dishes I did last week and this week..
Sambal macaroni for lunch yesterday.. 

And fish curry which was done last week...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy 8 Months Old, Nic Boy!

Mummy, I need more breakfast!
Nicholas is 8 months old today! I find it rather challenging to have a boy after having two girls. They do challenge what you think is normal. My two girls were relatively good babies. Now, this Nic Boy, he is a handful. He wouldn't stop moving even in his sleep. He doesn't want to be weaned off breastmilk (ok, that's not his fault! hahaha). He doesn't take to semi solids easily - alto he is doing way better now with porridge on the menu.

But, being an active baby, he is ahead in his physical milestones. He is already standing with support, able to let go one hand and also sit back down after he stands. *sigh* Trust me when I say we are tired out by him, he wakes up even thru the night.. despite tanking up on food/milk.

So at 8 months old.. He still isn't showing signs of growing his precious pearly whites, he doesn't babble much but squeals a lot to show he is excited/happy. I must say... he is also one heck of a tenacious boy! He never gives up when he wants to touch something. He can go on and on, trying to grab a laptop/phone/remote.

Happy 8 months old, Nic Boy! Mummy and Daddy loves you despite the sleepness nights you give us.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Nicholas' 1st Airshow

Last Saturday, my hubs decided impromptu-ly that he wanted to go to Sentosa to watch Breitling Jet Team's airshow. It was the team's first Singapore performance. Frankly I was hesitant.. The darkening sky, the oppressive heat, a Saturday afternoon on a hot beach is not really my thing.

But boy, was I glad that Nic Boy went to the airshow. He was fascinated by the sand, the people and the flying thingys (the jets) in the sky. Alto, he didn't quite like the heat. Being fair skin like me, I could totally understand why. We burn just too easily!

We got there at about 1.50 p.m., we got really lucky with the parking and managed to parked in a shelter lot. Then, did a short walk towards Siloso Beach..

I stayed under the shade with this boy.
Mummy, why are we on a hot beach today?
While the two girls headed off to the open beach with Daddy. Belle isn't too happy with getting sand into her shoes..
The two sisters:- One happy, the other not.
We had to wait for a while, even though the event says it starts at 2.. The boy was starting to get restless and really hot, so I took him out of the stroller. No, he doesn't like pictures..

And then, it started! It was amazing..

Daddy's impromptu outing was a success, in return, he allowed Mummy to go shopping for a few hours at Vivocity.. And everyone had a good long day. The End

Friday, March 8, 2013

Interesting Find: Yogurt Mover by Nude Food Movers

Ever since my eldest started primary school, I've been racking my brains how to get her to eat healthily in school. So far, I've not done a really good job.. but I'm working on it! I had a list of interesting snacks to try and one of them was to bring yoghurt with frozen fruit. However, in this humid hot weather, yoghurt would go bad really quick even with frozen fruit in it to keep it "cool". I hesitated until I spotted the Yogurt Mover by Nude Food Movers (NFM). 
**Oops.. Spot the spelling error - Yogurt Mover!**
Nude Food Movers (NFM) is by Smash that produces lunch boxes, snack boxes, drink wares etc. They strongly believe in eating nutritiously and eliminate the need for portion packing. Everything can be washed and reused easily.  I like them because:- a, they come in really bright gender neutral colours and designs. b, they have containers for EVERYTHING (including muffin cases which I love!). c, they are budget friendly!

The Yogurt Mover comes with a flat spoon, a removable freezer gel compartment and is leak-proof. It is very well designed.. The gel compartment is able to store 1 small tub of yogurt, of course it is definitely much more economical if you scoop out from a huge tub.

Here's what I did. I took a tub of Emmi Swiss yogurt, slightly smaller than a regular tub. I added frozen blueberries that I had in my freezer.. Then just snap it into the outer container..

It should keep it cool for at least 2 hours or more.. I put my daughter's container into her small cooler lunch bag along with her animal biscuits, and pray/hope that she will eat her snack in time during recess!

The Yogurt Mover is sold at most departmental stores. I got mine at Taka for $17. Some Popular stores do carry a limited range of NFM containers. I find the Yogurt Mover is really nifty if you need to keep some snacks cool, especially yogurts and fruits. I prefer fruits to be chilled, it gives fussy eaters a cool treat on a hot day and help keep the fruits fresh longer.

Silence of the "Blog"

So....... Once again, it's been sometime since I blog. *sigh* I've been busy busy busy AND tired tired tired!

It's obviously late now that I am here talking to myself... But I've been trying to find ways to blog "on the go" - it's really just a code phrase for on my phone!

With 3 kiddos (secretly I call them monsters), I find hard press for time to "go potty" without a child following me. Yet, I've a strong urge once in a while to sort out my thoughts here.

It's the beginning of March, spring season brings new life.. New hope! Yadda yadda yadda........ Means new beginnings = new start = new blogging routine??? (Look how warped my chain of thought is!)

So I'm going to try out Blogger's app on my phone. If it doesn't work out, this is going to go to Wordpress. I sincerely do want to blog and hopefully turn it into something bigger than me yakking to myself.

Hopefully I can get my engine started tomorrow or the day after... Perhaps, never? But one definitely can hope! :D

Monday, January 14, 2013

It's 2013!

Finally, I've got the time to sit down and reflect on the recent events..!

I decided I've come to a point that I can't deal with my son's allergies anymore.. Neither did I have a time to give Tiger the love and care that I once given him. Mind you, when I gotten him, I only had one child.. Then, soon after I had my number 2.. which number 3 followed on. *sigh* My priorities will always be the children. When number 3 showed signs that he is highly sensitive to a lot of things.. I knew we have to give him away. And so we did.. To a lovely family with a special girl who loves cats.

First day of school for Diana
Diana has just started primary school this year. It is a big milestone for her and us. I must say, we are still trying to adapt. She still can't pack her own bag, more interested in dreaming and still thinks that the world will wait for her. Despite the fact that we stay so near the school, most of the time we have to chase her out so that she gets there on time. On the other hand, she is doing great, she made new friends and is eager to go to school everyday. She comes home really tired, and heads to bed early. So we're still trying hard to get her adjusted to a full day of school and activities. I must say we are still struggling with her. She is the quietest among our 3 children, we try to get her to talk to us, it's an uphill challenge! *Sigh* Hopefully, when she is adjusted, she will feel more comfortable.

First day of school for Isabelle
Isabelle has just started Pre-Nursery/Nursery 1. However, it didn't went so well. So far, out of the many school days, she only managed to attend 3-4 days. She is down with a bad chesty cough (again). So off we pack her to Dr Heng (the ENT specialist we see), he explained that she is still trying to build immunity against the viruses. *sigh* There is nothing much we can do except to stop the symptoms as it comes on. Recently, her temper tantrums are bad, especially when she gets wind that we will be sending her to school. She isn't happy about going to school AT ALL. There is always a bunch of crying kids in her class, she gets really upset and starts to cry too. The good news is we managed to get a spot at St Hilda's instead, and she will be starting in March. My hubs and I strongly believe in St Hilda Kindy's system and discipline, so we are really glad that she will be starting in March instead of January 2014.

Resolutions for 2013
1. Be a better/sane/patient/*insert whatever adjective that you could think of* mother to my kids.  
- I must say I am still struggling on this.. especially with 3 monsters!
2. Start a "sane" home learning routine for the older two.
- I need to be consistent for Didi's routine and really start on Belle's home learning!
3. Try to breastfeed Nic longer than the goal in my head.  
- I was planning to breastfeed him for minimally 6 months, and since he is already hitting 6 months, the feeling to give up is soooooooooo strong!! I need to keep on going!!
4. Start cooking (again) on a regular basis and experiment with 1 new dish each week. - My family needs to eat right; 'nuff said!
5. Be a happy wife. - A happy wife = A happy husband right? *winks winks*