Haze and All The Declared ‘Holidays’

October 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

The haze has been really bad, and the government has been declaring school closure day after day after day.

Good thing is the girls have finished their exams and so they are having lots of fun at home (creating chaos for the mother).

Here is Zaria’s writing about the haze and the holidays she’s getting.

I thought it was funny.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I think she’s my favourite author.

Remedy for Dengue 治疗骨痛热症的方式

April 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

A couple of weeks back, a friend I know from blogsphere passed away due to Dengue. A shock to most of us who knew him, as he was still joking away when he was admitted to the hospital, most of us didn’t take his hospital stay seriously, thinking he would come out in no time.

2 weeks ago, a teacher Zara likes and admires tremendously from school contracted Dengue and was admitted into a hospital with a platelet count of less than 50, we thought we’ll help out as she was from outstation with no family to care for her here. After asking around and googling, we found 2 remedies which will help to increase platelet count.

The 1st one Papaya Leave Juice and the other Double Boiled Frogs with Small Bitter Gourd.

There’s nothing the doctor can administer for Dengue besides putting the patient on drip and feeding Paracetamol to the patient for fever, hence most people depended on this natural cure.

Here is how it’s prepared.

♥Papaya Leaf Juice♥

Ingredients
5, 6 papaya leaves from young papaya trees, best if it’s from trees that never borne fruits.

Method
Wash, clean and cut the leaves up and then juice them a slow juicer to extract out the juice.
Or use a mortar and pestle to pound the leave till a pulp and squeeze out the juice.

5~6 papaya leaves will only extract out half a cup of juice.
As the juice is extremely bitter, mix the juice with 1 or 2 tsp of honey. Take 2 tbs of juice 3 times a day.

♥Double Boiled Frog Legs with Small Bitter Gourd♥
Ingredients
5 frogs (the people selling the frogs will skin the frogs)
5 small bitter gourd

Method
1. Clean the frogs
2. Slice the small bitter gourds into half, remove the seeds, and slice the bitter gourd
3. Place frogs and bitter gourd into the double boiler (do not add any water)
4. Double boil for 4hrs
5. Remove the frogs and bitter gourd, and you’ll get about 1 bowl of soup.
6. Serve warm

This is another extremely bitter soup, but as the popular Chinese phrase 苦口良药 says, a bitter medicine cures the disease.

We made this and sent to Zara’s teacher for the first few days she’s in the hospital, we are glad that her teacher is well after a few days and now fully recovered.

Feisty Zaria

January 6, 2015 at 10:25 am

Happy New Year to everyone.

Ever since we gave Zaria the barista title, she makes coffee or tea for me daily.

Yesterday after breakfast, I asked her for my cup of coffee as usual. Zaria said later. And repeated her ‘later’ for the next 1hr and eventually did not bother to even reply when I asked about my coffee.

I lost my patience and went downstairs, to see her lying on the sofa reading.
Me : From 9 till 10:30 I asked for my coffee, and you kept saying later, and then didn’t even answer me any more! Today is my 1st day of work, you are still on holidays, and you can’t even make your mom a cup of coffee? Do you have anything to say?
Zara : Sorry ma, what do you want ma? Do you want me to make a cup of coffee or tea for you?
Zaria : ….
Me : Ok. For lunch, I’m not cooking for you, and Auntie (our helper) cannot cook for you too. You go and figure out what to eat. There’s lots of cereals and milk.
So I made my own coffee, and thinking Zaria will come over to apologise; but instead, she went to our helper and asked, “Auntie, do we still have mee sedap?”
o.O”

At 12pm, she boiled a pot of water herself, cut opened a pack of mee sedap, and made herself lunch!!
o.O”

While I was eating roast chicken sandwich, and fried button mushroom with Zara at the same table with her, I asked “You can have some if you say something to me.”
Slurping her noodle, she said, “Even if I say sorry, I don’t really mean it, so what’s the point of saying it.”
o.O”

That’s my 8 year old alright, feisty, independent, non-complying.

Happy Easter And Peace Offering

April 9, 2014 at 3:28 pm

I’m a born Catholic, and wanted the girls to be baptised when they were born, but the hubs, an atheist, was against it. His reason, “They should decide (what religion) for themselves when they are older.”

This year, I just enrolled them into Sunday school, with Zara attending RCIC (Rights of Christian Initiation For Children), the children version of RCIA, so that both girls can get baptised and Zara can recieved her first Holy Communion this year like friends her age.

So I think the past few weeks at Sunday school, the girls have been taught about Easter, and Zaria, who likes to make cards and write notes to me, gave me this (see the word “Royce”? My favourite brand of chocolate).

Easter Card from Zaria

And this.
Easter Card from Zaria

And this.
Easter Card from Zaria

First time I’m getting an Easter card!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Writing letters and notes are quite common with my girls; usually they will write to me, to tell me they are sorry for something they have done, or to say they love me; the girls have also started writing notes to each other.

Zaria has lots of pride, and never likes sharing anything she has with Zara; Zara gets extremely annoyed because of the latter, especially when she shares everything with Zaria. After a round of squabble, Zara gave this note to Zaria as peace offering.

Zara's notes to Zaria

And then see what Zaria replied???
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Zaria's reply to Zara

o.O”

Happy Easter every one!

Growing Up – But Not Too Grown Up

April 8, 2014 at 3:51 pm

One day, they are not too grown up :
Zara : ma, can you read to me tonight like how you used to?
Me : ha..
(I’d stopped reading to her almost half a year now; the girl’s English is getting so good she’s teaching me new words and correcting my grammar and the books she’s reading is getting thicker than mine)
Zara : You know, I’m not too old for things like this.

Another day, they are :
Zaria fell from the dining chair.
Zaria : Ma, can you check, I think there’s something on my back.
Checked, and found her skin to be chafed.
Me : Poor baby, it must be very painful.
Zaria : I am not a baby! And it’s just a little painful. Ouch.
Me : You think a kiss will help? *about to plant a kiss on her back*
Zaria : *wriggled away* No. Tea Tree oil will help.
I caught her and kissed her anyway, and she giggled.

Japan 2013

December 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm

We just got back from our holidays to Japan.

We bought our tickets to fly to Kansai International Airport early this year when Air Asia was doing a promotion, thinking it was a great deal. A couple of months later, MAS had their promotion, and tickets were even cheaper. A few of my neighbours actually managed to grab the tickets and theirs cost less than ours! Bummer!

Due to the busy schedule this whole year, we only started to plan for the trip 2 months before our holidays. We decided to only focus on a couple of places around Osaka and Kyoto area even though we have 12 days there, preferring to take things slowly.

This is the map of where we’d been.

Did the girls enjoy Japan? They sure did! They asked us to extend our stay, they wanted to go there again; and we have to keep reminding them Japan is an expensive holiday destination. Accommodation, transport, entrance fee are all very expensive! It’s not some where we can go every other year.

Here is Zara’s thought about Japan written in her journal.

Note :
1) Travelling around Japan.
We traveled around Kyoto using the bus and train. The (bus and train) maps available are quite easy to read/understand.
In Osaka, we took mainly the subway, it looks complex, but lines are clearly coloured with station numbered, see this; i.e. Y15, S16, M20 for Namba 難波駅, なんば駅 (as it can be reaced by 3 subway lines)
We rented a car for 4 days and requested for an English GPS. To get to a place, we only needed to enter the phone number. Traffic updates however were announced in Japanese.

2) People are extremely friendly and courteous in Japan, even if they don’t understand you, if you asked for help, they will patiently listen to you and try their very best to help you. We seek a lot of help from people at subway stations, bus stops, convenient stores. A couple of times, we asked for directions at shops, and they whipped a copy of maps, charted out the route, and gave us the map. Amazing people!

3) Chin Nee asked how do we read menu in Japanese. Usually, they have English menu. When they don’t, they will have some pictures/photos of what they served. I read Chinese, so I look for key words as well in menu, e.g. 豚 (pork), 鶏 (chicken), 魚 (fish), 焼 (grill), 揚 (deep fried), 野菜 (vege) etc etc.

And posts will be added below as and when I’d finished writing them.
Part 1 : Day 1 – Nara 奈良
Part 2 : Day 2 – Takao 高雄
Part 3 : Day 3 – Arashiyama and Sagano 嵯峨嵐山
Part 4 : Day 4 – Nijo Castle 二条城 and Nishiki Market 錦市場
Part 5 : Day 5 – Eikando 永観堂, Kiyomizu-dera 清水寺, Higashiyama District
Part 6 : Day 6 – Fushimi Inari Shrine 伏見稲荷大社, Tofukuji 東福寺, Gion 祇園
Part 7 : Day 7 and 8 – Road Trip, Exploring Takayama 高山 and Epic Lunch at Turuturutei つるつる亭
Part 8 : Day 8 and 9 – Snow at Shirakawa-go 白川郷 And Gokayama 五箇山
Part 9 : Day 10 – Gero 下呂 Friends Making and Osaka 大阪 Takoyaki Making
Part 10 : Day 11 – Osaka Castle 大阪城 Dotonbori 道頓堀 Shinsaibashi 心斎橋
Part 11 : Day 12 – Osaka Doguyasuji 千日前道具屋筋商店街 and Shinsekai 新世界
Useful links :
Japan Guide – I refer to this a lot when planning the trip
Kyoto Tourist Guide Book – I printed this out to bring along as a quick guide.
Frommer’s Japan Guide

Maps:
Official Kyoto bus map – here, and here This is a must have if you took the bus in Kyoto, hotels will be able to give you a copy too.

Fist Fighting – By The Girls

October 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

The girls although love each other and enjoy each other’s company very much, they are also always bickering over the smallest issues. Lately, they have even started fist fighting!

One day, it was because Zara drew a picture of Zaria kissing someone. *POW* Zaria gave Zara a punch, and then Zara punched back, and then the punching began, until I intervened. So as a punishment, they had to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese.

As if they learnt.

Another day, Zara tickled Zaria when Zaria was doing a handstand on the sofa (which is forbidden); to retaliate, Zaria put her hand into Zara’s pants and started tickling Zara’s buttocks. Zara of course didn’t like it, and started beating Zaria, and Zaria fought back; it was PUNCH PUNCH BEAT BEAT until I intervened. Again, they have to write 20 lines “I shall not fight (with my sister) anymore.” in Chinese. Sigh.

Here are their comic strips capturing the ‘moment’.

o.O” (And they said I’m mean for punishing them!)

Do your kids fist fight with each other too?

Replying and Responding Using Songs

September 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

The girls recently love using songs to reply to a question or respond to a situation. A couple I could remember.

We were talking about swimming, and how they were progressing. Zara told me that Zaria’s BFF Ee Mang (who happens to have the same swim coach as Zara) could swim 6 laps without resting, but for her, she needed to rest in between.
I told her to push herself, and increase her stamina, when she things that she cannot go on anymore, just tell herself that she can do it, push herself a little more and don’t give up.
She sang, “I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough….”
(I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz) o.O”

On another occasion, we were talking about ambition, and we talked about what they wanted to be when they grow up.
Zaria said she wanted to be a florist still but worried she won’t get much money because she thought only dead people get flowers.
I told her she can be anything she wanted to be, just as long as she set her heart to it.
She started singing, “You can be a King Kong, banging on your chest.”
(Hall Of Fame by The Script) o.O”

When I brought the girls ice skating last week, I was contemplating if I should join the girl or I should just sit at the bench and watch them. They encouraged me to join them, and they told me they would teach me. Recalling how impatient I was with Zara the last time I brought them there because she was so afraid to walk with her skates, I asked Zara, “You won’t raise your voice at me?”
She started singing, “What goes around, comes back around….. What goes around, comes back around..” followed by an evil laugh, and then told me, “I’ll be patient ok, ma?”
(Best Thing I Never Had by Beyoncé) o.O”

My Mom Is Bossy – By The Girls

September 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm

The girls don’t have to go to school this week from Monday to Thursday because of UPSR, so I drew a schedule for them to follow. Basically for the whole day, I’d planned out that for 3.5hrs they need to do some worksheets and journal writing and for the rest of the time it is free and play time.

I had a clause that states if they played with Bubbles, our dog, during the time allocated for work, I’ll minus points for each offence, and if a total of 10 points were accumulated, I won’t bring them ice skating.

They were not happy when they first saw it.
Zara : 你的字那么的丑,我都不会读. (Your writing is so ugly, I can’t even read.)
(I sat them down and made them read through, and understand the clause)
Zaria : You are so bossy you know.
Zara : (annoyed) 遵守什么? 什么都要遵守, 不然就扣分!? Haiyoh! (Follow the rules, everything also must follow the rules, or else minus points.)

So for the day’s writing, they did a comic strip about me.

Zara’s.

Zaria’s.

Bubbles, Our New Dog

September 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm

For the longest time, the girls have been asking us for a dog. Last weekend, we succumbed to their request.

Bubbles, a 2 year old West Highland Terrier, was adopted, and moved in with us on Sunday.

I’ll let the girls tell you about him.

From Zaria.

From Zara.

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