Monday, March 31, 2008

Check this out! Hee!... I'm back

Told you blogging is addictive. Since I'm still online...

check this out! It'd be so nice to stay.. although I must admit I'm not a LOTR fan. The show puts me to sleep.........

Shucks! No children under the age of 10

Please excuse me.......

please excuse me if you don't see our blogs being updated. I'm still alive and kicking and screaming at my kids - I'll only be a little more busy / occupied with my time planning for our upcoming holiday. We had already planned and bought tickets quite some time back but I still haven't done my holiday itinery planning, coz' busy with the children and keep delaying time. This is considered late (in my standard). As usual, our holidays we prefer to do F&E, except for China and the recent Taiwan - which I don't understand why he decided to take tour since he claims he knows Taiwan in & out. *som-bong!*

Friends who know me, knows that when I plan our holidays these years, I'll do a thorough planning with entrance fees, opening hours and step by step where to go etc.... down. Driving maps and directions all in. So when it comes to our holidays, I'll bring the binded book I compile + the big road map (if necessary). rail tickets or whatever or bought, so I don't have to worry much when I'm there. Anyway, I usually take a tour on my own already when I scour through books and have a mental image of the itinery.
First step is to get the accomodations. Number 1 - farmstay. Highlight for the children! I told hubby it's the first time I emailed ridiculous questions to them. "what animals do you have?" Normally I'll be more interested if ensuite. This time round, I sounded more suaku and laugh at myself. "what animals do you have?" "what can the children do?" "can they milk the cow" "I'm sure they'll be excited coz' living in an urban place, this would be a great experience for them." Ahem..........I think it's for me. One came back with a reply, we can take the children to ride the tractor. Woah hoh! This is so funny!

Okay, time being I shall cut down gym to Wednesdays only with Moo Han. Shall try not to meet friends, so dear friends... please forgive me. I'm really pressed for time, I don't have much time in a day. then why am I still blogging??
Ros, I still haven't forgotten about the photo collage that I need your help, it's no hurry anyway. I need to go through all the burnt discs. Maybe I'll be able to get nice photos during our hols so... I will let you know after that, okay?
shit! why am I still writing??
I tell you, this blogging is addictive.
Okay, time being my dear friends do not forget me, check on our blogs. I'll see when I'll write. Ahem... have a feeling I'll blog again tonight. Or.... maybe.....I'll be baking
STOP WRITING!!!!
I still have that long outstanding oreo cheesecake that I've mentioned about.........
I TELL YOU TO STOP WRITING!!

Bye for now!!

The New Paper news

I never found any dangers in balloons until I read this!

BALLOON BURST KILLS GIRL
March 31, 2008 Print Ready
Email Article

THE parents of 5-year-old Lily Breen found her lifeless body in her bedroom.

Click to see larger image
5-year-old Lily Breen: Screen capture from Daily Mail website

They tried to resuscitate her, but her brain had been fatally starved of oxygen, reported Daily Mail in UK.

She had choked on a burst balloon.

Lily was autistic and loved to touch and taste things, her parents said yesterday.

They believe she may she have bitten into the inflated balloon and when it popped, it was forced into her throat.

Moments earlier, her father Ian had given Lily a bath and washed her hair.

He said: 'She did not like having her hair brushed so I was telling her that she was daddy's beautiful girl.

'A few minutes later I was in the shower when my wife shouted that there was something wrong with Lily.'

Her mother Angela, a registered nurse who had given up work to care for her, desperately tried to save her before two ambulances and a doctor arrived.

The balloon fragment was found in the youngster's windpipe.

NO SENSE OF DANGER

Mr Breen, 37, said: 'Angela fought to save her but it was too late.

'Doctors said it was likely that she died instantaneously - thank God she didn't suffer.

'She was our special girl and I feel lost without her. To lose someone like that is awful.'

Lily had three brothers, Aarron, 23, Liam, 19, and 11-year-old Aidan, who was at home when his sister died.

Mr Breen, a lorry driver, said:

'Lily was at the high end of the autism spectrum and I believe in the end, that is what killed her. She didn't have any sense of danger like other children do.'

Mr Breen said they had been lucky to have Lily at all, because her birth was complicated.

'We were so happy to have a little girl because we'd always wanted one,' he said.

Plans all gone! /complaints/ different views

Don't you just hate it when you look forward to something for the new week, only to have to change it last minute?
Athena had fever on Saturday late night, triggered by viral, and she was well. Sunday evening (umm..... seems like fever always come in the evenings to play) so decided to let her rest at home today. Was suppose to go gym and head down to Meridien Shopping Mall. Then plans change and I have to postpone my gym to tomorrow. Duh! And I'm pressed for time!! Then why the heck I'm still blogging?? Entertain my friends lor! Must keep the fan club going mah!
And it's not like I have a good time taking care of 2 kids at home. One, when Athena is sick she's not really sick. She's still jumping here and there, obviously happy that she didn't have to attend school. Then I'll have to tell her to stop, when it doesn't get any better - threaten her that I'm bringing her school - bad mummy!
I'm so afraid that it'll spread to mei-mei and then trouble starts. You know once that girl has fever, I panic. I really drop everything (except my clothes -hahaha!) and make sure she's cooled down. I still need to bring her for her DPT 1st booster. I can't go back to Dr Tan - the PD. Coz' she's fully booked for appointments for the next 2 months and to walk in is as good as to stay overnight in the clinic. Maybe I'll bring her to Dr Lee instead.

FYI, she didn't attend school on Friday too coz'... I was still contemplating if I should bring her in until hubby came back in the morning and wanted the children around. Good thing it was Shichida's term break too, so Ari didn't have to go for class.
Okay, there was this debate between me and the principal. On Tuesday night, I brought Athena to see doctor (it wasn't Dr Tan but a relief doctor) and then asked for a letter "to continue medication." The doctor literally follow my words accordingly and wrote that. What the school wanted to see was "fit to attend school and to continue medication". So problem arose when Ms Li opened the letter and told me.. then debate start and I did thought of to let her pon-tang school that day and let her stay in mom's place, (I needed to gym) and somehow I was not pleased, although I understand the school's rule in this, but I'm stuck in a position too coz' the letter was sealed up! Principal said never mind, asked me to call the doctor and they'll take the doctor's word for it. I only managed to speak to her on Thursday and told the chinese teacher to pack her homework book coz' I won't bring her in on Friday since they still need that letter and doctor said It wasn't him who saw her, can't certify "fit". Of course what I can do is to bring her down for consultation again = extra cost + time wasted waiting in clinic just to get that damn letter. Easiest solution is to pull her out on Friday coz' mom was sick can't help me to feed the medicine in school.
I spoke to Mrs Wong about how I feel.. I told her that Athena (is the child being in LCCC for the longest time, she is the pioneer for the 18mths playgroup. Imagine how many years she's been with them) has been there for a long time and through these years they will understand that I'm a very responsible parent. Once my child falls sick, I'll not bring her in. I mean, I could have just made my own life easy and dump her in school while I enjoy myself, why would I bother to let her rest at home and make myself angry?? I do not want her to spread to other kids, but I'm just not pleased how some irresponsible parents are, their childrens' mucus are so drippy or coughing like mad and definitely highly contagious, they still bring them to school. (one girl in her class, her parents never cared about her. Fever also just dump her in there, school call and call ask them to bring her see doctor, nobody cared. The grandmother sell chicken rice in the opposite block also don't care!) Mrs Wong said usually these parents have letter that state "fit to attend school", my argument was "of course, they tell the doctor I gotta work give me the letter. what can the doctor do? Listen to customer lor!" In my case, it's only this time coz' other doctors will write according to what MCYS have asked them to do, and take my ren-ge as a token instead this time. How I felt at that time was as if I've been vindicated.
Anyway, after the talk. Mrs Wong said it's okay to bring her in school on Friday. I also didn't want her to miss her lessons and Speech & Drama leh!
But today, being a very responsible mother I had to leave her at home, nursed her back to health.


***************************************************************************
Different views & I'm in a difficult spot
Last wednesday, was talking to Moo Han during our lunch (after gym) and.... put 2 talkative + thick-skinned ladies (talk until restaurant close also sit there) we end up chatting a varied topic. One of the thing we talked about was different PD, different views = different medicine.
For me, once Athena starts coughing I try to settle it with medications at home, non- antibiotics medicine. If it doesn't, then it's to the doctors. I try to avoid Dr Lee aka the antibiotics doctor. It's off to Dr Ng (Blk 250 doctor), he'd give L-Cimexyl -can't get this in pharmacy the alternative is Flumucil which I found to be very very very sweet. Ventolin syrup and recommend inhalers if I ask. Dr Tan (GP in Punggol Plaza) will give Phenexpect, Vasican. Dr Tan (PD-ideally the first place I want to bring my children go but gotta wait very long) will give mucosolvan, zyrtec. Dr Lee straight away give antobiotics. She used to give Augmentin (which is amoxycillin and can you imagine?! Her body is not reacting to it now. So young, for me it's only recently when I was flying I noticed I can't take amoxycillin) she must take Klacid, whasolone (hope I got spelling right), and she'll tell you to puff and puff. I'm one of the most stubborn mother she must have met, first question everytime she asks me is if I gave Athena her flixotide and ventolin. And.... all the doctors don't hear wheezing but she'll say she's wheezing. I don't deny she's good, maybe she can really hear the small little wheezing or she knows it's coming up. Or maybe she already started giving her strong medicine from the start. FYI, in the clinic, I'll notice she gives antibiotics to almost every child.
This time round, I'm confused if I should bring her straight since I always have to doctor hop here and there until eventually end up there. Then the medications helps! Hubby brought her to see the Dr Tan(GP) yesterday and asked if there's a need for antibiotics. It's not like I'm so hard up for antibiotics but.... guess you'll know how I feel. I don't want to doubt the doctor's capability, some doctors opened their eyes big when I tell them... why? Coz' they view it differently. It's just like how some people have different school of thoughts in treating fever.
With Aricia, I'm also hesitant in bringing her to Dr Lee.. and I feel so guilty that Athena has to be made the guineapig.

Extracted from bitsyskitchen.com

Looking for baking conversion table, I rely on one recommendation given by jemej. Now can't remember address coz' typing this blog in desktop (bookmarked in my lappie)
Not that my oven is working hard now.
Chanced upon this while checking on information, and here you are!

Standard Conversion Tables
Oven Temperatures
Fahrenheit Centigrade Gas mark Description
225 F 105 C 1/4 Very cool
250 F 120 C 1/2
~
275 F 130 C 1 Cool
300 F 150 C 2
~
325 F 165 C 3 Very moderate
350 F 180 C 4 Moderate
375 F 190 C 5
~
400 F 200 C 6 Moderately Hot
425 F 220 C 7 Hot
450 F 230 C 8
~
475 F 245 C 9 Very Hot
American Liquid Measures
1 gallon = 4 quarts =
3.79 L
(Can usually be rounded to 4 L)
1 quart = 2 pints =
0.95 L
(Can usually be rounded to 1 L)
1 pint = 2 cups =
16 fl oz = 450 ml
(Can usually be rounded to 500 ml)
1 cup = 8 fl oz =
225 ml
(Can usually be rounded to 250 ml)
1 Tbsp. = 1/2 fl oz =
16 ml
(Can usually be rounded to15ml)
1 tsp. = 1/3 Tbsp = 5 ml
American Can Sizes
Can Sizes Contents Cups
5 ounce 5 oz. 5/8
8 ounce 8 oz. 1
Picnic 10 1/2 to 12 oz 1 1/4
12 oz.vacuum 12 oz 1 1/2
No. 2 1/2 1 lb13 oz. 3 1/2
No. 346 oz
~
5 3/4
Condensed milk 14 fl. oz 1 1/3
Evaporated milk 5 1/3 fl. oz 1 2/3
British Liquid Measures
spacer
1 UK pint is about 6 dl
1 UK liquid oz is 0.96 US liquid oz.
1 pint = 570 ml = 20 fl oz
1 breakfast cup = 10 fl oz = 1/2 pint
1 tea cup = 1/3 pint
1 tablespoon = 15 ml
1 dessert spoon = 10 ml
1 teaspoon = 5 ml = 1/3 tablespoon
International Liquid Measurements
~
Standard cup Tablespoon Teaspoon
Canada 250ml 15ml 5ml
Australia 250ml 20ml 5ml
New Zealand 250ml 15ml 5ml
UK 250ml 15ml 5ml
spacer
Weight
1 ounce = 28.4 g
1 pound = 454 g
1 kg = 2.2 pounds
spacer
British Short Cuts
Cheese (grated) 1 oz = 4 level tablespoons
Cocoa or chocolate powder 1 oz = 3 level tablespoons
Coconut (desiccated) 1 oz = 4 level tablespoons
Flour (unsifted) 1 oz = 3 level tablespoons
Sugar (castor/caster) 1 oz = 2 level tablespoons
Sugar (granulated) 1 oz = 2 level tablespoons
Sugar (icing) 1 oz = 2 1/2 level tablespoons
Syrup (golden) 1 oz = 1 level tablespoons

Some Australian Conversions
Metric Cups Grams Ounces
1 cup butter 2508 3/4
1 cup (cookie) crumbs 1103 3/4
1 cup breadcrumbs, soft 602
~
1 cup breadcrumbs, dry 1254 1/2
1 cup cheese, grated 1254 1/2
1 cup cocoa 1103 3/4
1 cup cornflour(cornstarch) 1254 1/2
1 cup cornflakes 301
~
1 cup rice bubbles (rice crispies) 301
~
1 cup coconut, desiccated (flaked) 953 1/4
1 cup dried split peas, lentils 2007
~
1 cup dried fruit 1605 3/4
1 cup dates, chopped 1505 1/4
1 cup flour, plain, self-rising 1254 1/2
1 cup flour, (whole wheat) 1354 3/4
1 cup golden syrup, honey, glucose 36012 3/4
1 cup jam 33011 1/2
1 cup nuts, chopped 1254 1/2
1 cup oats, rolled 903 1/4
1 cup rice, short grain 2107 1/2
1 cup rice, long grain 2007
~
1 cup salt, or crystal sugar 2508 3/4
1 cup castor sugar (superfine) 2207 3/4
1 cup icing sugar (confectioners') 1505
~
1 cup soft brown sugar, firmly packed 1706
~
Metric Spoons
Metric spoons
Grams Ounces
1 level tablespoon peanut butter 20 2/3
1 level tablespoon baking powder, bicarb soda, cream of tartar, gelatine, rice, sago 15 1/2
1 level tablespoon cocoa, cornflour, custard powder, nuts 10 1/3
1 level tablespoon golden syrup, treacle, honey,glucose 30 1
1 level tablespoon sugar, salt 20 2/3
1 level tablespoon yeast, compressed 20 2/3
1 tablespoon = 20 mls
~
~
1 teaspoon = 5 mls
~
~
Metric Conversion Chart
To convert:
quarts into liters, multiply the quarts by 0.94635
liters into quarts, multiply the liters by 1.056688
liquid ounces into milliliters, multiply the ounces by 29.573
milliliters into ounces, multiply the milliliters by 0.0338

U.S. measurements.....................................Metric equivalent
1 teaspoon..................................................5 milliliters
1 Tablespoon............................................15 milliliters
1/4 cup.......................................................60milliliters
1/2 cup.......................................................120 milliliters
3/4 cup.......................................................180 milliliters
1 cup...........................................................240 milliliters

Weight measures
To convert:
weight ounces into grams, multiply the ounces by 28.3495
grams into weight ounces, multiply the grams by 0.35274

U.S. measurements....................................Metric equivalent

1/3 ounce......................................................10 grams
1/2 ounce......................................................15 grams
1 ounce..........................................................28 1/3 grams
4 ounces........................................................114 grams
1 pound.........................................................464 grams

spacer
Liquid or Volume Measures (approximate)
Unit of measure Equivalent measurement Equivalent measurement Decimal equivalent Metric measurement
1 teaspoon
1/3 tablespoon .3333 tablespoon 5 ml
1 tablespoon 1/2 fluid ounce 3 teaspoons .5 fluid ounce 15 ml 15 cc
2 tablespoons 1 fluid ounce 1/8 cup, 6 teaspoons .125 cup 30 ml,30 cc
1/4 cup 2 fluid ounces 4 tablespoons .25 cup 59 ml
1/3 cup 2 2/3 fluid ounces 5 tablespoons & 1 teaspoon .3333 cup 79 ml
1/2 cup 4 fluid ounces 8 tablespoons .5 cup 118 ml
2/3 cup 5 1/3 fluid ounces 10 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons .6667 cup 158 ml
3/4 cup 6 fluid ounces 12 tablespoons .75 cup 177 ml
7/8 cup 7 fluid ounces 14 tablespoons .875 cup 207 ml
1 cup 8 fluid ounces/ 1/2 pint 16 tablespoons 1.0 cup 237 ml
2 cups 16 fluid ounces/ 1 pint 32 tablespoons 2.0 cup 473 ml
4 cups 32 fluid ounces 1 quart 4.0 cup 946 ml
1 pint 16 fluid ounces/ 1 pint 32 tablespoons 1.0 pint 473 ml
2 pints 32 fluid ounces 1.0 quart 1.0 quart 946 ml 0.946 liters
8 pints 1 gallon/ 128 fluid ounces 4 quarts 1.0 gallon 3785 ml3.78 liters
4 quarts 1 gallon/128 fluid ounces 8 pints 1.0 gallon 3785 ml 3.78 liters
1 liter 1.057 quarts

1000 ml
128 fluid ounces 1 gallon

3785 ml 3.78 liters






DRY or WEIGHT Measurements (approximate)
Unit of measure Equivalent measurement Decimal equivalent Metric measurement
1 ounce 1/16 pound .0625 pound 30 grams(28.35 g)
2 ounces 1/8 pound .125 pound 55 grams
3 ounces 3/16 pound .1875 pound 85 grams
4 ounces 1/4 pound .250 pound 125 grams
8 ounces 1/2 pound .5 pound 240 grams
12 ounces 3/4 pound .75 pound 375 grams
16 ounces 1 pound 1.0 pound 454 grams
32 ounces 2 pounds 2.0 pounds 907 grams
1 kilogram 2.2 pounds/ 35.2 ounces
1000 grams

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Posted out late!

The photo collage I did. So simple..... aunty can't think much. Dunno why... I always ended up using pink coloured papers for the children.
Her photo frame is on the left hand side of this picture. Ideally, if we're still living in this place I thought of doing a 2 single-bed with the bed-head at the window so they both take one side of the room.
Speaking about house. Just the other day, hubby chanced the advertorials in the papers. He commented "wah! $1.2million for this....." (It's Blu Corals penthouse with pool). So I asked him (the very practical & thrifty man), "you mean this is expensive?" "No, it's very cheap." Wah.... in my mind I hope he buy lah! Pray pray pray!! *hom..........* (chanting)

Lil' Aricia

Aricia is so cute, she is so fiesty. She........never fails to amuse us in her funny ways and lately she's really shown us that she can protect herself. Wow! Not bad for a small 18+ months old baby!

Yesterday, she had a fight with a boy bigger than her in ELC. You know how kids behave, they play with one toy and then jump out and start to play with another; another kid jumps in and then they fight blah blah... it's unavoidable. One boy when seeing her stood up from those small little 'move on her own' car toy and went to play with another toy jumped in. Aricia saw him, screamed and pushed him away. But he being big size pushed her in the process he accidentally scratched her face. SHE HAD A CATFIGHT!! MISS UNIVERSE AH LIAN HAD A FIGHT!! He's going to scar my Miss Universe. Argh!!!!
But I don't blame him afterall he's only a small boy, and his parents did tell him off.

The scratch was from the forehead (arrow) to near her eyelid (arrow). I don't understand why there was a red mark at the eyebrow (circled) and his sharp nails scratched the side of her nose (circled)

Today, at the slide. She's rather obedient and will follow to queue but when someone infront of her is slow in climbing up, she'll grumble - really mumble something to the person. She's very lor soh! And then something funny happened! One big boy behind her was saying "hurry up. so slow....." That girl turned to look at him while she was still on the steps climbing up and scolded him "naughty!" -LOL

Friday, March 28, 2008

Aspiring Miss World

I just need to write this down quickly before I forget.

Athena was seen dancing around naked (after her bath) with the towel wrapped around her. At some point in her dancing around, she opens up the towel (like a butterfly opening up the wings) and turns around happily announcing "I am Miss World.... I am Miss World."

KZ thought it was funny and asked her "why Miss World?"
A : "Because I win so many.."
KZ : "But that's when you're a baby."
A : "I am Miss World....(singing)"
We : "who's Miss Universe?"

A : "mei-mei"

We : "but Miss Universe is number 1, better than Miss World."

After some time, we needed to leave the house for lunch and hubby asked her to hurry up.
He : "Miss World hurry up."

A : "huh?"

Me : She should be called Miss chao-hi-lan (deaf) not Miss World."

That girl is so funny...

Progression

Aricia's progression during our home sessions so far has reaped results.

During our home sessions now, I change LM to the first part of our session and she's able to sit down and do it. Most of the time correct, but when it comes to closing the cards and let her pick up the cards, she's not so interested. She'll first flip the cards back and then say "bah bah (bye bye)" and then close back. Half the time she'll do it, another half screaming and pointing to the flashcards behind me. So I switch the cards for her to pick everyday. No choice, my naughty girl's attention span is short - so must grab it fast.

When it comes to flashcards, strange... I notice she hates anything that has to do with Flags. She'll turn her head away. And that means I have to change it and it's a hassle to change my cards coz' they're all in a box. So sometimes I'll just do one set lesser. She likes Primates, everytime I finish the cards she'll say "mummy...." Do I look like the gibbons and mandrills?? Argh! Now, she still says it but will give me a cheeky smile knowing that I'm pretend-angry with her.
I tested her for 2 nights consecutively, she got all the cards correct. Primates to the Japanese writings to Inventors. Umm...

Alphabets - certain ones she still don't say it. I don't know why "I" has become "E".. okay never mind. Comparing with the che-che who was reading the alphabets at 18 months, Aricia is already considered slow. But when it comes to testing the letters picked out randomly, she's able to tell me. What's strange is that, I've been flashing her the lower caps but she's able to read the upper caps as well.

That aside, noticed of late she's been trying to wear pants on her own or anything she thinks she can slip her leg into it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Road rage

I thought I have a very bad temper, afterall you're talking about a mother who turns murderous when her children drive her up the wall.. and then I read in the news about road rage and we know that road rage is common problem in Singapore or generally anywhere in the world. We are human beings afterall, and being humans our emotions are more varied than animals. Being the most capable living thing in this world, we find ways to vent on it and being the most selfish brats we think we are always right even when we are in the wrong.

Sometimes road rage lands you in the wrong side of the law and you have to pay so heavily for it. Day in day out, there's bound to be road rage somewhere in the small lanes, streets, expressways. I've encountered a few nasty ones and get bullied more often when they see a lady behind the wheel. But obviously I choose to ignore them and drive off and let them rage and hope they continue raging until their eyes and heart pop out - not my business. Hee! (I'm not childish like them)

Why do we react this way? I remember watching in a documentary about humans being very defensive about our surroundings. And the documentary gave scenerio of a driver. Now, let us all think - when we drive we do expect people to give in to us right? But yet on the other hand we are so defensive behind the wheels that we don't allow anyone to cut into our lanes. I do that too! Come on! Drivers out there don't tell me you're waiting for the TP to pick you out as the most courteous driver right?? We fight for our rights/space.
Then again, it also boils down to why road rage?
Can it be a mental disorder? Can it be because people are under stress to react in such a way? I think it is anger cycle. Click here
Interesting read

Two incidents I encountered :
1) Was a few years back, travelling along an expressway. I was on the extreme right lane and infront of me on the 2nd lane, there was this car that seem to want to cut into my lane. So I let them come in. But no, driver didn't drive into my lane. And all the while his two right wheels were on the white line; very close to my car. But still okay since we're one car length away. Then I decided to speed up since driver had no intention to go into the fast lane. Just then the driver drove too close to my car; this time his wheels are in my lane. I horned as my car was in his blind spot to warn him just incase he crazily decide to cut into my lane just at the same time I speeded up.
He swerved his car to the left. And guess what? It's an old man who's driving. What made me mad was when the passengers didn't know what happened or thought I was going to ram into their car (vice versa) gestured at me. Tell you who hor? One old woman behind was actioning at me like chiding me, one young lady in the front turned to me and actioned with her palms up like "what's your problem?" Baffled! It's not my fault, I was just warning them. And it did anger me coz' it's like I was falsely accused. At that time, I was mad for being accused that I wanted to action back at them but.... old folks. What to do, but to swallow my proud but I was mad.

2) Very recent only. I was coming out from the Moulmein exit to CTE/TPE.
At that time, I can filter into the left lane but this idiot driver saw me coming and delibrately speed up to close up the space between the car infront of him and me. Okay! Fine! Tried 2 more times (very slow traffic) he didn't give in (yes! it's a he coz' I turned to look) deliberately going the same speed as I did. So now, no choice I had to drive along the small shoulder and try to filter in when I can.
When I found the chance, there was a one & half car length space, of course I quickly filter in. Now, the fellow after some time (not immediate response) decided to high beam me. He high beamed me for quite awhile but I couldn't care less coz' it was quite slow traffic and since it was a big space anyone can just come in. He decided to turn off his high beam. Travelled for a short distance before I filter to the middle lane. Call it suay, I didn't know it was his car again - yah..... he always leave that big space what?! So he's behind me again. He may think I did it deliberately. Oh! You might think how I remember his car. He had those chinese "amitabha" words across his top windscreen. Ignored him coz' the lane don't belong to him. Then they filter to the extreme right lane and I saw his lady passenger turned towards me and actioning. Boy! She looked so worked up. I don't know for what coz' it's not that I deliberately squeezed into their lane when there's no space. Ignored these raging people, let them rage until their hair drop off.

** Is CTE is highly stressed expressway? I mean..... I met 2 guai-lan people.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Something new

We're always learning new things don't we? And it was an interesting 3 hours + talk on Tuesday night I had with Kaiyoko (my Japanese neighbour) that we learnt so many new things about cultures, about one another.

Kaiyoko and myself would sometimes have short conversations when we meet. But on Tuesday night, seems like she was okay to chat longer so I invited her in. I asked her about the Bento song but we soon didn't mention anything with regards to that, somehow our conversation kept deviating away and it got more interesting and fun to chat with her. Anyway while we were chatting, I had the children Japanese songs CD playing (that's why she mumbled something to Athena when she ran to the maindoor to greet her).. then I heard the Bento Song!! I was so excited "hey! that's the Ben...." Kaiyoko :"Obento song". Duh! All the while I have this song and I didn't know. (Actually it's the 2nd time I'm playing this CD + didn't pay attention to it coz' it was background music. I bought this the same time with the Bento book in Kinokuniya)

We shared alot on cultures and I have a little more understanding about cultures and festivals. Just as I was talking to her about the recent Hinamatsuri where I was so tempted to buy for my children Hello Kitty foodstuffs. Just then she looked into my display unit as I was asking her about the dolls.. "you have one here! This is simple doll. Writing here says Hinamatsuri". I looked and yes, I didn't even notice the words. But this was a wedding present given to me by Wataru and Yuki when they were here for my wedding.?! Did they hope I'll have daughter??

Anyway, we chatted a long way until 12+. Nice to have gotten to know her better during this time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Link to Aricia's photos

Click here

Aricia speaketh

Here are some words she added to her vocabulary to date :
1) wa wa - water
2) bah bah - bye bye
3) yeh yo - yellow
4) This is hilarious. KZ accidentally farted with her backside sticking out towards Aricia when she was adjusting the DVD player. Aricia bursts out laughing and said "pan pi" - fang pi
5) KZ was teaching her, "Aricia say 'amen'." Aricia - "norrrr ty!"
6) Wait till you hear this, my girl is learning to speak in vulgarity. Brother was recounting to me that Iggy can say truck "but he can say it as 'tuck'." Aricia obviously evesdropping on conversation started saying "fuck fuck fuck." lol

Storage solved!

I didn't have enough storage place for my baking stuffs, and would usually put them in the box and place the boxes above my fridge. Then.... the horror on my face when I saw my compound white chocolate has turned ivory. It tastes a little different too so had to chunk it away. When I bought my compound chocolate, it melted a little.
Yah yah call me stupid dumb whatever for putting on top of a hot surface but I didn't have a choice do I?

Just then Ikea dropped a leaflet into our mailbox. I saw my problem being solved. ANTONIUS $29.00 (Price applies for this product as per description shown)
Powder coated steel frame and wire baskets.

White foil finish desk top.

W44xD54, H70cm.
Castors H5.5cm.

$29 - wah cheap siah (sound so aunty) but its a birch effect foil finish instead of what's shown in this picture.


Went down today after dropping Athena off in school. Imagine the shock I had when I saw how big it really looked, the drawers are deep x4, not that I can bake so well to let me use up all the drawers. Probably only 1-2 drawers will be utiltised? And it's too space-consuming.
Asked the staff for any other alternatives. The lady was so helpful and suggested this Songa Trolley which is really light, & smaller since I don't have much space - comparing the size (Assembled size : Length: 40 cm, Width: 27 cm,
Height: 72 cm) it certainly is smaller than Antonius

At the same time I bought this Samla Insert to put in some things which can be taken out and utilised most of the time; put it next to me or the best thing is to push the trolley. Hee! But I'm not going to do that coz' Aricia will copy me & be seen pushing the trolley around the house like a Tim Sum lady

With that.. this is how I've packed my things over and pushed it to the "potential future oven" space. Ha!

What stays in the silver colour box on 2nd rung are some stuffs for decorating : quins, 100s & 1000s etc..., palette for chocolate decorating, brushes.
3rd rung - chocolates, flours, icing. Not much at the moment considering how much I've baked. Next time I want to experiment more (my family will scream "oh no...") then will buy more.

1st rung - In the samla insert are things that I'd need for baking : shortening, essences, baking soda etc..The other side is for the decorating tips, piping bags, cups etc..

What stays in the current shelf in this cabinet are the cookie cutters, moulding stuffs & a Dora pan (red colour)
And in the drawer, my bakeware.. And I haven't even used the strawberry shortcake pan.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Anna's Fondant Class

I am so excited that today is Anna's Fondant Class. It was a rush for me to go for the class after the baby show and their lunch (with me screaming "eat faster eat faster") and I made it on time. *pant pant* I don't know what made Athena think that she's going for the cupcake class with me. Until I told her but still she kept asking me. Poor thing... never mind mummy will do it with her at home one day.

Anna is the one who baked both Aricia's & Athena's birthday cake. I don't get to eat her delicious cakes anymore but I am going to learn from the 师傅 (master). yippee!

We started the class by learning how to bake a nice cuppy. Woah! Immediately can see the difference between her nice cake and mine. When it was in the oven, you can smell the difference too. I asked the most questions and Anna was so nice and patient to answer all my doubts, afterall I'm still an amateur learning how to bake.(but dunno if I was irritating) Learning a tip or two from her. First most important tip, was to dip a stick into the least brown cuppy. Hahaha! I poke hole into every piece which explains the potholes in all my cuppies. Hee!

We learnt how to do fondant. That is fun! Yours truly is so clever to remove her watch during the class but can be so stupid to forget to remove her rings. Shucks! Can you imagine things getting stucks on both wedding ring, which has an small indent as a design (to collect dough), and a solitaire which provides more dough to be stuck. Argh! No wonder my dough is the least - haha! I don't mean to say my ring and diamond are that huge. Playing with the fondant is really fun but it also calls for alot of creativity. (For me, where brain cells are dead, I'll try to copy from those books I borrowed from the library first.) Needless to say my creation are the most boring ones making 2 A's for my children. Fiona and Denise are really good.

My untouched pieces
My boring creations - the 2nd & 3rd row first cuppies to the left are 师傅's
Fiona's creations -the nice smiley face
Denise's creation - the only guy there but the one who came up with so many interesting designs. Look at the flower he made!! So nice...

We learnt how to make flowers and they say the older you are; the wiser you are. Nope! not true. I still can't get the hang of making the first piece. Call me stupid but thanks to Anna who's so patient with me. I must have been the worst student she had so far.
Her yellow flowers and my not so nice flower - wonder why my name is Lily??

The class is fun. Really you should try her class. I realise that to learn baking you still gotta go through the class. Although baking is "strictly followed the instructions in the recipe" being present with the 师傅 is different. This 徒弟 is really hopeless lah! Looking forward to more of her class and other classes around.
Denise, Fiona and me
师傅 & 徒弟
All packed up and ready to go home
I had to leave couldn't stay on coz brother & mother were waiting for me at home.. umm.... think they know I'm bringing home nice cuppies today.(for sure now they throw away mine liao!)
I gave them one box keeping another 6 for myself coz' we still have to finish the cuppies we have at home.

*I had been using manual whisking, perhaps it also explains why my cakes don't turn out that well coz' I introduced too much air into it. Umm! Should invest in one mixer and a oven next time.*

The baby!

No need to burn down office, but will send hamper!
My baby came home with a consolation prize. Finally, someone decided that chubbiness doesn't play in part in getting a prize.


Am I disappointed in her getting the consolation? No, of course not this is good enough - especially in her case. And a stepping stone for our future Miss Universe. Hahaha!

The sister today automatically kept her mouth shut, dare not say "mei-mei never win hor? I win so many already mei-mei never win."
Mr Charles Chong, MP for Pasir Ris Punggol GRC
Category C group photo (ehh..... KZ didn't take properly)
The baby
Now her trophy is added into our display unit, adorned with Athena's trophies
A few extra photos (favourites) taken in the day :



Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baking for $$?

Mom was talking to me the day before or was it on Thursday?? She suggested that I could earn some $$ by baking from home. Huh? Whatever gave her the idea that the daughter's cakes and dunno what shit she bakes sells? Perhaps she thinks my cakes are nice?? *ahem ahem* actually I don't think they're nice just that my family have no choice but to support me mah! Maybe they throw down the chute neh?!
Complained that my oven is small. "You can buy one bigger one and put next to your washing machine, have space there what?!"

Why I'm into baking now, infact more hot into it is because I need a break sometimes (from the kids - but actually they still come and disturb me) and do my own things; also with two children + helper = more guinea pigs.
Baking gives me a chance to do something with my daughter. And something for myself, I want to learn on how to do up a cake nicely. And perhaps do a nice homebaked cake for my children. So, Anna here I come!

Say it coincident or what, on Friday night KZ saw me taking out the stuffs for baking cuppies. She also mentioned about selling my shit cuppies creations but I'll close down soon coz' I use good chocolates - Hersheys (actually it's not the best chocolates lah!) + good stuffs (she saw me buying Betty Crocker chocolate frosting and thought I was using it for the cuppies). Of course lah! When I am that professional, I won't be using those ready-made products, I'll do everything from scratch.

So will I bake and sell from home? Nope, not at the moment.

Easter egg hunting

It's supposed to be done tomorrow but had to bring forward today.

Athena had fun, Aricia stood there eating the first egg she picked, with nudging from KZ. KZ was looking for the eggs instead. What a disappointment - so she's still too young for this.
Athena, that greedy & stingy-poker saw two eggs and quickly took the big one leaving the small one for mei-mei.

In reality, everything is combined back into one bag..............and I get to eat it. Hee! Think next year Aricia will start fighting with che-che over the eggs.

Photo time!

Top bucket = Aricia's , Bottom bucket (pink) + Athena's
She's more interested in consuming the chocolates




Story of Esther

The Story of Esther

Long ago, in a country called Persia (Babylon), there was a king named Achashveyrosh (as known in Jewish... his Persian name was Xerxes) and a queen named Vashti. King Achashveyrosh ordered his wife the queen to appear before him at a party so he could show everyone how pretty she was. When she refused, the king was furious.

To make matters worse, a rather nasty man named Haman was one of the King's advisors. Haman teased the king that if word got around, no one's wife would think she had to listen to her husband. At Haman's urging, King Achashveyrosh ordered that his wife be put to death.

King Achashveyrosh wasn't happy for long without a queen, so he ordered a search through the kingdom for a beautiful girl to be his bride. It wasn't too long before the King's scouts happened upon Esther. Esther was beautiful, gracious and kind -- just what the king was looking for. In no time at all, Esther was married to the king.

Now Esther was a Jew. The Jews had been driven out of Israel, their home, about 70 years before and exiled in Persia. Although they did there best to make a living in this strange land, they prayed that someday they would be able to return to their home. Esther's uncle Mordechai, was the leader of the Jews. Mordechai encouraged Esther to hide her faith from the King and his advisors, which she did.

Haman had, by this time, become a powerful man in the kingdom - Prime Minister of Persia in fact. He decided that given his rise in power, it would be appropriate for everyone to bow down to him. But Mordechai refused to bow down to him. Haman was very angry and asked the King to authorize a royal decree to annihilate the Jews.

Haman cast lots to determine the day this was to happen. And so it was decreed that in Adar of the coming year, on the 13th day of the month, all the Jews were to be killed, in every province and every nation of the land. There would be no place to run, and no place to hide.

This is where our brave Queen Esther comes into the picture -- Mordechai, having found out about Haman's evil intentions, sent
Esther a message. He told her what Haman was plotting and asked her to go to the King on the Jews behalf.

Esther was afraid. She hadn't been allowed to see the King for a month. In fact, no one could see him without being invited. But she fasted and prayed for three days, mustered up her courage and went to see the king. Although he was initially angry at her, King Achashveyrosh spared her life and offered "half my kingdom for your wishes,"

All she asked was that the King and Haman join her for dinner that night.

As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, "Now what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted." Esther replied, "My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king's question." Of course, both the King and Haman agreed to attend a second banquet with the lovely young Queen.

Haman was very pleased that he'd been asked to dine with Achashveyrosh and Esther two nights in a row and was filled with pride. But then he saw Mordecai at the king's gate and still Mordecai refused to bow to him. Haman was filled with rage. He decided that night to build a gallows with which to hang Mordechai and planned to speak to the king about it the very next morning. That way, he'd have the whole matter dealt with during the day and be able to enjoy the next evening's banquet in peace.

That same night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and
read to him. The book was turned to the day Mordecai exposed a plot to assassinate the King. The King was reminded of this tale and asked what reward Mordecai had received. The king's attendants told him that nothing had been done for Mordecai.

The next morning, just as Haman was arriving to ask that Mordecai be hanged the king asked him, "What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?" Haman, still filled with pride, mistakenly thought the king was referring to him. So he answered the king, "For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king's most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, `This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!'"

Imagine Haman's shock when the King commanded, "Go at once. Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate." Haman obeyed the king, of course, but not happily! He was very upset that Mordecai, his enemy, was being honored by the king. Immediately after leading Mordecai around the city proclaiming, "This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!", Haman had to go to the banquet with the King and Queen.

Finally Esther shared the secret of her faith and proclaimed herself a Jew. She begged the king to spare her people. Harbona, one of the king's attendants told the king of the gallows that Haman had built to have Mordecai hanged. The king was furious with Haman and ordered that he be hanged on those gallows. Haman's pride and cruelty had led to his own destruction and the brave, young Esther had saved her people.

Rocfish

Children in the bus - Athena with Si Xian, Jachelle with Neil

I decided to go for the show, after getting the assurance from Mrs Wong that I won't be in the way. I'm glad I made that choice, the show is fantastic - it's like watching Hi5 - for free! (athena had the first row) I didn't bring camera along as didn't want to be seen as a papparazzi coz' I'll go crazy snapping photos.(paiseh) Umm... I did regret after that coz' my stupid mobile battery went low. Had to be thick-skinned to ask Teacher Linda to help me take some photos which she later bluetoothed to me.
And I didn't want to be seen as "an outsider" - must pretend to be a teacher. Hee! Even to the extent I tell my daughter not to acknowledge me as "mummy" but Ms Teo. Haha!
(Conversation the night before :
M : Athena, tmrw mummy's going with you for the performance & I need a small request from you. Becoz' no other mummies are going to be there, so please don't keep calling me 'mummy', pretend I'm your teacher
A : Why? Is it only you going? How come?
M : Becoz' mummy asked Mrs Wong for permission
A : Oh.... you mean other people mummy daddy never go
M : Yes, so tomorrow don't call me mummy
A : call what?
M : Call me principal (bursts out laughing myself)
A : (looked at me)
M : Call me Ms Teo
A : ( silence) )

Performance is at Riverlife Church
We were the first to arrive, the children upon hearing all the christians songs started singing out loud. Getting the attention of the ushers there; giggling away at these cute kids who were belting out all the songs played. Asked "how come they know?" Of course lah! Christian Centre so should know what?!
It was a small group of only 4 schools being invited. My girl's - Lutheran Child Care Centre, Grow & Glow, Gracehaven and Touch. One of the staff, whom I later found out was Lisa, the Director of Superlife, introduced herself to me and I couldn't lie - not in the house of God - told her "I'm Lily, not a teacher but a parent of one of the student."

Show started, got the children up and about dancing away. Then it was story time - Esther : Tale Of A Shining Star.

After the show, they were sharing and can you imagine them asking kids "who wants Jesus to come into your heart now?" (pause) "Put up your hands... follow this aunty."
I stared in disbelief, come one they're only kids they won't even know what's going on. My girl was playing (twirling) with her hair; obviously didn't put up her hand but just followed her friends. And before you know it - the whole LCCC is out there. Haha! Not that I'm against this but ultimately I do hope my children will accept Christ into their lives but... they're still ignorant what's going on. (funny to see my girl + other children sitting on a chair in a circle oblivious to what they'll be told next. When asked her later "I dunno what it is.")

There's an autographed segment where they'll give you a postcard and the children queued up to get their autographs. Being kiasu, and being the only parent there I asked them if they sell any DVD. They didn't expect this sale during this show, so had to call someone to check on price.. meanwhile I took out the sleeve for them to sign as well.
Postcard
DVD Sleeve

Her classmate kept wondering how is it that Athena " has CD and I don't have. I also want." I should have bought the other one as well - Esther DVD. Umm... maybe I'll see if I can find it outside one day.

Her class was the last to leave... and you know what?! The group posed a photo for their class. Argh!!!No camera
I didn't take any videos but managed to find this short video.Anyway, I guess I couldn't take much of photos or videos too coz' I was helping the teachers out and children going pee pee.

Video of Rocfish

They have one last show at 10am tomorrow in Riverlife Church in Loyang Besar Close. Sigh... wish I can go but I have things to do tomorrow and I bet it's going to be very crowded. ** Riverlife has this Superlife worship service for children from 1 month to 12 years old. Isn't it cool?? Thought of bringing her down and maybe.... touch her heart and then maybe....

Lastly, RocFish rocks!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Over the stove and oven

Had been procrastinating the pancake thing for too long already. Today, got down to doing it.

Recipe :

INGREDIENTS: 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred or sifted before measuring
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • PREPARATION:

    Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine egg and milk; add to flour mixture, stirring only until smooth. Blend in melted butter. Cook on a hot, greased griddle, using about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until brown on one side and around edge; turn and brown the other side. Recipe for pancakes serves 4.

    You know what's the funniest thing, I remembered to get the eggs but forgot the milk. So... I decided to use Athena's EnfaKid. Hee! End result, it didn't taste as dairy nice to me coz' of the milk I used but Athena's happy with it. Hey! It's the one and only pancake with all the DHA, AHA and dunno what other As inside okay hor?

    The bear on the left is the first piece. Put too close to the fire and it's chao-tah.
    Left : first piece for this Hello Kitty. Look! This time round I was afraid of chao-tah.. ended up looking quite uncooked. Hee!
    Athena enjoying the pancakes. Bottom left pictures looks like she's forced to thumbs up for me. Hahaha!
    It's easy to do the pancakes but very tiring, having to stand infront of the hot stove frying one piece by piece. That's why I hate cooking!
    Of course I did the smartest thing. Mass produced in bulk then put them in freezer.

    **************************************************************
    I am tired but I just got to do the cupcakes. Fine tune my cupcakes to make it nice. Change a little variation.
    Threw in Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts for the plain- looking ones. As for the brown ones, I melted the remaining chocolate chips and stired into the remaining mix. Umm... that one is nice.
    (in this picture, you notice some nice ones and some seemed too little for the liner. That's because the liner is too big for the cupcake holder. I used both the muffin tin and those unsightly ones are silicone Wilton cupcake cups.)

    No doubt all the chocolate chips kindda sink to the bottom coz' of weight.
    My supporter helped herself to the cuppie even before asking me for permission
    The chocolaty ones. The top looks hard and I can't explain why

    Aricia enjoying herself
    The nice ones are packed up for mom
    And these are ours!