Kenzie Boy

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Gavin boy

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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Yay Or Nay?

Last week, we took a day's leave to open a junior savings account for the boys. Previously, we opened a junior savings account for Kenzie boy in CRAP Bank, out of convenience as this CRAP bank is very near to my place, and I also have a saving's account in this CRAP Bank. So when I do (and check) my transactions online, I can also monitor the money in Kenzie boy's account, that was why we opened a junior saving's account in this CRAP Bank previously.

But what did not occur to my mind that time was the interest rate. I did not do my research. I did not check. I did not ask around. I was not aware. 

One fine day, while I was checking my salary online, a colleague accidentally passed by my place and saw Kenzie boy's junior savings account (because his account will be under my own savings account). He was surprised I opened a junior savings account with this CRAP Bank.  He then explained everything and talked me into opening another junior savings account with another bank, with better benefits and interest rates. The interest for this bank is equivalent to FD's interest rate, payable monthly (pro-rated) and withdrawal once a month is permitted.

So that day, we withdrew the money from this CRAP Bank, and went straight to the other bank to open a junior savings account for the boys. Interest rate would be payable monthly on the 15th (pro-rated) and we can withdraw from the bank once a month. Of course we have no intention to withdraw any money, and it is meant to be kept in the bank until the boys turn 18. After they turn 18, the junior savings account will be automatically converted to normal savings account, with normal interest. 

I am thinking, is there anyone who makes use of their children's junior account to put their savings? The interest rate is equivalent to FD's, plus you can withdraw every month. Planning to transfer my monthly savings using one of the boy's account.  

Is it a yay or nay?

*To some, I may look like a jakun who doesn't know anything. I admit that. But seriously, should my colleague had not peeped at my desktop the other day and saw Kenzie boy's junior account in my CRAP Bank, I will NEVER know (and will never be bothered to find out) about top banks which offer good interest rates for junior savings accounts. 

Ok, enough about banks and junior savings account. After we had done our banking (which already took half of the day with the waiting and all), we went to have our lunch at Sakae Sushi. I had the chicken teriyaki ramen, and the hubs had beef ramen.

We also ordered a (I think) salmon cheese maki and there were also a few plates of sushi which we took from the conveyor. Overall, we enjoyed our meal very much and we ate in peace without the kids around *wink*  

Just for my record, for dinner that day, we were too full to eat anything else, but I still whipped up something because Kenzie boy still needs to eat his rice (with something gravy) for dinner. I dug my fridge and saw some frozen dory and sausages. So I made: Cream sauce dory with sausages, onions and bell peppers.
*I know dory is not something good, but I still buy and cook it occasionally. Don't ask why.  

I used evaporated milk to make the sauce instead of whipping cream because it is cheaper. Straight forward and end of story. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Just A Simple One

We had a very simple Christmas this year. No fancy food, no hotel buffets, no fine dining, no candle-light dinner, no celebration. Frankly, it was just another day.

While everybody was busy facebooking and posting pictures of where they went and what they ate on Christmas day, we just stayed home and I cooked a very simple dinner. Well, home-cooked food is still the best (sour grapes, heh).

We went for grocery shopping in the morning and planned to have a nice lunch in a nice restaurant after that, but the outing only lasted for less than one hour! I think you could guess why. Nothing to do with baby G. He was a good boy, sitting quietly in his stroller, observing and exploring his surrounding. It was Kenzie boy (who else?). He was still ok when we entered the mall. Halfway through shopping, he made tantrums, shouting and screaming while holding on to his toys (which I purposely bought on the spot to make him quiet, but obviously that did not work). He requested to walk when we put him inside the trolley. When we carried him out to let him walk, he requested to be seated in the trolley again. When we put him back inside the trolley, he requested to walk (again). And when he was walking halfway (reluctantly), he would sit on the floor, refusing to get up, and we had to drag him up and he would scream again. Along the way, he picked up rubbish from the floor and put into his mouth! Oh, just kill me! 

1 baby, 1 cranky toddler who keeps screaming and picking up stuffs from the floor to eat, 2 adults, 1 stroller, 1 trolley. Lots of groceries. You imagine.

Home we went after 45 minutes.    

Ok, change subject. 

For dinner, I made a simple cheesy baked rice with pork using just 4 ingredients: Pork, mushroom, onions and a can of cream of mushroom.

Pork marinated with soy sauce, pepper and Lea & Perrin's

Fried everything together with (cooked) rice, and I garnished with tomatoes.

I then boiled a can of cream of mushroom and added more oyster mushrooms.

I poured the soup on top of the rice, then topped with a few slices of cheddar cheese and baked for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees (I don't have mozzarella, so these shall have to to)

Ta-daa, my simple porky cheesy baked rice for Christmas dinner.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho Outing

Occasion: Christmas ~ My favorite season of the year :)

Took the kids out to let them "feel" Christmas. Ho Ho Ho!

First, a carousel ride. The ride was moving, so forgive me for the blurry picture. Oh, it was RM6 per ride, not cheap.

While waiting for the hubs and Kenzie boy to finish the ride, I took a picture with baby G who could only sit in his stroller and watch, poor thing.

Kenzie boy always talks about Christmas trees at home, but when we finally saw one, he ignored and walked away. I dragged him back and forced him to take a picture. Look at his reluctant face.

Next, we went to have lunch at Pasta Zanmai. Kenzie boy loves anything spaghetti or anything creamy with white sauce. So, Pasta Zanmai we went.

Chicken cream sauce pasta for me, beef pasta for the hubs (picture not taken), mini mushroom pasta for Kenzie boy and there was also a mini cheesy-ham-tomato pizza. Oh, wait, there was a potato salad and a potato cream soup too, but picture not taken due to the kelam-kabut-ness when the food all came together. Managed to just snap what's below.

Kenzie boy glued to the tablet, while baby G chewing on a zucchini (from the potato salad), and later he chewed on a brocolli (from the potato cream soup) and also on some spaghetti strands. So mummy & daddy could eat in peace and it lasted for about 10 minutes.

Did not buy anything. Went home straight after lunch because the kids got restless and started their nuisance-act. Ahh, but better than not going out at all right?

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Got My Method !

Yay, just got my Method parcel which was delivered to the office justnow!

Green tea+aloe hand wash and all-purpose natural surface cleaner.

Thanks Mama Kat for making me the lucky winner in her blog.

Came with a letter as well. I was impressed with this statement "Our products smell like heaven, clean like a mother and are safe for you and your children".

Can't wait to "hoi cheong" and try the products at home.

I loike!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

For 10 Months

Was looking at this picture and thought of all the bittersweet experiences which I have gone through to carry them full-term for 10 months in my womb and deliver them safely.

Do I wish to get pregnant again? Oh yes, I wish, hehe. Actually I have always wanted three kids, but the hubs said stop at two. So two it shall be. And pregnancy reminds me of some bittersweet experiences which I have been through, especially with baby G. Why? Here's why:

The bitter ones first. I had bleeding twice when I was carrying baby G, around 5th month during my pregnancy. I could still clearly remember, I was in the office washroom, and I saw reddish-brown discharge in my underwear. Gosh, I then rushed myself to see my gynae, given a jab, and was told to bed-rest for a few days. That moment, I couldn't wait to get over with the pregnancy and just give birth as soon as possible. 

Another irritating one? Heartburn (or gastro-esophageal reflux). 40%-80% of pregnant mummies suffer from this. My English is simple. Very layman. My version means stomach juices "travel" from the inside to my throat, and up (then out) through my nose! Yes, my nose! The "juices" come out through my nose, causing me to puke, and it happens each time after a big gulp, especially at night. Usually, I must have my beverage every night before bed, and since I always feel hot during pregnancy, I will drink a big glass of iced beverage or a cold drink before bed. But the larger the amount I drink, the larger amount of "stomach juices" will come up to my nose. And after about half an hour, true enough, the "juices" will go up to my throat and out through my nose, and I had to puke before going back to bed. It happens every night during the third trimester.

Those days, I just let it happen, and told myself all these will be over after the pregnancy. But now, pregnant mummies who suffer from this need not worry about this problem because there is pregnancy-safe liquid medicine to help sooth heartburn, like Gaviscon. It's completely safe, and 68% of pregnant mummies feel better within 10 minutes after consuming the liquid. Good news, ay?

Ok, bitter ones done. The sweet ones? Needless to say, the "freedom" to eat whatever I wanted (without gaining weight and having gestational diabetes), and also feeling the baby kicks. I craved for sweet foods when I was pregnant with baby G. Anything sweet, you name it - soft drinks, tong sui, ice cream, canned fruits, and I never get gestational diabetes nor gain much weight every month during my monthly antenatal checkup. Magical? 

Monday, 16 December 2013

I Hope It Does lt

So I heard the natural remedy for flu and runny nose (or blocked nose) is to put sliced onions or sliced lemons nearby. I opt for lemons.

I hope it does what they say it will do.

This picture was taken at night (using flash) when baby G was asleep.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Merry Cookies

Christmas is just around the corner. Although I don't celebrate Christmas, it is my favourite season of the year. Everything, everywhere looks so cute, colourful and joyous. Aah, the decorations, the trees, the ornaments, the ambiance, everything.

Since Christmas is coming, I am thinking aah, why not bake some "colourful" Christmas cookies? I am not good in baking fruit cakes or other Christmas pudding which uses rum and all, so I make what I like - butter cookies, this time, slightly modified ~ with cream cheese and M&M's added. I call it the merry cream cheese M&M's cookies.

I am not an expert in baking (nor cooking). I explain very simply, using simple words, simple ingredients and simple measurement: 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1 block of (Philadelphia) cream cheese, 125g butter, some baking powder, a dash of vanilla essence and M&M's.

Beat the wet ingredients, and mix the dry ones in and stir together. Refrigerate for a while so that the dough will be harden a bit, thus, making it easier to manage. I don't have any fancy cookie cutter or what-not, so I just use the spoon to dollop on the baking tray, already lined with parchment paper. Bake at 190 degrees for about half an hour or more, until the cookies brown.
*Confession: The dough was a bit "wet", not very firm, thus, it expanded and stuck with each other quite a bit in the oven while baking.  


Here are my merry cream cheese M&M's cookies, slightly browned (I know). 

*Actually when I was writing this post, I was contemplating whether or not to post the cookies, coz I feel paiseh as the cookies were not pretty looking and I didn't have that photography skill to "hide" the imperfections.  But nah, who cares, I post what I like!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Loot From BBW

Occassion: The Big Bad Wolf (BBW)

Here is my loot from the BBW. But no, I didn't have to go there personally to get it. I have "porter service". Haha. Yep, the "porter" is my 2nd elder sister.

On the first day of BBW itself, my sister already took leave and camped went there early in the morning around 7am. I asked her to get me some children books for the boys.

Last year, I had wanted to go to the BBW (around this time too). I was around 5 months pregnant with baby G. But I could not make it because I had some bleeding a week before the BBW, and the gynae advised me not to walk nor do any house chores too much. Must stay in bed and rest as much as possible. Gosh, that was the most horrible moment in my life. With Kenzie boy, I did not have any bleeding, but with baby G, I had bleeding - twice. The gynae had to give me jabs and I had to rest as much as I could, with minimum walking and doing house chores. So I had to "tumpang" my sister to buy books from the BBW and she was kind enough to oblige.

Fast forward, this year, heh, she is doing it for me again. Thanks sis!     

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Starting Young

NO, I'm NOT a tiger mum who force my baby to read a book at the age of 8 months. As if I can force him if he doesn't want to. 

But I always think two things: Start young, and start from home.

I started Kenzie with story books, nursery rhymes and flash cards at around 8 months of age, then by the age of 9 months or so, I exposed him to phonics (DVD) and also showing him alphabetical wooden puzzles while reciting the phonics with each alphabet. Before he turned 12 months, he knew his complete phonics from "Aah" to "Zzz" and some simple ABC's.

Oh, here's Kenzie boy when he was around 1+. Look at all his educational activities (except sleeping, hehe). Please note that he enjoyed it very much, ok? He chose these himself on the toys rack (over dinosaurs and wagons and trucks and guns) and I did NOT and would NOT force him to do things that he didn't like.

So to be fair, I started baby G with the same activity. But baby G has different personalities with his elder brother. He doesn't seem to be very interested in books, or when I'm reading to him. Unlike his elder brother, he would concentrate and listen to me when I was reading. His elder brother was very interested in books, numbers, alphabets and shapes before he turned 1.

Baby G would lick and chew on almost anything. Flash cards, books, cardboard, you name it. And last night when I was singing nursery rhymes to him from the book, he ignored me and kept targeting at the remote control (to chew). I continued singing anyway, LOL. I treat this as our bonding time.

Isn't baby G a cutie pie? Oh, I love smelling that bald head and I can do so for hours!

By the way, just for sharing, the below video is one of Kenzie boy's favourite phonics video. Wah, I "behtahan" because it is very "disco-ish". It is very "pop" and way too "noisy" for me. Maybe I am old already and cannot take the "loudness" of the video. 

Whenever Kenzie boy watches this video, I turn giddy and feel like screaming. But you may like it if you are a hip-pop person. ~ LOL. Enjoy.

*Please please, if you have time to layan, check out this video, k? I guess most kids (and adults) will like this (I like it too ok, but if I have to listen to this 100x a day with full blast volume, I think I will go cuckoo).

/a/ - "aah"
/b/ - "buh"
/c/ - "keh"
/d/ - "duh"
/e/ - "ehh"
and so on........

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Training Pants

No, I'm not selling them. I just bought a few training pants for Kenzie boy, they are so cute and colourful, so just to post it here for fun.

Kids attending kindergarten are advised to be diaper-free by the time they enter, at age 3. Kenzie boy will be attending his kindergarten in January next year and I have not started Kenzie boy on potty-training. For kids not diaper-free yet, the kindergarten will help train them. The principle has specifically told us NOT to pack even a single piece of diaper in Kenzie boy's shower bag. They can help to train, BUT we, as parents, must also do the same and follow the routine at home.

And now, my confession. I'm worried this lazy mum (yes, I am talking about myself) do not have the will power and end up wearing diapers for him for my own convenience (especially during the night time) so that I do not have to get up in the middle of the night changing wet sheets! 

I check the training pants and it feels like normal underwear, but with water-proof material. These pants cannot be treated as diapers. They can only help "smooth-en" the potty-training-and-diaper-free process. They can hold a small amount of leak, but I don't think they can absorb any wetness. 

I hope Kenzie boy will sort of know, and will be ready to tell us or head to the potty once he feels the "wetness" on the pants. 

Here I am, looking at the training pants, wondering how to start, where to start and when to start.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Lazy Mom's Recipes

Time for another food post. I post what I like. Been feeling down and stressed for the past few days.

Today's about what to cook if you are lazy and have lots of complaints everyday about everything (Yes, I am talking about myself).

And don't complain. It's all-chicken today.

Three stuffs always work when I am lazy to cook and "open wok" ~ One-pot chicken rice, roast chicken and soup. All are very easy to cook and a life-saver when:
1) I don't know what to cook
2) I am too lazy to cook
3) I am having a bad-hair day, but still need to cook (because we can't eat out with two babies around, and the hubs is not free to tapao food) and just want to simply whip up anything

*Warning: You can be lazy to "open wok" and stir fry (and deal with the oil splatter, smelly hair, oily walls and all), but you cannot be lazy to chop and marinade the ingredients. 
I don't know about you, but I am ok with chopping up ingredients and marinating them, I could work very very fast on it. 

The One-Pot Chicken Rice
Marinate chicken pieces with sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, pepper, ginger and crushed garlic. No measurement as I agak-agak in all my cooking (and all turns out well each time, ahem). Wash rice, fill up the rice cooker with just enough water or chicken stock (in this case, I use the soup which I have boiled), chuck the chicken marinade together with the rice and soup into the rice cooker, add more oyster sauce and soy sauce, close the lid, and press "cook". 
*I don't have anything else in my fridge. Else, I would have added mushrooms, chinese sausages and long beans for some greens.

Some people will cook the chicken first, and then dump the cooked chicken chunks into the rice cooker when the rice is almost cooked, give them a stir, and cook for another 5 minutes. But if I were to do that, then it's not "lazy" style already, right?

The Roast Chicken
*Note: The picture below is NOT recycled from the previous roast chicken post. This is a different roast chicken recipe, using different marinade and vegetables.

Roast chicken is one of my favourite thing to bake in the oven as I could chuck whatever I like with the chicken and marinade together. It always turns out delicious after baking. Nothing can go wrong with roast chicken. You gotta trust me on this. Even if it's just pepper and salt.

The above lazy and simple roast chicken is made from just tomato sauce, oyster sauce and pepper (yeah, no kidding), together with some vegetables like bell peppers, cauliflower and (purple) sweet potatoes (the sweet potatoes will oxidize and turn slightly black if you use the orange or yellow ones, but who cares, they are covered in the dark marinade anyways). Leave for a few hours (if you have the time) and bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour or so. Before baking, as usual, generous blobs of butter on the chicken.

The Soup
Lastly, soup. Another simple and wholesome recipe for lazy moms like me. No oil splatter, no frying, no smelly hair.

Soup ingredients: Chicken, "snail" slices (heong loh peen), potatoes, carrots, onion, sweet potatoes (optional; but for my case, it's already in the fridge for 2 weeks as it's for baby G's pureed baby food). 

I make do with whatever I have at home, and these 3 types of food can never go wrong on days I don't know what to cook. I will prepare everything in the morning (before the rascals wake up), and when it's almost time for dinner, I just press: "ON" on my rice cooker (to cook the chicken rice); press "ON" on my oven (to roast the chicken); and press "ON" on my Vees Delicooker (to boil the soup), and they will do the rest for me.