Friday, February 29, 2008

Stand Up For Your Children

Two weeks back, K came home from school and related how a boy in her school van was trying to peek under her skirt. She told him "jangan" (no) but that didn't stop him. My solution was for her to wear shorts under her skirt (like I did when I went to school). Her father had a better solution, he waited for the school van the next day and warned the boy to NOT "kacau" (disturb) her. Well, I haven't heard anymore stories of that boy trying to have a "free show".

I see how my children really appreciate a parent that stands up for them. The playground can sometimes turn into a bully-ground too. I've seen how older kids dominate the swings, not letting anyone else have a turn even though they've been asked politely. KokoD came crying home one day when the other kids had told him to get off the swing. Once again, the kids looked to us to stand up for them, protect them, and to seek justice. Their father accompanied them the next few days and it was funny how when it was time to leave, kokoD insisted they wait for "everyone" to be at the playground first. Sort of like, "my father is here, see if they dare to disturb me."

As for me, I need to learn to be a bit more aggressive. Sometimes, I'm too "chicken" to fight for them. I'm more of the "let's walk away" type. But once in a while, I think our children need to see that their parents will fight for them, that you can be their shield. Especially when others have wronged them. I'm glad my DH has stepped up to that role.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What is a Mother?

I asked my children to write down what they think a mother is or does. So, on top of the paper is written "A mother is..." and they proceeded to make a list of things.

K writes:
1. kind and nice
2. cook food and take care
3. loving me and my family
4. moping the floor and swiping (sweeping) the floor.
5. reading the story book to me and my brother.
6. get me ready for school.
7. sayang me, kissing me and hug me.
8. open the door when I back from school.
9. knows how to teach well.

KokoD writes:
1. numb (meaning number 1)
2. cook Bule (barley) for me
3. and read to Me
4. and hug

As you can see, the girl has more needs than the boy. Hahahah. No, she probably can write better that's why. Anyway, it's an interesting activity that serves two purposes:
1. Encourage them to write and to give them writing practice.
2. Helps me to understand what's important to them so I can be better mother.

Interesting to note they did not mention any materialistic thing. There is no mention of mommy buying things for them or sending them to countless enrichment activities. More important are the physical touch, caring and quality time spent together.

This reminds me of a blog post I read recently titled "
By Small and Simple Things". She encouraged some children in her church to share with the congregation something about their mother. Similar to my children, they remember the small things like playing together, reading together, personal time together and working around the house together.

Mamas Bag of Tricks.
1. Everyday we try to give the best to our children. Take some time to think if your interpretation of "what is best" is the same as your children's interpretation of "what is important".
2. Don't get too busy that you eliminate or overlook the small but important things.
3. Have you pondered lately what it means to be a mother and do you fulfill that criteria?
4. Are you trying to do too many things? Don't exhaust yourself with other things that you have no more energy left for your children.
5. Take pride in motherhood. It's NOT a 2nd grade job.

Chocolate on My Cranium, I too would like to share the following excerpt:

"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all." (Julie B. Beck, “Mothers Who Know,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 76–78)

(Clipart courtesy of Kids' Turn Central)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Caterpillars Again

KokoD wanted to do it again. The last time I only took picture of the butterfly. This time, I thought I'd take it at the caterpillar stage. Can you find it???
Actually, there are 3 of them in the jar. When I took this picture, don't know where the other 2 hiding. Now they are all hanging on the sides of the glass jar. They didn't finish the lime leaves I had put in so I'm guessing they will be turning into chrysalis soon.

Ya, it's called a chrysalis. I grew up learning they turned into a cocoon. But it's actually called a chrysalis.

I also did a little experiment this time round. I put in a Mulberry leave to see if they would eat it. As far as I can see, they only want to eat the lime leaves. Which reminds me, I found out the butterfly is called the Lime Butterfly. How appropriate.

p.s. I still absolutely hate caterpillars. If my children take the caterpillar out to play, I think I will 'pengsan' (faint).

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Secret to Making Beehive Biscuit (Mutt Foong Tau)

Beehive biscuit, aka kuih rose, aka mutt foong tau doesn't come cheap. I bought 1 container (about 10 inches high) and it cost me RM16. I love to eat it but paying RM16 and having it gone in 1 day did not sit too well with my DH. Afterall, the ingredients don't even cost that much... flour, eggs, santan, sugar. So, I decided I would try to make it myself.

When I went back to MIL place for Chinese New Year, I asked her for the recipe. She makes wonderful ones (unfortunately she didn't make anything this year). Thought maybe she could demonstrate to me how to make it but her answer was "chinia che kang chai oh" (hokkien for "it's a lot of work you know!"). And so, ignorant me took the recipe home, thinking "hey, how hard can this be?"
MIL's (I used this)
500gm rice flour
2 eggs
150gm caster sugar
700ml concentrated coconut milk
1/2tsp salt.

Friend's (Will try another day)
300gm flour
250gm rice flour
8 large eggs
1 rice bowl of coconut milk
2 cups sugar
So, after sieving it, here is my batter. With mould in hand, I'm ready to tackle the task. I reviewed the instructions to heat up the mould in the oil, make sure dip it only about 3/4 into the batter, put into oil and shake it off. Remove when slightly brown. Okay, all set!

And then... jeng, jeng, jeng.......... BURNT, BURNT, BURNT!
The first few ones I put into the hot oil, I couldn't even shake it off. It wasn't brown when I took it out, it was black and still sticking to the mould. Okay, scrap it off and tried again. Same thing. In the end, I turned off the gas, called MIL but not at home. Called friend but she couldn't tell me why. So think, think, think... (Actually, the burnt ones were worse then the photo below).

Nevermind, try again. Maybe oil was too hot. Now, I turn it on low right from the beginning, instead of big fire then turn down low later. Heat up the mould again. Dipped it into the batter but this time dip it many, many times (like 10-12 times) to get a thicker coating. Put it into the oil and YAY, managed to shake it off this time. But still little bit burnt as I waited until they were too brown before getting them out.

After much practice and experimenting, WHALLA! Okaylah hor? Not too bad ya? Still not as nice as the "professionals". But hey, after like 4 hours later, these look pretty darn perfect to me (would have finished faster if I didn't take a break in between).


  1. After heating up the mould, you have to shake some of the oil off. If not, when you dip into the batter, the batter slides off.
  2. If you have too thin a batter on the mould, you can't shake it off when cooking it in the oil.
  3. How long do you start shaking after you dip the batter into the oil??? Only a few seconds. In the end, I was counting up to 4 and then shaking it. But I guess it would also depend on how hot is your oil.
  4. The sides will peel away from the mould first. The middle part is sometimes hard to shake off. I would lift the mould very slightly above the oil and try to shake it off.
  5. I kept a pair of chopsticks handy. When any part wouldn't shake off, I would cheat and use the chopsticks to separate the biscuit from the mould.
  6. After each dipping into the oil, I would shake, shake, shake the oil off the mould. Sometimes placing it on some tissue paper to get rid of excess oil. Like I said, too much oil and the batter slides of the mould.
  7. "Brown" is a deceiving word. Don't wait until it's brown. By the time you get it out, it will be dark brown. Get it out when it's like golden-yellow. Bit-bit white also okay. I think so lah.

Okay, that is my experience. I don't claim to have gotten it right. I probably am still doing something wrong. I'm open to free lessons. So, come on ladies, what's the secret to making beautiful Mutt Foong Tau???????

p.s. Okayyyyyy.... now I know why it cost RM16. The time, expertise and the backache. Nothing to do with the ingredients.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Password Software Manager

If you've ever felt like the woman in the picture, trying to remember what password you used, then I've got the perfect solution for you. Password Saver is a password software manager that allows you to keep track of all your usernames and passwords. Goodness knows I need it. That's why I bought it.

I do so many things with the computer or online and most of them require usernames and passwords. For example: online banking, groups and forums, affiliate programs, email, online tax, children's online programs, accounting software, my online children's bookshop (connecting to cpanel and ftp), membership sites, online biz, paypal....

The easy way is to stick to one password but that is soooooooo NOT safe. There are crazy hackers out there. One of them managed to hack the password to one of my DH's website. The first thing he did after that was change the password to our online banking.

To tell you the truth, I hate coming up with passwords. Actually, not really hate but more of fear. Fear that I will FORGET what it is. You know how sometimes you keep something valuable in a safe place. You think to yourself "Oh, no one will find it here." And then later, even you forget where it is???? Yeah, it's happened to me. So, that's what I fear about my passwords too. Try to create one that is not easy to hack. And then worry that I will forget what it is.

Anyway, that's why I bought this password software. USD7 is okay-lah. Reasonable price to pay in exchange for some piece of mind. I know some of you are saying, why so stupid to pay when you can do it for free by just recording everything down in an excel sheet or something. But this also comes with a password generator. PLUS, can resell it and make more money!

AHA! Yes. You also looking for some pocket money right? That's why I recommend you also get this Password Saver. It's practical, quite essential in our day and age, AND can help put a little money in your pocket.

So, don't wait anymore. Save your brain cells, protect your information and get Password Saver today.

p.s. Haiya, don't have to be sooo stingy with that little hill you've accumulated in paypal. Invest a little so you can get more back mah!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Science In a Jar

We had a surprise today... our caterpillar finally turned into a BUTTERFLY!
This is another successful homeschool science project. The other one was the tadpoles-frogs we did in 2006. (Interested in the froggies, read:We Have Tadpoles, Froggy Update)

Anyway, the reason for this science project was the many caterpillars that kept popping up to treat themselves to my little baby lime trees. Everyday I have to go check to see if those pesky things are chomping the leaves up. Well, decided to make something good out of something bad, so I popped some of them into a jar and turned them into a science lesson. I dated the jar 19 January 2008. So, it's been almost a month.

KokoD was amazed how those little buggers ate and ate and grew and grew. He would tell me "Mommy, see how big and fat this one is." And mommy would answer "Ewww, get them away from me." I hate caterpillars and worms with all the energy of my soul.

Anyway, I had about 3-4 caterpillars inside the jar. Only 1 made it all the way to become a beautiful butterfly. 1 died and turned black. Another became a chrysalis but I think it died too. Besides learning about their life cycle, the kids also learned what caterpillar poo-poo looks like. It was also exciting to see what kind of butterfly the caterpillar turned out to be. I think KokoD wants to have another go at this science project. He wants to see if he gets a different kind of butterfly. Unfortunately I only have the kind that eats my lime trees. AAARRGGH! Oh well, I guess we will have another go at it because it will be another lesson to show that the same kind of caterpillars turn out to be the same kind of butterflies. Goodness know I seem to have a constant flow of supply.

Oh, I also learned a lesson... Now I know which butterfly is the culprit!

KokoD waiting for the butterfly to fly out.

Happy on my papaya tree. Yeah, you better keep your babies away from my lime trees.
Mamas Bag of Tricks
  • Life science lessons are much more fun than just reading facts from a book.
  • Need a caterpillar, call me.
  • Keep a garden. It holds many science lessons.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Candy Bouquet Business: Make an Unforgettable Valentines Gift

Valentines Day is fast approaching. Some of you are scrambling to find the perfect Valentines gift. Is it going to be flowers? Is it going to be chocolates? Sigh! Sounds so boring eh.

If you haven't heard, there is a new exciting concept called Candy Bouquet. What you do is combine both flowers and candy. Or if you want to do away with the flowers, make it a candy and only candy bouquet. It's still called a bouquet because you turn the candies into flower looking things.

A perfect example is using 2 hershey kisses, putting both the flat ends together and wrapping them up in red cellophane paper to make a hershey's rose bud.
Lollipops can also be transformed into flowers. Use colored or patterned paper and cut out 4 love shapes. These become the petals and your lollipop becomes the middle of the flower. Click here for picture and instructions to make a lollipop flower.

These candy bouquets also make very fun craft activities to do with children. Whether or not you will be able to keep the candy out of their mouths is another story :)

Candy Bouquets make very special gifts. They won't wilt and die like flowers. Plus. it's a gift that will please the taste buds. Valentines gifts don't have to be just between two love birds. Children can make a candy bouquet for teachers, grandparents and even DAD. Talking about that, I've forgotten to put lollipops on my shopping list. Aiyah!

For all SAHM looking for a profitable business, why not start a Candy Bouquet Business. Don't have to crack your head and think of how to start or how to do. Lana Glass, Founder of the Site "Incredible Edible Crafts" shares her secrets in a 177 page step-by-step eGuide

It reveals everything you need to know to create amazing gifts for your friends and family for any occasion. Click on for more information on how to start a Candy Bouquet Business.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby Milestone: 13 Months

Kong Hei Fatt Choy everybody! I'm sure everyone has had a good time chowing down New Year goodies. Well, this is the first time baby "balik kampung" (travelling back to the grandparent's place) coz' last year, he was just a tiny-teeny baby, so travelling was out of the question.

Baby was relatively good travelling 4 hours up north and then 5 hours back. Phew!

Well, it's amazing how babies develop something new each month. Now at 13 months, he...

  • has acquired the habit of throwing himself on the ground, throwing a tantrum when he doesn't get what he wants and doesn't get his way. Didn't think the terrible twos started so early eh?

  • pats you on the hand or shoulder and then points to what he wants.

  • can hold a pencil and make scratchings on paper.

  • says "la la la" as if he is singing.

  • takes his dirty clothes and puts them in the laundry basket.

  • takes the door key and tries to open the door.

  • fights with his siblings for things he wants. Screams at them too.

  • is getting more and more sticky to me.

  • goes down the slide by himself.

  • climbs up and down the stairs by himself.

  • knows how to give a flying kiss.

  • presses the buttons to turn off the t.v. and change the channels.

My baby is getting so big. Hope you enjoy his cheeky smiles. Here he is saying that he is No.1!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Teach Your Child Effectively: How to Develop Your Child's Genius

When it comes to developing our children's genius, we parents are all game for it. But how to do it? Well, Esther Andrews, a mother of 2 gifted children, is willing to share her secret.

Now, you may say that your child is not a born genius but just a normal child, and so this information does not apply to you. Esther will outright disagree with you. Her philosophy is:

Every child is born a genius! What you do with the child, is what determines how much of his potential he will achieve!

I totally agree that we parents play a very, very important role in developing our child's intelligence. Our home environment, the way we interact with our children and the way we choose to enrich their days are all vital elements in their mental development.

I'm sure you wish you had answers to the following questions:

  • When should I start teaching my child, so that he will learn fastest and develop his brain to achieve his maximum ability?
  • What should I teach my child, so that he'll be ahead of all other kids?
  • How to teach my child to read, so that he will read as early as 2 or even before?
  • How to help my child read faster, comprehend more, and remember easily and effortlessly, so that he'll be a brilliant student?
  • How can I teach my child math so that he will love math and have fun learning it?
  • How can I develop my child's creativity and problem solving skills, so that he will be able to invent new concepts and solve problems easily and effortlessly?
  • How to train my child to be a leader?
  • How to develop and improve my child's visual and auditory memory to the maximum?
  • How to develop my child's coordination, so that he will excel and enjoy all kinds of sports?
  • Left and right brain hemispheres, their functions, how to make sure my child develops his whole brain, and how to improve brain hemisphere connectivity?
  • Children and money - how to train my child for financial success?
  • How to help my child in school?
  • How to motivate my child to apply himself and achieve the best results possible?
  • How to strengthen my child's self confidence?
  • When and why should I test my child's IQ?
  • Up to date whole brain education that develops lightening speed calculations as well as visual memory and creativity?


"The Manual Your Child Should Have Come With:
How to Develop Your Child's Genius"

Esther Andrews, who went from being an inexperienced mother to became the principal of the "School for Gifted Education" in San Jose, California tells you how she did it.

Want to know her secret?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Valentine's Day Craft Projects

Found this hub of Homemade Valentine Cards. I especially like the lollipop one that is made to look like a flower. Basically you take colored paper and cut out 4 hearts. The lollipop is the middle of the flower and the heart shaped papers are the petals. Thinking of trying it out and making it into a candy bouquet. I know a picture would be most appropriate to show you what it is. Wait-ah... let me go get some lollipops first.

Related post:
Candy Bouquet Business
Want to start a candy bouquet business from home? Click here!