Friday, March 28, 2008

Loh Mai Kai

Made Loh Mai Kai day before yesterday and it was a hit. I didn't have Char Siu so I just made it with chicken, chinese mushroom and the little bit of "lap cheong" (whatever I had in the fridge). Instead of using individual small bowls, I just used a round baking tin.
Okay, so this is how I made it:

Debone the chicken and cut into bite size.
Marinate with soy sauce, dark soy sauce (or thick soy sauce), oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, ginger juice, little bit of sugar.
Soak the chinese mushroom in hot water until soft. Then put together with the chicken marinate.
Cut the "lap cheong" (chinese sausages) into slices.
After a few hours (2-3 hours), cook the chicken, mushroom and "lap cheong" in the wok and add a little bit of cornflour to thicken whatever little bit of sauce there is.
Put chicken aside.

Soak the glutinous rice overnight.
Steam the glutinous rice for about 30 minutes.
Make seasoning for the rice - soy sauce, dark soy sauce, lard (pig's oil), sugar, pepper, dash of salt, and little bit of 5 spice powder.
Fry garlic and shallots (plenty to make the rice fragrant) until golden brown and then add in the glutinous rice.
Add the rice seasoning and stir until all parts are covered with the sauce.

Lay out the chicken, mushroom and "lap cheong" at the bottom of the pan / bowl / dish (whatever you are using lah).
Put the rice on top and kinda squish it down with a spoon until compact.
Add little bit of water (not too much, just moisten it a bit) and steam for another 30 minutes or so.

Daily Discoveries of a Toddler

This is what babyD discovered yesterday - a magic button. When pressed... music plays.

Now, hopefully 6 years down the road, that device called a radio alarm clock still brings joy. But I doubt it. It's still music but when it blairs in your ears at 6am in the morning, screaming for you to wake up for school or work, it's difficult to feel that same kind of excitement. Hahahahah.

Mamas Bag of Tricks

1. It's true that you are your child's greatest teacher, but you still have to give them room for self discoveries.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Home Cooked Meals

Been wanting to share some of the things I cook at home. I know it is quite stressful thinking what to cook everyday. So I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the dishes I cook. Maybe it may help inspire your weekly menu too.

I may or may not share recipe. This is because I don't follow exact measurements (unless it's baking). I will probably share what ingredients I use but how much to use is up to your discretion. Some people don't like so sweet, or prefer less salty or more spicy etc.... So, best way is to "agak-agak" (estimate) and do a lot of tasting till you find your preference.

Okay, so here was my curry chicken dish. Besides chicken, there were tomatoes, long beans, onions, serai (citronella) and ladies finger (okra).
I used my FIL's chili recipe (will share that another time), and added a bit of assam water. Walla! There's a bit of curry powder in there too.
For the kids that cannot take spicy, I cooked Ginger Chicken. Marinated the chicken with oyster sauce, soy sauce and ginger juice. Later added button mushroom when cooking.

Then of course must have vegetable dish. Most all of my vegetables are fried with garlic and oyster sauce. Oh, and maggi seasoning too.

Care to share what you cook?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Baby Milestones: 14 Months

Baby D is just like a sponge soaking up everything. You can see him observing the people around him and before you know it, he is imitating what they do. Just the other night, he observed how his siblings would give us a kiss to say good-night. After they had run upstairs to bed, BabyD jumped off my lap and went over to give his daddy a kiss too. After which he immediately went over to the mattress nearby and laid his little head down. Seeing how delighted we were with what he did, he continued to give his father kiss after kiss after kiss. Even his grandfather had a share of kisses. Just goes to show how cheeky he is.
Here he is being cheeky again, walking in slippers too big for his feet (and poor mommy so worried that he might trip and fall).

Many times as I am busy in the kitchen, he will come in and I will ask either grandpa or daddy to take him out. When he hears them coming, he will run and hide between my legs, grabbing on as tight as he can as he dodge their extended arms.

He is also an expert at climbing – that little monkey. Even using tools such as the kiddy stool to aid in his quest. Just the other day he took a chair, put it right next to the door, took the house key and tried to unlock the door. He also likes to climb to the kitchen sink. If he can wash my dishes, I wouldn't mind :)

He learns things really fast and understands many instructions. He will put things back when asked to. He will also get the things we ask him to get for us. He puts his dirty clothes into the laundry basket and likes to put his clean cloth diapers into the drawer.

He will dance to the songs of the tv cantonese dramas. It's really funny. He will swing his hands left and right until he lose his balance. Mind you, he only dances to these songs and not other songs. Go figure!

You can see he is one who simplifies things. Instead of calling us by our different names (e.g. mama, papa, koko, jie-jie), he just calls everyone kaka. If you ask him “who is this?” he will say “kaka”. If you ask, “who are you?” he will also say “kaka”. Simple yes?

Although only 14 months, BabyD acts like he is older. He is also one tough little baby who doesn't cry at cuts and bumps. He is also a strong little hercules.

You are a handful BabyD, but also a joy. You stress us out sometimes, but you also make us smile when we need one.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Life Without My Camera

I've just come back from a nice little trip to Taiping, travelling with my mom and kids. This morning I got a call from my mom and she said "you've left you camera in my car". AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!

Now, I don't expect my mom to drive up all the way from Seremban just to return my camera and it's really not economical for me to go down either. So what to do, what to do? Just have to wait for my mom's next visit. She may be coming this way next week but that is tentative.

Why I'm all torn up?
  • I was hoping to post some shots I took up in Taiping, especially the ones of the charcoal kiln I took at Sg. Kerang.
  • Also wanted to quickly label the pictures of the kids grand aunties/uncles while the information is still fresh in my mind.
  • Planning to digiscrap some of the pictures from the trip.
  • Took a picture of a document that tells me who is my great-great-grandfather. But it's written in Chinese and I don't know how to read Chinese. Hoping to get a friend to translate.
  • If my children do anything cute these few days, I won't be able to snap it.
  • I can't take pictures of the books I want to sell at my children's bookshop.

Sigh! Didn't realize how much that camera is a part of my life. Feel a bit handicapped without it. It is so much easier to document our lives with pictures. Like they say, a picture says a thousand words. Talking about cameras, I guess I should add my parenting tip to this post.

Mamas Bag of Tricks

  • If you have a digital camera, it pays to read the manual.
  • Invest some time to learn how to use a software to touch up your photos and also learn to resize and optimize the pictures for web publication. A lot of people use Photoshop. But there are also some free photo editing software. Just do a google search on "free photo editing software".
  • Many children are drawn to the idea of snapping pictures. Give them a chance to snap away. If you are afraid they might ruin your camera, get them a cheaper one they can call their own.
  • Think now what is the best way for you to organize your digital photos. I organize mine by year and month. Don't just dump them all into one folder.
  • Do housekeeping once in a while. Get rid of blurred photos and other irrelevant photos.
  • Learn how to digiscrap. It is fun and soooooo rewarding when you are done.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Get Involve In Your Children's School Work

Last week was K's first time sitting for school exam. No sweat! No worries! No stress! It was just like any other day for her. Guess she doesn't quite know what "exam" is yet. In a way, that's good. But in some ways, it is also bad.
  • Good - Doesn't have the "kiasu" attitude whereby she stresses herself out to get all 'A's. She's studying not for the sole purpose of passing exams but to gain knowledge. An exam is just an indicator of how much you've understood what you've been learning.
  • Bad - Didn't bother to review past lessons.

I also didn't want to pressure her but did encourage her to go through her books with me. Actually, I go through her work quite regularly. First, I don't want her to think that studying is just for exams. Second, teachers do make mistakes you know.

For example, the first few days of school, K was asked to copy the "Rukun Negara" (Pledge of Allegiance). One of the principles is "Kedaulatan undang-undang" (The Rule of Law). Instead she wrote "Kedaulatan udang-udang" (The Rule of Prawns). The teacher gave her a check mark and a star too.

Another example is from her Moral class workbook. They were learning about the different religions and had to match the religions to the place of worship. She wrote "Kristians" go to "tokong" (temple) and buddhist go to "gereja" (church) and teacher marked it right. When I corrected my daughter, she was skeptical and hesitated to make the correction. Understandable because little kids always think teachers are smarter than their own parents.

And then there is another incident where she was correct and the teacher marked her wrong.

Anyway, the point is for parents to actively involve themselves in their child's learning. Don't just leave it to teachers or tuition teachers. No matter what, YOU ARE STILL THEIR FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT TEACHER.

That's my tip for today.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Need Links and Traffic to Your Site?

Many of you out there have monetized your blog right? But how much money are you really making? To boost the value of your site and rake in more money, what you need are links and traffic.

Well, Qassia is a new and exciting way to do this. It is still in beta, so it's F-R-E-E for now. Better hop on it before it's too late. Actually, Qassia is currently in closed beta. Meaning, to join, you need someone who is already a member to refer you. And that's what I'm doing now.

What to do at Qassia?

  • Add your website for free. No need to add reciprocal backlinks.
  • Write titbits of information called "intel".

The Benefits of Contributing "Intel".

  • You get one backlink for every piece of intel you add. Every intel will carry a direct backlink to one of your sites. So the more intel you add, the more backlinks you get.
  • When you add intel, you also get credit, in the form of Qassia dollars. The more credits you have, the better your sites will rank.
  • When your intel is displayed, you get 100% of the advertising revenue generated by that page.
What kind of "intel" can you write?

  • Intel can be about a person, a company, a place, a thing, or just about anything that you know about. The people and places do not have to be famous, and the intelligence does not have to be earth-shattering.
  • Examples:
    You can write about the company that you work for - why you love/hate it.
    The best place to eat Curry Mee in Seremban.
    Your grandfather and what he did to survive World War II.
    Your favourite Wan Tan Mee recipe.
    What you did to get your kid ready for Chinese School.
    Which is the best kindy in your area.

Well, they say this might be the next big thing. Looking to get traffic to your web site or affiliate link? Get involved NOW at Qassia.At the VERY LEAST, get registered before they start charging. If you wanna try, sign up here.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Happy Moments

First off, this entry is for the Happy Moments contest. If you like this post, please vote for me!!!! It would sure make another happy moment if you do.

Happy - Happy Moments

My List of 12 Happy Moments

1. Holding a sleeping baby in my arms and gazing into it's cutie pie face.

2. When the kids play together without squabbling. Bonus when they actually help one another.

3. Hearing my kids say "I love your cookies Mommy" while gobbling down my burnt cookies.

4. I'm sure you will agree that sitting down to a scrumptious meal, especially with family or good friends makes the list of Happy Moments. It definitely makes mine. So below is my Chinese New Year happy moment. Yummy, yum, yum! Moms cookings is always best.

5. When my DH says "dear, take the day off at the spa and I will take care of the kids." Wait a minute. That hasn't happened before. Guess it was just a dream. But it would make a nice Happy Moment.

6. Digital scrapbooking is a hobby of mine. It's a Happy Moment when the scrap is all completed and it looks fantastic.

7. When my son wishes me "Good night biggest nen-nen mommy in the whole world." Eat your heart out Dolly Parton.

8. When I make a sale at my Children's Bookshop, or make money through affiliate marketing or through my blog. However the money comes, as long as it comes, it's a Happy Moment.

9. When a few of my friends commented "Hey, looks like you've lost weight." Thank you breastfeeding. You've given me a happy moment. But I gotta stop eating like a cow or else....

10. An empty laundry basket. This moment doesn't last long though.

11. Rain at night after a hot day.

12. When the kids are finally asleep and I get my precious time on the computer, blogging, checking mails and connecting with my online SAHP buddies :)

P.S. Don't forget to vote for me ya? Give me a good ranking here (5 would be nice).

Happy - Happy Moments

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lime Butterfly Again!

This is the second time we have successfully done the caterpillar-butterfly life cycle. Another science project that turned out well. There's another chrysalis in the jar. Probably will have another butterfly tomorrow. Actually, there is a third chrysalis but it turned brown. I think it's dead. I wonder why it died?
Now kokoD thinks we should keep on putting our caterpillars in the jar. He just loves it when the butterfly suddenly emerges. Hopefully tomorrow, we are able to catch the exact moment when the butterfly pushes itself out of the cocoon.