Saturday, November 29, 2008

Over reaction is better than no reaction

"A bone stuck in my throat!!!" Xuan weeped, clutching her throat!
I jumped up and rushed to her. Heart thumping hard and fast.
"Where? What?" I panicked (although she already declared clearly in her first statement the where and what!!!)

Quickly I handed her a cup of water.
"Drink this, gush down the bone!!!"

Slowly, the weeping stop, but tears still rolling down her cheeks...
"Are you OK? "
She nodded.
"What happened?" I asked.
"Something stuck in my throat, something hard, I can't swallow... but I think it's not a bone... I don't want to die..."

She's fine.
I heaved a big relieve.

Well, sometimes this little daughter over-reacted to a lot of things. When eyelashes get into her eyes, she'd scream, cry, and jump up and down over the little discomfort, which is uncalled for. When Kai poked her legs a little, she'd weep loudly as well. I was quite upset over her cries and screams everyday.

I don't mean she has over-reacted in the above. But I'm happy if she really did. Her little tolerance for things was put to some good use for once, as it could be disastrous if she just kept mum... PHEW! (Still trembling as I wrote this...)
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Non-stop spitting

Watch out! Don't trip! There're puddle of of saliva everywhere in the house!

Kai picked up this naughty bad habit of spitting his saliva everywhere! Nothing can stop him. I've exhausted all means. Being stern doesn't help. Ignoring him also doesn't make him spit any lesser.

After getting so impatient and frustrated over his act... I came to realised that his spitting action might be due to his erupting molars. His molar might be the reason for the excessive salivating, which is why on many occasions, he'd gurgle the mouthful of saliva before throwing them out.

29 Nov 2008 (Saturday)
Soon after I wrote the above. Kai changed his habit slightly. Doesn't spit on the floor. Instead, hold out my palm and spew his saliva on it... :(
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lousy cook

Kai is an extremely fussy eater. He's a no-veg, no-fruits, no-many-types-of-food boy. Could have inherited the gene from me. New food that went into his mouth will get spitted out. Feeding him is a nightmare. I'm in deep trouble.

Googled 'recipes for fussy eater' - hoping for miracle. Found this Food for tots blog, which is simply great! Thought it could be my lifesaver. Decided to try out one interesting dish featured in it yesterday -- Scrambled eggs with cauliflower

The recipe goes:
70g chicken thigh/ breast – shredded and marinated with light soya sauce, sugar and cornflour.
170g cauliflower – cut into small pieces and blanched
35g carrot – shredded
½ potato – boiled and diced (optional – This is the leftover from my pumpkin soup)
½ red onion - sliced2 eggs – mixed with pinch of salt and pepper and beaten lightly

Note: You can substitute chicken with fresh prawn or 2 tbsp dried shrimp .

1 tbsp – oyster sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
Dash of pepper

1) Heat up oil and stir-fry chicken until cooked.
Dish up and set aside.
2) Add in onion and sauté until fragrant.
3) Add in carrot and stir-fry. Add in cauliflower, potato, cooked chicken and seasoning, and mix well. If it is too dry, add in 1-2 tbsp water.
4) Add in eggs. Stir fry until the eggs are cooked.
Dish up and serve.

Immediately, I got all ingredients ready and set right into the kitchen. Follow by an eventful one-hour cooking.

Put oil first. Oops! Jumping oil! Quickly take cover. Buried face under the T-shirt I'm wearing. Shielded. No joke. Jumping oil will disfigure face. Retrieve wok cover to act as shield. More robust. Safe now. Phew!

Next, throw in prawns (to substitute chicken). Loud noise from wok. Prawns stick to wok. Not enough oil. Pour in more oil. Oops, too much! Scope up a little. Just right now. Stir. Prawns seem cooked. Dish up, set aside.

Next, fry onion. Spatter onion into wok. Not enough oil again. Pour in more oil. Stir. Throw in shredded carrots. Stir. Throw in blanched cauliflower. Oops, cauliflower not blanched yet. Off stove. Don't know what is blanched. Googled for 'blanched' earlier. Should be like this. Take out pot. Put water. Bring cauliflower to boil. Sieve out cauliflower. Continue to reheat wok. Throw in blanched cauliflower. Throw in boiled and diced potatoes. Stir. Hands tired by now. Oh dear portion seems too big. Should be eating leftovers tomorrow. Stir again. Too dry. Add more oil. Add light soy sauce. Stir. Oops forget to add oyster sauce. Quickly retrieve sauce from fridge. Shake it into wok. Stuck! Doesn't come out. Shake harder. OK, should be just right now. Not sure if it's one tbsp though. Nevermind. Continue to stir. Pour in the prawns. Stir again. Perspiring. Check recipe... final step, stir in eggs.Yippee! Dish up everything. Serve.

End results - Messy kitchen. Sweaty cook. No mood to take photo of dish.

Effect on kids - Xuan ate them; Kai spitted out as usual. Dish doesn't work on him. Failed. Disappointed.

Conclusion - This dish too many steps. Will try a simpler one next time.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New member in the family

Let's welcome a new member to the family - a brand new shiny black 'Pearl River' piano from Christofori!

Well, we decided to buy Xuan a piano for her to practice at home since her interest in piano seems genuine. So this implies we have to make room in the karang guni house for this black and clumsy block of wood (sorry... rather negative here, cos' it means more shifting and cleaning on my part). But overall, I'm still happy to welcome this new member.

The dad is afraid that Xuan would lose her interest ultimately. So he too decided to take up piano lessons. He has already signed up for the adult course last Sunday! Gee.. this way, money invested in piano will not go into the drain... Actually, that's a good excuse to fulfil his childhood dreams!

So, here I am eagerly waiting to hear lovely pieces from the piano soon.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Artistic endeavours

Recently, I dug out my art portfolio at my mum's place and found a whole series of fashion illustration plates and portriat drawings which I did in my old school days. I couldn't bear to throw them away, so have kept them at my mum's (karang guni) house for the time being until I manage to find a spot for them to reside in my own karung guni house :)

Before they disappear someday, I think I'd better keep a digital backup here :)
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Horrible Twos

I've almost forgotten how terrible Xuan was when she was two, until Kai mirrored the terrible two's image recently...

When he couldn't get the things he wanted (such as tuning to his favourite TV channel), he'd start to jump up and down, throw his upper torso backwards (u must be wondering what this means... read this and you'll know), dash towards the wall (luckily not to bang his head but to hit it with his bare hands), or simply do silly things to the extent of hurting himself! He sure has a way and is absolutely good at manipulating us! Sometimes I really have no idea what this little boy wants. Frankly I don't wish to give in to his whims and fancies all the time as I'm worried he'd be spoilt. But at the same time, I also don't want him to get hurt. This hot-headed boy is capable of doing anything to hurt himself just to get things done his way.

I wonder what should be the best way to deal with this horrible two's behaviour!

Any advise please?
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Overcoming lightning fear

Xuan used to be so scared of thunder and lightning... I think most kids do, even the adults do... ha ha... I mean I do.

Recently, she seems to have overcame the fear. When lightning struck, she didn't cry and run to me anymore! I remembered having to tell her that 'the lightning is actually the camera's flash and that the sky is taking a photo of her'... haa... yah all those nonsense...

Anyway when I asked her why she has been so brave, she revealed a secret of how she overcame the lightning fear. She said that when the lightning strikes, all she needs to do is to count "One Supersleuth, two Superleuth, three Supersleuth..." and stop when she hears the thunder! Well, she learnt that from Winnie the Pooh on Playhouse Disney.

I think I must give it a try next time.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Siblings' photos: then and now

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Effectively billingual?

Definitely NOT!

After our experience with Xuan, we decided to start Kai on both languages when he is still young. We are introducing him to both English and Chinese at the same time. Now for most words that he speak, he'd repeat it in its Chinese equivalent.

Car... che
Hair... ah fa
Eyebrow... ah mao
Sleep... ah jiao
Umbrella... ah shan
Aeroplane... eh ji
(Haha, he still couldn't get his two-syllable pronunciation right)

Anyway, I doubt he knows which is English and which is Chinese. So there might be a scenario in future when he'd say "I want ah jiao"!

Hmmm... that's not so smart afterall, isn't it?
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cutting Kai's hair

Cutting Kai's hair was a torment. It was easier when he was a few months' old, but not after he learnt about things. He was scared when he saw his hair dropped all over the floor and refused to get his hair cut.

So I can only cut his hair when he sleeps. I have to turn his head to the left to cut his right-side hair and vice versa. Hair drops all over the bed, on his face and into his ears. I have to tediously tape up the hair bit by bit using scotchtape, making sure he don't wake up to the ticklish taping on his face, neck and ears... This sleeping hair-cut usually ends up with a holy hairstyle... (I mean "holely"... little holes here and there). He didn't look fantastically handsome after that :(

Lately, I tried to ease his fear by introducing him to the hair cutting equipment. Then I sit him in front of the TV and tell him I'm going to cut his hair. I snipped a little by little before getting more aggressive. But I made sure his hair didn't drop to the floor. I folded a paper square box to contain his cut hair. Soon, he was okay with the hair cut. However, with this method, I couldn't cut his hair freely. I could only hold up a few strands of hair with my fingers at one time before cutting and putting them into the box.

I had wanted to cut his hair freely with a comb and scissor like what the hairdresser does. I don't feel great cutting his hair with my fingers and scissors. Hmmm... so yesterday I cracked my head a little and had an inspiration!

Instead of a square box, I folded a deep rectangular box and taped it to the comb! With that I could comb and cut his hair freely without worrying that the hair would drop to the floor. All hair now dropped into the improvised paper container! I was so happy!

He he...take a look at the haircut set and my proud invention!

This is the children haircut set which I use religiously on Xuan's and Kai's hair.

Farlin Safety Haircut Set for Children ($23.80)

The square box which I used to contain the cut hair. Made from any A4 size paper or simply tear off a page from any used magazine to fold the box.

The newly improvised deep rectangular box. Fold it with your imagination.

Finally, tap it to the edge of the comb.

And you are all ready!!!

Get ready the scotch tape, as well as the square box for other free style cutting. This is the complete hair cutting set for Kai.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now is Kai's turn

The strict infection control doesn't work this time. Kai is down with flu. He has finally caught the virus from his sis! I guess the month-long observations of strict hygiene has tired everyone out... it is afterall not easy to maintain that kind of energy to observe all the infection control rules.

Kai ran a high fever for 3 days - 72 hours to be precise! His temperature shot up to 40.5 deg yesterday and I was so stressed and worried. There's no way we could force any medicine down his throat. So the paracetamol and voltaren suppositories were like god-send. At one stage, even the voltaren (for high fever >39) suppositories didn't work! I thought he might be having bacteria infection for his fever to be so high... so I attempted to give him the Augmentin (antibiotics) prescribed by his PD. I put the medicine into Milo to make him drink, but it didn't work. Then I put it into milk, it didn't work either! I was very desperate then as his fever has gone up to over 40 deg!

Quickly, I rang up the pediatrician for help! I pleaded for any Augmentin suppositories but the nurse said there's no such thing! (Please, if you are a apothecary, druggist, or pharmacist reading this, please help devise a suppository for Augmentin!!!) Anyway, the PD advised us to give him both voltaren and paracetamol suppositories at the same time to double up the effect! The other advise is we have to give him Augmentin by hook or by crook! That is when I started squeezing syringes of Augmentin into his mouth. The struggle was bad! He cried and kicked. The medicine got into his mouth but not down his throat, he spitted them all out! In the end, only half of the prescribed dosage got in. After that I have to pray that he keep the medicine in his stomach and not vomit them out! Hmmm... I guess this explains why I was so neurotic about Kai falling sick and tough on the infection control.

Thank goodness, he is feeling much better today. But I still need to give him the Augmentin for another 6 days!!! Please pray for me to survive the squeezing ordeal! Or please tell me if there're any better tricks for Kai to take his medicine!

Thank you!
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Xuan's CPU is infected with virus!

Not only is she down with the flu virus, her little CPU is also infected with virus! Xuan's paranoid now, just like me... :(

Her brain is processing the word VIRUS and reproducing it everywhere. Yesterday morning she said to the piano teacher when she "coughed" once, "You don't pass your VIRUS to me, I already have a VIRUS!"

The teacher had to explain that she only choked, not coughed!

Should I congratulate myself for imparting her the knowledge about virus? Or should I hit my head and said "See what you've done to the kid?!!"
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another bout of flu

Xuan has yet to recover fully from her previous cough... yet now she's down with another! I'm really scared to repeat that strict infection control all over again! I also have a hunch that we'd not be able to go on the Virgo cruise which we booked. Sigh... it's all happening again!

Everyday before she steps into her class, my mouth automatically sends out a routine reminder, "Don't get another new virus har! Stay away from people who cough and sneeze!" And each time, she'd nod her head.

Then after school, my irritating questioning continues, "Did anybody cough or sneeze near you?" If she answered yes, I'd pursue, "Did you quickly cover your nose and mouth? Did you go away?" Most of the time, her answer is "Yes..." but her body language gave her away! I look at her and repeat the question again and she'd said "No..., please don't be mad at me..."

Yes, she tell lies to pacify me! Thanks to myself! I have imposed too much on her. The truth is, no matter how many reminders I sent out, Xuan will still catch the virus! She's just a child! And there's no way to prevent it. She also doesn't want to be sick!

I need someone to knock some sense into me, "Hey hey mom, loosen up! It's normal for a child to be sick!"

Alright, alright, digress a bit:
Her greatest fear of being sick is "Will I still be able to go to the piano lesson on Sunday?"

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Over-anxious mum

Yesterday evening, Xuan complained of a headache. I didn't take much of a notice as she was perpetually complaining of pains here and there.

Later at night, she told me again about the headache. We felt her head and it was burning! She was running a high fever! Suddenly, all sorts of things came to my head... could it be meningitis? I quickly flipped through the "What to Expect the First Year" bible, although Xuan is far beyond the age to consult the book. I read that the prevention for meningitis is the immunization for Hib, which she already had. Phew, that was a relieve! Then I go on to check on other illnesses that has symptoms of high fever and headaches...ENCEPHALITIS!!!

"Oh dear, what now? This is an emergency case!" I thought to myself.
"Should we send her to the A&E?"
"Could she be having dengue.... she told me of pains in her legs and hands as well the day before..."

Anyway, it was already late into the night, we have already given her ibuprofen and tucked her in bed. We put cold towel over her forehead... her temperature was monitored through the night.

Luckily this morning, her temperature came down... now she's at the pediatrician with her Dad.

Now some truths about headaches in children, which I just found from the WWW:

"Headache is very common in older children"
(well, I didn't know that, all I knew was children shouldn't have headaches as they have serious neurological implications)

"Fever causes headaches. With a fever the blood vessels in the whole body dilate (get wider). Dilated blood vessels in the scalp and around the brain cause pain - headache."
(OK, now that I know, I will not over-react if a child has headache unless accompanied by other symptoms!)

"It is common for a headache to accompany an upper respiratory tract infection, such as the common cold, flu, sore throat"
(errr... yah, Xuan is still having her cough, and seems that her cough has gone worst this time, so I guess it is another flu virus... sigh!!!)
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Save money with abbott milk powder

There's a little something to share with parents ... some ways to save money.

As you know, milk powder are really expensive and a 1.8kg tin can finish in 2-3 weeks! If you are using abbott milk products or giving your child Pediasure, just like me, you can actually go to Abbott Family Rewards website to sign up as a member. After which you can mail in your receipts that prove your purchases of related Abbott milk powder and accumulate points! One tin of Pediasure earns you 100 points. With 1000 points, you can redeem one tin of 400g Pediasure or any other Abbott milk powder online. They'd mail you the vouchers which you can use them to redeem the free milk powder at supermarkets!

BTW, this is not an advert. Abbott didn't pay me in any way for this ... :)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Piano lesson

Xuan started her first piano lesson at Christofori three sundays ago. It was more of her Dad's aspiration to learn piano than hers. So he decided to sign her up for piano classes to fulfill his childhood dreams... you know, when the adults are too old to fulfill a wish, they default it on the kids... haha!

Xuan appeared to be interested. I thought she'd lose interest after one or two lessons. Apparently, I have underestimted her. Hmmm... she must have inherited her Dad's interest in music. She looked foward to her piano lessons every Sunday. Each time, she come back, she'd teach her Dad the crotchets, minims, semi breves... etc. etc. As for me, I'm a complete musical idiot ... whatever minims, crotchets or semi-breves -- they all look the same "豆芽" to me, just that some are black and some are white. All the while I thought she only learnt the theory and only know about "豆芽"... so this video which her dad took of her was a complete eye-opener for me.

Last Sunday, before the teacher turned up, Xuan has some time to play with the piano herself. She asked her Dad to take out her piano book, and she placed it in front of her and played a tune... WOW, after watching the video, I started pestering Xuan on how she did it???


弹得似模似样,有板有眼 :)

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