Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lunch & Fun with Ju!

So happy we managed to catch the Chans before they went out for lunch and we made a quick decision to eat at Airport T3.  It's been sometime since we've been doing our dinner dates and the boys really missed each other so much.  The other week when Kimi was on school holidays, he insisted that I picked Charmaine and Julian as we were leaving for Botanic Gardens.  That's how much he missed them!

As usual, everytime we are here, Kimi HAS to go on these kiddy rides, he LOVES them!

Always Kimi's 1st choice - Police Bike! Pure happiness written all over his face
Then he decided he wanted to change to this car - see that cheeky face? My fave pix!
Supermummy Charmaine & Sweet Ju
As both the hubbies had something on, we decided to continue on our 'date' and let the kiddos skip their nap.  After dropping them off, we went to Polliwogs for some indoor fun.
Kimi as usual.. very drama!
Happy boy! Ju enjoyed exploring and climbing.  He was awesome on all the obstacles although it was his first time there! 
The last time we were here, Kimi couldn't 'swing' himself, I had to push him.  This time round he was doing it so well and enjoying it so much.  Look how sweaty he is!
What a wonderful and tiring day!!!

Kimi's First Brush with Art!

Today is Kimi's first class with Teacher Maria. Wow, imagine we have been waiting since last year to get a suitable day & time! She is very packed with students!

Anyway, I went with a heavy heart as Kimi tends to 'stick' with me and not want to do anything if I am out of sight. Sometimes, he can be rather unco-operative and unwilling to try new things.

But, I was so suprised that he was completely 'at home' the moment he reached her place. She is rather patient and can handle kids well. Within 5 mins, they were chatting like old friends and I was able to 'disappear' into the living room.

Kimi more or less paced today's lesson. He had wanted to do a Dinosaur theme but Teacher M managed to persuade him to follow with today's theme. They were supposed to do a clown fish but Kimi insisted on a shark so Kimi and his classmate did that. Somehow, I knew that would happen cos the other boy, though slightly older, was not as assertive and vocal. It was just his voice throughout the lesson!! (*faint!*)

However, I am so proud of Kimi as he stayed in the room till the end of the lesson. I could hear him just talking and talking non-stop. I think Teacher M must be really tired out by him? She was sweating buckets at the end of class while explaining the lesson to both mummies.

For me, I was just so so glad that Jireh's mummy gave me this contact. Kimi enjoyed his art lesson so much and was looking forward to his next! :)

Today's lesson :-
Theme : Sea Creatures
Technique :
  1. Use of large brushes to create large brush strokes. Teacher M said this is to train their muscles. Allow kids to draw/paint 'big' so that once they have better control, they can progress to smaller strokes and finally details.
  2. First the kids are asked to paint the sea and she also explained that the sea is not made up of 1 solid colour but myriad. Hence the many colours. This makes for interesting understanding of colour mixes and hues.
  3. Then they used leaves for stamping and finally using pencil to draw a shark.
  4. Teacher M said that Kimi is very confident, independent and adventurous. (Wow! that did not occur to me!) Although her instructions were to brush long, heavy and large strokes, halfway through, Kimi would say he wants to dabble a little or use the brush this way, etc. She allowed him cos she said that is what art is all about - freedom.
  5. I was really amazed by the shark!! Yes, he drew that!! I can't believe it. Of cos that was after some practice. She revealed that she first drew 1 for Kimi to see and allowed him to follow. He would come out with circles and wierd shapes. Then she would ask whether a shark looks like that. And they progress to a large oval and finally details. For example, she would tell him to move his pencil up when drawing the dorsal fin, etc. She would explain where each detail should be placed.

The Shark. I knew this was Kimi's cos he is always saying he needs to draw a smile. :)

The sea in myriad of colours! See the dabbing and finger prints and stamps? I shouldn't have placed the shark there...blocked up the beautiful ocean.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bento #41 - Dining with the Elephant

It started with 2 or 3 picks and then Kimi wanted to add this and that. I had to stop him or he would use ALL my picks!! haha! Kimi loved the chocolate pearl I used for the elephant's eyes...not how it looked but how he loved the chocolate! Lol!

This was a last minute bento which I decided to make for Kimi. The worst thing was, when I was about to decorate it, I realised that I was COMPLETELY out of ham, cheese slices, seaweed to decorate my elephant. Yes, hardly looked like one but the little one was happy so that's all that matters! :) He finished the whole bento with only about 2-3 spoons of rice left. So proud of him! :)

I added a little green colouring to the water when cooking the rice to creat this green coloured rice to symbolise the elephant on the grassland. The chicken cutlet is homemade and I added another piece cos I know Kimi loves all these crispy stuff. There's also strawberries, corn, sugar beans, edamame beans and Japanese pumpkin (Kabocha - you can look here to see how you can cook Kabocha) simmered in sweet sauce.

Sweet sauce simmered Kabocha
  • 3-4 wedges of Japanese pumpkin
  • Japanese soya sauce (or the regular will do too)
  • Mirin
  • Sugar or maple syrup
  • Water
Method
  1. Boil the pumpkin till just starting to be soft. Remove and set aside.
  2. Place all the rest of ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil.
  3. Taste to ensure saltiness/sweetness is acceptable (should taste like teriyaki sauce).
  4. Add the steamed pumpkin and let it simmer on slow fire for 10-15 mins.
  5. Remove and serve.

Bento #40 - Strawberry Breakfast


A quickie breakkie consisting of butter and strawberry jam sandwich and fresh strawberries. I realised that to make these 'open-face' sandwich, the top piece for cutting through for the shapes will hold better if it is smaller and less intricate.

Really a quick one that I didn't have much time to decorate the penguin which I thought looked like a space-ship! I used up the last pack of seaweed here and thought I had more but then ... I didn't.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dummy-Free!


I remembered how there was a period last year that I would stock up on dummies cos Kimi was biting them and somedays he will chew up 2 dummies.  I tolerated and continued to buy cos I reckon it's another passing phase.

It did not for some months but it did slow down, each dummy could last about a week.  Then as my stocks started running low, I constantly reminded Kimi that I will not buy more when the current stash runs out.  He readily and gamely agreed.

I've always maintained the phrase. "when they are ready, they will be ready".  And I believe the same for dummy too. I wasn't particulary concerned as Kimi only used the dummy during bed time.  I even said he could use it till he is 20 if he is not shy! Haha! 

Then, he stopped school and was spending more and more time at home and started relying on it so often. I also noticed his teeth getting more prodruding.  That's when I decided he has to stop.  Somedays, he will say he won't need the dummy and then in the middle of the night or early in the morning, he will be asking for it.

Then hb challenged him a few times.  Same thing.  Finally, on 7 March 2010, he told hb that he is a big boy and don't need the dummy anymore.  Kimi took it and threw it into the bin.  I knew only too well.  I picked it up, washed it well and hid it.

True enough, the next few days, he kept asking and even on a few occasions demanded for a dummy.  I reminded him how he threw it away and there weren't anymore and he has to be responsible for his actions.  And I did not ask or force him to throw it away.  He WANTED to throw it himself.

Kimi understood and hugged his cloth.  I felt very bad but I told myself, I have to stand by what I said.  We are so proud of Kimi cos he did not really throw tantrums or fussed for his dummy.  Everytime he wanted to get into 1, we would remind him and he will settle down quickly.

Within 4-5days, he did not mention about his dummy and we were certain he has outgrown it.  Kimi has been dummy-free ever since and we are so so proud he could practice self-control and was mature enough to be conscious and be responsible for his actions.

Most of all, we are so glad that it was such a breeze to wean him.  I thought it would be a nightmare as he was rather reliant on it in the last few months.

Still, we want to give Thanks and Praise to our Abba Father who constantly holds our hands and guides us in the right path.  Because He loves us so much, He will always want to ensure that we lead a blessed life. 

Many times, we forget and don't realise we sail through all these small challenges easily.  But when we stop to think and take stock, we would realise how everything falls in place easily for us.  And that is beacause we are the blessed children of the Almighty God! Amen!

Steamed Spare Ribs & Winter Melon in Black Bean Sauce

Sorry, these days I hardly have time to transfer the dish and snap the pix.  What you see is what we eat! Haha!  Straight from the steamer!

This is a very cantonese dish which you can get at Dim Sum Restaurants.  My mum used to make this but I never made it for hb cos he is not a big pork eater and I think the only spare ribs he takes are from Bak Kut Teh?

But then, I saw how wonderful Jayne made them and decided to just try and see if hb will eat.  I added some winter melon, left over from the soup and I tell you, it's the best thing in that dish!  It totally absorbed all the goodness and made it some yummy!  I added it cos I didn't want to 'waste' the leftovers.  Glad I made the right choice!

This is truly a simple and fast dish.  Our only lament was that the chap selling the pork recommended this cut which I felt was not so appropriate.  The meat was too thin, reed thin.  I'll get something with a little more meat so we can enjoy it better the next time.  It's definitely a keeper for us! :)

Ingredients
  • 300g spare ribs
  • 1 slice winter melon, diced
  • 1.5tbsp Lee Kum Kee Black Bean Garlic Sauce
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves grated garlic
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Cooking wine
  • A little water
  • A few sprigs of spring onion, cut in 2 inches sections
  • A few sprigs of spring onion and cilantro, cut finely
 Method
  1. Mix all ingredients together and let it marinate for 15mins.
  2. Place the 2 inches spring onions on bottom of steaming plate and lay the marinated ribs and melon on top.
  3. Steam for 20-25mins or till cooked.
  4. Sprinkle the finely cut spring onion and cilantro on top of cooked dish.
  5. Served with hot fluffy rice. ENJOY!!
 Tips
  • If you like it spicy, you can chop some chilli finely and throw it in together to steam.
  • You can mix the marinade separately in a bowl and tasste it to ensure that it is not too salty before adding to the ribs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Garlicky Snapper Fillet

The last time I bought this Creamy Snapper Fillet at Cold Storage cost me quite a bit.  Then my sis told me that she bought the exact IQF(Individually Quick Frozen) version from Giant at a lower price.  And the taste was exactly the same.  She believes that Cold Storage just defrosted and sold them.

So I grabbed 4 and made 1 pack today. Yummy! The 2 boys loved them.  Kimi loved it cos it had crispy bits and hb just loved the garlic and salt combo I guess.  This is so fast, easy and tasty.

Ingredients
  • 1 Creamy Snapper Fillet (pack came filleted into 2 slices)
  • Dash of salt, pepper and ground ginger
  • Chopped garlic
Method
  1. Heat some oil and fry fish till golden brown. 
  2. Remove and let it rest on kitchen napkins.
  3. Add in the garlic and let it brown till nice and golden.
  4. Remove and slowly scoop over fish.  Being careful not to add the oil.
  5. Serve over rice, noodles, pasta or with potatoes. ENJOY!!!

Winter Melon and Chinese Yam Soup


I usually boil Winter Melon with corn or other mild Chinese herbs or as a sweet soup but never with Chinese Yam. So when I saw this recipe at Ellena's, I decided to try it. But I did change the recipe a little to suit our needs. :)

It was sweet, fragrant and refreshing. Both hb and Kimi liked it. :) It is believed that drinking this soup helps to alleviate body heatiness, lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, promotes urination, anti-ageing and aids digestion.

Ingredients
  • 350g pork ribs, blanched
  • 1 corn, cut in sections
  • 1 stick of Chinese Yam (Huai Shan) approx 100g
  • 1 carrot, cut in sections
  • 1 slice of Winter Melon (Dong Gua) cut in sections with skin on,approx 200g
  • 2 Honey Dates
Method
  1. Bring 1.5 to 2litres of clean water to boil.
  2. Place the blanched ribs and all other ingredients and bring the fire to high and let it boil for 15mins.
  3. Reduce to low fire and continue to simmer for another 2 hours.
  4. Or alternatively, boil for 1 hour and place in thermal pot or boil for 30mins and transfer to slow cooker to cook on high for 2 hours.
  5. Serve hot. ENJOY!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rest Easy Muffins

Today was totally a REST day for me, I'm so happy!! Thanks papa!

I did not cook.  I rested, surfed, watched tv, stoned and just be lazy. Nice.  It's been eons since I've done this. :)

Last night, I slept from 11plus to 7 this morning.  I couldn't believe how light and refreshed I felt.  I was so tired I fell asleep and when I jolted out of bed, it was 2.35am.  I felt like a winner cos normally that was the time I made my way to my bed.  But now, I've already got a few hours sleep and I could sleep some more!!

I resolve to sleep early. I hope I can make it.  Since, I had been lazy the whole day, I felt so guilty and decided to make a quick muffin for breakfast tomorrow.

These may look ugly but it tasted ok.  I'm using these Valrhona Choc Pearls which are FABULOUS!!! Even Kimi loves it!! It simply melts in your mouth!

I took the recipe from here.  It's an easy 1 bowl recipe.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dinner with Estelle

As affectionate as ever!

It's been a long while since we went out with Serene and Estelle, much less have meals together.  Today was a good chance since the 2 little ones had been chosen to do an IQ Test at SM and had to stay back after class.  The test is actually for 4 year olds but SM wanted to try out on the 3 year olds.

I should have known better.  5-10 mins into the test, Kimi left and walked about and so Estelle followed suit and they started playing.  Hmm, such test ought to be conducted one-on-one.  Well, it was only a trial. 

Overall, Teacher Claudia said she was impressed by the 2 tots as they were able to do the tasks despite having no parents around.  Apparently, some of her 4 year olds couldn't attempt to do it a single question and just sat there staring blankly!

Since, it was not conclusive, we might not have any test results. After that we headed to Suntec for dinner at M.O.F. and then went to see what was offering at Kidz Academy.

The kids and mummies had fun catching up and we had hard time catching UP with them!! Imagine the 2 of them just running amok! Lol!  Thank God papa was with me! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boys' Playdate

Met with Cat and Tristan today for some gym fun. Pity Estelle and Enbi couldn't make it to join us.

Our first stop was to let them expend their energy and we wanted to try out Atlantis City. It is very small and we almost had the whole place to ourselves, save for 1 little girl. However, the boys got bored rather quickly cos I think the gym was perhaps more suitable for smaller kids as it was not challenging enough.


All the pix I took were blurred!!
Still, they enjoyed goofing around and fighting for the lone 'steerable' car. Haha! The other without the steering wheel was not favoured by any of the boys. :)

After an hour, we headed to Vivo for shopping and 'makan' (eat).

The boys at Soup Spoon.  My poor boy almost always get 'spurned' for being overly affectionate! Haha!! Such cuties!! (Pix courtesy of Cat)

Kimi was so happy when Cat gave him 2 presents and once he was home, he exclaimed, "Mummy, I'm so blessed! See Aunty Cat bought these presents for me?"
Thanks Cat and Tristan for the wonderful presents and a fun day!! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Play Day!

Today was a day of PLAY and literally. We spent the day at 2 parks playing, playing and playing.In the morning, we went to Botanic Gardens for a morning walk where Kimi also scooted, chased pigeons and scare the swans.

After some warm-up, we proceeded to JB Children's Garden where Kimi thoroughly enjoyed the slides at the tree house. Previously, I didn't let him slide alone as I felt he was still too young. Today, he spend more than 30mins just playing there! :)I had to tear him away to look at some vegetables and plants before cooling off at the water-play area. This got to be Kimi's favourite place! Anything related to water, I guess. :)

After which we had Mac's for lunch (at his request) and I gave him a ice-cream treat for being such a lovely boy. It had to be none other than Island Creamery which I absolutely love.

After a nap at home, we headed to Pasir Ris beach with my nieces for more fun! It was soooo breezy today, Such a beautiful day to spend at the playground.

I hope Kimi had a wonderful, wonderful time today!

Ahhh! This is life! What cool breeze!

Exploring!

Whoosh! And down the slide Kimi went!

Oops... no more water ....

Yay!! Jumping with joy when the water returned!

Lunch @ Mac's - Kimi said he was an elephant with tusks!

Thumbs up for Kimi's favourite ride. It goes round and round. Simple pleasure, maximum satisfaction. :)

Kimi inside our favourite ice cream place - Island Creamery. Played some imaginary drums and held the guitar and he told me he was playing a cello! Haha! The guitar was very much bigger than what he has at home hence the relation he made as I explained to him that a cello is very large... :)

Kimi loves all animals and always wants to take pix with this SPCA doggie. I was exactly like that when I was small and always asked for loose change from my dad to pop it in. So did Kimi!
Our favourite!!! Kimi's favourite is Revers-O while my all-time favourite is Horlicks and Burnt Caramel and many others!! Today I tried the Coconut Swirl, not too bad. I'm drooling just thinking about it! :)

The finished shot - we devoured it! Happy and satiated!

Kimi, all excited to rush down to the playground! Haha! What a funny shot! I love it!

At the moment, Kimi likes spinning round and round and feeling all the dizziness. So he hogged this game at the playground.

Confident climber!
Happy boy ready to slide!

The tall and lanky Claire on the Flying Fox

Kimi absolutely loves the swing and the wind in his hair!

Such happiness! I love his smile and laugh here! This is so Kimi, how he is always cackling and laughing amongst all his mischiefs. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Happy Day

All these onions and squid are from the chilli sauce.  It is very spicy but maybe cos I'm not a chilli expert.  This sauce will go well with glass noodles too or as a dip for steamboat.

Yay! It's the start of a week long of holidays and I am so happy to have Kimi home with me the whole day!  We can do so much and have loads of fun together.  I really miss those lazy days when he was not in school where some days, we just laze at home and take things easy.  Or those days where it is jam-packed with activities and outings.

If I had it my way, I would keep him at home.  But, Kimi, being an only child needs friends and learn to socialise.  Unfortunately he does not have many playmates so school is the best option for the moment.

We started the week by having papa bring Kimi to the zoo yesterday morning while I rested a little at home as I was feeling a little unwell.

All Glory to Jesus, this morning, I am well and whole again! :)

Today, my plan was just to grab some groceries at Giant and proceed to other plans for the day as my sis couldn't make it.  But, she called me in the morning and said she could.

So we ate and shopped and shopped and ate the WHOLE day! So fun and only at 2 places - IKEA and Giant!! Hahah!!  Kimi was also very co-operative today both with behaviour and meal times. :) With Kimi skipping his nap, he had to sleep at 7pm.  So, I had some time on my own to cook and relax.

So what did I have? My favourite comfort food - panfry salmon.  I bought this Spicy, Sweet Sour Sotong Chilli and tossed it with Shirataki noodles and topped it with my salmon.  I also crushed some crispy bacon on top of the noodles (not seen here as I did not include it) before devouring it! Yummy!
What a fabulous start to the week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

An Apple A Day ... Fruits for Life

Kimi loves his apples especially those crunchy, sweet ones.  I usually buy Chestnut apples as they are smallish and very sweet and crunchy!  Kimi can easily eat 1 on his own. :)

Hb was chomping on his when Kimi snatched his away and said that he will eat his apple as it is (whole) from now on as "I am a big boy already, no need to cut".

The good thing about Kimi is that he loves his fruits and we endeavour to give 5 servings of different kinds of fruits each day.  This does not include the daily greens he will get at lunch and dinner. 

Hence, I like adding fruit(s) to his breakfast so that we can spread out the servings throughout the day.  And I think it is nice to have a little fruit in the mornings, so refreshing! :)

Kimi will (of cos there are days when there are exceptions) take most fruits except dragonfruit, pomelo, avocado (unless hidden in cooking/food) and fruits that are a tad sour.

Some must-haves for Kimi are apple, papaya and banana.  Then we just add in what's in season.  It is really not difficult to serve 5 servings of fruits each day.  At any one time, we have at least 6-8 types of fruits at home.  For example, Kimi may eat the following in a day :-
1) Banana
2) Papaya
3) Water-melon
4) Apple
5) Plums

I guess we loves fruits so Kimi has also picked this up.  So, let's 'jia-you' together and serve our kids 5 servings a day, shall we?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kimi's First On Flyer

We met with hb's colleague and their kids for a little outing to let the little ones get together and experience Singapore Flyer.  Kimi enojys playing with Dexter, Des and Dawn's 6 year old (yes, he's sooo tall!!).

Frankly, Kimi had more fun playing and running around with Dexter and Dana than going on the Flyer.  Well, every Singaporean must experience it at least once ya?
So happy with this shot as Kimi ACTUALLY posed for it! Yay! :)
He said this is the vine that Diego uses when he swings from tree to tree to rescue animals. :)
And then he saw these rocks and said he could climb them - just like Diego!
A difficult shot to get all the kids in the pix.
Dexter, Kimi and Papa

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Mickey Mouse Fried Rice

I saw this cute Mickey Mouse fish cake from Giant and quickly grabbed it.  I was keen to encourage Kimi to take some fish ball or fish cake, hoping that the pix will entice him.

Well, my plan did not work and he still does not take any kind of fish ball or fish cakes.  Anything that taste like rubber food except gummy which is his favourite snack now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Beetroot, Carrot, Corn & Pork Ribs Soup

 
I made this soup some time back but I've been lag in many posts so finally I can share this wonderful, wonderful soup.  Not only is it bursting with health properties, it is yummy to drink so no problems to get our little tots to drink a bowl!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beetroot (about 200-230g each) cut in large chunks

  • 1 corn, cut in sections

  • 1 large carrot cut in large chunks

  • 350g pork ribs (boiled to remove impurities)

  • 1 large honey date

  • Handful of red dates, seeded
Method

  1. Bring to boil 1.5 to 2 litres of water

  2. Add in dates and pre-boiled pork ribs

  3. Add rest of ingredients

  4. Let it boil on high for 15mins

  5. Reduce to low fire and let it continue to boil for another 2 hr 30 mins.
* As I use a thermal cooker, I usually boil for 1 hour and leave it in pot till ready to drink for dinner.  I also do not add any salt as I like it the way it is. Natural and yummy.

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