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vendredi 25 décembre 2009

Our Christmas eve dinner

My first attempt at Tam Ki chicken rice was a resounding success. I only took one photo of the chicken above before it was devoured in a flash.

We have been relentlessly consuming heavyweights such as foie gras (which we love), smoked salmon, air-dried ham, bûche de Nöel (sans déco), Merveilles.


As we went to gather final ingredients for our Xmas menu we stumbled upon half-price turkey in our local supermarket. A bargain we could not resist...moreover because Shrek has been yearning for a turkey many yonks ago for festive occasions. This time we struck gold. We could not forgo this deal but decided that the 10 kgs turkey was too big and would be a gluttonous greedy choice we will regret later hence we settled on getting the medium sized 3+ kgs turkey because that was ideal for our family of 6.

Our Xmas eve dinner consisted of Tam Ki turkey rice which was a recipe I modified and tweaked from Tam Ki chicken rice.



Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N could not contain their excitement and upon discovering the unwrapped presents under the Xmas tree gloated like greedy children in a sweets shop. They both ruined the surprise Papa Nöel left for them and opened all the pressies in a flash eventhough I heard the unwrapping noise and paper being torn and sighed a little because I had planned on taking a photo as a souvenir of all the presents nicely sitting under the tree.

Shrek painstakingly explained to them that next year they will have to wait to unwrap the presents one by one with all the family gathered and not selfishly attack the packages.

jeudi 24 décembre 2009

BricoNöel

Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N fabricated and crafted Christmas ornaments avec soin. They were for the most part decorative candle holders (bougeoirs) and an apéritif centrepiece crafted out of pâte à sel aka salt dough. There was a guirlande punctuated with a dried orange slice, felt heart-shaped jingle bell as well as a felt Xmas tree ornament which doubles as a perfumed wardrobe/closet scenter and finally a pretty pot of pine cones. Little baby Taz did contribute one candle holder which he decorated haphazardly with pebbles and stones.

There is no greater way to show my appreciation for their efforts than by proudly displaying their handiworks.

I am a very proud mummy and what better time than the festive season to display their triumphant crafts(wo)manship.




Carrot boy

Baby Taz should be renamed as Carrot boy as carrots are the only vegetable he consumes with glee and abandon, especially when it is mushy. Baby Taz tends to prefer mush over chewy food.

BabTaz suffers from constipation because he refuses to eat veggies or fruits hence stunting his fibre intake and aggravating his condition.

He is on 'caca-watch' as we keep a close eye on his caca-tendencies in an attempt to alleviate the problem before it becomes chronic.

Award scheme

The stickers for good behaviour is all swell but there is an incentive that even a 6 and a half and a 5 year old cannot pass up: it is tadatada what else but money. The seeming preoccupation with monetary gain starts as young as when they realise that everything has a price but that the most important things in life are priceless : love and personal pride.


At this age though thankfully they do not know the difference between 5 cents and different monetary units or loose change as yet. The differentiation and distinction/ ability to distinguish values will come soon enough and I will as a result have to devise a proper reward scheme which might goes something like
1 Franc or Dollar (depends on where I live by then) for each household chore
1 or 2 Francs for a good mark and more for a good report card (carnet)

dimanche 20 décembre 2009

Career prospects

List of possible careers that Petit Suisse envisages include :

1. footballer
2. policeman
3. pharmacist
4. basketballer

I am sure this list will evolve and become more elaborate or complex the older he gets. I cannot wait to compare this list with one in a couple of years time. It is interesting to see if any of the above remains after the age of reason has kicked in.

Geneva

Depiction of the famous Geneva landmark Jet d'eau and the graceful swans swimming in lake Leman. This was taken in glorious sunshine around summertime to offset the current grey, foggy and groggy overcast sky.





Superhero dream

Petit Suisse is a dreamy fellow. He has said more than once

"Je ne peux pas m'arrêter de penser et rêver que je suis un superhero"

Dream on child...dreams are what keep us from drab reality.

Cheesy halt

My overzealous and over exposure to cheese has waned my desire to eat it altogether.
Respite from dairy and cheese is quite impossible as there are too many tempting and ridiculously cheap bargains that I find too good to resist and pass up.

I must limit my shopping expeditions and bargain hunting ventures in order to curb this crazy accumulation of cheeses. One major reason is that other than Shrek and I the children are not consumers of fromages. They refuse steadfastly to eat anything other than Beurkkkk Ba-ba-by-bel or in the case of Baby Taz La vache qui rit (which is Shrek's worst nightmare).

Henceforth Shrek and I (especially me) have to finish off all cheese that I buy on a whim.

jeudi 17 décembre 2009

Early or late, your call

When running late for the bus, it will leave early. When you are early for the bus or any event, others will arrive late and so will the bus. One cannot be on time on the dot as you are either late or early. Being on time is a Swiss myth.

Shrek is especially uptight about being on time.

He is always saying to me : One minute late is too late.

or

You must leave on time to be on time.

In some ways it is good to be on time as that would be meeting people's expectations and in professional environments it is an obligation save emergencies. The simple and most important reason for being on time at work is that others who count on you can rest assured that you will arrive on time and hence carry out the days tasks. Customers or clients or patients or business partners all need certainty and predictability when it comes to timeframes but in personal spheres and circles it is important to be flexible and allow for some transgressions because let's face it when it does not involve or revolve around work who wants to go to all lengths to be on the dot ? It takes the fun, spontaneity and enjoyment out of social gatherings.

Thanks to Shrek I have probably improved my timeliness.

Shrek needs to be reminded though that it is only a detail sometime and he needs not be too didactic and inflexible or dictatorial. This same attitude can also extend to other aspects of his personality. Dictatorial pointiness is not desirable. I can attest to that !

mardi 15 décembre 2009

Susceptibility to laziness

As human beings we are all and without exception prone to laziness. We are motivated by material gain, survival instincts and desire to attain credibility and relevance.

If left to our own devices and if we could afford to pay someone else or depend on others to support us financially and otherwise we all would.

Life unfortunately is cruel and hence we have to work in order to survive. My philosophy is that we are all born lazy and in order to overcome inertia one has to make an effort. Shrek's inertia and tendency to procrastinate needs lots of nudging and nagging. Shrek would happily sleep, eat and fulfil his pleasure if things were left up to him. He is more than capable of simply lazing around, fortunately I am there to push Shrek and my children into action. Allez hop allez hop.

We have a saying in our household : Get up you lazy lump of lard and hop to it !

samedi 5 décembre 2009

Potty torture

JE SUIS DANS LA VRAIE MERDE !!!

Literally speaking. Let me elaborate further.




I am sort of regretting my early insistence on toilet training Baby Taz. Everytime he is about to or has already soiled his nappy with stinky poo he will undo the velcro attachments on either side of his nappy, pull said soiled nappy down and proceed to eeeeeek step on the poo or sit on it and immediately thereafter run havoc all over the place thereby spreading poo and rendering the floor wrenched with a stench and impressioning his faeces laced footprints...making it easy to trace a path of where he has been.

The odour and mess is just astounding. He has done this a few times and Shrek and I are really horrified by it. He is a lil terror and more...indescribably full of hyper energy that he burns off by getting into mischief and vexatious behaviour. He has the potential to be a prankster.

mercredi 25 novembre 2009

Important lesson for people prone to maniacal behaviour

A house is only a home if it is lived in and incidentally will have messes, dirt and dust.

A home is not a museum to be admired or an altar to be worshipped.

Incidentally if a home is lived in it will contain objects, junk and in general will be occupied, i.e. it will not have a whole lot of empty spaces, given that it is best if a home is not too cluttered but nevertheless it needs to be reiterated that I do not consider a house that is empty save for a few essentials a home. If the kitchen is always spotless one must wonder if it is ever used for cooking at all, if a living room is spotless then is it ever 'lived in', if a bed is perfectly made and it is covered with plastic to prevent dust from settling is it ever 'slept in'. If no dust ever settles then is it a home where people are living or is it dead space that is perfectly calm, perfectly devoid of all traces of life.

Life is not about having no clutter, spotlessness, cleanliness and emptiness. It is about spending quality time with others and interacting with your wife or spouse or companion and kids or by extension family and friends while one still can.A house that is orderly, tidy and neat without a single hair out of place is not a celebration of life but a celebration of stillness. Once we are gone it is already way too late. Time waits for no man. If we waste our time worrying about inessentials like how we can better improve our homes or surroundings but not our relationships with people around us then is all that fretting and worrying over trivial and trite things really worth it ???

If you insist on having a perfectly clean, spotless house then consider living in a museum. I challenge anyone who is game to try it. I am directing this at a certain somebody who shall remain unnamed. They know who they are...

lundi 16 novembre 2009

High

Shrek is rather addicted to participating in auctions. I have an explanation as to why that is the case.

First of he loves the atmosphere, the ambience and the buzz surrounding auctions. He has his eye on several prizes and he is overcome by an adrenalin rush whenever he scores his prize for a ridiculous price (much similar to my scoring a bargain whenever I go bargain hunting). All of this to put it simply that Shrek is an avid auctioneer who is learning the ropes as he progresses from debutant to a seasoned pass holder. It is not even acquiring the goods or getting a cheap deal, it is simply being there and absorbing and breathing the aroma of all that an auction entails. He is becoming a usual suspect and familiar face amongst the attendees of auctions.

Shrek is an auction enthusiast and I incidentally do stand to profit from some of the gains he makes in the process.

Read update

Petit Suisse is well on his way to reading. He is reading rather impressively considering a week or thereabouts ago he was barely making out words.

I am so very proud of him having achieved this milestone.

Next step is for him to read on his own...maybe that is putting my hopes up and raising the bar too high.

The teacher in me rejoices !!!

My continuing love affair with all things dairy

I love love love dairy : yoghurts, dairy-based desserts, crèmes of all sorts and double crème, cheeses. I have come to become dairy dependent and have no qualms almost subsisting on a diet of dairy products and by products alone except when I have product overload and become sated hence nauseated by queasy sensations brought on by surfeit.

This is another non-exhaustive list of cheeses I have had the pleasure (and sometime disappointment or deceit and disgust) of trying

Montasio : on the fence.

I have given myself a rest from over-indulgence and thus have not degusté new cheeses as of late. My palate is being cleansed with an abundance of vegetables mainly carrots and zucchinis interspersed by salads and capsicums, bitter melons, Asian squash aka winter melon and okra.

Oranges, clementines, apples, persimmons and pawpaw rounds out my fruits intake.

Luckily our supply of Perles de Lait is coming to an end. That is our consumption of it for at least three months til the next big purchase coinciding with the big SALE.

dimanche 15 novembre 2009

Physics lesson

This simple Physics lesson is reserved for Shrek


Real big boobs are prone to sagging, drooping and pointing South.

FAKE BIG boobs are not prone to what real big boobs have to endure. They are pockets of gravity-defying, men attracting and human made fruits/balloons/bazookas (whatever analogy tickles your fancy) meant to mislead and propagate/perpetuate the myth of the breasts as forever frozen in time and space (upwards).

Shrek is like most typical men a breasts (and to not a lesser extent) and ass man.

What astounds me is the fact Shrek is supposedly a shrew and wise sage that knows most of the Physics principles that govern our existence yet he seems to have this little bit of 'no real breasts' can ever defy the laws of gravity flown right over his head : perhaps deliberately allowing his reverie to rule his judgments.

mardi 10 novembre 2009

Breakable

Melanine ware dropped from a height of more than one metres will shatter and break into a thousand pieces. I made this astounding discovery thanks to Baby Taz who has broken one melanine presentation plate and an IKEA coffee mug (which has been the recipient of thousand upon thousand of coffee refills.)

vendredi 6 novembre 2009

R-e-a-d

Petit Suisse's reading prowess is progressing at a slow tortoise pace of an hour per page. It is a patience tester but I do see the progress however small or insignificant it might seem to outsiders. He is actually reading words with some prompting. So I persist and hope to see a breakthrough performance. My eyes light up in anticipation of such a milestone whenever that takes place.


On another note of training I think I am abandoning toilet training Baby Taz for now. I will try again this springtime when the weather is warmer and I am less house confined thus inciting me to attempt feats that I just do not have the energy for right now.

dimanche 1 novembre 2009

Chestnut season

The chestnut season so far has proved to be dissappointing beyond belief.

It mirrors life in Geneva : in theory full of promises but fails to deliver and ultimately falls flat.

Petit Suisse so far has not requested chestnuts because the ones he has had thus far have been rotten or thoroughly below par. Let's hope that we will enjoy a few batches of roasted goodness soon.

Time to move onto greener pastures elsewhere.

Geneva is becoming less and less appealing if that is possible and lower and lower in my esteem.

Shrek's romantic gesture

Shrek has been making a big effort lately. He vaccuumed, wiped the floor and tidied the kitchen to the best of his ability last night. On top of all that he even cooked a wonderful dinner from scratch, i.e. did not provient from a package or ready-made section of the supermarket.

He made rack of lamb accompanied by mash potatoes agrementée by spices and coriander.

We shared the intimate dinner by candlelight with a bottle of red Beaumes des Venise 2001 and ended with Lindt Pralinés Intense Noirs.

This morning I had a bath, mud mask and painted my own finger and toe nails. Shrek cooked eggs Benedict and petits pains and a filling brunch was had by us.

That is a weekend to remember.

Now Shrek can widen his arsenal and learn some more recipes to woo me.

Thank you Shrekkie for all your efforts and gestures !

Judge and jury

As a mum of four kids with ages of 6 and a half, almost 5, almost 2 and a 6 months old baby I am constantly faced with the dilemma of being judge and jury.

They play harmoniously but then have bouts of disagreement and can tear each other apart and fight like the worst of enemies. Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N bicker over trivial things like any other siblings and add to the mix Baby Taz who does not speak as yet and thus cannot express himself. He can certainly defend himself though as he has a piercing scream that can wake the entire neighbourhood as well as a deadly pinch and scratch.

I constantly have to break up fights, normal and nothing out of the ordinary or the least bit unusual.

When Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N bicker and have little spats over absolutely everything and anything and sometime nothing at all I will have the privilege of settling the score and refereeing. I am in the middle and they usually point the finger and blame the other party of having initiated the whole ordeal or started the fight etc

They will play and then one will feel the urge or need to tease or annoy the other and there will be retribution and I am called upon to judge. How to be fair and not play favouritism when I am not even sure who the culprit is because the question is often met with the ambiguous response of 'She started it.' but 'No, no no, he is the one.'

In short I have the most difficult position of attempting to be just and fair and not to interfere into the realm of kids play.

dimanche 25 octobre 2009

Present

Shrek has gifted me with a timely present of a brand new freezer.


In effect he rejuvenated our one year old baby (the freezer that is) with a fresh breath of new lease on life by defrosting it. It is now ready for yet many more years of servitude to come.

Petit homme

Petit Suisse is easily embarrassed. He blushes profusely everytime I tell him that he is handsome or he appears like a little man.


He is such a sensitive soul and an impossibly adorable cutie but is prone to sulking and turning into a deplorable cry baby.

samedi 24 octobre 2009

Biological lesson

There are three factors that affect the degradability of food hence rendering it unfit for consumption.

These are temperature, time and humidity. It is said that at room temperature (it is aggravated in summer) natural humidity induced by the presence of moisture in food is an incubator for bacteria to develop.

At room temperature and with a normal ambient level of humidity (presence of water or other cooking liquid) the critical time is 12 hours. After said period has elapsed it is mandatory that one throw said food out.

I should have this lesson down pat by now but it seems that for some inexplicable reason (frugality perhaps) I still have not learnt my lesson.

It is a delicate subject matter.

Oh well as it is often said 'You are what you eat' I will proceed to improving this aspect.

I expect Shrek to improve certain aspects of his 'idiosyncracies' as well.

I want to pass on this important lesson to my children and hope that they will not have to endure the same predicament as me.

lundi 19 octobre 2009

Rack of lamb




Date lunch chez Lost

Rack of lamb with mashed sweet potatoes and mâche salad.


Château Coudert Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
1998

As can be seen, we are quite enamoured with racks of lamb here chez nous. It is wonderfully fondant and tender that it proves to be too much competition for steak.

samedi 17 octobre 2009

Murphy's laws bis

No matter the price paid for pairs of stockings I will always invariably end up with ladders in them.

Kids never waste your hard earned dough on buying expensive pairs of stockings that will end up ripping no matter how careful you are in handling them and caring for them. I have resolved to buy the cheapest brand and not regret the fact that it's only after the first use and I already have ladders.

dimanche 11 octobre 2009

Pipi

My whole house smells like an urinal and it can be traced back to one source : Baby Taz's toilet training is a work in progress. For every time he actually goes pipi in the potty there are two other accidents somewhere on the floor. He has not actually left a trail of caca on the floor as yet and that is the least of my worries.

Shall we say that Baby Taz is not mature yet and let's hope that this will change in due course or if I had my way it will speed up with my urgings and encouragements. He gets a big fanfare and Bravo and felicitations everytime he actually does the right thing by peeing in the right pot. He has a tendency to pee into our heater, on the floor and inside my thermos cooling bag...hmmm

I am fed up with touching caca, pipi and cleaning up after my kids. I must admit it does fray my nerves sometime especially when the whole orchestra starts screaming ensemble.

Favourite pastime

Shrek's absolute favourite pastime is sleeping. He can sleep for hours on ends and if it was not for his obligations that he must fulfil such as work he would sleep for the majority of his days punctuated only by his more primal needs of eating, drinking and filling his tummy in general, emptying his bowels and 'otherly pleasures'.

Shrek's second pastime (tie with eating) and favourite bonding activity with the kids is vegetating in front of the television. If Shrek had his way and did not have to answer to my insistences that they need more than just 'entertainment' and lobotomy he would allow them to sit and be couch potatoes all day long.

samedi 10 octobre 2009

Breakage, clumsiness and general gaff !

Lil Miss N should have her name changed to Miss Clumsy. She inadvertently bumps into corners, tables, chairs, invisible obstacles and objects. She also has a tendency to drop and spill food, drinks and goods in general. She is after all a kid whose fine tuning is still in the process of perfecting.

I am manic about dropping things and breaking them especially when it comes to costly valuables. I accidentally dropped a watch with ceramic links and will have to replace that link and the damage has yet to be determined. I chastised myself and am prone to self-flagellation over minor breakages etc...which does not bode well for my mental health according to Shrek. I suspect he might be right because I am une gaffeuse, guess that is where Miss Clumsy got her clumsy genes from and if every time something had to be replace I get worked up then it would spell disaster for my sanity and in the long run cost me my well-being and equilibrium which no material object or amount of money is worth fretting over.

jeudi 8 octobre 2009

Rotten chestnuts



It might sound trite and conceited but I have not learnt my lesson and so committed the faux pas of buying marrons when it is not in season as yet. It was a horrendous batch with more than half rotten and inedible and the rest barely passable. Most of all the skin did not peel off easily eventhough it has been roasted in a skillet. It was a waste of time, money spent and waste of stomach space. Petit Suisse who is a keen roasted chestnut fiend (aka marrons chauds) and self proclaimed avid fan told me to finish consuming the chestnuts because he could not swallow the awful batch. He usually wolfs down faster than I can peel them so if he turns away in disgust it means that the marrons were beyond repair.
The end of the season of anything also spells disaster beyond reprimand.

It is one lesson to always buy seasonal produce : taste wise it is better and more cost effective.

This general rule of thumb applies to all fresh fruits, vegetables and produce in general.

No exceptions to this rule whatsoever.

TB The photo displays what successful marrons chauds should look like,

mercredi 7 octobre 2009

Cost of things

Murphy's law dictates that whatever I buy 'en action' or at reduced price will be cheaper the day after. It encompasses myriad genres including but not limited to fresh produce, foodstuff, baby items and household articles...etc.


No matter when so I think I have scored a bargain only to find out the day or two after that it's sold at an even cheaper price. It irks me to no end.

The only exceptions are when fresh produce and food are sold at half price, it cannot get any lower.

Murphy's laws are full of anger and stress inducing self-evidence and yet much of it is paradoxical truism.

The potty saga

The newsflash for the day is that the potty is sitting pretty as decoration and waste of space for now. I have only managed to get Baby Taz to do a wee-wee in it at irregular intervals with much prompting and pain... No actual poo-poo has filled the pot as yet.


We still have a long way to go before he is toilet trained

mardi 6 octobre 2009

Creaming the ice !

After having spent the best part of over a year sitting idly in the corner of my kitchen my 'sorbetière' ou 'machine à glace', ice cream maker was put to its intended use for the very first time today. It marked the first ever batch of ice cream. It was a rather positive experience and I am sure that there will be many follow up home made ice creams and sorbets with a wide array of varying ingredients. I will definitely test out many recipes I have been dying to try and maybe will even come up with my own unique signature flavour .

The first leap has been overcome. The batch was a resounding success I might add and was a very heartening first effort.

It is a chocolate flavoured ice cream with undertones of coffee forever etched as a first successful batch.

lundi 5 octobre 2009

Weekly menu plan

Here are descriptions of what we had for our meals last week complete with pictures.

Monday lunch : sautée spinach, pork roast with abricot glaze and gratin


Monday night : my creation which was a great success
pizza cum tarte with leeks, bacon, onions, tomato and mozzarella topping.



Tuesday night : Shrek's rice with pan-fried Perche du Nil and button mushrooms

Wednesday lunch : Mac 'n cheese
Wednesday dinner : Pasta soup (either with alphabet pasta or Macaronis) an easy peasy meal to whip up that is always a big hit with my kids

Thursday lunch : left-over pizza
Thursday dinner : tomates Mozzarella and smoked salmon




Friday lunch : pan-fried Basa fillets, zucchini sautée and rice
dessert meringues and double crème de Gruyère.
Friday dinner : Vietnamese crab vermicelli soup with tomato broth aka bun rieu

Saturday lunch : tête marbré and pizza (store bought)
dessert Tiramisu





Saturday dinner : rice with roast chicken drumsticks à la Shrek (was dry and salty)
dessert gatêau aux amandes, crème vanille

Sunday brunch :picnic with smoked salmon, brioche sucrée au beurre, apples, seedless grapes, prunes, chips

Sunday dinner : penne avec sauce à la crème aux champignons de Paris
dessert assortiment of cheeses, yoghurts and left over tiramisu

dimanche 4 octobre 2009

Award scheme

I have devised a new system at home. Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N are to receive 2 stickers of their choice after one week of good behaviour, good marks/achievements and concerted efforts toward their schoolwork and or tyding up and helping out at home.

This is an effective tool because the rolls of 1000 stickers I just bought will come in handy. They can each have a log book and will be able to stick their stickers in one of the three columns 'Behaviour', 'Achievements' and 'Efforts'. It will give them a sense of responsibility . It encourages hopefully cooperation and instils a sense of pride in themselves.

There will be follow up reports of how that goes.

samedi 3 octobre 2009

Nomination

I hereby nominate Shrek for the title of

tuh ruh tuh duh duh duh

'Launderer of the year'.
as he has begrudgingly and obligingly but most important of all patiently and painstakingly washed cycle after cycle and load after endless load of soiled laundry. He also has a once a month rdv with the 'Pfaff rolling pin' for a session of being the designated ironing man. I admire Shrek and want to congratulate him on a job well done and am extremely grateful for such a wonderful partner.


Our Sibir Silence gets my vote for

'Washing Machine of the year'

vendredi 2 octobre 2009

Our beloved Sibir Silencieux

After about what seemed like an eternity and endless cycles of washing (in reality it was more like 20 or so machines) we seem to have come to the light at the end of the laundry washing tunnel.


Our machine deserves every accolades for having gotten through that ordeal.

Notre lave-linge est lessivé !!!

Time taken

Time to clear and tidy up toys sprawled on the ground, random objects strewn all over the floor and vacuuming plus mopping (intensive labour) : varies but can take up to one and a half hour.

Time for the whole process to be reversed aka Baby Taz wreaking havoc and thereby messing up the entire house : 5 minutes

Time for food preparations and cooking and putting together a meal and table setting : 1 hour (for simple dishes) and 2 hours or more (for complicated or elaborate dishes)

Time to gobble said food down : for a 'faim de loup ou on adore ce que tu as cuisinée maman' 5-10 minutes of wolfing, for a 'on n'a pas faim ou on detest le gôut de ça mais on doit comme même manger ' 45 minutes of slow motion force feeding.

Time for clearing the table and cleaning up pots and pans and loading the dishwasher and wiping the sink, induction (Ceran) stovetop and drying the pots, pans etc : depends on the number of pots and pans to be manually washed but up to an hour.

Time for loading cycles of washing machines, drying said cycles and then folding the clothes and distributing to its rightful owners : 1 hour approximately

Time for clothes to be soiled, stained and changed : can vary depending on wearer, on Benben probably 5 minutes, on Baby Taz 15 minutes or an hour if he plays in the dirt, does a big poo-poo, eats like a pig etc, Lil Miss N and Petit Suisse can also change at the slightest hint of stench or stain but generally half a day, Shrek and I tend to keep our clothes for the longest of time.

In short it takes much longer to construct or get things done than for it to be unravelled and reversed.

Career prospects

Careers I could possibly envisage are : drumrolls .... professional shopper and budget analyst.

I handle these two with poise, calculated risks and utter expediency and efficiency if I do say so myself.

If I was to be employed as a professional personal shopper I would save my clients truckloads of money on a small or large scale. I do price comparisons to the cent and will earn my worth with bargain hunting, executing catalogue examination/ruminification and exploiting deftly all the loopholes that exist in store or enterprise or organisations policies.

I can also possibly be a 'tutelle' for someone seeing is that I would enforce budgets and carefully co-ordinate all predictions or projections of spending. I can make very little money go and stretch a long long way. I have the know-how and expertise on how to minimise expenditure and maximise purchasing power. All my decision making are all based on careful deliberation and I leave nothing to chance.

I can even take it to the ultimate level of scrooginess but everything has its price and in doing so would end up alienating entourage, friends and foes alike. The trick lies in harmonising and keeping it all balanced and in equilibrium.

As a budget analyst I know exactly what goes into the account/credits and what comes out of it/debits. I have mastered the art of saving by spending less than ones income and it is directly affected by limited expenditure. See above. I can set you free from debts. It is Possible ! For more concrete advice I will only give that away when I am paid.

mercredi 30 septembre 2009

Les poux sont parmi nous

We here at the Effacé household are going through a transformation of sorts. We now have a floor full of dirty draps, linen, towels, bedding, blankets etc...clothes to be sterilised.

We also have 6 radical skinheads due to the drastic measure needed to rid off the head lice.

I am outraged !!!

Pauvre Shrek, his week of supposed rest has turned into an endless nightmare of washing loads of machine, hanging out laundry and general household chores. Most of all he has been here to instigate attack on the head lice. We used the Laxazol shampoo but that did not seem to phase the poux out so close shaves for the 3 boys and baby Benben and ultra short dykey cut for me. Lil Miss N has been left with her status quo bangs.

Woe woe woe is me, woes are us.

mardi 29 septembre 2009

Shrek's culinary prowess

I have to congratulate Shrekkie for a meal well prepared and executed tonight. He made pan-fried Perche du Nil and sautée button mushrooms accompanied by white jasmin rice.

It was yummylicious.

We all revelled in Shrek's exhibition of culinary mastery.

Gluttony is a vice

I have learnt today after discovering a package of pre-washed and pre-cut salad mix has gone rotten that sometime it does not pay to be greedy when it comes to buying certain fresh foods...mostly prepped salad.


The lesson is to not let half-priced fresh produce go to waste by leaving it for more than two days. It is to be consumed preferably immediately or at most a day later but under no circumstances should it be left to its own devices in the vegetable compartment for too long.

Lesson learnt after having wasted 2.15 CHF.

Say cheese...

I love Merveilles des Maroilles and Boursault cheeses. They are utterly delectable: tasty morsels of dripping, runny dairy with bite and strong character/gôut.

I also love love love the ultra creamy 'Masgonzola' which is a 50%-50% mix of Mascarpone and Gorgonzola. I find Most Italian cheeses fad, bland and tasteless but I particularly like Masgonzola. mmmmmm


Engadiner is a blergh cheese. I have to include my likes and dislikes contrasted agaisnt one another for comparison.


After the assault of cheeses on sale, I now have cheese withdrawal symptoms aka dairy product overload. I need to stave off the coagulated milk for a short while before I will regain my lust for cheeses.

vendredi 25 septembre 2009

Swiss admin (in)efficiency

I have yet to encounter such a pathetic system of administration.

I called up the library today to renew some books and to reserve places for next Wednesday's children's spectacle.

The conversation went something along the lines of ...


Me : Hi, I would like to reserve places for next Wednesday's spectacle please.

Librarian : Sorry but I cannot help you, the library's lending services will be open from 3pm onwards.

(me wondering what the heck this so called librarian was doing when she could have easily fished out the reservations page and simply note and why the hell she answered the phone in the first place if she was not supposed to 'help' or 'offer any service' )

I soldiered on

Me : In that case can I at least renew books under my borrower's card please ?

Librarian : No you cannot do that either. You will have to call back at 3 pm or from 3-6pm, that is when we 'officially' open.

Me : So you cannot help me out with 'jack'* can you ?

Librarian : 'apologetically' I am afraid not.

I was again wondering what good a librarian was when she could not simply look up the reservations page and note my name or type my name and click a code for renewal of the books. She was there to answer the phone and to inform people that the library's lending services (and all related services) are only available during limited opening hours and even if you call and hear a voice on the other side outside of these opening hours you will get shit all.

Please refer to my previous post regarding pathetic opening hours.
I guess I can draw a conclusion Swiss are not library-goers or users hence there is no need for 'decent office/admin opening hours'.

One more reason as to why the Swiss admin system cannot advance or make improvements and they are representative of most systems here... I rest my case.

*Jack is slang for nothing at all.

The potty is for my entertainment or torture ?!

I am going to start the arduous process of potty training Baby Taz. It is not going to be an easy feat, by no means. On the contrary I expect lots of setbacks and caca cleaning and a hard won battle with sweat and some tears.

I just think that the sooner I start the better chance I have of him getting it.

Here goes...

dimanche 20 septembre 2009

Shrek's most romantic gesture yet !




Shrek showed his sensitive and romantic facet last night. He did the dreaded housework of vacuuming and mopping and proceeded to cook/execute a wonderful dinner by candlelight for the two of us. We ended up with a wonderful meal : Penne aux mélange de champignons à la crème followed by (store bought) tiramisu. We downed a bottle and a half of red wine : Saint Emillion Grand Cru Château Lalande de Gravet 1997 and a bottle of 1996 Château Beauchêne...

Benben assisted us with her presence and punctuated our romantic night by candlelight with periodic bruyant nods of 'dis'approval aka 'cries for attention'.

A good night was had by all.

wink wink @Shrek


P.S. We are still toying with our newest addition aka Lumix TZ7 and have yet to discover all of its functions, capabilities...so future captures will be much improved.

samedi 19 septembre 2009

Pour ma maman

C'est trop trop chou cette petite chanson que j'aime tant par sa simplicité et sincèrité.

J'adore quand Lil Miss N sings one or two lines of the chorus. It really melts my heart. It is very much what a little being would say if they had the know-how and could express their deep gratitude and heartfelt amour for their maman. It is sung with tenderness and through its simplicity the revelation that from nothing at all one can give all stemming from the heart..The infant or child in question is not capable of giving material and physical things/objects with value but from his or her heart is able to give overflowing love and that is ultimately all this maman needs.

Pour ma maman
par Nicole Snitselaar

Dans ma main,

J'ai bien peu de choses

A te donner Maman :

J'ai un coquillage blanc

Une pomme de pin

Deux châtaignes, trois glands

Et une petite pierre

Pour toi maman

Chorus:

C'est pour toi

Pour toi maman

Ma maman à moi

Que j’aime tant !



Dans ma main

J’ai bien peu de choses

A te donner maman

J’ai une petite coccinelle

Une feuille de marronnier

Des aiguilles de sapin

Et un bout de ficelle

Pour toi maman



Dans mon cœur

J’ai beaucoup de choses

A te donner maman

J’ai des guirlandes brillantes

Des montagnes de fleurs

J’ai des ruisseaux d’'argent

Et des perles d’amour

Pour toi maman



Dans mon cœur

J’ai beaucoup de choses

A te donner maman

J'ai des milliers de baisers

Des mots tendres et gentils

Des bouquets de sourires

Des brassées de bonté

Pour toi maman

vendredi 18 septembre 2009

A is for ...

Baby Taz's limited vocabulary can be broken down to the following

mama : which can either mean 'mama', 'I am hungry' or 'I want that', 'Gimme'

papa : denotes any person or people or animal in general

caca : connotates any object and encompasses actual caca, toys, etc etc

nana : means 'maternal grandma' and he actually has this down pat.

I am looking forward to expanding and widening Baby Taz's vocab and linguistics beyond baby babble and the 'a' sound.

I really thought that he had begun speech with words...but it has stalled for a while and he is stuck on mama, papa, caca and nana for now.

Every kid have their own rhymth when it comes to walking, talking and being toilet trained so I am patiently waiting for Baby Taz to dazzle us with pizazz...

Shrekkie wonder

Shrek's idea of a nutritious meal consists of a single popsicle for breakfast which is what Baby Taz has been getting the past few mornings.


Shrek has a very intimate notion of nutrition and so it goes without saying that he feeds the children very high energy food for breakfast.

If it was left up to Shrek the children will be lucky to have two decent meals a week. Real deal meals are the fillers and spoilers for awesome chocolate, ice cream, chips and snackables and junk. I am partly to blame because I do buy the stuff but I feed them proper food first and then they get the occasional treats and sweets as a reward for dessert or just to break up the routine a little.

I crave fresh fruits and Asian staples...
Maybe it is time for a change of scenery.

jeudi 17 septembre 2009

Multi-tasking

My many newly acquired talents include holding a babe in one arm, pushing a stroller in the other until both infant and toddler are sound asleep. The pinnacle of my achievements involve cooking in complete darkness (because any hint of light will impede Baby Taz from sleeping) and pushing a stroller with my leg.

I have as a result of motherhood acquired many talents and marvelous multi-tasking. I can probably manage lots of feats unknown to me before but now comes as second nature. I can certainly whip up a mean meal in the dark. I wonder if my prospective employers will find any use for my plethora/arsenal of personal skills.


I can at the very least 'subscribe' to websites such as 'Confessions of motherhood' or 'My life is average' with my everyday lifestories. Ordinary daily routine can be celebrated !!!

After all 98% of the population lead average lifestyles bordering on boring and some of those 98% are struggling to survive ...and only 2% (figures completely guestimates) who own the majority of the world's wealth can afford to live the jetset lifestyle which mind you will get boring too after a certain time. The novelty of anything is what keeps us interested. Hence the jetsetters should swap places with poverty stricken folks every now and then so they can sample life on the other side... It will teach them a thing or two about the values they seem to have discarded.

mardi 15 septembre 2009

Hard sell

Shrek has to be praised for having courageously fought off the insistent door to door salesman trying to weasel his way into selling us a security system we do not need thus helping a damsel (Princess Fi aka moi) in distress from committing a fatal, fatal mistake.

I was silly beyond belief and fell into the trap of leaving my contact details on a 'supposed competition' and led the security system salesman to my house. Luckily Shrek was there to save the day!!!

Nein zager aka nay sayer + hard sell = NO DEAL

Amen to that...

Sometime it does pay to be cautious and to be 'Sviss', after all it might save one from falling into the trappings of 'empty or misleading' promises and signing a dead end contract.

lundi 14 septembre 2009

Curious as to What is in my handbag ??

I have examined and perused the contents of my ultra fashionable bum bag cum shoulder bag and it is unsurprisingly full of junk. The simple reason is that I have four kids and it is imperative for me to keep lots of 'in case objects'. It is rather difficult to wear chic handbags when you've got to be mindful of drool, drippings, vomit and caca pipi...

Inside my all in one bag I have my wallet, ID and the kids, myriad fidelity cards, lip gloss (cos this is very important to maintain one looking fresh), nasal decongestor and bottle of sea water spray, bus pass, library cards, cartes Gigognes (discount family card), carbolevure capsules, small bottle of ointment for malaises, keys, mobile phone, bus timetable, small tube of 50+ suncream, tissues, wet wipes, receipts, vouchers, coupons and bits and pieces and knick knacks...and lists etc...

I am obliged to bring such a fantabulously eclectic cocktail of objects because I might need one or several of the above listed things.

***See 'Murphy's law' entry for more reference

dimanche 13 septembre 2009

My green thumb




Much to my incredulity and total diffidence re my ability to elevate and grow plants on my balcony. They did in fact not only survive but thrived gloriously as evidenced by the pictorial depictions/digital images above. Excuse the poor quality of my now defunct Olympus and sombre lighting (natural). It is a sight to behold, at least in my eyes.

I did not capture the images when the plants were in their full glory so I have to settle with less than desirable and second rate images, better that than none.

Clowning around





One of the reasons I prefer my current abode compared to my old one is that the current one is about a 7 minute walk to the nearest shopping centre, library and theatre, community hall. The shopping centre has attractions and animations/spectacles all year round for kids. This was one such occasion.

I also love the rather reasonable and affordable prices of my local Coop supermarket.
Maybe I can start a 'radins club of M'. On second thoughts I would rather just keep my money saving schemes to myself. Long live the discounts and discounters. muchas amoras (this is probably incorrect but one gets my drift).

Progress

It has been a number of years since my teaching days but I have recently discovered that I have not lost my touch. It is my greatest pride when I triumph over difficult students to instil in them a thirst for knowledge and inspire them to attain their personal best (whatever this may be, it differs from one person to the next).

I have been struggling for some time yet when it came to Petit Suisse learning to read Alphabet letter by letter, sound by sound and eventually words, phrases, sentences, chapters and a whole book. It is heartening to report the progress I have been privy to. It might not seem like much when he is able to read such gems as 'la, le, pi, po etc etc' but he is on his way to reading by himself. I can feel that and it perks me up to no end. I really am easily stoked but witnessing slow and steady progress is a process I love.

Way to go... reluctant mum but kick ass teacher. (my own perceived titles)

Important lesson

I have learnt the hard way a very valuable lesson re cooking/baking
My first attempt at recreating 'pots de crème de chocolat' was a complete dud because I wanted a healthy and lighter version and substituted 'low fat cream' instead of using full cream. This rendered the cream runny and yuck... I can only learn from this mistake and advise people that if you are on a health kick and want nothing to do with sugar and cream, stay away from desserts. Low fat and healthy desserts are just not worth the pain. There is no way good 'crème' or cakes etc can taste good if you use low fat instead of full cream...

cream mmmm miam miam

I cannot know wot possessed me to substitute and make the ultimate mistake but I will not be repeating the same mistake next time. Stick to sugar, butter (real butter, no substitutes) and cream and one cannot go wrong.

Don't skim on the fat and sugar when it comes to sweets and treats. They would not be treats if they tasted like cardboard now would they ?

lundi 7 septembre 2009

Dinner

Shrek cooked dinner tonight. It was an absolutely scrumptious feast. We had Green Thai seafood curry. Shrek should do kitchen duties more often.



***Disclaimer Shrek simply peeled off the plastic of an alu container and reheated a ready made meal. So much for cooking eh Shrek :)
I should have just left the post without the disclaimer, it's a spoiler hehehehe

First in first out

Thanks to Shrek's ingenious ' whatever is on top of the pile' principle we here at the 'Effacé in Switzerland' always end up wearing the same clothes over and over and over again...
Shrek does not believe in 'first in first out' basis for clothes. He refuses to dig into the pile to wash what is at the bottom of the pile first hence renew the load. He simply grabs everything lying on top and shoves it into the machine. Luckily Shrek has learnt the lesson of sorting and separating 'black and colours' from 'whites' at least.
In time Shrek will get the renewal process.

Baby Taz's questionable ancestry

Baby Taz's overly enthusiastic consumption of Italian food such as risotto, pasta points to evidence of possible Italian lineage. I wonder if he has any hidden Italian heritage, on second thoughts maybe Italian food is just accessible and easy to like and palatable when one is undiscerning and at the tender age of almost 2 years.
He wolfs down pasta with consequence but I do hope that he will in time appreciate the much more complex Vietnamese cuisine.

Locomotive

I have a 'Sibir Super Silence' washing machine which contrary to its name is a 'Super Noisy' machine reminiscent of the locomotive running on tracks...I have my very own 'noise pollution' at home, there is really no further need to search for it elsewhere.

I do think that this machine has been a lifesaver and will keep it til the day it dies a valiant and heroic death.

Sibir Super Noisy, I loveth thou.

dimanche 6 septembre 2009

Murphy's laws

One of Murphy's laws that I have learnt the hard way is that

'When you go on an outting or simply leave the house, you will generally not need whatever it is you are bringing such as change of clothes, raincoats, snacks etc etc but the one or few times you forget because you were running late or simply did not want to be encumbered you will need the very things you did not bring.'

End of a love affair

Shrek's long standing and seemingly unwavering love affair with IKEA, the Swedish conglomerate/furniture crap franchise has come to a tethering end because Shrek has discovered after a recent trip that 'economising' or 'corporate cutbacks' have resulted in his beloved store wiping out most privileges that he had become accustomed to.

I am not lamenting the fact that we travel 80kms to and from and waste petrol just so we can eat cheaply, buy unneccesary crap and drink coffee for free or leave the children in the garderie for an hour.
In short, it is probably a good thing and I did not even have to persuade or dissuade Shrek as to the pros and cons this time. IKEA has lost some loyal customers.

samedi 29 août 2009

Tidbit

The anti-dandruff shampoo by DOVE is definitely giving my scalp an itch. I will discontinue use and not buy that crap again.

Anti-dandruff = itch inducing

Making fish tasty

According to the wise and sage Petit Suisse one can render fish enjoyable for children's consumption simply by covering it with breadcrumbs and deep-frying it. This can be narrowed down to 'fish sticks' or 'bâtonnets de poissons'.


He learned this clever trick from his school canteen.
I am so relieved that my children are eating healthy and nutritious meals at their canteen. I have such confidence and absolute trust in their cuisine.

(my tongue firmly in cheek)

A scattered vision

Scatterbrain

usurped by forgetfulness

wretched brain forced by the hands of time

etched by souvenirs and

enthralled by rose-coloured memories

Age is merciless

ravaged by years passing

compromised by degradation

left with longing for the good old days

that cease to exist

The good old days were in fact

not so great

but blurred by a skewered vision

appears visibly superb

clearly a trick ones own memory plays

denial of current state

Surrender, surrender to the new age

Waste away peacefully

mercredi 12 août 2009

Fly on the wall


Call me obsessive compulsive but I cannot stand sharing my turf with flies. I do not mind if I am in the great outdoors and can generally put up with them save the obligatory swats...and curses under my breath but I will not and I repeat will not under any circumstances let them co-exist with me inside my territory i.e. appartment or room. Report me to PETA or whomever but I will remain adamant about my OCB re flies.

Sugar hit

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain's preferred fuel source -- not table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That's why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability.

Consume too much, however, and memory can be impaired -- along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory, without packing on the pounds.

Above is an excerpt from the webmd.com website

I have one more reason to indulge in my extravagances and peché mignon or NOT ?

Short term energy boost is not a good enough reason to forgo long term health. If only !!!

mardi 14 juillet 2009

Relief

I finally have a break from the routine that was making my life miserable. I need some time to myself and that is exactly what I am getting.

I love Shrek and my kids but being able to have even just an hour to myself to do whatever the hell I please and not answer to anyone is what is needed.

In other words I am enjoying myself and it's a win-win situation for all concerned.

Shrek tends to be uptight and somewhat overprotective at times, maybe too conservative to some even. He needs to loosen up and live a lil.

It's good to be conservative and prudent and careful but being able to have fun and not worry about deadlines, frameworks and limitations imposed by work or daily chores is an ability that Shrek still has not mastered. When one is working one needs order and set rules but when one is on holidays one needs to relax and be spontaneous. He is not exactly the type to live and let live.

(Shrek you do not need to take to heart what has been said here and remember that it is always constructive criticism that is supposed to ensure you improve certain aspects of your character/personality or to give you another perspective that you might not have been aware of)

A holiday to me is epitomised by spontaneity and rest and relaxation which pronounces a difference from the normal daily routine or everyday struggle.

I do miss Shrek terribly.

vendredi 19 juin 2009

Excitement

My kids and I don't need much to get excited about.

The sight of a green budding and promising tomato on our beloved tomato branch mmade us giddy with joy.

Catastrophic

Shrek's idea of a catastrophe can be simplified to being out of coffee. He cannot function without his stimulant of choice.

DEPENDENCY

dimanche 14 juin 2009

Shrek's maxim

Shrek has undeniable wisdom and rife life experiences which leads to him formulating gems such as the following

'One drop of black ink is all you need to render any other colour black (or shades of black)'

I wonder whether I should be proud for having such a smart hubby or worried he is capable of being a potty mouth.
He is definitely unique and I'll give him ccredit for that.

jeudi 4 juin 2009

Beware of the onslaught of piggy flu

All the talk making the rounds and all my read up on swine aka piggy flu is giving me the heebies jeebies. Fear of the imminent outbreak or 'pandemic' is alarming and fear inducing.

I hope that getting really alarmed and worked up about it means people will be on high alert and finally the pandemic never concretises.

I am actually giving second thoughts to travelling eventhough ticket has been paid for in full.

This is one of the rare times when it would be beneficial to live under a rock or as in the case of most Swiss montagnards, live isolated from civilisation and humanity and be surrounded by vast nature.

Who would have thought that their way of living and isolatory lifestyle would protect them from society's ills and diseases? They will die not from disease but from desperation and loneliness.

Sulky baby

I am not quite sure where he got it from but Petit Suisse is distinctly a lil sulky baby and will cry at the tiniest things.

He bawled his eyes out tonight over an insignificant incident. Shrek had prepared the kids for sleep and readied himself for his monthly Pfaff ironing session when Petit Suisse beseeched Shrek to let him help. Shrek refused the kind offer because Petit Suisse will only slow him down and get in the way and it was already way past PS's bedtime.

Petit Suisse then proceeded to have a tearful sulk...he whined and sulked about the fact his offer of help had been rebutted and rejected. He was a dejected mess.

I told him that he could help me out if he stopped moping and sleep like he should. He eventually calmed down.

It should be noted that when I ask for help PS usually does not oblige or is he inclined to assist me but he offers help at the most unexpected moment and when I least expect him to.
Goes to show how unpredictable PS is .

He is such a sensitive soul my darling Petit Suisse.
Lil Miss N really knows how to pull/tug at my heartstrings

She spontaneously came up to me and said 'Tu es mon amour'. Altogether now awwwwww

lundi 1 juin 2009

Exclusivity

Baby Taz behaves and reacts like a unique child. The concept of sharing seems to escape him. Whenever one of the other children sits on my lap, baby Taz makes a habit of pushing said child out of the way so he can have my whole undivided attention. This would be fine except my attention cannot be monopolised because I have his other three siblings most notably a 2 month old baby who demands and needs my full attention.

It is in times like the 'full orchestra' orchestrated by Ben and Baby Taz's high pitched and shrill voices or screaming and crying that the 'eight limbed/legged/handed Henry the Octopus' would come in ever so handy. One can dream...

vendredi 29 mai 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly redux

The good

Ficelle de Bourgonne
Tomies
Morbier
Cœur de poivre rose
Comté


The ugly so so

Cœur fourrées avec lardon

I am experiencing slight overdose of cheeses. I need a holiday in a tropical country where dairy is not accessible or easily available. I will not be eating dairy products for a good month or so and when I come back refreshed I will surely be ravenous for dairy again.

They said it

When asked by Shrek who the most important person in the household is, Lil Miss N without the slightest hint of hesitation or doubt coolly replied 'Me of course'.

I come in a close second.

Lil Miss N has a very healthy dose of narcissism or healthy self-image and self importance already.

dimanche 24 mai 2009

Canicule

It felt like a heat wave today. The crowds and populace all had the same idea and found themselves at where else but the swimming pool. The swimming pool was swamped with thousands of people from God knows where. I did not realise up until this point that Geneva was overcrowded and resembled chaos. For some Swiss it is better to stay away on days like this.

The kids enjoyed themselves at the peril and expense of adults who are parental figures.

I was poolside and thus did not even so much as get my feet wet as I had 2 babies to take care of in the shade.

The swimming pool is for the brave. So much concentration. There were long lines everywhere, to buy tickets, to get in and to get refreshments, snacks or to the WC. Luckily I had a double pusher and was spared the wait. Whoohoo. One small consolation at least.

samedi 23 mai 2009

Cold

On turning on the hot water tap this morning I was flabberghasted (ok maybe I am exaggerating a bit here) and mistook my home for a dingy in a third world country and not a modern duplex in Geneva, Switzerland. There is no hot water. I hope to GOD that it is only a temporary hors service because I cannot live without my hot water.

It is a NECESSITY to me.

vendredi 22 mai 2009

A few of Shrek's fave things

'ça marche ou ça marche pas'


Shrek may look scary and tough but he's really prone to being stricken with sickness, allergies and tummy aches. I have to be extra careful or else he will contract cramps, food poisoning and itches at the blink of an eye. He is too sensitive and sensible à fleur de peau.


Shrek's most favourite phrase is 'It works or it does not work'. If it works --it can connote anything from tools to devices to objects to machines to services etc then it will be retained but if it does not then Shrek will decree it worthless and useless and thus worthy of being binned/trashed.

I do not oversimplify things the way Shrek does. It is Shrek's way of compartementalise and categorise things which can be applied to some but not all things.

Shrek is cute that way. If both of us viewed the world in shades of grey then it would create discord also. It is variety that spices and liven up life as we know it.

Shrek has made a concerted effort with household chores in general and I have made a note of all that he does.

Shrek scores on both efficiency and effort.

mardi 19 mai 2009

My therapeutic session

I just wanted to vent and let it be known once and for all so that no ambiguity or misinterpretations can be attributed to my actions or words.

I am mighty miffed, upset and most of all énervée each and every time Shrek does kitchen and or cooking duties. It happens rather rarely because he works to bring home the bacon and I do not in the least expect him to do everything around the house. Granted I DO expect some help. Everytime he cooks be it simple or complicated dishes that require a lot of preparations he complains and throws a hissy about the messy state of the kitchen and how it is total chaos there. I do not want to go into too much details but let there be no mistake I do not have the luxury of time that can be spent meticulously making the kitchen spotless as soon as I am done with making a meal. He makes it out like I am 'always' leaving behind what can easily be done in a matter of minutes: cooking and preparing meals, cleaning up and drying crockery, pots and pans... I am pissed off that every single freaken time it is the same damn story. MERDE
Sorry but my frustration has gotten the better of me. Shrek needs to realise that his good deed is usually ruined and spoilt by his engueulade.


To add salt to injury he has the audacity to insinuate that I leave behind bordel in the office/bureau. I am usually the one clearing the desk and I do leave papers or things to do or urgent stuff without filing immediately but what irks me to no end is the fact he implies that I am the only one messing up the desk when it is he who leaves a trail of stuff and junk...etc in the bureau as well.


Another annoying habit of his that sends me into a spin is the fact he jumps to 'his own twisted conclusions all too soon'. Take the example from his morning, he had the intention of doing some handywork in the garage. I simply asked 'Is it going to get messy ?' in other words 'Est-ce que c'est salissant?' Simply put if his clothes will be dirty, nowhere in there did I make any mention of 'Alors il faut que tu faire pas ce genre de travail si ça sera salissant.' I did not tell him not to go ahead and do the handywork but he interpreted it as such. I do not get it.. It irks me and frankly I do not know where he gets such pathetic connotations from. He then lectured me which I detest because I feel it is uncalled for and totally unnecessary. He went on and on about how he needed to get the work done no matter how gritty it is so that he can return his brother's tools or device...I am clueless when it comes to handywork or DIY... Anyway I need to remind him but he simply won't have any of it that he jumps too hastily to conclusions that I never intended...or even conjured up. I hate when being accused of thinking something that I did not command or beseech.

Shrek needs to realise that what he does is not acceptable and that as much as he attempt to help out it does not warrant his mouthing off about the so called messy state of things or unfairly accusing me of n'importe quoi. Shrek needs to reassess his behaviour and judgment and prejudices and predilections, I am tired of being at the receiving end of such abominable comportement.

END OF RANT

vendredi 15 mai 2009

The good, the bad and the ugly

There is almost nothing I hate more than chalky and bland, tasteless cheese. I have compiled my personal list of cheeses I have tried and the verdict.

The GOOD
Tasty cheese with character

Gruyère
Vacherin Fribourgois
Munster even if it stinks worse than smelly feet that have been imbibed in bile.
Brie easy to like
Camembert
Bresse Bleu
Tomme : there are numerous different versions of this creamy treat. I like all of them especially the artisanal hand made delicacies.
Luzern/Lucernois fromage à la crème
Armailli
Caprice des Dieu: variation on the double cream cheese

The BAD
Chalky cheese without character:
St Paulin which I had given the benefit of doubt and tested twice: one French and one Swiss fabrication just to be sure I had not unfairly dismissed it. It was blandsville both times and without a doubt I will give it a miss in the future.
Gottardo
Lati
Cottage cheese, the cheese reminds me of cottage thighs i.e. cellulite and that is not a pretty association, all the more reason to find this cheese detestable.


and The UGLY
So so
Emmentaler:cheese with holes in them
Tête des Moines : they make pretty florets that are indispensable as a novelty and decoration on a cheese platter.
Appenzeller
Tilsit

dimanche 10 mai 2009

My Mother's day gift

Last year I received the following poem from Petit Suisse

Si j'etais jardinier
Je ferais pousser
Une fleur
En forme de cœur.
Elle serait pour Maman
Qui la garderait longtemps
Car Maman saurait que la fleur
C'est tout l'Amour de mon cœur.

Mirrored this year about a mother's love

Supposons que ma main
soit une fleur,
Voyons un peu si
maman m'aime...
Elle m'aime !
Un peu !
Beaucoup !
Passionément !
Pas du tout !
Pas du tout ?
Méchante fleur, tu mens !
Je suis sûr que maman m'aime
De tout son cœur.

I really enjoy both and find them adorable but I do prefer the 'gardener' poem slightly.




Each Mothers day reminds me of my mum. All the sacrifices that she made for me during my childhood and even as I entered adulthood and left the nest to fly into the unknown that is Geneva. She was not always an easy going mum, lots of heartache, deceit took its toll and she was surely more than frustrated at what life had thrown at her. She did discipline like most Asian mums would with corporal punishment but as with most if not all Asian grown adults reflecting back on their childhood we all reconciled with the need for some form of discipline. The Westerner does not understand this yet I think some parents do much more damage with psychological abuse and the consequences are irreversible. I do not condone outright beating for the heck of it but if a kid needs to be kept in line then disciplining them will not result in scars of the psychological kind. Europeans place too much importance on treating children as responsible adults. They are not !!! They need time to mature before they reach maturity one must guide them and rein them in sometime.

She woke up at ungodly hours like 3 or 4 in the morning to go to work when we first arrived in Sydney. She singlehandedly without any help raised 2 kids, saving all her money trying her best to secure a Catholic school education which cost her more than she could afford and left her with little attributed to other recreational activities or expenses. She did not get any assistance from my dad whatsoever if anything he burdened her even more. When I was readying myself for departure from Sydney she reassured me that whatever makes me happy is enough for her. All she wanted was the belief that I was going to be happy embarking in my new life abroad away from family, friends and all that I held sacred. It was a culture shock living in Geneva and still is. Shrek did not help me integrate and I felt extremely vexed, isolated and lonely save for the very few friends I managed to make. Anyway the situation now has improved...and I do not have to conceal my unhappiness from my mum for fear she will in turn be even sadder.


She taught me the ability to laugh at myself and to have a sense of humour which can help one in times of despair. She also taught me lots of people skills and networking know-how as well as the proper and correct way to treat people. She told me that forgiveness and peace with oneself can set one free although I must admit I struggle with this concept/principle and cannot forgive those who have wronged me so easily. She also takes comfort in her prayers which is her way of coming to terms with the hardships she face. She has incredible courage and constantly tackles obstacles with optimism.
Filial duty and piety is not something easily comprehended. Asians get this much more...
Before veering off too much I just want to add that I do not resent my mum for the disciplinary actions she took. She did have my best interests at heart and at times perhaps expressed it based on her inclinasions and leanings but I am most thankful for having been blessed with such an extraordinary woman as a mum. I do hope that I can set an example for my own children and they will be as proud of me as I am of my mum. I do not need a special day in the year to celebrate the love I have for my mum but I will take the opportunity to give her my heartfelt thanks and gratitude and to offer her the best tribute I can. She is a believer that all things are possible.
She taught me many more lessons all of which I hold close to my heart. I do not follow all her advice because as I carve out a path for myself and discover my place in the world equipped with wisdom and experience passed onto me by my mum I will form my own opinions, conjectures and theories .

Here is to you mum for your unconditional love (although you do have expectations and hopes for me that I did not fulfil), your undeniable and continual sacrifices, your maniacal reminders riddled with superstition but well intentioned.
I love you and hope that my children will be as affected by me as I am by you.

mercredi 6 mai 2009

2 year anniversary

Today marks the two year anniversary of my blog. On this very day two years ago 06/05/2007 I posted a poem entitled 'Children'. Oddly enough my blog arose from my frustration at the time coping with being a full time stay at home mum taking care of three kids and has evolved into something quite therapeutic and now exactly two years after I have chalked up one more kid.

This blog is frivolous and serious simultaneously. It is both my creative outlet and a vent for me to rant about all and everything.

Here is to many more auspicious years of fruitful pickings, if not let it simply be. It is way cheaper than therapy sessions and I can get things off my chest which is not half bad.

lundi 4 mai 2009

Duped

Shrek was right and I should have listened to Shrek's wise and sage words re sofa bed protector also known as canapé protège-housse. I bought a lousy and abominably sewn piece of crap that is overpriced and which will last a full week if that thinking that I could refresh the sofa by redressing it with a semi-pretty housse. I'll concede that Shrek scored this time.

Although I have to add that for some weird reason unfathomable and incomprehensible to me most men and Shrek in a big way detest and abhor exchanging or returning or asking for refunds whatever the case may be. It seems that doing so is going to get one humiliated and Shrek is simply too proud to stoop to such base depravity. It is imprinted into their genetic code that reclaiming is petty. It is usually I who have to put aside any shred of dignity I have and to march to the return counter and reclaim or complain. I do relish that to an extent. Call me silly or masochistic but I do revel in the opportunity to self-inflict and contend myself with small/petty albeit unglorious victories.

mercredi 29 avril 2009

Ironman

Shrek really enjoys his once a month/once every three weeks or thereabouts ironing session. One can hear him humming and singing along to 'Nostalgie compilations' while simultaneously ironing away... It is a blessing in disguise for me the Pfaff and Shrek combo.

Tactless

Shrek has a tendency to repeat and repeat and overrepeat things--- very reminiscent of leeches.


I put a bit of ointment on Ben's nose. She coincidentally cried (maybe she wanted to be held, she was hungry and irritable or destressing..or whatever the reason could have been was of no concern to Shrek) as he was convinced she only cried because the ointment was burning her. News to you, I have used the ointment once before and she did not react to it at all. I used it on my own accord and unbeknownst to you and without any persuasion/coercing from whomever so do not make any assumptions and jump to conclusions without concrete proof. Give others the benefit of doubt unless facts prove otherwise.

I will not use it because even a small risk is still a risk but Shrek has shown himself to be unable to keep his mouth in reign. He seems to be oblivious and another apology will not be accepted as he seems to continue on this path which is getting rather old.
He should really take his own advice and learn to be more diplomatic rather than tell other people to mind what comes out of their mouths. Tact is a lesson Shrek has not learnt.

Sulk

Petit Suisse can be a bit of sulk and prone to bouts of melancholy over mega trivial things. He was really looking forward to having what he believed was going to be a buzz cut so that he could gel his hair and look cool or 'genial'. Alas Shrek shattered this dream by giving him a 12mm close shave. A close shave is one that leaves a regular length of hair all over, it's essentially a bald head that has been mown to a preset hair length no longer than 12mm... but can be as short as 4mm.

Petit sulked and cried his eyes out for a good half hour. He is convinced that mummy does a better job at cutting his hair because at least after he still has hair left. Shrek does go overboard and overkill with the hairclipper aka tondeuse.

dimanche 26 avril 2009

AVS

Shrek told me many times that one of the motivations of having a big family was that we could look forward to being assured that we will be taken care of in old age by at least one of our offsprings/spawns. Hélas I just had a wake up call that warrants this theory of Shrek to be suspect and iffy at best and needs immediate revision.

I am the usual human garbage disposal because I will consume left-overs from my kids. 'Waste not, want not.' We as a family except Ben for she's too young and perhaps to a lesser extent Shrek are strawberry fiends. We can eat kilos of these in one seating, the taste is dissapointing when not yet in season because they tend to be overly acidic and sour. I did not expect to hear Petit Suisse nonchalantly telling Lil Miss N and I that he thinks it a good idea that 'all the rotten strawberries should be passed onto mummy.' So Petit Suisse reserves the worst aka rotten and foul tasting for mummy. I am forlorn about future prospects and maybe should have remained fallow.

What do you have to say to that Shrek?

His and Hers


I have my shortcomings and so does Shrek. At the moment my biggest problem seems to be prioritising. I cannot get my priorities straight, although this is in correlation to minor things...or major depending on whose point of view you take. Granted that I do misplace what needs doing most at critical times...which invariably involves Shrek all the time, funny that. Anyway to cut to the chase I have to have food on the table waiting for Shrek's arrival one Sunday night a month at 11.30pm or thereabouts so that he can simply down and swallow in lightning fast pace and then go straight to bed without any time wasted.

Shrek on the other hand has a major problem with anger management and needs to keep his temper in check and save me some major lecturing and nagging.

I will attempt to change my ways but I do not think that my 'provocation' grants Shrek to shoot his mouth off or 'engueuler'. It is his form that beseech eschewal.

I do hope that similar regretable events will not take place in the future. I will contribute and try to make sure that I do my part to prevent such an occurence from happening.

We do not see eye to eye on many issues and that is just one of the many instances.

samedi 25 avril 2009

Crêpes fest

Shrek did have enough time to make crêpes this morning and he made some 'croustillant' meaning crispy and dry crêpes.

I told him that he is a specialist in being 'le meilleur à faire les choses sans pareils.'

He is unique that Shrek, you decide if it's a good or bad thing.

Overcharge

Shrek is having a super-charged week which means he works like a madman and arrives home too exhausted to do anything else but recharge energy with alimentation and some rest and it's back to work.

He has no time for anything else but the good thing is that on Sunday night it ends and then next week will be lighter and we can do some activities together even if it just means vegging out on the couch or lobotomising over mindless and inane entertainment.

He incidentally planted the plant in soil and is taking care of it by watering when he remembers. I am eager to find out how long this plant will last...

Amourette

Petit Suisse and his lil amourette seem to be in an impasse. She is a cute but bossy mlle and I see that Petit Suisse has cooled off a bit after she repeatedly told him what to do and acted like she owned him and was his mum. We will see...

jeux des enfants...

dimanche 19 avril 2009

Hayfever

I have a small suspicion that I might be suffering from a mild case of hayfever as I have itchy and irritable eyes that are puffy/have puffed up.

I have always thought that I could evade this but finally have succumbed-

Springtime will now be hellish...well I hope that I do not suffer to the same extent as Shrek.




Update: it was the Clinique moisturiser that ignited this allergic reaction. Phew at least that can easily be taken care of. Take away the moisturiser and voilà, done.

vendredi 17 avril 2009

Wiggle to the max



The one lobotomising activity that is able to hypnotise and get an unanimous nod from Petit Suisse, Lil Miss N and Baby Taz is a Wiggles DVD. They can endlessly dance and shake their bottoms/booties to the same songs on repeat. They are great fans...When Shrek wants to have a little bit of peace and time to surf the net etc...he invariably puts on the Wiggles and voilà, magic they become entranced and wiggle themselves until they become breathless.

Bouquets à la Maternité


My bouquet





Shrek made a grand effort to rectify a small hitch by responding positively to my remark that he seemed not to bring me flowers for my maternity stays by bringing in a rather lovely and large bouquet which Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N helped in choosing.

I have documented this bouquet seeing is it is my final stay at the maternity and also I did not or do not recall receiving much flowers from Shrek for my previous stays hence this is to make up for lost time in a way.

jeudi 16 avril 2009

2 month anniversary

I have to mark the 2 month anniversary of my precious aquatic plant that is still thriving. I have been neglegting it and have not bothered to change the water in 3 weeks but it is incredulously still here and does not show any signs of wilting...

I will definitely post a photo of it because no plant has ever survived this long before especially without Tender Loving Care from us. I do love this plant though, I just have not shown it any affection but I will rectify that shortly.

Random quiz

For a bit of trivia on Ozzie slang. Does anyone know what a dag is or what daggy means ??

You do not get any prizes but it's still worth a try.

Go on

...
,
So since Shrek has not given it a go, I will now take the liberty to respond

According to dictionary.com


–noun Australian and New Zealand Informal.
an amusing, unusual person.
Origin:
1885–90; orig. uncert.

daggy is the adjective


I was known or prided myself as a daggy queen in my heyday. To me being at the height of dagginess or daffyness aka a dag queen was tops because I never like to be normal, average or like everyone else. I always have to find a means to differentiate myself and turn heads one way or another.

dimanche 12 avril 2009

Capri stew

Bravo Shrek for always balancing your faux pas with wonderful/thoughtful/good/kind deeds. The capri stew Shrek made 3 days ago tasted really great as left over today because like all stews that have been sitting for a while, the flavours stemming from herbs and spices have had time to seep into the meat leaving it flavourful and aromatic.

Another little victory and you can add capri stew to your repertoire. Although just the day before Shrek had made a weird concoction of veggies...broccoli and carrots were way too crunchy and tasted almost raw, zucchini was overcooked and mushy, in short not the greatest dish you have cooked or far from it.

Just to even things up and keep it all balanced in an equilibrium. While I am at it, I have to declare Shrek the greatest oyster opening champion/ Roi des huitres. Once he even opened his share and let me eat every single one (all 12 of them) all by myself, it shows that he has great self-control, does not fancy oysters as much as me, a bit of both and that he really loves me to be able to watch me thoroughly savouring every last bite without taking a single sip/taste of the fruit of his labour. Opening oysters is a pain in the ass and I am glad that Shrek is able to spoil me once in a while.

Love is when you can open oysters and let your partner eat without requesting a taste.

Swoon...

Yoghurt overload

We are frankly fed up with having so much yoghurt...it leaves us sated and blasé because 'absence really does make the heart grow fonder'...so how can we miss it if it hasn't left us for the past two weeks?

Greedy gluttonous has led Shrek's judgment astray when he decided to overgorge our family with superfluous/surplus purchase of Perle de Lait et al. Too much of a good thing can be an anomaly.

I still love you for trying to fill our stomachs Shrek !

Boredom

Today for some unknown reason, perhaps I can blame it on the full moon or crescent or whatever but Petit Suisse really ticked Shrek off. He must have been bored and not know what to do with himself so he used a chocolate foil wrapper and scratched the plastic LCD TV flatscreen which we have had since only a few short months, so almost brand new. He did not just leave one line or two but myriad and multitude of scratches on the screen. Shrek discovered and much to our dismay he had been indulging in this non-too-healthy but rather destructive and reckless behaviour for some time hence Shrek lost his cool a bit. I am the one that usually goes ballistic over these types of behaviour but came later...so I could not really add more injury. Petit Suisse has a tendency to do dumb things...which we will have to rectify with lots of explanations on why certain things are off-limits.

Anyway I think kids doing activities unsupervised can sometime lead to mishaps but one cannot always be following their every move and have to allow some unfortunate incidents to happen sometime as long as it does not end up in anyone being hurt...It goes hand in hand with the territory of being parents I suppose.

What pisses me off most is when Petit Suisse knows he has done something incrediby stupid and stands there dumbfounded, not acknowledging anything and becomes a muted, wide-eyed puppy who doesn't know what he has done to deserve such enraged chiding. He needs to learn pronto that if he is chided and disciplined/punished it is merited and with just cause.

I simply want children to reflect upon what they have done and think twice the next time they are about to embark on reckless acts.