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samedi 25 décembre 2010

Entre vomissements et cramps d'estomacs

We are all touched by the nasty stomach bug or viral infection that made the rounds starting with our trustee entry/portal aka Shrek. Shrek began with mild stomach cramps which escalated in severity, soon after I had Baby Ben projectile vomitting for two days straight punctuated with a sleepless night for me. She also had fever and I thought that when it looked like she had recovered somewhat that the worst was over, not so as Shrek soon enough exhibited intense stomach cramps : the kind that twists and turns and wherein revolution inside ones tummy churns and churns until the toxicity decides to chance upon another outlet in which case projectile vomitting begin. It happened exactly like that...I also experienced stomach cramps which for now are half under control grâce à Charbon.

Petit Suisse another soul hyper sensible to bugs of the stomach kind also agonises with cramps and projectile vomitting through the nose and mouth.
Both Petit Suisse and Shrek are languishing in pain and the land of stomach churning.
The bug did not stop there as it claimed another victim in the form of Baby Taz and he too puked uncontrollably mostly liquid gunk.

Christmas Joy indeed...

samedi 18 décembre 2010

Lil Miss N's 6th birthday !

I survived eventhough Murphy's Law dictated that when under stress almost everything that can go wrong will and so it is that I was under intense stress today in getting ready for and organising Lil Miss N's 6th birthday. I had thought that I had it all under control but alas I was so far from the truth.
The day began with my massive spring cleaning sweep. I was determined to get the house sparking and spotless (or as spotless as I can possibly get it given the circumstances in this case four pairs of grubby hands/paws and four like minded rambunctious and mischievious underlings). I forged ahead and ploughed/plowed/soldiered my way through and as Murphy's Law has it all four were geared to get in my way and to slow me down at every turn.

I finally completed the sprucing up of the whole apartment but in the process lost my patience and nerve.

Next came the obligatory cake making and baking. Petit Suisse, Lil Miss N and Baby Ben surrounded me and made it almost impossible for me to access the workbench as they were so eager, enthusiastic little helpers who in their eagerness to help crowded me and were haphazardly putting and mixing ingredients much to my dismay but the cake was made and it turned out delicious if I do say so myself.

The decorations were left minimalist because I had run out of time so it did not look all that festive but that was forgiveable.
Games of Twister, Monza and 'Burg Ritter' were played intermittently with 'party bombs' to save the day and then it was 'gâteau d'anniversaire time and candle blowing time'. I had some leftover cake batter so decided to make a second cake albeit thinner and less consequential. Shrek having blocked ears took out the thin round cake instead of the heart-shaped one I had intended. That in the end did not matter too much as the candles were blown, cake was cut and shared amongst Lil Miss N's friends and she opened her presents : Hello Kitty pencil case with accessories, a kit to create her own bnnn me pocket money.

Her friends all left with a bonbonière each complete with little toys and surprises. A good time was had by all eventhough I felt that I could have been much more organised and the party games should have deroulés more smoothly had I not been collée dessus by a little superglue albeit the little party stopper.
Lil Miss N was stoked and visibly happy and all the hard work paid off.

Shrek then attended a work Christmas function. He drank a little too much and the hard liqueurs made their appearance when he returned.

He came home and assured me that he was fine but as Murphy's Law would have it I was prepared...good thing I was prepared given last year's episode.

Anyway Shrek's favourite expression of all time is 'goulot d'étranglement' which means bottleneck or (throttle) and true to form he puked into our household's goulot d'étranglement aka the bathroom sink which was already slightly blocked for quite some time rendering it unfit for use and hopelessly out of order until it has been unblocked by the plumber.


He had a massive hangover is an understatement... I need not get into the gory and peu appetisant details of this episodic vomissement.

He did redeem himself by vaccuuming and taking out the garbage : tasks which he has not performed/executed for a considerable period of time.

My love affair with Murphy's Laws are still going strong !



La Tô

La is for chocolat
Tô is for gâteau


Basically the gist of it is that Bb Ben repeats the last syllable of everything we say or in the case of Vietnamese the last word as Vietnamese is a monosyllabic language


Bonbons : lollies is what she can say clearly without any trouble at all...

Basically she like her sister and brothers or maybe it's a kiddie thing loves all things sweet and therefore her first words are associated with chocolate cake and lollies.

They do seem to take after my sweet tooth after all which spells disaster for their teeth !

jeudi 16 décembre 2010

Baby Taz's language evolution

Phrases that Baby Taz are throwing around :

Je vais tout dire à mummy
ça va tomber (repeatedly)
c'est quoi ça
Baby Taz khong muon can be translated to Baby Taz veut pas ça
Baby Taz khong thich can be translated to Baby Taz n'aimes pas ça
Ngay mai mummy mua nha' meaning Mummy will buy it (it being anything) tomorrow
C'est pas bon
C'est pas moi
Bo pété
C'est gagné (thanks Dora)
...

He is expanding his vocabulary and is speaking more sentences and phrases everyday.
He is becoming a precious little boy.
Apart from his temperamental 'crises' and non-stop repetitive and annoying obsessions he is an adorably cute boy. Love you baby Taz

mercredi 15 décembre 2010

Priceless

15 minutes getting dressed
10 minutes to arrive at destination
10 minutes of explanation by the daycare workers
10 minutes of peaceful playtime with Bb Ben


10 Swiss Francs spent on a first trial of leaving Bb Ben at the nursery by herself
5 minutes of intense ear-piercing wails from a non co-operative baby
Priceless is the realisation that said baby still needs and wants her mummy and is not in the least ready to be babysat by complete strangers as yet. I am needed and moreoever wanted and clung to and that sends me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Though I still would like to claim my money back as 10 Francs for a trial period of 5 minutes is extortion !

Baby Ben still exclusively wants her mum to be her chief caretaker and nurturer for now.
Oh joy !

lundi 13 décembre 2010

Lice outbreak !

The outbreak of poux parmi nous has struck again and this time noone was spared. We all went through the arduous process of parafin treatment which meant that we oiled our heads so that the lice will suffocate and die a painful death or so I hope after all the itchy and scratchy that went on here at the Lost in Switzerland household.

Lil Miss N is the portal into our auspicious family. She has time and again proven to be our lice carrier and invariably lice are not satisfied with one head they must propagate and find food and expand their population hence it is with much regret and lots of cussing that I go through the rigamorole (silly process and even sillier spelling) of ridding our family of such invasion and intrusion. It is disagreeable and I wish there was a vaccination against these damned pests/parasites !!!

Tele-obey

A conversation between Petit Suisse and I went something like this

Me : Petit Suisse please explain to me why you think that is that you are a renowned and model student at school with decorum and examplary behaviour according to your teacher and yet you display such abominable conduct and disobedience at home ?

Petit Suisse : J'ose pas de dire
which translates to 'I don't dare say it'

Me : Please tell me so I can begin to understand the workings of this strange phenomenon

Petit Suisse : Mais je n'ose pas de dire
visibly he is not too keen on disclosing the real reason which got me a bit upset and worried but I kept my cool and insisted some more

Me : C'mon you can tell me anything. All I am trying to do is to get an insight so that I could change if need be.

Petit Suisse : Television



According to Petit Suisse the reason as to why he is a well behaving, obedient model student with decorum at school and a not so angelic rugrat at home is due to the fact that there is no television at school.


Amen to that... The television is evil !!!

mercredi 8 décembre 2010

Whispers

Lil Miss N was surreptitiously excited as she beckoned me to lower my ear to her level so she could whisper a top secret into my ear.

It was pleasing beyond words to hear


...


'Je t'aime et c'est tout'

Je t'aime aussi ma petite princesse !!!


Yeah yeah I know I know I am falling into that parental trap of treating my daughters like precious princesses and my boys as valiant knights or little princes. Call me typical or whatever but I am not budging !


On another tangent she often tells me that

'T'es une jalouse'
which totally perplexes me to no end so I requested an explanation or enlightenment

She coolly interjected that 'You always have and wear all the beautiful dresses and adornments, in short you cover yourself in beautiful things and so you 'faire jalouse les autres dames'. Ah I see she means that I look so beautiful that I leave other women green with envy, she just didn't know how to phrase it. Coming from my own daughter it might seem biased and can be likened to 'the cat admiring the magnificent length of its tail' (Vietnamese idiom) but I will take it because as far as I am concerned kids do not lie.

Rambunctious one has struck again

I was furious as I was rudely awaken by his moaning as he was laying literally in a swampy bed (puddle) of pee and moaning nonetheless as it must have been bothering him.
How Baby Taz managed to entirely wet his half of the bed including but not limited to soaking the mattress, alèse, sleeping bag and his clothes and yet maintaining his nappy dry is beyond me !!!!!!!
That boy has the utmost talent for infuriating me... He was profusely apologetic as I was close to reaming him out *.



* ream out : (slang)
to scold or reprimand severely

lundi 6 décembre 2010

Happy 3rd birthday !

Happy third birthday to my rambunctious little rascal aka Baby Taz.
He was born on St Nicolas' day although he is anything but saintly.
He was doe-eyed and taken by complete surprise as he is not accustomed to the whole blowing out the candle process..
We only celebrated his birthday with a Pandoro and sparking grapejuice but no matter he was still awestruck as if he could not believe that the attention was focused and centred on him eventhough he had not done anything naughty up until that moment save the hour long kicking, screaming and wailing fest. He repeatedly said 'Bo biet lam' roughly translated to 'Daddy knows how to fix it!' in relation to a computer game at Ikea that wasn't working. He played that phrase for an hour without any hint of fatigue or exhaustion and only stopped when we went under the rain and he forgot completely because he was so absorbed by the leftover almost all melted snow on the ground.

Happy birthday little baby boy and here's to many more to come !

dimanche 5 décembre 2010

Snowed under !

The public transport system came under fire as it was paralysed by the rapid snowfall.

Pictures of the white blanket paralysing not only the public transport system but also left us prisoners of our own apartment.

I cannot wait to bid adieu to winter.


samedi 4 décembre 2010

Incidentally

The plaque d'Induction has gone irretrievably flop and needs revision or major repair or in my humble opinion complete replacement.

We are going to have to look into 'faire marcher la garantie'.

It has served us for a good two years but alas its brevity could not be prolonged. Instead it has proved me right re its longevity and shown us who is boss.

I am still not convaincu par la plaque d'Induction and had some well-founded reservations and suspicions and upon inspection have further proof.

The Ceran short-circuited our electricity and left us without electricity for half a day.

It needs to prove itself to me. Hopefully its successor will do just that !
Long lives the Whirlpool Ceran stove ! RIP

We are now relying on our classical electric two-top stove until further notice...

Shrek struck again !

The lure of a dirt cheap breakfast of 1 Swiss Frank for a hearty feed consisting of one croissant, 1 roll, 1 portion of jam, 1 portion of butter, 1 serving of cheese and one pot of yoghurt topped off with an all you can drink: refillable cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate proved too irresistible to some even. Henceforth it was no surprise that this morning sans douche or preparation we rushed off at Shrek's insistence and urging to IKEA for our fill of the grubby brekkies .

There were all the usual suspects and us being some of them. I noticed all the regulars...and some new faces. I made a comment about the fact that these people like us were all gourmand and all profiting from the generosity of Ikea which was just masked as an appel of a cheap meal. Shrek had not begun to eat and obviously had not drank his morning coffee yet because following my annoying remarks (because I can be annoying like that) he chucked a spastic* and went off... espousing to anyone within surrounding earshot that 'Yes indeed people who come to Ikea on a Saturday morning for the cheap brekkie are all gluttons, stingy and etc and etc and they are cheap asses but that was not his concern.' His voice grew louder and irritation intensely heightening his pitch. It was clear to all that he was not a happy chappy** and that I had dared to raise his ire.

Shrek is punctuated with what I call idiosyncratic and dictatorial tendencies.
Shrek does not digest stress or give off steam at work and as a result I sometime suffer as a consequence of his outbursts which are totally uncalled for... He does have this tendency to let out steam after my 'annoying remarks or habits' and claiming that 'my behaviour' induces him to break out the 'ogre temper' and 'hell hath no fury like that of an ogre's wrath' !!!!!!!

He did apologise afterwards after I made it clear that I wasn't going to be a doormat and continue taking that shit anymore !


Built up frustrations and pent up anger needs to escape through some sort of therapeutic sessions or perhaps Shrek should start a blog of his own because the way I see it my blog was borne out of my frustrations as a stay at home mum and now it's an outlet and vent for me which is a healthy way of getting my stress level under control...




* Aussie slang for going ballistic
** slang for a cheerful and content fellow

lundi 15 novembre 2010

Mise au point

I bought Shrek a cadeau : a Garmin GPS navigation system approximately three months ago. I bought it primarily for him but it was also en guise un cadeau for me : La Paix.

Let me clarify Shrek goes ballistic in the car when I (hopeless as a map reader and co-pilot that I am) get us lost without fail. I wanted to eradicate my pain and eliminate this unwanted recurrence by gifting him with the GPS and what I thought would be La Paix for me...Alas Shrek has some major idiosyncrasies that I do not and cannot even begin to fathom and he has refused to put the GPS into use. It is as we speak sitting prettily in its box and emballage original unable to function the way it was destined for. Shrek prefers me to learn how to read a map properly and would gladly gift me with the poisonous gift of 'A crashcourse in map reading and comprehension for dummies'.

He did indeed go spastic when I got us lost on our way to the water theme park.
I have made it clear that I do not condone inadmissive behaviour from him and thus have declared a sanction. Shrek needs to learn quickly that his bullying is not working !
There I said my piece and now I leave it up to the borné master to start some work on himself.

Borné personalisé is Shrek's first name.


Digging more holes

Overheard in the swirlpool of Vitam'parc

'Papa, laisser la dame passer, tu vois la grosse là bas ?'

The 'grosse dame' en question was just next to Shrek and felt slightly uneasy at this declaration frank but none too diplomatic. Lil Miss N still has a lot to learn before she can fathom a career in diplomacy. I sense that the non-diplomatic gene has been passed onto the next generation and is perpetuating much to a forlorn father's chagrin.
Ha !

Franglais at its best !

My kids have a knack for mangling the French and English and coming up with the most ridiculous Franglais in the process.

They have a tendency to put 're' in front of anything French to denote 'encore'
For instance : Après demain on va re-aller à l'ecole mummy ?
Tomorrow we will go to school again mummy ?

mardi 9 novembre 2010

The new masterchef

I propelled Shrek to rediscovered a long forgotten secret to preparing marrons chauds. I cannot reveal the secret but needless to say I am the self-proclaimed and acclaimed Masterchef de marrons chauds !
Pictures to come...

The marrons dissappeared before I had a chance to photograph them.

Girl's night out

Tonight marked the first ever girl's night out for me on Swiss territory. I simply had sushis at a sushi train but it was an hour I savoured because I ate without any interruptions or demands from kids which sometime take away from enjoyment of the moment. It was also a momentous milestone as Shrek was left in charge of babysitting duties. It went well and wondrously so that I think I am going to continue this tradition and proclaim a monthly outing for me. Heaven knows I deserve it so that I can come back to a lifetime of servitude and pandering to others needs above my own.

I love Shrek !

dimanche 7 novembre 2010

Ben's progress

It might not seem like much but one and a half pots of yoghurt and one quarter of an avocado is what Bb Ben ate today and that in itself is an achievement.
She is taking supplements of calcium in the form of 'Calcimagon'.
She is still turned off completely by any sort of cheese and still does not drink more than a few drops of UHT cow's milk at a time.

She is otherwise perfectly healthy and alert little girl.

vendredi 5 novembre 2010

Gross

Pommes acidulés et riz créole are Shrek's top two public nemesis and henceforth shall be bani de notre maison.

Let me keep that firmly in mind in case I ever get the urge or temptation to buy these two barely edible subjects again.

Digging a hole

Overheard on a chock-a-block, plein-à-croquer tram was the voice of a little boy

'J'ai vu des poux qui bouges sur ta tête' in reference to his sister's head.

As he wanted to ensure that the whole tram could hear this revelation, he repeated with zeal and I wanted to dig myself a hole and crawl into it to hide from embarrassment. I looked around and smiled meekly and weakly at my fellow passengers.

That boy with a big mouth was none other than Petit Suisse and he sure knows how to bring on total humiliation.

Good one boy !

I recounted this story to Shrek and he laughed uncontrollably...admittedly so did I.

lundi 1 novembre 2010

The disgraceful fallen idol

Ikea was synonymous with pedestal and once possessed a cult-like status in Shrek's heart but alas that has all changed. Ikea has fallen from grace and into the abyss as Shrek now no longer wants to even hear the name Ikea uttered. Ikea used to appeal to Shrek for the following reasons :

1) affordability or bon rapport prix/qualité
2) facilité à monter
3) user friendly

His taste in furniture and furnishings have matured and shifted into outdated antiques. As Ikea and antiques are incongruous hence it is fitting that Shrek has moved onto meubles anciens (which Ikea incidentally do not fabricate) that outlast those from Ikea by a few lifetimes.

He believes that he and Ikea are no longer on good terms. He has moved past and beyond cheap furniture. You get what you pay for.

Ikea's single saving grace is their family and child-friendly factor that can't be beat.

dimanche 31 octobre 2010

Orchids

I now have three orchids to care for. I decided after the summer that all outdoor plants were too much work. I could indeed keep them alive if I wanted to or could be bothered but now I have many more tasks to contend with namely the endless household chores and child-rearing.

Add to the mix homework and extra-curricular activities and that leaves me very little time left to take care of plants.

My orchids are showing good signs as their leaves are renewing...hopefully they will flower and I will be overjoyed !

Baby Taz is a copycat

Baby Taz is incredulously wondrous when it comes to speech.

When I say 'Baby Taz est beau'
He can be heard saying
'Mama est beau'

If I tell him 'Baby Taz or you are naughty'
He will immediately fire back 'Mama is naughty'

'Baby Taz is clever' will be met with ' Mama is clever'

'Love Moy everyday' and he will say 'Love nanna (his grandma) everyday'

and so on and so forth

Speech

Bb Ben's progress with verbal expression is just amazing.
She knows how to say mama, papa as a matter of course.
Her impressive vocabulary includes
nana or nanna (her maternal grandmother),
ông- grandpa or any man as a matter of fact,
ba` grandma or any woman,
xin (which i am irrepressibly glowing about) depicting her earnestness and can be roughly translated to 'please or s'il te plaît' ,
thu*o*ng -love,
pot -when she wants to pee or poop
me. - mum
bô' - dad
a(n -eat
nu*a : encore or again
nu*o*'c literally means water when she wants to drink liquid
cho' literally dog but Bb Ben denotes any animal as cho'
chim : bird
mo*? : open

She can pronounce her siblings nicknames.
She also has a knack for repeating words as imitation is the shortest route to enlightenment.

All hail 'La cheffe de nettoyage'

The honorable title 'chief of cleanliness' aka 'le maître de nettoyage' has been hereby designated to Lil Miss N.

Lil Miss N recently came home with a necklace made out of twine and a pendant which features a picture of a girl in the process of cleaning up. I promptly asked her where on earth did you get that from.. She proudly responded 'Mum I have been assigned the role of chef de nettoyage by my teacher.' Lil Miss N could not contain her excitement and pride at having been awarded such a responsibility.

Following from and capping off this self-satisfaction and pride I have decided together with Shrek to exploit this and assign her le titre de la petite cheffe de nettoyage et pliage des habilles...with the hope that she will continue and be our vacuum cleaner operator and floor cleaner.

All I ever hope for in my kids is for them to be independent and to assist me a bit with everyday household chores so as to alleviate my load somewhat.

The trouble with weaning

I breastfed all my four children for the longest time, illustration

Petit Suisse was breastfed til his 13th month and I was obliged to wean him only following Doctors orders when I inadvertently fell pregnant with Lil Miss N. Apparently breastfeeding is definitely not a reliable method of contraception. Case in point, I am looking at you Shrek-for a self-proclaimed scientist his insistence that breastfeeding does in fact gives me immunity from being impregnated is way off base. Petit Suisse had a hard time for a week before he finally caved in and gave way but relapsing a little when Lil Miss N was born and I commenced breastfeeding her.

Lil Miss N was breastfed exclusively til the mûr age of 18 months. Up to the age of one and a half she refused to eat solid food and did not want to drink any other form of milk-by way of formula or cow, accepting only my breast milk as her singular source of nourishment which was by no means sufficient for her nutrient intake. She would have kept on going until I was forced to make a decision re her alimentation. I decided overnight that enough was enough and that she needed input other than breast milk. She was putting up a good fight and battled valiantly for almost two weeks before she realised that I meant business and that she was left with no choice but to accept cow's milk as a suitable and nutritious alternative.

Baby Taz was breastfed til the tender age of 10 months when weaning began by force of necessity arising from the discovery that I had fallen pregnant with Bb Ben. This is reminiscent of Petit Suisse's predicament and a question of history repeating itself. Once again breastfeeding as a form of contraception has been shot and without question I will have this advice for my children : do not ever rely on breastfeeding as contraception, it will predictably and invariably fail much to my chagrin.

Bb Ben's turn has come. She recently had a weigh in and measure up at the pediatrician. She is below average in height which is not surprising in the least but in order to ensure her calcium intake which is primordial at her age is not lacking I am in the process of slowly switching her regime. She will be given calcium in its concentrated form, proposed cow's milk at every opportunity and yoghurts which she does eat but cheese is another story. It is hardly a battle won...will be a long and drawn out battle.

She has now surpassed her older sister in terms of perseverance and single-mindedness. She is one determined little lady. She knows what she wants and she will get what she wants with steely determination, an admirable quality all the same.

samedi 30 octobre 2010

Brother and sister

Baby Taz is quite fond of his lil sis Bb Ben whom he affectionately refers to as bébé.
Typical scenario of Bb Ben running amuck in the shopping centre or supermarket and me breathlessly threatening her that I will leave her.... hoping that out of fear she will comply and obey and most importantly follow me. Baby Taz does not realise that I am just menacing without real intention of leaving her behind and he stutters 'Mummy, please wait a minute, please wait, don't leave bébé behind, please wait a sec mummy' over and over all the while pushing Bb Ben or dragging her like his ragdoll to ensure she will not be abandoned.

Drawing a conclusion from that scenario I conclude that Baby Taz is very fond of Bb Ben and dread the thought of losing her eventhough he is the one who will often unintentionally and intentionally rough her up by pushing her, dragging her or inadmittenly hitting her. He is such a complex little porcinet. Sibling rivalry for attention and affection is very much alive.

Vive La Suisse

Bienvenue à une vie paisible parmi les radins...

Je suis devenue Suisse et je me félicite d'avoir rejoindre 'Le pays de Radins'

Oh JOY !!!

Aside from sarcasm I am glad to be part of a nation of fence sitters or peaceful montagnards who mind and go about their business on a daily basis without ever stirring.

I count myself lucky to be amongst the 7.5 million and one inhabitants of this magnifique country.

vendredi 29 octobre 2010

Celebration

I am no longer an alien on Swiss territory as I have acquired my long awaited Swiss citizenship. I now am the 7.5 million and one habitant. I could be described as a reluctant Swiss but Swiss citizenship has to be merited and I have earned my right to be one.

Vive la Suisse !!!

Random meanderings and ramblings

Lil Miss N has lost her first tooth ever. The petit souris was quick to exchange her tooth for a coin during her revêrie.

She is coquette more than ever and would spend copious amounts of time looking at her own reflection in the mirror. She also eyes my accessories and has an already developed taste for deluxe luxurious adornments and a heightened sense of fashion.

She is a little monkey who cannot stand up straight but prefers to bend and swing about and in short monkeys about spinelessly thus having dire consequences like the time she fell in the playground on the monkeybar and broke her elbow. Alas a broken elbow was not a big deterrent as she continued sashaying about without a care in the world and flirted with disaster and danger....

Lil Miss N has a knack for sulking and will easily detract from one extreme to another. She can be pouting and saying 'Tu n'es plus ma maman' meaning 'You are no longer my mum' because she was contradicted and in the next breath will espouse ' Tu es la meilleure de mamans' which translates to 'You are the best mum in the whole wide world.'

I have come to expect this changeable behaviour and take everything she says with a grain of salt.

She is still my little special girl !

Damn Daims

I have learnt another rather important lesson
Daim : glorified chocolate covered toffees/caramels are not only frighteningly bad for your teeth but they are the hotbeds or breeding ground for worms and bebêtes.
I will refrain from buying them and think thrice before even considering the possibility of bringing such garbage home again.

dimanche 24 octobre 2010

Between progress and regress

Baby Ben is in the process of potty training. It is coming along nice and slowly. She is still a little bit young but I am giving her a headstart. She has done both pipi and caca in the potty. She is actually quite cute when prompted or posed with the question ' Would you like to pipi or caca (when I see her obvious attempt at pushing out a daisy) in the potty ?' to which her unanimous response is a rapid nodding of the head. She is indescribably cute but has super strong lungs hence can definitely be heard when she shows her disapproval or discontent.

In the meantime Baby Taz has regressed and prefers pipi in the nappy rather than sit on the toilet seat. He needs prompting even more so than Baby Ben and that's saying a lot since he has been almost trained for a year now...

Baby Taz's tendency to shriek and scream and throw tantrums and fits til he gets what he wants is fraying my nerves to say the least. My nerves of steel are being tested more than ever when it comes to his temper tantrums, hissy fits and general bad manner in all manners of speaking coupled with Petit Suisse's sulkiness and Lil Miss N's crybaby attitude and penchance for crying at the drop of a fly I have very long exhausting days. I would trade those days with dealing with colleagues anyday. At least the buck stops when one leaves the office, no such luck when you live with the little rascals.

I yo-yo between contempt for my kids (in the nicest way of course) and pure unconditional love for them. I wait with impatience for the day the four of them can at least feed, clean and clothe themselves so that my load and charge will lighten just a little.

The psychological wars and battles have been waged but they will deepen with age.

Bring it on!

lundi 30 août 2010

For what it's worth

I have learnt my lesson. It is a very important and costly lesson that needs to be passed onto my children immediately.

When you overstuff an upright freezer with full capacity and leave it for three weeks unattended subjected to the heatwave of an impossible hellfire and return to discover that over the course of your abandon the freezer has contracted and expanded leaving it permanently opened to intruders of the heated kind and bacteria being impregnated/penetrated its defences, your husband of impossibly impeccable logic will have no choice but to trash the whole contents of the freezer thereby effectively throwing out more than 300 CHF's worth of alimentation (monetary value) down the drain. Never mind that one had meticulously prepared with affection meals which took hours and since time is money the net worth of all that sweat and tears and effort and such could end up being in the thousands. A very expensive and painful lesson to learn indeed.

My biggest vice that leads to my downfall sometime is greed.

I hope I have cleared up any doubts and have assisted my children in avoiding such a costly mistake in the future. As for me it is a hard lesson to swallow and digest but I have it down pat now !!!

Although I do believe Shrek should have taken photographic proof thereby leaving me with no lingering doubts and also it would be priceless to include a photo of the hard evidence.

Week 31/52






Bird's eye views of the city I love from the heart of the city also known as Centrepoint aka AMP Tower. Je t'aime Sydney !

Week 30/52


No prizes for guessing where I am spending my holiday. The landmark is ubiquitous !

Week 29/52


The little piggy ate all the cherries and left the pits next to her.

Week 28/52

Lovely hibou owl mask entirely fabricated by the lovely Lil Miss N. She is such a crafty gal isn't she ?

Week 27/52




Forgive my bad technic but I had to share the rare moments that I savoured before I was sorely dissapointed by the denouement of caviar. I now do not wonder as to why I hardly ever buy it because it is just overrated.

Week 26/52

We are flying off on holiday... Be right back !

samedi 19 juin 2010

Weekend to remember

The weather leaves much to desire. I have been blessed with a wonderful weekend of endless whining, crying, sulking and screaming...add to that fatigue and hours spent cooking up a storm. The weekend is almost over and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,the blinding light which instils hope and gives me strength to fight yet another day.

What I was most proud of was my culinary achievements: I made xiu mai simmered in caramel sauce, pearl meatballs /which were the size of golf balls), spriracha and mustard chicken drumsticks, xoi ga`, Vietnamese grilled pork : thi.t nuong

I was satisfied with the results and ended up with at least 6 meals from all that cooking.

Baby Taz seems to be making inroads into his linguistics and honing his skills mainly by mimicry. He is a perfect example of a copycat. Today when Lil Miss N wanted to hold my hand, he proceeded to do the same and sweetly said : 'Mama, wanna hold your hand mama'

It is rather poignant and those little moments of intimacy and tenderness makes up for whole days of frustrations arising from out of control kids.

mercredi 16 juin 2010

Week 25/52

Cuisine par les enfants involves no cooking but merely assembling ingredients

vendredi 11 juin 2010

Baby language evolution

Fourmi, fourmi, fourmiiiiiiii !

Baby Taz is fascinated by birds, insects and ants in particular.

He knows how to say bird, ant and dog.

His vocabulary is broadening ever so slowly.

He knows how to kid around and when asked 'where's Baby Taz?' He will respond Baby Taz here but points towards someone else. He knows to play round.

Week 24/52

One year of preparation and choir practice culminates in the end of year performance.

samedi 5 juin 2010

Week 23/52

One of Lil Miss N's favourite subjects to draw is Hello Kitty. She is a girl who is influenced largely by her environment and is easily impressionable by adverts primarily.

She does have a talent for drawing and easily surpasses me in terms of artistic talent.

lundi 31 mai 2010

mardi 25 mai 2010

Reconnaissance

I was especially stoked when I heard Lil Miss N utter

'Je sais que tu travail très dure tous les jours mama.' with an utmost respect and recognition of what I do for her and her siblings everyday.

I feel vindicated and that my efforts are worthwhile even if they are not renumerated or have not materialised into a paycheck and will not be recognised by society at large as home duties, child rearing and housework are considered banal. It is as if those who simply tend their nests and take care of their own families are worthless because they do not contribute positively to society by way of paying taxes.

Aside from polemic and what not It is for those few touching words that I strive so hard for.

'Je t'aime de tout, tout, tout mon cœur'

Those are words to melt a mummy's heart.

Awww
It is not merely sentimental but purely love that ultimately renders us happy and balanced or whole.

Je vous aime tous mes chers, chers enfants pour toujours !
Ta maman cherie

vendredi 21 mai 2010

Milestones

Petit Suisse
began teething and had his first tooth at 3 months
began walking at 13 months
spoke his first words at 2 and a half and spoke fluently at 3 years
was toilet trained during the day at 3 and a half
and had his first amourette at 6 years old

Lil Miss N
began teething around 10 months
walked her first steps at 10 and a half months
spoke at 2 years
was toilet trained at 2 years and a few months (it has become hazy since I did not document this at the time)

Baby Taz
began teething at 6 months
walked his first steps at 12 months
speaks a couple of words around 2 years and 3 months
is still in the process of being toilet trained

Baby Ben
had her first tooth at 10 months (sort of following in her sister's steps)
walked at 14 months
is already babbling 'mama', 'papa' and most impressively of all she utters 'Me.' which is Vietnamese for mum(not all that easy to pronounce and acquire) at 15 months
has not been put on the toilet training seat as yet

Week 21/52



Fête de l'espoir

Labour of love


Why I named these photos labour of love you may ask ?
It took a hell of an effort to transport the beloved chandelier from where it came to our home in one piece and then a mighty effort to drill a hole in the ceiling powerful enough to withold the weight and defy gravity, painfully putting all the pieces together pendeloque par pendeloque and finally suspending the whole structure to the hook.

It is indeed my pièce de resistance.

Vocabulary of a 2 year old

Baby Taz has added to his impressive vocabulary the following


'Oui Mama' which I love, I have got to admit the boy is right here

and
'Yo yo mec!' which has the equivalent of 'Yoh dude' or 'Hey dude!'

vendredi 14 mai 2010

Week 20/52

Learning the alphabet with the help of foam is FUN !


Another memorable dish :eggplant stuffed (figuratively speaking) with pork paste

samedi 8 mai 2010

Week 19/52

My Mum's day gifts from my highly gifted, artistic and creative children


Lil Miss N's adorable and personalised table setting





Petit Suisse's thoughtful card


Lil Miss N's flower poesie

All their gifts together

Fêtes des Mères

samedi 1 mai 2010

First steps

Baby Ben aka Super glue has begun to take her first few tentative and ginger steps unassisted. She is well on her way to walking by herself. Out of the four she is in fact the one who starts walking the latest.

Marcher, marcher et marcher encore.

Interestingly she began climbing stairs well before she could walk several months ago at the tender age of 10 and a half months. She was already a pro stair climber back then and we all thought that walking was just a few steps away but she has taken her time. We are all entitled to take our own sweet time in physical development or psychological and mental... We are unique individuals and should not be pigeon-holed by our older siblings.

Baby Ben you're not so much a bébé as une petite fille now.

Bête noir

I do not know what it is exactly but the numerous attempts at creating an aromatic and flavourful Bun bo Hue has always fallen short of expectation. It is a recipe which I have yet to master and am close to just giving it all up. I deplore the lack of fresh ingredients which I can access in Geneva but in my humble opinion have still a long way to go before I perfect this dish. It is disconcerting because eventhough I do not like bun bo Hue all that much (which is another incentive for me to just give up already) I do want to attempt to at least make a decently satisfying version of it which has evaded me and yesterday was no exception.

I will definitely attempt it again when I have my mum babysitting kids so I can concentrate and not rush hence ruin my effort.

I will post pictures of the satisfying results.

Week 18/52


An ogre with finesse

A man of action and few words and more importantly who has a keen eye for attention which can be attributed to feminine traits

lundi 26 avril 2010

Week 17/52

Fondant au chocolat avec fraises au basalmic et poire poché


Foie gras sur toasts et sa salade et poire avec reduction de vin rouge


Rack d'agneau avec tomates cerises, haricots verts accompagné de purée de pomme de terre

lundi 19 avril 2010

Week 16/52







Parc aventure au centre commerciale
Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N had a great time stretching their physical limits and testing their agility.

vendredi 16 avril 2010

Super glue

Baby Ben's new nickname should be super glue because she has been clinging to me without fail. She refuses to play with her siblings and instead prefers to be held in mummy's arms. She is also resolutely super glued to mummy when night falls and refuses steadfastly when coerced by daddy returning home from work. Shrek feels slightly rejected by Super glue and hopes that this phase will fade away fast.

Petit Suisse et Lil Miss N ont collés sur le dos de Ben le adorable petit nom de

'Pot de colle'

It's mighty sweet of them and ironic considering not too long ago they were also what I would refer to as petits pots de colle !

mardi 13 avril 2010

Week 15/52




Lemon melting moments where I recreated the recipe found on A Food Lover's journey with the modification wherein I used tapioca starch instead of corn flour as I had run out of corn flour. I rather liked my modification and will make these again. My kids adored them because they really are melt-in-your-mouth thanks in large part to the scary amount of butter all 200 grams...but it's worth it.

Week 14/52

Five year old fashionista

Lil Miss N is coquettish to the max and is well on her way to becoming a stylish fashionista or fashion star having emulated her chic Mama.

dimanche 11 avril 2010

A room of her own

A room of her own is exactly the kind of inspiration I need.

A room of her own symbolicly means somewhere whether real or imaginary a place that I can be with my thoughts and not just playing 'mum' or wife. I suspect that I do not have the luxury of being with my own thoughts much.

'Happiness is of our own making'

This is much easier said than done but at the end of the day one can choose to be depressed (I am guilty of this most of the time) or one can remind oneself that one is much more fortunate than most and hence count ones blessings.

Life throws many hands at us some unhappy and sad and utterly tragic events but it is the contrast that ultimately plays out and show us that happiness is a state of mind and a transient state that one need to savour in the moment because fleetingly it will pass just like everything else.

I do not aspire for exaltation, greatness or even recognition. Fame and fortune smiles and chances upon some talented and determined souls but it can also be shone upon the most pathetic individuals. To leave an indelible mark upon those who matter to us and to impress upon them and affect/influence them in some way is really how ones legacy will live on. The latter is what I aspire to as it lasts long after I am gone.

samedi 10 avril 2010

Overrated

Décidement I have decided after much reflection that caviar is definitely overrated and overpriced. I arrived at this conclusion after a recent tasting of caviar. I will eat it if it is presented to me but at the inexorbitant price of more than 1000 Francs per kilo it is unjustified and I prefer foie gras or lobster or scallops or oysters or other fruits of the sea over caviar.

I will not knock it if it is gifted to me but to shell out large sums for a ridiculously overpriced item that I deem not worthy of its high standing and status is out of the question for me.

lundi 5 avril 2010

Potty training

Baby Taz has made some inroads into his potty training but it is still less than optimal.

He has in fact regressed and only does wee-wee when prompted and coerced or beguiled into doing it via immitation of his older bro.

He does habitually poo-poo in the bowl though so at least he is caca-trained.

Night time is still completely covered by nappies.

Exhaustion

Fatigue and frustration
Lingering doubt
Overcast shadows swirling

Input foolishly double outtakes
Output redirects inner battle
Revolves around miniscule insignificance



Too far out
Out of reach
Thump, thump, thump
Slumps back down to earth.


What my wandering mind conjures up when I am exhausted.

dimanche 4 avril 2010

Week 13/52

Bricolages de Petit Suisse (rabbit) and Baby Taz (the chook which was mostly my own handiwork)
Chickadees kiss choc-a-block full of Easter chocs
Petit Suisse, Baby Taz, Baby Ben and Lil Miss N


Impressive Chocolate displays in the shops...way before Easter had arrived...



The theme for this week is what else but Easter hence the photos reflect and revolve around Easter deco to chocolates to Easter themed craft projects.

dimanche 28 mars 2010

Week 12/52






My latest preoccupation is with my blooming tulips









My ever imaginative and oh so clever as well as creative Petit Suisse's creation which showcases his impressive handicraft skills.