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samedi 23 avril 2011

Little rays of sunshine

I might appear to râle every other day re my kids out of control behaviour or their un-disciplined tendencies but I love each and every one of them and they are my little rays of sunshine.

They do exhibit expressions of affection to remind me that it's worthwhile : the sometime ungratifying and unbearing of housework and child-rearing, devaluation of home staying and merde if I was to work in a daycare looking after other peoples kids and yet send my own kids to another daycare it'd be looked upon as if I was a juggling working mum hence regarded with more value and looked up to more only because I held a job peu importe si le boulot est bien payé ou mentally challenging or gratifying.

I feel devalorised by society at large and can only console myself in the small consolation/comfort : that of knowing my kids are well looked after and taken care of.

Little rays of sunshine because at the end of the day no matter how important a position is or how high ranking ones' career may be one will only leave imprints with ones legacy be it scientific discovery or ground breaking policy or children who reflect their upbringing and education and do their parents proud by perpetuating and upholding devisal and trust.

Unruly rascals aka Les petits mioches = Extremely exhausted mum !

It is a rule of thumb or Murphy's Law which dictates that I will already have the propensity to be extremely fatigued when my kids decide to run amuck and be rambunctious little rascals or energised bunnies without the relais of the 'off' button.

They will run me ragged and since my patience level is already at an all low point will ram me into the ground. I of course patienceless will be grumpy and stressed out and the vicious cycle turns round and round until it stops when they finally are in bed and I get some rest to fight yet another day.

Luckily I have discovered a good distraction 'Jardin Robinson' named after Robinson Crusoe which is an adventureland wherein the kids from 6-12 years can feed goats, bunnies and chickens, they can plant veggies, do natural craft projects, play society games and sling ont the flying fox to name just a few of the activities. It is my how do I convince the animateurs that 2 and 3 year olds are not too young and how do I get them to accept Baby Taz and Miss Feisty so that I could have a breather ?

I am thankful that at the very least Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N adore going to Jardin Robinson and that they are fully exploiting all that this little haven for kids has to offer.

vendredi 15 avril 2011

Male shopper

What predictable results happen when one sends a clueless male to go shopping ? He invariably buys at least one if not several items that are not on the list and worst of all will buy the WRONG thing.

I specified this morning for Shrek to buy 'fromage frais' the equivalent of cream cheese. He came back with 0% cream cheese. Cream cheese with 0% fat is an anomaly, if you remove the fat content you have to rid off the cream, simple logic ?

He could not find frozen spinach leaves so he bought minced spinach which I must stress and emphasise I hate because it is simply hacher to zero texture and taste. It was not entirely his fault as the frozen spinach leaves I had requested was nowhere to be found in the freezer section.

The conclusion to be drawn is that if you want the shopping done properly do it yourself. Shrek has proved time and again that he will buy the wrong thing or succumb to whims and impulse buying.

Madame Champione du collection des coupons

I am the proud owner of the title of champion collectioner of coupons : any and all kinds.
I would like to think of these coupons as money-savers but sometime they can be counter-productive and cost me more money in the end because in trying to validate the coupon by spending the requisite minimum amount I buy junk and inutile, futile and useless crap. I do avoid that but sometime I cannot help but succumb mainly because I cannot resist the novelty or cutesy factor or purely decorative objects or because of 'what if' and 'in case'.

I do draw the line though as I tend to buy things that only a cheapskate and stingy radine like me would acquire meaning everything I buy : items of clothing, accessories, shoes, household products and alimentation etc... are all under twenty and mostly in the tens. Shrek on the other hand is a big spender but he does mostly spend to buy me gifts and to that end/effect I am mostly content.

Shrek's misery

We have had a long drawn out and painfully excruciating history with bed wetting by the two boys in our family : i.e. Petit Suisse and now Baby Taz.

I remember waking up almost every morning for days on end with a bed soaked in pipi when Petit Suisse was in the process of being nappy-free at night. Mind you he was quite a late bloomer re his potty training: he only managed to be nappy-free during daytime when he was almost four which had us all a little bit worried because apparently there is pressure for kids who are about to embark on kindergarden to be propre. He was nearing the beginning of the school year before he finally kicked his nappies to the curb but not without un besoin pour les nuits. Anyway we had a wrenching and highly frustrating time back then. It was beyond my comprehension how he could urinate so much when he apparently had no liquid intake at night and had (or so I thought) emptied his bladder.

Now is no different : except the big difference being Baby Taz has a bad habit of drinking a minimum of one bottle of water before he can lull himself to sleep. He insists on drinking the water before he will succumb to some shut-eye. He has a tendency to urinate and thereby soaking and soiling the bedsheets, mattress protector and the mattress itself. Shrek as our designated household launderer is pained by such an endless amount of soiled and dirty laundry : bedsheets, mattress protector, blankets, sleeping bags and constant flow of clothes.

I feel his pain and I make it a point of taking Baby Taz to do a wee in the middle of the night and changing him two times and yet he still manages to wet the bed !!!

Frustration lingering and continuing.

I do hope that this saga will end before his fourth birthday. Baby Taz you can be so bothersome, exasperating and a vexing pest in so many ways but we still love you nonetheless, we just wished you'd grow up a bit more and become more responsible and less troublesome.

Dental hygiene

Kids being kids will prefer everything sugary and highly corrosive (especially with relation to their teeth enamel) and harmful for their dental form.

Our primordial concern is to maintain healthy teeth and gums and we have failed miserably as parents because the three who have had dental check-ups all have numerous tooth decays. It is inevitable to reduce their sugar intake and to increase drastically the number of brushing at regular intervals. Their level of awareness re dental hygiene is heightened due to the courses given by dental professionals such as dentists and dental nurses at school but unfortunately the translation from heightened awareness to putting that theory into action is lacking.

I drudgingly and painstakingly have to go through the rigmarole of ensuring each and every one of my kids get their teeth brushed properly at a sufficient length each day. I commence by telling and commanding that Petit Suisse brushes his own teeth first whilst Lil Miss N will also brush her teeth. I go on with the task of brushing Baby Taz and Lil Miss Feisty's teeth. I then turn to verify Petit Suisse's brushwork and finally I brush Lil Miss N's teeth. All of the teeth brushing is done not without struggle from the part of Lil Miss N and Lil Miss Feisty but the biggest teeth gnashing is without a doubt Baby Taz as he wriggles and worms his body about in order to prevent me from giving his teeth a good brushing.

The preceding task before bedtime is the dreaded routine of teeth brushing. Enfin bref I detest this particular part of the day when they prepare for bedtime and I have to scream at the top of my lungs in order to get the message across. I revel in the peace and calm when they all go to bed but moreover to sleep and reverie. I do indulge in and enjoy a glass or two of wine or liqueur as a reward for a fully exhausting day.

mercredi 13 avril 2011

Action plus reaction

My faute majeure = lack of anticipation
Shrek's faute majeure = his reaction when confronted with my lack of anticipation

The combination of the above equation is explosive to say the least.

I had FAILED to inform Shrek 15 minutes before the ludothèque's (toy library) closing time. I had failed to get in contact with him in due time to allow him time to get to our agreed pick-up point. I had failed to prevoir and foresee that I needed change on me in case. I had also FAILED in telephoning Shrek at the most inappropriate time i.e. when he was backing out of our garage and his mobile was in his trousers pocket. In short I failed and fell short today. So the only thing left for me to do was to apologise which I did profusely but this is crucial as Shrek continued to berate, grate and faire la gueule as he only he can. I put up with all of that for about 15 minutes before I turned the table on Shrek and we had a screaming contest to see who would come out on top.

Lesson for me : anticipate, anticipate and anticipate some more, it has been drilled and droned into my brain !

Lesson for Shrek is of no less importance : DO not unnerve people by grating and nagging until they break.

Hopefully this painful episode served as a good lesson of what to avoid for Shrek and I.

Shrek realised he went overboard and apologised immediately.I accepted his apology and hope that we can avoid and bypass similar cases being repeated.

Mea culpa, mea culpa...

Mozzarella bliss or better yet dopage par fromage

We are on an endeavour Shrek and I : an important fromage booster.

Let me clarify : our kids have low probability of being super tall or even tall because Shrek has inherited the 'short genes' from his maternal family. It is a dominant gene. I am of average height. We have thus decided that in order to give our four kids the best possible chance and opportunity to outgrow us their parents and forebearers it is of utmost importance that we boost their cheese intake. I like to refer to it as the 'Cheesy booster'. Our kids do not readily eat cheese eventhough we have access to an abundance of tasty cheeses, a shame really. We are trying at all costs to keep on giving them fromages. Tonight they could not stop popping 'perles de mozzarella' into their mouths. Let's see if that episode repeats itself. I am not entirely fond of mozza myself as I find it bland and utterly boring and tasteless but if my kids can eat cartons of it I am game.

Dopage par fromage : the cheese intake will stimulate growth and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Mes enfants ont pris le goût pour certains fromages: pour l'instant mozza et Fol Epi. C'est contradictoirement ironique car ces fromages qu'ils aiment et rafalent sont pas très goûteux dans mon opinion. Ils aiment aussi Vacherin Fribourgois qui est la seule anomaly dans cette ensemble de fromages sans goût.

vendredi 8 avril 2011

Lil Miss Feisty

Baby Ben shall be referred lovingly as Miss Feisty from now on. It is a nickname befitting of her attitude and demeanor.

She may look innocent and angelic but do not be fooled by her angelic halo because she is one feisty little lady. She can hold her own and can defend herself against much bigger adversaires or siblings for the most part. As the youngest and the baby of the clan she has to defend herself mostly against Baby Taz's provocative irritances and attacks. She lends herself to being ready to tackle the jungle also known as kindergarden as kids at that age can be unbelievably and uncharacteristicly cruel.

Lil Miss Feisty you have my approval for being so because the alternative is more nerve racking for me as I would worry about you being bullied but do not let anyone push you around.

Hold your own ground !

jeudi 7 avril 2011

Cooking frenzy

Cha lua slices and lion's heads

Lion's heads/têtes de lions ready to be steamed

Xiu mai

San Choy Bao with minced pork and juliened zucchini, bamboo shoots

I am grateful for Shrek's magnificiently efficient mincing skills. He minced via a meat grinder 4 kilos of pork which made way for a very happy me. I then used up four kilos in various recipes thus yielding 2 kilos of cha lua and cha quê', 1 kilo of xiu mai and finally 1 kilo of lion's heads.

mercredi 6 avril 2011

Grillade à la Suisse vs the Aussie barbie

No guesses as to which I prefer !
Sauvage vs facility and accessibility

The Swiss are utter amateurs when it comes to the art of it barbequeuing and the minute attention to details such as providing several picnic tables and barbequeuing grills escape their sensiblities.

dimanche 3 avril 2011

Shrek's fardeau

Shrek has one or to be more exact two household tasks that he does on a regular and semi-regular/infrequent basis : that of inputting the washing machine with dirty clothes and hanging washed clothes on the line and dumping them on the floor to be folded/put away by ôsin(Vietnamese for servant) and secondly on a monthly, sometime two-monthly basis iron his own work clothes consisting of his pharmacie blouses, a couple of pairs of trousers/slacks and up to ten shirts or more when the mood strikes him which as of late has not struck much.

He is supposed to do these two tasks diligently without resorting to snide remarks and making comments such as :
This sucks !
There are endless mountains of laundry to be done, I am fed up of doing this, maybe we should split the task up as in you (i.e. moi Princesse Fiona) do your own laundry and ironing of your clothes (which I hardly ever let him do unless he insists and only in small albeit negligible quantity like one or two shirts) and I will take care of mine.

The nerve !!!!!!!!!!!!

It is especially infuriating and frustrating to hear him drone on and on about how he has such an insurmountable task. I hope he is having a stab at humour so I humour him but if he was being serious I am sure I can split the tasks up and other things too, so there !
He can be énervent comme ça ... need I go on ?

samedi 2 avril 2011

Happy 8th birthday !

We have the continuum of birthdays as 2nd April 2003 was the day my first born came into the world and it marked my first time being a mum and maternity forever changed my life. Since then I have had three more pregnancies and births bringing my total count to four children.

Petit Suisse's birth was marred by my inexperience and I learnt a lot along the way but it is a learning curve which never ends because parenthood and mummyhood in particular are individually adapted to each being hence its uniqueness is amplified by the peculiar relationships one shares with ones child or parent.

I rented a room provided by the quartier for its residents. I then set up the tables, chairs and decorated with Petit Suisse's, Lil Miss N's and enfin Baby Taz's help (who did more damage than help but no matter). I had borrowed games from the toy library and all was set. Shrek came with a pounding and explosive headache which was just swell. Luckily I had one other parent who was able to stay and she aided me with some game organisation. I could have done it all singularly but with another adult it was more manageable.

They played egg-spoon race, Monsieur-Madame : a game of observation and rapidity which had some fun challenges, Devine-Têtes...

All went well except the number of attendants which was slightly lacking according to Petit Suisse, this was a minor detail and ultimately does not determine the success of a party. It's better to have quality rather than quantity of guests. They really enjoyed themselves and I learned a thing or two which would help me improve next time I organise a birthday party or kids party.

Shrek was of no help in the lead up to and organisation of Petit Suisse's 8ème anniversaire but he did redeem himself with the post-party clean-up and aftermath.

We had a little celebration at home on the actual day : today with 'bun xa`o thap cam' and 'kirsch cake' (store bought).

All in all Petit Suisse almost always has a slight advantage when it comes to his birthday as he has the most birthdays celebrated compared to other members of the family.