Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Restaurant-Style


A handful of my friends did not quite understand what I meant when I said that I needed to cook restaurant-style in order to cater to my children's preferences. I figured this might cast some light on the matter.

After not cooking up a storm in the kitchen for a long time, I sorely missed it and decided to whip up something most would consider a simple one-dish meal: Fried rice. All one needs to do is to throw everything into the wok, right? 

Wrong.

First of all, the kids abhor having vegetables mixed into the fried rice so I have to make them separately. I even have to cook two different types of greens because one of them hates the taste of kelp while the rest adore it in miso soup, which is why I got ready a bowl of seaweed as a substitute in her bowl. As you can see, I could not add the corn into the rice because my eldest alone refuses to eat it. And no, I cannot pre-mix the pork floss because half of them likes it while the other half dislikes it. The only things I can put into the rice are fried egg and gluten-free sausage. My eczema girl can't take the gluten-filled meatballs the rest crave for which means yet another dish to come up with. And I haven't even added the low-carb option, most likely mung bean vermicelli, I would prepare if Joshua were to join us for the meal. 

So here it is, the ala carte buffet I have to put together. In my family, there is nothing simple about fried rice. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Thanksgiving


Two weeks ago, I caught a terrible bout of flu which caused me to be bedridden for days. However, I could finally take MC (aka sick leave). This may be a very basic thing to most people but it is a very very big deal to me. 

Ever since I became a mother, I could never really rest no matter how sick I was. I remember the countless times I had to rely purely on God's supernatural strength to continue caring for my children even if I had to drag myself around on the floor amidst crying and screaming, passing out multiple times, in order to do it.

Now, even Joram is independent enough to take care of himself as long as food is available. With food delivery services these days, I don't even have to risk collapsing outside to pack home a meal for my children. Joshua is also established enough at his work place to afford working from home if I need him around. Furthermore, my mum-in-law has moved in with us this year so she can also be called upon to help out if need be. 

For the first time in more than ten years, I could actually take medication which causes drowsiness during the day and rest in bed to recuperate without worrying about my children. This is miracle enough for me. 


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mastering Self-care



Ever since Joram turned 5, Joshua and I have been teaching Joram to become more independent. I got him to change up by himself and practice folding his clothes. He now knows how to blow dry his own hair, wipe his mouth after eating plus wash his hands and feet. He is also starting to wipe his own butt after doing 'big business', although we still have to check afterwards to make sure it is completely clean. Joshua is monitoring and coaching our youngest in brushing his teeth and bathing himself every night. We are looking forward to him achieving complete independence in a couple of months' time...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Death of a Dream

R.I.P. my beloved apron...

My children used to love my cooking. I used to enjoy cooking for them, too, despite having to do so under extreme circumstances. (I talked about this in my post Cooking in Peace) However, after my daughter discovered her dietary restrictions and my son started to find my cooking too 'healthy' for his maturing tastebuds, I was hard-pressed creating a menu which could accommodate their new partialities. (Check out Revamping the Menu to see my valiant efforts)

As time goes by,  in spite of being able to FINALLY cook in peace because the children have grown old enough to leave me alone in the kitchen or help with the preparations, it has become incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to please everyone. The four children have all developed very different likes and dislikes and, worse still, they keep changing their minds. As I mentioned in Pampering with Food, I do try my level best to prepare meals taking into account all their preferences or food restrictions. But more often than not, I find myself whipping up so many different types of dishes to cater to all. Even then, I still hear grumbling. It became so terribly disheartening to have at least one of the kids complain about the ingredients I lovingly put together. 

At first, I tried to oblige by going back to the kitchen to rustle up something else more to the grumbler's inclination. However, the hard work I put into cooking became disproportionately greater than my children's satisfaction of the end product. I lost all motivation to put in the mammoth effort and it is no longer worth my while. 

Even though the children still agree that I am a good chef, they simply cannot agree on what they want me to dish out. It is utterly ridiculous for me to run the kitchen restaurant-style every single meal. It is so much easier to please everybody if we were to eat out or pack back whatever they want. This way, everyone gets what he/she fancies at any one point of time. That is not without problems though. There were many times when they had the audacity to change their minds last minute and accused us of getting the wrong order! *faintz* 

I have grieved for a long time over how the food situation at home has evolved. Of course, I could have enforced 'martial law' and arm-twisted them into grudgingly eating whatever that is served or otherwise go hungry. Or I could have constantly lectured them on starving children all over the world and shamed them for being spoilt, ungrateful brats each time we gather at the dining table. I just didn't see the point in all that struggle anymore. 

My dream of cooking for my entire family has met a gradual natural death. Unless there is a special unified request from all my kids, I am hanging up my apron for good.