Thursday, April 25, 2013

Afternoons With...

my ickle akmal izzat. he's my companion every afternoon, entertaining me with songs he learned in school, recalling what his friends said and did in school and telling me what thomas and his friends are up to in their island of sodor.

usually he would fall asleep in the car when sending his abangs to school. if not, he would slowly calm down and sleep while watching barney, mickey or thomas.

this is my normal afternoon with akmal izzat...
building his island of sodor for his thomas and friends...

watching thomas on youtube for a bit...

all tired out...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

my ultimate favourite cookies. i get the craving to bake ( bake, not to eat) every now and then. i used to use this recipe my mom had but i don't have that recipe with me so i had to look for another. nothing's unreachable now with google and youtube. i quickly found a recipe. it was almost but not quite the same.

i found a pack of brown sugar yesterday and made it an afternoon project with ariff & akmal. both helped to put the ingredients in, ariff helped with the mixing but akmal wouldn't touch the mixer with a pole. he helped put in the chocolate chips, though so that about evens out the tasks.

the recipe was really simple. only took us roughly 10 minutes to prepare everything but the baking took a lonngggggg time. i thought it would make 48 cookies (from the recipe) but i could bake about 60+ so that was almost 6 times in and out of the oven. each round took 10 minutes, so the baking itself took an hour.

but it was all worth it. i had a big tub of cookies, and a bit, and the boys were munching non-stop last night.

i wish i had balled up the dough nicely so that it would come out in a nice shape but i wasn't in the mood. that didn't disrupt the taste though, the review said the cookies were 'crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle' and that was exactly what they were!

for those who want the recipe
1 cup butter softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (i never ever put nuts in my choc chip cookies though)

1. preheat oven to 175c
2. cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. dissolve baking soda in hot water. add to batter along with salt. stir in flour, chocolate chips and nuts (not for me!). drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans (i used baking paper)
3. bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven or until edges are nicely browned

the recipe can be found here - there's also a video which helps a lot.

after all ingredients were put in

12 cookies each time, 6 times altogether *phew*

all baked *result of not making nicely round dough*

yummy yum yum

my two helpers

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Six Months Down...

its been a little over six months since i changed my 'work as' status on my fb. some asked, so...senang lah now? nope, it hasn't been easy. its been a slow and tedious learning process. what was good yesterday, may not work today. some days you get good traffic all the way, some days you're stuck all the way from home. some days what they love to eat becomes something they cant even look at on other days. handling four children, with their changing moods, is never 'senang'.

the first month i was at home didn't require that much changes. the second and third month, i was about to throw myself out of the window...that's because it was the school holidays. at that time, i missed work, i missed having the time to myself, i missed my lrt rides. but come january, everything went back to super-fast speed. morning send off, mid-morning pick up, early afternoon pick up, afternoon send off, early evening pick up. in between there's the food, uniforms, baths, bags, books. and then there's the fights, crashes, cries, screams, falls, punches, kicks, and of course, the 'mummy...tengok ni...' every 47 seconds. so no, its never 'senang'.

but now, after six months, the storm is slowly starting to calm down. yes, it takes six months. and yes, its only starting to calm down. it could go down, it could not, who knows. the boys have accepted the concept of lunch boxes. they are slowly understanding the concept of doing things on time, you need to eat on time, bathe on time, get ready on time, so that we can leave on time and you'll get to school on time. yes, it takes months to get that into their system. the first month, we could never get it right because the traffic was difficult to predict (ie some parents feel the need to give long lectures to their children in the car thus creating a massive jam behind them).

then it was trying to get the boys to eat before going to school. that took a long time to get used to. i used to make rice for them but it didn't work. they have their break at 9.30am. they usually eat heavy during their break so by the time they get home, they're not hungry. but if they don't eat, they'll be hungry during their assembly and wont be able to wait for their 3pm break. instead of cooking rice, i took them out for lunch. turns out the nasi lemak they ordered had to be packed. so, no more lunch outside. in the end, they decide what they want. and if its burgers they want or nuggets or hot dogs or instant noodles, then so be it. nope...not healthy option at all but at the moment, if they eat, then its fine with me. if they eat something unhealthy at home, made by me, rather than something unhealthy outside, made by someone else, then so be it.

so for the past few weeks, the routine is fast snacks for early lunch, slightly heavier packed lunches and rice for dinner. the good thing is, since its their choice of meal, they go to school with a full stomach and they come home with empty lunch boxes. it'll do for now. it took me four months to get this routine done and i wont force the concept of healthy food at the moment. we'll take it bit by bit.

i'm enjoying the 10 minutes break i have between screaming for them to hurry up and eat and screaming at them to hurry up and bathe. that 10 minutes is precious! come january next year, i would need to get a new routine down, what with three now in morning and afternoon school, so we'll visit this again next year then...

the boys on their rare lunch outside. they only ate pastries, what a waste...


the value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults - peter de vries

grown-ups never understand anything for themselves and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explainning things to them - antoine de saint-exupery
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