Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Lunch Boxes Journey - January 2016

i have wanted to prepare lunch boxes for the boys to bring to school. but the L word - that's laziness, to you - always overcomes the want. its way much easier just shoving a couple of bucks into the boys' hands. but this year, this year, i pushed myself. that plus 4 boys at 2 schools really burns a hole in our pockets.

so beginning the later part of the first week of school, the earlier part i was busy beyond words, i started the boys on this journey. during the school holidays i stocked up on good containers of tupperwares and other brands. i wanted the ones with sections but they aren't always easy to get hold of. so i bought some with sections and some without. i got dividers from daiso for the ones without sections.

i'm not the most adventurous or most creative person. i'm like wayyyy at the bottom of the pile so i didn't plan big. it would be sandwiches generally, more on additional food or snacks to make the lunch boxes more interesting. some occasionally there will be food that takes more effort to make, i.e. fried rice, noodles, pasta, eggs and the like. or maybe leftovers which are much easier to prepare.

so for the month of january, we've went on the journey, stopping a couple of times particularly when the boys have after school activities or when i'm super lazy (i'm always lazy, but this is super lazy). other than that, we've, or i've, been good and stayed true to my plans. so true that even hubby have decided to join in and bring his own lunch box. of course his has more variety since he would take the effort to prepare his side dishes, something i don't do.

the sandwiches that we've had this month - ranging from beef sandwiches, beef wraps, egg sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, beef in mini buns, fried eggs in buns.

and then the breakfast set of hard boiled eggs, sausages & mini buns, burgers, meat and hard boiled eggs.

and the heavier fried rice, mac n cheese, fried pasta...

i like to stock up on cookies as side for the lunch boxes. i would alternate them with fruit loops, fruits, wafers. i found a lot of sandwich fillings that i think would go down well with the boys. i hope to try them bit by bit next month. hubby brings home from work all sorts of things that would go down well with the boys - jacobs cookies, oreo, zip, toblerone, tiger biscuits, fingers. ah the perks of working in a 'fattening' company.

so far the boys are pretty ok with what i prepare. there are days they come home with not-empty lunch boxes, they don't devour everything, which is ok with me. sometimes its because they don't have time, sometimes they were just not in the mood for what i prepared. fine by me, everyone goes through that. i just get them to finish during lunch or bring to the afternoon school. i also get them to share with friends if they can't finish. i'd rather they bring back empty lunch boxes so that i can wash. out of the four, only ariff is not easy with lunch boxes. he wants to play with his friends during recess and don't want to eat (only applies to lunch boxes though, lunch money is fine by him) and i have had to beg him to bring one measly buttered bread - which is why most pictures only contains 3 lunch boxes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Amira Turns Three Months

amira turned three months in a blink of an eye. maybe because the first half of the month was devoted to akmal's primary school journey. by the time his orientation ended (complete with changing classes, getting text books, activity books, settling documentation and other admin matters) it was already the third week of the month and amir's getting close to passing her 100 days mark.

amira continues to be easy at night. her sleeping pattern remains constant - last feed at 10pm, first feed at 5am, 6am, 7am. she continues to sleep while i slave in the kitchen preparing the boys' lunch boxes and wakes up when i'm about to send the boys to school. once the first school round is done, she comes home and sleep while i have a quiet but quick breakfast. then its her bath time and a bit of morning activity before she takes her first nap (cut short for the second school round).

amira continues her nap at home until its time for the third school round, waking for a feed before we leave for school. afternoon is reserved for her longest nap and she's woken up before the last school round for the day. then she alternate between feeding, crying, screaming, fussing, shouting, kicking and napping.

night time is quiet for amira. she's rocked in her rocker while we have our dinner and clean the kitchen. then she's given her night bath (sometimes before our dinner, sometimes after). and she plays with her brothers before she starts kicking and screaming indicating she's had enough and wants to be left alone. sometimes she takes a quiet time in her rocker for about 10-20 minutes, sometimes she stays awake until her last feed.

amira's had her initial rotavirus, pneumococcal and triple antigen shots. a bit tiresome and troublesome to have to visit two different places for those but its for her own good. its easy enough to bring her out. we prepare a couple of diapers, a pack of baby wipes and an empty bottle. we rarely go out longer than 3 hours and she needs only one feed in that time frame.

amira's passing a lot of milestones recently. she's holding her head up high now. she's more comfortable on her stomach during the day but sleeps on her back at night. she doesn't want to lie down, which is why she prefers the baby wrap than the stroller. she wants to see the world, this girl.

amira caught her first flu bug recently. the whole house was down with cough and flu and it was a matter of time before she caught it. alhamdulillah, it was a short spell. she was a bit moody the first couple of days. once she was prescribed the flu meds and the nasal spray she was better except for the runny nose.

she's a bit irritating with her screams and shouts and forced anger but hey, if that balances the sleeping through the night, i'd gladly take the screams.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Amir Is Eleven

raising a tween ( - a youngster between 10 and 12 years of age, considered too old to be a child and too young to be a teenager) is not easy. raising a tween eldest child is even more difficult.

amir's been topsy turvy to handle. he was easy and helpful one time. then he became difficult. then he turned helpful and easy again. now he's gone back to being difficult. currently, amir's difficult to handle. that's the word i keep going back to. at times extremely difficult, other times just difficult.

we let amir choose his birthday dinner spot. he chose japanese. the whole family loves japanese. we've been cutting down as a japanese meals can get super expensive. but its a birthday dinner, and its chosen by the birthday boy, so we make an exception.

during dinner, amir started asking for his present. two months ago, when asyraf got a pair of football boots as his birthday present, amir asked for a pair as well. that was to be his birthday present. for him to ask for another gift on his birthday, conveniently forgetting he received a present two months ago, was disappointing.

however, after dinner, as we sat down to have an ice cream dessert, i went into a shop, to get clothes for me. i saw a watch on sale, it was a bargain actually. amir begged and begged for it. we decided to get it for him. he was over the moon, profusely thanking us non-stop. we hope he would remember not to ask for early presents as he'd miss out on getting presents on the actual day.

amir is a test for hubby and me. the first son and therefore, the eye-opener. the first and therefore, the lesson and the teacher. we have a lot to learn and he teaches us a lot. we are still learning and he is still teaching us. one major thing he is teaching us, at the moment, is how bumpy the road as parents can be.


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
Images by Freepik