Friday, October 11, 2013

Online MSN Programs

A master's degree in nursing consists of classes and labs that can help a Registered Nurse (RN) expand their professional options. Meant for RNs who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing, a master's in nursing, also called a MSN (Master of Science in Nursing), provides professional training and clinical work in the health care system. 

A MSN program will offer courses in nursing theory and health care administration, which will expand the insights and knowledge of any RN well-beyond their own experiences. In addition, the clinical requirements in MSN programs provide a new level of training with patients and leading nursing teams a RN is not typically used to. Like many master's programs, a MSN program is 2-years and offered with concentrations. For example, many RNs may wish to become a family nurse practitioner (FNP), who help patients and their family's related to the patient's care. For example, many FNPs interact with families about how to avoid injuries or infectious diseases. Many FNPS may work in geographically isolated areas or regions where health disparities are extreme. A MSN education with a FNP degree can help many nurses aid families with important preventative health measures. 

As more RNs invest in MSN programs, many schools, like Ohio University, are providing online options. With online MSN programs, students can learn the materials the classes through online course modules and virtual environments. This will allow many RNs the balance of taking classes while continuing to work at hospitals or medical centers. Clinical requirements will need to be conducted on-campus or in nearby hospitals monitored by faculty; however, students will be able to balance those laboratory requirements within their schedule well in advance of their work schedules. 

With online options and a chance to expand one's professional knowledge and acumen will help many RNs become the nursing leaders of the 21st century. Whether it can be helping a nursing team implement procedures found in the Affordable Care Act or helping to guide families toward healthy living goals, a MSN degree with a FNP concentration will help nurses take on new responsibilities in the health care industry.

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Breastfeeding Tips For New Mothers

Whenever you see a photo of a breastfeeding mother, it is often a picture of tranquility and bliss. The mother would be looking down lovingly at baby, sometimes holding a tiny hand in hers. The baby would be looking right back up at mummy. The picture is one of pure love. It looks so natural and beautiful.

Well, it will be that way after a while but not at first. In order to make that blissful breastfeeding picture a reality for you MUST prepare yourself. Here are some breastfeeding survival tips for new mothers.

  1. Get practical help - This is very, very important. I can't stress this enough. Support is essential! Arrange for another mother, a friend or relative with breastfeeding experience or a lactation consultant to be by your side immediately after the birth and delivery. You will need someone to show you how. Breastfeeding requires practice.
  2. Arm yourself with knowledge - Unlike bottle or formula feeding, it is hard to figure out whether you are doing the right thing and whether your baby is getting enough milk at first. Find out how many stools a breastfed baby should be having a day. This is a good indicator. Find out the growth chart of breastfed babies. Do not compare it with the growth chart of a formula fed baby. They are different. These are just a few examples of the things you should know beforehand.
  3. Don't Give Up! - You may face difficulties at first. Don't give up. Keep on trying. Keep practicing and you will eventually get it right. If you can get it right after a few hours or days, well, then lucky you. If not, persevere. Don't give up!
  4. Be Clear Of What YOU Want - Do not be swayed by the opinion of others. There will be those who tell you that your milk is not enough and other negative things. Do not be influenced by what others say or stress yourself up over it. On the other hand, there will also be those who are strongly pro-breastfeeding, those who make you feel like a total failure if you don't try hard enough. They may push you very hard without realizing that your stress levels and circumstances are preventing you from enjoying your baby. Yes, you know that breast is best but be very clear about how long you want to breastfeed your baby. You may change your mind later about the length of time but that is okay too. For example, you may find that breastfeeding is so good for you and baby that you decided to extend your original intention to breastfeed for 6 months to 3 years. Don't let anyone tell you that it is wrong to breastfeed a toddler. It is YOUR decision. Be at peace with YOUR decision, whatever it may be. If stopping at 3 months is what you can manage because of your circumstances, then do not feel guilty about it or feel bad because you did not breastfeed for a certain recommended period of time.
  5. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Not everyone will have it easy breastfeeding so don't be too hard on yourself if you are having a hard time. Try again the next day if you don't succeed today. 
  6. Enjoy Your Baby - Don't forget to enjoy your baby. You may be getting very little sleep now and feeling some stress but don't forget to enjoy your baby and this precious time you have together.
I hope that all mothers who want to breastfeed will be able to succeed. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers old and new.

This article was written by Mimi Koay. Mimi is the author of "I Didn't Know It Was So Hard to Breastfeed", a booklet about her breastfeeding problems. She hopes that by sharing her story mothers will be able to learn from the mistakes she made. She also wrote "Mother, Wife, Myself" a collection of heart warming poems about finding yourself after becoming a mother and a wife.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breastfeeding Problems Latching

I am a mother to two breastfed kids. I breastfed my first for 1 1/2 years and the second for 3 years. However, breastfeeding was not smooth sailing for me, not at first. My main breastfeeding problem was latching my babies, both of them.

You would think that by the second time, with my experience of breastfeeding for 1 1/2 years, things would be easier and I would no longer have any baby latching problems while breastfeeding but that is not the case.

My second baby took 2 months before learning to latch on. I think breastfeeding moms lack support.

Plenty of support especially Practical Support is Essential during the early part of breastfeeding. I can't stress that enough.

Top 5 Breastfeeding Help Sites

These are the 5 sites that helped me the most during breastfeeding.

1. KellyMom
2. Dr. Jack Newman's Articles
4. La La Leche International
5. Breastfeeding Stories

I will tell you about each of them as you scroll down this page.

1. KellyMom - THE place to go for help

To me, is THE place to go for breastfeeding help. It is very comprehensive and detailed and has help in almost all the areas or problems you may encounter during breastfeeding.

If you are planning to breastfeed, go to Kellymom and bookmark that page. You will be returning to it again and again to read about various issues you may face during breastfeeding.

If you can, read up as much as you can even BEFORE you start to breastfeed to prepare yourself for what is to come.'

2. Dr Jack Newman's Articles
Read Dr Jack Newman's Articles. They are available for download free on pdf.

I love this man even though I have not met him and never will. I love Dr Jack Newman's Breastfeeding Articles. They are so helpful and he makes them available for free.

During the time when I had so many problems latching baby and I felt like giving up everyday. Every day I struggled with my decision to carry on breastfeeding. It was this statement from Dr Jack Newman's Article that kept me going.

"The single most important factor influencing whether or not the baby latches on is the mother's developing a good milk supply. If the mother's supply is abundant, the baby will latch on by 4 to 8 weeks of life no matter what. "

This is the article with the statement above that helped me persevere when baby just won't latch on no matter what.

When The Baby Refuses To Latch On

3. has a vast question and answer center

If you have any breastfeeding questions, then be sure to check out They have a huge resource of Breastfeeding Q & A, also called The Breastfeeding Answer Center to answer all the questions you may have on breastfeeding including your latching problems.

Commonly asked breastfeeding questions and naturally included plus you will find other not so common questions too like questions on illness or surgery and questions on fenugreek and other herbs etc.

4. Get Help and Tips from La La Leche International

La La Leche International is probably the most recognized and known breastfeeding help centre internationally. They have local chapters all over the world to support breastfeeding mothers.

What I like most on the La La Leche International website is the Breastfeeding Answers From La La Leche International page.

I also recommend this other breastfeeding resource page on their site. Go here to Download Past Issues of Breastfeeding Today Magazine. Breastfeeding Today is an international magazine with inspiring stories plus helpful information, news and reviews for expectant parents.

5. Breastfeeding Stories

I had a very difficult time breastfeeding, especially with latching baby. I found that reading success story from other breastfeeding mothers really helped me. Here is the page which I often visited to read the breastfeeding stories. It is not a very known page. In fact, it is rather old, with the last update made on 21 September 1999! However, I really hope that they keep the page and don't take it down because it has been really useful to me and I know it will be useful to other breastfeeding mothers who face difficulties in breastfeeding. Reading breastfeeding stories is a form of support.

I also wrote my own breastfeeding story in a booklet. It is called "I Didn't Know Breastfeeding Would Be So Hard." Hopefully, by sharing my story, I will be able to help and support other mothers who have latching problems.

If you have problems don't be afraid to ask for help!

If you have breastfeeding problems, ask for help! Reach out to your immediate support circle. If you don't have a support circle or the people around you are not supportive of your breastfeeding, ask for help online. Join a breastfeeding forum. You can also ask for help by submitting your questions to some of the breastfeeding sites like and La La Leche International which have a form for you to fill up with your personal breastfeeding question if your question isn't already answered in their Breastfeeding Answer pages.

This is the site I used to ask for help when I desperately needed answers. It is called All Here is their breastfeeding help page. On it, you will see the breastfeeding experts with their biodata and the past answers from that expert. All you need to do is choose the expert you would like to Ask Your Breastfeeding Question, then post your breastfeeding question to the expert of your choice by filling up a form. You can also ask your question from different experts so that you can make better decisions with more answers.

That was what I did. I asked this question. Help! My Baby Is Still Not Latching On At Six Weeks!. I was so desperate, I asked this question to 6 different experts. I was very grateful for all their help. You can view my question and the helpful answers here.

Looking Good
It is important to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and make an effort with your appearance as usual. It will boost your morale when you are feeling down and having breastfeeding problems

Perhaps this is a little out of topic but I just want to remind all breastfeeding mothers especially those who have problems breastfeeding that you must continue to make the effort to look good and take care of yourself during this time.

This thought came to me when I saw this beautiful breastfeeding poncho that will keep you looking good while allowing you to breastfeed baby discreetly.

I'm afraid I didn't make the effort to look good. I practically lived in my pajamas. Not looking good contributed to my feeling unhappy about my initial failure in breastfeeding. Not looking good did not help make me feel better about having difficulty getting my baby to latch on. If I could do it over again, I would take better care of myself and make an effort not to look like something the cat dragged in or as if I had just woken up half the time!

Blog Posts

You can also visit my blog Mothering Times to read some breastfeeding blog posts of mine. I am not an expert, just a mother who had a lot of difficulty breastfeeding but I did face and wrote about some issues like cup feeding, mastitis, etc. Funnily, one of the most popular posts on my blog is My Period Returned Early Even Though I Breastfeed :). I wrote it in 2006 and I still get many visitors for that post till today.

If you would like to help support another breastfeeding mother, why not share your story too? I will help you to post your story online by publishing it on my "Breastfeeding Stories" category on my blog. Here are the breastfeeding stories submission rules.

One of the ways to support another mother during breastfeeding is by sharing your story. If you have had difficulty of problems breastfeeding you will naturally want to do that. It makes me happy to be able to share and help another new mom, even if I don't know her or may never ever meet her because I know that all breastfeeding mothers need support. Support is something that we can't get enough of but sadly is sometimes just not enough.

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Friday, August 02, 2013

My Different Names

When they were younger, it was "mummy".

When she wants to appear more mature, she calls me "mom"

When he wants to get his way, he calls me "mama"

Whatever it is, I'm very happy to be their mother.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

He Says She Says

She says:

"He wants me to check when the new rubbish collector comes around so that they will collect our rubbish. How am I supposed to know what time they come. I don't have all the time in the world to go and look out the window every few minutes."

He says:

"I don't know why I have to worry about everything that happens in the house. I have to worry about the rubbish even and she is the one who sits at home all day."

She says:

"He interrogates me like I am his worker. Why didn't you ask the autogate repairman what happened when they worked the drill. Did it cause the electricity to trip? What to do now? What does he recommend? Why this. Why that. Why does he interrogate me? This may be the way things are done in the corporate world but this is not the way to run a family."

He says:

"Why do I have to be the one to worry about everything around here? If the electricity goes off again, whose responsibility is it? It always comes back to me." Sigh.

She says:

"Why must she stop her piano? Can't she continue learning just for fun? Why does everything have to be about marks and certificates around here? Why doesn't he appreciate music just because? Stopping the music won't help. She will only stretch her time and in the end we will still have to wait for her to finish her homework before everyone can go to sleep."

He says:

"She can't cope with her school load. Every night we have to threaten to switch off the lights to go to sleep. Where can she find the time to play just for fun. Besides it is not cheap. I also don't want to reward her for playing music just for fun when she says she doesn't have enough time and cannot manage it. She has spent so much time and effort in her music. Look at all her certificates. If I didn't appreciate music, I wouldn't have bought the piano for the family. She can do other things like exercise or other better things during that hour."

She says:

"How can I think of what she can do during that one hour. I have other things to do. I have to go and cook and make sure everything else is alright."

He says:

What I want is for her to work with me not against me. Why must she always be against me? Why does she have to fight with me for everything? Why do I never get any support from her in anything? Why can't she work with me to think of what other things she can do? Nevermind I will think of it myself as I always have.

She says:

"Why does he have to blame me for the boy having to take tuition? I have tried my best but I can't help him now. Why can't I be appreciated for the things I have done?"

He says:

"We are only rewarding him for not paying attention in class. For not paying attention, he gets to have tuition. I don't want to teach the kids the wrong thing. It is also not cheap. How long will this go on. I bet there will be no end to it. I am very unhappy. I don't want to reward the kids for the wrong things."

He says:

"It is her fault for not nipping it in the bud."

She says:

"He blames me for everything. Everything around here is always about studies, rewards, certificates, getting top marks. It is so tiring. I feel drained. I feel weary I feel pressured."

He says:

"She is not paying the bills nor does she worry about the finances. So of course she doesn't have to worry about the children doing well and getting into better schools. We can't afford to send the kids to private schools so of course we must push them to do the best that they can do so that they will have more opportunities. I feel drained. I feel weary. I feel pressured."

Sometimes life gets in the way.....

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

A SAHM Needs Self Discipline

Woman using computer mouse
I find that one of the most important virtues a SAHM needs is self discipline. Without it, nothing gets done. My self-discipline meter changes from day to day. Some days are really good. Others pass by with me hardly lifting a finger, except maybe my index finger to scroll the PC mouse or touching my touch screen tablet.

Today, is a good day for me. I have managed to do all my laundry and ironing and dishes and even found time to write the next chapter in a new book I am working on.

The other two books I wrote are sold mostly overseas on Amazon, Smashwords and Createspace but I am now one step closer to bringing them nearer home by selling them on MPH Digital. Still working out the details. Now, I am working on the third.

A little while ago, I wrote the first two chapters and then I stalled. For days, I tried to think of a better title for it but it just wouldn't come. Today, I decided that if I don't work on it, it is not going to be completed. So I read it again and decided that I liked the original title after all, so I wrote Chapter 3.

I've still got to cook lunch and do the floors so I had to find a good place to stop writing. My "working hours" for my writing is always in the mornings only. When the kids get back in the afternoon, there is no more time for me. The rest of the day is rather rushed. Helping with homework, cooking dinner, washing up, going to bed early so I can make it through another day.

Today, I have been a good girl, a good SAHM with good self discipline. So, I am happy. :)

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Saturday, July 6 Is International Kissing Day 2013

Saturday, July 6 Is International Kissing Day 2013. So, remember to kiss your loved ones.

Do you kiss and tell your loved ones you love them often? Don't just leave it for Kissing Day.

"A Kiss Is A Lovely Trick Designed By Nature To Stop Speech When Words Become Superflous." - Ingrid Bergman

International Kissing Day 2013
If you have forgotten how to kiss your spouse the right way, here are some videos to get you in the mood. ;)

Or you can check out cute Kiss Tshirts from Zazzle

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Do Facial Expressions Matter?

Facial Expressions
My husband tried to teach me tennis many years ago and he kept on giving me a fed up and frustrated look. I felt very much affected by the look and could not play at all. He insists that facial expressions do not matter. He says I must remain objective and not let it affect me. To this day, he says that facial expressions do not matter. I beg to differ.

I think facial expressions matter a lot. Sometimes, they speak volumes. Sometimes, they say much more than words can say. 

With this believe, now as a mom, I believe that I must control my facial expressions when talking with the kids. My girl is always coming to me and asking me "Are you angry with me, mom? Are you happy with me mom? Not angry?"

My children say that I am angry all the time and I frown all the time. What a bad example I am showing to them. Today's mantra is "I must control my facial expressions. I must control my facial expressions."

Oh and regarding my tennis classes? Eventually, my husband paid for a tennis coach to teach me but I still can't play for the life of me. I can only run around picking up the tennis balls. :P

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

That Dreaded Call From School

Getting a call from your child's school is a rather unpleasant thing. Why do they only call for something negative?

Anyway, recently I had a call from my children's school. The teacher spoke to me in Mandarin and I almost hung up on her. Oops.

Finally I understood her.

"Are you the mother of ....." She asks. "He fell down during gym and injured his leg. Now he cannot walk. Can you come and take him home now to see the doctor? I am sorry."

Of course I went into a panic mode. I forgot to ask her for any details and said. "Yes, of course I will come now." In my mind's eye, I saw a little boy with a sprained ankle and a cast. My heart went "beep bop beep bop"

When I got to the school, I saw a little boy sitting in the sick bay ... with a grazed knee.

It was just a grazed knee and he didn't need the doctor. Thank goodness. Still, I was glad the teacher called. It shows that the system is in place and the teacher knows what to do and how to reach me in case of an emergency.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

Father's Day 2013 is on Sunday June 16, 2013. That is one day after my birthday. Usually it falls around my birthday so we get to have a double celebration of sorts even though our "celebration" means business as usual.

Happy Father's Day 2013 to all Fathers.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Children Helping Out With Chores At Home

Cartoon Girl With Toys
Now that the kids are older, I can get them to help with household chores. It is too bad they have so much homework from school. Otherwise, I will get them to do more because at this age (9 and 11) they still love to help.

Helping at home starts from the time they are very young. They can help by picking up their own toys. Now that they are older they help with folding clothes, hanging clothes, washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning up their own tables (they each have their own small hand held broom and pan to sweep off eraser droppings and pencil shavings from the table), throwing the litter and many other small chores around the house.

Sometimes I give them the mop and say "Here you can mop anywhere you want?" Then they would stare at me incredulously and say "Anywhere?" surprised that I would trust them with such a big task. "Yes, anywhere." then I go and do something else and leave them to it. If it is the first time they are doing something, I will give them instructions or show them how to do it and then I would leave them to do it.

I find this a much better way then hanging around telling them what to do and how to do it the right way and how they are doing it wrong etc. When you get children to help at home, you have to do just that. Trust them. They may not do it the way you want it done so walking away is the best. They build confidence when you are not there hovering around telling them how to do it the right way.

It was not always this way. Now, I have learned to close one eye. Previously, I would get so upset about how much more mess was being created sometimes when they are helping. For example, when I am sick and the dad and boy decides to make the juices, the whole kitchen floor would be wet afterwards but now I've learned not to look at the wet floor and just enjoy my juice. In this way, it helps them and it helps me too and soon I find that it really helps to have them helping me. More chores gets done when I walk away and do something else.

Learning to close one eye also makes sure I don't redo their work which defeats the purpose of having them help in the first place. Finally, at long last, I have learned the art of having children helping out with chores at home.

I will teach them more chores as they grow up. Helpful children are not born. They are taught.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Father's Day Gift Baskets 2013

Father and Child Cartoon For Father's Day
Father's Day Gift Baskets make great last minute Father's Day gifts. They're great for any father, near or far. So if you haven't started shopping yet for a gift for your father, whether for your own father or for the father of your kids, here are some Father's Day Gift Baskets 2013 gift ideas for you.

This year 2013, Father's Day falls on Sunday, June 16, 2013. That's one day after my birthday, so we will have a double celebration. :)

Here are some of my favorite picks for this year's (2013) Father's Day Gift Baskets.

1. Father's Day Gift Basket For The Golfer Dad

Father's Day Gift Basket For The Golfer Dad

The Golfer dad will surely enjoy this Hitting The Range - Father's Day Gift Basket. It includes golf tees, practice balls topped up with delicious gourmet snacks.

If your father likes to play golf, this one will surely hit him at the right spot. :)

2. Father's Day Gift Basket For The Dart Player Dad

I like this one because I like the dart board that comes with the gift pack! I remember dad bought us a dart board (not the other way around) when we were younger and we  used to have loads of fun playing darts with dad. He taught me how to throw my first bulls eye.

Father's Day Gift Basket 2013

This Dart Board Set -Gourmet Dart Players Gift -Great Father's Day Gift Idea comes with cheeses, crackers and a two in one dart board set with 6 darts for many Father and children bonding evenings. As a mother, I can't help but like this idea!

3. Father's Day Gift Basket For The Dad Who Loves A Good Grill Or Barbeque

Father's Day Gift Appreciation Baskets 2013

For the dad who is a barbeque lover, this grill gift basket for dads is perfect with all the right sauces and tools for the perfect summer grill. Give dad this Father's Day Grilling Gift Basket - Sauces & Snacks for The Grill Master then take it for a test run together by having the best barbeque of all on Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day 2013.  Hope all dads enjoy this special day for them.

Here are more delightful Gift Baskets For Dad for 2013 for fathers who love coffee, wine, gourmet food and more including foods for the health conscious dad.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

BFF Day 2013

BFF Day 2013 is on June 8.

BFF is short for Best Friends Forever. My girl is very much into that now. She eagerly brings her autograph book for all her friends to sign in them. They draw cute pictures in colored pens and write sweet notes to each other. She often shows me her autograph book proudly. She may be only 11 but you never know, some of these friends she makes may turn out to be a BFF, a Best Friend Forever.

I find that most BFFs are made in schools rather than at the workplace. When I see my sisters' BFFs and my own, they are mostly friendships we made when we were in school. Somehow work mates just drift out of your life the moment you step out of the office but friends in school sometimes remain friends for life.

Since BFF Days is on June 8, I would like to dedicate this post to my BFF of 30 years. It took me just one year in school to find a friend for life. That is something really amazing. She brought into my life giggles, laughter, lots of sharing, home made cakes and friendship at a time when I was feeling really down and lonely, when my immediate family was not around me.

Thank you, dear. To my BFF. I know someone made you mad today. I hope this post brings you cheer. We've been friends so long, I can't even remember how our school uniform looks like anymore. I think the collar is supposed to be squarish not v shaped but I'm too lazy to change the drawing. :P


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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

I Am A Burden And In The Way

"You are always in the way of my plans". that is what I was told today but that is nothing new. I have heard this many times before. I have also heard "You are a burden." 

I shall not feel hurt. Instead I shall iron the clothes and there are plenty to iron. So many and it was so hot, like a sauna.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Women Quarreling In Forums

Women Gossiping
Before blogs, Facebook and Twitter came along, there were forums. Forums are still around but many people now use Facebook and Facebook groups like their own personal forum.

Being one who in real life prefer to listen rather than talk, I also "listened" in forums. Wow! I was surprised at what I "heard".

Forums and other new social media now can turn to be pretty ugly places at times. I didn't know that one can actually argue and quarrel without meeting. I watched friendships form and disintegrate. The online world is just like the real world sometimes.

I try to stick away from negativity though I must admit that once, just once in my almost 10 years of blogging, I got heated up with a commenter and I had an online argument back and forth in my comments page for the world to see. It is most unbecoming. In fact, negativity of any form makes you ugly. See how ugly those women in my cartoon are? Well, those engaging in gossiping, nagging, complaining, arguing, quarreling usually look ugly when they do it. What do you think?

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To Do List

To Do List
I'm On A To Do Strike. Overwhelmed = Too Many ToDos Make Me Feel Like Not Doing Anything At All. 

I've been feeling this way for some time now. I know the only cure is to do things as they come, to not procrastinate. Procrastinating leads to too many ToDos and when you have a lot of ToDos, procrastinating can pile things up pretty fast. Then in no time at all, you feel overwhelmed. 

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? For me, I tune off and then as if rebelling, I stop doing the very things I am supposed to do. I am feeling that way now.......

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Wish I Was A Supermom

Supermom Cartoon
The boy vomits in his sleep. Supermom with her super ears hears the gurgling that signals vomiting and gets up automatically to push him to a sitting position. Nothing comes out, only bile since he has emptied his stomach from all the vomiting he did earlier on in the day. He gets up periodically, every half to one hour 4 to 5 times to vomit more bile and Supermom gets up too. The next day Supermom has to wash vomit soaked pyjamas.

The young daughter is having her period. She leaves behind period soaked clothing for Supermom to wash too. The bile soaked pyjamas and period soaked clothing leaves behind an interesting yellow and red colour in the blue and pink pails, thinks sleepy Supermom.

Its her 12th day wedding anniversary and Superdad, that smart fellow says "Happy Anniversary, dear" and goes off to work. No present or anything else for Supermom because the smart fellow said the necklace he gave Supermom on their 10th wedding anniversary (which Supermom reminded him was a significant year to celebrate) was supposed to last several years. So no present last year and none this year for Supermom. Supermom doesn't get Superdad anything either and  he reminded her that she didn't get anything for his birthday this year too. 

For her wedding anniversary dinner, Supermom cooks porridge for the whole family. In fact, the whole family has been dining on this fine cuisine, plain white porridge cooked up by Supermom for the past 4 meals in a row since the boy is sick and Superdad has a stomach virus. Hopefully this porridge diet will take a few pounds off Supermom, she thinks. 

Oh, yes, there is one more thing that Supermom thinks......

Somedays I wish that being a supermom was as simple as donning a superhero costume. 

Yes, I wish that right now. 

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Wesak Day 2013

Happy Wesak Day to those who celebrate it. For those who don't, enjoy your long weekend. Wesak Day 2013 this year falls on Friday 24, May 2013.

Happy Wesak Day

See what people are saying about #WesakDay on Twitter.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Love And Memories

Heart Shapes
My mom passed away almost 40 years ago. I was still very young then. However, some memories of her remain fresh in my mind. Of course our black and white photos of her carrying me in her arms and looking at me with love helps too.

My Quote For The Day is Love Leaves Trails Of Memories. (I love Quotes and I love making them up in the spur of a moment or when inspired by my own drawings or other things. If you like Quotes too, check out my other blog just for Quotes. It is called Quotes Station).

Love Leaves Trails of Good Memories, yes.... but don't forget that Bad Feelings Leaves Trails Of Memories too.

As a mother and wife, I think I should always stop myself and ask "Will this leave a good or bad memory?" before I act or speak rashly. That guiding principal can't go very wrong. Have you left any trails today? Were they good or bad?

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Life Is Sweet

My husband says I always complain. My kids say I am always either frowning or angry. My girl constantly asks me "Are you happy with me mom? Not angry?"

I of all people should really learn that "Life Is Sweet, Savour It:", a quote I came up with on a whim. Besides the tasting of food, one other definition of "savour" is "to derive or receive pleasure from; to get enjoyment from; to take pleasure in".

Do you take pleasure and try to get enjoyment from life or are you like me, frowning all the time while you rush through life?

I know one thing that I derive pleasure in a lot. It is my writings and my drawings, which is my newly discovered old love. Both of these makes me happy. What makes you happy?


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Beauty Comes From Within

Silhouette of a Woman
My little girl is turning 11 soon. I can't believe how fast time has flown.

She is smart, an intellectual kid who is very inquisitive.

I know she admires some of her classmates especially those who are more loud and aggressive, more pretty or more this or that. She wants to be like them too. She wants to keep her hair like them. She wants to this or that .... like them.

I think as a mother to a daughter, one very important life lesson to teach her is to let her know that beauty comes from within.

This year on her birthday I will remind her that she is special and she does not have to be like anyone to be special. She just has to be herself.

Confidence is beautiful. It makes you glow.

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Announcing The Winner Of The Passionate Mom Giveaway

The following giveaway has ended.

Mother's Day Giveaway 2013 - The Passionate Mom A Book By Susan Merrill

And the winner is........ drumroll.......

Entry No. 32  
Sherease Lauren Mac

Congratulations to Sherease and a big Thank You to everyone else who took part in this giveaway.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Children Using iPads

Baby In Pram With iPad
I think iPads are wonderful for children but I disagree with parents using the iPad as a convenient babysitter for the kids.

There are many excellent educational and learning apps available for children. They are interactive, fun and kids can really learn a thing or two from them very quickly.

However, I think that kids should only be allowed to use the iPad with supervision (at first), next they should also be old enough to understand the benefits and disadvantages and these pros and cons of using the iPad should be explained to them.

Ground rules should be set and in-app purchases should be restricted or disabled. Remember the Smurfberry case where an 8 year old innocently racked up $1,400 in in-app purchases on her mom's iPad?

It is easy to confuse between real money purchases and pretend buying on the iPad game. Do you teach your children the difference?

I found these Top 10 Ground Rules For Child iPad Usage by Kevin D. Jones a very good read and an excellent suggestion. I like rule No. 1 "Work Before Play" and Rule No. 4 "Mandatory iPad Break". I would also like to add rule No. 11. "No playing with the iPad during mealtimes, at home or worse still at the restaurant when you are dining out." Go to the link to read the full article. Kevin also shares How To Disable in-app Purchases On Your iPad.

My kids were first introduced to the iPad at age 8 and 10. They are not allowed to make any in-app purchases. Work always comes before play and play is for short spurts of time only. When mom says "it is time to stop playing" they have to stop or else they will not be allowed to play with it again the next time. The iPad belongs to mom and not the kids. They get to borrow it for short periods of time when they are free.

We use the iPad not only for play but for studies frequently so that they understand that iPad is not only for games alone. We use a lot of google image search when they are studying, we watch videos from YouTube to support their studies, we use the dictionary, the calculator, the Train Chinese app for learning Chinese and many other non-game related use.

We do not take the ipad out of the house and no playing at the dining table is allowed. I absolutely abhor the sight of kids playing with the iPad at restaurants and worse still babies in prams with the iPad locked on by some sort of clip thingy so they can lie down and stare at the screen.

What sort of ground rules do you set for your kids for playing the iPad?

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Monday, May 13, 2013

The First Crush

School Girl Carrying Text Book Cartoon Image
My girl at 11 is having her first crush. She can't stop talking about the boy who is a prefect at her school and who was her classmate last  year. Thankfully, he dropped out of the class. She doesn't need the distraction! She can't stop talking about him. I get an earful each day about how he......blah, blah, blah. His younger brother is in my son's class, so he gets and earful too.

These first crushes are getting younger and younger. The kids grow up so fast these days with all the influences from the media even though I block most of them for now. She does not own a handphone, does not have a facebook account, we don't watch a lot of tv so she doesn't get to watch unsuitable programs unsupervised.

Still, she managed to get her first crush at age 10. When she blabbers away about him, I usually smile and listen to her talk without making too many comments if I can help it. Why? I want to keep the doors of communication between us open for later when I really need it.

For now, she tells me "Mum, this year he only said two things to me....." They are.... SIT DOWN AND EAT YOUR MEAL! at the canteen during recess while he was doing his prefect "checks" and "EEEYEEA" at something else she was doing. :P

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Mother's Day Images

Ever since my dear friend, Kopi Soh encouraged me to draw, I haven't been able to stop! It is amazing what one can draw with an index finger and an ipad! I love it! Kopi Soh showcases her art on a facebook page called Stick It To Me which I absolutely adore! I love her drawings.

Since Mother's Day is just round the corner, I drew a few Mother's Day Images just for fun. Here are my Mother's Day images.

Mother's Day Graphics
 This Mother's Day Image is a silhouette image of a mother carrying her daughter who is giving her a kiss on the cheek. They are connected by a big heart.
Mother's Day Cartoon
 This Mother's Day Image is a simple lines mother and daughter hugging picture.
Mother with two kids cartoon
And this Mother's day image is a cartoon of me and my kids. Actually, they are much older than this now but I have a boy and a girl so here we are. Happy Mother's Day to everyone.

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway 2013 - The Passionate Mom A Book By Susan Merrill

My husband once said to me that if you were to find just ONE idea or thought that will help you from a book, then that book will be worth buying. In The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill, I found not just one but many ideas and thoughts that will help me in my mothering journey as I read Susan's honest view on Parenting.

As a mother, I love to read books by other mothers to gain insight into their parenting views. Susan Merrill, director of is a mother of 5, 2 of whom were adopted in their preteens. Her children are now between the ages of 17 to 22. In The Passionate Mom, she shares the story of the Old Testament Book of Nehemiah and how to use the very same approach to become a passionate mom in today's world.

The Passionate Mom is an excellent guide for moms all over, whether your child is a toddler, teenager or  on the brink of adulthood. You will find the values and wisdom in this book useful. Susan shares the 10 Ps a mom must have in order to parent in today's world. They are perception, pondering, passion, prayer, patience, preparation, purpose, planning, problem solving and perseverance. Each of these are discussed in detail in separate chapters.

I find that I lack the process of perception, pondering and planning the most of all. I do not think enough about what my child needs through perception and pondering and I do not have an overall parenting plan. Susan points out that these are very important processes in order to become the passionate mom that you want to be. Many of us live from day to day and get so caught up in the whirlwind of our lives and the urgency of our list of todos that we sometimes forget them. Thank you, Susan for reminding me of this through your book The Passionate Mom.

Now, I have a special surprise for readers of this blog. You too can read Susan's insights on Parenting. I have one copy of The Passionate Mom to giveaway for this Mother's Day to one lucky mother.

How To Enter This Giveaway:

  1. 1. This Giveaway is open internationally.  Void where prohibited.
  2. 2. One winner will receive 1 copy of The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill
  3. 3. Complete the Rafflecopter form below and follow the instructions on the form to submit your entries. You may submit as many entries as you like to increase your chances of winning.
  4. 4. Please provide a valid email address so you can be contacted if you win
  5. 5. You will need to reply to the winning email within 48 hours or another winner will be selected
  6. 6. This giveaway ends on Friday, 17th May 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Housework Equals Exercise

Woman Exercising Cartoon
I haven't been doing a lot of exercises for some time because I have been busy with housework. However, recently, when I went to YouTube for my favorite workout videos and tried those quick 20 or 30 minute workouts, to my surprise I found that I had not lost my stamina. Doing those YouTube fitness workouts for 20 minutes or so did not leave me breathless as I had thought it would since I had not been very diligent with my workouts.

I found that I could do them easily as before. Thanks to my daily workouts with my mop and my pail. Actually, I use the mop and pail only once or twice a week. ;) I think its carrying the children's 4 heavy bags to and from the car and up and down the stairs that contributes. (No, I don't have 4 kids, but their school bag load is so crazy, they each carry not one but TWO heavy bags to school daily).

So, if  you're a SAHM like me and you don't belong to an expensive gym, fret not. You can still have your workout in your own personal gym with your own personal trainer (the mop, pail of water and heavy school bags). Exercise is free. You can do it anytime.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mother's Day My Way

Image Credit: Myself. (The best way to get original work is to draw them yourself or to take your own photos.) This drawing is of me and my mom wringing out our towel by hand. Read on to find out why.

The other day as I was washing the dishes, I looked at the window in front of me and saw a reflection of a 40 plus lady in a modern kitchen with all the conveniences and facilities that we have today. I thought to myself, "mom, if only you were here today, you would be so delighted" and I thought "I shouldn't be complaining about all the housework I have to do, not with these facilities that mom never had."

You see, my mother passed away when I was 10 years old. Cancer took away my mom. We didn't have any of the modern day conveniences we now have. Dishes were always done on the floor with a bucket of water. Mom would clean them while I rinse in another bucket of clean water. It was the same with our laundry. They were done in buckets of water on the floor. We would first rinse in one bucket, then another. Towels and bedsheets had to be squeezed dry with mom turning on one end and me on the other. Mom would be delighted with the washing machine we now have and the double sink. We don't have a dishwasher but a double sink is so much more when you have to wash your dishes in a bucket on the floor.

I am a mother now myself. I have a loving boy who just turned 9 and an inquisitive girl aged 11. Having grown up without a mother, I realize that the best Mother's Day gift is not something money can buy. The best Mother's Day gift is love and memories. Love from my children and for them to express their love to me in the form of hugs, kisses and being good kids now and good people in adulthood.

My love language is touch so naturally for Mother's Day, I would like to receive lots of hugs and kisses from the children from the moment I wake up till before I fall asleep at night. Hugs and Kisses, Love and Memories, they are all free. I would like to have them as much as I can. That is Mother's Day My Way.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I Need A Holiday

I need a holiday. Ever since the maid left, I'm bogged down with housework. I have double the work she used to have since I have to look after and teach the kids as well. The previous arrangement was she looked after the housework while I look after the kids. Now, I do both. It would be really nice if I could start planning for a holiday and start looking for a Holiday Supply Online.

Perhaps I could try Atlanta Hotel Supply for my holiday but you know what? When you are the maid, the housekeeper, the tutor and a host of other things, a holiday is never ever a holiday. The unpacking and washing after a holiday is a nightmare so sometimes I'd rather not have a holiday! Perhaps a drink would suffice. Yes, Hotel Bar Supplies would be fine.

Many people do not like to pay a lot for the hotel they are staying in because they think what is the point, it is just a night or two and it is just for sleeping in but I think that a really good hotel can make your stay much more enjoyable. So, I don't mind paying for the hotel but I don't go for holidays much so I guess paying for a one or two nights stay once or twice a year is not so bad.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Part Time Maid

I have two maids now. A daily one which does the daily laundry, washing, ironing, cooking, washing, that kind of thing. The other maid comes in twice a week for four hours each time. On one of the days, she will clean everything upstairs, cleaning up all the upstairs rooms, toilets, fans, aircon filters, mop the floor, wipe everything table tops etc. The other day is for downstairs doing much the same as upstairs.

Actually both maids are me. I've decided that its better to really focus on doing housework for 4 sometimes 5 hours a day but only for twice a week so I won't feel overwhelmed by it and so that I will have some "free time". Of course, there is never ever real "free time". That's where the other "maid" comes in for the daily stuff.

I've found that every since the real maid left, I've been so swamped by housework that it has left me no more inspiration to write. I used to love waking up each day and really being excited and looking forward to writing. I even managed to a book of poems and a breastfeeding help book. Housework killed that. Hopefully, my twice a week plan works out, so that I can have some focus again. I didn't realize it but when I write, I need to focus too. I need concentration and the more I write, the more I have to write about. Housework killed that focus.

I'm slowly trying to get back into my writing mode. I've been out of active action since July last year when I got chicken pox and my maid went back for a holiday. She came back for two months but then the year end holidays arrived and I was busy with the kids. In addition, in October the maid left abruptly which left me swarmed with chores. It's almost half a year now. I should be settled down by now.

I still have this freeze in my mind where my words use to flow freely. I need to be motivated and inspired again. During my absence (from writing) I've missed out some fun quests at Squidoo too. I managed to put in one recently for the Imminent Picture Perfect Reel Challenge. We were supposed to take our own pictures and write a lens (a page on Squidoo is called a lens) using those pictures. My lens was one of the 15 to win a raffle ticket this week. Can you spot which one it is from here? Ok, ok, I'll save you the trouble. It is this lens on Choosing Cross Stitch Patterns. The cross stitch pictures on the lens are all my own. This is the second lens I wrote after a long time. I'm happy its still good enough to be featured. The first lens I wrote after getting back into action is this one: What To Look For When Buying A Juicer. I used to be able to write a lens a day but now...

I need to get back into my blogging mode too. So far, I've managed some posts. Hope I can keep it up.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Describe Your Family Members

The other day my husband and I were discussing about a movie and when he left the room, my boy smiled and said "Dad and his movies." Then he smiled some more and said "Dad and his comics."

After that he went on to say "Mom and her games." followed by "Mom and her chores."

When I asked him to describe his sister, he said "Cheh cheh and her homework".

Finally, I asked him to describe himself and he said "Me and my laughter." Haha. That is so true. My son,  you certainly brighten up my life with your laughter. Your laughter fills up the house when you are in. Ever since you were a baby, you were always smiling and laughing and you continue to do so now.

Son, you fill up my heart with joy with your laughter and your warm personality. Whenever I hurt myself, for example accidentally kick the door with my foot, you would rush over to make sure I am all right and give me a hug and massage the hurt foot. You are so kind and caring.

Just thinking of it and just looking at you makes me smile. I want you to know that I love you. I hope you have happy moments in your life always to make you continue to smile as easily as you do now and if at all you are feeling down, I hope you find this post.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Home Cooked Food

When you have to cooked home cooked food two meals a day every day (and that does not include breakfast and tea), then  you have to improvise and cook easy meals to stay sane. Here is what I do, when I am lazy to cook.

This is what we're having for dinner. Egg Tofu, Chinese Cabbage, Chicken, Baked Beans and Grapes For Dessert

First I mince the chicken meat, cut up the tofu, put the beans in a bowl and wash the fruits and vegetables. Now they're almost ready for cooking.

Next, I put the mince meat over the tofu (they don't look that pretty like in restaurants but who cares) and I put the grapes into little dessert bowls and keep them in the refrigerator for later.

Then the beans go into the rice pot for steaming

The tofu and chicken goes into the wok for steaming

The vegetable goes into the wok for stir frying

That's it. I've got a simple home cooked meal for a family of four. You only see 3 here because the man's portion has been kept in the cooker for warming till he gets home from work.

Even this simple home cooked meal which is rather bland and boring takes 1 hour to prepare and that does not include washing up. (Plus I cheated. I used canned beans!)

Home cooked food may be simple and nutritious but it takes effort to prepare. Don't let its simplicity fool you into thinking that it is easy and quick to prepare. Cooking is time consumming and this is as simple as it gets. Some foods require deep frying and stir frying again with sauces. Some require the ingredients to be grounded or is that grinded into a paste first and many other ways of preparation.

So, if you're reading this and you're not the one doing the preparation, go thank your mum, sis, or wife who has prepared it! If you are the one doing the preparation, then give yourself a pat on the back.

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Friday, March 01, 2013

The New Maid

The new maid gets up half and hour then the old maid. She is more clumsy then the old maid. Ever since she started work, she has broken the sugar pot, snapped a small part off the juicer, broke a part off the rice cooker and almost caused it to be unable to close and therefore unable to function, dropped the hot water flask making it harder to push hot water out now and several other small stuff.

She is also more messy then the old maid. The old maid  used to keep everything spotless and things in their place and her memory was very good unlike the new maid who tends to be more forgetful. However, the new maid cooks faster than the old maid. I guess that is because the new maid is more busy than the old maid since she also helps out with the kids unlike the old maid who only does housework.

Helping out with the kids keeps the new maid very busy so she is treated out more to meals outside and takeout meals. Well, its time for the new maid to stop typing now as she has to go and repair the toilet grout which has a hole in it.

Have you guessed it yet? The new maid is me and I can tell you that my old maid is a lot freer than me because she does not have to handle the kids. My job is twice as much as hers.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Best Parenting Advice For Moms

Recently I read this parenting quote somewhere.

"Do not do for your kids what they can do for themselves."

How true. Kids will become more independent if we allow them to do things themselves. For example...

I remember how it was like with my girl. She was the first born and when she went to school for the first time. We had to literally drag her out of bed or carry her to the bathroom to get her to brush her teeth and clean up for school. (because it was so early in the morning and we were worried she wasn't getting enough sleep, we allowed her to snooze etc) As a result, she continued to not want to wake up unless she was dragged. She doesn't need to be dragged now but she is still slow in getting ready.

With the second, (we became wiser), he was excited to go to school on the first day and he woke up and went to the bathroom to wash up himself and we allowed this to continue and it has without issue. No dragging required.

Here is another quote which I made up in a whim.

Sometimes loving someone means not giving them something they love

This applies to kids and sweets or junk food. 

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