Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Still in PJ...

Still in PJ. Arrived late on Xmas eve. On the way back to mom's, I did contemplate if I should have fattening fried hokkien mee for supper. Decided not to. Still got ten days to be a glutton. No need to be so kann-cheong. Thus, went straight home instead.

Though I have been conscious NOT to stuff myself, i.e. I did pace myself as to NOT have all the foods that I want to eat in a single day, I did notice that my pants are a bit tighter, my face bloatier....Why ah?? *sigh* Think getting old lah....

Anyway, back to foods... I've already had my Hokkien Mee (Aiya...dad ordered same-sized plates of beehoon and mee. Boys hantam all the mee, and I reluctantly had to eat the beehoon. I'm a mee-eater lah. Next time, must order small plate beehoon and giant-sized mee. This Hokkien Mee these days is quite exorbitant leh....), satay, yau-yue-oong-choy (cuttlefish/kangkong - errr..not my favorite. But just eat lor), lobak, wantan noodles, Penang rojak, soya bean curd, char kway teow, rice wine mee-suah, pork curry chee cheong fun, normal chee cheong fun, laksa, kaya and butter toast, local kopi and teh tariks, Paandi's roti canai, Champ's Chue Yoke Fun, yong tau foo, and last but not least, dad's yummy home-cooked foods.

Other foods that I still want to indulge in are
- Mee Yoke from State
- Hor Fun and Chicken from Soo Kee in Seapark
- Bann Chien Kueh (this one think from SS2)
- Bak Kut Teh (so that I can slurp up the soup straight from the bowl)
- Mamak stall RM 1 nasi lemak (Err..still got RM 1 one or not???)
- Porridge in Chee-Cheong-Kai
- Claypot loh-shee-fun

Wah....like still so much food to eat, sooo little time!!!
How like that????

Moving

No. Not I. Not so soon anyway.
Just that my sister, D and her family will be moving into their new home in the next couple of weeks.
To be more precise, just before the Chinese New Year.
Thus, she's rather anxious for the renovations to be completed in time.
D's apartment will have a complete facelift; but the main focal point would be her brand new kitchen with customized cabinets, worktops, built-in ovens and Grohe faucets.
Well, she does enjoy creating edible masterpieces.....and a good kitchen will inspire more!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Grrrrrrrrrr....

GRRrrrrrrr!!!

GERAM-nya!!!

First, I changed H's return date from 4th Jan to 27th December which incurred a penalty of USD 20/-.
Then this fella called me from work yesterday informing me that he has a negotiation at 4 PM today, and another on the morning of Boxing Day. So, he can't come home with us this time.

BUT the ticket cannot be cancelled. The next plan was to change the ticket AGAIN. For him to fly out on New Years day, and return with us on the 4th of Jan, as originally planned. 
BLEAH...
NO MORE ECONOMY SEATS on the 4th of January.
OF course we are not going to pay the extra $$$.
So....changed H's ticket to return to KL at a later date.....without us :-(
And of course, incurring another penalty of USD 20/-
BLEAH!!!!

*sigh* What to do??? 
He officially took on a new position just this Monday.....lots of responsibilities and challenges.
We were just saying "cushy job donwan......." (his last job was quite cushy. Okay. Not exactly lah. But more manageable)

On a different note. Apparently, my maid is still sick. Driver went to see her yesterday. No more dengue but got donno what with her belly, and can't even stand straight. I'll clarify further with the driver later (H was the one that relayed the news. He couldn't really understand what the driver was telling him). Will see what happens when I return in ten days time. I don't want to be cruel, but if she is going to have this long lingering unknown illness, whereby no one knows when she is going to be fully-well, I don't think I can wait for her when the boys start school. 

Okay lah. Got to go finish off some last minute packing and chores (need to have a fairly clean house for H lah...)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane....

....don't know when I'll be back again...

HEY! Wait a minute. I do know when I'll be back again. 
Flying back on the 4th of January as boys' school starts on Monday, 5th January 2009. 
Wow! So fast 2009 liow.

As per my title says, we will be leaving on a jet plane for our pilgrimage home aka Balik Kampung ke Petaling Jaya. Our KLM flight leaves on Wednesday, 24th Dec. 
Yup! Xmas Eve. When we booked our flights, Xmas Eve was cheaper than the preceding day. Besides, H still had to work at least half-day on Xmas Eve.  
He'll only be in PJ for 3 days, returning back here on Saturday, 27th (hence my request for the maid to return to work on this day. So that she can at least mop the floors, wash the toilet and change the sheets); have Sunday as rest day, and then back to work on Monday, 29th. 
What to do? He just took on a new position at work. Thus, had a whole list of things that he wants to put in order before the new year starts....

I'll be around for about 10 days....so Laundryamah.. as usal, you organise get-together lah.

Mmmmmmmm....

Donno what title to put this post under....

As mentioned previously, my maid had dengue fever and was admitted to hospital on the morning of Wednesday, 17th Dec. (Most likely, she caught it from her home as she had the whole week off while we were in Melbourne) My driver  had informed me this morning that my maid had returned home after only two days of hospital stay. Though out of hospital, she is still feeling faint etc etc.  

I donno. Is she well enough for the hospital to discharge her? Or they just can't afford to pay the bills? She didn't ask me for a loan for the bills; nor inform me that she has gone home to recuperate. 

I am NOT expecting her to come back to work today, nor tomorrow nor the next day either.
I am giving her till Saturday, 27th. That's ten full days. (If she is soooo sick, surely the hospital will not discharge her? Or her husband would come and ask for a loan to keep her in the hospital???)
Even then, work load will be light compared to normal, as boys and I will NOT be around. 
Only H. 
How many pieces of clothing can H wear?
And he doesn't mess up the house like the boys. 
IF she can't handle such light work load, I donno lah. 

I just don't think it is right to PAY her a full month's salary, if she has only worked 8 days. Plus, if there is NO doctor's letter, nor medical certificate; how can I be sure that she is really sick and not wanting to have those days off??? 
Maids are maids. No matter how "good" or "loyal" or "trustworthy" you think they are; behind your back, they are the same. Bunch of liars. 
I also would say that my maid "sure really sick" but then....I wouldn't know. Would I? So...Never really believe what they tell you. NEVER!
Summore, the reason she is sick (that is if she is really???) is because I gave her the week off. 

So...we'll see if she comes back to work on Saturday. 

Otherwise? I donno...... CUT her pay? GET RID of her? WHAT??

In the meantime, I have been cleaning, mopping, scrubbing, washing etc etc. Back hurt like h@ll the other day, which I later pampered myself with a 90 minute massage at the spa. :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More Loot from Melbourne

This trip to Melbourne is not a holiday trip nor a shopping one. It's to attend my youngest sister's wedding. Thus, the fact that we managed to procure a variety of goods is really quite good...Go here and here for other stuff that we bought.


MASTERS Barbeque Sauce and Cottees Chocolate Sauce
(H and boys like MASTERS... and cheaper here....)

Instant Sauce Mix
(Just buy to try....already used the Cheese Sauce - boys dislike it though.
Ooops...How come got Lee Kum Kee sauce one?? )

Long Life Hokkien Noodle
(Don't know how these taste like. We don't like the ones here....Good ones can only find in certain faraway wetmarkets)

Solar-Powered Garden Light
(Not really working...H said that Fireflies are brighter! Maybe that's why the set was half-priced???)

SunShirts from Target for the Boys
(Cheaper and More Choices)


H's History Books

(Think he watched too much Indiana Jones....Hahhahaha)

Evening Primrose Oil, Fish Oil, Spirulina etc
Big Bottle of Sunscreen from Coles

PJs for the Boys ( 2 Sets for S1 and 1 Set for S2)

H bought these Magazines at the Airport
(for me lah....Not himself)

Half-Priced ROC Products from 'My Chemist'

We also bought some canned oysters and mussels plus two books for S1...but forgot to take picture.....so nevermind lah.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Other Stuff from Melbourne

Always wanted an espresso machine. Actually, H did buy me one many many years ago - think about 15 years ago. It was a Krups. But I sold it to Cash Converters when we were leaving Bangkok. Thereafter, couldn't find any that was affordable. Wanted to buy one when we were in the US but the different voltage would be a problem. Finally, bought one from Melbourne. It's Breville.  There was an offer with the coffee grinder. (errr..... I didn't assemble the machine when I took the photo. So the drip plate and filter are missing.....)

Some very fattening nuts. Actually, am told that nuts are really nutritious. I love nuts...(those shown here and those elsewhere...Ahem! Ahem!...hahahahahaha). Anyway, these are caramel-coated ones that we bought from Queen Victoria Market

Bought this Brush Set and Disposable Palette Paper in one of the NewsAgent. Very malu when my art teacher tries to use my existing brushes and they are in such sad condition (I never clean them properly. I know. Terrible.)

If you've read about the Dinner Party we hosted, you'll know why we need to get these bottles of bubbly from the duty free shop at Melbourne Airport....


Mmmm...what else did we buy? Bottles and bottles of Evening Primrose Oil, pyjamas for boys, some history books, some magazines and some sweets. Haven't taken pictures of these items. Will do so when I've charged my camera.....

All About Scrapbooking

Organised my scrapbooking stuff this morning.....The following photos are the recent stuff that I bought.....from Berkerley in October, some stuff from here, and most recently from Melbourne.

Albums to-date

Acrylic Stamps from Berkerley

Embellishments from Berkerley

Ribbons and Embroidered Stuff sourced locally

Pressie from Mott
(more about our meeting in a separate post)
Donno why the photos from hereon all so blurry one leh

Embellishments from Melbourne


Themed Sets from Melbourne

Cardstock, Papers and Vellum from Melbourne

Carry-on Tote from Melbourne

Books from Melbourne



Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good News. Bad News. Bad Bad News.

The Good News is that H got upgraded to Business Class on the Melbourne to Singapore leg. You probably would say what has that got to do with me???..... Heheheheh. He let me take his seat lah whilst he remained with the two boys in Economy. :-D
I thought something was wrong when his name was called over the PA system when we were in the lounge, but H had already left with S2 to go jalan-jalan. At the gate, told H about the announcement and he went to the airline counter by the gate. Boys and I proceeded into the aircraft first. H took awhile to come into the plane, and when he did...he just passed me the upgraded boarding pass and told me to take the seat. 
How was it? 
Much much better, of course.
As it was a day flight, did not utilise the FULL sleeper function. Watched movies instead. 
S2 didn't know that I was in Business, until we were in the car on the way home. He actually cried and was really upset. 

The Bad News...actually, not that bad lah. The attendant at the lounge over at Changi did not allow ALL of us to utilise the lounge this time. H could only bring ONE guest. Previously, he used the excuse of "only kids" to get the boys into the lounge. However, this time, the attendant was very adamant that the boys could NOT enter. So...we had to wonder around the terminal. Luckily did not spend any money here....you know lah Changi has a lot of good stores around. :-P

Okay. Now the Bad Bad News. My maid has dengue fever. 
No. Don't think she caught it while in my house, as she had the week off while we were in Melbourne. When we got back on Tuesday night, she did look a bit sickly. The next morning, driver said that she had rashes on her arms etc. H instructed driver to take her to the hospital ASAP. She was already gone when I woke up.  
Was hoping that I could relax abit after Melbourne. But Noooooooo. I have to work even harder. GOSH!! So much clothes to IRON!!!! 
Yes. One week of HOLIDAY CLOTHES!!!!! 
Bleah...D@mn 'suay' summore. I had hung all the clothes nicely out in the sun yesterday, and they were almost dried. I was standing by the terrace doors looking out when I saw that there was a lovely breeze. A split second later, I saw two of my laundry stands tip into the blardy swimming pool. I had to jump into the pool to retrieve the stands. Some of the clothes had come off and sunk into the bottom of the pool.
Bleah.. Had to fish them out with the pool cleaning tool. Geezzzz.
No lah. I said jump in doesn't mean whole body lah. Just my legs into the steps of the pool.  So only wet up to my thighs lah. 
*sigh* And tomorrow got to mop the floors, clean the loos.... 
BLeah BLeah Bleah...
This dengue fever is gonna take some time in terms of recuperation, right? Anyone know how long is the hospitalisation?



Monday, December 08, 2008

Kelam-Kabut DAY!

If it's not for my ignorance (or perhaps stupidity), I would be on the plane at this very minute.

Happily hopped into the car with H, the boys, our two big luggage bags for the airport. 45 minutes in the car, and we arrived at the airport. Check-in seems to be straight-forward as I've already done the internet check-in on Saturday. Bags were tagged, Passports checked. THEN...as she was about to print the the lady asks for my Mastercard credit card. The one that I booked the flights with FIVE months ago.

Guess what?
I don't have it with me.
I don't carry all my credit cards with me...especially when I'm travelling. Just one or two cards to "phong sann".
No amount of negotiation, cajoling, arguing would change their mind to issue us with the boarding passes.
I mean I've already checked-in, and got the E-boarding passes (just that I didn't print them out, which on hindsight I SHOULD HAVE!!!), and my passport proves that I am the one that booked the tickets and also travelling on this particular flight.
I do understand it if the person who purchased the ticket is NOT travelling on the flight.
I think it's quite silly....Let's pretend of a hypothetical scenario. I booked the flights 5 months ago. Then two months back, my card was compromised and the bank stopped the card and instruct for its destruction. Does one keep the card and not destroy it just because an airline ticket was purchased months ago???
You tell me. Makes sense or not???
I donno whether is it a Singapore Airlines only thing or what???
Because I booked our flights from SFO to JFK and then JFK to SFO on Delta Airlines and American Airlines via the internet and using my credit card. BOTH airlines did NOT request to see my credit card.
So. Tell me.... WHY???

Luckily they did get us on the 7 pm flight to Singapore (our original flight was at 5 pm so cannot meet up with other family members at Changi already...), and the traffic today was VERY VERY GOOD....public holiday you see. So...we went home to retrieve THE necessary credit card and return to the airport. I tell you, if it was a normal day...I don't think we could actually catch our flight lah...

So...after checking-in for the SECOND time today, we paid for our exit taxes and proceeded through immigration sucessfully. Went to Starbucks to get our two free drinks and sandwiches. Whop it down our throats into our stomachs, and here I am now in the lounge...blogging!
Yes. Boys are here...but there are other PCs around. Thus they are also busy playing their online games. What else??

Okay lah. I'm gonna go kacau H and the boys.....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Confusion of What to Pack!

As you know, we will be off to Melbourne tomorrow. 
Naturally, we need to know the weather conditions in order to pack the right type of clothing. 
A quick check at the weather guide indicated that the temperature in Melbourne on Tuesday ranges from 11 deg C to 25 deg C. 
This range is rather wide...which brings the confusion of what should we pack? 
Pack T-shirts, shorts and baseball caps for the days?
And  Sweaters, long pants and beanies for the chilly 11 deg C nights? 
According to my Melbournian sis, she said that one can experience FOUR different seasons in a single day in Melbourne; and her advice was to pack clothes that we can LAYER. 
So...now I'm off to do my packing...

More Photos from Roman Day...



A few more photos from Roman Day...

Go here and here for my written post and more photos.

Check out this cool GLADIATOR headgear!!!

S2's Teacher


Another Teacher

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Yr 4 Roman Day

Some photos on Roman Day...

Close-up of S2's headgear
I think they call these thingys 'laurels'

Gladiators!!

A Roman Feast 
of Grapes, Honey, Roast Beef, Bread, Vegetables, Dried fruits, Olives

Learning Materials...

Pretty Hairdos of some fair Roman maidens..
.

A Silly Mistake!

When we were renovating our home, there was a choice of fitting a conventional tank water heater or tankless water heater in our master bathroom. I knew that the tankless-type were more efficient and economical, as the unit would provide instantaneous water whenever required. One would not need to turn on the switch and wait for minutes for the tank contents to heat up like in a conventional tank water heater. Neither would the heat be "wasted", like in a conventional tank water heater when the water is not used immediately. 
Despite my knowledge, I still made the silly mistake of installing a conventional tank water heater. I did regret my decision when I had a burnt fuse when I forgot to turn off the heater switch.
What a bummer....
Will be wiser next time.

Opportunities Exists

Met a new expat wife, L the other day through a friend. L has been in this country for one and a half years, and she absolutely HATES it here. She abhors the quality of life citing lack of nature activities, language differences etc. etc. Her distaste for the country has led to prolonged depression. According to my friend, L even contemplated of suicide. When talking to L, she mentioned that she felt "useless" as she missed "making money". I tried to counsel her, and told her that she could always start a home based business. here. It's not impossible, as proved by some expat wives. There are many niche markets in this city of over 10 million people, that one can tap into. All it takes is some creativity and a whole lot of hard work. It's just whether we want to be really committed to our home based business or not. Well, all our counselling did not help, as she has closed her mind to all but her decision to pack her bags and return to her home country....leaving her hubby alone here.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My Roman Emperor!

S2 had been studying about the Romans this term. And to reinforce what the kids had learnt, they have a ROMAN DAY tomorrow. On this day, both teachers and students will dress-up as Romans for the day, and have Roman food for lunch. 

S2 wanted to be Octavian for Roman Day, thus had to search for a costume from the internet (posted a few different designs here about a month back), and take it to a tailor. I didn't shop around. Just went to one near to our house that was highly recommended by other expat moms. Had a shock when she wanted to charge me about USD 30/- (includes material). *sigh* what to do?? Had to agree as I went to her only last Monday (24th Nov). Yes. Yes. My fault for procrastinating.... 

But the final result looks quite good. I was quite pleased with it. I supposed I had to pay a little premium for her experience in making all-sorts of funny costumes for children. If I were to go to a tailor who has no experience whatsoever, I would have to explain forever. 

"Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus"
Headgear and Costume


Told S2 that he might as well have a Roman-themed birthday party next February.....to make full use of his costume. Can't exactly just wear this expensive costume once right?? Besides, all his friends would also have their Roman garbs that have only been worn once. I'm sure their mommies would be happy to help them don the costumes one more time!

Monday, December 01, 2008

My Buddha

Just finished this painting today. Stupid H said that the shadow looks very artificial. Bleah!!
I will have to ask my teacher what his professional opinion is. 
I thought it looks okay what!

USA Shopping - Part 1


ALL about SHOES.

Bought these footwear from the various factory outlets during our trip to the US. Can't remember whether in Barstow, Las Vegas or New York

Two Pairs from Kenneth Cole



Three Pairs from Cole Haan



Two Pairs from Stuart Weitzman


Like I said...ALL these shoes cost less than my Scrapbooking supplies from Berkerley.
SIOW liow.....


In My Dreams...

I know this sounds silly...but I sometimes day-dream about winning the lottery. Not the hundreds of millions of dollars..but approximately 15 million dollars would be good enough. I'm not greedy. Heee heee :-)
I would think about how I would use the money...set up a trust fund for the boys, pay-off all my mortgages, give some to my parents and other family members. And the surplus, I would love to have a mansion whereby I could decorate each room to a different theme. A romantic casbah filled with beautiful Moroccan furniture where I could feel like an Arabian Princess. An English tea room with rose chintz design where I could serve scones and cream to my guests. A Chinese room with chinese furniture, art and blue-and-white ceramics....the list goes on. Well, I know where I could get the Chinese and English furniture, but to find authentic Moroccan furniture might be a bit of a challenge. There's the ottomans, Arabian Nights Lanterns, Casablanca doors and carvings, and the must-haves Moroccan Mosaic Tiles!
But then. I need not worry about this now for I have yet to win the lottery!
So...should I pop out now to buy the ticket now, and keep my fingers crossed?
Or should I continue to dream???