Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thank-less Job

Being a mom is definitely a thank-less job. Don't you agree?
It is worse when you are a stay-at-home-mom...cause your kids thinks that you do absolutely nothing! These past two days had been horrendous for me in my mommyhood. I don't know whether it is because of the time of the month, the alignment of the moon & stars or what. I seem to be at loggerheads with my two boys. They somehow seem to be taking turns to upset me... 

Yesterday was the worst!  I had a spat with S1 in the morning....and then in the afternoon, it was S2's turn. I tell you this S2 of mine...is a real cunning little fox! Not only he lied...he actually set-up a plot. I know it seems like a small matter, i.e. he didn't go for after-school swimming. But that little fox called me up at 3.20 pm and told me "Mom. I've just finished swimming"...and when he got home at 4.30 pm, maid found that his swimming gear was all DRY. I know kids lie occasionally...but to SET-UP a plan??? Boy! Was I upset! I told him I would rub his lips with chillies for lying and he actually sniggered. More "kik-hei-ngo-pah-foh" man. And even more "foh" when I rubbed his lips with a very potent chilly, and that bugger said "that's kinda nice". WALIOW!!!!!! You say ANGRY OR NOT??

*sigh* Many times, I just wanna NOT CARE. Let them do whatever SH!T that they want. If I don't care, I don't worry. I don't get upset. I don't shout. But being a mom...you just cannot bear it. You wanna help them. Want to guide them to the right path. Want them to have the best in life. So what do you do? 
You care. You advise. You guide. You nag. You shout. 
*Sigh*...It's a vicious cycle.... 

So much for my NOT caring mode, I baked some bacon & onion rolls for the boys' teatime snack.....(recipe courtesy of Kinoko Land)...think I have to reduce the baking time a bit, as the crust was crisping. Did my ungrateful boys enjoy the rolls? Yes. They did....



GONG XI FA CAI!!!!

Wishing everyone an 
OXpicious, 
prOXperous, 
hOXxy Chinese MOO year!!


CNY Reunion Dinner...

H came back on the morning of CNY eve.... with ample time till dinner. After he unloaded some of the goodies that he got for me (will post later), we went to pick S2 from his sleepover. Stayed on for a cup of coffee...and then headed to the mall for lunch and haircuts for ALL the boys. After we got home, still managed to catch up on a few episodes of Prison Break. :-)

I didn't veer-off from my planned menu....other than deciding not to make the Steamed Pomfret and the Crab & Sweetcorn Soup

Decided to at least use a RED tablecloth to dress-up our drab table for our REUNION DINNER

All the foods laid out...

Salmon for the "Yee Sang"

Dressed "Yee Sang" ready for "Lo Hei"
(Used the pack that I bought from KL, then added radish, carrots, pear and some cucumber. Forgot about the pomelo though...

Lemon Chicken 

Fried Spring Rolls

"Saang Choy Pau"
(made with minced pork, mushrooms, crabmeat, "bok nee" and onions)

 "Siew Yoke"
(Made this so many times with perfect result...but somehow this batch did not come out well. The skin just would not bubble up! H says it's because the skin was very thin....but yummy nevertheless)

Fried Baby Lobster with Ginger & Spring Onion

Had bought canned longans and lychees for dessert.....but we were all so stuffed that we just couldn't stomach them till later in the night. :-)




New Console for the Boys???

I don't whether it is because that men have different ideas about raising children, or is it that my H just  wants to be in the boys' good books. I've been trying to teach the boys the value-of-money by giving them monthly allowances. Naturally, I expect that the boys pay for their console games, dvd and book purchases from their allowances. However, H would always say "How about I get that? You don't have to dip into your allowances" to the boys.....much to my chagrin! You don't know how hard I had to stop him from upgrading the boys PS2. Not that I don't want the boys to have the latest playstation 3 console, it's just that I feel that they have to earn it.... by achieving some set goals or objectives, and it doesn't have to be academically. Don't you agree? Or do you think I am too harsh?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jumbled..

Happy Birthday, SIS
Hey, Sis No.2. 
Just wanna wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Hope you liked the flowers and cake.


My Buddha
Remember my Buddha painting? Remember how my H critiqued the shadow? 
Well, I have done some re-touching on the shadow as well as on the wall and cracks. 
What do you think? Compare with the old painting here

Quiet House
House is especially quiet this evening.
Why???
My S2 is over at his friend's house for a sleepover. That's why.
Otherwise, boys would be fighting and screaming at each other. And I in turn, would be shouting and screaming at them!!
It's really GREAT when my kids are away on a sleepover. The only thing that I worry about is that they might embarrass me with their bad-manners at people's house. You know what I mean?
On the way to the friend's house this afternoon...
Me - Aye....you better behave yourself, and don't be rude etc.
S2 - Yeah. Sure. I hope we go to the Mexican Restaurant for dinner tonight.
Me - Eh. Asking to go to a Restaurant is NOT good-mannered, okaaaay???
S2 - I know! I said HOPED!!!!
Anyway, did stay and have two cups of latte with the mommy. Chatted for over two hours...and then ended up promising her some cupcakes when I pick S2 up tomorrow. :-P


Cupcakes that I will Make...
Remember the wonderfully decorated cupcakes that I learnt to make in PJ? 
The ones shown below here...???
Like I said...these are just for FUN, and that I doubt I will decorate my cupcakes this elaborate.
True enough....... 
Look at the cupcakes that I made today....  
Far cry, huh????
Hehehehehehehe


Not Home Yet...
H is still not home yet.... only arriving home tomorrow morning. Really want to emphasize the meaning of REUNION in our CNY REUNION DINNER! He just left Narita not too long ago, and should be arriving in Singapore late tonight. Hoped he remembered to buy those Japanese biscuits and mochis back for greedy 'ole me.


My New Maid, T 
Yes. Yes. She's not perfect. But she has the right attitude, and is quite eager to learn our ways and habits. I could do worse. Much worse... 
Hiring a maid here is rather different from that in Malaysia. Here, the maid can just leave whenever they like. So, one must somewhat manage the employer-maid relationship so that the maid is 'happy' working for you, but still 'under your control'. Know what I mean??
Hopefully....I won't have BIG complaints about my maid that I need to blog about!
:-)

CNY Preparations.....

As per my last post, I really did NOT do any CNY preparations.
Thought it sounds kinda bad. Thus, in order to redeem myself, I decided to do some LAST MINUTE shopping to make the house more CNY-y.

Here's what I got....

Flowers for the House

Mandarin Oranges

New Year Cake

Tried to put up some CNY decor from last year...found out that my RED lantern lights have ALL gone wonkers, and had to be thrown out. The little ang-pow hanging-thingys were also NOT in good shape....which means I have to throw them out too...

Old AngPow Hanging-Thingys 

Anyways, thought that we would be having our REUNION DINNER at a restaurant tomorrow night..... But H called last night, and requested that I make "Siew Yoke" for tomorrow's dinner, and to "Lou Sang" as well. Actually FORGOTTEN that I had bought a "Yee Sang" set when I was back in Malaysia. Lucky H mentioned it...otherwise, it will be sitting in the larder until Xmas!!

"Yee Sang" Set from Malaysia

Forgot to buy the salmon, white radish and pear for the "Yee Sang"... another dash to the supermarkets tomorrow to get these necessities!

So, the menu I planned for our DINNER ....
- "Yee Sang"
- "Siew Yoke"
- "Saang Choy Pau
- Baby Lobster with Ginger and Spring Onion
- Steam Pomfret
- Lemon Chicken
- Crabmeat and Sweetcorn Soup

After looking at the list...seems TOOOOO MUCH for the four of us. Since will have salmon in the "Yee Sang", thought that I'll scrape the Pomfret. What about the Chicken or the soup??? Which one to eliminate from the menu? Or both??
Will just ask H when he gets home tomorrow morning....



Friday, January 23, 2009

Prepared for CNY??

Chinese New Year is just round the corner.....
I have to say that I am most ill-prepared for this year's festivities. I've not bought any 'pussy willow' nor RED hangings to decorate the house. Neither did I buy the usual traditional new year cookies nor mandarin oranges to serve my guests. Basically, I've not done anything to welcome the Chinese New Year....NOT one bit. NOT even Spring Cleaning (But hey! My house is clean enough!!).
One thing that I'm prepared is to go OUT and EAT at all those wonderful restaurants that are having Chinese New Year specials! I know there is a HUGE risk of me being a glutton.
But FEAR NOT! For I have a bottle of Leptovox on hand to burn all those unwanted fat!
Well prepared, huh???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Pin has FINALLY Dropped....

...Was wondering when the maid is going to do something wrong. 
You know how it is, right?
There is NO such thing as a perfect maid.
And thus, I was literally waiting...waiting to see when she is going to go wrong. 
It's like in a reaaaaallllly quiet room, and you just cannot believe it is so quiet that you are literally trying to hear a pin drop. Know what I mean??

Well, Tuesday night...she asked me what's the boys gonna have for breakfast. I told her toasted cheese sandwiches, and asked if she's used a sandwich toaster before. She said yes, BUT I told her "It's okay. Nevermind.  I'll come down in the morning to show how to make the sandwiches."
Next morning...I came down, I saw two sets of sandwiches already made.
Waaa..you would think "OK lor." Then I asked her what did she put inside as filling.
She said "NOTHING". 
ADUH!!!  Stupid or blurr or what???
I told her to eat them up lah....and then gave her a lecture about WAITING when I tell her to WAIT. Don't be a smart-alec!!!!

Then I saw the oven was NOT turned-off. She had oven-roasted some chicken for the boys' lunch earlier. All she did was turn the knob to some funny function, and lower temperature. NOT OFF. I tell you... ANOTHER lecture from me about ELECTRICITY and SAFETY!!

Not only that, later...I was trying to give her instructions to prepare the fillings for the chicken pie...and she turned away to continue with the wiping of the kitchen tops.
WALIOW! I cannot tahan this. I thought it's pretty rude.
ANOTHER LECTURE about manners. 
Told her to have EYE contact with me when I am speaking.....YES. I know my eyes are scary. She can look at my nose or my forehead instead!

And I did say her cooking is NOT to our taste. Her soup is rather tasteless and I now know why...She "kuann-thong" rather than "pou-thong"...even when there is ample time. Of course, the soup has NO oooomph lah!!! Thus, she has LOTS to learn to cook OUR WAY. 

There.... My maid is NOT perfect..

After all this maid business, I met a friend for lunch...and of course I was telling her all about the mistakes that my maid did. My friend "So? You sound like you are relieved that she has finally made some mistakes?"..
Actually...yes. I have to admit that I am kinda relieved that the pin has FINALLY dropped...
:-)

So now to see if she will last ....




Monday, January 19, 2009

Fuming Mad with the Driver!!!

Wah-l@%n!!!!
I tell you....I was blardy mad with the blardy driver this afternoon. 
Was cursing like nobody's business man. 
Stupid idiot took the opportunity to go off gallivanting after he dropped me off at my Oil Painting class. 
Yes. It's true that I usually leave the place at about 2.30 pm, but today, I finished early and wanted to leave then...which was about 1.15 pm. I called the idiot, but he didn't answer. I presumed that he had left his phone at home or something.
I thought NO MATTER; I'll just go down and he'll be there in front...as he always were.
I had extra canvases today, and got my friend's maid to help me bring the art-materials and canvases down.
Lo and Behold. Car was no where to be seen.
Perhaps he couldn't find a parking spot in front. Hence, I walked further down.
No sight of the car.
I called. No answer. I called and called and called. NO answer. 
Of course I was ABSOLUTELY FUMING. Idiot went off and did not have his phone???
I think I must have called about TEN times.....then idiot picked up the phone. 
He's gone off to wherever....and will come pick me now.
He took 25 minutes to arrive. 
BOY!! Was I mad! ....I definitely gave him an EARFUL. He IS SUPPOSED TO WAIT there for me. NOT go off whenever and wherever he likes. What is the heck!
I don't think he ever saw me soooooo mad! What can he do?? Just apologize profusely lah!
Geeeeezzzz

On the same note as Hired Help. New Maid is still ok. 
She has not turned into the Wicked Witch of the West YET. 
She does sweep the terrace and garden on her own initiative. Does the necessary Ridsect sprays in the evenings; brings our nightly water bottles to our rooms; packs the boys' PE Kit; vacuums the carpet, polish the windows and glass doors, mops our floors quite well... but I donno whether it's because it's been raining cats or dogs for the last week or what....my clothes don't smell too right. Kinda musky and mildewy.... YUCKS!!! Been throwing items into the laundry basket to be RE-laundered. Oh yeah...she said my sports shoes were dirty so she washed them. Aiyo...but the weather has been so bad. Of course my shoes couldn't dry properly. Just now, when I wore them, I almost died from the PONG!!!!  Asked her to wash again lah.

She did cook dinner the other day when a friend dropped by. Her food's okay...but not really to our taste. Let me try to think what she made... Foo-Yung-Hai, Kampung Chicken steamed in Wine, French Beans with Minced Beef and her version of ABC soup. Thus, will have to teach her to cook OUR way. 

This maid is more forward with her request for foodstuffs...unlike my previous maid, who only ask for the basics. But I did say that I will provide food....and the foodstuffs that she's asking are quite cheap. So fair enough, I guessed. 
She's also more particular than my previous maid, ie. she'll use plastic bags to cover her hands when she handles the pork or when she cleans items that has 'touched' pork. 
Well, at least she will  handle and cook pork......She cooked S2 some minced pork porridge two consecutive days (sick maaa)

Okay lah...think enough about the hired help for now...
GONNA put boys to bed...they are sleeping in my room tonight (H away in the States).
Aduh! Just now, S1 went to poo in my toilet. Stupid S2 actually went inside to chat with him....Yeah. While S1 was doing his business!!!!!
Just door opening and closing also STUNK up the room. I donno how S2 can TAHAN the smell INSIDE the toilet!!! And I donno how S1 can still continue with his business with his brother IN there chatting with him!!
Both H and I absolutely need our PRIVACY for such a task. We cannot tolerate anyone OUTSIDE the door talking to us. AT ALL.
How come our boys sooooo different ah????


S2 is Back in School...

After my last post, S2's temperature was still hovering around mid-37s deg C. It was agonizing to wait and see....  whether to wait wait wait or just take him to the clinic for a blood test. I didn't want him to suffer a needle prick unncessarily. Thus decided to FORCE him to have a nap first before deciding. When he work up about 5-ish pm, his temperature was in the low-37s; and I thought I'll wait till later (as doctors at the clinic would be available till 10 pm, with the labs running 24 hours). By around dinner time, his temperature was normal already. And by bedtime, it was lower than 36.9 deg C. At first, I thought I'll keep him at home today....just in case. But he wanted to go to school..... Monitored him through the night, and this morning. 
Fevers Gone. 
So off he went to school this morning. (Did write a note to his teacher to excuse S2 from all sports/swimming activities this week!)

Aiya... I tell you ah.. these kids ah...simply give wrong information. H called this morning (he had gone to the States on Saturday morning) ...donno why he called S1's mobile. That fella told the dad that S2's fever had gotten worse. Of course, H got worried lah...and wanted to talk to me immediately. Aduh!!! Apa-lah. Give wrong information!!!!

Hopefully everything is A-O-K now....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wait and See....

Now, am just literally waiting.... waiting to see if S2's temperature drops.

His fever started on Thursday evening with a high of 39 deg C. (read previous post) Next day, it was a more manageable level at the mid 38s, with another peak of 39 deg C in the evening. At that point, I decided to take him to see the doctor over at the SOS clinic to have a check of his throat (since he was sorta coughing too). As the paediatrician was still there, I opted to see him instead of the resident GP. 

S2's chest is clear. No wheezing, which is good news. But his nose was pretty sore and stuffed up. Paediatrician  said that it's most likely a viral infection, and we'll just have to wait it out. He  did ask all the pertinent question with regards to dengue incidences among friends/neighbours etc, as this disease is on the rise now due to the rainy season. So, I need to be vigilant, and constantly check S2's temperature. Should he still have fever after 3 full days,he'll need to go in for a blood test. So far, the last dose of panadol was at 2 pm yesterday... and I've not given anything since then. His temperature has been hovering below 38 deg C. Normally, I don't give meds to my kids if their temperature does not rise above 38 deg C.  So will see how he is later today. If the temperature rise again, it's off to the clinic for a poke! 
But I'm quite optimistic that he is recovering from the flu bug as he's pretty active (active enough to use the cue to whack his kor-kor, and then engage in some kind of fight!), chatty and eats quite well too. 

So....WAIT and SEE lor...

RE S2's Allergies..... I knew S2 was allergic to certain foods from young. I just didn't know what foods. He would have periods of wheezing triggered by something he ate...but because we eat all sorts of foods, we really couldn't pinpoint what foods. This was AFTER he eats what we eat. Didn't really have this problem when he was on milk or baby foods.  I knew it was from foods, because after about a day (after the foods have been digested and purged from the body), his wheeze will stop automatically. So far, his allergies can be considered as quite mild...not the rashes kind nor the airways totally blocked kind...which is a relief. 

I did take him to a conventional Allergy doctor to have him checked out (to test for allergens using the prick test...) but as he was on medication then, the results will not be accurate, thus this was not done. Took him to the Bio-Resonance test clinic on Friday because I've always wanted to have him checked out, and since he was off-school, and an appointment slot was available.


Really need a Miracle!

I've been eating non-stop lately. 
Not only that, my eating binges consisted of late night suppers of "mee goreng mamak" and "teh tarik" over at the Malaysian restaurant nearby our house. Previously, we did not patronize this restaurant often as weren't satisfied with the quality. Of late, the quality has improved; and this past week, we've been there three times already! 
As a result, a step on my bathroom scale gave me a shock this morning. 
I think I need a miracle pill such as Lipovox to help me get rid of all the unwanted excess kilos! Not only that, wrinkles and acne are begone!!! 
Quick! Get me a bottle of Lipovox, pronto!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

My S2 is Sick again....

This time, I kept him at home on my own accord.
Fever at 39 deg C wor.....of course did not let him go to school today.

He was fine when he got home from school yesterday.
Fine when I dropped him off at his Mandarin class....
But when I picked him up, his face was all scrunched up.
Complained about not feeling well, and then kept silent (which is definitely NOT s2's character if he is well!).
S1 kept saying "He says he has fever, but I'm sure he is just pretending!"
Touched him, and his skin was indeed warmer than usual.
Only managed to test his temperature when we got home...summore the jam was rather horrendous yesterday evening.
S2 must be feeling quite crappy as he skipped dinner, and just slept on the sofa....then woke up and went up to his room to sleep. 

No. I haven't taken him to see a doctor yet. Thought I'll wait till another day or two and see if fever subsides. Since he was off-school, I decided to take him for the allergy testing over at the "Star Trek" Clinic. Wanted to do this for ages..... 

Wow! Turns out, S2 is allergic to sooooooooooooo many things. 

Breathable allergens:-
- dust mites
- household dust
- cigarette smoke
- all sorts of animal hair (dog, cat, goose feathers)

Foods:-
- cow's milk
- eggs
- chicken
- beef
- prawn
- grapes
- potato
- ice/cold drinks

Aiyo!! All the common things in our house!!
You should see his disappointment...he was like "Hrmf! I can't eat ANYTHING from McDonald's. I usually eat nuggets. Now I cannot eat that. No more french fries!"....and then he kept asking to know if he is allergic to PORK! And when the therapist was testing him, he was like praying "Please. Please. Let me not be allergic!"
He was absolutely ecstatic when the result was negative. 
Hahhaha

No lah... not absolutely cannot eat... Been eating those foods for donno how long already. Just pace the consumption and not consume all the NO-NO foods in one seating. 
Besides, they have a treatment that can gradually minimize the effects of the allergens on the body. Loads of write-ups about this on the internet. It's called Bio-Resonance, and is a German technology.

Oh...our friend was pretty energetic and chatty despite of his fever this morning. I don't think the therapist had ever in her life seen such a chatty patient! She asked me if he is like this at home, i.e. chatty and active. :-)
We went to Crystal Jade for lunch .... and his appetite had returned, which was good news to mommy! 

Forced him to have a nap this afternoon...or rather threatened. No nap. No games. 
So he kwai-kwai go and sleep....and still is. 
:-)

Hope his fever breaks soon... 


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Myer's Christmas Window Display...

Come. Come. Come and look at my photographs of the window display...
Come and "pong chann" lah....

Sis saw the window displays first and mentioned that they were cute....So of course I also wanted to look at them. At Bourke Street, I told boys to go look at the Myer window displays with me.... but NO ONE wanted to. S1 had persuaded H to take him to Angus & Robertson round the corner...and I thought I could persuade S2 to go look at the displays with me. He was already walking away with his dad and brother, looked back at me; waved and said "No thanks, mom!"...leaving me standing there in the middle of  Bourke Street ALONE. Like some desolate woman...
 *sobs* My babies are grown-up. Not interested in these things anymore... :-(





Forgot which is the right order liow..... But basically shows Santa's workshop's various departments from Planning, through to Production and Delivery of the pressies.... 

So Far So Good...

Errr... I know that I said that I won't leave the maid to cook on her own in my last post.... BUT I did. H wasn't coming back for dinner, and I had a heavy Korean BBQ lunch with some friends this afternoon. So, just took out some chicken thighs and broccoli, and got her to cook for the boys. She made it in her style. The chicken in soya sauce was a tad salty...otherwise the taste is alright. Though I didn't eat dinner, I did have a quick taste of the dishes. The broccoli was slightly over-cooked for my liking and again, too salty. Told her to REDUCE the salt/sauce next time. She's gonna make Fried Rice for the boys' packed lunch tomorrow. She seems quite eager to make all sorts of foods for the boys' breakfasts and lunch... asked me about Spaghetti, nuggets, egg sandwiches, seafood fried rice, sausage omelet, squid tempura etc etc.... Told her that I would bring her grocery shopping one of these days when H has dinner at home (he's busy whole of this week...), and she can whip out her various la-sau-siu-choy!!

I thought I would have to spend ages explaining to her about the different cloths and mops in my house; i.e. kitchen cloths MUST be separate from other cleaning cloths; outside mops from inside mops etc etc.... I think she must have worked for a STRICT household. Not only that she knows that the cloths are to be separated, she even requested more CLEANING cloths so that she could segregate "Cleaning furniture cloth" from "cleaning windows cloth". This is the first time, I have a maid requesting MORE cloths!!! She said it would be cleaner. 
Normally, I am only picky that my kitchen cloths are NOT mixed with the other cleaning cloths...

She told me that she would mop the floors morning, and then evening..... She had a really SHOCK look when I told her NO NEED. Once in the morning is good enough. Hahahahh... Really. Aiya...boys are at school till 4.30 pm three times a week. The floors are clean enough with a mop once a day. 

The only hitch was yesterday's laundry..... My front-loading washing machine takes awhile for one cycle.....I had quite a lot of laundry (since I didn't do any on Sunday, plus my sheets were changed yesterday too), and she waited and waited...At 2 pm, most clothes were still un-laundered. I told her to just hand-wash the rest...rather than wait for the washing machine.  She did hand-wash them, but then waited for the washing machine to do the "SPIN". She said that with the rainy season, it's best to spin the clothes so that they would be dryer... FAIR ENOUGH lah... Today? Things went more smoothly.... Hehehehehe... 

So...hopefully things will work out...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Maid is Here

The "agent" (not really an agent) mentioned in my previous post did bring over a maid this evening at about 5 pm. I thought if it turns out to a NO-SHOW, I would have to go to the Community Center tomorrow to get one...which I kinda dread as their list of maids available generally worked for ang-moh expats. And you know lah...work for ang-moh, where can work for us??? They are soooooo spoilt. My friend's maid live-out, work from 8 till 5 pm. So she ends up cooking dinner and cleaning-up. Now she is saying that she wants to have a live-in, but don't want to UPSET anybody... And yes. She is ang-moh. And these ang-moh maids  get paid waaaaaay much more than the "normal" maids. This other ang-moh friend also spoils her maid...pays her USD 150/-, lets her husband stays in her house..maid doesn't cook. Only clean the house and her laundry, i.e. laundry for ONE person. Don't work weekends summore. So lah..you say spoilt or not?? Definitely CANNOT employ one of these lah... 
I won't call myself a slave driver...but really cannot tolerate the ang-moh maids.
Errr... I don't mean maids that are ang-mohs...but maids that work for ang-mohs...

Back to my maid.....As the norm, the maid came with all her stuff....ready to start STRAIGHT AWAY. The "agent" did tell her the key items prior to our meeting, i.e. her pay, off-days, jack-of-all-trades duty, her being the only maid, the requirement to cook and cut pork etc. Her experience? Apparently worked for a local/HK Chinese family...that had 12 employees working under the roof!!!!  Then, for a Malaysian family up till Xmas... So will see....

Didn't ask her to do any task this evening, except that she tidy up her own room and stuff. Will start training her tomorrow morning. She looks okay (as if looks are any indications??!?!?!!!!! :-P )...... So far, she's certainly does look better than the one that came for interview on Friday afternoon. 

This other one ah....Call me discriminative, but the headgear kinda put me off already. I had a stool in the kitchen, and she just sat on it without being invited to. She didn't want to tell me her last paid salary, and wanted to have more than USD 100/month...which I wasn't willing to give as a starting salary. With the headgear, off course I asked if she was willing to cut/cook pork, and she said NO. So no need to discuss further lah...but she still was rather persistent to ask how much I was willing to pay her if NOT USD 100. 

Anyway,...hopefully this one works out. Re - cooking pork? She said she can cook but I'll have to do the taste-testing. Alamak! Of course, I don't expect her to taste lah.... The "agent" was still there, and was like encouraging her to just estimate on the flavorings...NO NEED to taste lah.... Aiya! With her so new, I definitely will not leave her to do the cooking just yet!

Wish me luck...


Friday, January 09, 2009

Maid Really Gone...

Yup! She's gone.
Gone back to her village; and not coming back.
All her stuff were still as she left them.

Had a short chat with the driver on the way to Carrefour (Alamak! Swore that I won't go to Carrefour ever again!! What sucker, I am!!!) with regards to maid/her son/ her husband etc. Apparently, one of my guards also put the blame on her husband. He should have taken the kid to the hospital earlier. He waited too late. He was also the one that forced the wife to be discharged from the hospital before she was ready. Anyway, whatever it is. Too late already.

Told driver to call and speak to my maid directly...whether she wants to come back. Will wait for her if she needs a week, otherwise she has to pack and collect her things. After my shopping, driver confirmed that my maid does not want to return to the city...the city of sadness for her. She requested my driver to pack her stuff, and she'll send someone to pick them up. Driver did put her things away for her immediately after our return from Carrefour. 

Meanwhile, I've been scrubbing, mopping, washing, cleaning, ironing etc etc.
Thus...EVERYWHERE HURTS LIKE H@LL now!!!!!!
Errr...didn't help with me going to the gym on top of that. :-P

Boys had been TRYING HARD TO HELP...
S1 helped by washing all the dishes after dinner.
S2 cleared the table, and wiped too.... 
Then I asked S2 to bring some blankets down (those that we use while watching telly), and he accidently kicked H's kuaci container, which incidently was UNCOVERED and thus kuaci strewn all over the floor.
And you know what my little fella did?
Instinctively, he swept the kuaci from the floor and washed them, then put them back in the container. 
When he told me a matter of factly, I just burst out laughing.
Of course I didn't scold him.....(did find alot of un-swept kuaci still on the floor though)

Anyway, the "agent" (that's not really an agent) will bring someone over on Sunday evening. Evening because S2's class is meeting for a fun day at the water-park in the day. Plus, we probably wanna go out for a family dinner (don't wanna cook lah...lazy)


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Melbourne Trip - Summary

Thought I should write a short summary on our Melbourne Trip before this 'ole brain of mine forgets everything....

Monday, 8 Dec'08
- Depart for Melbourne

Tuesday, 9 Dec'08
- Arrive in Melbourne early AM
- Pick-up Car, Check-in @ Hotel
- Lunch at Chadstone
- Visit old friend, K at her home
- Dinner with Mott and Sandee

Wednesday, 10 Dec'08
- Slept like a piggy till late
- Lunch @ Sharksfin House with Family
- Visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol
- Dinner at Queen Victoria Market
- V's Wedding Rehearsal on Swanston St.

Thursday, 11 Dec'08
- Visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Shopping at Chadstone
- Eureka SkyDeck and Southbank
- Unveiling of Advent Calender at Federation Square

Friday, 12 Dec'08
- Trammed to the City
- Visit to Melbourne Aquarium
- Lunch at the Waterfront @ Crown
- V's Tea Ceremony
- Shopping in the City
- Dinner at Sharksfin House

Saturday, 13 Dec'08
- V's Wedding at Brighton Beach Gardens
- Shopping at Chadstone (again!)
- V's Wedding Dinner at Station Pier, Port Melbourne

Sunday, 14 Dec'08
- Brunch at Ackland St.
- Visit to Luna Park and St. Kilda Beach
- Dinner in the Chinese Restaurant on Punt Road.

Monday, 15 Dec '08
- Dumped boys with Grandparents ...to the Melbourne Zoo
- Lunch at Chinatown
- Search for Scrapbooking shop
- Dinner at Waterfront @ Port Melbourne

Tuesday, 16 Dec '08
- Depart Melbourne for Home

Details and photos to come later.....

Blogger Meet-Up

This is a backdated post.
Backdated to last year.... 9 December 2008 to be exact.

Despite of their very busy schedules, Mott and Sandee very graciously met up with me for dinner on Tuesday (9 Dec '08) evening. As I didn't want to bring the boys, nor want to venture too far from our apartment at St. Kilda Road, the ladies suggested that we meet at the restaurant at The Tolarno Hotel on Fitzroy Street.
I happily left the boys (all three of them) to their oven-ready dinners, and walked to the tram stop across from our apartment. A tram arrived quite immediately, and I thought "Wah..so lucky. No need to wait"...and then the tram just whoooooosh passed. Eh??? I didn't know that I had to hail one leh! What to do? Waited for the next tram to come by, and wave like crazy woman!!!
Also blurr-blurr inside the tram. Wondering how to work the ticket machine. Bet people must be wondering where this swa-koo Chinesey woman come from??!?!?

This blurr Chinesey woman did get out at the right stop, (Last time we were in Melbourne, we stayed right on Fitzroy St....so this place not entirely alien to me lah...) and reached the restaurant in no time.
Knew that both the ladies had not seen my face...but I was the only Chinesey woman in the restaurant. So naturally, quite easy to single me out lah.
I supposed I was a little direct.....asking the ladies questions NON-STOP. Come to think of it. It did seem like I was interrogating.
SORRY, GALs!!!!
We had a wonderful dinner and conversation..... the ladies were so very generous. NOT only they both got me gifts, they wanted to buy me dinner!!!!
AIYO!
And I on the other hand, came EMPTY-HANDED.
(Actually, I did want to buy them some handicrafts. Went to the shop on my departure day ...but the shops were closed. HONEST!!!!)
I really really felt soooooooooooooooooo bad.
Luckily, managed to convince them to let me pay for my own dinner. Otherwise, will feel doubly bad.
Gifts from the Gals...
Scrapbooking Kits from Mott
Very very Fragrant Soap from Sandee


THANK YOU, LADIES

LOVED THEM VERY MUCH!

After dinner, the ladies came over to our apartment. Supposed to take pictures....but we were chatting away till we forgot to take the intended photos.

Oh well...I'm sure there will be a next time.
RIGHT??

Read Sandee's account here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

No More Maid...

In my previous post, I said that my maid left this morning....

If I were to post this earlier, I probably would be ranting and complaining...but I got a call this evening from her husband. Their son had passed away. I'm not too sure of the details, but I guessed he contracted what she had. (Go here for more details) Her husband asked her to be discharged from the hospital when she was still rather ill, and I guessed while she was recuperating at home, she must have passed it on to her son.  And as he is only 4 (or maybe 5 years old), his immune system probably is still rather immature. 

Anyway, my maid left this morning at about 8.30 am; then I received a call from her husband at about 3 pm, informing me that his son is in critical condition and that my maid will not be coming back to work. Then just now at about 5 pm, he called to inform that his son had passed away. And that he would be coming over later to hand over keys and pack his wife's things. 

At first, both H and I were quite skeptical and annoyed. H especially so. We were adamant of not giving her any money when she comes for her things (we paid her a full month's pay for December eventhough she only worked about 12 days).....and then now, after hearing about her loss, we want to give her some. H is rather extreme though....he said to give her approx. USD 500! Gila lah him (if I must say so). I thought USD 50 is more appropriate (actually, when I mentioned USD 30, H actually scolded me!!!!). Don't you think?? 

Now this H is like saying give her a day or two to mourn, then ask her if she still wants to work for us. And if she does, how long she needs to mourn before she can resume work. 
I donno...
Even if she comes back after 2 weeks, she'll still be mourning for her son. 
Which means she will have that SAD look on her face.
I don't know if I want to face sorrow and sadness everyday lor....eventhough I know training a new maid SUCKS to the MAX.

My friend has already referred me to an "agent". Well, not really a real agent but does have friends who want to work in the big city. Already made contact. She said she has someone who will work for a minimum of USD 60/month. But I told her that I'll need someone who is willing to cut/cook pork, clean the whole house, learn how to cook, do everything alone (as it is very common to have 2 to 3 maids in a single household...that's why most maids are paid around USD 45 per month); and that I'll give a starting salary of USD 80/- and will review the salary after the 3-months probation.

So...will see how this goes....

H was quite concerned that I might have gone GILA without the maid. Aiyaa....only one day without maid. Besides, before I went back to PJ, it was one whole week without the maid. And during Lebaran holidays, it was about 8 days without maid. 
Actually, think the boys are more concerned that we are without a maid....as they would have to be extra HELPFUL and DILIGENT to put their things away. :-)

Okay lah.... Got to go fry-up some homemade burger patties for the boys now..

PJ Escapade

Why escapade??
Escape from housework, that is!
Ten days of NOT doing anything but eat, sleep and yak!!!!
But seems like I can't really escape this housework.
Came back on Sunday evening...and maid went off this morning.
More about this in a separate post. 

Back to my escapade in PJ
One productive thing that I did do was to attend a fondant moulding class over at Jaya One with 3 of my sisters and 2 friends. It's a three hour class where we learned how to mould half a dozen 3-D figurines.

Here's my masterpieces...... 

Ta-daaaa....

My Masterpieces in detail....

Teddy Bear...
(eerrrrr...supposed to be Pooh Bear but don't look like him lah)

Beautiful Swan

Afternoon Tea for One
(errr...too lazy to make another tea-cup. So drink alone lah!!!)

Butterfly
(No other colours available...so had to use this not so nice colour to paint the butterfly)

Frosty the Snowman
(think this is the best amongst all)

"Hantaran"
(donno why it's called Hantaran)

My sisters' and My Masterpieces

Our Group with the Teacher
(Can you tell which one I am??)

Anyway, I didn't get to EAT everything on my list
It's a case of "Soooooo many things to eat. Soooooo little time!!!"
I find a lot of the foods that I had did not taste as good as I remember. 
Donno whether it's because the quality has dropped or that my tastebuds have changed.
But I have to say that the chue-yoke-meen from Champs is still very good. Was very satisfied with my lunch there. Too bad that I didn't have enough time to go and have another bowl. :-P

Met up with some friends... but didn't manage to meet ALL. 
Better than nothing ler.

Bought stuff to stock-up. Stuff like Colgate (didn't buy that many tubes this time since not that cheap now...), Alcon contact lens cleaner (H prefers this brand), Bak-Kwa, Kai-chai-paeng, Hiong-Paeng, Kuaci, Yue-Sang Condiments, Maggi Mee (we have all sorts of brands but no Maggi Mee. Boys prefer Maggi lah), PoYing Pills, Chicken Essence, etc etc. 
No photos lah. Too lazy.

Also did our 6-monthly dental check-up. Actually, just S2 and I. S1 has his regular orthodontic check-ups here. Why do we do it in Malaysia?
Cheaper lah..
I know the insurance covers it, but I still prefer to do it in Malaysia if I can.

Think that sums up my ten day trip home to PJ