Monday, August 31, 2009

Special CDs

The other night, we stopped over a 24-hour convenience store to purchase some drinks. At the check-out counter, I saw original Sony CDs on display for only USD 3/- each. They were specially for Mp3 players. Two of the album compilations available looked kinda interesting... "All About Love" and "All About Pop". I double-checked with H to ensure that I could transfer these to my Mp3 player. Needless to say, I walked out of the store with the two CDs....
:-)

Still Aching...

I woke up this morning with still a pain in my neck. Looks like the support pillow needs some time to correct my sleeping posture. Or do you think it's the mattress. We have had the same mattress since we got married 13 years ago. High time for a change, don't you think? I'm told once a mattress is about ten years old, it's time to change to a new one. Otherwise, the old springs and what-nots will NOT provide the necessary support. I did look around and am rather surprised that these days, the IN type of mattresses are of the Latex type....not many spring ones are in the market.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Myriad of Stuff...

Busy Busy Busy
Have not been updating my blog as I have been busy baking. Baked almost every day...Baked last Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and today! I think I might have cupcakes coming out of my ears! My S2 said "when mommy sneezes, cupcakes come out!" Hahahah...
Check out my cupcakes at http://www.atouchoffrostcakes.blogspot.com/

Age Catching Up...
I know I always say that I feel young like I am 18 years old. But this stupid body of mine just refuses to comply with my mind. For the last week or so, I have had really bad pain in my neck and upper vertebrae. Both H and I agree that it's my pillow that's not giving the necessary support.
Shucks!!! There goes using cheapo RM 9.90 Ikea pillow... and it's time to start using pillows with SUPPORT! And so... after days of waking up going "Ooooooh. Arrrrgghhh..", I went to get myself a Therapedic support pillow. Thank goodness there was a 50% discount as I certainly don't fancy paying USD 100/- for a pillow! So I will try out my new pillow tonight...and I shall see if I wake up in bliss or in agony.

"Is he your son?"
I had 4 extra cupcakes from one of my baking sessions, and I asked S1 to bring them to school to share with his mates. When he came home from school..
Me - Who did you share the cupcakes with?
S1 - S had one. And then I ate the remainder 3.
Me - Huh? Why? How come you ate all 3??
S1 - What do you expect when 10 girls came swarming? I only had 3 cupcakes!
Hahhahahahahahah.....
H - if it's your father, I would have taken one girl to this tree, and then another to that tree blah blah blah...
Later that evening, when we went out for dinner, S1 was acting abit weird... and I told H that S1 must have "Pei sapp kor lui-chai hakk tou!" hahahahahah
The next day, when H told his friends about this... they said "Are you sure he is your son??"

Sick?
S2 woke up crying this morning...complaining of a headache, and he had a temperature. Gave him a panadol and fever came down. He's not coughing nor have other symptoms.... I think it's probably the heat. It hasn't rained for the longest of time. Plus we have been eating rather heaty stuff. With no maid, I've been roasting or baking our dinners. And when we eat out, it'll be either deep fried or grilled. I've given him some Chinese "cooling medicine" plus getting him to drink lots of water. So hopefully, his body will be normalized by tomorrow. But I'm keeping him at home tomorrow. Don't want him to go to school and then the nurse calling me to pick him up. Too troublesome.

3 Weeks after Lasik
Two days ago, out of the blue... my left eye suddenly felt so uncomfortable. I didn't rub it nor do anything unusual. Neither was I in a dusty environment. I was sleeping, and heard the phone call. When I woke up to answer the phone, my left eye just suddenly felt irritated. I rinsed it with loads of artificial tears to no avail. I thought I might have shifted the flap or something whilst I was sleeping. Was quite worried. I actually wanted to go to the Lasik Center here yesterday but it was closed. But luckily, my eye is all normal by this afternoon.
My vision is much clearer since the last time I wrote. The subtitles on TV also seems to be clearer. I've been such a long contact lens wearer that sometimes, I would still think "oh. I need to take off my lenses before bed"....forgetting that I don't wear them anymore!!! It is quite a drastic change.

Time Flies
I can't believe how fast time flies these days. I kept thinking that it's still more than 3 weeks before we jet-off. But actually, it's just slightly more than 2 weeks. I still have quite a few bookings to do...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Twosome in Bali - Part 3

Yes. Yes. Seems like I am very long-winded with so many posts for my recent Bali Trip. What to do? Getting old....so naturally more "cheong hei".

Trip Planning, Part 1, Part 2.

BTW, I did try to upload the religious procession video...but it took tooooo long.

We walked all the way to Bebek Bengil from the center of town. Quite a distance, man!


If you ask me...it's nothing to shout about. I think the Fried Duck that I had the night before at the resort was waaaaaaay better. After our meal, we headed back to the resort to grab our bags, and head out to Tuban.... which will be our base for the next two nights.


The Holiday Inn here is quite nice...very modern, cool and hip. The only problem is that the rooms are waaaaaaay too small.....especially for Asia. We were told at the Front Desk that we were given an upgrade. I was like "waaaah...another upgrade". But when I opened the door into the bedroom...I told H "I wonder what were we supposed to be in before the upgrade. A shoebox?"... Don't get me wrong...the room is nicely decorated and well-equipped with LCD TV, and all the works. It's just that it is so cramped up (especially for USD 149 per nite with NO breakfast!!!....Compare this with my upgraded Pool Villa at USD 150 which includes breakfast). Perhaps their family-sized rooms are much better....

Anyway, after we've sorted out our luggage in the room, we headed out to Kuta. We walked by the beach which was much closer ....and stopped for a drink at a new place Oceans 27 over at the Kartika Discovery Mall. Thought this place is kinda cool.....

Have to take-off our slippers/flips-flops before we take our seats....

H and I playing footsie???

Beach View from this drinking joint....

Views from where we are sitting...

After that, went off to Kuta for bikini shopping, jalan-jalan...and then more drinking by the beach watching the sunset .... this time at Ma Joly over at the Kupu Kupu Barong Resort.

Can see my "Tai Koh Kar"???

Nice pic?

The following day (Tuesday, 21st July), we had a round of golf with one of H's retired ex-bosses and his wife....at New Kuta Golf at Pecatu. It's bad enough that I haven't played nor practise at the driving range for YONKS...but to play at a Golf Links???? Waliow! Winds were sooooo strong! But I have to say the view over the ocean was pretty magnificent.


The first nine - I played really really badly . Almost got into a fight with H. Errr...actually, we did sort of fight. Yes. Over golf! The second nine...I played much better. More controlled. Thus, I have not given up golf. Hahahah.

After our golf game, we headed to the ex-bosses' villa (which is situated in the Golf Course) for a drink and then headed off to Jimbaran Bay for a seafood dinner. Funny that we have not been to Jimbaran for seafood eventhough we have been to Bali many times.....and this place is indeed great. Great ambience and food is good too.

Wednesday (22nd July) - couldn't do much. After breakfast, lounged abit by the pool and beach (H was on the phone the WHOLE TIME!) and then it was time to head to the airport to catch our respective flights...which was about 40 minutes apart. H sent me off to the International terminal and he headed to the domestic one.....

I told H that five days is waaaaaaay too short. Didn't even manage to have a massage on the beach bale! How Can???? Now I understand why some of my friends come to Bali for one to two weeks each time!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Twosome in Bali - Part 2

This is a continuation from Part 1.
Sunday (19th July) was another looooooong day with loooooooong drives. We checked-out from the hotel at Lovina early in the morning, and headed EAST towards Tulamben. Our next dive destination....to explore the USS Liberty wreck from WWII.

Our very bumpy ride took us through Balinese villages...and needless to say, wafts of BUMBU BALI (Bali Spices) was repeated detected by my very sensitive nose. I was careful NOT to overeat at breakfast this time.
One of the magnificent sights was of course, MOUNT AGUNG....tallest mountain in Bali, which is also a volcano....
Majestic Mount Agung
Driver was kind enough to stop the bumpy van for a photoshoot.
Entry into the waters at Tulamben was from the beach!!! And what a rocky beach indeed!

Look at those ROCKS!!!

So can you imagine me all geared up with the HEAVY air tanks, and then walking towards the water??? First dive, was okay.... Second dive, I fell HARD on those rocks. My knee sure hurt d@nn alot!!!!

First dive was great. Saw loads of fishes and sea creatures. But if you ask me exactly what type.....Errrr. I donno lah. Fish lor. Forgot liow. I know. I know. Terrible. I was so blurr. At one time, this guy was pointing down and showing some hand gestures to me. I looked down, and then thought to myself "where got optopus??"...and when we surfaced, he asked "did you see the guns??" (USS Liberty is a warship). Hahahhahahahahaahh

I am still not very stable. Either I SINK or I am soooo buoyant that I kept going UP. H's friend kept tugging me down. The whole time, he was guiding me, and holding my hand. H joked "my wife romantic with him...NOT me!". Hahhahahahaha

I tell you... I am certainly NOT a HARDCORE diver. Recreational diving is fun... but 3 dives in a day is definitely TOO many, and certainly NOT fun anymore. As I mentioned, I made sure I didn't eat ANYTHING for lunch....but still, my second dive ...I felt kinda sick in the water. I was going to signal PROBLEM already, but then felt better so continued. Even then, on surfacing after the second dive, I PUKED again. Didn't eat much that day...so PUKED water only lor. H said that he didn't realise that my motion sickness was soooo bad. Anyway, I decided that I wasn't gonna go for the 3rd dive. So lounged about and waited for the rest of the group....

Some photos while waiting..

Look at the VERY BLUE SKIES of Bali
Don't you think it's sooooo wonderful to see such BLUE and CLEAR skies???

Taking Photo of a ROCK??
Seriously...donno what this guy is doing!!!


Scene of the Tulamben Beach
Taken while lounging under a tree...


In future, I don't think I'm gonna DIVE DIVE DIVE the whole day during a holiday. Will find a resort at the dive site, so that after a dive, can go back to hotel, relax, have a foot massage. Next day, then dive again. NOT have THREE dives a day!

At the end of the day, we took our bags and headed towards UBUD. Looking for our resort was also a challenge. Thank goodness, one of our fellow divers were in the car with us (he was en-route to Kuta) and he managed to get better directions from the resort staff. By the time we arrived, it was about 7.30 pm already. A quick registration at the resort lobby, and then we headed off to the restaurant for dinner. I was quite famished.
My Welcome Drink
Donno what it is....tasted weird. Not Pandan! I drank it all though. Figured that it's GREEN. So must be healthy.
After dinner, we were transferred to our Villa.... It was kinda dark, and I couldn't really see anything. On entering the Villa's grounds, H commented "Hey. There's a pool"....I just replied "must be shared with other villas" as I booked a GARDEN Villa and NOT a POOL Villa.

After all the bags and stuff are dumped in our Villa, I went out to have a better look-see....and sure enough. The POOL was for our Villa! Mmmmmm......

When we were getting into bed, we realised that there were NO duvets...so called the Front Desk to request for one...and while I was at it, I asked them about the POOL in our Villa. I certainly don't want to be charged for a POOL Villa on check-out. The response was "You have been Pre-UPGRADED".
HOOOOORAY!!! An Upgrade! Isn't that lovely.


Four Poster Bed in the Bedroom


The rest of the photos were taken the next morning...when it was bright and clear!
This was what greeted us in the morning..
View from our Villa Balcony


Path leading to Our Villa


Steps leading to our Pool
Check-out the flowers on the steps!!!

Our Private Pool.... Nope! We didn't even set foot in it. So cold. Brrrrrrrrr....

Our Private Cabana
Living Room

View of Living from the Bedroom

Outdoor Shower
Sounds very nice but then if you do it for your house...it's abit scary lor.

Jungle in the Bathroom!!!!
Bathtub

DRYING our Diving Gear....
Main Pool at the Resort


Terraced Rice Paddies at the Resort

One of the many Statues at the Resort

You would have thought that with the upgrade, we would have utilised the facilities FULLY. But instead, H and I checked-out at 10 am (we only stayed one night here), and headed to UBUD town in search of FOOD. Yes....not long after breakfast at the hotel, which was not that good. Overall the resort is quite NICE (give us Upgrade...of course must say NICE!!! Hahhahah). It's situated on the same road as all the other nice nice fancy smancy hotels like Four Seasons Sayan, Como Shambala, Kupu Kupu Barong, Mansions and so-on...

What did we eat at UBUD? What else but more BABI GULING ...this time from the famous IBU OKA stall in the center of town...which we went with our boys last year. With a full stomach, we ventured around town abit, visited the markets, and then did some window shopping.... was amazed to see a religious procession taking place....this is what I like about Bali. It's so RICH culturally. I would love to upload the video clip but it would take tooooooo long. So maybe next post.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Flew Back on Sunday....

Boys and I flew back from LCCT-KUL on Sunday (16 August) evening. I thought we were taking the 2 pm flight, but when I took out the printed details, the flight was actually at 7 pm. So duh-duh. But this later flight allowed for a Bak Kut Teh meal... not in Klang but better than nothing lah.

Our AirAsia flight was delayed by an hour. Though we had some snacks at the airport, we still had to purchase the inflight meals. My nasi lemak was only so-so. S1 had Mamee cup noodles and S2 had the lasagne. They were rather hungry....gasak everything. They had McDonald's on arrival too!

Monday's a public holiday here....National Day. We started off the day with brunch at Social House. S1 had the Breakfast Set which comprised of Smoked Salmon Bagel with Cream Cheese, Bamboloni (Italian Donuts) with 3 different Spreads and Orange Juice. S2 had a 4 cheese pizza and I shared a Lamb Shank with H. The food was yummy....as always. I don't know if S1 must have really enjoyed his meal or what...but he was feeling rather generous, and wanted to treat us to a movie. Not any ordinary seat but the PREMIUM SEATS for all of us. WOW!! Not like him.... So we proceeded to the cinema to check out the schedule for ....

Unfortunately, the PREMIUM cinema was not showing G.I.Joe... so opted fo the normal seats instead. And you know what my S2 said?
"Not fair. These are not even PREMIUM seats!". I then replied "complain some more... wait kor-kor don't want to pay for your ticket!" Don't you think this guy is TOOOO much??

I didn't know that G.I.Joe was a GROUP of soldiers. I always thought it was just ONE man. A G.I. named Joe. That shows how blurr I am....

Anyway, I still don't have a full-time maid. Was talking to my part-timer yesterday...telling her that I would need her to come 3 times a week until Raya holidays. Thereafter, she needn't come in anymore as I would require a full-time maid. She then asked how much if I was paying...and she said that she wants to work for me full-time then. Her contract at some food stall would have ended then, and she could start work in October. Had to ask if she was willing to handle pork. She misunderstood and told me that she can't eat it. ALAMAK! I didn't ask her to eat maaaaa... just handle and cook. So far, her cleaning is so-so only lah. But think she will be less of a problem than my previous maid as she seems more intelligent and relatively quiet. Will see how lah.

As for my eyes (10 days Post-Lasik)...vision is better. But fluctuates from soooooo clear to a bit misty. I supposed sometimes might be due to DRY SPOTS. When I went to check my eyes on Saturday (15th Aug), I'm told there were quite a lot of dry spots in the lower side of my flaps. Doc said probably because I sleep with slightly open eyes (scary!!) and prescribed some lubricant in the form of ointment. He also mentioned that vision will be fluctuating for at least 3-6 months...before it stabilises. I'm still counting days to the day when my vision is crystal clear ......

Monday, August 10, 2009

Twosome in Bali - Part 1

As previously mentioned, H and I went on a twosome holiday to Bali. Read on the looooong planning on where to stay here.


Our trip started separately on Friday, 17th July. H flew from Jakarta and I flew from KUL-LCCT. Our flights arrived at Denpasar about 30 minutes apart. H's first. As the queue at the International terminal was mega long, H had a longer wait. By the time we departed from the airport in our pre-book car, it was almost 3 pm already. The journey to Lovina was quite a long one.....especially so when we had NO lunch nor drink. But we did stop by some mountain-resort for a quick bite. What did I have? Nasi Goreng...as can't go wrong with this.

By the time we reached our hotel at Lovina, it was already 6.30 PM. A quick shower, a rest....and it was dinnertime already. Where were we booked in?


The Dive company had booked us into The Sunari Villas and Spa Resort. As we were going to be diving most of the time, we were in the standard rooms. For about USD 60/ nite including breakfast, it's quite alright...but we didn't use any of the facilities, as the next morning, we were out of the hotel by 7.30 am.


Saturday (18th July) was a FULL day of diving at Menjangan Island, on the northeastearn tip of Bali Island. The drive from Lovina took almost 2 hours...on a bumpy van. The divemaster stopped halfway to buy Babi Guling.... and of course, we did too.




Bali Guling...still so warm and moist!

The Pura near Menjangan Island

We had to take a boat out to the dive sites..

Did we go out to the dive sites in luxury ?

In this?
Or this?
NOPE!!!!!
We had to go on these rickety-boats!!!
On the ride out...the guys started munching on their Babi Guling... I was rather cautious...didn't want to be too stuffed before a dive. So only nibble on two small pieces of meat. It was really yummy. So moist and tender!!
First dive was pretty good... and then an hour of rest and lunch. Again, I was cautious about being stuffed....and decided to go without lunch before my second dive.
On completion of second dive...still in the water... my breakfast and Babi Guling ALL came out!!!! Aduh! Felt soooo yucky. Decided to NOT go for the third dive. H and the rest went down. I stayed onboard and slept! A bit uncomfortable, but nevetheless I could still sleep. Felt sooooo much better thereafter. And another looooooong bumpy ride back to Lovina in the van. Think it was almost 7 pm when we reached the hotel. Shower, dinner and time for bed...another EARLY day tomorrow...
To be continued...(eyes very tired liow...)


My Lasik Procedure...

Had my Lasik done on Friday (7th August) morning.... opted to have two eyes done at the same time.
Contrary to what some people say, I did NOT SEE CLEARLY immediately after the procedure.

I have to say that I was quite nervous ..... couldn't sleep from Wednesday. And as a result, when they checked my eyes on Thursday, the intraocular pressure was a little elevated. But did have a fairly good sleep on Thursday night. Mom went with me to the center at about 9 am.
After the standard brief check-up and marking of the eyes, I was led to a different room to be suited-up, hair and feet covered, face washed and then waited for my turn. There was another guy who was there for an enhancement to his right eye. I was immediately after him.

When it was my turn, doctor wanted to have a talk with me first.... apparently due to my HIGH myopia, bigger than average sized pupils etc, there are higher order abberations that cannot be corrected in ONE procedure, due to safeguards set in the Lasik machinery. So I guess perhaps in about a year's time, I would need to undergo my own enhancement. Will see...

Anyway, I was led to the chair where the flaps are to be created. Opted for the Nasa iLasik procedure where the flap is created by tiny bubbles introduced by laser instead of a mechanical blade. Of course I was scared....but the opthamalogist was quite good, explaining every single step. He was like "look at the center of the ring where there's no light...you are doing well. Okay...The lock. The laser is descending down to your eye. Do not worry. You won't see anything at this point. Don't panic....laser is active... counting down counting down... 5 4 3 2 1. Done".

When both flaps were created, I was led to the other laser machine, where the cornea is zapped into the required thickness and shape. Having the flap flipped open was quite unnerving. Though it was NOT painful at all, I could see blur shadows of the procedure. Then the laser was put to work. The scary part here was being able to SMELL burnt tissue... Yucks! Other than that, it was a breeze. I could see him closing the flap and smoothing it down.

By 10.40 am, procedure was completed. He asked me to read the clock. It was a blurr... I could only barely see the hands of the clock as everything was soooo misty. I could hardly open my eyes for the next few hours. A quick check by the optometrist, and I was sent home with my antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and artificial tear drops.

My eyes were soooo sensitive to light. Blur blur blur was all I saw. Abit worried. So went to bed. Thank goodness that when I woke up, my vision did improve. In about six hours, I could sort of watch a bit of TV albeit with my dark dark sunglasses.
The next day, I had the post-op check-up with the ophthalmologist again. According to him, the most important thing is the creation of the flap. If the flap looks good, all that needs to be done is to wait for nature to take its course... the body will heal itself. So..keeping my fingers crossed that my vision will improve significantly with time.

I did drive to SS2 to eat "tong sui" at KTZ (yum yum.......mango loh, hak lor mai, makk chok, fah sanng woo) yesterday... but eyes get tired very quickly. Read that this is normal ...during the healing process which will be between 3 to 6 months.

And here I am now....blogging about my Lasik experience.... I can use the computer, read the papers, drive, watch tv...but my vision seems to be a little cloudy still. But better the previous days. So, am hoping there would be improvements with each day.....
My next appointment would be next Saturday (15th August)....and if all is A-O-K, I fly out the next day as boys start school on the 24th August. At least, I will have a week to get their school uniforms and bags sorted out.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

My Boys....

Wah....very unlike me to have such a long period of NO Blogging hor??

S1's 12th Birthday
Yup. Time flies.... my baby is 12 already. We had a small birthday celebration with family on Saturday. Sar-Ee baked some cupcakes as this mommy was too lazy to do so herself. On his actual birthday, I took him to have his MyKad made... really BIG boy liow!

S2's Surgery
S2's surgery went ahead rather smoothly. We were at Gleneagles at about 7 am last Friday (31st July), and they wheeled him into the OT at 8.15 am. I think he was at the Observation ward at at 10 AM. But I wasn't allowed in...until about 10.20 am, the nurse called me in, said that S2 wants me... The first thing my son said? "I need to wee-wee". :-) which was a good sign.
Anyway, he was discharged at about 2 pm... He was quite good I have to say....
Follow-up consultation with the surgeon is next Saturday.