Monday, January 31, 2011

Scrapbooking Stash from the States - Part 1

My sister, D said "I'm sure your scrapbooking stuff will last you TEN years!" when we walked into her Singapore apartment with our luggage... After looking at my recent purchases, I think maybe she is right! Hahahha... No lah. If I really scrap all my photos, including the baby ones...I'm sure I won't have enough stuff. I've mentioned the recent 'stash' here and here. My eBay purchases were sent to our hotel in Cerritos... and when the concierge came into our room and said "you have NINE packages", H was a bit surprised. :-) He knew that I was bidding like a mad woman, he just didn't know that there would be 9 packages. Actually, should be 10 but there was this stupid woman who goes round cheating people (but eBay refunded my money quite quickly...) on eBay. She takes people's money but never send off the stuff. So have to be careful when purchasing on eBay... but most sellers are genuine and their prices are generally much much lower than retail...

Anyway, here is Part 1 of my purchases... (Please don't say I GILA...)

12x12 DCWV Paper Stacks
These were on Sale @ USD 9.99 each + tax. All the designs were so nice.... Every stack I see I want. I had to leave soooooooo many lovely stacks behind. I just couldn't take them all back. I'm sure each stack is about 1 kg!


More DCWV Paper Stacks, 2 Pioneer Albums and Refills


Making Memories Value Pack
Not sure if I have everything here... but the value pack of miscellaneous stuff was going for USD 9.99 at Michael's. Some of the things in there I also donno what they are...like grommets. Apa tu??



DCWV Album Kit
This was a great deal...think I only paid $14 or something like that at Michael's...
Another DCWV Album Kit


Inkadinkadoo Stamps

These were from eBay...
Ink Stamps
Also from eBay


Double Sided Tape, Ink Blending Tool, Misc Ribbons
Can't remember if they were from Joann's or Michael's

Martha Steward Embossing Powders & Heat Gun
From eBay..


3 Packs of Perfect Pearls Powder
From eBaY...

Glazed Brads
From eBay...but these weren't deals. In fact, think I overpaid for them. Bleah!

Part 2 will be my SLICE cutter, 12x12 glass mat, SLICE design cards, SLICE pens and embossing tips and other embellishments (Jolee's stickers, chipboards etc)...

Will post the pix if I am not too lazy....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cannot "say good things"...

Really cannot "say good things" about the hired help... cause the moment you do, you will jinx it and they will go and do something stupid or something to p!ss you off.

I was just saying that she is quite "smart" cause when we came back from our holiday, not only had she cleaned the house and changed the sheets, she had cut flowers from my garden for my living room and even bought flowers with her own money for my dining room.

And then what do you know? A week later, she got "caught" for being lazy. She was just too lazy to hang out the bed sheets eventhough the sun was shining. She just unloaded the washing machine and straight-away pop them into the adjacent dryer. Easy right? No need to lug the bundles out, open the sheets and hang it over the clothes racks. No need to secure the pillow cases with clothes pegs. So senang. I was home that day and so happens was in the kitchen... wondering why my dryer was on. I have given strict instructions that the dryer is NOT to be used unles it is raining heavily. Even then, I do not allow the clothes to go straight from the washing machine to the dryer. Here she is... doing so when the sun was shining. You say I get angry or not? I supposed she has done this before... when I am not around in the house. But abit stoooooopid to do it when I am working in the kitchen, right?
I have friends who have deliberately removed their dryers from their house...because the maids just abuse their usage, and consequently the power bills are exorbitant.

Few times, I caught her having less than half-load in the washing machine. So difficult to just wash by hand meh? It's only the few pieces of the boys' school uniform. I also can wash man. I tell you ah. This maid has the easiest time compared to all my previous maids, especially my maid who worked for me for more than 2 years. She would wash everything by hand except sheets and towels. And at that time, the boys still took lunches to school at least 3 times a week. And that means cooking early in the morning... things like fried rice or noodles, or even roast chicken. And their breakfast were pretty heavy then too... kon-lo-meen, mee suah soup, the works. This one?? Don't even have to make lunches anymore... Breakfast also so simple. Cereals or toasted sandwiches.

And then she had her off day last weekend. Supposed to come back on Sunday afternoon...but texted me to tell me she is sick lah. Fainted lah. And can't come back to work. She didn't turn up on Monday either. I had to text her to ask her when she was coming back, which she replied the next day. You say lah. Real or bluff??? All these people ah, to get out from working can say all sorts of things ..... sometimes the father mother can die 3 or 4 times one.

I tell you ah.... all these maids . Give them an easy life, they will abuse it. They will do their work blindly etc etc. As it is, my kids eat quite simply ... rice with easy stir-fries, fried chicken or simple pastas... as in sauces made from jars. Easy right?
Just today, told her to make pasta for the boys... using the bolognese sauce from the jar, meat, mushrooms and onions. When I came home, she had cut up CHINESE SHITAKE mushrooms. Can you believe it? She has made pastas a thousand times. When did she ever use SHITAKE ah?? Always the fresh button mushrooms. She said she searched everwhere in the fridge and there was none. She didn't even bother to check. It was right in the fridge with the meat that I had bought yesterday. She just simply used some frozen meat. You say lah. Lazy or what?

And when she was making the sauce, she couldn't even saute the mushrooms for a while first...like how I showed her. She just dump the mushrooms in, and then immediately the sauce. Saute a couple of minutes soooooooooooooo difficult meh? Of course I couldn't tahan and had to say her again. If she can't even do pasta sauces from a jar properly, how is she going to make sauces from scratch like how many households require them to be?? Does she want to be JUST a cleaner (the hired help here is segregated generally to cleaners, cooks, nannies, houseboys etc) all her life with low low pay of USD 50 per month????

Alot of times, our dinners are very simple so as to minimize her workload. If I make curries, I use the Malaysian readymade paste. Or if I cook from scratch, I will go to a specific supermarket to buy chillies, garlic, shallots, turmeric, candlenuts etc etc that has been grinded ("giling") so that she doesn't have to do it. So you say lah... Really too easy life or what??
I had to tell her that. I told her that all my friends get their maids to grind the spices by pestle-and-mortar NOT like ME.... buying the ready-ground ones so that she doesn't have to, and she still wants to be lazy. Told her that she is blardy lucky that my kids eat so simply and not that choosy... and won't complain. Unlike my friend with 3 kids...and all of them eating different things. The maid has to cook 3 different foods for the kids and separate ones for the parents. And here she is making pasta sauce from a jar, she also want to short-cut.

I donno lah. It's times like this I really get sooooo sien of maids and wanna do away with them.

BLEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am GUTTED!!!!

You absolutely cannot believe what happened!
You know those Hippo moisture absorbers that come in a Plastic box? The ones that you need to discard after they are filled up with liquids?
Well, they are meant to absorb moisture from the air and protect whatever items that need protection.
In my case, it has been a disaster!!! A disaster that costs thousands of €$$€$.
I have a few in my handbag cupboard...to protect my handbags from the high humidity of this country.
What do you know???
One of these boxes must have cracked and leaked all it's chemical contents onto the shelves.
The result?
Many of my handbags are ruined.
My 2 Ferragamos, a Gucci, a Charles Jourdan, an Aigner, a Celine and a few others.
Yes. I am absolutely GUTTED!
And no. They are NOT salvageable.
The leather on most of the bags are now discolored and the texture has changed so much that it feels like buffalo skin instead of calf's leather! Some of the bags have such a great distortion that even the hunchback of Notre Dame looks a thousand-times better.
The straps on the bags are rock hard..stiff like a rotan!
*sigh*
Something that is meant to protect has actually become the destroyer.
When did it happen?
Don't really know... Must have been a while for such devastating effect.
I found out when I was trying to stow my new Tod's ...felt that the shelves were kinda weird.
And when I took out my bags one by one, I almost fainted. All the distortion was quite hard to take in.
*sigh*
How would you feel if it were to happen to you??

At least all my newer handbags were untouched and thus unharmed.... H helped me to check all of them. I think I would have had a heart attack if my ketupat Bottega Veneta were destroyed. I store these newer ones on the top shelf and my older handbags in the lower shelf. Think the leak was from the top but it flowed down to the next shelf pretty quickly.
Shucks. Devastating....
And yes. I got rid of all the other dehumidifier boxes.

She prefers CIGARS!

I am sure we all have friends who smoke. Which do they prefer? Cigars or cigarettes?
I actually have a girlfriend who prefers cigars. I always have this idea that cigars are the choice smokes of elderly gentlemen with a moustache (don't ask me why I think that! Old black-and-white movies perhaps??) . So it was quite amusing to see my slim petite girlfriend whip out a rather chunky cigar and holding it in between her dainty fingers. Well...no usual perfumes for this little lady's birthday. I can get her some la gloria cubana cigars in a nice personalized box instead.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Whale Watching but NO Whale!!

As previously mentioned, we went Whale Watching at Dana Point, Anaheim on Tuesday (21 December 2010. The weather was still bad... gloomy and it was drizzling abit (at least it wasn't pouring like the day before... where we were all soaked to the bones in Disneyland) and I wasn't sure if the tour out to the Pacific Ocean was still gonna happen. Was gonna call them, but figured that even if they were going to give us a rain-check, we still had to be there to exchange the vouchers. So drove all the way down from our hotel in Cerritos to Dana Point. It took us about an hour. When we arrived, the tour operators mentioned that the sea is calm and if the wind does not pick up, the tour will go on. The only thing was that the tour is at noon instead of 10 am. So we thought we should go and have a nice breakfast. Our GPS software showed that the St.Regis was a couple of miles away from where we were. And that was where we headed out.

Waaaaa... The entrance to the St. Regis is soooooooooooooooo nice. My very spoilt boys who initially said that they were too full to eat again suddenly decided that they want to eat after all.... BUT BUT... St. Regis has NO self-park and the only way is valet-parking. And knowing me... I really really do not fancy paying like $30 for parking! So off we went from the really fancy and luxurious St. Regis. Out pop the GPS software again, and Voila! Marriot is again round the corner... and certainly Marriot is cheaper than St. Regis... we go there.
ALAMAK! Again. Valet Parking only. H was like... "really don't want to go ah? Why so cheapo?" ...I really wanted to grit my teeth and ngeh-ngeh-lai say OKAY but really cannot make myself fork out $30 for valet parking lah. So where you think we ended up??
Denny's!
Free Parking PLUS think the bill was less than $30!
And boys ate so much that they were gonna burst!
By the time we finished, there wasn't really much time left so we headed out to the Dana Point Harbor again.

There were about two other families that joined us.. all in all, think there were only 11 of us.
Here are some photos... You can see that the sky is sooooooo gloomy and grey. A very depressing day.


This is what was offerred...


Boats around...
View as we pulled out from the harbour

Pelicans (? or albatross? I also donno) in a row
Fly free as a bird....

I tell you... the birds (albatross? pelicans?) were HUGE and one kept landing on the boat we were on. My silly S2 actually screamed out sooooo loud the first time this HUGE bird landed rather close to him. I thought what had happened.

Although it is the GRAY WHALE MIGRATION Season, we didn't even get to see one. There were hopes of seeing a baby sperm whale - which was trapped somewhat out there whereby boats had to go out and rescue it the day before... but NADDA on the day we went out. There was one time when H saw something move ... and not long later, our boat was also heading towards it. I was like soooo excited but then... bleah. it turn out to be some debris washed out by the storm. I don't know if it's because of the once-in-a-decade storm that had made the whales go a bit 'confused' in their journey.

Anyway, as they GUARANTEE that you see a whale, they gave us "WHALE CHECKS" which has no expiry date. Apparently, the company has been around for 40 years and they say they will be around in the next 40 years. So I guess I can keep those "WHALE CHECKS' coupons and bring my GRANDCHILDREN!!

The boys? Think half the time, they were sleeping inside the boat!

Before I go...here is a picture of the Xmas Tree at Disneyland taken the night before.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Buy Rubbish??

Remember that I mentioned that our rental car was packed to the brim with our luggage in my older post? Well, we went with 2 large checked-in luggage and 3 hand-carry trolley bags. Basically, what we did was to put a mid-size luggage bag into a larger size one, and also had an empty soft canvas bag. By the time we left, we had 5 pieces of checked-in bags and 3 hand-carry trolley bags. This is not counting the 3 boys' knapsacks and my handbag.

Here are some of the stuff that we lugged back....

Some of my Scrapbooking Albums

Don't dare to show you all my scrapbooking stash. A bit shy to show.... didn't realise how much I bought until I tried to unload the bags and put the things away. Didn't have any space... had to re-organise everything. Basically, I bought about 7 paper stacks, 4 albums + refill pages, Slice Electronic Cutter, Slice Design Cards, Embossing Tips, Slice 12x12 hands-free Glass Mat, Adhesive Sprays, Adhesive tapes, Embellishments (Jolee's Stickers, etc), Acrylic Stamps, Ink Pads, Heat Gun, Embossing Powder.... Sis No.2 said that I have supplies to last me 10 years. Hahahaha

Leftover Stuff...
Other than the Reese Ice-Cream Topper, we sere supposed to eat the other stuff but didn't managed to.


Wilton Gel Colours, Sparkly Powder and Vanilla Extract


Leaf-Shaped Pie Crust Cutters
These were majorly discounted ..from $13 to $3!!


Cupcake Liners and Toppers
Again...discounted to $3!!! From about $13!


Fat Burners
With all the binging... Must get some of these lah! They are for both H and I

Easy-to-Bake Biscuits and Butterscotch Chips
We love the freshly baked warm cheesy biscuits at The Red Lobster. Let's see if these will be the same!



The Three Boys' Junk Food
Need to ration these...otherwise they will go crazy. Bought extra for S2's Birthday, which is coming up in a month's time.

Pine Nuts
For our salads. It's so expensive here

MY Cup...
I am the Princess!


The boys' Range of Souvenir Cups
Actually... more of S2's



S2's Spongebob Bottle
This is really really HUGE!

Pork Stock Cubes from Taipei

Miscellaneous Snacks fron Taipei

Then there's the 10 books S1 bought, the 2 discounted board games, the two Old Navy Jackets, for the boys, H's Leather Jacket and Banana Republic Stuff, the Gap Sweaters, The Shoes (Puma for S1, El-Cheapo Walmart Shoes for S2, My Ugg), Blue Man Group DVD and CDs (gila boys lah!), S1's Indiana Jones Hat etc etc etc. And the icing on the cake is of course my Xmas Pressie... A Tod's Handbag :-)


The Color is Important!

I'm sure many of us have done this - Printing Black & White instead of full color to save the color inks on our printer cartridge.It's okay if it is just text, but if pictures are involved, colors will really enhance the document by a thousand-fold.
Don't you agree?
So if you own a business and need to have brochures, flyers or even rack cards for promotional purposes. Make sure you have them printed in color!
What customers would want to pick up a drab-looking thing?
If you are afraid of the cost, there is an online supplier that has great rates for rack card printing. What's more? For the same price, you get full color on boths sides instead of one!

"Not fat but puffy!"

Yup. That's what my hubby just said to me NOT 20 minutes ago. I had just washed-up and gotten dressed. As I was about to pop downstairs to make myself a cup of tea, that very unflattering remark just oh-so-smoothly slipped out of my hubby's tongue. Hrmfffff! Someone needs to tell this mister to word his words properly!!!
Hate to admit it but I am abit puffy. Look puffy. Feel puffy. My body is just not right.
I should go out and get the best natural diuretics, the best detoxifier, the best laxatives available in the market!

Can he achieve a Six-Pack?

H went to the supermarket with me the other day, and as I was looking for a small pack of milk powder, he was doing his own browsing. He chanced upon some mens fat burner supplements on the supermarket shelves. The packaging was pretty attractive or should I say convincing... It had a picture of a hunky man with a six-pack. H picked it up and wondered if he should try this product. After all, he is trying to lose all the holiday weight without losing any muscle mass. We don't want a scrawny man, do we??

Monday, January 17, 2011

Think my clock has adjusted...

Yeah. Think my sleeping patterns have sorta gone back to normal. Yesterday, I went to bed about 10 pm, and the next thing I knew was the alarm ringing at 6.10 am this morning. I tell you, it has been so irritating to wake up at 2am, 3 am, 4 am and not able to fall back to sleep. And because I had insufficient sleep, I feel like I have no energy to do anything the whole day.

Boys have adjusted quite well back into school. First two days at school was a bit of a challenge but after that, they were fine. Speaking of the boys, Soccer Season started and boys had their first game on Saturday. Yeah. Yeah. This season, S1 is participating too. S1's team drew 1-1 and S2's team won 2-1. As S2's coach is one of H's customers at work, he has roped-in H to be an 'unofficial' coach. 'Unofficial' because H can't be there for all 12 games - new position at work probably requires quite a lot of travelling. Anyway, heard H shout out to S2 "S2! Stop talking and get back into your position!". So typical of my S2. Talk Talk Talk. Playing football also talk. Hahhahahhahah. And the night after the game...H started complainining here pain. There pain. He said that just standing out in the football field was more strenuous than his one-hour workout at the gym.

Okay lah... I gotta go. Duty Calls... Have organised a Coffee Morning for S2's Class Parents. Need to garner volunteers for the Reading Program, get feedback about the teacher/school amongst other things.

Later...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What's the cause of my acne???

Ever since I came back from my vacation, I noticed lots of acne ALL over my face. My forehead, temples, cheeks, nose ... bleah! I really don't understand why. I mean I cleansed my face, apply the same moisturisers and yet the breakout is like gone wild! I've gone facial at my regular beautician the moment I got back, applied the usual acne treatment creams and yet the acne still won't budge... like the uninvited relative in the house!
Why? What's the cause?
Change in weather? Change in my diet? Jet-lag? Stress from getting back into the daily routine of things? I really don't know.
*sigh* ....

S2 needs a new mobile...

I don't know if I mentioned but my S2 lost his mobile phone AGAIN! Second phone that he has lost. Asked him where was the last time he saw it, and he doesn't even know. I would love to NOT replace the phone but the phone is more for MY convenience rather than his. The problem is when we tried to get him a new phone... albeit an affordable no-frills basic phone, he doesn't want it! He wants something more up-to-date with all the cool applications. If it's up to him, he probably would want to get the latest htc desire hd perhaps?? Kids these days are really too spoilt and demanding! Will I bow to his requests? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Changes...Changes..

"I need a change in my life!", I blurted loudly to H.
And immediately he said "you wanna move to Warsaw is it? We can do so immediately. Tomorrow also can".
Alamak. I quickly had to swallow back what I said. I don't want to be the one making the decision ...especially when it involves his career. I certainly don't want to be blamed later. And I know he doesn't want to take this position. so better to just let him decide. I told him that I am very simple one. A nice home and kids have a school to go to. That's it. That simple.

Anyway, regardless of what H decides...we probably will move at the end of the school year. If not to another country, will be to another house. Our rented abode is getting a bit old and tired. This one spoil. That one spoil. Whilst we were away, had workmen over to fix plumbing and drainage. And the cupboard doors are peeling or falling. Water flow in the master bathroom very unstable - either too hot or too cold. But at least the landlord sends people over for the repairs. I've had friends who had leaking roofs and their landlord avoids their phone calls! Also, the main road outside my house (100 m away) is undergoing some major construction. Traffic has worsen drastically. Don't even dare to venture out into town these days!

Oh yeah. Did I mention a storm brought down a giant tree which landed on my fence and guard house? Now there is like a big hole in the wall. Happened whilst we were away. Thank goodness no one was hurt. The landlord has yet to send someone over to fix the wall.

Speaking of changes.... I spoke to my boys yesterday. Told them about the changes that I am making...to help all of us. Me - so that I maintain my sanity and them - to learn to be more responsible. I will continue to remind them to do their homework etc etc BUT only once, and it is up to them to follow through or not. I will no longer harp about bedtime. I will just say "it's 8.30 am. Time for bed". Up to them to go to bed or not. I will no longer wake them up in the mornings. They have to set their own alarms.
And what do you know?
They came home yesterday and showered immediately. No nagging from me to get into the shower. One reminder to practice their instruments and they got on to it pronto. They went to bed without being asked nor reminded, and this morning, they set their own alarms.
Next, we are going to discuss about their allowances. Just hope all these last!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Can a mommy ever QUIT being one???

I'll like to... But I don't know how.
You must be wondering why I am blogging about this instead of our 3-week family vacation in The States..
Well..I had a major meltdown this morning. Nope. It is not PMS. So what is it? Menopause? Jet-lag? The alignment of the sun and moon? Or just plain craziness on my part? I ended up crying like a GILA woman for a bit....

Started off in the morning...when I discovered that both boys had again lost their water bottles. Water bottles that I had bought 2 weeks before end-of-term. Naturally, I started on a lecture about responsibility blah blah blah. And H just came and interupted me to stop and let them be. He then continued with ''don't drink water a day in school, won't die blah blah blah. I don't recall my mom telling me to drink water blah blah blah and I still grow up! Why are you making such a fuss about water bottles?"
BUT it is not just about water bottles. It is about the underlying issues. You know what I mean??? H just can't see my point. Just kept saying that they are not one-year olds and I should stop spoon-feeding them. Stop reminding them about their schedules, their homework, their gear, water bottles etc etc. Stop about worrying about every single thing. As per his words " the sooner you stop, the better it is for everybody! They will then learn to be responsible". I supposed he has a point there. It's like I am more 'Kann-cheong' than they themselves. Its like their football practices. I remind them to pack their shin guards, etc the night before... As without them, the coaches won't allow them to play. And many times, they just ignore me and true enough, they can't play ....until they can find a pair to borrow. H says "Let them sit on the bench. Serves them right!" but mommy thinks it is such a waste to wake up early on a weekend, travel 40 minutes and then not able to play. Such a waste and a pity. So how?? How to make them be responsible for themselves?

It seems like whatever I say is being IGNORED. I specifically remember telling the boys that we won't go to their Mandarin Class on Monday (yesterday), with everyone still being jet-lagged and all. And just after noon yesterday, I got a text from S1 asking if they were going to Mandarin. I texted back with a no and reminded him to take the bus home and to make sure S2 is on the bus too. And what do you know? I got a call from S2 made from the school office at 2.29 pm asking if I was coming to pick them up from Mandarin. And bus leaves at 2.30 PM. Subsequent calls to S1 mobile were not picked up nor texts replied. How do I know if they managed to get on the bus? I had an appointment at 3 PM and was wondering if I needed to cancel in order to send the car to school to pick them up should they have missed the bus. Plus I was kinda 'Kann-cheong' and my worry mode was ON. H brought this up again this morning...and asked "so what if they miss the bus. They are irresponsible, then they just have to wait. One two hours or even till 8 PM for the car. Why must you cancel your appointment? They have to learn to adhere to our schedule not theirs. Blah blah blah". And he went on with my so-called spoon-feeding the boys. He said "Mornings. Why do you have to wake them up in the mornings? They are big enough to set alarms to wake themselves up. I don't recall my mom waking me up! If they miss the bus too bad. Miss a few days then they get scolding and they will learn!". I also seem to recall setting my own alarms then so why the change now??

Times are different. If I don't wake them up... They don't go to school... They will be home doing nonsense. Will the school really scold them? This is an international school... Their punishment is nothing! Actually never even heard of the school dishing out punishment. I really wished that they would...punish the children like how the Chinese Schools do...whack them (gently la..not too hard..just enough to embarrass), make
them write lines, clean toilets, stay back during lunch break whatever... So that they will learn. Now? I don't know... They are so spoiled. I have been trying hard to teach them the value of money and how to manage...but it is so tough. You know when we were in school, we were given daily allowance for meals? And we learn how to manage that? I was doing that with the boys until the school changed into a cashless system. I wanted them to learn if they spent all the money I gave them before the week is up, then they just go hungry. If they forget the money. Hungry. Too bad. But with this cashless system, it is bad. First of all, the school allows the account to go into NEGATIVE. So even if I just give them enough for hot meals, the NEGATIVE balance allows them to buy nonsense like drinks, yogurt, cookies etc etc. And I end up getting mails from school to pay up. How to learn how to manage money like that?? All they learn is it's okay to OWE! Bad. Bad. Bad. And second thing is the school is soooooo scared of kids going hungry. Have been trying hard to get boys to be responsible, ie to remember to stow their student IDs properly, and to bring to school for their lunch etc . Without it, you go hungry. Too bad! But then, the school allows the kids to report missing card like thousands of times, and also allow purchases without the card. All they need to do is just go to the office and obtain some kind of chit. So surely the kids don't really need to be responsible to look after the cards nor to bring them. *sigh* am up in arms!!!

Seriously contemplating sending my boys off to a boarding school....for their own good. They are too spoilt living in Indonesia. Everything is laid out for them. That they just don't learn to do anything for themselves. The environment just doesn't allow for much change.... For example, public transport is definitely a no-no here...and they end up being chauffeured everywhere. They actually asked who is our driver in the States!!! Perhaps moving to Europe is a good idea! In case you haven't heard, H has been asked to move to Warsaw, Poland to head a division. The moment H says YES to the job, we will move. Scary yet exciting. Apparently Warsaw is not as Eastern-block as it used to be. Googled-up on Warsaw - apartments, houses, schools, and of course shopping! Apparently they have Sephora and Tesco. Hahaha... . BUT I am not putting up too much thought into the move as H isn't sure he wants to take the job. He's waiting on his other option. So no point imagining what life would be in Warsaw ...as we might end up in Donno where! Been an expat wife long enough to take every piece of relocation news with a pinch of salt. So I try not to think too much...otherwise will worry until I GILA but of course still stressed la. No point discussing my worries with H. Men somehow don't understand one!!!

How did I veer off talking about relocation? Anyway, I seriously need to back-off and let the boys fumble... I just need to clench my teeth (my clenching inhibitor will come in handy!!) and let them fall, fail whatever... Cause there is really no point in me being the more 'kann-cheong' one... Everyone gets frustrated and I get more stressed and more grey hair..... As if the current unsettling state of where we are going next is not stressing me enough... Really. There is no point of me caring. Did I tell you that I was trying hard to look for a proper school shoe for S1 in the States? Instead of being grateful, I got a grouchy response because he wanted to go to the bookshop instead, and said that i don't like him! Boy! Was I mad! Did I deserve that?? H brought this up this morning again. "Why should you care about his shoes? No shoe? Wear slippers or whatever la. Let him get scolding at school. Then he'll come to you to get him a pair. If it is too last minute, too bad. They just have to wait!"... I know it all makes sense. I just need to learn how to NOT care. Anyone gonna give me some tips on how to do this? I don't want to say don't care and then so very quickly revert to my old self!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Transit in Taipei....

I am currently Still waiting in Taipei for our flight to Singapore...another hour to go. Our flight from LAX arrived at 6 am this morning...9 hours ago. Don't ask me why the transit time is soooooooo long but we took the opportunity to go downtown Taipei to eat. Took a bus down, and with my smattering of Mandarin and Hokkien, managed to eat quite a lot of stuff. hahaha... Had some pork buns, then some yau char kwey with soya bean, beef noodle soup, some condiment-wrapped rice thingy, more beef noodles, porky sausage and of course pearl bubble tea. Didn't eat any siu long pau though. We did get to see Taipei 101 (didn't want to pay NT400 per pax to go up so didn't go to the Observatory) and both the Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek Memorials from the outside. Not bad huh? For a few hours huh? We left the city at noon as H didn't want to be rushing again...like when we were in LA.

We took our own sweet time...going for dinner at Red Lobster and then to Michael's (hey..it was across the street from Red Lobster)..and then to the airport. When we got there, we found that there was no Bag Drop counters for Internet check-in and the queues were soooooooo long. I have to say that I sorta started to be a bit nervous...as we still had to fill the tank and return the car. Decided to ask H to go ahead and return the car and I wait in the queue. The check-in guy was nice enough to let me check-in even though he has to sight all the passengers...but he did held on to our boarding pass until H and S1 came back.

Aiyo...and the queue through security was soooooooo long, body scans and all... Donna whether it's because the airport is under Reno or what, but the airport looks quite sad lor. Not many shops... Unlike the Taipei Airport ...lots of shops wor..

Anyway, The bummer thing was I had to pay USD 32 for excess baggage. There was 4 of us and 5 bags... The allowance was 8 bags with each bag not exceeding 23 kg. Two of our bags were very light but they see the weight of individual bags..,and one bag was 32 kg. He said I could
transfer stuff over to the other bags. Aiyo...how to do that in the middle of the airport? Plus H had the keys to the bags. So I just paid the USD 32 la...what to do?? We really had so much rubbish. Donna what we bought also...the car was packed to the brim - the boot plus the back seat as well. The boys had to sit closely together...and needless to say, lots of fighting in the back.
And we probably need 2 cabs in Singapore to get to sister No.2's place, and then another 2 cabs to get back to the airport on Sunday... Hope I don't have to pay excess baggage for my flight from Singapore to Jakarta...on AirAsia!!! Yeah Yeah....my China Airlines flight to LAX is from Singapore, so we had to buy separate budget airline flights from Jakarta to Singapore... Hehe..

Okay lah...later....

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Vacation is coming to an End....

Yup! Time does fly! In 3 days, we'll be boarding our flight bound for home. Not that I am complaining....I miss my simple comfort foods of noodle soup and such. Been eating so much Angmoh foods that I am pretty sien already. Everything also served with French fries! Adoi! We went to Bouchon at Beverly Hills the other night...and I thought I won't see a single string of French fries since it is a French Bistro. Wei??? French fries came with the main. Pengsan! Contrary to what people think, French Fries do NOT originate from France!

I donna whether is it because we are traveling with the boys or what...but it is certainly not a leisurely vacation. Feel stressed and mang-Chang a lot of times. Maybe because we feel that we need to show the boys everything, let them experience everything...and we feel a bit disappointed when they don't seem to be interested, or when they complain about things. So difficult! Wanna do some shopping, then the whining comes. Wanna eat out, also complain. Aiyo...

Did we do a lot this trip? Did we do enough??

We spent 5 nights in Orange County... Did 2 full days at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, went Whale Watching at Dana Point (but didn't see any whales :-p), watched the Pirates Adventure at Buena Vista and shopping at Joann's and Michael's.
I supposed we could have done more if the weather was better...but luckily it did clear up.

We then drove to Las Vegas for Xmas. Spent 5 nights at The Mirage. Went to the Grand Canyon, watched The Blue Man Group, the Titanic Exhibition and The Variety Show with the boys, met with S2's classmate and family for lunch (they were also in LV), met again for supper (adults only) and only went back to hotel at 3 am!, gambled abit, went mini-golf, shopping at Premium Outlets (didn't buy much as wrong season plus too many people). H and I left the boys in the room one night and went to watch Zumanity - The sensual side of Cirque du Soleil
(18 and above only)... My verdict? Not very good lor. Just a lot of boobies, and dirty jokes on the audience. It would be okay if you don't know it is Cirque du Soleil.

We left Las Vegas for LA on the 29th. Went to Six Flags Magic Mountain immediately the next day...though it was a bright and sunny day, it was freaking cold. And boy! Was the queues loooooooooong!!! Boys only managed like 5 rides! I did two... The Collosos - a wooden coaster...Aiyo, really so rickety! It was soooooooo cold that my eyes reared uncontrollably as the coaster whooshed down. Also went on the Batman, a ride where your legs are dangling off the coaster. We wanted to do the Riddler's Revenge - a standing Coaster but the queues were really toooooo long, plus we were freezing our butts off. So decided to abandon that idea. Otherwise, it would be my first Standing Coaster Ride! Yeah! Me bad.... I did sone rides that I shouldn't have. Thank goodness NO problems...yet.

New Year's Eve was at Universal Studios. Supposed to spend the whole day here for the countdown.universal City Walk had concerts till midnight, then fireworks. But 10.20 pm... We all left. Cannot tahan ler. Plus boys weren't keen as well. If boys wanted to, I would ngeh-ngeh -lai stay till the end. They also donwan. Plus we had to wake up at 5.30 am the next morning for the Rose Parade. Before midnight, I conked off liow.,

My alarm on my iPhone didn't ring at 5.30 am leh. Luckily I woke up at 5.40 am. Drove to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. We had bought Grandstand Seats.... (shucks! Just missed S1's landing! Cause busy blogging! Aiya...). It us one of this things "been there. Done that. Won't do again" kind. Day was bright and sunny but freaking cold at 35 Dec Farenheit.... But by the time it ended, temperature was almost 60 deg Farenheit. Such a drastic change! Spent some hours at The Grove. Sunday was yum char in Chinatown and what else??? Aiyo..cannot remember.

Monday? Supposed to go to Seaworld San Diego but weather report says showers so decided to postpone till Wed (tomorrow). But weather was pretty good. Drove to Malibu for lunch...showed boys some beachfront houses...so that they can buy one for H and my retirement. Hahaha. Walked along the Santa Monica Pier then to Hollywood Blvd ...this one sure must-do...walk on the stars..

And today? S1 went foe an introductory flying class....at the Santa Monica Airport. He said this was the best in the whole trip...

Okay later. Going for lunch now.