My Ramblings

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Of Weddings - Then and Now.

We attended a wedding dinner last week, hubs' cousin sister.

We were amazed how wedding receptions and dinners has changed over the years.

On last Sunday's wedding, they engaged a violinist to play, an entrance march to welcome the bride and groom. I thought this was very nice and classy.

Then I recalled back our wedding.. we had 'Power Of Love' blasting out loud, sung by Michael Crawford as the march in song.. I remember clearly, it was like that :
*** blowing dry ice.. misty effect***, volume on very very high..

The whispers in the morning...
Of lovers sleeping tight...
Are rolling like thunder now
As I look into your eyes
And I hold on to your body
And feel each move you make
Your voice is warm and tender
A love that I could not forsake

then.. the door opens, me and hubs walk in..

Coz you are my lady...
And I am your man .

Wuahh wuahh.. come to think of it.. so 'kwa cheong'... and grand at that time but now, it's so outdated. I remembered when we had a trial run and played Power Of Love, my father was there. He couldn't agree to the music. He suggested we play the The Wedding a very classic that goes :

You by my side, that's how I see us,
I close my eyes, and I can see us
We're on our way to say I do
My secret dreams have all come true

Ave Maria Ave Maria

I broke out laughing.. aiyo so 'lou tou'.. how to play this song at our wedding.
When they served the first dish to mark the start of dinner, we chose a funky musical played to the song 'You Can Call Me Al'. Father asked .. eh.. why no Kitaro meh ? LOL !!

Times have changed and what I thought was cool and hip then is not now. Classic dinners are 'in' thing now.

Moving on, 8 years later, we have Amber and I'd like to post some snippets from last weeks dinner :


She had her hands all chocolatey.. Aiyer.. I was darn stressed that she'll get her pretty pretty dress dirty. I think even she was afraid so but still couldn't help herself to our chocolates. She had her share, our share and also share of those sitting next to us.


Then she found a companion - Kelly, her partner in crime. The run up , down and all over the ballroom.
Amber also "Yum Seng" sooo LOUD, everyone looked at our table !



They filled the chocolate box with rose petals picked from the floor !




Both of them inching their way up stage, I had to get hubs to stop them, otherwise they'll be the center of attraction on stage


See? Both of them ransacked the decorations !


No matter how pretty her dress is, she ends up scratching backside ! LOL !
Bum bum itchy wor !! Haih !!

Amber just loves wedding dinners.
I also want to share a clip taken at another wedding dinner (brother of the bride) last year. Amber went up stage and danced. Pretended to be sing and holding a mike (which in matter of fact is a cork she picked from the champagne toasting)

video
The emcee even danced with her and welcomed her as the 'guest dancer' for the night. Amber, Oh Amber, really not shy at all. If she could, she'll dance all night !

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Products for Kids

I found some gorgeous products at Giant recently for Amber's eczema prone skin.I'm sure it's suitablet for other kids too :

Halos n Horns - Skincare for Sensitive Souls

Shampoo & detangler, baby bath, hair & body wash







Halos n Horns was founded by Leila Wilcox. Her son suffered from sensitive skin and sometimes flared with eczema after bath. The chemicals in his bath was the culprit and she went on a mission to research around for chemicals which caused skin irritation and later came up with her own range - Halos n Horns with a mission ' to remove chemicals linked to eczema, asthma and other health risks'

I bought the whole range for Amber and I'd say this is worth a try. Find out more about their products at http://www.halosnhorns.co.uk/

Over in UK, it's £2.99 per tube but now it's retailing at Giant supermarkets at only RM5.99, this is a STEAL !!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Maids Again !

Another post about my maid...

Complain .... not really .... maybe a little lar..

My maid, she's leaving in January next year. Any complaints or unhappiness I have, I'd rather swallow down than spit out. No point teaching or counselling her.. for 2.5 months, I can tolerate.

All these while, she's not on good terms with Amber. My girl absolutely 'tak tahan' her and she'll make no effort in talking or playing with Amber. When we leave for work, Amber leaves for the childminder and we only get home late in the evenings. I ask her to prepare stuff for dinner but I'll do the cooking. Most weekends, we are out and don't cook. I only need her assistance for 2-3 hours in the evening when I do a little cooking or take a shower.

Her best times with Amber is TV TIME !! Wuah.. she'll sit close to my girl :

My maid is TV ADDICT.. I allow her to watch TV in the evenings when we are not home. I know what programmes she watches when I switch on my Astro and it'll revert to her last watched program. Her favourite channels are Ch 613,614,615 , Wah Lai Toi & AEC.

Now, she's smarter. She'll revert to Ch 519 - BLOOMBERG after watching her TV programs. She knows the last first and last channel we watch for the day is Bloomberg.

I've always ngam ngam cham cham to my sisters and friends on my maid.
She hates handling Amber so much that she'll :
- spend hours in the kitchen, wiping the bottles of sesame oil and soya sauce and every single dust. Cleaning aftermeals in the evenings can take up to 2 hours (as if I cooked up a storm!!). She hopes to stay in the kitchen until we go upstairs to retire for the day.
- fall asleep while accompanying Amber in her playroom.
- read newspaper while Amber play with toys. I really should have taken a photo of this. I was mad coz she has the whole afternoon/evenings to read papers but she's so 'tak tahan' looking after kids...she has to read the papers.
- rest her hand/wrist on her chin (like very very bored) while the other hand feeds Amber milk. LOL !!! I would have taken a pic n submit to The Star if I had my camera with me then.

I took some snapshots of her y'day. Not the worst situation but one of her typical situations in a typical evening. I was having my dinner, which I cooked myself.. and I asked her to feed Amber fruits (which I had cut and prepared myself) :


Our 'seetaupor' just stare with boredom while Amber plays with the phone.


Then she picks her nails.. nonchalantly..


She doesn't even care or realise that I'm taking her photo !! LOL !!!!
I asked her casually if she wants to continue her contract :
Hehehe... don't want. I want to go home
My father.. ask me to go home
He dunno I stay alone at home.. he ask me to go home.. he don't like I stay alone.
Duh ?? Stay alone ? What's wrong with staying alone at home ? Most maids would die for the 'me - the princess of the house time'. I hardly check on her work. I hard stand behind her shoulders and watch her work. I give her so much freedom.
Why ? You don't like to stay alone at home ?
Hehe.. no... emmmm.... I like ..err like work in a shop ?
Sopheak, those people you see working in a shop at from Myanmar. They are employed to work in shops. They have to pay their own, rent and food. They are not maids. Cambodians cannot work in shops.
And those Indonesian who work in shops .. they have to go back and do housework. They are employed as maids and the employer take them out to work and help. Go back, they have to cook, clean and iron.
You can handle meh ? Like us, only 3 people in the house, you already cannot handle ? You think you can clean house in the morning, go outside and work and come back and still work ah ? You like Maam's family got a lot of people ? Wash and iron for 6-7-8 people ? You can handle meh ? Just 3 of us and this house already you cannot handle and always forget things ?
She looks at me in disbelief. She's had it easier than a lot of other maids and still ungrateful for what she has.
You don't want to work, never mind lor. I will buy you air ticket home. I think next time I will get Indonesian maid, they like children better. Amber likes Kakak Ayuna and Kakak Tuti (MIL and childminders maid)
Yes, you get Indonesia.. better !
That ends my conversation with her. In fact I don't intend to get another maid but I just want to shut her up and tell her I'd much prefer an Indonesian maid, since she's so unhappy being with us.
Sopheak, Oh Sopheak ! I hope life treats you better when you go back to Cambodia. Maam and Sir cannot give you happiness or make you smile although we treat you well, allow you to watch tv, have your own room & toilet, have your own radio and give you ample food !
Good luck to you Ms Sopheak !
I hope this will be my last rant before she leaves.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Flexible Kids

Children are so flexible. They'll jump, run and hop non-stop.

I caught Amber in this pose and fished out my camera :


Mama !! YOGA !!

So cute, luckily managed to catch a picture !

Saturday, October 24, 2009

So Bored Nothing To Do

Papa, Mama, I am so tired !
** She's always tired and I think tired means bored**

And so, she'll come up with nonsense .....
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Looks like twins ?? Hehehe... I'm not so lucky, I only have 1 Amber.



She 'pan leng leng' with sooo many hair clips. It's almost bedtime, and she put on so many hairclips to amuse herself.




Ying yong style. Apa pun ada.



Cheeky or not ?




Admire her own tummy...


Dance, dance and swinging


All this while, I took the pictures without her posing ..
except for this one ....

Cheeky cheeky fart...



Friday, October 23, 2009

Comforting Chow for Down Times

Hubs has been sick since last week. Started with fever, sore throat and the whole jazz. He's recovering now albeit tired and lethargic.

So, what would I cook for a sick baby ?


Chicken onion soup... Slow boil chicken with Thai shallots. So yummy and comforting, bound to make you let off 'gas', but hor.. the chinese sinseh hubs has been consulting said to avoid anything chicken, esp chicken soup. Apparently very 'chou for'. Hubs broke out in rashes after consuming his wife's chicken soup. LOL !
Anyway, this is the easiet chicken dish I can come up with in a jiffy.


Then FIL suggested to him to take 'lek tau chui' , or mung bean desert instead. The Chinese doctor said the same. Mung beans is very 'detoxifying' and can red toxins very fast. So, it's been mung bean for desert every night. Pretty easy to dish up, except that it needs long boiling hours for the beans to soften and open up (hoi far). So, what did I do ? Chuck it to my pressure cooker lor.. Easy peasy !
one small bowl of beans + 3 piece of gula melaka + knot of pandan leaf + 5 bowls of water.
within 20 mins my mung bean desert is ready (+ another 10 mins for pressure to reduce). We had this 2 nights in a row and it's soooo comforting and helped us sleep well. No wonder I always see Hong Kong families having 'tong sui' after dinner, something we are not accustomed to here.



Then, yesterday, I cooked misua soup with choy sum and meatballs. Really a dish for the sick.
For me, I added minced meat (fried and fried till really dry and heavenly tasty). Hubs couldn't resist, he also added lots of minced meat to the soup.

So, what's up tonight ? I really don't know .. run out of ideas already. ABC soup done, pumpkin soup done.. rice cannot eat, porridge and mihun also not advisable, misua also done... *sigh*

My dear hubs, please get well soon, I have frozen rendang and chicken curry from my Tua Kor's Deepavali leftovers waiting for you .. LOL !!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tagging Along - 2

We brought Amber Tagging Along, to another training session last week. This time, she behaved better. I brought UNO to keep her busy !!!


A card game and I need to read the instructions, I don't really know how to play (shame ! shame !)



While hubs conducted a training session and I finished my paperworks, we played UNO.







She's really taken by the cute cards, colors and Pooh characters.
We didn't get around playing much, firstly I had to read the instructions till she got impatient and said Mama, why you don't know how to play wan ?

Then, we ended up playing 'read the cards'. When I fish out a card, she has to read the number, color and character to me. I think it's much simpler than playing actual UNO.



Then she got bored and played with 'screensavers' instead. Gets excited whenever the screen saver appears. She thinks it's 'magic' . . LOL !
This time, she's better behaved. I'll still bring her along the next time because I feel really bad leaving her alone at the childminders till so late at night.





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Friends

I caught up with my old friend, Bella, recently. Her sister was my colleague from Hong Kong and when Bella's husband came to work in Malaysia, we got to know each other and kept in touch. This nice couple are very adventurous, always travelling around Malaysia for good food and places to visit and I bet they know Malaysia more than me.



Time passed and they have 3 lovely daughters. Both of us are always busy with our own kiddie stuff but last week we paid them a visit. Amber absolutely loves the 3 cheh chehs.




On the way to lunch , the girls stopped and looked at the poster of ladies in 'pink wig'



Then they wanted to do some artwork *sigh*.. with each other's company, they run about, Amber forgets us.. LOL !
Since last weeks meeting was rather short, I invited them over for dinner on Sunday. . They had
a whale of a time :
Fights and pillow fights.. apparently, we adults are the 'bad dinosaurs' and they want to get rid of us (this cerita created by Amber.. LOL!! )

The aftermath in the playroom .. LOL !


The cheh-chehs are ice skaters and pose beautifully. My clumsy Amber tries to imitate but falls down everytime she lifts her hands and legs...
To Jeannie, Layla and Ioanna, Amber and us welcomes you for another visit anytime !!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spaghetti ala Vongole

My favourite pasta dish has to be Spaghetti Vongole. Although I do cook tomato based and cream based sauce for hubs but those I don't likee and don't eat much. I still prefer the simple olive oil and garlic based sauce.

Rachel asked me where to get clams and she wanted to cook clam soup for baby Philip. Not easy to find good clams, whatmore fresh ones. I've searched Ampang market, Imbi market and finally found a vege seller (yes, vege seller) at Ayer Panas market supplying fresh clams. Supply is not consistent, depending on luck (luck means stomach craving for clams = supply available). Actually it's quite seasonal too. You can forget about getting clams over festive seasons when the fishmongers rather do something more lucrative and catch bigger fishes too.

Well, so much for my clam supply stories, let's get cooking. I got 2 kgs of clam, hard shelled type, similiar to those served in Japanese restaurants.

To spit out the mud . I rinsed the clams, soaked in salt water and wheat flour and washing them in betweens for at least 3 times. However, I could not see much mud or dirt, the clams didn't spit much mud coz they were damn fresh !!! I placed them in chiller until cooking time.



Cleaned clams


Since I feel a bit 'rajin' that day, I precooked the clams first and removed half shell before frying them in boiled spaghetti. At least with this method, I don't have whole plate of clanging and dangling shells tying knots with spaghetti :)


Sautee in garlic and olive oil, pour in a bowl of water. When clams open up, turn off fire. Do not overcook.


I used wholewhat spaghetti from Tesco. Brownish and not as al-dente as usual spaghetti but healthier. Low GI and high fiber.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I reserve this as final dressing but I also use this to cook coz I've run out of the usual virgin olive oil.



Clams, with the empty half shell discarded. All shell has meat.. YUMMMZZZ
Then, sautee garlic, quarter chicken stock cube (non msg), sprinkle of salt, chopped English parsley, then toss in boiled spaghetti and clams with some soup and chopped parsley, give it a good stir and it's ready to be served.
Pour in some extra virgin olive oil for flavour. Add some chilli padi with the garlic if you like it spicy.
Home cooking, cheap, good and healthy and have all the clams you want. Don't you think so ?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Deepavali

Happy Deepavali Everyone !

I look forward to this celebration every year coz that's when all my aunties, my sis and I will gather in my Tua Kor's house for a big makan. This year hubs is sick at home, nursing a bad flu and the little one prefers to stay home with Papa.


Tua Kor cooked lots of curries for us. Curry chicken, chicken rendang and a dry chicken curry. She also made nasi briyani for us. To douse down the spiciness, she made cucumber, onion pickes and air sirap for us. She also braised a pot of Hakka char yoke , from my grandmother's recipe which all of us loved so much. For desert, she baked butter cakes, made kuih talam and jelly.



Everyone enjoying their meals... My Tua Kor was walking up and down, filling our plates with food !


Yummy, yum yum, home cooked feast.
While we were having our meals, and Indian man came to join us for lunch and offered prayers. He was previously a security guard at Tua Kor's condo but has since resigned. Tua Kor's unit is just next to the guardhouse and I think the guy has been sniffing Tua Kor's cooking for some time. He did say to Tua Kor that he'll drop by on Deepavali to have lunch and he did. I guess even the experts in curry knows a good pot of curry when they sniff one.
She did not make of her famous murukus for us this year. Her muruku mix has gone bad. Tua Kor mixes her muruku flour from scratch, buying good quality rice, beans and sending them to the mills to be grinded to flour. She's staying alone now and nobody helps her to send the rice for grinding. I volunteered but I need to know where to find flour and spice millers. Please let me know if you do come across any around your housing area. I miss her murukus and will do anything to help her get those murukus out. LOL !
Thank you so much Tua Kor for giving us a wonderful meal.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hand Me Downs

I was rearranging her wardrobe and picking out those clothes that were too short for her to be given away. I do keep some of her clothes esp her favourite ones as I intend to make a quilt of it one fine day (one really fine day... long long way to go but I'll do it)

My 'Miss Kiam Siap' was around while I was packing her clothes.

Amber, give these clothes away to Sharon mei mei ok ?

NOOO..... Cannot ! Why ? I don't want to give mei mei my clothes.

But you cannot wear them anymore.

No.. can ah.. you see.. she puts on one top to try...see, this Pooh one , I can still wear, no need to give mei mei.

Aiya, cannot lah.. can see your phat-chai (belly button).

No, don't want to give away. This one I want, this one I also want. All I want.. don't give mei mei.

Why not ? Aunty Wai Fun gives you Khloe cheh-cheh's clothes because Khloe cannot wear already. Now, you cannot wear, you give someone else ok ? Must learn to share girl.

She, still unhappy, ngam-ngam-cham-cham, pulling the clothes over her and insist she could still wear the clothes I packed aside.

Then I pulled out one purple dress which is way too short. I asked her to put on like this :



You see, the dress is so short, if you wear it , can see you 'phet-phet' , panties and all. You want to wear meh ?

Then she kept quiet, no more protest from her. LOL !!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tying Her Own Hair

She trying to tie her own hair. The other cheh-cheh's at the childminders' taught her.

Tie in front, I told her not nice, looks like a coconut tree gone awry, she didn't believe me until she realised the hair covers her face.




Tadaa... she finally succedeed. Not bad wor...