My Ramblings

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Monday, May 31, 2010

Maidless and Keeping The House Clean

We've been maidless for close to 6 months. First month was tough, coupled with CNY and I was baking for sale, home and life was madness and messy. It took me a couple of months to get organized with cleaning the home, sorting the laundry out, etc.

Firstly, get organized and throw away unwanted stuff. Don't get sentimental and don't ask the hubs for opinion. He'll want to keep everything. My hubs is a hogger and likes to collect anything and everything.

Then, don't display too many things at home. Having lived in a 1300 sq ft condo before, and space was never enough for 2 of us and every cleaning maid who comes in will sigh at the amount of stuff to wipe and dust, I learnt my lesson. I asked for an extra big store room for our new house and got lots of Ikea storage boxes and pack everything away, those little souvenir photo frames from Phuket, that shot glass from Hard Rock Bali and the whole set of espresso cups from London, need not be displayed. I'd rather have a streaking clean tv shelves with nothing except remote controls and some cds which I want to watch

Thirdly, get good cleaning equipments. Get the best mop that suits you, a wet mop for tiles and a dry mop for timber flooring. Another mop for outdoors and another for kitchen. A good mop saves time and back ache. Get a suitable pail for the mop too, so you don't have to dip rinse, bend and wring dry the mop. I mop my floor without bending down and finish the entire living, kitchen and dining in 10 minutes. I'd just die If I had to mop the traditional way with traditional mop !

Get good cleaning agents too. I use Kao Magiclean for my kitchen and bath but be careful not to use them on marbles and granite, the chemicals will corrode into the porous materials. I once thought garbage enzyme was disgusting but a friend gave me a bottle and I added a capful to a pail of mop water and it works like magic. My ceramic tiled floor is now squeaky clean and shining and the 'shine' lasts for a while. I only need to sweep regularly.

Now, I'm into making garbage enzyme. My first pot is into 2nd month of fermentation and I can't wait to harvest.

Lastly, organize your time. A FTWM will never have enough time to do everything. Prioritise what needs to be done first, like the daugther's uniform needs ironing and hubs needs clean socks. The rest can wait and iron in between tasks, ie while waiting for laundry to be done, that'll make ironing less of a big dreaded chore.

Meanwhile, get a jug of chilled tea and hydrate ourselves while doing the silai stuff.

Why am I ranting about housework ?? Coz I need to get my 31st post up. Am trying to do one post per day for month of May !! muahahahahaa......

Here Comes The Bride

She loves playing 'getting married' and she always has to be the bride. Anything long and flowy will do, towels or blankets preferred. She always plays getting married at the childminders and picks a 7 yr old boy, Yang Yang kor kor to be her 'husband'

Last weekend, she roped in her cheh-cheh to be her 'groom'. I taught her new words - bride and groom.

So, she asked me to tie the towel around her waist and it has to be around the waist , not around the neck because the towel/veil will be too short and cannot 'sweep the floor'

Here, the 'groom' holds the veil.

She walks 'princess' style, slowly , step by step, with a glee on the face to the grandparents room.

Presenting, the bride and the groom..

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nutritous Meal for Her

Sometimes I'm at a loss and don't know what to cook for her. Porridge is too boring if taken too frequently. Rice and meat, she takes too long to eat chew and when the food gets cold, it's unappealing.

I noticed she likes those double boil soups (dun thong) from restaurants and street hawkers. Amber loves soups and I think soup gives her lots of nutrition and also a very good tonic for the body.

I mimicked those dun thong and made a small pot at home, using her mini crock pot. No need to 'jaga api'

I scatter of herbs from my fridge, as I know, all are 'good stuff'

dong sum, kei chee, nam cho, hong cho, fook san, wai san

Rinse and dunk in the mini crock pot with a kampung chicken drumstick and a dash of salt. Slow cook for 3 hours

Serve with white rice.

She loves it to bits and finish the whole pot of soup.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Digital Photos

Today, I dragged my feet to get our photos developed. I have thousands of photos in my folder and am just too lazy to get them developed, and don't even talk about filing those photos to albums.. gosh !

I had to get a family photo up for MIL's bday card and that's a good excuse for me to look through my folders again and develop some photos worth keeping a hard copy.

I was very pleased with the finished product. I looked at the selected photos and see how my little Amber has grown and progressed in the past 6 months, from her first day at school, CNY, writing ABC and eating on her own.

I really should be more diligent. Digital photography is spoiling us rotten !

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mah Mah's Birthday

Today is MIL's actual birthday and coincidentally she's in town for some matters. Amber knew she was going to meet Mah Mah today and quickly drew a card for her last night.

Since she started kindy, she enjoys drawing birthday cards, Mother's Day cards etc.. I hope there's some artistic streak in her, yet to be seen at this age but I really hope she has better drawing skills than me, who can't even draw an apple !

Hubs helped her with the spelling and she wrote Happy Birthday Mah Mah . without any mistakes. Some letters big, some small and some VERY BIG ! The little inconsistencies is what makes the card special.

The envelope :

She wrote i *heart* U and decides to draw a face in the 'U'. Two eyes, nose bridge like Mama, etc.. eh.. she was looking and my nose to get an idea how to draw nose. See above, tell me my nose is not that horrifying ...LOL !!!

With some stickers here and there and I glued a family pic on the card.. and we have a very special birthday card for Mah Mah.
She can't wait to go kai kai tonight and give Mah Mah her birthday card.

Wheee factor

The little girl loves long flowy dressess. She asked me to buy more dressess for me and not so many t-shirts and shorts.

She likes dressess that goes wheeeeeeeeee when she twirls. She loves it so much.

Or she'll sit down, spread her skirt nicely and asks us to take picture ! take picture ! Like this :

This is what little girls are made of.. :D

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Over The Weekend

We went back to Tampin over the weekend to celebrate MIL's bday. We dropped by the newly opened Jusco at Bandaraya Melaka for a stroll and the place is HUGE ! My feet gets tired so easily walking from one end of the mall to another. We left the kids at Funkidz, a BIG and huge playland. Charges only RM8 per entry, darn cheap compared to the little playland inside Jusco which charge RM5 for 20 minutes.

Now the kids are more manageable (Amber being 4 years old and her Yuen Wen Cheh Cheh, 5), we leave them at playlands. They no longer enjoy the car rides and merry go rounds (which are darn expensive, RM1 per ride lasting no longer than 1 minute). The adults will take turn to keep an eye on them in case they wanna go toilet or need a drink of water. Usually hubs and me will scoot off shopping when FIL & MIL watches over them.

When I finished my shopping, I saw Amber playing computer games instead.. haih.. and with a stranger some more. I quickly went over and see what they are up to.

Apparently, the guy in blue, was here since morning. He got so bored waiting for his kids and played with the computer games instead, and he taught Amber how to play.. Ok, he's harmless and I was relieved. Manatau, when hubs came later, he taught hubs how to play the computer games too. . . :( So for adults who are bored waiting for their kids, there's always the computer games to keep them occupied.. LOL !
So, the whole afternoon was all about the kids having fun at Funkidz playland and then we went for our sumptious dinner at Dragon Deluxe.
This is only half of what we had. I'm so typical and lazy, only take pics at the beginning of dinner and forgets after the 3rd or 4th dish.

Since Amber could not take most of the food except steamed fish, we fed her KFC's mashed potatoes before dinner.
Since we were so full from a full course dinner, we waited till the next day for MIL to cut her bday cake.

Amber and her cheh-cheh. I think they are more excited than the birthday girl (MIL) to blow candles and cut cake.

Happy Birthday MIL !

She has to share her cake with her 2 grand daughters.

Amber did have any bite of the cake. I let her fool around and play with candles to take her mind off cakes !
Then we quickly packed and went back to KL for another big pirates party at Annie Q's. Read more about Fearles and Cruz birthday here.
We had so much fun with the food and games and Amber participated with most of the games. Unlike last year's party, she was shy with the clown and friends, this year, she was very active and had lots of fun.
I can't think much of a pirates theme but Annie told me to dress her flowery n colourful and we got her those little fake curly hair pins. She's been asking hubs to get for her sometime ago.

She went home with lots of pressies, belated birthday pressies from Aunty Barbara, Aunty Patsy, Aunty Annie and from the games she participates. Thanks Patsy, Barb and Annie for the pressies. I 'paiseh' lah.. Amber's birthday already passed and you still give her pressies.
At home, she couldn't wait and kept herself busy with one the pressies, an art n craft thingy :

Monday, May 24, 2010

Amber's Allergy Update

We went back for a follow up visit last week to the doctor at Tangkak. Her allergy level has gone down since the last visit and I'm happy with her results.

Then, on 10 April 2010, her allergy level was :

House Dust Mite - 14
Milk - 10
Eggs - 13
Candida - 10

Now, her allergy level has gone down to :

House Dust Mite - 4
Milk - 6
Candida - 5
Egg - 5

Allergy levels are from zero (lowest) to 20 (highest). We are down to single digit and am praying she hits 'ZERO'. Then, she has to abstain from the allergic items for one year for body to build up immunity before she can continue to consume eggs, dairy and yeast.

This 6 weeks has been challeging but we are getting by.

She knows she's not supposed to take milk, eggs and bread but other host of food which contains yeast and milk powder (as in most biscuits and crackers), we have to be careful and read ingredients properly.

Once in a while, she tries to get her way and I pity her coz she's only a kid who loves kiddy food.

I was a the supermarket getting a tray of Grade A eggs for make a layer cake and she asks me in English, as spoken by Amber :

Mama, why you buy so many eggs ?
Mah Mah birthday coming soon, I want to make a layer cake.
Can you make a cake, no eggs wan ? So that I can eat ?

At that moment, I felt so much for the little girl, like she's missing out on everything.

Then last Friday, she let the cat out of the bag, I was driving her and she told me :

Today, Teacher Jo gave me chocolate ...

What ? Err .. you cannot eat chocolate, teacher know or not ?

Yes, I ask Teacher Jo to give me one. Mama, the chocolate very nice wor. Got little bit milk wan. Not dark dark wan..

Ok, next time cannot eat anymore, you know you are seeing Dr Wong, you have to listen to him, wait until you are 5 years old, then you can eat anything, otherwise you will be itchy for life. Listen to him, can or not ?

**silence** then a moment later..

Mama, today in school I eat cake.

What ? You eat cake ? Why did you eat so many food in school and didn't finish your strawberries ?

Today is Teacher's Day. The cake very nice wor..

Amber, you know you cannot eat cake right ? Why do you want to eat ? Be a good girl and listen to doctor ok ?... then before I could go on, she snapped back :


*mata jeling** I saw from my front mirror, while I was driving. I didn't want to chide or scold her anymore. She was so upset and frustrated with my naggings. Then I called the principal, they admitted giving Amber chocolates and cakes because Amber pleaded for it and one wasn't enough, she wanted to chocolates (those mini cadbury dairy milks). I explained to the principal the importance of bringing down her allergy level to zero and if she takes any allergy food, her allergy level will go up again and we are back to square one. So, we have an agreement, I shall prepare a box of allergy free goodies that Amber can eat and Principal shall keep for 'emergencies', such as parties , etc.

Then another incident, Amber and hubs walked past Secret Recipes at Tampin :

Papa, the cake very nice hor ? Can eat or not ?
Cannot, this one got eggs and milk. When you reach 5 year old and you are 'ok', Papa will buy for you. ok ??
Oh kay ... (sad look on the face)


Amber is taking it very well, she doesn't throw a tantrum when told she can't eat certain food, the most she'll do is give me a very pitiful look and speaks in a very pitiful tone and which melts both hubs and me.

I think by the time she hits the 1 year-free-from-allergy mark, we're gonna have a party, with every food containing eggs, milk , cheese and chocolates ! CAN'T WAIT !!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Harassed by Ah Long & Bad Tenants

I've been having a string of bad tenants lately. First was a Malay lady who promised heaven and earth (actually she only promised to pay monthly rental promptly, keep telling me "mou man tai") but when the tenancy came into force, trouble started on the second month. I have to read her incessant apologetic email, listen to her grouses, her husbands business issues, school reopening, Hari Raya, Hari Raya Haji and relative sick, passed away, and a WHOLE LONG LIST of excuses for not paying rental on time. She was always 2 months back and always manage to cook up some story when rental is due and I must give her credit for ingenuity. I always believed her and many times also shout at her "I don't want to listen to your story, I have to pay bank instalments and do you think the bank will listen to me ?".

Then came CNY, I thought, wuah... my turn to come up with a reason for needing money and wanting my rental in on time or even 1 month delay is fine. Before I can brew up my reasons, she disappeared ! Oh gawd !!!!!!!!!!

Then, another tenant came, 2 Chinese guys from Yong Peng, Johor. They seemed to need the place quite urgently and only for a year. I agreed and they seemed like hardworking and nice people. They only stay on weekdays and weekends, they'll go back to their family in Johor.

They smoke, but was very courteous and friendly when I met with them. I also saw a huge 52 inch tv on my living room, which was purportedly for drawings. These 2 guys are 'interior designers' on a project in KL, lasting for a year. They didn't request much, just a basic apartment and air cond. In fact, they a/c up the whole unit. Now, I have 4 ac units in a 3 bedroom condo.

Their first month rental was due on April 7. I waited till April 17 to call them. Give them a chance, I thought and in meantime, checking my Maybank account periodically, hoping to see my rental in. I could not get them on their mobiles, the calls went to the voicemail. I tried for couple of weeks and asked the agent to check on my unit. The place looked fine, a/c unit still around.

I assumed they could be overseas.. and kept calling few days later.
Then I panicked a bit, maybe he was involved in an accident ? Could he be dead ? How could I check ? Heck ! I could not do anything when I all have is his copy of IC with address at Yong Peng. It was too early to apply for court order, he has defaulted only for a month.

Then one evening, my agent checked the place and saw many copies of IC of 'Er Chan Loong' pasted on my condo grills and walls with $$ and $$ drawn on the walls.

Work of an Ah Long !!! The ruthless moneylenders came knocking on my condo..

So, what should I do ? I checked with a lawyer and he advised me to make police report.

We went to Balai Polis, waited for couple of hours to lodge our report and waited again to see the Sargeant. His advise to us was to get a Court Order instead. Police has not right to barge in the apartment. He can accompany us to break in with a Court Order.

And to the Mahkamah, we went, the following day. Oh I so hate the tenant ! Cursing him to choke on every grain of rice he eats ! Wasting so much time and don't know what that fella is up to or where he has gone !

Waited at Mahkamah for our turn and somebody attended to us. He said :
- we can't apply for Court Order (Perintah Mahkamah) on our own
- we have to get the application in by a lawyer
- Application has to be heard by a judge before a Perintah Mahkamah is released
- and this will take time, perhaps a few weeks ???


Then he kindly told us what to do, before applying for a Court Order :

- get a locksmith to break in to the place
- get a witness, preferbly the property manager to witness
- if there's nothing valuable in the apartment, ie clothing and such,throw it away and deem the tenant as left the property without notice
- if there's valuable items in the property, lock up the place properly and apply for Court Order.
- take photos.

My guts tells me there's nothing much left in the unit but I was secretly hoping he left the 52 ince tv behind though... LOL !!!

And so, we had to get a locksmith and property manager to the unit. I was really frustrated, having to spend my whole day attending to this matter. Luckily hubs was with me, he speaks excellent Bahasa and represented me to talk to the Mahkamah people.

The unit :

My agent threw away the copies of IC pasted on the unit but there's one more left on the floor.

Er Chan Loong !!! Darn ! You registered your IC with my condo address and absconded !

Jimmy! Jimmy ! It ain't nice to graffiti on walls you know! Didn't your mom tell you that ????

Blardy nuisance. Lock up the place with an Italian lock, a very difficult and expensive lock to pick !

The locksmith's gadgets. The darn lock was too hard to break and he had to cut the grills to break in.

The unit. 'Kering kontang'. Darn him, I was hoping he left tv behind but apparently he already planned this and took off with everything. Left nothing except garbage and leftover food. A loaf of Gardenia bread in the kitchen was dated 2 April 2010 and the newspapers was dated 31 March 2010.
We concluded he left the place sometime around 31 March and with all the lights switched ON !
He left me 2 souvenirs of electric bill on RM400 and water bill of RM200
Darn him ! Can't he be nice and not lock up the place when he leaves instead.
My run with bad tenants.. I hope this will be the LAST.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

School Sports Day

The kindie had their Sports Day last Saturday. It's another one of Amber's first.

Location was at a clubhouse near our house.

Hubs couldn't make it (darn). Joanne (Sharon's mom) and myself signed in our attendance and both of us were very excited, looking forward to our daugther's very first Sports Day.

The agenda :

Amber is seated on the left, behind Sharon who's adjusting her hat.

Singing the school song.

Singing Negaraku.

At this point, I felt that my girl had grown so much, singing Negaraku and participating in Sports Day. I almost shed tears.. please don't grow up so fast Amber.. stay kiddy as that'll be the best time of your life !

Each class is divided to 2 teams, red and blue and the kids have a ribbon tied to their wrist. Amber is in red team

They did 2 race : Pick Me Up and I Can Do It . Both race requires basic skills like holding the ball, running to and fro and passing to the next team mate. Amber did well and red team won. In fact all the other kids did well and it wasn't about winning but having fun instead.

The moms (Joanne, Maha and me) felt like kids again when we cheered for our girls :

Go Sharon Go !
Go Kenisha Go !
Go Amber Go !

We had FUN ! LOL !

I must make a note to bring my videocam next year to record down the event.

After their 4 yr olds were done, they had to wait for the 5 & 6 yr old's race. They were given snacks of sausage bread and Ribena. I quickly stripped the bun off and gave her sausage instead coz she can't take bread.

Parents were also given Ribena drinks, sponsored by Smithkline Beecham

Waiting for the elder kids to finish their wait seems like a 'very long' wait for Amber :

Then she cried for me.. Mama !!! Yikes.. I quickly hid at the back. Her teacher warned me to disappear from her radar, else she might not participate in her race and wants me instead. :(

Then came the prize giving time. She was the first to be called up.

Amber receiving a prize from her class teacher, Teacher Mila and principal, Teacher Jo.

Her trophy :

Her very first Sports Day.
The teachers did a very good job. No easy feat getting 70 odd students to participate in an orderly manner and not to mention managing the enthusiastic parents too. Teacher Jo said the kids have been practising for 2 months with 5 minutes practise each day.
Today, when I dropped her at school, the kids were already practising for the School Concert, due in October :)

Wine Roundtable 1 - 2010

This post is actually for hubs. He wants to tumpang in my blog for his future reference.

We had our first wine roundtable for the year at ES house. A very hurried event since his wife is due to deliver soon (and he had to miss the event of the year - roundtable at the dealers home - which he missed)

Date : 30 April 2010, 7.30pm, present :
Leonard and family

A pot luck event and we picked up some satay from Zaini Satay.

Our makan for the day : nam yue chicken wings, satay, hokkien mee and braised duck (forgot to take pics)

The palatte for the night :

hubs - San Leonardo 2004, Italian.
Leonard - Godolphin Barossa Valley
ES - Pomerol 2000

Vast diversity ! Italian, Australian and French. As I'm typing this, hubs asked me to add a note:
Vast diversity of wine but unity amongst the kakis!

Our winetables are always a family affair.. :)

Wine Roundtable 2 - was at the dealers on 8 Ma7 2010

Next roundtable - at KK's place - Glenmarie Court. Targetted end June 2010. Benchmark - 300

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mental Arithmetics

We started Amber on mental arithmetics class last month. The school had an abacus demonstration during parents teacher meeting day and asked parents if they'd like kids to participate in this extra curricular activity. In fact, the kindie also has taekwondo class on Saturdays but hubs didn't like the idea his princess learning 'kungfu kicks' although I didn't mind but when they introduced abacus, hubs quickly agreed to send Amber. She's the youngest in her class of 12 kids.

During the first lesson, she was a bit slow as kindie only started to teacher numbers in April. After a private coaching by her teacher, she caught up pretty fast and can do additions and subtractions.

Below is her work during class and I'm happy with her achievements :

See how senget and distorted her numbers are ? That's ok, she only started numbers recently.

On a sidenote, hubs caught her at Guardian Pharmacy's make up shelves counting lipsticks. She pointed and counted.. 1,2,3,4,5,9, no.. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10..

Too bad I didn't have a camera then :)