My Ramblings

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Tax Dept

I get taxed for my cookies. Everybatch I make, I have to give a little away.

Made these cornflake cookies last night :

and I employ 2 workers helping me with packing.
and I have to pay for the hired help

My cookies get taxed... liddis :

one in the mouth ... see the small bump on her right cheek ?

another goes in...

and another....

crumbs are not spared either..

Every batch of cookie I make is taxed and I haven't account for the BIG TAX from the ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INLAND REVENUE in white shirt. LOL !!! However, these are moments I cherish.. my loved ones pinching a bit here and there..

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Loaf Members Day

Just came back from lunch and I must post this up. The Loaf had a Member's Day today. I did receive a sms but didn't think much of it as I just had coffee and snacks there yesterday evening.
We had a rather unexciting lunch at Bon Ton Lot 10 and I suggested to hubs to pop by Loaf for my cup of coffee. Oh my,, the people and long queue, only then I remembered my sms.

We grabbed a few pastries,coffee and exotic raspberry and rose jam.

The long queue to pay but was rather quick moving. We waited about 5 mins for our turn

This is what we had :

Regular coffee

And our little box of surprise. I like how Loaf boxes up the pastries for takeaway.

Our loot :

Motoko Confiture raspberry and roses jam.. some danish and a smiley hole faced bread for Amber. Hope she eats it in school tomorrow (another story to come about her recess activities)

Guess the bill ?

Total RM19.80 for everything.. If I'm not mistaken.. that's about the price of a premium large ice blend at our CB or SB rite ?

Go join The Loaf membership priviledges. Only RM10 and there's always lots of offers on other days too. Their pastries is ZE BEST-est !!! Once had it, you wouldn't want to go near Delifrance anymore..

Earning a Little Pocket Money

I had the most amazing January. Despite maid leaving and I have to juggle all housework, cooking, ironing, cleaning and baking for the new year, I made some bakes for sale.

My friend Ai Kim ordered some 'Chocchipchocchunk walnut cookies' from me and also 2 loaves of fruit cake. I've never sold any cakes before and hubs, my #1 fruitcake fansee (don't leave any on the table, gone in a flash !!!) encouraged me to sell my fruitcakes. Time was not on my side, maidless, office moving, Amber schooling, bla bla bla and Ai Kim asked if I could bake her a fruitcake. Then came orders from the wine people .. then more. Now, I'm juggling the best I can as I have to bake for family too.

Here's my fruit cake..

A loaf.. abt 1.2kg.. I had to find the correct loaf tin, pans and boxes to package it.

The simple packing I made.

Then boxed up in this gawdy pink roses cake box. I'd prefer a simpler silver paper box with cover but I can't find any. Checked all the baking supply shops, bookshops, KK Decor.. nil.. nilch.... I even thought of making my own boxes but time is really not on my side.

Anybody has a better idea to package my cake ? Please share.. I'd really appreciate it.

And this is what I did for my family. I know MIL will have a hard time cutting the cake in slices, I did a little favour like this :

The cake is packed with fruits, I'll need to chill it before cutting to sliced.

Then individually wrap it with polysterene paper and box it in one of the old mooncake boxes. Nice or not ?

I'm so happy to make a little pocket money from my bakes, if only I had more time and help I'd do more.. hopefully I'm better prepared next year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dong Dong Dong Chiang !!!

Dong dong dong dong chiang..

dong chiang...

I did my homework and checked the prices at Petaling St, and decided to get the lion head dance set from Tesco. RM36.88 each for the head set and drums. Elsewhere, would have cost double.
She's sooo happy and couldn't wait to beat the drums. The drums were authentically made in China with animal hide and produces a very loud drumming dong dong dong ... luckily no 'chiang' to accompany, otherwise I'll have to wear earplugs.

Lion head.. size fits her perfectly.

So, anyone wants to hire a little rambling lion to perform at your home ?

Xin Nien Lai Lo !!!

In the spirit of the coming new year, we brought Amber to Petaling Street, a place where colours, feel and smell of chinese new year is abundant.

Amber's been waiting for 'gong xi fa cai' for a very very long time. For the little girl, it seems so long and never arriving coz she looks forward to wear her new klik klok shoes and wanna see lion dance.

We made a short trip to Petaling Street last weekends, wanna see and feel the chinese new year mood and I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Decorations.. so many shops of them. It's great to compare prices and varities from the many shops and I can tell you things here are not cheap. Don't be deceived by the stuff on the street look, in fact I find it rather pricey, unless I buy wholesale ?

I like this place for it's orderly arrranged decors

Another 'happy' place to be but I also noted Petaling Street has become more of a foreigner (tourist and street peddlers) street.

Nice to look at. The new year is all about lanterns, flowers and what nots in blazing gold and red.

Aha ! This caught her attention. She stared in amazement. Hope she don't start asking me to get her one.

Then for the highlight of our jalan-jalan.. which is to makan-makan.

Air mata kucing.. a must for me, make it 2 0r even 3 cups. Been savouring chilled longan lon hon koa drink from this stall since my school days, when they were served in orange bowls. Now, it's in takeaway cups. I heard LHDN used to stand across the street and count how many bowls were sold in a day.

Then, our friends got a table at Hokkien mee stall opposite the longan drink stall. Very convenient or even lucky to get a table at peak evening hour.

This is the run down shabby corner.. .. .. .. that serves out of the world fried noodles.

Our friend, Thomas' fried mihun mee.

Hubs hokkien mee

With raw egg added. Hubs was such a glutton, her ordered 2 plates (and shared a little with Amber)

He asked me to take a pic of his 'very polished clean' plate. Show's how good the noodle was. Not a strand or speck left.

Then we came across this 'tong kor' stall. Mom used to buy a variety for prayers to the Gods. Send them sweet offering so they'll have sweet things to say about us. LOL !!! I like the coconut (brown chunks and white shaved) best. I give this a skip , nice but laden with SUGAR !..

Then there's this wierd kiosk with lizards and other animals, expanded when soaked in water. The kids like it but nah... another 'wasteful-good for nothing' stuff I refused to buy.

Then Thomas and Joanne stopped to get some pork floss for Joanne's mini popiah project. We waited outside and the kids found some fun jumping on a platform plank, making lots of noise as usual. The thing about kids, when they have company, they know how to find fun. (and start annoying everyone around them ... lol)

Our friends didn't end up buying any pork floss coz it was quite pricey. Pork is getting more expensive and our bak kwa fellas also took advantage to increase their prices in lieu of coming new year BUT luckily my favourite bak kwa stall is not increasing their prices (post coming up soon)

Well, it was a great evening for us, although we didn't get anything from Petaling Street, food was good, company was good and kids had fun.. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sleeping Independence

Amber is still sleeping on a single bed attached to our kings. We started to get her sleeping on her own, which is to fall asleep without our presence and with just a night light on.

Now, without a maid, my late evenings are occupied with housework. Getting her to sleep on her own will relieve me and hubs with some extra time to complete our tasks.

Last night, hubs put her to bed... whilst I was downstairs finishing my CNY bakes. Before she nod off, hubs left the room

2 minutes later, she came out of the room crying.. saying she was afraid to sleep on her own..
Amber scared.. Amber scared of 'kai nang' (bad people)

Hubs explained the house is safe and alarmed.. no 'bad people' will walk in to her room and hubs tucked her in again.
2 minutes later.. out she comes crying...

I want Mama sleep with Amber.. a little while only..

This went on and on for a few times and later I went up to tuck her in and take my shower. A while later, I saw her standing in the changing room, hiding in one corner,, telling me same story, she was afraid to sleep alone.. gosh !! one day she's afraid of lizard, another day of bad people, she's just so adamant we sleep with her.

.. and we were adamant she starts sleeping on her own.

... and I started the whole story about not having a maid, I have iron her uniform, wash her milk bottles, mop the floor, so much to do.. bla bla bla... I calmed her down with my story of tasks and tucked her in. By then, it was already 11.30pm. I went down, had a beer and 'bak kwa' with hubs and BIL, relaxing and FINALLY flipping through the Sunday papers.

Then, she walks out of the room crying again, asking for me. She stands at the stairways, afraid to come down, afraid to go back to the room. She looked at us and said miserably :

Not a lot of work to do also !

OMG ! I really hang my head in shame !!!! There I was giving all sorts of excuses like work to do but actually I was unwinding to a beer and bak kwa ! So malu-fying... I burst out loud laughing..

I give up .. I really give up.. I went back up and put her to bed, accompanied her to sleep !

Let's hope for some improvements tonight.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Concept of Babies

Amber's been longing for another sibling. She always tells me : I want Mama to have 2 babies (with her finger showing me '2' or peace sign)

I always tell her, it's up to god, Mama cannot choose to have 1 or 2 or 3 babies. Want doesn't mean we'll get.

Most of our common friends all have 1 daughter (single child parents) so Amber don't question much. When she saw Annie's twins, she was curious about twins' and asked why some mothers can have 2 kids.

My sister in law is pregnant and in her second trimester now. Yesterday, while have a family dinner together, I took the opportunity to tell Amber the good news.

Look, (SIL) Sum Sum's tummy has a little baby inside.. it's 'growing' , later it'll be born out as a baby, just like you when you were a baby. So you be careful, don't bump or bang into Sum Sum, you must sayang the baby inside ok ?

She stood there, staring at Sum Sum's tummy for a moment, perplexed. Then she talked aloud in a 'lau-kai' tone :

I also want you to have 2 baby. I want Mama to have 2 baby !!!

**loud.. real loud** I quickly hushed her out and keep quiet.

Poor girl, she thinks babies are made on demand.

There was another instance while having a shower with her.. mother and daughter chat..

Mama, why other people can have 2 baby, you cannot ?

I can't coz I don't have. Not everyone will have 2 babies you know. It's up to God .

You can ah ! You marry again lor !

*gulp* where did she get THAT idea ?

Marry who ?

Marry Papa lor..
Papa marry Mama, PapaMama have Amber.
So, you marry Papa again, you can have another baby la !

LOL !! Should I praise her ingenuity ?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Nice Gift

My neighbours from our previous condo was back from Sydney recently. We look forward to meet them and catch up with their happenings and I'd always wish them the best of health. Both husband and wife are in their 70's. I miss having them as neighbours, we would always share tong sui or tea time specials that she bakes. When he buys durian, he'll always remember to get an extra pack for me.

We had lunch today at RSGC and I love the serenity of the place, overlooking the greens, in the quiet restaurant, just the 4 of us, them, hubs and myself. They'd offer me the place with with a better view of the greens.. which I so love.

Along with lunch came some nice little gifts from Sydney :

Macadamia nut chocolate and a wooden door stopper.

The door stopper brings back memories of days when Amber was toddling. She's always pick and toy around with the door stopper at their home. I couldn't find another one in Malaysia and Su Eng promised to find another for Amber.

Nice eh ? Very English and homely look. Hand painted.

Thank you Su Eng, for getting this for us from e-bay, I'm amazed you went through the trouble getting online searching for it. Thank you Su Eng & Wye Tuck for the lovely lunch and it's always our pleasure to meet up with both of you.

Hugs from Amber too !

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Over The Weekend

no more maid, no more helper to call out for .. to do this and that. need time to get used to it but I kept on psyching myself .. i can do it ! i can do it ! think martha stewart ! think bree !

well, not so bad after all. asked friends over for dinner on friday night, grilled chicken breast, potato gratin, and salad (no wokking, minimal cleaning), did the laundry, running in and out of the house when it rains. repotted some plants, hubs washed the car.. then his little family join the fun and all 3 of us got wet, guess who's the happiest... the little one lar..

then, all 3 of us got a hair cut. amber's hair is too long, hard to manage and wasting lotsa precious minutes just to blow dry.

we also did grocery shopping, she got excited with the 'lion head'. i refused to buy, at least not until i do my price comparison first.

and did major shopping on household cleaning stuff, mop buckets, gloves, mops and yes, we invested big in mops.. since I had to get my hands dirty, might as well invest ! I grabbed 3M microfiber mops and works like magic.. much lighter and easy to handle. i sweep my upper floor in less than 5 minutes.. good eh ? also got a 'fengshui' broom, not due to fengshui reasons but it was 'big' enough, bigger sweep coverage area. less time needed to sweep and spoon those hairs, dust and pesky annoying dirt.

ahh... see who is 'sibuk' at the supermart ? she loves to play with brooms and such. must really train her to start young...

Updates in School

She's coping well in kindie, in fact liking it very much and don't wanna go home. Hope this stays and not because it's someplace new and fancy for her.

The kindie does not provide snacks and I have to think of what to pack for her. Biscuits and cookies are the easiest to prepare but it's kinda dry and I don't want her to end up with sore throat if she does not drink a lot of water with it.

A typical snack for her :

Panettone italian cake and Ikea jam biscuits.. She ate 1 1/2 biscuits and left the cake untouched. Well, I can't expect my slow eater to wallop everything during recess right ? Bento's would be nice but with my already very stretched time in the morning... I'm afraid not.

I've labelled all her containers and tumblers.

She came home with 'stamps' on her hand. She kept saying teacher chop my hand, teacher chop my hand..
I draw "ahhh". one round round and one long line !

I scratched my head and only after a while I saw the marks on her hand and "ahhh' means 'a'. One small circular with a tiny line attached to it. ... ... .. and no, teacher did not chop her hands off but placed a stamp mark for job well done.. and.. everybody got it ! :)

and she fell down from the chute slide.

Grazed her chin. Still look ok on this photo but yday it turned blue black. She refused any ointment and I must make it a point to apply Vitamin E oil tonight for faster healing.

Nowadays, I look forward to hear from her about school.

A milestone for her, and us too !

Monday, January 11, 2010

Amber - Updates

It's been almost a week since she attended kindie. Today is the first day school's on full gear from 8am to 12 noon.

Last week was a very short week and short kindie hours, to get the kids adjusted.

Wed - first day.. we sent her to school and see her off to the transporters car
Thur - I picked her up from school, brought her to airport to send Kakak off
Fri - We left her there on her own

I received a call from her principal today. A small accident happened while she was playing on the funnel slides. She fell face down and grazed her chin. She refused ice pack and other medication. I checked with Boon's and he has applied antiseptic ointment on her chin. Must take a good look at her tonight

Her principal shared with me some observations today :
- She's reluctant to go home (Boon's). Last Friday, she was looking for me but luckily the transporter and principal could coax her to leave.
- Today, while queuing up to leave with her transporters, she turned back and took off her shoes, thrice. She wanted to 'sleep' in the kindie. Principal explained to her kindie cannot house her, they don't have mattress and facilities, etc.
- She saw another kid drinking milk and she interrupted the teacher many times asking for milk. She miss her milkie and bottle ! LOL ! Teacher again explained and offered her biscuits but she kept wanting milk. She even wanted the other kids milk and said.. 'Cup also can lah..'
Then the teacher told her she's interrupting, Amber said aloud : I'm not disturbing, I only want MILK !' LOL !!!
- She comes back home with activities. Last week she did some coloring and made a 'flower' for hubs and me.

I am happy with her progress and structured activities in school. Although we still have difficulties getting her to sleep early, we make it a point to be in bed by 10pm but she'll drag till 11pm or so before knocking off. In the mornings, to wake her up, I play Channel 613 'POCOYO' to wake her up. However, when I mention 'go to school', she'll pull herself out of bed. She likes kindie and looks forward to it !

Friday, January 8, 2010

She's Gone

My maid has left. Yesterday.

Just when we settled into the New Year feeling happy, lots to look forward to, Amber schooling and coping well. My spirits were high.

Then just couple of days before she left, she smiled more and talked more. I felt sad to let her go. I did ask her if she wanted to stay but she's adamant to go back home and do something else or rather move on with her life.

On the eve of her departure, I was hesitant to check her things but I still did. Most of the new clothes I bought for her were untouched, she's saved them to bring home. No wonder she always looks tattered and weary. Saving the best for home, I guess.

I felt the blues of losing a maid, the void of not having her around anymore. No one to greet me when I go home. No one to feed the fishes and just nobody for me to call out to.

Strangely, hubs felt the same too. He knew I was feeling down on her departure (despite all the complains and bitching I had about her), he cheered me up but the night before she left, hubs woke up in the middle of the night, thinking of her, with a heavy heart. Someone who spent 2 years with us will be gone, forever.

Despite her repeated mistakes and nonchalant attitude, we miss her coz we are human. 2 years is a long time and we've bonded with her especially in the recent weeks. She taught hubs to clean the fish pond and I taught her all I knew of cooking. I did chide for not wanting to learn earlier and waited till the last moment. I asked her what she'll cook for her family when she goes home. 'Chicken rice' ! I told her to add more bishops nose for a tastier rice and she laughed.

She sewed a secret compartment in her jeans to stuff in all her USD of 2 years worth of sweat and toil. I jokingly told her she has the most expensive 'bum' in the airport !

I asked what she wanted for breakfast ; 2 roti canais and so I happily went to get for her. She had asam laksa at Old Town LCCT, and asked me how to cook. Again, I told her, if only she'd smile more and speak more when she started her tenure with us, she'll be a happier person. I also told her in whatever job she does, she must do it well, with a passion and smile more, then she'll have a better employer-employee relationship.

Then just before leaving the home for airport, Amber had a fight with her again.. haih...

Looks like Amber does not miss her as much as us.. that's a good thing.

Anyway, I do believe in parting amicably and I wish her well.

For us, life goes on and in time, we'll get used to her absent. We'll always remember her, our first helper.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Amber's First Day at Kindie

Today marks her first day of kindie. We've been anticipating this day albeit nervously. We were afraid she'll not make it to school on time or throw a tantrum but luckily all went smoothly. We got her to bed by 10.30pm the night before and up by 7am. A bit late for sleeping time but she refused to sleep and the phone rang, Joanne was on the other line but I lied to Amber that teacher called and check if she's already in bed ? (I'm bad but the little lie worked).

We were the only parents with cameras snapping here and there whilst some parents thought we were strange. LOL ! Anyway, first days are always memorable and I must the moments.

In full gear uniform and I know the shoes and socks are kinda shocking.. they don't match but I wanted a pair of sandals that can be strapped, so this is the best choice and I can't remember why I grabbed red socks, probably rushing. :)

Her good friend Sharon was already waiting for her in school.

The teacher assistant puts on her ID badge

The open area where kids have their meals and also play.

Suddenly I heard a loud cry from her, she injured herself on the see saw, getting her thighs caught between the handles and see saw board.

Papa soothing her

Then we passed her to Teacher Jo, who pacified her

I taught her what to say if she needs to use the toilet. Later I observed her from far and she said exactly what I taught her : Teacher, please, may I use the toilet ? Good girl, Amber !

This week's class was a short one and we left after 20 mins. I know she'll be fine and she has Sharon with her, so it's less intimidating with so many other new faces.

I returned to the school before the class ended. We've arranged transportation for her to go Boon's and I wanted to make sure she's aware of what's supposed to happen when school ends.

She obediently sits inside the van and waves bye bye to me.

My little girl finally going kindie !!