Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year end holiday

We were all set and booked for Tokyo in December. We booked our hotel & flight quite a few months early, something we never usually do but we did this time. It was all set when suddenly in November, my mother in law (mil) wanted us to join her in London at the end of December. Initially I didnt want to go because we've gone to London many times and I would rather go elsewhere but in the end, since my mil insisted, we all decided to join them in London.

At first we thought we could do with Tokyo early of December and London at the end of December but a week before our flight to Tokyo, I told my husband that I think we should cancel and postpone the trip to a different date. It would be too taxing to go to both places. Finally, we had to pay extra and some fees for cancellation. This is why we never ever book and pay for trips in advance. It is almost like the universe doesn't want us to save money on trips. It always ends up more expensive for us somehow. Tokyo tickets was pretty cheap because we got it at promo price but now we have to pay for cancellation fee, it is just like paying for full price tickets, if not more. Ah well.
Best part is we get to go to Tokyo in April instead, which is in time for sakura. I guess that'll be nicer. Nicer weather too for Disneyland, insyaAllah.

So yes, London for year end holiday it is.

At first I wasn't too excited about London. I mean, I lived in the UK for 8 years. Been there done that but somehow, closer to the date of our travel, I got more and more excited. I didnt think I would be at first but come on!! It's LONDON,baby!!! How can anyone not get excited to be in London, right?

Photo from Google

Sunday, December 18, 2016

One Step Closer

Remember we have a cat now? Well, we sort of adopted this stray cat and now my kids love it so much that they are almost obsessed with it. Zoe is super manja and a really sweet cat. Even a non cat lover like me is starting to love her. 

Zoe is based at our carpark, which is on the basement floor. We only see her when we are about to leave or when we come back. Basically if we dont need to go to the car, we won't see her. But lately, kids have requested to go to the basement floor more regularly. It will be before mandi time (it is school holidays now so mandi time is after breakfast and quite late), one time in the afternoon after lunch and another final time before they mandi in the evening. 3 times a day they will spend about 10-20 minutes with Zoe. I dont usually follow them. My maid will accompany them downstairs or my husband will. (I'm not exactly a cat person, remember?)

Notice the floor is different? She's outside the lift instead of her usual spot outside at the basement carpark

Zoe will always stay at the carpark but lately, she's come one step closer to us and will wait for us by the lift. She will wait for us outside the lift waiting for us to come down. I usually will get the shock of my life when this happens. I hate it when she waits for us outside the lift. Our apartment is very quiet. We hardly see anyone ever and almost never see our neighbours. Almost like we are the only ones living here so whenever we see someone especially outside the lift, we will get a shock. Because more often than not, no one and nothing will be outside. My neighbours and I will rarely bump into each other but when we do, we always jump because we are so used to expecting nothing and no one when the lift door opens. So Zoe waiting outside the lift always gives me a shock. Sigh.

When the door opens, she will start meowing and lie down to be touched. One time, she was lying down like this!!!!! Just waiting for me to play with her tummy! LOL (which I dont). I haven't touched her since we got her.

If you notice, she now has a thing on her neck. Well, we went to get cat food last week and my daughter insisted we get that for Zoe so people will know she's taken. OK fine. It kind of looks cute on her.

Lately, Zoe is roaming around the apartment a lot. One time my daughter saw her on the roof. I dont know how she got there because it is pretty high. We live on the first floor and yesterday, my daughter and all was already waiting for me in the car (we were about to go out). They all usually wait for me in the car because they will want to play with Zoe first before we go out. I was about to leave the house and lock the front door when I heard Zoe meowing really loud. It sounded really close. I knew the kids were all downstairs so how come Zoe sounded really close. I tried to track her and found her outside our balcony!

OMG. How did she get there and why is she out there! She found our unit and wanted to come inside! Gosh. I called my husband who was already in the car and asked him if they put Zoe at the balcony and he said no. They were all looking for Zoe at the basement but they couldn't find her.

Looks like she found us. Looks like she's a step closer to us now and soon, she will be inside our house! OH no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No cats allowed in the house.

Mummy: No cats are allowed in the house. Dont bring her in the house if she's at the balcony when we come back.
Daughter: Of course we will bring her in!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hi-5 Fairytale

We weren't planning to go this year because my kids are actually over hi-5. I mean, they still watch it daily on Disney Junior channel 613 but I wouldn't say they're a fan. I guess they are just not into those kiddy stuff all that much anymore. I didnt want to spend money watching a show they dont really enjoy anymore so I figured we will give it a miss.

On Thursday, in our Whatsapp group chat between the mummies of my son's school, the teacher Ms. Rose asked if anyone wanted Hi-5 tickets. Apparently her friend has 12 tickets to give away. It was the best tickets too. Right in front where the kids get to stand and dance.
We were early but trust me, it was FULL HOUSE!
These tickets aren't cheap. It costs more than RM200 each if I am not wrong. All of us wanted the tickets and thankfully, it was just nice for all 12 of us. Hurray!!! Free tickets to enjoy a show with other friends coming along is always good fun. Funny part is, our tickets are the most expensive ones (where you get to stand in front of the stage and dance but we dont get seats. We all sat on the floor while the kids stand and dance and run around in that area)

We met up at 5pm in front of Istana Budaya. They had so many things going on in front (inside Istana Budaya). They had a big backdrop for you to take photos. They also have a place to take photos with props (you got to pay a fee for this), they had bouncy castle and also a booth selling toys and other Hi-5 stuff. It was like a carnival there.

Surprisingly, the show was a lot more interesting than the one we went for last year. This year was about Fairytale and I guess the storyline catches the attention of all of them even more.
They had bubbles and big balloons and all kinds of stuff falling and the kids was busy catching it at one point of the show. That was a lot of fun.

It was really entertaining I must say. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it so much because last year's show was not so interesting. Also, my kids had their friends along this time which made it a lot more fun. I find myself singing their songs too. L.O.V.E is my favourite! My only wish was that the sound system was better. We were sat right in front and so maybe we were too near the speakers or something but we couldn't really hear things clearly as we could hear echoes. Not so nice but nonetheless, kids really enjoyed themselves silly that day.

I'm glad we got these tickets and managed to spend time with friends at the show. I dont think we will be purchasing or going for it anymore because my kids won't be enjoying it anymore next year, I'm sure so this was a good "goodbye" Hi-5 show for us to keep in our memory.

A special Thank You to Ms Rose for organising our tickets too.

If you haven't gone, maybe next year you can give it a go. I suggest going with friends because it is fun dancing together for the kids.

My new maid

Remember how nervous I was last week? Well, we picked up our maid from the agency last week on Monday, 5th December. I initially thought we only have to pay another RM2200 but as usual, the agency keep telling us to pay more. Mind you, we already paid over RM17,000 to the agency and it was agreed that RM2,200 to pay was for the replacement fee. OK whatever! When the agency texted me the figure, it was RM4,200. I was shocked. WTH is the additional RM2,000 for? I know my husband won't be happy. Turns out, the RM2,000 is for advanced fee. Oh god!!!

After arguing with the agency that we already paid RM1800 advance fee for the previous maid and she only stayed with us for 1 month, the agency agreed to cut the advanced fee down slightly. Finally, after discussing we paid RM3630. Making the total for this maid slightly over RM20,000. Wow. That's 1 chanel bag for you. 

First impression when I saw her was a positive one. (Unlike the last maid). This new maid seems friendly and pleasant (the last one looked super depressed from the minute I saw her). It was good. She was all smiles and when we discussed the terms and condition of her employment, she was in good spirit. In fact, she was quite excited, too excited that I thought to myself "is this an act? or is she really excited". We told her that to bring her here, we paid over 60 million indonesian rupiah and she almost fainted. Yes, I almost fainted too when I found out. So hopefully, this one is ok.

Either way, we are prepared.

What I was not prepared for was when the agent told me that if this one is not suitable, or runs or doesn't want to work or whatever it is…. then theres nothing else they can do. Meaning, we won't get anymore replacement. WHAT? I thought as long as we keep paying the replacement fee, we will get a replacement. But I guess I was wrong. Looks like RM20,000 will be gone if this one chooses to leave and breach her contract. I seriously dont understand why can't they do a law to protect us, the employers. How many RM20,000 can we afford to pay if our maids runaway? I know we won't be able to throw another RM20,000 on another maid that's for sure. No wonder so many people just hire illegals.

So anyway, it has been a week since my new maid arrives. Her name is Ratni. She's been good as good as it can get. We are still in the process of getting used to having a maid and I think she is getting used to living with someone too so it is still not perfect. She's indonesian and of course she's muslim too. She doesn't speak much English and doesn't really understand our Malay all that much. I guess you can say for now, the biggest challenge for us is the language. However, I do see my kids using more malay words than usual. Like this morning, my maid had put on my son's swimsuit the wrong way and my daughter quickly said "ini terbalik" and my jaw almost dropped. She knows the word terbalik? since when? I heard my son saying "saya nak water" too. Slowly, I hope their malay will improve and her English will improve too.

Her work for this one week has been pretty good. I have no complains. She cleans and tidy things up very well. Our house looks more like a home now rather than a shipwreck. There are few things here and there that could improve but other than that, I am happy. Alhamdulillah.

I pray she will be good for us and we will be good for her. Amin.

Packing for a winter holiday

Our holiday is near and I have not packed. I just dont know where to start. It's not that I've not done this before (I have done it many times) but each time is still a struggle for some unknown reason. I especially hate packing for winter because jackets, sweaters and all the winter items takes up so much space and you can NOT bring it.

I spent the whole morning browsing what to pack and found some great ideas. Keyword is, search for "The Winter Capsule Wardrobe" and go from there. How did we all survived, back in the day, without google, huh? Every info is at your fingertip. No excuses.

Theres so many to choose from especially from pinterest. I dont really use pinterest but I think it is a good place to get ideas. So I've browsed around and have to figure out what I need to bring. I tend to bring more than I should normally. But this time, I am going to try to plan my outfits. Not only that, I got to plan my kid's outfits too. Stress kan?

Wish me luck.
Sunday, December 4, 2016

Zoe the cat

I am not an animal lover. I like to look at them but when they come near me, I run a mile. I'm actually scared of animals. Even cute ones. I dont know when I developed this fear of furry animals but when I was about 6, I sort of shared a cat with my next door neighbour. I dont remember being scared of cats then.

Anyway, now, I just dont like pets. I won't harm or hurt them or anything, I just dont want to have one. My kids on the other hand, is totally obsessed and want to have a pet. My husband likes animals. But he is the kind who will get bored easily too so I dont encourage us adopting a pet. He bought a sugar glider once and I was literally shaking each time the damn thing is out from its cage. After few months, it died. We forgot to put the cage inside the house one time we were out and the apartment was doing fogging and it died from there! Poor thing. We also had hamsters for a month or so when we were staying in kajang. That, too died. We had fishes that died too. So basically, we shouldn't have pets.

Last month, our tuition teacher came a bit late. I asked why and she said it was because she was trying to rescue a cat from the tree opposite our apartment. The cat went too high and couldn't come down. It was raining too then and it was stranded on the tree meowing its way hoping someone would rescue her. After the class, the cat was still up there. The teacher called the BOMBA. They came and big drama trying to rescue this little cat. It jumped off the tree, hit itself on the wall and ran away.

Last week, we spotted the cat in our basement carpark. I know it is the same cat because it was limping. True enough, my husband and the tuition teacher later confirmed that it is the same cat. So now, we have a pet stray cat in our basement carpark greeting us each time we come back.

I've been giving it food of course, which I had no choice to do because I feel sorry for the cat. My kids are so excited! Our tuition teacher wanted to adopt it at first but then she saw how the kids was excited about the cat, she changed her mind.

After a week of adopting this stray cat, my daughter decided to name the cat Zoe. She would meow the whole time and she eats quite a lot. I dont know how often a cat usually eat but this cat can really eat!!! She doesn't limp so much anymore too. I guess her hand is getting better.

One reason why I dont like pets is because I dont like cleaning up after their shit. Literally! So far, we haven't seen any yet but one day, we can sort of smell it in the basement and I know she must have peed somewhere near the lift or something. We decided to give it away…to the tuition teacher. But she said she decided not to adopt it because she has way to many cats. But later, she texted us to say her friend is interested.

On the way back from the supermarket, my husband and I was discussing about giving the cat away. I must say I've started to warm up to the cat and she is kind of cute. My kids started crying. Especially my daughter. She doesn't want anyone to take the cat. My husband was making up excuses as to why she shouldn't give it "yet". I was in a dilemma. I dont think we are fit to look after a cat, especially since we will be going away for almost 2 weeks this month and I already told the tuition teacher she can take the cat. Her friend wants to adopt it and is excited because the cat looks exactly like the cat she had and died.

I finally called the tuition teacher we changed our minds and we will keep it for a little bit longer. Perhaps until we leave for our holiday. Till then, we will just look after the cat.
To be honest, we dont really do much except give food and the kids will play with the cat every time we are down at the basement.

One day, we call out the cat and she didnt come. This cat is a friendly one. She would run to our car when she hear our voice and she would lie on the floor waiting for us to gosok its tummy. Mengada betul. My daughter is totally obsessed with it. She cried that night when Zoe didnt come back. Me, this non cat lover felt so sad for her I secretly prayed Zoe would come back. My husband was sad too. No one is there to accompany him downstairs when he has his cigarette breaks.

Next day, Zoe came back. Super hungry too. She whacked like I dont know how many ekor fishes that day!

So ya…. now we have a cat. Zoe the cat. (My daughter named her). After few names (Rachel was one of them! LOL) We decided that Zoe fits her most. My husband wanted to name her CAT. So creative!
She's quite cute actually.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

2017 New Years Resolution

Can you believe it is already December? I can't believe it. This year went by so fast and alhamdulillah, it has been a good year thus far. I couldn't ask for more. I am truly blessed and grateful for 2016. I had quite a rough 2015 but 2016 couldn't have been better.

It is December and it is time to list down my New Year's Resolution. Did you manage to fulfil your 2016 resolution? I know I didnt. Yikes. 🙈 To be honest, I dont really remember it.

What should my 2017 New Year's Resolution be? Hmm….. I dont want to be too ambitious.

1. I need to be more spiritual and closer to Allah. I've been slacking and I think even my children is starting to take notice. My daughter will be 7 next year and she will need to start praying. How can she start if I am not a good role model? This is something I think I really need to do.

2. I hate working out. In fact, I dont work out - ever. I dont even own work out outfit or even shoes to work out. But age is catching up and I need to build my stamina and start doing mild exercises, even if it is just from home.

3. Give more. I think I've done a pretty good job this year and I am very proud of myself. But next year, I want to do more for others. InsyaAllah.

4. Save money and make more money is of course something I want to do. I hope my IZUMIO business will keep growing. I'm earning a very comfortable amount of money from my business but hopefully in 2017, my income will grow. Im very hopeful.

5. Pay more attention to my growing children. Quality time instead of quantity. I spend a lot of time with them but we dont spend quality time as we are always busy with our own thing. This year, I hope we will spend less time on our gadgets and more time talking. Not just with my children, I want to spend more time with my family. Mum and Tokmi in particular but also with my husband's side of the family. My parents in law especially.

There you go…..

Have a good December, everyone. Be happy!