Saturday, February 27, 2010


Finally got internet connection at our new home! There was delay because of some wiring problems. Basically, there was a break in the connections somewhere behind the walls!! Sounds dreadful eh?

Our options were:
1. hack through the walls to find the problem
2. saw holes in the ceiling to bring in a new line

*sigh*... not such great options were they?

Well, obviously 'holey ceiling' was the lesser evil compared to 'rubble-y wall'! So, we finally have internet connection, and also three holes in my beautiful, just-painted ceiling!

Now, my shop computer keeps over-heating and shutting down when I try to upload photos! Apparently since it is also my CCTV system, it can't handle too much graphics. Thus I'm having problems blogging sans photos and can't even upload photos on Facebook. I also don't have much time to blog when I'm at home, so can only blog about Chinese New Year activities when my shop's CPU comes back from hospital! Hope it's soon!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Do you remember the Korean neighbour I mentioned in my older blog? The one who kept complaining about our renovation noise?

Well, the day after we moved in, I was carrying Solomon and looking out the window. Our play room window overlooked her balcony and I saw her maid putting out clothes to dry. I was shocked to see her withdrawn face was blue black and strained to see if they were injuries or perhaps birthmarks.

Straight away, I asked Hubby to come and have a look. Our window was rather close to their balcony, and I'm pretty sure you could see us peeping from there, but she seemed not to care and was totally emotionless. Hubby also thought they looked like injuries, but we were not 100% sure of anything yet.

Later, I asked my maid if she had seen the maid next door. She said no, and I told her what I saw. She was aghast and immediately told me she heard her screaming and there was also someone shouting in Korean about a week ago when she was cleaning our new place. (She has also worked for a Korean family in the past.)

I guess this strengthened our theory that the maid was being abused, what more with the aggressive nature of the lady, which we have experienced ourselves. I was deliberating on what to do. We couldn't leave a fellow human being to be abused like that, yet I didn't want to cause too much trouble. She could end up in jail and she had two primary-school aged children to take care of (her husband is abroad). Also, if she found out we reported her, she might just go crazy and harm my family or something!

Hubby was more decisive and insisted straight away that we inform the Indonesian embassy. That night, when we came home, there were police cars outside. When we reached our floor, there were quite a few policemen outside the lift with the maid and the lady. She was aggressive even with the police! She was shouting at them and pushing the officers!! She was seriously one tough nut!

I hurriedly brought the kids inside and closed the door. I saw her children looking on from the corridor with another Korean family and one of them were crying and I felt some guilt and sympathy for the kids. My maid saw the state that the other maid was in and was so shocked she looked like she was going to cry.

I knew then that we did the right thing. It is our responsibility to uphold the basic rights of our fellow homo sapiens and we have to be strong and decisive when the oppressed are in need. After all, we claim to be such civillized creatures! *sigh* Yet we can treat another human like an animal just because he/she is different in race, culture and/or religion!

So anyway, we found out later from newspaper reports that she was indeed abused and sometimes not fed, and if so was given rancid food. The important thing is that she has been taken away and is now safe and sound. We do not know what will happen to the Korean lady after this. I suppose she deserves the penalty, but I hope it will not be too harsh, for her children's sake.

I also really hope she doesn't stumble across my blog!! :)

Anyway, just knowing we helped the girl (she is only 19) makes me feel better. Here's a pic of her in an online paper. (Imagine it was your own daughter! I'd go beat the lady up myself!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Home sweet home

Last night we spent our first night at our new home! The place is beautiful, but we all miss our old house a bit. Even though we only stayed there for around 1 and a half years, we made many happy memories there. Here are some pics I took to remember our ex-home which will soon be rented out to some other family!

Neat freaks might want to skip the next few images! :P

In the end, home is anywhere your loved ones are.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Locked out

Did you read my older post about Solomon loving keys? Well, the gist of it is; Solomon loves keys and fitting them into keyholes.

So anyway, we got home a couple of nights ago and Solomon as usual insisted on having the house keys. I was carrying him, and just when I stepped into the elevator, he dropped them. That would have been a small matter, had the keys not drop directly, spot on, into the gap between the elevator floor and the lobby floor!!!!

In desperation, I went down to the basement and peered into the gap to see if the keys were 'fishable'!! (When we were young and locked out, my siblings and I regularly fished out the house keys using our dad's handy fishing rod! That's a whole other post...) Unfortunately, all I could see was a black void!! My house keys were in an abyss; totally and utterly, un'fishable'!!


Clever me has spare house keys in the house, the same house which now cannot be opened. Clever Hubby lost his set (again).

At times like these I wish more than ever that I had Hubby around! It was night and the management office had already closed. So, I called the guard house for help! They were not very helpful and kept repeating that the office had closed and that I could only wait till morning for the elevator maintenance people to rescue my keys! I was getting rather pissed, what with visions of my kids sleeping in the corridor running through my head! (I'm overly dramatic sometimes! My imagination especially.)

Anyway, I kept my cool with them (they being my most likely saviours) and asked them what other options were there. They said that they could call one of the maintenance men who lived close by to see if he would help, but I would have to pay for his service. I of course agreed and asked them to try and contact him ASAP.

So, we went upstairs and camped at the corridor while waiting for the man to come. Luckily our Korean neighbours came out to play bubbles with the kids to keep them occupied. (Coincidentally their mum also locked herself out 2 days before! Apparently she has done it a few times!) I tried picking the lock with a credit card to no avail.

Then the guy came with some tools and started hammering at our doorknob. After quite a bit of noise, he added a screwdriver to his repertoire. He placed the point of the screwdriver at the keyhole and banged on the other end of the screw driver with the hammer. After some time, the door finally opened!!


Solomon is no longer allowed to hold the keys in the elevator.

Monday, February 8, 2010


I've been mega busy with the renovation works at the new condo unit and we're almost done! We've spent quite a bit on this but it's made soooo much difference to the whole place.

The bulk of the money spent went to changing the flooring. It was originally a yucky coloured red tile (left pic). We spent RM13k just to change it to a wood laminate floor (right pic). They placed the wooden boards like piecing together jigsaw puzzle pieces on top of the existing tiles. We spent ages deciding on the colour, as there were so many shades and grain patterns to choose from. In the end, we went with Siam Teak, which is a light colour, to brighten the whole place up.

One of the first things hubby insisted on getting done was knocking down the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. It was a great move, as the whole place opened up and seemed bigger and brighter.

There was a big, humongous cabinet along the wall of the dining room and corridor. It made the room darker and also made the corridor narrower. The dining area is already dark, as there are no windows to let in natural light. So we decided to demolish the whole thing. Thus we discovered that the behemoth was actually constructed to hide a fat pillar behind it.

We decided then to make that wall a feature wall and almost put glass bricks on it in an attempt to bring in some natural light. Thank goodness we came to our senses and laid natural stone on it instead, because glass bricks are so 'yesterday'! :) (We couldn't afford to spend too much time over decisions, all this was done at lightning speed, because we are aiming to move in before Chinese New Year, and I suppose so is everyone else!) We also made a row of cabinets and a shelf there, but kept it minimal and not too big.

Okay, the piece de resistance... This is one of the walls at the living room. Refer to the 'before' picture on the left; see that 'cushiony thing' on right? Don't even ask me what it is. The previous owners must have ordered one too many bed headboards and decided not to waste it. So, the mounted it on the wall and called it art!? Hmmm... It puzzles me to this day. Anyway, this monstrosity definitely had to go. Didn't take long for us to decide that.

This wooden, cushiony, wall feature thing covered the whole wall. When we removed it, we found it was constructed to cover two pillars! These guys must have hated pillars. If there's one thing we've learnt from all this is, "condominiums have a lot of pillars".

So, we decided to embrace the pillars instead and incorporate them into our designs. We kept everything simple and fresh. I'm loving how it's looking right now and can't wait till hubby comes home to see it tomorrow!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sawdust gets in your eyes

I have been cleaning the new condo the whole morning and part of the afternoon! I'm really, really hating sawdust and plaster dust right now. It's amazing how sawdust can fly everywhere and embed itself deeeep into every, single, minute, nook and cranny and crevice imaginable! We have a stone wall feature thingy which is practically made of nooks and crannies, so I think the we'll have a steady supply of sawdust for many years to come!


Hubby is still away in Bintulu, so I had to leave the kids with Sidekick to become foreman cum Indonesian maid for the day. I had no time cook, or even buy lunch for them, so I asked the maid to cook Maggi mee (instant noodles). I always feel a tinge of guilt when the kids eat Maggi mee, it's like I'm a lousy mum, feeding my kids junk... but the kids sure are happy whenever they get to eat Maggi mee!! (at least Solomon had porridge... in my world of logic; feeding junk to kids is a minor offense compared to feeding junk to babies!)

So, most of the furniture arrived this morning, while I wiped just about every surface in the place. Basically, I had to receive the furniture, clean the never-ending mess and keep an eye on the workers. There were people still installing the laminate floor and some built-in cabinets, thus there was some drilling and hammering. Living in such close quarters like in a condo, we have to be considerate of our neighbours...

Actually, we're not supposed do any construction work at night and on weekends. Technically, this was not construction though, more like noisy installation :) Well, I still got called up by the management who informed me that the next door neighbour was complaining. Hehe.. what else is new?

I'll admit that this time it was our fault for making noise on a Saturday. This is the first and only time. We're sort of in a rush to move in before Chinese New Year. (I'll send the neighbours a cake or something when we're done!)

However, this Korean lady next door has been very unreasonable from the very beginning. She was complaining endlessly, even though we made noise only from 9am-5pm from Mondays to Fridays, as stipulated by the management. She called the management countless times, then went over to scold the workers a few times too. Then there was once she came over when Hubby and I were there. She was rude and totally unreasonable, saying we were making a lot of noise and making the corridor dirty! Ya, uhuh, okay... I'll knock the wall down gently and quietly and make sure I don't produce too much dust in the process, if it pleases you my dear...

So anyway, Hubby gave her a dose of her own rudeness and she backed off a bit. I guess her nerves were already frayed because the unit directly below hers have also been renovating and banging away for the past three months! Anyway, we're 95% done and we only took 2-3 weeks? Can't remember when we started...

Well, our very own, first home is coming along gorgeously. On Monday, the televisions and the curtains are being installed and we're done!! :D Then... comes more cleaning and the actual moving of all our junk from one building to the next!! (at least it's like only 200m away?) I'm not looking forward to the carting part... luckily Hubby will be back by then. He can replace his running and swimming with lifting and shifting heavy boxes! He could take the stairs instead of the elevator! Yup, that would burn a whole darn lot of calories, yes indeedy! Nyeheh :P

Then it's ~~"tong tong tong chiang"~~!! Chinese New Year in our new home!! Yay!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oyster buffet


Man, last night we went to the Hilton for their "Oyster and Beef Buffet". It was a marvellously delicious spread of international dishes with something for everyone!

I unfortunately do not fancy oysters, sashimi, or generally anything that is raw. I prefer civilized, cooked food, thankyouverymuch. It does not even necessarily have to be thoroughly cooked, just a token singed outer layer for beef and salmon would do fine!

So anyway, I guess this buffet suited hubby more, because he ate 18 oysters!! I guess we got our money back right there! :P

There was a whole ice tower lined with fresh oysters, mussels and boiled prawns. Little Brother also managed to stuff in 14 oysters! His girlfriend, the two Grandpas, kids no. 1 through 4 and cousins Allyson and Michelle came along. The kids were not going near the oysters with a ten-foot pole, especially after watching Mr. Bean! hehehe...

The kids were bedazzled by the dessert table! They wolfed down their compulsory rice with soup then made a beeline for the sweets! There was ice-cream with a whole range of toppings, a sumptuous selection of cakes and puddings, marshmallows, gumdrops, lollipops...!! After many servings of dessert, Claire, Eva and Solomon became a little high and ended up running around in circles under the stairs! Oh yes, there was also a chocolate fondue fountain which got them pretty excited!

There was a whole lot of food, I must say. From prawn cocktails to mutton vindaloo, sushi and sashimi to pasta arrabiata. Oh yes, and the warm chocolate cake/pudding deserves special mention...


Where was I? Oh yes, warm, soft, pudding-like chocolate cake slathered in velvety rich, thick chocolate sauce... I've got to try making something like it one of these days...

Buffet, yes. It was superb, most definitely. They charged RM59++, per person. It came up to around RM70 after the ++. It was worth it, in my opinion. Moreover, kids below 6 years of age eat free, so that covered 3/4 of my offspring already! Hehehe... For kids aged 6-9 years, it's half price.

Thank goodness Hubby and I went to the gym before stuffing our faces! I am proud to have done a whole hour of running on the treadmill. I did 4 miles (6km?) total. This is my second time ever on a treadmill! :) Unfortunately that whole hour of sweat and pain (blister on my little toe) only burned 250 calories!!! And later at the buffet that night, I must have eaten like what, oh, a gazillion calories??!! (likely more)

Well, never mind, it's not like we do this very often. Besides, with all the good, happy hormones flowing when we enjoyed all that yummy food, I think it neutralized all the bad effects of the execessive eating!

Dontcha think so?
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