Thursday, September 30, 2010

Funny Maid Stories #2 - Eating for 3

Our Cambodian maid arrived about 5 months ago and it was pretty good timing because we were moving house. And because of that, we hardly cooked so we at out a lot. Since we had her with us, we could not afford to go to nice fancy restaurants so we often went to taichows or coffee shops.

We noticed that she eats a lot and always answers "yes" when we asked her if she was still hungry.

We know that one portion in a taichow is usually more than enough for a person with a moderate appetite. In fact, I often order one portion to be shared between 2 people.

Since the maid is always hungry, we ordered for her 2 portion (this means it can feed 3 - 4 people). She whacked the entire mountain of rice!

Just to test just how much she can eat, we ordered her another portion of noodles. She finished that too!

We almost fell off our chairs but did not dare try test her with yet another portion...

Often her meals costs more than Lord Gaga's and mine combined!

Previously I felt it was very unkind of families to go out for dinner but made the maid eat before going out. I totally understand now why they do it! I don't mind paying for ean xtra mouth but to pay for 3 more?

I just weight the maid. She arrived in Malaysia weighing 48kgs. As of today, she is 58kgs. She put on 12kgs in 5 months!!!

I do understand that they come from poor backgrounds and have not had such good food before. So when they see food, they can't help but consume as much as possible. I call this the hamster mentality. So we do let her eat. But there's got to be a limit.

She can't fit into her clothes anymore and is now wearing the clothes I used to wear when I was pregnant!

When will this stop? She is eating us broke.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Funny Maid Stories #1 - Washing Machine

Once you have a baby, most couples will opt to get a maid. It isn't cheap. Initial agency fees and advanced salary average at RM8,000. And depending on the country the maid is from, the monthly can range anything from RM550 to RM1,500. Cambodians are the cheapest so far, starting at RM550 for a new maid (read: no experience), Indonesians at RM600+ (but hard to get one these days due to the embargo) and Filipinas at RM1,200.

We got a new Cambodian maid because we were told that they are the easiest to get and the cheapest. And we should not worry about her not having experience because it's better to train her to do things they we we want it. Hmmmm. Language and communication will be a problem tho. Double Hmmmm.......

Our Cambodian maid has been with us for almost 6 months. Instructions are made with a combination of English and a lot of sigh language. They do pick up languages very quickly tho.

Most of these maids come from the village so they are in total culture shock when they get here. Guess there's an adjustment period on both the maid and employer's end.

I've had many frustrating incidences with this maid. She totally stresses me out but I keep telling myself that it will be stressful without a maid too. So I just need to be happy I have help and try and forget the teflon pan she ruined, the table she wrote on (in PEN!) and many other stories that have totally frustrated me.

Instead, I will try and see the funny side of things. And I shall post them here for your entertainment too.

So here goes. Funny Maid Stories Number 1.

The maid knows how to use the washing machine. So I tell her that the clothes must be separated to dark and light loads. And washed separately. I proceeded to separate the clothes to demonstrate to her. She says "Okay Ma'am". I went back to check and she did indeed do the separation correctly. Later in the day, I found that the washing machine has finished its cycle so I asked her to put the clothes in the dryer.

When she opened up the washing machine, I asked her why the darks and lights were in the same load. Why didn't see do separate loads?

"Yes ma'am. I put. Dark here (indicating to the left side of the washing machine). Light here (indicating to the right side of the washing machine)."


100 Kisses & Cuddles

I've kissed and cuddled Aydreanne more than 100 times today. I watched her smile and I made her laughed. And it's not even 12 noon yet! I love being a stay at home mum!

Being A Mum Makes You Ambidextrous

Aydreanne is awake and I'm now breast feeding her with my right hand while I type with my left. It takes longer and sometimes there are typos but I'm beginning to be ambidextrous. From typing to eating to writing. One needs to be or will eventually develop the skill when one has a kid that constantly needs feeding, attention and entertainment..... but still needs to get other things done.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aydreanne Is Sleeping. I Miss Her.

Aydreanne has been peacefully sleeping since 8pm and I've been in to look at her sleep about 5 times. When she is awake and active in the day and constantly needs attention, I sometimes wish that she would go to sleep so that I can get things done around the house. But she she's asleep, I miss her so much and I want to pick her up and play with her.....

No Sunday nor Monday Blues

It's Sunday nights and unlike most Sunday nights, I don't have the Monday Blues! I love not having to go into work on Monday. I love enjoying my Sunday night to the very fullest without starting to feel blue from about 6pm onwards and progressively feeling bluer as the clock ticks toward midnight when I'll be forced to go to bed in anticipation of facing the start of a new work week. I love being a full time mum! I don't love the midnight feeds and the lack of sleep ... but other than that, it's awesome!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Interrupted Sleep

During the one week when I was back at work, Aydreanne slept thru the night. I thought about how lucky I was to be able to get about 6 hours sleep, having to wake up only once to express milk. Other working mums I know were only getting 4 hours.

But now that I'm not working, she's waking twice in the night. Maybe she knew I had to work then and decided to help me out.

So I only get 2 - 3 hours sleep per sleep cycle as I will wake to feed her. After a feed, she usually falls right back to sleep. Whereas I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep. And when I do, she's up again needing her next feed. So I'm still pretty sleep deprived.

But I'm very thankful that I'm not working now so that I do get to sleep in till 10am (if Aydreanne does sleep in) even if it means I only get a total of 7 hours of interrupted sleep.

But in the first few months of a baby's life, the baby is going to wake a few times in the night. So no point worrying about it or complaining. May as well just embrace it as neither of us have a choice in the matter. Things will get better in a matter of months.

Anyway, I miss her when she is asleep. Even if she's just in the next room. So I'll just enjoy this phase while it lasts, sleep deprived or not.

TNB Called Me Back

Wow! I'm impressed! TNB actually called me back after I made the email complaint. They explained the bills and clarified the amount. And today, someone else called again to check if someone has called me to settle my issue. And she said that she will send me a summary of the current amount via email. And she did. Wow .... maybe they read my blog & Facebook about how upset I was? Well they redeemed themselves this time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tenaga Nasional Berhad - What Customer Service?

I received 2 electric bills and am confused as to which one to pay as there are 2 different amounts. So I've been trying to call TNB since last week to get clarification. There are several numbers to call, 2 stated on the bill itself and a few on their website. So I called all of them and could get through to none.

So after waiting for a long time, I requested for a call-back but no one has called me since.

Finally today I got through to someone who told me I got the wrong number despite that number being stated on the website. I called the number she gave me instead ......but no one picked up.

I got fed up and I sent a feedback to customer service via their website. I was pleasantly surprise to receive a response that I could call up Ong Li Ling at extension 5176 or 5184 for follow up or further enquiries.

I did just that and someone picked up! It's so good to hear a human voice after an hour of listening to a machine. I asked for Miss Ong but she was out and was transferred to someone else .... who was not at her desk.

I'm back to square one. So frustrating!

I must have spent a total of about 2 hours trying to get in touch with someone so I know how much to pay THEM.

Customer service my arse!

Monday, September 20, 2010

No More Monday Blues

It's Monday and I'm at home with baby Aydreanne. No more work and no more Monday blues!

This feels so right! So right in the sense that this is meant to be. I never though I'd be the sort to give up my career to stay home with the baby but here I am doing just that.

And so right also, as in me as a mum gets to spend time with her daughter and watch her grow in the first few months of her life.

I'm loving it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Last Day At Work

Today is my last day at work and I'm feeling elated!

When I leave a company, no matter how sucky it was, I usually feel slightly heavy hearted. Maybe it's the long hours spent there. Maybe it's the hard work put in and the work pushed out. Maybe it's the friends I made. Maybe it's a slight fear that it's the wrong move.

But this time, I feel none of the above. I just feel so happy and free. So .... right.

To all my friends, thank you for your support, encouragement and happiness for the decision I've made to quit my job to be a stay home mum. Thank you for all the Facebook posts and all the calls and SMSes.
I haven't been congratulated this much since I got pregnant.
I didn't even think congratulations were in order. But now that I think about it, it is totally appropriate.

Although I know that this is the right move for me, it feels even better to be validated and supported.

I am also thankful for Lord Gaga for totally supporting this decision.

I'm so loved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I'm a SAHM (or at least I will be as of this weekend).

What is a SAHM? Stay at home mum! I didn't even know there was a term and acronym for it.

And now that I am one, I realize that many friends and acqaintances of mine are too. I didn't realize just how many were SAHMs.

We're already planning lunches, coffee and play dates. It's gonna be great!

Stay At Home Mum

My Facebook is exploding with comments. Why? Because my status is:
"Bubbles has quit her job. Last day this Friday. I'm going to be a stay at home mum!:D"
And the comments are still growing and flooding in. Before I reply 1, 2 more appear.

It is surprising and shocking I guess. Especially since I just returned to work.

But that's the exact reason why this is the best time! I just got back and have not started work on any projects. So I told management I wanted to leave and negotiated not to serve my notice period. They agreed.

So I'm outta her on Friday. Just one more working day to go since tomorrow is a public holiday.
I've been a salaried worker for all of my working life. So to quit without a job just like that is scary. But it feels so right. I want to be there for Aydreanne's milestones. I want to just be there. She started to coo a word that sounds like "Hello". She smiles when you help her clap her hands. She cries shen you put her on her tummy and she's not strong enough to crawl forward yet. She beams when it's bath time. She fusses before bed because she wants to watch TV. I want to be there for all those moments.

After being a mom, a 9-5 job is no longer for me. I never thought I'd ever want it but I do feel that being a stay at home mum is probably one of the best decisions I've made.

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day Back At Work

My heart almost broke and I almost cried when I left Aydreanne with my MIL. After being with her for 24 hours of almost 3 months, it's hard to let go. Thank goodness my office is within proximity to home so my plan is to go back to breast feed her every lunch time. And to rush home every day after work to see her.

Every minute is important because by the time I get back after work and play with her a little, we have dinner and it's time to put her to bed. She sleeps thru the night now so we try and put her to bed about 9pm and she'll wake up on her own between 5am and 6am.

At this young age, as long as she is fed when hungry, diaper is changed when soiled and receives plenty of cuddles, she is totally fine. It me the mommy who's having separation anxiety!

But judging by the number of friends on FB who are all going back to work about the same time as I am, we're all in the same boat.

2 months maternity is the norm here in Malaysia. But it's definitely too soon for a mum and baby to be separated. Just wondering when we will catch up with the other countries that give 3, 4, 6 months or even a year off.

Maybe I should move to Australia and have a baby and take 6 months of half pay leave. And get paid for it too!

Or maybe move to Japan for 1 year of paid maternity leave. One Japanese friend even managed to negotiate 2 years off!! Amazing.

An Alex Balwin Dream

I woke up feeling weird and recalled I rather hazy dream. Some weird dream involving accusing someone of theft, 2 teeth, some blood, a tall and dark hour and Alec Balwin. (Alec Balwin??!! WTF?) It must be the manifestation of the stress of going back to work.

A Few Hours Before Going Back To Work

It's 2am and I can't sleep. Been tossing around for a few hours, listening to Aydreanne's grunts, wimpers and squeals as she sleeps. I need to be up in an hour to pump milk. And then at 6 am to get Aydreanne, the maid and myself ready so I can drop them off at my MIL's and then head to work. I must be anxious about returning to work.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Going Back To Work After Baby

After 2 months of maternity leave and extending it by another 3 weeks by using all my annual leave and combining it with the Raya holidays, I have to finally return to work tomorrow. I'm totally dreading it.

3 months is definitely too early for me to leave my little baby. She's now growing bigger, cries less, communicates more and is so adorable. She coos a lot now. When she says "oooooh" and I say "oooooh" back to her, she giggles with delight. We could go on and on 'speaking' to each other this way.

In the 5 days we were in Phuket on holiday, she learnt so many new coo words. She can coo sounds that sound like "Boo", "Go", "Hello" and "How are you".

When I go back to work, how many more developments and milestones would I miss? Will I be there when she first rolls over? To crawl? To walk? To call for me?

It breaks my heart not to be with her 24 hours a day. I never thought I'd want it but I really would like to be a stay at home mum, if only for 6 months or a year. Unfortunately finances does not allow for that.

So to work I go and I'll return home every day at lunch time to see her and to breastfeed her.

Hope all goes well tomorrow!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Our First Family Holiday

How excellent! I got offered a 5 day stay at Marriot Phuket by a friend. And it was absolutely free! Since the offer was valid till end Oct and I'm still on maternity leave, it was the perfect time to go on holiday.

So along with Lord Gaga and Michelle Who Stays on the Seashore, we brought baby Aydreanne on her first trip. An overseas on too. Such a lucky girl.

We were initially slightly worried about travelling with an infant, especially one who is only 2 months and a bit. Spoke to many well seasoned parents and called up MAS to ask them what travelling with an infant entails. And off we went!

I've been told babies may be affected by the air pressure and their ears will hurt. So I constantly kept her breast feeding while on the plane. The sucking and swallowing ensured that the pressure in the ears were kept in balance. It worked and there was not a peep from her throughout the flight. In fact, she slept almost all the way. For mums travlling with very young babies but are not breasr feeding, try giving your baby a pacifier. That should have the same effect.

There are perks to travelling with an infant - priority seating and 90% off the full fare!

We arrived at the hotel and the resort picked us up and brought us to our beautiful villa. Here's the shot in the garden of the villa upon our arrival.

And this is the lane leading to the back of the villa. We got the garden villa with a plunge pool.

Mel is posing with the elephant made out of towels. The housekeeping department here is creative. And I love the little details and touches the put in all corners of the villa.

This is the hall. It's huge! Lord Gaga is checking out the place.

And the dining room with a table that seats 6.

The guest room with 2 very comfortable double beds.

And this is the master bedroom.

Check out the bathroom! I had a few luxurious bubble baths in there.

And the resort pool.

One of the best thing about Thai holidays and staying in hotels is their buffet breakfast. Always plenty of crispy bacon. And we certainly ate our money's worth. Malaysian Chinese are so pork deprived!

Aydreanne and I about to take a dip in the plunge pool.

Aydreanne and I going for a walk just outside the resort to Turtle Village.

Aydreanne feeling lonesome in her stroller while the 3 adults had a hearty lunch.

Me wearing Aydreanne's tiny hat.

The sundae from Swensens called Little Prince, consisting of or favourite Sticky Chewy Chocolate.

Aydreanne is happy and having a great holiday!

It was monsoon season while we were there but was lucky because it rained only on the last day of our trip. So before that, we took the complementary buggy to the beach which was about 5 mins drive away. The sea was rough so we just sat on the beach and let Aydreanne's feet touch the sand and water.

A cute lil frog in the garden, seeking shelter from the rain.

At Phuket airport about to head back to KL. We stopped for breakfast at Burger King.

And of course had another dose of bacon.

Aydreanne says "Don't disturb me. I'm in a foul mood cos the holiday is ending".

The resort was excellent. Service was impeccable as it's well known among the Thais. And the hotel was very baby friendly. With a concept similar to Club Med with the many activities for all ages and the baby sitting service, but with the 'highend-ness' of the Marriot name, it's certainly a resort I'd recommend to families.