Monday, October 25, 2010

A Holiday Within the City

When you want a short holiday but dont want the hassle of planning or travelling, one of the easiest option is to just check into a local hotel. And that's just what we did.

Lord Gaga and I packed and overnighter bag. But for Baby A, we had to pack the travel cot, feeding bottles, steriliser, milk, clothes, lotsa diapers, her toiletteries, toys, usual diaper bag and everything to do with travelling with a baby.

With everything finally packed, we checked into the Le Meridien at KL Sentral.

This was another free trip as I had a voucher from my Starwood Club membership that was expiring soon.

The standard room.

After checking in, we went to Latest Recipe, the hotel's coffee house for lunch. I had the fish & chips which was the chef's recommendation. It was surprisingly excellent! The batter was light and fried to a crisp and the fish within was yummy, light and flaky. And to complement and excellent simple dish, tere was ketchup, chilli sauce, tartar sauce and even malted vinegar. Brilliant!

Lord Gaga had his usual (where ever we go) which was the char kway teow. This was so-so, From experience, the best char kway teows can only be found in the hottest, sweatiest coffee shops. Apart from the one at Champs which is by far Lord Gaga's favourite. But at RM20 a plate, we can't be eating there too often.

The key to taking a holiday in your own city is not to leave the hotel but instead enjoy all the facilities and amenities it has to offer. So the folllowing day, we went back to the coffee house, but this time, for their buffet. Chocolate fountains are a must at any good hotel buffet. So after about 5 rounds of Chinese, Indian, Japanese and a mish mash of other offerings, I had chocolate coated marshmallows, grapes & strawberries. And then had some fun with the remaining chocolate. I like playing with my food but I better stop soo less Baby A picks it up too.

They also had tepanyaki ice cream. No it's not fried and it's nothing like fried ice cream. Instead, you pick a few different flavours and a variety of toppings. Then the server will put at all on a chopping board and chop everything up using a tepanyaki spatula. The result : a gray coloured goo (if u choose chocolate and green tea flavours) with black and colourful dots (if u choose rainbow sprinkles and chocolate chips). I didn't take a pic cos it doesn't look appealing. Come to think of it, it didn't taste too appealing either. Perhaps it was my choice of flavour combination.

After fussing for a bit and after being fed, Baby A was such a good girl and slept while we enjoyed the buffet spread.

After a good meal, a nie stroll helps the food go down so we went to chill at the hotel pool.

Baby A was certanly having fun.

Another holiday for Baby A!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Baby A Rolls Over

One of the joys of being a full time mum is being there for all of your baby's milestones. And today, I just witnessed something amazing. Baby A just learnt to roll over. It is something so small in her life but it is the start of many milestones that will play a part in her development and growth.

She was trying to roll for a while now and this morning I saw that she was about to do it. So I cheered her on and with just one little flip, she did it!

I'm so proud of u my darling! I love u so much and look forward to being there for many more of your milestones.

Sitting up, crawling, standing, walking, talking ..... I'll be there with u and cheering u on.

Happy Belated Birthday Lord Gaga! Off To Our Holiday In The City.

This is a much belated post.

Happy birthday Lord Gaga!!!

It's not that I forgot my own hubby's birthday on 3rd Oct but what started off as a celebration became a bit of a scare.

On the eve of his birthday, we had a few friends over for dinner and we put Baby A to sleep early. Just before midnight, we found that Baby A had a fever. So we were taking care of her, giving her meds and holding her ... midnight and along with it the start of Lord Gaga's birthday came and left. But our focus was on Baby A.

In the morning, Baby A became weaker . To the point that she was almost unresponsive.

We panicked, blood drained from my body as I held her in my arms and we rushed to the hospital and went straight to the A&E. I don't think I have ever been that scared in my life. Upon seeing we had a baby, we were immediately brought into the area for treatment. After checking and confirming Baby A had a fever of 40C, the doctor said we should be admitted.

After a fair amount of drama and a lot of crying by Baby A, my mum, Lord Gaga's mum and myself, long story short ....

Baby A had UTI which the doc said is pretty common especially in baby girls. So Baby A, Lord Gaga and I stayed in the hospital for 4 days. Baby A was fine after the 2nd day but we stayed on to ensure that everything was really fine.

She is perfectly fine now so we will celebrate Lord Gaga's birthday good and proper. As well as celebrate our wedding anniversary again, this time with Baby A since we missed her so much. To do that, we're going for a holiday today!

Nothing fancy as we don't have the time to plan it and didn't want the hassle of travel either. So we're going to check into a 5 star hotel in the city and have a holiday away from home.

Now going to throw a few things into a bag, pack Baby A's stuff, fold up her travel cot and off we go!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hong Leong Bank - Another Bank That Sucks

Since we moved, I informed all the corporations to send all correspondences to the new place with immediate effect.

Somehow, letters from Hong Leong Bank with whom we have a home loan, was till being sent to the old address. I called up the customer service line and they told me that their system still reflects the old address. Perhaps the letter did not reach them?

So I faxed the change of address letter to the KL Main brand in Jalan Perak and then posted it again. I spent all of today calling the bank to see if they received the fax but no one picked up. I tried all different extensions from Home Loans to Current Accounts to Customer Service, trying to get hold of someone, anyone. I made 6 calls and spent a total of 1 hour dialling, pressing buttons and being put on hold and still no one picked up.

This is the Main Branch, the HQ of Hong Leong. How can it be that no one is around to answer the phone. I even ensured that it's not a public holiday and that the bank was indeed open today.

I'm so disappointed in all the banks. I've had issues with HSBC, Alliance Bank and Maybank (several) before and now I'm adding Hong Leong to the list of Crap Banks.

Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary

They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. That's when a person's true personality shows and one has less tolerance for the other. But I didn't feel that way at all. Our 1st year was absolutely wonderful and past quickly. We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary last year with friends and family and had a ball.

This year, as we just had a baby, and life evolved around her for the past 3 months plus, we decided to spend one dinner together, just the 2 of us. Bubbles & Lord Gaga.

We went for dinner at Latest Recipe at Le Meridien as Lord Gaga's mum babysat Baby A.

We were there not too long ago and found the spread to be excellent and the quality up to a 5 start hotel standard. This time, however, we sampled quite a few of the offerings but nothing stood out. It was either too rich, too spicy or too salty. But we think it's us and not the food. As we sat and ate, we could not help but miss little Baby A. This was the first time we were out together without her since she was born. And without her, something was just missing.

Like DJ Beryl said, it's nice to see when 2 becomes 3.

Happy 2nd anniversary Lord Gaga! My friend. My partner. My love. Thank you for loving me and indulging me. Here's to our love and a lifetime more of celebrations. Muaks!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Exhausting Day but Baby A is Finally Asleep

Baby A has been fussing all day. She's upset by one thing or another. I carried her, jiggle her, rocked her, put her on the sofa, put her in the play pen, changed her diaper, changed her clothes, sang to her, talked to her, cuddled her, let her watch cartoons, brought out her toys, breast fed her, fed her a bottle, fed her Gripe water, massaged her, rubbed Yu Yi oil on her tummy ...... but every time she stopped fussing for only a few minutes.

It's been an exhausting day and she is asleep .... finally!

I can now have some time to myself. But I just went in to check on her.

I watched her sleep and realized I miss her so much!

Whn she is fussing and I'm at wit's end, I wished she'd calm down and sleep. But when she is asleep, I miss her and I want her up so I can play with her!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

End of Funny Maid Stories?

Last night, the maid did something to piss me off. I can't remember what .... she does so many things to upset me throughout the day.

And when I woke up this morning, I found that she sterilised 2 baby feeding bottles. But not the other 6. I asked her why. She gave me a look like "Huh? I'm supposed to sterlise ALL the bottles?". What would compel her to just sterilize 2 bottles and not all of them?

I then found out that when I'm not watching, she washes but does not sterilize the bottles! I then lost it. I can see the funny side of eating bad egg tarts or writing on tables (with a PEN!) but when it comes to baby's hygiene, it won't let it slide.

So Lord Gaga went to talk to her. But she still had no answer. I guess these maids do things without thinking and therefore can't explain their actions.

In the afternoon, Lord Gaga and I went out for a few hours. When we got back, we could not find the maid. When we are out, she often sleeps or daydreams at the balcony. We could not find her at either of those places. So upon a second round of checking, we concluded she has run away.

Yayyyyyyy!!!! I can't believe the relief we felt. Yes you read right. It was relief and not shock.

I was just telling Lord Gaga that I'm going to give her one last chance. If she screws up again with something stupid, I'm going to personally kick her ass back to Cambodia. So now I don't need to do anything.

We can now leave our money or phones laying around at home. We can relax and not worry about what nonsense she is up to next. We can enjoy the air in the home (she had really bad BO even tho we bought her antibacterial soap, got her to shower 4 times a day and got her to drink a lot of water).

I don't want another full time maid as it seems like finding a good maid is 1 in 100. Will try an get a part time maid in and see how I manage that way.

So no more Funny Maid Stories? Hmmmm. She may be gone but there's lots more I've not posted. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Funny Maid Story #8 - Cloth & Sponge

My maid uses one particular cloth to wipe the floor. So I scolded her when she placed that same dirty cloth on the kitchen counter top where we prepare food. I explained that it was dirty and could contaminate our food. She said okay.

So what did she do next?

Use the scouring pad for washing the sink and tile ...... to wash our coffee mugs.


She really will be the death of me.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Funny Maid Story #7 - Cooking

I met up with an old friend who also had a baby. She said that she will be bringing her baby and maid to lunch. So I said I'd do the same. We went to Reunion in Bangsar Village II to have lunch and chat while the maids watched over the babies.

Both our maid were Cambodian but hers had been with her for a longer time so understood more English.

My friend and I were exchanging stories (in Cantonese or Bahasa) about our Cambodian maids and realized that they are all the same!

Both the maids:
- Stand out at the balcony to day dream and sing songs
- Eat A LOT
- So much so that they put on so much weight that they rip their pants or buttons pop off

We allowed the maids to converse with each other in their native language for a while.

My friend's maid later told my friend who told me that my maid said that she likes it when I cook for her. All 3 of us laughed out loud and said that SHE was the maid and that she should really be the one who cooks for me and the family.

Sigh. Maids these days.

What To Do With The Maid?

After the many incidences I has with my maid and after talking to many others who have had maids and similar experiences, the scary thing is that my maid is actually not that bad. In comparison, she's considered pretty good!

I guess I can stomach the ruined teflon pan, her constant daydreaming and singing at the balcony, taking extra long to throw rubbish in hopes of meeting and chatting with the maid next door, not following instructions, pretending she doesn't understand when she actually does ......

But the knives incident is one worrying one.

I don't think she had any malicious intent. She seems pretty innocent in all she does and she is pretty good with the baby (even tho I never let her take care or handle the baby alone unless I really need her too and even then it's not more than 5 minutes per time).

But you never really know what is going through their minds. Like what would compel her to write on my table, in ink, twice??!

We are now in the midst of speaking to the maid agency to look at our options.

Maybe we just need to send her ass back to Cambodia! It will be stressful running a household when you have a baby. But maybe it will be less stressful compared to the stress that the maid has inflicted upon out family. We have been so good to her and cannot understand why she can't follow simple insructions or to do simple work well. Afterall, she really doesn't do that much apart from cleaning the house and washing up after I cook. Her afternoons are always very free. Some people tell me that it's better to send her back and make do with part time maids. Right now, that seems like a pretty good idea.

In the meantime, we're keeping a watchful eye on her in everything that she does.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Funny Maid Stories #6 - Knives

We periodically do checks on the maid's room to ensure she is keeping it clean and not hiding anything. During one of these spot checks, I found knives in her drawer. I'm not talking about just a butter knife, carving knife or even a cleaver. It was an entire set of Lord Gaga's Victorinox hotel school knives. There must be about 10 different knives in there!

We freaked out and confronted her. She could not explain herself. We hauled her ass back to the maid agency where the agents drilled and questioned her. She was crying but still could not explain her actions.

We brought her back and I asked her again. What I managed to get out of her was that she was cleaning the knives. If that was the case, would she not have returned the knives to the kitchen where they belong instead of keeping them in her room?

Worrying, isn't it? Not sure what to do with her and what is going through her head.

This is definitely not one of the funny stories.

Funny Maid Stories #5 - Table Writing

When our maid first arrived, we were in the midst of moving from one house to another. One day, Lord Gaga was in the old house and noticed that there were some scribblings on our pine wood table. In pen. It couldn't be either of us and there were no kids in the house. We asked the maid if she wrote on the table and she said yes. Is that crazy or what? We gave her a shelling and warned her not to do it again. We put it down to her being a village girl and not knowing that a table is not for writing on.

A few days later, we found out that she did it again! This time it was on the marble kitchen counter top of the new house.

We scolded her again but are not sure if she understood that what she did was wrong. We need to treat her like a 3 year old kid who goes crazy with a crayon when unsupervised.

Funny Maid Stories #4 - A Visit To The Doctor

Many Cambodian maids are village girls. The maid agency told us that some of them are so unexposed that when they come over here, the do a Number 2 on the floor instead of in the toilet. We were appalled but was glad to know that our maid was not like that. Ours was smart, apparently.

But her hygiene isn't the best. We keep on asking her to wash her hands after she finished her chores or before preparing food. But she washed her hands by pumping soap onto her hands and immediately washing them under running water. I had to explain to her to wet her hands first, then rub the soap all over, then only rinse it off. It took her several tries to get that right. And even then I need to constantly supervise her hand washing or she will shortcut it again which not only means her hands remain dirty but she is literally running the soap down the drain.

Recently she said she had a itch down there. I brought her to the doctor to have it checked out. Doc said it's due to hygiene! Guess I'm not surprised. If she can't even wash her hands properly, how can I expect her to keep her body clean, right? We got home, I gave her the meds and sent her to bed after telling her not to take the meds on her own.

The next morning after breakfast, I wanted to give her the meds again but she said she took them already! Freaking out, I asked her what she took because the doses and meds for night and day are different. Not surprisingly, she took the wrong doses. I can only hope she is fine, doesn't fall ill and her ailment doesn't get worst.

Hmmmm ... these stories are getting less and less funny. And more and more worrying.

Funny Maid Stories #3 - Egg Tarts

A friend came for a visit and brought 6 eggs tarts. We finished 3 and I put the remaining 3 in the fridge.

I then forgot about it till more than a week later when the maid brought it out and asked if I wanted to eat it. I told her to throw it away and DO NOT eat it. Egg tarts are made from eggs (duh) and does not keep well.

I then went out with Baby A to meet a friend to pass something to her.

Once done, I headed back up. The maid seemed shocked to see me back so quickly.

Immediately, I smelt something. I asked the maid if she was cooking. She said no. But I did not believe her and I asked her again. She again said no, but less convincingly this time. I asked her yet again and after a long silence, she said she put the egg tarts that I asked her to throw away.into the oven and ate them. I freaked out and asked her how many she ate. She said one but upon checking the box, there were none left. I told her to throw it away for a reason. Did she want to fall ill?

I know that these maids come from very poor backgrounds and often don't have a lot to eat. In order to reassure her, I gave her a basket of food that I keep well stocked with rice, noodles, bread, biscuits and other snacks.

But this does not seem enough for her and she needs to eat bad food?

Luckily, she did not have a stomachache.

And it is very worrying that she is lying.

Hmmmm ... this story isn't that funny. More like a potential visit to the doctor.