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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Because I was born to you

Last night I came home from work and my daughter, Yuan, came to me apologizing profusely. That meant she had done something wrong. She told me that she had accidentally pulled the curtain rail off the wall. This is not the first time she had done this. So, naturally I wanted to scold her.
Before I could launch into my lecture mode, she said, "Please give me 1 more chance. I promise I will not do it again. If I do it again, you can throw me out of the house."
I was amused, but didn't show it. I said calmly: "I've told you before not to play with the curtains. At night, you go to bed late, and in the morning when you can't wake up for school, you throw temper tantrums. You are also lazy at brushing your teeth. Now tell me 1 good reason why I shouldn't throw you out of the house now."
She looked at me, and thought for a while and then she said, "Because I was born to you."
This girl is just so good with words...
So I told her to explain to Papa what happened when he got back. Papa must be the handyman to fix the railing now.
But I know there will be many, many more chances that I have to give this girl.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Joyride to Cyberjaya at 1am

Sunday night (well, actually Monday morning), 12am I received a frantic call from one of my tenants. He couldn't get into his room, there seemed to be some problem with his key. I asked him if he tried it before he went out, and he said he didn't. It wasn't locked when he moved in, and when he went out he just locked the door.
Then I realized what happened. I had given him the yard door key instead of the master room key. What a blunder! So there was nothing to do but drive all the way to the Domain and get him the right key. Serves me right for being so sure, and not testing the key first before giving it out. J and I had a 1-hour joyride to and fro, and finally got home around 1.30am. One of the lessons learnt as a landlord!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Playing Board Games

Today I learnt that my boss, a successful career woman, also plays games with her kids at home. Board and card games such as Pictionary, Monopoly, Taboo, Boggle etc.
I, too have 3 games that I bought for my kids: Monopoly, Uno and Mastermind. In my often busy schedule, I neglect and dread to play these board games with them. When they ask me to play with them, I always ask them to play by themselves. I am much too impatient and am always busy doing one thing or another, either household chores or on my computer.
But after today, I am changed. I am afraid that one fine day, the kids won't ask me to play anymore. And that day will come very soon, before I know it. I made up my mind to play a game with them once a week. Today I started to play Mastermind - 3 rounds. I taught them about logical thinking and making educated guesses. I didn't even know they actually didn't know how to play the game even though they've often played by themselves.
I think I'll start with Mastermind and Uno. I don't think I can handle Monopoly yet, the game takes too long and I would be too impatient. Monopoly, I'll leave that to their dad. Later, maybe we'll progress on to Scrabble, Taboo and Pictionary. And I hope that I would be remembered as a mom who played board games by my kids when they grow up.
Post-note: 16 Sept 2010, Yuan read this blog and told me: Don't worry Mommy, I would always want to play games with you. I am so touched.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Handyman Fixed All

I took leave today to go and settle the unfinished business. I went to Cyberjaya a little early to go to TM to settle the internet problem. I was told the same thing, there are not enough ports, and I have to wait, but they don't know how long. I asked to be given information, if they can give me a timeline, say 1-2 months, I could wait; if it's going to be 6 months, I might as well sign up with their fierce competitor, P1 Wimax. The officer said, "Terpulanglah...." (Up to you.) She said she cannot promise because this is the problem to be solved at their technical department, and sometimes they don't respond. So, no luck there. I am disappointed, to say the least.
Then I went to the Domain. As I was early, I went to the 3rd floor to explore the landscaped garden. It actually look quite good, but I would really like more trees.

At almost 3pm, the handyman with whom I had scheduled an appointment arrived. I needed help to fix the clothes hanger.
In less than 30 minutes, the handyman fixed the retractable clothes hanger in the yard with his power drill. Ta-daa!
The clothes hanger is fixed high almost above the door, so that the door can be closed even when there are clothes hanging on it. I tried it afterwards, and it worked. This is the solution to the limited space in the yard for the washing machine and for drying.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unfinished Business

After slogging for another 4 hours at the apartment today, the mirrors have all been fixed. Mirrors are from Ikea, 4 pieces per pack, and fixed vertically so that each room has a long mirror when joined together. We had to use 5 pieces each.
The curtains at the first bedroom have also been changed to a brown one, also from Ikea, because the earlier light-coloured one was no good at filtering light and heat. In the afternoon, the master room tends to get the strongest sunlight.The fridge has also been cleaned and an odour absorber put into each compartment.
The floor is mopped once more, and J put the finishing touch of a picture of Jackson Square, New Orleans, onto the wall above the dining table, to give the place a little touch of class. I bought the print in New Orleans in 2004, but I have never hung it up anywhere.
Only 2 major things left undone. J could not, despite his best effort, fix the retractable clothes hanger. He said his power drill is not powerful enough, it took him very long but the wall was very hard, he was unable to fix the support hooks which were very big. So 2 holes were left in the wall at the yard, and he gave up trying to fix it. I am looking for a handyman contractor who is able to do jobs like this. Someone with a powerful drill to put in the hooks effortlessly.
Another major thing to chase is the internet subscription for the apartment. Anie helped me apply since last month, but TM said there were not enough ports. And the worse part is, nobody at TM could tell me how long I have to wait! So much for an MSC status city....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Full House at Neocyber Apartment

Following the last viewing today, my apartment rooms are now fully rented out to 3 tenants. All male, all young & all handsome, and all from different countries.
I am just glad that all went well, it took almost 2 weeks to fill the apartment. The 2 most urgent tasks were to buy the last wardrobe and the last mattress and these were accomplished today.
Now, only a few more things left to do, which includes to duplicate keys and fix mirrors in all rooms (by request of all my handsome tenants). But the major headache now is to fix the clothes line in the yard for the tenants to dry their clothing. Although I have bought a retractable metal clothes hanger, J is still puzzling over how to fix it. Not to mention that the length is too long and he has to saw off the 3 metal bars to fit into the yard. It looks like a major task, and we'll have to solve it by tomorrow, as all the tenants are moving in next week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank You

These past months I have been living in a dream. Loss of staff coupled with the busy budget season at my company have caused me to work late hours, and still I am behind time in most projects. I feel tired and burdened and spend so little time with my babies.
But this is a blog that serves to remind me of my blessings. I have a wonderful understanding family which works like clockwork even without my presence. I have a generally contented baby who goes to bed at 9pm and sleeps through the night to 6am. She has been doing that since she was 4 months old, much earlier than her brother and sister. I have a new apartment now, for which I have secured 2 tenants, and now looking for the 3rd tenant.
I am grateful for all the things that I have and glad that everything is going well for me. I am healthy and able to work and I enjoy dealing with my colleagues and my customers, even when sometimes, things look so daunting.
Recounting these blessings makes me grateful and contented, and to think of other less fortunate people who needs my help.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, I am contented and I am blessed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shelf above the kitchen sink

I thought it is a very good idea to add a utility shelf above the kitchen sink unit. I bought the shelf from Ikea and chose a colour that's matching the cabinet below. For the shelf shoulders, I chose red to give the place a bit of colour.
So I ask my own Handyman, J, to fix the shelf. The task proved to be difficult because the walls were so tough. I tried holding the electric drill with J to lend him some strength, and really felt that the job was so tough. Minute after minute of drilling, the vibrations running through your hand muscles, and still making hardly a dent into the wall tile.
Finally the job was finished after 2 hours. Here is the result.
I like it!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Baby

I've seen rainbows that could take your breath away
The beauty of the setting sun, on any given day
And when it comes to shooting stars I have seen a few
But I've never seen anything as beautiful as you

- From the song, Beautiful As You by Jim Brady

This song is part of a collection of lullabies that J compiled for our first baby, Wei. The CD still exists and is now being played to Baby Xin.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Curtain Problem

The apartment at Cyberjaya has very unusual windows. This is especially true for the first bedroom, so that most standard curtains would not be long enough to cover the full-length windows. In fact, I saw many apartments with curtains that were hanging halfway, unable to reach all the way to the bottom. As the apartment came with curtain railings, I did not wish to change the railing and thought about how I could get curtains to fit without having to ask for them to be custom-made.
So I went to our friendly neighbourhood store, Ikea, to look for solutions. And I found them!
Ikea has these little curtain crocodile clips with hooks. Using these wonder clips, I was able to fit a pair of Ikea curtains that I bought earlier (these were fitting the rod railing, not the hook type), and voila, problem solved with minimal costs.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kitchen Sink Unit

J and I were torn between leaving the old aluminium sink as it was, or replacing it with the Ikea kitchen sink unit with cabinet that we've bought. At first it didn't look like it would fit very well, what with the big 2-door fridge that we have lined up at the same kitchen area.Then today, J, my renovator and construction worker, decided that he would move the fridge to the living room area, and fix up the Ikea sink unit.My gosh, the job took almost 5 hours. First of all the cabinet at the bottom was very difficult to fix, even with precision tools and all. Secondly, one piece went missing among all the mess, so much so that we thought we had left one piece behind. Then, just as J was giving up, the piece resurfaced, and he was able to complete it.Poor J, he even cut his finger trying to fix this thing. And both of us were so hungry because it took so long to finish. What was I doing all this while? I was cleaning all the windows and the sliding door. Inside and outside. That was no fun too.
Here's a pic of the fridge moved to the living room side. I guess it looked alright, perhaps my tenants would like to get cold drinks while watching tv - like the World Cup.
Sigh - my poor Germany....

Sports Day

Yuan was so excited because she was taking part for the first time. Wei had never taken part because, as he said, he was not fast enough so he was never chosen for anything athletic.
Yuan went ahead in her Aunty van's car because she had to reach the stadium by 7am. J, Wei and I went at around 9am.
Yuan took part in a ball relay event which was fun to watch. Halfway through running our dear Ms. Busybody looked round to see how her friends were doing, and was overtaken. Her team ended at 2nd place, but she was happy anyway.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Continuing work at Cyberjaya apartment

Last night we managed to get another replacement lorry to take the 2nd lot of stuff from my brother's house, and it was delivered this morning. The lorry driver this time is trustworthy, I had left the stuff overnight in his lorry. We got off to an early start today, however, this is the day the aircond contractors were coming for the 3 units installation. It started from 10am and only ended at about 5pm, after which I was left to clean up the mess with J.
Rohaniah, my blogger friend, came to visit at about 6pm. She brought me a piece of curtain for the 3rd bedroom which was unusually narrow and long, and she had it custom-made. The house was still in a terrible mess, and she even helped J put up the Ikea dining table and the white open wardrobe, in her baju kurung and all ;-)
This is the table that Anie helped to put up.
So at the end of today, we actually did very little. The worst part was cleaning the ceiling fans, with that thick layer of oily dust.
Work to be continued tomorrow (Saturday).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Murphy's law

1st July was the day I planned with J to move the furniture items that we've bought into the Cyberjaya apartment. We planned to start the day early at 9am,with a lorry service to pick up items from 2 places. My brother had given me some furniture, and I've also managed to buy most of the items from another expat leaving the country.
9.30am, and still no news from the lorry driver. After calling, I managed to get the lorry driver's partner, but even he couldn't contact his friend. He went MIA completely. So no lorry at 9am. Then after making some frantic calls, the partner managed to get a replacement lorry, but only at 2pm. So we had a little change of plans, instead of collecting the items from 2 places, that lorry was to go straight to the expat's home and pick up the stuff there first, then straight to Cyberjaya. Things from my brother's old house would have to wait.

Finally we reached the apartment at about 4pm. Even after settling all the minor hiccups of the lorry driver not being the same person and the lorry having a different plate number, another major thing went wrong. The bunch of keys of the apartment was missing the Solex lock key that I added. So all the furniture were there, but we were unable to move them into the apartment.

All the big items were all lined up at the corridor. The smaller and long items were all "thrown" into the apartment through the grill door. J went back to our house to get the darned lock key. I waited outside with all the furniture, for almost an hour. It was no fun. Luckily our apartment is close to the end of the corridor, so we weren't blocking any passerbys.