Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015.

Today marks the last working day of 2015 and the year has been a good one for us.

We sold our first home in super quick time. The hubs missed it more than me but I think he has gone past that. We loved everything about it but at the same time have been on a look-out even before we were expecting K. God's timing is indeed the best timing. The current place is by far, the best we have seen from the many over the years. We are getting comfortable and getting used to the new home but the mopping still puts me off. But with the space, it makes the home less cluttered, which is really good for the mind and soul.

Staying over at the youngest BIL's home for 2 months was also an experience. I am thankful to them for welcoming us despite their cram living environment. I've learnt quite a bit from the youngest SIL and appreciate how kind and sincere she is. And I'm still learning.

Our health-check this year has been ok too except for my back. I am thankful it's fine now and I didn't end up with a slipped disc. Of course, I need to get back into the fitness game. The pilates class that I've signed up for is rescheduled to the first Monday of January. Hopefully, I get a toner and healthier body in 2016. I am now a size M!

Work-wise, I am so thankful, really, that God opened the doors to this current company. I just had my appraisal done sometime last month and my boss is such an encouraging person. Totally unlike the previous one. I now feel empowered to do certain things and she doesn't sweat the small stuff. My KPI for 2016 is to start-up the training function for the company. According to the hubs, my increment % for 2016 is not too shabby either. I just need to keep on praying for God's wisdom at work.

As for K, she has been quite an easy child. Thankfully. Otherwise, I think the hubs and I wouldn't have the patience to manage her. I am also thankful for her. She adjusted to the new childcare centre well and her health has been pretty good generally. I am so thankful for God's watchful care over her! During a recent Parent-Teacher's meeting, her teacher told us that we do not have to worry much about her as she shows a keenness to learn and is very adaptable. The school organised an outing to one of those indoor playground recently but I did not sign her up for it. I explained to her that it was too expensive and besides we were going to have a host of activities coming up. She understood and her Mandarin Teacher was quite surprised when she related to me K's response when most of her friends went off for the morning, leaving just her and few others behind. I just wish she won't grow up so fast. On Monday, she moved up to Nursery from playgroup.

For 2016, I will continue to pray without ceasing. Without him, what will we be? 

I hope the year has been a good one for you and may 2016 continue to be just as good, if not better! Happy, Blessed 2016!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

We brought the 2 girls to Chinese Garden on Saturday morning, after breakfast. We had wanted K to learn how to ride the kick-scooter there but apparently, you cannot bring in bicycles, skateboards or scooters into the park. The security made sure you leave them at the entrance and I like how the security made sure the rules are not flouted. It is afterall a park and everyone should enjoy their stroll or jog without having to look out for kids on their kick-scooter or some mad man on his bicycle.

We had wanted to visit the turtle museum but didn't have enough money with us so we ventured around the park and chanced upon these 2 monitor lizards playing with each other. We ended up spending 1 1/2 hours in the park!
In 2020, the Science Centre will move to near Chinese Garden and if we're still staying here, it will be within walking distance for us and there is really no need for us to venture out to town with so many good shops and facilities where we stay!

I made lunch again and then the 3rd SIL came to pick Esther home, after which K took her nap. In the evening, we were back again to Jerry's for dinner.

We have been fairly well-rested over this long weekend but I have been too lazy to mop the house. Yes, I have not mopped the house since Thursday evening and thankfully, everyone was very considerate. All I could bring myself to do was magic-clean the house, take down the christmas decorations and kept the christmas tree.

In the evening, I made fried rice. A dish I have not made in a while. Since we took some ham left over from the party, I decided instead of cooking it with different dishes and having the hubs complain about eating ham for the next few days, might as well use it for fried rice. And today's Olive Fried Rice was divine! Yumz!

Friday, 25 December 2015

K was the happiest when I asked Esther if she wanted to stay over yesterday evening, after the party. They woke up before the hubs and me and then the hubs allowed K to open her presents. We usually do not allow her to open her presents in front of guests as you never know how the child will react. Unless it is requested by the giver for K to open, then will I allow it. And this is because I have experienced a child opening her birthday presents and exclaiming that she doesn't like it at all.

Anyhow, it's amazing the amount of presents she received. I wonder if it's because of the fact that she's the only child? Personally, I only bought her 2 ponies and they are not even the original. I have a colleague who only buys presents for her son on his birthday and I like the reasoning behind it. I just do not want K to grow up spoilt and behaving like she's entitled to everything. 

So anyway, after the morning excitement, the hubs brought us all to West Coast Park for Macdee's breakfast and then fun in the park. It's nice to have a sibling. The 2 can play together, especially if they are of the same gender. And they have so much fun together!

Just when the sun was blazing, we decided to go back home and I managed to cook lunch for all of us.
It's so nice to imagine having 2 girls and the older one taking care of the younger one while I feed them. After lunch, they both took their naps even Esther, who doesn't nap at all at home!

When they woke up, it was raining heavily and intermittently so I asked Esther if she will like to stay over for another night. She did and in the evening, we went over to Jerry's to pick up her stuff as well as have dinner. She had wanted to stay till Sunday but her mummy says no. Lol.

After dinner, we brought the boys along to IMM to jalan-jalan and treated them to crepe. It feels so different being out at the shops and not celebrating Christmas on the day itself. I miss yesterday already.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

My family came together to celebrate Christmas today, instead of tomorrow, the actual day as Jerry has to work on the day itself. So, having the entire clan come together without anyone having to rush off somewhere is fantastic! There were 20 of us, with Tim introducing his girlfriend to us and James' girlfriend who we've seen the 2nd time.

Food was great! Jeremy ordered the turkey, lamb and log-cake, the hubs ordered ham from his workplace, James brought a cake, the 3rd SIL made pizzas, garlic bread and fresh fruit juice which she personally blended in my kitchen, the 2nd SIL made shepherd's pie, Ivy made chicken stew while I cooked mix vegetables and pesto pasta. No one can say there wasn't enough food that evening! Thankfully, some of us went for a few rounds!

While some chatted, some played scrabble. And I had to nudge the hubs to start on the gift exchange game. It was so much fun that the eldest brother declared it was the best christmas ever, especially since the family has not come together for a long time. 

The only thing that cause me upset was the porcelain plate that burned while on the food warmer. Somehow, the tea-light that was below it grew strangely big and blacken the bottom of the porcelain tray and caused a crack on it. I do not dare use the tray anymore in case the crack gets worse. The set was bought when the hubs and I visited the bestie when she was in Dubai. And because it is uniquely shaped, I do not think it's going to be easy finding a replacement. Oh well.....making way for better things, I guess....

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The town council carried out fumigation today and guess what was all over the floor at the laundry area when I returned home after work.
I wonder if taping the chute with masking tape will help. I guess I'll know at the next fumigation exercise. Thankfully, the baby roaches were probably concussed and I could quickly clear them. Hopefully, that's all to them and I do not find anymore hidden elsewhere. Speaking of which, the hubs and I have seen the adult ones and they are big!

Well, pros and cons of having a rubbish chute within the house. Pros are; we or I clear the bin easily and if the bin is quite clean, we can throw food stuff straight into the chute. Cons; well, with the new automated chute system in my estate, they aren't much really other than how noisy it can get when rubbish gets thrown from upstairs.

Yes, our estate has the automated chute system where refuse gets sucked underground into the centralised refuse area thus we do not see anymore of those old school garbage carts opening and collecting refuse at certain times of the day. Thus, there is no smell and so much cleaner. And that makes a lot of difference when you stay on the 4th floor. Even at a new estate like our previous home, where the refuse bin was outside the homes, the ground floor was not exactly a pleasant sight as the garbage truck still comes to clear the refuse and you have the noise, the smell and the pests especially for people who stay lower down.

Kudos to automation! Lol...

Monday, 21 December 2015

I bought a mason drink dispenser with the thought that it'll be easier when we have parties. We can make, now that it's been received very well, lemongrass drink and leave it to guests to help themselves instead of having to worry if everyone has got a drink. 

The Salahudeens have a old-school drink container where the uncles and aunties use a cup-like container at the end of a long plastic holder to scoop the drink to pour into a cup. I still see it at hawker centres but it's kind of messy because not everyone is going to carefully ensure all the liquid goes into their cup.

So I finally found a glass mason dispenser and love it so much!
But on Saturday, when the hubs filled the dispenser and left to pick up the turkey etc, I noticed the jug was leaking but didn't think much about it until he returned home and found the drink dripping onto the floor! If you look at the photo in my previous post, you can imagine how much of drink was leaking out from that height!

Anyway, we were debating whether to return the jug with me saying no as I had removed the sticker on the container and threw away the card inside. The husband says yes but after church yesterday, we were all too tired.

So today, with the encouragement of my receptionist, we went back to the departmental store to have it changed. The very nice sales staff tested it and found out that not only did the water leaked from the base, it was leaking from the tap as well! She asked me to choose a new one and did a test as well and again, the same thing happened. Finally, the 2nd new piece was tested and was ok. I was hesitant to change it initially because I was afraid that it might be a fruitless trip. Especially since I had thrown away the card inside as well as removed the sticker on the jug. But the PRC service staff was so patient and helpful. Thankfully, I still have the receipt.

Anyway, I hope this is going to last for a long while yet. It's so pretty to be used for only once or twice.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Our December parties have started.

The Victors kick-started the feasting last Saturday at their home. It was actually meant as a birthday celebration for Nan, Gaye's mother who turned 88. But the rest of us also took it as an early Christmas party and exchanged presents. The Victors have since headed down-under and we won't be seeing them till next month.

My office had a Christmas tea-party on Friday and I received a mini-snow trooper key-chain for the gift exchange game. The food was great, a lot to bring home and everyone had a good One and  half hours break from work. I brought back muffins and cakes that we had ordered from Coffee Bean.

And yesterday was the dinner for the hubs' side of his family and relatives. Since he always have the habit of waking up early, I tasked the hubs to boil lemongrass to make lemongrass drink, bring out the minced chicken to rinse, boil water and wash the balcony. And when I woke up, I threw K's clothes into the washing machine, hung them up to dry and then marinated the minced chicken and then the hubs diced up all the vegetables that I would use for the mixed Veg dish for later.

We then went to Jem for lunch as well as to collect the Christmas rainbow cake I had ordered for the church's Christmas service.

When we returned home, K obediently took a nap and for 3 hours! Good stretch of time for me to do all the prep work and for the hubs to collect the turkey and ham that he had ordered from his workplace as well as 2 other Indian dishes from the nearby coffee-shop.

While the hubs had to wait out the rain,the Shepherd's pie, with mutton this time, was already in the oven. Then the 2nd BIL and wife came earlier to help us as well. The 2nd SIL helped us fold K's clothes and then helped to monitor the spicy chicken wings in the air-fryer.

At the end of the day, we had so much food left-over that the guests were all more than willing to have them packed to bring home. I'm glad my first time making mutton shepherd's pie was as well received as my usual one. So, technically, there wasn't any food waste.

And today, we had another feasting at church after the Christmas service. All of us had a great time during the gift exchange. Thankfully, I had not volunteered to cook this time as yesterday was enough to tire me out! So ordering the Christmas cake was a good idea! Hahahah...

The 3 of us were so tired that we all took our naps together when we reached home after church. I, of course, took the shortest one and woke up to put the laundry to wash, magic-cleaned the house, made dinner, mopped the house and then rearrange the presents under the Christmas tree.

Thankfully, for my side of the family's Christmas celebration, my SILs always bring more than 1 item. I can't wait for it to happen this Christmas eve. It'll be one of the rare times the entire family comes together. Yes, every family member of my 4 siblings. :)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Just as I was in the bus, on the way to pick K up from school, the hubs text to say that he will pick her up. So I alighted at the next bus-stop after the usual one when I need to pick K up and made my way home. While walking, the hubs drove by and K called out to me. And then, the hubs suggested eating out.

I think I spoke to soon but we were again, eating at a restaurant. Their style is a little like the old sizzler, where you could help yourself to the salad bar when you order a main. Looking at the salad bar made me realise that I should have just chosen to eat from there. There were prawns, the usual salad and more, soups, pasta, fruits, jelly and ice-cream. And because I've got my bonus, I treated this time. 

The hubs also bought home a huge durian! After K slept, both of us had a few seeds while seated on the kitchen floor and had to keep the rest in the fridge. 
Maybe I'll have some of them for dinner tomorrow as it'll only be K and I, with the hubs out for a dinner gathering. Hmm...that's a thought. Lol.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

We usually eat at the mall's food court when we are out on weekdays. Because Fridays are an unspoken day for no cooking, we will go out. I do not want K to think that we always go out for good food and then grows up expecting that this things come easy, all the time.

But the hubs decide to indulge a little today. And we had dinner at Swensen's! The kid's set looked so cute on the menu that I just have to order it. And when the actual meal arrived, I'm glad I did! The food tasted as good as it looked! The little thing in the pot of corn is a miniature shovel! And we can bring it back home and grow some seedlings in the little container.

Anyway, we had beef rice which strangely, K couldn't finish so I am glad I didn't order a separate meal.
On another note, I was on medical leave yesterday due to flu! I could feel it coming since last Wednesday but managed to keep it under control but on Sunday, it became full blown. I hate the antibiotics that I have been prescribed. It makes me feel very hungry. Oh well, glad I'm recovering after a day of rest at home.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

We only recently stopped using the steriliser like a couple of weeks back. Yes, probably less than a month ago, we decided there is no need for it anymore. Well, we've been talking about it but since the steriliser was taking a spot in the kitchen, might as well use it while it's there right?

And when we finally decided to and I quickly found a new owner for it, the 2nd SIL told us that she's expecting. I had wanted to keep K's stuff for her or even the youngest SIL but you can't time such things so have given most away. Anyway, the 2nd SIL mentioned that her friend too, will have lots of girly stuff since her daughter is about only 1 year old. Still, I'm hoping to be able to pass on K's stuff to her. They bring back so much sweet memories to us. 

On another note, the youngest SIL finally went to consult an orthopedic after still experiencing pain. And the MRI results show that she has slipped disc. Throughout our Malacca trip, she couldn't walk straight and had to bend over to push the stroller as it was a more comfortable position for her. Thankfully (hopefully), the pain has almost ceased in my case. Although, it aches a little when I walk quite a distance. I'm wondering if I should see an orthopedic as well.

Talking about which, I have finally signed up for pilates lesson at the CC and it starts next Monday. Hopefully, I get my fitness back. Recently, I noticed I seemed to have grown overnight. You know, how some ladies suddenly reach a size at a certain age? Yes, I think I'm there now. I also realised my face has seemed to lost the elasticity of youth! Time to start loading on those firming creams! Urghhhh!!!! 

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I think I can confidently say everyone enjoyed the road trip to Malacca although we did come back feeling very tired yesterday evening. And when we were caught in the jam at immigration, the FIL messaged to say that the MIL fell at the train station and had a minor fracture.

Anyway, the road trip started on Saturday morning after breakfast at a coffeeshop near our place. The 2 BILs had to poo and all came up to our place and chit-chatted while waiting for whoever in the bathroom to get it over and done with. So what was supposed to be a departure time of 7:30am, saw us leaving the house at about almost 10ish.

The hotel this time wasn't fantastic. Other that the pool, from what I saw from the 2nd BIL's room. The other 2 rooms were not ready when we checked in but I had wanted to try this place. And on the first evening out at Jonker Walk, it rained. So we had to cab back to the hotel. Sunday was fine, we even took in a boat ride. The youngest SIL and I bought 2 pairs of shoes each and the youngest BIL's family picked up the tab for the first night's dinner while the 2nd day's lunch was picked up by the 2nd SIL. The hubs treated everyone for peranakan lunch on our last day, yesterday.

The drive back was delayed due to road works along some parts of the highway and then a long wait at Singapore immigration. 

We'll be heading back again, next month, for the hubs' birthday and with the Victors. I've never been to Malacca so often in my life but what's there not to like? Historical city, with shopping and food. And now we know which area to stay at next time.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The FIL invited all of us for dinner yesterday. What was meant to be catering at their home became dinner at a coffeeshop near their place. But's it's ok. Their place is too small and I was wondering where will they put the buffet table for the catered food.

They have a elderly couple here for a few days from Nepal and the Nepali relatives were all invited. Well, the usual 2 families but enough to crowd the flat when we went up for a short while after dinner.

I also found out that because the couple were staying at the PIL's home while on a medical trip here, the MIL will not join us to Malacca tomorrow. The youngest SIL was so happy when she heard it and I reckoned the happiest would probably be the 2nd SIL as they will have the room to themselves! For me, I am happy because I won't get irritated when we go to the supermarket and then she helps herself with loading purchases, expecting the hubs to pay for it.

Looking forward to this trip, like a lot more now. Hopefully, we get good weather throughout!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

We have guests today. The hubs' long-time friends, Zul and Philip, came by for dinner. Philip is back in town after moving over to KL from India and it's only when he's in town that the 3 of them meet up for drinks, football and of course chit-chat.

Thankfully, I marinated the meat this morning before we left for work. And this is what we had for dinner. The hubs bought another 2 dishes from a nearby Indian coffeeshop, which were delish and were a perfect match for my pasta dish.
Can you guess what meat I used? Neither could I till I brought it down from the freezer yesterday evening. It's mutton! I accidentally bought mince mutton instead of beef! My first time cooking mutton and thankfully, it was quite nice really. I am so going to cook this for the Christmas dinners with the out-laws and my family. And I repeat, thankfully, I marinated the meat in the morning. I think it's the sauce. Even K asked for seconds. But then again, she's such a good eater, she almost always eats whatever we put on her plate. 

On another note, our mini Christmas tree is up and so many presents wrapped. This time, I bought tinsel from my current favourite store, Daiso, and can't wait to decorate the living room with it. 
The weather is cooler and it rains almost everyday now. Do I hear 'It's beginning to feel like Christmas, everywhere I go.....'?  :)