My "Too Cute"s

Saturday, September 05, 2009

On the beach again

Here, just want to have a little breather from Bandung stories. It's been ages since we went to the beach despite staying near the beach and all. One day I realised that if we were tourists, we'd be snapping photos like trigger happy Rambos, but just because the beach's so near, I've never really taken photos of the kids on the beach. So here I am sharing my poor attempts and believe me, they are mostly candid (and potentially blurry) because no yelling of mine to my kids to cooperate and look at me and smile worked.

There I was calling out, "Look at Mommy!" repeatedly and all I got was either frozen poses or the tops of their heads.

These are not recent, they are probably taken a month ago or even earlier.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Bandung Family Trip Day 1 - cont'd

So, yea, we played Stepmania. If you don't know what it is, and you've watched Transformers (the first one), you know the part when the SWAT team enters the house of the computer hacker kid, one of the characters was doing Stepmania. It's really cool and the one I have connects to the laptop, and I have 2 dancemats so that both the kids can play at the same time and challenge each other. Hana likes to join in too and it's the one game I allow my kids to play any time of the week 'coz they can only jump so much and they get tired out sooner or later, and they sleep early which leaves me to do work I bring home. Haha, yea, that's my little secret out in the open. It keeps the kids healthy, burns off their excess energy and gets them to bed early. It's also good incentive for them to get their homework done first. Though nowadays Mika's more into Hotwheels car games. And thanks to Lexi who bloghopped recently, we also discovered another cool game site called We particularly liked game called Boomshine among other games.

And now, days later, I'd like to continue where I left I was saying we passed by the zoo which was one crazy busy place and there were really many people there and you can see horses and their handlers, horses and carriages, people on horse rides on the main road. I thought of getting the kids to ride the horsesor the carriages but my mom didn't think it'd be a novel experience for them coz they've been on horse rides before. Plus coz we shared the road, she felt it was a little dangerous. Anyway, half an hour later, we finally arrived at the nearby FO that would have taken us 5 to 10 minutes to walk to. I think we went to Episode first. Then Jetset. I think Jetset had better stuff the first time I was there. My mom who has also been to Bandung before, stayed at Grand Serela Hotel, somewhere near Jl Riau, have not really explored the FOs in the area we were now staying at. Anyway, we realised after going into several shops that stuff in the shops were 'seasonal'. Hmm how do I say this? For example, bags, this time we went there, there were a lot of Samsonite bags on sale, whereas during our previous visit, we didn't come across Samsonite bags. I bought Burberry stuff at Jetset and this time round, no more Burberry T-shirts. But this trip, it wasn't really for us. We've been saving up so we can get stuff for the kids especially Inez, and Mika whose clothes were getting smaller. Zul bought them all Sports shoes like Nike, and Adidas for RM60 each. That's half the price of what it costs here. Anyway, that jumping the story a bit. So after some looking and seeing, and since these shops were near the hotel, we didn't do any serious purchasing. We figured we could always go back the next day.

So we got back to the hotel and Zul checked us in already. Two rooms, two different buildings. We (and Baby Hana included) took the one that required some climbing while Mom and the bigger kids took the room at the back.

Then we went to Pasar Baru after that. Zul got bored and took Mika with him to get him out of our hair and we went cloth shopping. Hehe cloth was the only thing I wanted to get for myself this time and they all had to be the non wrinkle type coz God only knows how much I hate ironing. Which is why I don't like wearing batik sometimes, but the satin silk type is not that wrinkly. As usual I digress.

After spending like 3 hours there, Zul started reminding us that we haven't done shopping for the kids yet. Okay, okay! So we left for Sogo Paris Van Java for early dinner and hopefully some mindless shopping. Hehe (Read here for more info on PVJ and see the cool pictures of PVJ; I didn't really take many pictures this time coz we were busy chasing after the kids.)

I've been wanting to go there but didn't get to the first time. We did go to Paris Van Java FO though. Hehe. My mom also hasn't been there before; so we got the driver to take us there and it's really a huge mall. Sorta remind me of when I went shopping in Maidstone and when you walk out of the main mall, there are smaller boutiques on the outside that lined the street, both left and right. And the brand Charles and Keith was there. That's like a present fave. They do have some interesting designs and they are affordable and they were having a sale! I already bought my bag (no sale though) in KL. Other brands include Billabong, Roxy. Really, the blog I linked above got everything there is to know on PVJ.

The first half of the evening was cool but around 8pm local time, and 7 pm,their time, as my mom was searching her handbag to take out her wallet to purchase something, she realised her wallet was not in her handbag. She started to panic as she realised that she has been a victim of some pickpocket. Thankfully her handphone was still in her bag and her passport was in my safekeeping. If not we would have to go to the embassy. So as it turned out, we spent our first night out at the PVJ Security Guard Post. Thankfully, all the guards muda2 and tegap2. Hahaha. Seriously, it was like nearly 12 when we got back to our hotel. Again, I digressed.

Back to when my mom discovered her missing purse, we went separate ways searching for the wallet just in case Mom dropped it somewhere, or left it at the payment counter at some shop. Thankfully, Zul was sooo nice and understanding about it and kept the kids busy while we sat down somewhere to cancel Mom's cards; and blocked her ATM card too just in case. You never know. Poor Mom, dahlah sakit belakang, the reason why she was somewhat careless in the first place. The backache was so painful she thought of cancelling at first, but we persuaded her to come anyway.

And then this happened, Mom was sooo not in the mood but Bandung anymore. We told her maybe she'd helped some really poor people. Yea, she was okay till we came back and my dad's credit card statement came and those poor pickpockets went shopping like crazy in TWO boutiques to buy stuff amounting to about 2 million rups. That's like nearly 1k our money and that got my mom soooo upset. She already lost like also 2 million rups in her wallet coz we've just arrived, we've not spent and whenever my mom wanted to spend her money to buy lunch or dinner, we told her to keep for shopping. Moral of the story, if people want to treat you, let them. Hahaha then if something like this happens, they'd lose less.

So after that, we reported it to the guard of PVJ and that was when we had to hang out in the security post. First we waited for one of the guards to go get a form because they seemed to have run out of them. That took some time. Imagine if the guards were gendut2 macam some guards in Malaysia, that'd take even longer. After some time, the guard came back, and the one who sent him out discovered that the guard took the wrong form. So he himself went off the get the right one. Tunggu lagi. So we waited and finally he came back, and he took down our details and account of what happened. Which was not easy, coz seriously, BM and Indonesian language aren't exactly the same , you know.

Some time during the report, Mika already fell asleep in the pram, followed by Inez and then Hana. Then we were advised to go the the police station to report the theft. And so we did and that really took less time than the guards and the police didn't really refer to the guard's report which made us feel that if something similar happens to anyone, just go to the police station immediately. Anyway, they were helpful.

So there ends Day 1. Later I will write about the subsequent days.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bandung Family Trip Day 1

As mentioned, we went to Bandung again. People did ask me why we are going there again since we have been there before. I answered that this time we are bringing the kids, it's always better to bring kids to places you are familiar with. At least you already know how to go about in that place and where to go to eat and shop and so on. Hence Bandung! Plus the shopping there is great!

So okay, we got the passports ready and off we went. This was the second trip for my mom as well. This time we stayed at the Patra Jasa Hotel. We were lucky to have booked the hotel rooms two months prior to our trip, because I did recommend this hotel to my friend who went earlier and she couldn't get rooms anymore.

We arrived at 10 a.m. and it was a Sunday. Since we brought the kids, Zul thought we had better hire a van and driver, and the driver was recommended by his nephew who was just there the week before. The driver was really nice, very punctual and helpful but he doesn't really talk much. I'll update this post later and include his name and number just in case anyone is interested in using his services.

So when we arrived, the driver was already waiting for us, and he took us to the hotel, surprisingly the roads were busy and congested and we were caught in a jam. We were not, the first time we were there. But it was the school holidays and so people, including the locals flocked to Bandung. We arrived at the hotel earlier than we were supposed to, coz we were too early to check in. Anyway, we decided to have our lunch first and then go back to the hotel. We went to Simpang Raya, a restaurant we went to during our first visit. After that we went back to the hotel but the rooms weren't ready yet. So Zul said he'd wait at the hotel when my mom and I decided to check out the nearby shops but instead of walking, we took the van since it's paid by the day. Oh boy, we got caught in the jam and it took us half an hour to get to a shop which would have taken us 5 minutes walking. but we saw there was a kebun binatang. That means zoo and the kids got excited. So first thing the next day was to go to the zoo. It was holidays after all for the kids.

Kids want to play STEPMANIA. To be continued....

Soooo lazy!

Guess what I'm doing? This is me rebelling against work. I'd thought, 'hmm since I want to put work out of my mind, why not blog?' I've been staring at this box for a good few minutes and I'm thinking, where do I start? It's been ages since I have really written. I mean , a recipe or two was fine, as that didn't require much thinking.

Soooo much has happened. At work, I've been promoted. That happenerd in April. I don't like to tell people about it. I dunno why. In fact, my mom just found out. So much to do, it's just crazy. I'm still trying to fit it all in.

Then, I had a miscarriage. That was in early May. I was 8 weeks pregnant, and I lost my baby. I had just returnbed from a teambuilding course and before that, I was traveling as well. It's easy to blame the trips I've been making but at the end of the day, I guess, it was just not meant to be. The doctor just a couple of days earlier couldn't detect the heartbeat and told us as long as I didn't bleed I was fine. But on the 3rd day, I did. I was on MC for a week, and bleeding that whole week until on Sunday, I felt this funny sensation that compelled me to go to the toilet and it just came out. So tiny that if you held it and clenched your fist, you wouldn't even be able to see it in your hand. Not that I wanted to. Whatever I did see, it was because I had to wash the hand that was holding it. It was so tiny but it had eyes and nose and everything and attached to a transparent plastic bag like thing. Allah is so great. I saved it and took it with me to the doctor's. The doctor looked at it and said that it's all out. I was like, "Really, so I don't need to do the D&C?" Thankfully, no, but that was upon the condition that she doesn't detect any blood clots in the womb during my next visit.

The ironic thing was that I had just come to terms with the fact that I was pregnant. Anyone watched Marley and Me? I was exactly like Jennifer Aniston's character when she got pregnant the second time and was sooooo totally not ready for it. I did 3 pregnancy tests. The first one had a faint line, so I had thought, nope, couldn't be. It's too faint, it can't be, so I did another one, showed hubby and he said, "Yup, you're pregnant!" but me, I was in denial. "No way, I can't be! You can hardly see that second line! Tomorrow, we've got to go to the pharmacy and get those pregnancy kits without these damn lines."

So, my hubby, God bless his heart took me to the pharmacy the next day and hah, nah engkau, i bought like 2 more kits! Puas hati, but guess what? There are no kits that show that you're positive without those darn lines.

Took them home and well, whaddayaknow? I was pregnant...still that faint line. I guess that was when I finally accepted it. I think I had felt it was too soon and that I wasn't ready for another. Hana was just a year plus. Anyway, that weekend, we went to the doctor's, who did a scan and confirmed it.

So, I accepted that I was pregnant, and since this was not my 1st pregnancy, I basically knew what I needed and began shopping for stuff. Though not that much. I figured since we were supposed to go to Bandung again at the end of May, this time with the kids and my mom too, I'd do my shopping there. I had already imagined myself tired from waddling from one outlet to another. Hehe.

I remembered thinking when I miscarried that I would be walking normally in Bandung. Haha, really, and a part of me wondered whether my initial denial phase was the reason why I didn't get my baby. Another part of me wondered if it had anything to do with work and the trips and courses I had to attend. At last, I just felt that it just wasn't meant to happen, the baby had no heartbeat.

For that I had another 2 weeks of sick leave and it was really difficult to be on leave coz it was so totally unplanned. I was still sending memos to tie whatever loose ends I'd left hanging. I had to find people to replace me for this and that meeting on short notice. I am really thankful to all my colleagues who stood in for me. Haha, but by the time it was the 3rd week, I wasn't ready for work anymore. Dah malas dah...

But I swear the 3 weeks that I was on leave was the first rest I had in a long time and I do mean, real rest coz there were so many restrictions. My parents just wanted me to stay in bed, especially the first week of MC. There was still hope. Friends of mine and friends of Jaja's had the same experience before that the doctor didn't detect heartbeat but the pregnancy came through. My friend just gave birth recently to a baby girl and at first her doctor told her that there was no heartbeat too. But after it came out, then it's like confinement all over again. Some say, you go to take extra care coz miscarriage is like plucking a fruit that's not ripe yet. Oh yea, the first week after the miscarriage was painful. You could feel the contractions and the medication made me drowsy.

But, it was during that 3 weeks, I bonded back with Hana and my Inez and Mika. Maybe, that was why it was fated. Hana was at that time, so close with my mom, that my mom was like her birthmom and I was like the grandma. As I said, I was just real busy at work and was away a lot. It was just nice to be spending a lot of time with them.

And where was Zul all this time? In the US, for some factory visit, and the H1N1 had just started. Thankfully, he returned home safely and H1N1 free.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bread and Butter Pudding

This recipe is actually a combination of two different recipes. The original bread and butter pudding recipe is from Halwafy and the crust comes from an apricot cobbler recipe taken from a magazine. The recipe below is basically adapted for those who like sweet stuff but don't want it too sweet.

6 slices day-old bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup raisins/ mixed fruit
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 175 degrees C.Cut bread into triangles and arrange first layer of bread in an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. Sprinkle half the raisins. Then arrange 2nd layer of bread and drizzle butter over the bread. Sprinkle the rest of the raisins.In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Above is the basic recipe for bread pudding. If you want a cake crust on top, before baking, mix the following ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (I usually reduce this to 1/4 cup.)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add egg and butter; mix well. spoon over pudding and put in oven.

Good luck baking. I've had it from friends that the added crust on the bread pudding gives it extra oomph. Also I'd like to say thanks to Tricia for dropping me a line. I hadn't realised. Well, I'd just like to say that where credit is due, credit should be given. Thank you to your mom for spreading so much joy through her cooking and Apricot Cobbler.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Run! Run! Run to the SALE!

This morning, with my dad in KL, I was the designated chauffeur. So since I was sending Mika to school, I left with Mika 15 minutes before school started. Inez, unfortunately had to forego her Agama school 'cause I'd have to be on leave to be a full time chauffeur.

So there I was, leaving a bit later than usual; and there was Inez, not rushing to get ready for school and there was Hana, ever ready to play. I saw Inez giving Hana a small paper bag and some pieces of scrap paper. I heard her say,"Here's some money Hana. Run! Run! Run to the sale! and my crazy little one ran to the front door like her pants were on fire. It was hilarious!

Omigod! Do I have shopaholics in the making?