Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Phnom Penh

For a week, I was away in Cambodia on a business trip. This was my longest trip away from the boys. Initially, I was quite worried that they would not be able to adjust with my absence, especially Jaden, since he's a sticky-molly BUT they were alright :) And I was so glad to hear that Jaden sticks to papa like a glue...haha....Papa, now you know how I feel when I've to be there for Jaden when he bathes, change, eat, sleep.....basically everything!

It was a good break away from the kids for once. Anything longer than 1 week would have caused my heart to miss family dearly but 1 week was just nice.
I arrived Phnom Penh on a Sunday (21/9) morning flight and upon arrival, I was cheated RM10 by the immigration officer. Since it was my first time to PP, I wasn't sure whether there were any charges imposed at immigration counter. I asked the officer 'What is it for?' but he pretended that he couldn't hear or could not understand English. Anyhow, now I learnt my lesson. Later, I was surprised to see my colleague at the arrival hall. Asked him why he came, and he said that he was worried that something would happen to me.....haha....didn't know that I was that naive!
The company driver fetched us to the 'low-ya' 3 star hotel, Holiday Villa, which is owned by Malaysians. My Malay colleagues chose the hotel as they provide halal food and the morning sahur before they puasa. The hotel is located in the city center and many eateries are within walking distance and the famous Central Market is also within the vicinity.
Once we reached the hotel, I literally dropped my luggage bag in the room and headed off to see Phnom Penh city with my friend, Lynnette and her family, who have been staying there for 7 years. A long time to stay in a 3rd world country, in my opinion. Well, I guess in life, one has to give and take - in their case, I would say staying as an expat is a good opportunity whereby the fringe benefits include a bungalow, driver, 2 maids, international schools for the children, etc...
There's nothing much to do in PP except eating and shopping. I have the opportunity to try Cambodian food (which is similar to Thai and Vietnamese cooking), fusion, halal Malaysian food, halal Khmer food, Vietnamese, Japanese, fast food and North Korean.

Also, things are relatively cheap at the Central and Russian market, so much so that I bought so many gifts for the little ones and family.

Despite all the 'fun' shopping (I was shopping till the wee hours before my morning flight on Saturday, 27/9), my heart grieved at the condition/state of living of the people in the country. There are times when Lynnette would come after work to bring me for a coffee at a nice place and I notice Cambodians sleeping with their child on the street. Women with babies are begging almost everywhere and street children are roaming the streets, smoking and doing what-not.

And our children in Malaysia are so pampered and spoilt because they are so precious to us.....just a thought

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bento Creation #1 and Ryan's Concert

Pooh bear says 'Hi'

My first attempt at bento creation - quite fun actually :) The boys were looking for me while I disappeared and they later found me peeling grapes in the kitchen. Ryan insisted that he help and he put the grapes into the animal picks and helped to make the peanut butter pooh bear sandwich. Jaden was not left out in the fun too, he helped with the sandwich cutter as well. I quickly snap a photo of the bento before Ryan reached for the sandwich...hehe...

Ryan ate a few of the seedless grapes and said 'ok mama, enough already, after I choke'. Oh my...excuses excuses....


We have been looking for a piano ever since Ryan started his Yamaha JMC classes in July 08. Earlier this month, there was a Piano Fair organised by Yamaha and so we went there and managed to buy the last 'Early Bird' piece for the model we wanted. Phew...that was like RM2k off the original non-revised list price, plus they gave us a RM250 Jusco voucher. Hmmm....not too bad a deal.

They delivered the piano last Saturday and while I took a picture, Ryan uttered 'Mama, why are you taking a picture of my piano?' cheeky fella

Ryan's Concert

It was a simple concert this year, quick one too, organised before Aunty Hian Yook's farewell to Kazakstan. I arrived late and managed to hear a few songs and snap a few pictures before it ended. Thank goodness papa recorded the whole concert and we replayed it a few times at home. Ryan enjoyed watching himself on TV :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bento tools

Finally, the bento tools arrived. I've been waiting for the items for more than a month and some have not even arrive from Japan. Anyhow, the most important thing is to put them to good use. Hmm...this is the difficult part :)

While I was looking through the things, some busy bees were also happily taking out the items from the plastic packaging.

Then, a call came in and MIL answered her hp. Her friend who stays nearby saw 2 thieves opposite our house and that house is vacant as my sis has yet to move in. I was alarmed and scared and sure enough when we looked out the window, we saw 2 suspicious Indian men loitering in the garden. One held a guni sack and he put it against the wall bricks. My daring MIL brought the Indonesian maid and went across the street to check on the guni sack and to scare the Indian men away. My maid attempted to carry the sack but was unable to do so as it was very heavy. One of the man came back and snatched the bag away. The thieves were still loitering around the area for a while until I decided to call 999. I was quite worried that they'll think it's a prank call but somehow the lady connected me quickly to the police station and I was quite impressed that 2 police cars came swiftly.

To cut a long story short, the police men went in but the thieves had by then, climbed over to another vacant neighbour's house and more guni sacks were already taken away by an accompliance on a motorcycle. And since it was buka puasa time, the cops decided to leave instead of pursuing the thieves who were hiding in the neighbour's house.


Anyhow, a peaceful picture of the boys sleeping taken in the morning somewhat changed my mood for the day...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Back to basics

Why o' why did I even bother buying any mama pads? It's the same question I've been asking myself when I started buying cloth diapers for Jaden. But it's so convenient to use disposables, so why not just continue using them? Because of the hesitance, I've deprived Ryan of the chance to experience the softest material - bamboo velour next to his bum bum.

I thought I would like to try using a bamboo velour mama pad too (so that I can feel how it feels like to be in Jaden's shoes...hehe) and since Mia Bambina carries the HomeMadeMama pads made in the USA, I thought I would give it a try. The other smaller pantyliner is from Lunapad, made in Canada. The how-to-use and washing instructions came in so many languages, including chinese characters, and I was somewhat impressed with these WAHMs. The pads are being prep washed now, so no product review yet.

I've also bought 2 more natural soaps - hopefully, natural soaps will replace all pumped liquid soaps used in the household in the future. Recently, I've received an email purporting that J&J baby lotions contain cancerous ingredients. This led me to research more on ingredients to avoid in our daily shampoos, body cleansers, lipstick, face cream, etc. And for the first time, I looked at the ingredients used in my daily body cleanser - oh my! so many chemicals....

I've also received another email saying that we shouldn't use the same sanitary pad for more than 3 hours, else cervical cancer will develop. Don't know how true...but all these prompted me to use more natural products.


We tied the knot on this day. It's our 5th anniversary this year! :)

We dated for 6 years before we got married.

We were colleagues at the Big 4 before we dated.

Some sweet memories....

Btw, Michelle Yeoh is my relative. Family and friends thronged to take pics with her instead of the bride and groom....boohoohoo....