Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Merdeka Malaysia!

And with Merdeka comes opportunities for shopping, not only with the Hari Raya sale, but also for the new house! So this was how we spent our Merdeka Holiday: pushing through throngs of people at the CIMB Perfect Livin' Exhibition in PWTC.

Surprisingly, the prices offered were cheaper than the overrated HomeDec. Not to imply that we won’t be visiting the next HomeDec though. Heck, I even went to the last HomeDec although I was still in my confinement period (11 days after delivering Aiden), lengkap with socks and wheelchair!

Besides booking our grill, air conditioning, buying roller blinds, garden lights and water pump, we got these babies for the new house! As I don’t really bake THAT much, we decided against going for an expensive hob+oven+microwave combo. Note that these pictures were taken with a camera phone, thus the less than appealing quality of colours.

Purchase with purchase offer. We were actually not eligible for this offer, since we did not purchase a hood. But yours truly really has a "sweet" mouth untuk pujuk rayu.

The oven which will produce more of those yummy-licious cookies.

My name prominently displayed, I am famous! I especially like this one. I am a sucker for cheap goodies. Which was why I purchased the display set which gave me an extra 10% off! It was a NEW display set - logically isn't it the same as purchasing a new set, except that this one was carted off to PWTC for show?

A freebie which yours truly managed to get from the pujuk rayu she imposed on the salesperson. Key to getting freebies - pujuk rayu the head of sales in the exhibition, not just any salesperson. And call him/her by name. Tell him/her how your current kitchen is fully decked with his/her product.

Imagine Aiden walking with his chubby feet into the kitchen, and tugging on my apron strings, asking for a freshly baked cookie from the batch of hot baked goodies I am baking with the new oven. So Stepford wives-like!

I am so looking forward to the new house!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Following my last post, I decided to seek external views on this issue. To my surprise, there are a group of people who spend a part of each day running elaborate cons on Internet scammers. They consider themselves enforcers of justice, and whatever information the gather, are handed over to the relevant authorities for action. Scambaiters! That’s my new word for the month... Haha!!

Read this scambaiter’s experience in conning an internet scammer here.

P.S: My Dad is currently in London. Apparently he wants to report the scammer to the Interpol. Let’s just hope he doesn’t spend all our inheritance there!

Of Robbers, Scammers and Everything (Not) Nice!

Have you ever read news about incidences in which are terrifying to read, but never seem real as it has never happened to you? I’ll give you a simple example. How about last night's news about a robbery where the occupants of the house were tied up and held captive while the bastard robbers ransacked their house and ran away with their riches? Usually when I read this, I would immediately sympathise with the victims. But would I be more conscious about the safety of my own home? Not necessarily! Maybe because I live right smack in the middle of KL, opposite a row of active shophouses, busy with a flurry of activity even at night, especially so when it is the EPL season and the local kedai mamak is full with loud footie supporters and I do not need to pay Astro for my sports package channel to be able to know when ManU has scored a goal yet again against Arsenal. “Goal!!!!” they would shout in the middle of the night.

Okay back to my topic. The same thing happens whenever I read forwarded emails about parang wielding robbers, storming through the house gates immediately after the car owner drives into his porch. Or about snatch thieves! Yes, I would be a wee bit more careful, but still, as it had never hit home, it never really changed my perspective. Until something terrifying actually happened to me.

About a year ago, as I was waiting for a traffic light in Bangsar, a man smashed my window and ran away with my (first ever Coach) handbag. The first smash cracked my window. And the second smash broke it into pieces, and in a minute he was already jumping on a waiting motorcycle with my handbag. Yes, I was screaming bloody murder, but because I was shocked, I could not even remember how he looked like, let alone the details of the getaway motorcycle. It all seemed so surreal! But since the incident, I am definitely more aware of my surroundings, I am more suspicious of people, and I do take those forwarded emails more seriously.

But what about phishing scams and frauds via email? Usually I would just delete those emails and laugh at the stupidity of these fraud attempts. I mean come on, why would someone even bother clicking on the link when it clearly shows a different web address when you put your mouse cursor over it? Or why would someone even believe that a person in a foreign country (usually too complicated to pronounce) has inherited millons of dollars but is willing to share this inheritance with you?

Until again, it hits home – this time not directly at me, but rather at my family.

The older generation are not as IT savvy as we are. They are more gullible to believing anything in the internet due to their lack of experience in navigating through the web. Therefore, a friend of my father (let’s call him Z) was conned into believing that there is a girl in Abidjan, Africa who had just lost her millionaire father. Since she is underaged, she is unable to cash into this wealth, and does not trust her mendacious uncles who are more than willing to kill her for her wealth. Therefore she sought help from Z to apply for guardianship so that she is able to transfer these funds to him, and they will then split this money 50:50.

But to transfer this money, Z first needs to pay for a couple of charges. First it was to get documents for transfer of the consignment box which supposedly will be used to carry the money to Malaysia. Then the consignment box went missing, and he again had to pay for a new box. Then pay for a new set of documents. Then he got a “bit” smart and told the girl to wire the money straight to his bank. Then he had to pay tax. At this point, he was already broke, had already mortgaged his house, borrowed money left and right and was in debt with money lenders (Along). Unfortunately, in the process of the money being wired into Malaysia, the funds were supposedly intercepted by a financial regulatory body in the UK. Apparently due to the large sum, these funds were feared to be linked to terrorism and therefore had to have credentials in the form of an Anti Terrorist Clearance Certificate. And to issue the certificate, this organisation is asking for £109,000 (pounds)!

And this was where my father came in. Z came begging for my father’s help. He promised my father a fair split in the inheritance in exchange for a loan of £109,000. He showed my father (obviously fake) certificates, passports, bank payment advices – and my father actually believed him! So yesterday, my father was busy looking for flight tickets to London to supposedly meet with this regulatory body. Thankfully, my father isn’t dumb enough to simply bank in money to anyone he hasn’t met. He wanted to see the documents in black and white and talk to the person face to face before giving them a single penny. Meanwhile my stepmothers were screaming bloody murder, in fear that my father would be kidnapped by these scammers as soon as he lands in Heathrow – which is in fact quite a rational possibility!

In frustration at his stupidity, I arranged a teleconference between myself, my father and this financial regulatory body in the UK. Yes, they do exist and it is a legit organization, but the scammers had used the name for scamming purposes. During the teleconference, the lady representing the organization was very helpful and clarified that their organization would never in any way ask for money as they are a regulatory body, and not a bank! Due to the call, my father is now slowly accepting the fact that he would not be rich in a blink of an eye. Unfortunately, Z isn’t. He is still constantly calling my father, asking for financial assistance. I think he is in denial.

Let this be a lesson to everyone: there really is no way to make a quick buck!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aiden’s Red Ferrari

Look at what I got for Aiden! A pair of Flaming Red Puma Ferrari sneakers. Just in time for Raya. Imagine these shoes paired with a Maroon Baju Melayu. Absolutely cute!

These sneakers had quite a bit of history in them. They took quite a while to arrive into my hands. About 6 months ago (2 months shy of my due date), I was wobbling – huge tummy, puffy feet and all – to Seventh Heaven, Pavilion for my LAST facial before the big day. As I was rushing for my appointment, I spotted a shop selling a whole lot of Ferrari merchandise, so I made a mental note to check it out for hubby. After an excruciating hour of facial (excruciating due to lying flat on the facial table with a 20kg tummy compressing down making it hard to breathe!), I started walking towards the store. After ten minutes of walking, I realised that I just simply could not remember where it was! Even the information counter could not help me, as they claim that there are no Ferrari stores in Pavilion. I was flabbergasted! But I was confident with what I saw, and therefore started retracing my steps, from the parking all the way to my facial.

At last, I found the store. It was a Puma store, which apparently houses Puma Ferrari merchandise. The original intention was to get for hubby a Ferrari shirt or Ferrari backpack, but suddenly I spotted the infant Ferrari range of sneakers. I literally drooled at the sight of those red nyummy sneakers! However, I just simply had to have hubby’s chop of “yes, they look nice, you can buy those” approval, so I rushed to pick up hubby from work, and we then headed straight back to the same store.

*sigh*… bringing hubby for his opinion was a real faux pas. Not only did he disagree with the price, he disagreed with buying sneakers for such small pair of feet and called it a waste of money since Aiden wouldn’t be able to walk in those sneakers anyway! The only thing he agreed with was that the red flaming sneakers were absolutely adorable... *sigh*

Fast forward to about two months after Aiden was born, again we went to Pavilion, and again I showed hubby those pair of sneakers. And yet the answer was still “No, yang. He’s too small, and they are just too expensive. He has a lot of shoes anyway, those presents from your friends, my relatives… blablablabla…” Very frustrating.

Yesterday, I was celebrating the arrival of my August pay cheque with lunch with my BBGS girlfriends in Pavilion. And suddenly, it hit me. I wanted those red flaming sneakers. No, correct that. I NEEDED those red flaming sneakers. Hubby can sulk all he want, but I’m buying those for Aiden. Full stop! So off we went to the Puma store. And….. just my luck, the particular model which I wanted, was sold out! I was absolutely devastated!!! The very next day, I dragged hubby to every single Puma store in the Klang Valley. I kept telling him again and again how we all could have been spared from this agony, if only hubby had agreed with me 6 months ago! I’m telling you, women are always right!

Finally we found the sneakers at the very last Puma store we visited (talk about Murphy’s Law!). And the best part was, it was at 50% discount!

Hubby: “See, this was why I told you not to buy it 6 months ago… because I wanted you to be able to get it at a 50% discount!” (dengan nada tak nak kalah)
Me: Yeah yeah, whatever *rolling eyes*

I am happy with my purchase, and I know that secretly hubby loves those Red Flaming babies on Aiden’s feet. What say you?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy 4 Months old Aiden!

And so Aiden is 4 months old. Time sure flies nowadays!

So what can he do now? He is able to roll over on his own, therefore no more sleeping on the couch during the day. He has now been banished to sleeping on his playmat on the floor. He is able to roll over from one end to the other end of the playmat and spends most of his time on his tummy. Tummy time, I call it.

He is always holding his hand out to grab things. He especially loves to touch handphones and TV remotes. Recently we were all on the bed, and hubby’s handphone, which was also on the bed, started ringing. But we were all too lazy to pick it up, and suddenly Aiden reached out and actually grabbed it! Haha… soon Mummy’s crystal collection would have to be packed safely into boxes!

He enjoys looking at the mirror, although he is still oblivious to the fact that the smiley baby in the mirror is actually him. He loves playing Peek-A-Boo with Daddy, and is trying very hard to enjoy himself whenever Daddy tosses him in the air. I think he is secretly scared of the speed in which Daddy whizzes him through the air, but being the good sport that he is, there is always a teeny weeny hint of a smile at the end.

Aiden enjoys going out, and doesn’t mind being strapped down in his stroller – provided that his stroller is movingggggggggg… Even if we’re waiting for/in the elevator, the stroller has to be moving, so usually Daddy gets the task of pushing the stroller round and round and round while Mummy pushes the elevator button impatiently (as if that is going to make it go faster!).

However he hates the car seat, and is forever struggling to get out of his harness. If he is not strapped down, he would simply wiggle downwards until half of his body sticks out of the car seat. Not to mention shout (not cry, mind you!) until you pick him up and “stand” him facing the car window so that he can watch other cars whiz by.

Aiden has also inherited a trait from both Mummy and Daddy – he is NOT a morning person. Therefore his sleeping pattern mimics both of us, in the sense that he’s still awake at 1:30 in the morning, and still asleep at 1:30 in the afternoon. However, Dr Padma went ballistic when she heard about this – so we are trying really hard to change his sleeping time to one that is more suitable for a baby! Which is not an easy task! Ask my neighbours – they’ll vouch for our attempts to get Aiden to sleep amidst the crying and wailing. Which was why we had to resort to the pacifier at night. *sigh* That is probably the biggest failure I have felt as a Mummy to-date, apart from having to feed him formula milk.

Aiden is also starting to use his gums more often. I suspect that he is teething, but books I read keep telling me it is too early. He is always biting his teats in between his feedings, and he keeps pulling my knuckles towards his mouth to bite them. No joke, his gums are really strong and my knuckles are always sore after! If there aren’t any teats or knuckles around, he resorts to sucking his hand. Yes, his hand – because he still cannot figure out how to stick his thumb out to suck. So his whole hand goes into the mouth, sometimes two or three fingers at once, and if he sticks it in too far he’ll start coughing and retching, which of course causes Mummy to jump up in panic.

Nowadays, he consumes at least 4oz of milk each feeding. He also seems to understand that his bottle means milk. Whenever he is crying for milk, he would instantly stop wailing as soon as he sees the bottle. When the bottle is brought close to him, he would use both his hands to pull it even closer. Very impatient!

Aiden Irfan, you’re definitely the apple of our eyes!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Of Property and Houses

After our first milestone of the year (delivering Aiden!), we are now changing gears, preparing ourselves for our second milestone – moving to our new home! Yes, yes I know I have forever been complaining about moving to Shah Alam, and those close to me knows how frustrated I am with the fact that my new house shares a wall with a Pencawang Electric (PE, Electric Substation).

First things first. Why the hell did we buy a house beside a PE? Well first and foremost, we were told that there would be a gap between the PE wall and our house wall, and it was the only available end lot house. I especially loved the fact that it is located at a dead end (my current house is at a dead end and therefore I get very suspicious whenever I see a non-familiar car parked near the house), it is close to the surau, and quite close to the guard house. I wasn’t banking on the fact that we were going to be neighbours with the PE! And just recently, a friend commented that purchasing a property so close to a PE would just make it a bit more harder to sell in the future! *sigh*

However, we are mighty excited as this is OUR first house. By OUR, I mean that the monthly installments are deducted from both of our salaries. I am especially excited over the semi-d end lot design (current house is intermediate link), huge garden (30 feet to be exact!), the tower design (which can be converted into another floor/attic), the patio (which can be turned into a breakfast area cum water feature) and the fact that we get to decorate the interiors with our own modern contemporary style (current house was decorated by my late mum and has more neutral woody colours). And psssttt… there is a plot of unclaimed land right behind the PE which we are planning to use as a future area for picnics and BBQs!

It also gives me the opportunity and alasan to finally get rid of nearly half of MY junk in the current house. I just can't help it! I inherited the “I need to keep everything including my first ever 100% graded paper in Std 3, UPSR/PMR/SPM papers, cheerleading outfit” (… you get the drift) trait from my Mummy!

And our new house in Shah Alam is located in a peaceful environment, amidst greenery, vegetation, leaves, grass… okay you get the drift. And there is a clubhouse equipped with an Olympic size swimming pool, kiddies pool, gym, jogging/bicycle track… simply said - stuff to keep Aiden and Daddy occupied during the weekends. Not to mention, the people in our community (online and offline) are friendly and pleasant. And deep down in my heart, I know that Shah Alam is a suitable place to raise a family. I have had enough of noisy cars and motorcycles piercing the calm of my night!

So, I present to you our 75% completed house! (Taken with several different cameras at different times which explains the different hues of the pictures...)

Cahaya SPK is having their first Residents Association (RA) meeting this weekend, where we will finally get to meet people whom we have only met through the internet. Can’t wait!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weight Management

A close friend, who reads my blog religiously, piped up one day during an outing: “I read your latest post – after your long hiatus. So what exactly do you do at work?”

I paused, looked at her, and started laughing. Because I knew that by telling her what exactly I am up to these days at work – she would be rolling on the floor laughing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way out, as she was staring expectantly at me, waiting for an answer.

Me: Weight management.
Her: I know that’s what you’re obsessed with, but really, what do you do at work?
Me: I’m serious! Weight management!
Her: Yeah right!

I am totally serious people. Not only am I obsessed with my weight since passing a 4.07kg being from my body – I am also obsessed with the weight of my current project. Let me try explaining this in layman terms. As I work in the Deepwater business in the Upstream sector, my oil sucking projects are generally non-shallow water projects. And because the water is soooooo deep, it would cost too much money to stake these oil-sucking (and/or processing) babies to the sea bed. Instead, these babies are made to float and are anchored to the seabed using mooring mechanisms such as chains, tendons etc. Since they are floaters, they are designed and built to support a certain amount of weight, which if you exceed would cause it to catastrophically sink. Therefore, it is MY job to be obsessed with the current weight and any other increases/decreases in weight that may impact my floaters. In a nut shell - Weight Management! Simple enough? It is not as easy as it sounds, people! It is as hard as me trying to get rid of these last 5 kgs from my body. Excruciating!

When I was pregnant, it used to be a joke among my colleagues due to the irony of the situation. Imagine a pregnant woman (who would obviously be overweight!) managing the weight of a project. Once, when I was about a month shy from my delivery date, I was called into the meeting room to clarify on a few points excerpted from a document I wrote. It was an external meeting, and the document was called the "Weight Management Plan". When I walked in (bulging tummy and all), the lead engineer told the room "So, this is our Weight Engineer!". After a moment of silence, the room erupted with laughter - not only from my mischievous bosses, but also from the visitors, people whom I have not met in my whole life!

Wicked, eh?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doddles of a Working Mum

It has been ages since I last wrote. As anticipated, both Aiden and work have consumed most of my time. I am no longer a lady of leisure, though I have to admit, it is nice to be back at work. It is nice to have a reason to wake up early in the morning (as opposed to my tendency to stir from sleep whenever Aiden decides to), to have a reason to dress up (as opposed to my penchant for T-shirts and Bermuda shorts at home), and to interact with other career oriented people throughout the day (as opposed to sitting glued in front of the laptop with Aiden in hand).

My first day at work was quite eventful. Apart from fielding various compliments such as “Wow, you look hot gurl!” and “ Eh, you kena gelek ngan steam roller ke?” I had 417 unread emails in my inbox and was already attending meetings and handovers.

My boss had assigned a senior engineer to handle my workload while I was away. Surprisingly, I am quite territorial with my work responsibilities. I immediately made myself busy trying to catch up with all the changes that has happened, planted myself firmly into any discussion or meetings that had anything to do with my work, and has since made the workload mine again. Yes, very territorial!

Since I started working, I can no longer find the time to cook! I’ve cooked dinner a grand total of twice in the past 2 weeks. I made another batch of chocolate chip cookies – well I measured the ingredients and made Bibik do all the work, so does that count? Haha.

Apart from my workload, I religiously attend to my weekly workout as well. This week is the final workout before measurement day next week. My Red Spartans team needs to win this challenge, as we are currently neck-to-neck with the Green team for the overall Healthy Lifestyle Challenge win. And with the puasa ganti marathon I’ve been doing for the past 2 weeks, hopefully we’ll taste victory!

As for Aiden, he is as chubby as ever. He has an apparent dislike for the McDonalds corporation (and the Old MacDonald nursery rhyme), and has successfully meniarap a grand total of three times. Aiden also attended his first black tie event – in which he donned a black tuxedo, complete with a black cummerbund and a red bow! Which reminds me, I need to chase the photographer for the official pictures from that night.

My alma mater also held their gala reunion yesterday – it was interesting to watch old girls catch up in their finest dresses in the middle of Pavilion, and envisage us (me and the BBGS gang) like them 15 years down the line.

Till I find the time to doodle again, Ta!
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