Friday, November 30, 2007

Update on going ons....

Well the school holidays are here, and we havent been anywhere yet. hopefully we can get away at the end of December, provided we can rooms somewhere... havent decided on it yet.

Nothing much has happened the last week or so... Everything is quiet routine. Next month there will be break to that routine. My maid will be going back to Indonesaia for Hari Raya Haji for 3 weeks. Hopefully she will be back here on schedule before school opens. In the eman time I will be maid'less' for the next three weeks. The solution? Mama and me will take turns taking leave to stay with the kids at home. I will take the most leave since I still have a lot more leave to finish up... So dont expect cooking from me during my turn with the kids, it has been many many many moons since I last cooked. So lauk kedai lah nampaknya for the kids.

My AF2 in the last few days has shown a keen interest in learning chess. I spared my time to teach her and play with her in the evenings. Too early to say whether she will be good at it, but hey if you kid shows interest in anything I need to support it right?

My AF3 wakes up in the morning, goes to his sisters' room and check up on them. Once he sees them in their room, comes back to me and says.... 'Abah, tak payah sekolah.... sekolah cuti panjang...'. Once I acknowledged, he smiles and turns to do his things. He is oblivious to the dates and days and he just knows that when his sister goes to school, he will have to go to his kindie. Ah well, lets see what will happen next year when school starts. Will it be easy or will it be a struggle just like earlier this year.

My AF1 slips in her usual routine, books, computers and more books.

Tomorrow, 1st December I am going for my company's Treasure Hunt. Unfortunately I cant go with Mama this year. We are a good team together. Yes we do fight ocassionally when we go for hunts when there are just the two of us... but hey I have got no complaints. I get to spend a lot of time with her. With the kids and work and all... that would be the time that we go out together without the kids wanting to follow us. Therefore I am going to this hunt with my officemates, and hopefully this time this gang clicks well, since there is a first timer, and this is the first time I am going with them too. So wish me luck for that RM3,000 first prize.

So then back to the grind. Updates will come in if I can find the time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My cheeky AF2

Ah.. my AF2, she is a darling at times. She will be 9 this January. She was born on 1st Syawal in '99. Yes she was born in the morning of Hari Raya. She has grown quiet big.. she is a tall as her sister who is 11. She is quiet smart... but a little bit lazy. She has beautiful hair but she is too lazy to take time to comb her hair.... so her hair would look 'berserabut' most of the time. She is very photogenic and would really pose for pictures.

She is the 'manja' one in the family. Of course, she is very attached to me just as her sister, AF1. She talks a lot at home, but outside, she is very meek. When she was in kindie... you would find that it is very very hard to get even a peep out of her. It continued to standard one and slowly after making new friends that she started to open up and start talking. But still not very much. I used to tease her, saying that once she steps out of the house, she would zip up her mouth and keep the key in her pocket... and she would 'tarik muka masam'....:)

She is one who kuat merajuk, merengek and expects me pujuk her. 99% of the time I would do that... but sometimes I would lose it and she will really get it from me. She is more of a TV girl ( I mean she watches TV a lot) and still despite that she reads a lot just like her sister. But she still reads that has no more than 100 pages (no novels involved)

She is still not at the level of maturity like her sister and I still treat her like the kid she is (hey.. no complaints here) She is doing well in her studies, although she did not get any placing in class this year (she got 2nd placing last year) she still got up the stage for 5As & best student for BM (Penulisan).

She likes to write, and she would write stories in her book... and sometimes I would have a peek. (mind you this is not her diary) She has quiet an imagination, although sometimes it will be quiet ridiculous, but hey this is an 8 year old.

My AF2, you know I love you, always have always will. You know it when every night when I tuck you and your sister in bed, I will always say that to you guys.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Friday that was

With the long holiday (with me taking the Friday off between Deepavali and the weekend) I decided to take my maid to the Indonesian Embassy to renew her passport.

I took along my AF1 just to accompany me. We arrived at the parking besides the Embassy at about 8 am. As soon as we walked to the Embassy we were already been approached by the 'Calo' offering tips and services.

Pak! gambar sudah diambil? Belakangnya merah ya bukan biru. IC nya sudah di fotostat? Paspor sudah di fotosat?

Me being me, I realised that I havent photocopied my IC and some pages of the passport... so might as well do it...

Then after all was done.. then came the offer...

Calo: Pak! kalau mau saya uruskan semua bisa.. semua sampai beres...
Me: Berapa? bila siap?
Calo: RM250 sahaja..... siap Rabu depan....

What the..... the passport renewal would cost me RM22 only and would be ready the same day...
So being the selfish and kiasu dude that I am.. figuring I would save a lot, I politely declined..

Later I realised what I need to go through....

We arrived at the Embassy gate and we started to queue up. It was a long long line. Reached the guard at the gate, he went through the documents and when he found everything in order, he gave us the renewal forms to fill. Then on to the counters (or Loket). The was no numbers, just queue up. At least it was orderly. So got my maid to join the queue. There was no need for the employer to be in the queue.

So my AF1 and I left to run some errands. half an hour later, we returned, only to find my maid have barely moved and inch. Ouch!

So, what to do me and my AF1 went out again, this time we decided to go to the nearby Secret Recipe just to hang out. Another hour passed by... finished my cup of coffee and the Almond Brownies (yum) and headed back to the Embassy.

Luckily this time my maid have reached the counter and completed the transaction. She paid the RM22 for a three year 24 pages Passport. A quick check with the guard, and the passport will be given out from 3 pm.

It was only 11 am, I decided to drive home, go for Friday prayers and return alone to the Embassy in the afternoon, just to get it over with. Looking at the slip number, #165, I thought I wouldnt have to wait long.

Or so I thought

So at exactly 3 pm I arrived at the embassy, thinking that I just need to queue up at the counter, hand in the slip and wait for my turn...

How wrong I was...

What happened was... you just have to wait until they call out the name of the passport holder... I dont know heads or tail, I dont know how long I have to wait, I dont know whether my maid's name have been called. So I had no choice but to stay there and wait for the names to be called....

I peeked a glance at the people around me, there was a number 347, a number 89... well I was thinking my number is between these two, so I should be OK.. it wouldnt take long....

Again I was wrong.

So I just stood there, cannot go far since I need to be within hearing distance of the speakers. There were people who cam all the way from Ipoh and Kelantan just to renew either their passport or the maids.

To cut a long story short..... my maids name was finally called at...... 6.15 pm

I tried very very hard to be patient and not to curse.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Dear AF1

Last night was a peaceful night. My AF2 was down with fever. She had her early dinner of Quacker Oats, took her medication and went off to bed early. My AF1 was in very talkative mood last night. All of us were initially in my bedroom watching Fear Factor on TV with Mama and AF3, I decided not to disturb them with all the conversation between me and AF1 so we moved to the family area and and watched the TV there.

So there I was with my mug of coffee and my AF1 with her mug of Milo, and she continued her ramblings of everything. So we ended up talking as friends, and not and a parent child. She talked about her circle of friends in school, how she is doing in school, some minor misunderstanding with her best friend. And I told her that I will always be there for her, to support her emotionally and financially for her welfare and studies. I told her of my expectations wanting her to succeed in her studies and her life. I told her as well that there are times that I will be a father to her, disciplining her, instructing and directing her, nurture her and there will be times that I am a friend to her, and promises of no secrets between us.

You see my AF1 is 11 years old. At times she is childish over petty things (well she is a kid...) but ocassionally she can really be matured. Sometimes she worries over our finances (not that we have any serious financial issues Alhamdulillah), not wanting to asks expensive things (eg toys, gadgets etc) that other kids would usually ask or throw tantrums when they dont get it. I have to reassure her again and again not to worry about this. She prefers books for presents from her uncles and aunts for her birthdays. She sometimes worries about the future, she worries about not meeting our expectations, she worries about not getting good placing in class (we never push her for this, I clearly state that she must have a target and at least her target would be 5As in her exam would do for me) She just need to reduce her carelesness and she would do just fine. She is a bright kid. She wouldnt ask for new CDs instead she would ask me to download it from the net (I know its wrong but then I do it.... not setting a good example am I) so that she can load it to her MP3 player. I got the MP3 player as gift and since I dont have time for MP3 players and Mama already has an ipod, so its hers for her birthday.

She is good with computers and gadgets. I gave her a handphone to use especially for her to carry during her tuition classes. Well, now she knows how to edit MP3s to use for her ring tones. She knows how to navigate the net (but I always check so she doesnt go to unwanted websites) she knows how to check for the connection status on the wireless router that I setup for the Screamyx connection at home (she knows this more than Mama), She knows how to transfer songs from the PC to her MP3, she knows how to use iTunes.. and the list goes on...

She is now a senior red belt in taekwando, and at the last grading she wasnt confident enough to take the test, but Mama prodded her a little, and she passed with flying colours. She is sometimes afraid that she lets us down just because she is not athletically inclined as Mama and I am, since Mama plays squash, used to play hockey in school and me playing futsal regularly and used to be active and represented my school in football, volleyball and rugby. She is not interested to take part in her school sports events. To tell you the truth, I am ok with all that. She is who she is and I am happy with who she is and how she turned out so far. She is a bookworm and and she prefers books but she is active and likes to hang out with me in the evenings maybe on a bike ride or a stroll around the housing area. And yeah, she is really close to me and I do sometimes spoil her....

My AF1, Abah loves you very much and stay you always

Monday, November 5, 2007

HUGE dissapointment

It was a disappointing Saturday, thought we did really well in the SUN treasure hunt. We were in the Open catagory, and we were doing very well on the route questions, even got the bolded questions right. Then it had to happen, we became complacent and we didnt read properly the treasure questions. Due to our carelessness, we missed three treasures worth 15 points, and only ended up in the top 30. If we were to add the careless 15 points, we would have ended up in the top three... sob sob sob....

We didnt get the

Loose Gown (Wong) that shows cleavage I hear (low cut - Lo Kat)
The Wong Lo Kat Drink....

The Tong Garden Honey Almond (didnt finish the 1st line's anagram properly)

and the 40g Kit Kat (didnt read beyond the time out line)

Well instead of a 32" Philips LCD TV, we ended up with Philips 1 GB MP3 player...

My AF2 with here 'sincere' smile is already asking for it... (and I said was we'll see....)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sparse and sporadic updates

Again, my fault for being too preoccupied with work to provide quantity updates. Coz once I'm in the mood I can ramble on and on. But this is part of my disciplinary training where I have to force myself to make updates for that is what I have promised myself.

Last weekend was my AF3's Parents- teacher discussion on his progress in kindie. Ok, so this boy is only 4 years old and should I put high expectations? I am talking about socially and academically. Compared with his two elder sisters, they were better socially (altho AF2 at this same point wasn't talking very much in kindie) and academically. Four year olds are now taught subtraction and addition. And he is now reading Ladybird's Peter & Jane books at book 6A. Is this now such a kiasu world that we are rushing kids along and hope them to mature earlier. Can kids just be kids at this age? However, I am at fault (if you can say that) as I am that goes with the flow in this aspect, hoping my AF3 dont get left behind. I let him still be the baby that he is once he gets home.

Anyway, socially he has improved, made friends, but still cant hold a proper conversation with me. (No, I dont expect a debate.... at least till he is 9 years old :)) At least I observed that his way of thinking has improved and he has become more observant. He is not that fluent (orang melayu kata petah bercakap)

My other two girls are now waiting for their results of their final exams. AF2 got 2nd place and 5As last year... I have a feeling she will drop slightly in her position in class, but she told me last night that she got 5As and best marks in BM Penulisan. Alhamdulillah

My AF1 still doesnt know how she fared, but going through her marks so far I anticipate she woould get 5As (Insyallah)

Ouch I sound like a a parent that keep scores on how my kids are doing... maybe to some extend I am.

So now in the afternoon I get calls from the asking permission to surf the internet or to watch Astro.

Well, I am now well versed in Hannah Monatana, High Schools Musical 1 & 2, other Disney channel series, Kim Possible, Totally Spies, and Nick series, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101 and a couple more that have slipped my mind, Astro Ceria series Adi & Ayah, Telematch (I hate the voiceovers), gerak geri gasing......Why? because I watch it with them... how good of a father am I? :)

AF3 if he gets bored watching the above.... he will go to the DVD cabinet and choose from his current favourite and ask me to watch it with him... and when I say current favourite he will watch it over and over and over again. I have gone through multiple sittings of The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Matilda, Transformers, Rattatouile (among others). Currently he doesnt have a specific title that he watches over and over again.

Enough rambling. I will now go back to the thing I call my work or the thing that I was suppose to complete one hour ago.....


Watch out as I will be driving around tomorrow (Saturday) taking part in the Sun Treasure Hunt. Hopefully we can win something....