Monday, September 30, 2013

The Little Big Club

On Sunday, I was 7 years old. The husband was playing his morning golf and I figured I'd give him a free day for himself, after all he had been working the whole Saturday. So I bundled up the boys and went to The Little Big Club at Puteri Harbour. I thought maybe we'll just have a look and come back in a couple of hours.


Six hours. SIX. ENAM. I don't even spend six hours shopping. But this gotta be the most fun 6 hours I ever had in a theme park. OK, I lied a bit. But it was so worth it watching my boys have a blast.

The entrance. The level below is Hello Kitty Land which Daniel repelled away. When I told him that Hello Kitty's boyfriend name is Dear Daniel, he jawdropped disgustingly. Ha ha classic.

First park is the Barney soft playground. I think it's for younger children, toddlers maybe because it's rather 'tame'. There's the familiar Barney hut where they play Barney shows on TV screens inside. If you want to get away from all the madness, you go here, and sit in the corner, it's dim and isolated in there.

Next stop, Pingu Igloo!! Pingu is an award-winning stop-motion claymated television series. The program is set in Antarctica and centres around penguin families who live and work in igloos. The main character, Pingu, belongs to one such family. He frequently goes on adventures with his little sister, Pinga, and often gets into mischief with his best friend, Robby the Seal. They all speak gibberish.

It's typically a little arcade space. There's this skiing game.

Basketball game.

Roll-the-ball-that-swerves-up-and-into-any-basket-to-score-a-point. Younger children will not be have the arm power to roll it forcefully enough for the ball to swerve up.

There are even Pingu furnitures!


'Hockey Baby'. Look at that cute fake telephone.

What do you call this kind of game. Hammer hammer?

Next stop, Bob the Builder playground. This one is bigger. Lots of climbing and squeezing through small spaces. How come I know? BECAUSE I WAS IN THERE. That's why I said, I was 7 years old again. Note: Adults are welcomed in ALL the playgrounds and rides. I REPEAT, ADULTS CAN PLAY TOO!

I went down this wave slide and I actually screamed.

Remember Tetris? Welcome to the world of Tetris pillow.

Next stop, Angelina Ballerina, the first meet-and-greet. Out of nowhere, little girls turned up in tutus on stage to learn 3 basic ballet steps from Angelina herself. She speaks in a British accent. Hellooooo.

Next stop, is the upper level, The Thomas & Friends floor. The Thomas Train ride that goes around a playground. We rode twice.

Bertie the Bus that goes in vertical rounds. I sat in this ride 5 times, not continuously of course.

Bumper car. Daniel played this one like a million times.

Helicopter ride that goes around, up and down controlled by rider. If you saw one that went up and down violently, that's us. We were in it 4 times. I.Want.To.Puke.Already.

Inside the helicopter. There's a backseat for parents... or kids, if the parents insists on sitting in front but I tell ya, your legs won't fit.

Barney meet-and-greet at 4pm. I screamed his name and my heart skipped a beat when he appeared on stage. Oh my. They sang the familiar tunes like If You're Happy-Clap-Your Hands, Mr Sun, If All The Raindrops Are Lemon Drops and Gum Drops, The Clapping Song, and the infamous I Love You You Love Me. I KNOW THEM ALL OK. I sang along. Enough of Mariah Carey's 90s hits, I've move on to Barney.

This is the lounge area for overstimulated parents at the Sodor Playground. THE mother of all playgrounds in this park.

Part of the playground. I squeezed through, climbed, crawled, rolled over. I'm surprised my body is not aching today.

The inside of the Sodor playground.

The Thomas Train that goes around the playground.

Colin Crane Drop. 

Thomas Train show at 5pm. Not as fun as Barney. After this, we continued with the rides. 

The Little Big Club show at 6pm, before closing time. After this show, we took pictures with some of the characters.

I imagined myself tackling these characters like one of those funny videos online during a baseball game or something... Sorry, I'm violent, PMS la.

Conclusion? We, and I meant including me, had a blast. Thank you Little Big Club for allowing adults to play too *grins*

What Stressed People Are Prescribed With

All of a sudden, I'm hearing about stress and how doctors here treat it.

Prozac. Xanax. Sleeping pills. Stressed up people are insomniac. And we know how important is a good night's sleep.

It's making me stressed. Because the one person I live with is stressed. All I can think about is stress stress stress stress stress although I'm not! How fascinating. That day, I saw the pack of Prozac and Xanax at home and thought maybe I should take it. TAKE TEN WITH ALCOHOL AND PULL A WHITNEY. I'm sorry I said that, I shouldn't scare you. I wouldn't anyway because I have no guts.

I'm infected with stress. How now brown cow. Yesterday, I had an idea. You know what they say, surround yourself with happy people and you'll be happy. I did just that... next post.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stressed Husband+Patient Wife

Anyone who is in construction now, especially in Johor, will know how stressful it is. JB's all into property craze now, though as a local, I don't feel the urge to buy for investment, unlike the more property-savvy Singaporeans across the border.

The husband, you guessed right, is in construction, specializing in pools. His boss? My father. This daughter, mua, can't handle bricks, only pipettes and test tubes. Being an only child, I have provided my father with a son-in-law who is able to manage A LOT of the projects. Are things rosy and sunshiny? Not always.

I must first tell you a little history of the man I married. We graduated from the same university 13 years ago, he in Biochemistry, me in Biotechnology. I secured a position in a research lab in Singapore, so hand in hand, we came to JB, my kampung, his new kampung. He worked as a pharmaceutical sales executive/associate/representative/specialist but I called him a drug-dealer...hehe. For those in sales, you know how flexible the hours can be, especially when you are not based in headquater (Kuala Lumpur). In one particular pharma company, he didn't have an office, so he did his admin work from home. So his days were making phonecalls for orders, visiting clients for 'chats', and troubleshooting if any. The busiest time would be the end of the month for closing, and claims and reports etc. On regular days, gorgeous evenings were spent on the golf course.

It became a routine. No challenge. Increasing quota. Same old clients. That's it.

You know man and their mid-life crisis. He was at a crossroad. One led to forever-pharma-sales, and one led to being a boss of his own company which he dreamt of. The opportunity came. He took it while risking and sacrificing very nice incentive packages only multinational companies can offer. But he wanted to trot down that path of someday-I'll-be-my-own-boss. I supported him.

Construction was a total change for him. It was big scale, rough and tumble, and involved a subject he had wanted to study instead of biochemistry: engineering. He was thrilled! It was a new challenge he felt excited to take. He learnt and he completed pool projects from start to finish within 6 months and it felt very rewarding.

More projects came in, with tighter schedules and insufficient workers. My father and him drilled through. Bigger contracts came too. It was not masak-masak anymore. The stress crept in.

From 2011 until today, I no longer recognize my husband as the happy golf-playing free and easy guy anymore. He'd call me during the day just to ask me if I had lunch, bla bla, and I could reach him during the day if I needed anything. I missed that accessibility and reliability. I could rely on him for anything because I could reach him every time.

Those days are gone. My vision of him now is a frowning or stoning look. Or the 'fan' look (troubled).
His entire life is work now. But work in this context means problems at work.

When he is home, he is not home. I felt that his heart and mind were still at work. I felt that his mind was obsessed with work. During the early stress days, I'd try to relax him. There were massages, and facial sessions with spa music background and scented candles. Then it stopped because I felt that it didn't help. Maybe he was relaxed for a few minutes but the mind wandered off to work again. Some nights were spent drinking with his buddies, or clients or subcons. Weekly, at least.

Our conversations also became all about him and his work. I appreciated that he talked to me about his troubles. I could share his burden just by listening and maybe offer some suggestions. But lately, it felt like..... when your bestie broke up and couldn't get over it, and all she talks about is the heartache and how strong she has become bla bla bla. And your problems became smaller smaller in comparison to what she's going through, and though you would like to talk about it, you think "Nah..forget it, she's already so occupied with her thang, I won't bother her, maybe she'd listen but you know her mind will be all about her and her ex".

I felt lonely. Even when he was beside me, I felt lonely. Like being in the backseat of a car. There were no connection. He wasn't dialing, and I wasn't looking for available networks. Just one stressed up man, and one lonely woman living in her own world. The worst days were the ones I had to deal with alone after we lost our unborn baby. We mourned briefly, but I felt he left me and immersed himself with work while I longed for a support. Day after day, I had to deal with it with my own strength. I went further and further into my own happy place, one I made for myself.

One day I told him, maybe this is not suitable for you? I explained what I meant, that maybe his core personality is something that doesn't suit what entails of this industry. You know like some people are just meant to be teachers and some are not. Perhaps, construction is just not him? He said he is actually enjoying all the challenge and that he is learning a great deal. There is no turning back.

Then last week, the husband had a wake-up call in a form of high blood pressure and feeling of uneasiness. Thankfully, he listened to his body and went for a medical advice. With some temporary medications, his BP is back to normal.

Is it over? I don't know... he is back to his troubled looks. And I'm losing that connection. be continued

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dottie Pouch

Yes, I have an obsession for acrylic paints and canvas of late!

For the polkadot pattern, I used an eraser refill, simple as that. 

Navy blue and black random dots.

I drew grid lines of 5cm x 5cm, and stamped on the intersections as well as the middle of the squares.

Kelly Green dots.

"I love to watch you play"

6 Words You Should Say Today by Rachel Macy Stafford.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Expenses in Johor Bahru

I think we are an average middle-income group of family in Malaysia. A typical family of four, you know... Papa bear, Mama bear and two baby bears. Papa and Mama bears have full-time jobs, baby bears are either in a childcare, at babysitter's, at grandparents' or at home with a domestic helper. Weekdays are spent working, then dinners and some hang-out time at home.

Then come weekends. Some families just stay at home, eat at home, play at home. That is what the Ruling government is forcing motivating us to do. 

But I think most families eat out during weekends. And families with young children usually end up in malls. In Johor Bahru, the dominant indoor hang-out is AEON (Jusco). It has something for the Mom (ladies shopping), something for the Dad (digital, phone, electronics) and something for the kiddos (the arcade/game/playground theme park). It's the best. But not so best for the tight pocket.

Here's a glimpse of our wallet's point of view.

Wet market grocery shopping for Monday-Friday's lunch for 2 and dinner for 4. This includes a whole free-range chicken, pork parts for soup, minced meat, 3 types of fishes (cod fish now and then), veges, banana, guava, apples, 10 kampung eggs, and dry goods.

Breakfast for 2 at traditional coffeeshop, includes two slices of kaya butter toast, two eggs, two Milos and a plate of meesiam.

Lunch for 3. Chicken rice from our favorite Tampoi hawkerstall.

Dinner for 4. Mee Hoon Kueh from Tampoi makeshift stall by an old abandoned house.

Breakfast at Delifrance, AEON Tebrau City: Baguette, Chicken Rendang Pie, slice of cake, one Cappuccino.

Lunch for 2 at Tang Shifu, AEON Tebrau City: Tonic soup+rice, meesuah, buns. 

Kid's theme park at AEON Tebrau City: 10 tokens.

Dinner for 5 at tze char restaurant.

Giant Grocery Shopping: Biscuits, Cereal, Milk, Detergent, Tissues, Diapers, Wet Wipes.

OK, that Delifrance breakfast was the first time. Mighty pricey if you ask me. I'd stick to the coffeeshop style. Mall dining is getting 'heavier'. But we gotta drive the economy, right?

psst.. I'm not even buying fashion!

Monday, September 09, 2013

Cardboard House

Thank you Law of Attraction for this humongous cardboard I managed to find at my workplace. It was for a delivery of lab consumables in bulk! So I squeezed it into my small car and happily brought it home. Customs officers' eyes widened as I approached secondary clearance.

Apa tu?

Cardboard, encik. Untuk buat pondok masak-masak.


 The Architect.

 The Main Contractor.

The Labour Worker.

It was full house! Hee hee...

Friday, September 06, 2013

Online Fashion Sweeties

I'm no fashionista but I love browsing good styles. Recently, there were a couple of online fashion shops appearing on my Facebook page. HOW CAN I NOT CLICK RIGHT? I have entered a black hole. I love the photos, the styling and the props. But it's mostly fantasy world to me. 

Goddamn models make me want to buy the clothes, because I have the illusion I will look exactly like them. Then again, I have NO occasion to wear them. I work in a lab. My uniform is the white coat, with no feminine cut or lace collar or bling embellishments. Nobody cares about fashion in the lab when we just want our Western Blot to work. What about weekends? Hmm.. I wear my 3 yr old baby rascal. I'm at home most of the time, and we go out for dinner in AEON now and then. It's no Paris, where women doll up just to go down the apartment to buy croissant (pronounced as kuah-sohn, you know? I know). 

But these dresses are soooooooo niiiiiiiiiiice. I want to quit labwork and be a receptionist! Presenting my attires...

OK, not this one. NOBODY steps out of the house looking like this, especially not in Malaysia. You get attacked by buayas. And look at that clutch she's holding. At the side of the road, hellooo. Snatch thief buffet I tell you.

I love the bright and airy photos from iwannacloset, like this one. Simple. Nice.

Psst psst, I already ordered THREE items from one of the sprouting online shops in Malaysia, myshoplah. And I have some in my other cart from Sally's Fashion. And some in the other ca...................... You've just lost me.