shabby background

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Found him!

Yes, Jonah found Caramale pocking his head out of a hole in the corridor closet one floor below us! He was also mewing when the boys approached the lift lobby on their way to school. That's how Jonah noticed him and came back to let me know. I ran down with Jonah and picked Caramale up from the dirty hole leading to the drain. I gave him a wash in a basin of warm soapy water, patted him down with a towel and blew dry him with my hair dryer, set on cool air. He made a little fuss when I wash him, other then that he behaved quite well :) We are very happy to have him back again.

We are now trying to train him to use the potty. I'm getting tired of cleaning up the sand that got swept up whenever he uses his litter box. Sand everywhere! Let's hope the training works.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Come back Caramel

On March 28, 2010, Saturday, I received an sms from a friend saying she found an abandon kitten outside her home. She heard I've been looking out to adopt one and asked if I wanted that one. (Actually Jonah wanted one). Subsequently, she send me some pixs and my family fell in love with it. We picked it up that night and brought it home. It looked so scared and hissed at us whenever we try to go near it. It would try to get into small spaces, like under the fish tank in the toilet, so we push in lots of stuff there. Then it went under the washing machine and even crawled into the space between the drum and casing! Damian stucked 2 swim boards underneath it. With no more small spaces to hide, it settled under the basket cover. See pix.

After 3 days of tender loving care from all of us, it warmed up to us, became more playful and started eating well. We didn't see any hanging testes so we named it Caramel. Caramel slowly became more confident and started exploring other areas of our apartment but would scoot back to the comfort of the toilet, where we placed her basket, whenever she heard any sudden noise or footsteps. I called the vet office and the receptionist told me that the kitten will only be given vaccination at age 2 months and above. Not sure how old she was, we decided to only take her there after 2 months to be sure. Russell and Jonah borrowed a book about cats from the library a week later and we discovered that Caramel is actually a Tom! LOL...We decided to stick to that name because he is the colur of caramel. One of my friend suggested we spell it as 'CaraMALE', people would just think we can't spell, that's all :) She's funny!

Now after staying with us for almost a month, he is a confident kitten, asks for food when he's hungry, nestles besides us to nap and pounces on our feet, hands and even faces to wrestle. He likes to pounce on my feet whenever I'm cooking in the kitchen. It can be rather painful when he play bite and that can be really annoying. This afternoon, I tied his jelly fish soft toy to a string and attached the other end of the string to my belt loop. This way, whenever i move, the jelly fish will sway and jiggle and Caramel couldn't resist attacking it. My feet are spared :)

How we love this little adorable kitten. A very sad thing happened tonight. Caramel must have ran out of our apartment when I left the door opened to hang out the laundry. Russell and I looked everywhere, we even walked down every floor to search for him but there was no sign of him at all. We are very sad especially  Jonah.....he cried uncontrollably. Poor baby. We are hopeful that he will show up tomorrow morning when he is usually the most hungry.....

Caramel.....where could you be?

My exciting hobbies

Being a stay-at-home mom was pretty tough initially. I couldn't juggle with the house chores, cooking and a very, very demanding baby. Russell was the baby who could not sleep soundly for more than 5 mins when not with me. 'With me' meaning literally must be bodily close to me. Plus he had a bad case of colic in his first 3 months of life. He'll cry for like 10-15 mins after each feeding. I was totally exhausted 24hrs a day 7 days a week, everyday! It took me several months to adjust to a new life with a baby and I learned so much from it.

But I'm glad I have a chance to take care of the boys full time. It's a blessing being a SAHM. The bond we have is unquestionable. As the boys grow older, they become more independant and I found some free time. I started learning to use the computer only in 1999! The internet is a wonderful creation for someone like me. Because of the boys, I don't go out much and the internet provides me with the oportunity to learn and meet other moms like me without stepping out. And that was when I learn how to build my own website. I had so much fun doing it that I started an online store selling 2nd hand stuff. Basically, whatever that I found lying around my home that we didn't need anymore. It was slow at first but it gave me a chance to update the website every now and then and I enjoyed it.

Most of my eshop visitors thought it was a good idea to look at the stuff before travelling all the way to the garage sales for bargains. The business grew and I had more than a thousand subscribers! I even had sponsors advertising at my estore. But I was running out of stuff to sell. My husband was very supportive of my new hobby. He accompanied me to many garage sales looking for bargains. One of our bedrooms was converted to my warehouse and I had so many 'junks' to sell. Other customers were asking me to help them sell their stuff and I charged a fee for the service. I even bought a van to facilitate the deliveries that I had to make.
                                          My yellow buddy.

But as people became more and more IT savvy, they don't need my service anymore and there were many 2nd hand forums to buy things from. Plus things are getting cheaper and more shops are pricing their stuff on sale throughout the year. So buying 2nd hand stuff didn't seem attractive anymore. Then a friend came home from a holiday in China and bought some organza flower sash as gifts for her friends. They were so pretty, versatile and cheap to buy in bulk. We decided to buy more and sell them to shops around town. Oh, how brave we were. While the kids were in school 2 housewives gathered the flower sashes in their bags and shop hopped to sell them to shop owners, mainly boutiques. We made introductions, did some demos and sold lots and lots of them. And then came a time when there was a retail price war. Every other shops were trying to under cut each other. From $25 each, it fell to just $10! We knew we had to get rid of the remaining stocks quickly.
                                             The pretty flower sash

So we started selling them and other stuff at make shift stalls in the malls once a month over the weekends. The sashes were sold out so fast on the first day that we were scrambling to look for other stuff to sell for the 2nd day. We were so surprised by our sales turnout and decided to do more once a month weekend sale. When the kids were in school, we looked for suppliers. When business became brisk, my partner decided to go to China and Bangkok to buy more goods. I was lucky to have her because she has a very keen eye for saleable items. But everytime we did a weekend sale, she would tell me that her husband wasn't happy. After many months, she told me she wanted to quit. I respected her decision eventhough she didnt want to explain why. I must admit that it was really tiring running around looking for new products to sell, pricing them, preparing for a sale and moving our make shift stall around! Yea...I was also getting exhausted doing everything by myself so I stopped, not long after she did. I didn't managed to sell everything I had so I started giving them away during Christmas, birthdays and visits to friends' place.

After 3 years, I still have some stuff left and don't know what to do with them. Do you think anyone would like to have these?
                                         Colourful hairbands and hairclips

Maybe, I should follow what some people are doing in their blogs. Have a give away contest??

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Teacher's Pet (preschool)

LOL! Not really.....more like teacher's pest actually ;)

Ever since Russell started playschool, he hated going to school. I guess, it's because there's just too many rules to follow and he didn't like them. I had to bribe, praise and threaten almost everyday before he would put on his uniform. Once out of our home, the 8 minutes walk to school became 20 minutes feet dragging, nature curious examining outing.

Once in the preschool, he was mostly in his own world scanning the classroom walls with his eyes of signs, pictures, drawings, colours, writings ....everything on the walls. I remember, he found a little crack on the laminated cupbies and it had peeled slightly. My little curious cat fiddled with it and pulled the entire piece out! His teacher was shocked.

Every group was given a box of pencils and erasers for their school work. Maybe he was just bored, but he chewed up every single piece of erasers in the box. Well, yes, his teacher was shocked.

There were also stories of him tickling, poking and kicking his classmates sitting in front of him. Threatening to smear saliva and mucus on his classmates which sent the children screaming and scrambling to get away. Oh, and once his teacher called me because he stuck something up his nose so far up and had to be sent to a neighbourhood doctor to remove it! I was shocked.

The only time he looked forward to school was when there was an excursion. Without fail, he always got himself lost from his group which drove the teachers looking for him frantically. Thankfully, he was always found, looking at something lost in thoughts. On excursion days, they would be taken to a picnic spot for their lunch before heading back to school. One time, they went to East Coast beach and guess what? He was the first one to run straight into the water and sat down to enjoy the waves washing up to his body, fully clothes. A few other kids followed suit. The teachers told me they were shocked at first but join in as well!
My little adventurer.

There was a year end concert every year in his school and the children would practice very hard in their performance. Every year was the same story, he refused to join in the rehersals, prefering to loiter behind everyone else and his teachers would tell me in advance that he may not perform on the actual day. However, on the day of the concerts, he always had big smiles and performed like he really enjoyed it! Yes, I was impressively shocked.

My little happy performer.

His teachers had also stopped telling him to pay attention in class whenever he looked lost in thoughts. As one teacher put it, "We let him be because we realised that he was actually paying attention eventhough he didnt look like it!" You see, in this school, after the general lesson was taught, the teacher would have a one to one session with a child at the back of the classroom while the other children were doing their given paper assessments. Apparently, he always knew what was taught. Oh...but he really, really disliked writing assessments. He would be the last one to leave the classroom after school because he had refused to finish them earlier. Yes, I was always one of the last parents to leave the school premises because of that. Russell has always been slow when it comes to writing and eating so I wasn't shocked.

My little slacker.

One day, he stopped to read aloud what was written on the signboard for that week's notice which was placed at the entrance to the classrooms. His school's principal was standing next to it greeting the children as they streamed in. She heard him and was so impressed because he was the only one so far to have done that.

Oh my precious little Russell, so unpredictable one day and totally adorable the next. I thought most little boys are curious and intelligent like him. Little did I know there is a name given to someone special and different like him. Read about it here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My career path - Part 2

Ben is a fashion designer from KL. We called him Ah Ben. He is very likable, fashionable and very vain. My mom's friend hired him to design clothes for her boutique. Since he was also new in town, my mom said I should go out with him and that's how we started hanging out together. People like to be around him cos he's fun to be with.

From him I got to know more people and was recommended to work for another ad agency. CCAS was a medium sized ad company with its headquarter in KL. And with the support from KL, they have accessed to modern printing equipment and new ideas. Having placed a strong presence in KK, they were ready to hire a graphic designer to support the sales manager there and I got the job. I learned a lot working there. People I worked with were around my age, and I found good friendships with a model, Mariel and a young high achieving couple, William & Chiuee. Life became more bearable but I was still missing Damian very much.

After 2 and half years, Damian had finished his national service and found a job in the finance industry. We decided we should live together in Singapore and so I bid farewell to my friends and family. I was delighted to be back here and closed to my darling! I spent the next 3 months looking for a job in Singapore and it was tough. I couldn't find a job in the creative industry at all. In my final month of visa, Damian's mom encouraged me to go for an interview as a flight attendant with Singapore Airlines. I was getting desperate and there was an interview that weekend. I had to go through 3 interviews altogether and on the 2nd last day of my allowed stay in Singapore, they called me to go for the medical check-up. Yea....that meant I got the job!!

So that was why I landed in a job I never thought I would be doing. I learned a lot in those 5 years. After that, I ended up in the best but toughest job in the world. A stay-at-home-mom :) Yea....I was really lucky.

My career path - Part 1

A good friend sent me an email to share her son's newspaper article. He has talents and is good with words. He's only 16 and has already written a book which was published like a year ago. Now he writes a weekly newspaper article for Daily Express under the title 'On the path of life'. He is fortunate to have a mother who is always there to guide him.

At 16, I didn't know what I wanted to do. Studying didn't come very easily to me so my childhood dream of being a lawyer was definitely dashed. I was pretty good at art but I didn't know what kind of career I could pursue with that talent and I didn't know there were art school I can enroll in. Yea...pretty dumb then.

I wanted to be a famous model but of course I don't have the height. No matter, I signed up for a basic modelling course during my 3 months break after the 'o' level exams, and was given a part time job teaching kids modelling. It was fun taking the kids to their weekly catwalk shows. I enjoyed it but the income for my teaching and chaperoning wasn't that great so I know I had to continue with my studies. I didn't consult my parents cos, they were divorced and were busy with their new family in another country! brother and I got our basic needs of food, clothing and live with my grandmother in her employer's home.

So....what did I do then? I heard studying management was a good choice so I did just that and failed my 'A' levels 2 years later. By then I heard about graphic arts and did a diploma course in an OK school cos it's the cheapest I can afford. I was giving tuition to students in primary level at the same time then. I was rather patient with the kids. Instead of shouting at them, I just smiled. Once, I felt my blood boiling and instead of blowing my top, I couldn't stop chuckling. was a pretty funny and odd scene for my student.

After my graduation, I found a job very quickly, as an FA artist in a rather famous advertising agency. However, my academic qualification did not help me get a work permit so I had to return to Kota Kinabalu to live with my mom. I felt lost in KK. The only friend I had there had left to work in Kuala Lumpur. I was bored, sad and missed my husband (boyfriend then) very much. I didn't talk much and hid in my room most of the time. My mom has a friend who introduced me to work as an FA artist in a small ad company. There were only 4 of us in the office. My boss who was also the sales guy, his secretary and my art director were nice people but were also very much older then me. Yea.....I was still bored, sad and missed my husband very much.

Then came a day, when my mom rented out a room to a fashion designer from KL. It brought a little colour to my life but yea......I was still a little sad and missed my husband very much. be continued.....