Monday, 24 August 2015

We Are Going to Legoland

Since the Ringgit is falling like bird crap, literally; our plans for HK Disneyland is colder 
than Anna Wintour. 

And Hubs being the indulgent father that he is, is still adamant to bring the kids to Legoland instead.
Given the current economic situation, the prices are bonkers but
Tiger was already over the moon about the trip at this point.
He has even decided on the Pirate Room for his stay. 

Pirate. Adventure. Kingdom.
According to Tiger.
 

After a brief discussion, Hubs and I decided to stay at KSL to save some moolah. 
Since the kids are still besotted with dinosaurs, they didn't make a fuss :)

Tiger, who is five isn't a big fan of Lego yet. We have two sets of Lego Duplo and one box of assorted Lego but no one likes them. *shrugs*. Too many other options? Not into building yet? 
In order to get them excited about the trip...we did some random activities pertaining to Legoland
on top of our daily lessons.

The pirate toy sets from ELC and LEGO are crazy expensive, so we make do with this.
RM 27 from Bookxcess.
We are getting thrifty :)

Lucky us, he got a mini Ninja Turtle set from a friend's birthday party. 
He worked on it immediately the next day.

We used some printables from Carisa's Lego Kindergarten Printable Pack 
He didn't complete the whole pack and I don't expect him to,
Just the ones he enjoys, like this cut and paste.

Celebrating their trip in advance like a couple of drunk sailors.
 

And this is the plan I asked for.
A map of legoland and a scary Freddy lookalike pirate.

Will post more pictures after we return :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Our Kakak Went Back to Indonesia for Holiday

Our darling Indonesian helper requested for a 2 months holiday after working here for 2 years and 4 months. She promised to return, so I renewed her 2015 permit, prepared her KTKLN documents and bought 2-way flight tickets.

Her initial salary was rm 700.
I raised it to rm 900 plus a smartphone after 2 years.
When she went home, I didn't retain her salary but I deducted the rm 1700 I paid for her permit renewal and return ticket. It's unnecessary losses on my part should she change her mind.
She agreed.

She left on June 26th and we kept in contact until the first day of Raya.
We were in IKEA and we wanted to wish her Selamat Hari Raya! but I couldn't get through.
I called every single day and it was always the telco operator on the other end.
I had to face the fact that the line was terminated.
After a few weeks of hearing the telco's voice, we became friends. I call her Ain.

"Nombor yang anda dial.... "

Hi Ain, have you heard from my kakak?

Hello Ain, kakak saya sihat keh?

Hello Ain, boleh suruh kakak call back?
 .
.
.
.
One MONTH of anxiety, worry and sleepless nights will turn you into a nutcase.
Except for a select few, everyone and I mean EVERYONE told me,
"She's not coming back"

It reminded me of The Carrot Seed.
My MIL, husband and I were the little boy.
We had sown the seed and just waiting to see if it turns into a carrot despite all the pessimism.


On August 15th, I waited nervously for my turn on AirAsia's Live Chat
to check if she had boarded the plane.
It's absolutely no fun when you are number 74 and the line is disconnected when you're 65.
*curse words*

 Reconnect....and I am number 86
*more vulgar language used*
After one hour of waiting impatiently and nervously,
I typed in her booking number, flight number and name and waited for what seemed like an eternity.
"Yes boarded."

Yes.
Boarded.
 The two most beautiful words in English language.

I screamed in joy and startled Tiger. Haha.
Then we all rushed to get to the airport in time.
The happiness and excitement in the air was palpable :)

On the way to KLIA2, Winnie called, "Why are ALL of you going?"
.
.
.
"Because she is family."

It's been three days since she's returned and I still cannot believe my luck.
My sister said it's like winning the Grand Prize of 4D.
The odds were 1:1000

The reason we couldn't contact her was as suspected: phone theft.
 Still, she came back!
She must really love our Little Dragon :)


Notes on KTKLN card and documents:
It is still a requirement.
So is surat cuti. Her salary is stated as rm900 in the letter.
The documents cost me rm 650 via my agent.
If you do it yourself at the Indonesian Embassy, its only rm 230.

Back in Indonesia,  she asked an agent in her town to do it since
her place is very far from Semarang.
It cost about rm 300


Her traveling back cost:
2 months paid leave + surat cuti documents + KTKLN card + gifts+ flight tickets
rm 1800 + 650 + 300 + 300 + 800
Total: rm 3850




Monday, 22 June 2015

First acrylic & rock painting

We were inspired by this book to try some rock painting.
Written by Linda Kranz, it's filled with beautiful illustrations and artwork of rock fishes.

Our poster colour simply won't do, so I got us some acrylic paint.
Have you ever painted with acrylic? No?
Neither have I.
I didn't know the paint dries quickly, so basically you can paint your designs
over the base colour in one sitting.
Tiger was in awe and my cool mom status went up several notches *ahem*.
For our first trial with acrylic, it went well.
 If you compare his purple and black fishes with the ones on the cover...very close, aren't they?
 Art is subjective. Don't judge. Haha.

Since he already smeared paint on the paper,
I suggested an underwater background instead of throwing it away.

We added some details together. I drew a submarine and some plants.
He added his deep sea creatures by Safari Ltd.
These creatures are the coolest.
The Buncho poster paint was used to paint the deep dark ocean floor.

I hate to say this but I couldn't remember their names :p
Thank goodness he made some name cards for the set a few months ago.
Weird names:  Gulper eel, hachet fist, dragon fish, giant imopod...
 

For children five and above, acrylic paint is great. It is going to be a staple in our art pantry.
For kids like Dragon girl who likes to paint on walls and floors, I would wait a few more years.

So, what other medium should we try next? 
We've tried air dry clay but he didn't enjoy it much.

Not even when I presented it so nicely.
These kids have no idea how lucky they are to have a crazy mom :)



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