Monday, September 26, 2011

New York! New York!

Back from New York.

It was a real working trip this time round. No shopping at all during the weekdays. Blame it on the rain. Blame it on the General Assembly going on on the same time. Blame it on the fact that loads of people wanted to meet us for working lunches and dinners. Blame it on the fact we had 3 portfolios to juggle and complete daily.

However, having said that, it was really an experience to go during GA time. Certain portions of the street were closed. And only if you have the UN pass can you go in. We saw security snippers on the roof tops. And CIA lookalikes around having security stuff in their ears. We saw bodyguards around delegates. It looked just like an American movie.

Had Starbucks Chai every morning. I so miss it now.

The first week I was there, the temperature took a drastic dip on Thursday resulting in chattering me for 2 days.

Met my uncle on Sat and stayed over. Miss my cousins so much. Wish I had stayed for another night.

Amd now some shots....
At last I made a trip to Empire State Building. 3 times to NY and I never made it up. The view was great. Worth every USD 22.

On Sunday after church, walking around China Town, I reached the Italian town and found they were having a fest. It was super packed. They had grills every other place. And tons of gelato too. Had a great lagsane there with my uncle that day.

Yau Char Kwai wrapped in Chee Cheong Fun skin. Dip is soya sauce. Sounds simple but tastes really good. Heard we have this in Ipoh too! There was an option to have beef inside....but I opted for this simply dish for breakfast in Chinatown.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlet. Gap wasn't that cheap there actually. But Timberland was and shoes were going off at 50% with the 2nd purchase. My colleague bought 2 kids shoes costing like USD 30++. Coach was also going off really cheap like USD 90++. Pity I am not a Coach kinda person. Didn't have much time there and spent some time buying Samsonite suitcases.

It's the 10th anniversary of 9-11, so we found it befitting to see the memorial. This is ther building that is going up. My NY colleague cried when she was there. Me too.....the words displayed there was really touching. When I looked at the building, I saw reflections of other buildings. And the thought that came to my head was 'A reflection of hope'. It was a melancholic Friday evening with overcast skies.

So, basically that's it for NY. Purchased loads of shirts for hubby. Some scents from Bath and Body Works. And of course rewarded myself with Lesportsac and Kipling bags.

A NY Perspective

It was really all work and no play.

I did not really look forward to NY initially. Blame it on the kids. But I knew the real reason was that I felt I was no longer as competent as I used to be. Blame it on the kids, really, and their causing me lack of proper sleep which was affecting my memory and my ability to react appropriately at the confidence-giving speed. I was really in a comfort zone. I was good at running a home more than giving opinions in public.

And that is what NY really is about, at least given the reason I was there this time round. There were some 30 odd people from different parts of the world gathered in one room for a session on training the trainer. Many were loud and opinionated. And some who were soft yet still made a point. I did not have a point to make and I was quiet. That literally puts you out of the map in the workplace in NY.

Frankly, it was depressing. I listen better than I talk. And I think longer than I should.

Then I overcame my jet lag and had more strong coffee and loads of Chai tea.

It was a whole new ballgame being in NY this time, leaving 2 kids and a house. I never knew work could be so fulfilling as well. And that I actually miss being in the game. I am so used to being sidelined that I had grew moss just sitting down. I realise I miss running around.

So, I can't say I was happy to be home.

I love being a mum. I love being with my kids and hubby and taking care of the home. But I am also afraid of who I will settle back in to be when I am home. I will miss the confidence that comes with being pushed to talk more, say more, listen and think faster, being asked and being listened to.

I begin to see myself moving to NY and working it out fine.

It was a whole new NY perspective this time round. Change due to being a mum, change due to the unchange happening in my duty station. Is the comfort zone always a bad place to be?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

2 week hiatus!

It's a strange feeling having to plan for something immediate when something bigger is happening also. Hard to put aside the bigger bugger and think carefully of the immediate activity. Doesn't help that hubby is can't download.

Anyways.....the bugger which is so big is my impending trip to Manhattan. Going for 2 weeks on a heavily scheduled, do-you-think-I-have-2-brains training. With the HUGE expectation to provide training to some offices directly afterwhich. AND to provide a regional training later in the year. Why oh why don't I ever get to be trained just for the fun of it!

Leaving on the 10th anniversary of NY's greatest threat. So, it won't be all that fun with security at the airports. Official letter with company logo - checked. Valid passport and working visa - checked.

Now for the little buggers.....

Got to get some socks for the trip tommorrow. So glad JJ is already open in 1U coz that is where I will be heading tommorrow.

And going to celebrate my dad and son's birthday together. One a bit late and the other a lot early. Was trying to squeeze cake planning and dinner venue planning in between my otherwise preoccupied mind.

So, got his Mickey Mouse cake. Christopher changed his mind from Ben10 to Scooby Doo to at last Mickey. Glad he did so coz Mickey is standard in most cake shops. Settles for Thyme and a 2 kg cake. Ah boy insisted he wanted fruits ALL AROUND. total left me RM103 poorer. Hope the German Black Forest cake turns out good. Cos it will be my mum and Ah girl perhaps who would have to finish the whole lot.

And dinner for my dad will be at the much read about, couldn't wait to try Chinese Restaurant Chyniis @ SS2 Mall. I already have a list of stuff to order.

Will be uploading the review of this restaurant and the birthday party in NY if I have the time. Else it will be hiatus for 2 weeks.

See you all in a bit.....or two. Happy 3 weekends in advance.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ice Bowl, UFO and Snowflakes

I have been wishing for Snowflakes to come over to SS2 for ages now. The nearest outlet for me right now is Kota Damansara. And we all know the jam there...and the flood if it pours.

So, I was kinda happy when I found out something similar has landed in SS2 - Ice Bowl and now UFO.

All of them use the same concept actually - shaved black jelly ice topped with condiments.

Ice Bowl adds red bean as well apart from the usual taro and sweet potato bites.
UFO adds macha bites as the extra.


I think I still have to drive to KD for Snowflakes.

I don't like Ice Bowl coz the shaved jelly ice does not have that strong a black jelly flavour. Snowflakes black jelly tastes like Kua Lin Ko - slightly bitter and thus seems more authentic. I also don't like the red bean addition.

UFO's portion is smaller for the same price. The taste of the ice is much the same but the taro, macha and sweet potato bites tasted funny. Macha especially just didn't work.

The last time I had Snowflakes, I made this comment to hubby 'Ever wondered why they have the bites this particular size?'

My theory is:
If the bites were too small, you would have a tendency to scoop it together with the ice and black jelly. And your teeth would not be able to handle biting the bites and handling the cold jelly at the same time. You really need to suck the black jelly ice.
The bites are made big enough to make you feel that you can only scoop one into the spoon and put it in your mouth. Then you chew and get ready to put in some ice. By the time you get the ice into your mouth, the bites would be small enought to be mixed together and swallowed down.

Well....that's just me. Hubby laughed when I told him that. He thinks I analyse too much. :)

Have you tried Snowflakes? When did you last have it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

2nd night diaper free

Happy Tuesday morning!

It's the 2nd night Christopher went without his diaper at night.

First night no accidents.

Second night only a minor leakage.

Is it too soon to rejoice?

We decided to go cold turkey on him. Will wait it out till Friday and then change the sheets.

And at Caylee's end....nanny is toilet training her too. According to her, her grandkids were potty trained by the time they turned 2.

I could be a happy momma with some extra cash in the pocket soon. Keeping my prayer going and my fingers crossed. :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Last week

Good morning. It's a Monday and I am happy. After 3 days with the kids, I am broke and tired. Always feel that if I am not earning money, I am just spending money.....

Let's see....what did we do?

It felt like CNY to me. Coz we were scheduled to spend the morning with my inlaws after not seeing them for 2 weeks. Had lunch with them in Klang. Was supposed to pay but my FIL's friend arrived and settled the bill for us.
In the evening, went to 1U to check out the new JJ. Not bad...knida love the new foodstores in front. Reminds me of Spore. But the crowd was !!!!! The boy insisted on eating in the Green Frog place - Sakae Sushi.

Hubby couldn't wait to wake up today coz he had planned to visit Tokyo Street in Pavillion. We timed a visit of 2 hours there. Parking costs a BOMB in Pavillion. Was disappointed with Tokyo Street. It was kinda small. But of course the Jap art and items was beautifully displayed. THe bento boxes looked like art not utensils to be used. Was hoping to get some shirts with Jap art but....
Big kiddo threw a tantrum during lunch. Slapped him in a crowd of food court eaters. I think everyone must have thought I was a super terrible mum. Sigh.....but the boy was down right rude and spoilt.
Went grocery shopping in the evening at Tesco. Loads of parking. GREAT! But the fresh food produce area was in a sorry state. Good thing I was there only for the tins and bottles and packages. Dropped by Snowflakes for my de-stress. DO you know about Ice Bowl and UFO in SS2?

Since I didn't get to treat my inlaws to a meal, decided to go to the Lan Je in USJ for lunch. No one my inlaws knew came, so I managed to give them and 2nd aunty a treat. Ah Boy learnt his lesson and ate up all his lunch.
However he was all keyed up that he didn't get a good afternoon nap. Resulted in moody boy in the evenings.
Took the opportunity to go to the night market for some fruits and vege. It was a quick trip coz we were each carrying a kid and our fruits as well. My arms ached terribly.
Drove to KD to try the belacan fried chicken since the traffic was light. Must use the opportunity coz other times it would be crazy to go to KD. One bite of it and I was asking 'where is the belacan taste?' Good only for a fried chicken crave.

Hubby went back to work. I worked at home to take care of Ah Boy! Was very strict with him making him eat at the table by himself, do some maths and reading and colouring. He didn't have a good time. But he was getting too spoilt by his grandparents who took care of him last week. My mum is like his servant! Gosh.... was a good break. But I am glad to be back to work and some routine. And glad that Ah Boy is back to school and not just lazing there with in front of the TV.

Take care everyone. Seems the haze is around and alot of people are falling ill.