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29 December 2011

Yvonne Foong and Life with Neurofibromatosis

28 Dec 11

I read about Yvonne Foong from Facebook.

She is a girl who was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 at the age of 16. Despite her condition, she is a very courageous and strong girl in the fight of her life. My tears dropped reading her blog, especially her Bio page. She has done 10 surgeries in the last 9 years!



Yvonne has written a book “I'M NOT SICK, JUST A BIT UNWELL” at the age of 18, her story growing up as a healthy child, through the development of a complicated genetic disorder. This story winning Yvonne Foong the title of Most Outstanding Youth at the 2005 Dream Malaysia Awards.
She is in urgent needs of RM100,000 for her shunt revision surgery which I've posted it on this blog earlier. If you wish to help Yvonne in this time of desperation, you may contribute directly to her Maybank Account (details found in her website) or purchase her book (in English and Chinese) and T-shirts. If you wish to visit her, help selling her things or any way you can think of, she is living in PJ Old Town and her email is yvonnefmn@gmail.com.

I wish and hope Yvonne successful in raising fund for her surgery in LA.

Maid renewal - Passport and Levy


28 Dec 11

It is time of the year again ... maid renewal.We are glad that our maid decided to continue to work with us. This will be the 3rd year that she works for us.

Our maid agent asked us if we require her service. The following are the charges:
  • Passport renewal
  1. Passport charges - RM200
  2. Agent fee for passport renewal - RM200


























































































































































































  • Renewal of permit
  1. Fomema charges - RM190
  2. Levy - RM500
  3. Agent fee for renewal of permit - RM170
We have done the renewal of permit several times by ourselves and we decided to continue doing it. We engaged our agent to do the passport renewal part.

Hubby sent our maid to the agent office at 9am, 6 Dec 11 as maid is required to go to embassy for passport renewal. The agent prepared a simple document on "Agreement of Increase Maid's Wages" and asked Hubby to sign on it. It is required by the embassy for the extension application.

I took the opportunity to ask the agent's counsellor to remind our maid on good working attitude and give her a refresh session to remind her on the right attitude and good working ethics. Our maid was back home after about half a day.
The next thing is to get Fomema medical check up done. On 13 Dec 11, I took a day off from work to clear my leave for the year, went to bank and bought 2 cashier orders:
  1. Fomema Sdn Bhd - RM190
  2. Ketua Pengarah Imigresen Malaysia - RM500
Maybank charged RM5 for each cashier order. For the levy payment, the immigration office does accept cash payment.

For the Fomema medical check up:
  1. I downloaded Fomema registration form from Fomema Sdn Bhd and complete the form.
  2. Make copy of maid's passport
  3. Bring the cashier order for registration fee
Hubby dropped me at Fomema office. Based on our previous experience, it took us longer time to find carpark than to get the registration done at Fomema. I reached Fomema office at about 3.25pm and went to the Information counter to queue for number. There were 12 persons ahead of me. My number was called at 4.06pm and I left Fomema office about 4.10pm. I was in Fomema office for about 45 minutes.

FOMEMA Sdn Bhd
Lot G1-G10, Level 3, Block G
Pusat Bandar Damansara
Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 2094 6188
Fax: 03-2092 5610

On 16 Dec 11, Hubby brought our maid for medical check up at clinic in our neighbourhood which was very convenience for us. We brought our maid's original passport and Fomema documents along.

I checked the Fomema medical check up results online. The medical results was ready on 27 Dec, 11 days after the medical examination date.

Since the medical results was ok, we need to go to the immigration office to get our maid's passport stamped. We brought the original copy of maid's passport and cashier order for levy payment. We went to Pusat Bandar Damansara and were informed by the security guard that immigration office has moved to Sri Hartamas, Jalan Duta. They did not know the full address.

Hubby drove me to Jalan Duta and we guessed probably the immigration office is located in Kompleks Kerajaan. We passed by Kementerian Dalam Negeri and drove towards the IRD office at Kompleks Kerajaan. Then, we were told that the Immigration office is located in Kementerian Dalam Negeri building, which is luckily nearby to the Kompleks Kerajaan.

The immigration office is located at 1st Floor of KDN building. In fact, there were quite a number of government offices in the building. I went to the wrong departments and only got it right after 3 enquiries.

Jabatan Pejabat Imigresen Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Alamat Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN),
No.69,Jalan Sri Hartamas 1,
50480 Jalan Duta,
Kuala Lumpur
Telefon 03-62012423
Faks 03-62011191

We reached KDN building at about 10.45am and queued for service number with 17 persons ahead of me. I submitted my passport to the staff at "Maid" service counter, paid levy fee at payment counter, submitted the original copy of maid's passport back to the "Maid" service counter for the stamping of permit on maid's passport. We left KDN at about 11.40am.

We are glad that the entire process of maid renewal is done.

25 December 2011

Merry Merry Christmas!

25 Dec 11

It's Christmas Day! I'm not a Christian but somehow, I'll share the joy and celebration too. I like it when we stop, no rushing here and there over our busy lifestyles ... just to smell flowers!

We were invited by Audrey to her house at Amelia for Christmas tea on last Friday. She made fruits cupcake and blueberry cheesecake in a glass. We had them with coffee over a good chat and catch up.

On Christmas Eve, Aunty YC invited us to her house for Christmas Eve dinner. I made potato cheese cake and brought a bottle of appetiser white wine. Aunty YC roasted lamb and made sweet potato & carrot soup, garlic bread, salad, steam broccoli and cauliflower, etc. It was a feast!
After dinner, Aunty YC gave us Christmas gifts. Jared had Star Wars Collection and Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cabin Fever book.

Jared finished reading the Wimpy Kid book the next morning. He told me that he loves his Christmas gifts very much.

Jaden had Lego Duplo Cars 2 set.


Hubby had digital AV adapter for his Ipad and I received a set of pearl necklace and earrings and silk shawl.

Thereafter, we had Royce potato chip chocolate brought by Jui Liat and coffee with Baileys. It's heaven!

On Friday, I bought this Chocolate Sponge with Chocolate chips Christmas cake for Christmas party at Jared's tuition center. Jared said the cake was very nice and he ate 3 pieces.

My nephew will be celebrating his 4th birthday in 2 days time and I decided to go to the same bakery and bought the same cake for him.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and loved ones happy holidays and have a great well-deserved rest during the festive season.

Merry Christmas!

21 December 2011

Test of faith – RM80,000.00 in two weeks!

21 Dec 11

Christmas is just round the corner and Christmas is about giving and sharing. As we look forward to Christmas celebration, enjoy festive food and exchange gifts during the festive season, Yvonne Foong is in urgent need of funds for her brain surgery in LA ... Test of faith – RM80,000.00 in two weeks!

You may read more about Yvonne from her blog "Alive and living with Neurofibromatosis". Yvonne sells t-shirt and her book "I'm not sick, just a little unwell" to raise funds.

Have a blessed Christmas ... to you, family and loved ones. Let's not forget Yvonne during this festive season. Do help to spread the words and in any way that you may.

17 December 2011

Laman Padi Langkawi (The Rice Museum)

24 Nov 11

One of the objectives of taking our boys to Langkawi was to get them closer to nature.

I’ve read the review on Laman Padi from Trip Advisor. It was a mix review but we’ve decided it will be good to take Jared and Jaden to see how rice was cultivated. I read about the free guided tour of the paddy fields and the guide, Rosti who was very friendly, enthusiastic and explained about the production of rice with chance to plant rice ourselves.

We reached Laman Padi at about 2.15pm, right after our lunch at Nam Restaurant. Having read Trip Advisor’s review, we knew it would be useful to have a guide. We went to the Admin Office and we were told that they were having meetings. We were disappointed that no guide was available.

We visited the museum on our own. It was a small working museum and interesting gallery which gave a great insight and detailing how rice was grown in the past and today.

This rice museum is surrounded by paddy fields, with herb garden, spa and a restaurant called Jimmy's Cafe (Padi Cuisine) with views out over the paddy fields.
Paddy fields with each patch of different heights of paddy plant.





Educational session from Hubby on rice plantation

We hope to be back to this Laman Padi, to have lunch at the café and hopefully, to have a guided tour around the Paddy field.

 
We had hope for a more educational visit and a bit disappointing without a guided tour which could have been more educational and interesting. But it is still a well worth visit in Langkawi.

11 December 2011

Nam Restaurant at Bon Ton Resort and Restaurant, Langkawi

24 Nov 11

After we rented a car and filled in petrol, we were hungry and tired. Hubby drove around to look for decent restaurant.

I saw Bon Ton from the main road and remembered reading good review about this place on Trip Advisor. We decided to give it a try.


The restaurant was set close to fields, with lots of greenery padi field.


The service in Nam Restaurant is quite slow despite there were just a few table of diners. We had Chicken satay (8 sticks for RM19.80) and  Nyonya fried rice (RM48.40). The food were tasty but small portion and expensive. We had the most expensive fried rice at almost RM50 per plate! 


 There were cats in the restaurant. Jared and Jaden playing with the cat while waiting for their lunch.

05 December 2011

Animal Kaiser Battle Tournament in Genting Highlands

4 Dec 11

On Friday, Jared asked Hubby to take him to Jusco for Animal Kaiser game. Since they had been generally good boys over the school holiday and finished their Kumon homework, we took them to Jusco after our dinner.
After the first game, the arcade machine dispensed the Animal Kaiser's ultra rare card ... The Lion of Light "Galleon". Jared gave the card to Jaden.

On Sunday, we reached Genting at 12pm+ and went straight to register for the Animal Kaiser Ultimate Animal Battle. We registered for Moch, Jared and Jaden. There were 32 participants participated in the tournament and they were paired for the challenge.

Everybody used the same cards provided by the organiser. Those participants who won the first round went into the 2nd round and Jared and Jaden got thru the first round.
Through draw lot, Jaden was the 2nd player and Jared the 8th player.
I did not bring my video cam and camera as I did not expect them to go so far. I thought they will be knocked out at very preliminary stage. All the photos here were taken from our hand phone and Ipad.

In the 2nd round, the 16 participants used the same Animal (red) card provided by the organiser and used their own Miracle (blue) and Strong (green) cards. Jaden won in the 2nd round battle and move on to the 3rd round. Jared did not make it. He was a little disappointed but he went on to cheer for his brother.

In the 3rd round, the 8 participants used the same Strong (green) card provided by the organiser and used own Miracle (blue) and Animal (red) cards. Jaden won again in the 3rd round battle and move on to the 4th round, the semi-final.

Jaden was so cool throughout the tournament. He was tired too as it was his afternoon nap time.

In the 4th round, the 4 participants used the same Miracle (blue) card provided by the organiser and used own Strong (green) and Animal (red) cards and ... Jaden won again! The lucky star was by his side and he moved on to the final round.

In the 5th and final round, Jaden met with the boy who battled against Jared and beat him at the 2nd round. Now, Jaden had to battle with him in the final round. In this final round, the 2 participants can use their own cards and Jaden had been holding and using the same 3 cards throughout the tournament. This final was decided by winning two rounds (best of three).


Both finalists used the Animal Kaiser's ultra rare card ... The Lion of Light "Galleon" and Jaden was lucky in having good defensive cards since the spins were not going his way initially.

Jaden had played AK less than 10 times (with his brother) over the past 6 months. There is a large element of luck as well as the cards they have in hand.

Luck was on Jaden's side and he won the battle! He is the tournament champion after going through 5 elimination rounds and competed in a group of 32 participants ranging in age from 4 to 20. The announcer kept on announcing "The youngest boy, only 4 years old won the battle. Amazing!"
The Japanese guy is from Namco Bandai Games Inc.
The price for Champion ... a gold case and an exclusive Champion Gold Card (Great White Shark) that is only bestowed by Namco Bandai to tournament winners.

The "Battle Tournament Gold Champion" limited edition, exclusive card
Jaden generously gave his Champion Gold card to his brother, Jared since he is happy to play with his Galleon which he used in the tournament.
The children had great time and we are happy that both Jared and Jaden had the opportunity to participate in the Animal Kaiser battle tournament in Genting Highland. Winning the battle is a bonus!

04 December 2011

Milk Teeth and Dentist

3 Dec 11

In mid this year, Jared had his first tooth extraction. His front bottom tooth has grown but the milk tooth had not dropped but loose and shaky.

I took him to dentist and had the milk tooth extracted. He didn't like the injection part.

A few months ago, there were 2 permanent teeth started growing on his front upper teeth, at the back of his milk teeth. However, his milk teeth were still there. One of it was loose and started to shake.

Last week, Hubby took him to a dentist near our house. The dentist said "its too late, new teeth came out too much, must wear braces for 5 years now, etc". Jared got frighten and Hubby got upset. Jared refused to have his teeth extracted then. The dentist recommended us to take Jared to see orthodontist. This sound so serious!

I talked to my sister, colleague and friend and asked for their advice. They advice me to take Jared to see dentist and extract out the milk teeth. Hopefully, the permanent teeth will move and adjust itself to its proper position.

I made appointment with another dentist near our house ie the same one that Jared had his first teeth extraction. At first, Jared was reluctant to go. I persuaded him and told him that it's better for him to be in pain for a few second for the injection than to wear braces for 5 years. We also promised Jared to take him to Genting Highlands for Animal Kaiser Tournament. Jared wanted to bring his Animal Kaiser cards along to give him comfort.

Before the dentist checked Jared's teeth, I briefed her and told her that Jared was very frighten. This lady dentist was good with him. She talked to him nicely and praised him for being a brave boy.

As two permanent teeth has grown, Jared needed to have 3 of his milk teeth to be extracted. The dentist advised Jared to use his tongue to push out the new permanent teeth. Hopefully, the teeth will align itself.

It was scary to him and me too but we are glad that it's done and over.

Car rental in Langkawi

24 Nov 11

Our trip to Langkawi was on the 1st week of year end school holiday. Langkawi would also have Lima event 2 weeks after our trip to Langkawi.

I heard car rental will be expensive during school holiday. I called up several car rental companies before our trip to Langkawi. The average car rental was RM100 for Myvi and RM120 for Vios. Some car rental owners have rented out all their cars for those delegates who arrived in Langkawi earlier for Lima preparation.

Earlier, we wanted to hire taxi at RM25 per hour with minimum 4 hours rental. However, the weather during our trip to Langkawi was not so good with heavy wind and thunderstorm. As such, our itinerary has to be flexible according to the weather in Langkawi. As such, we decided not to hire a taxi with driver.

Hubby suggested to rent a car when we reached Langkawi.

As we walked out towards luggage claim area, there were lots of car rental company available. We rented Vios at RM100 per day from FI Holidays which was cheaper than those quoted over the phone.

Hubby inspected the car and ensure the car rental staff noted down all the car scratches and accidents on the car rental form to avoid dispute when we return the car.

Initially, we had this Nissan Sentra at the same price. However, there was something wrong with the car gear and FI Holiday arranged for Vios for us.

The car came with almost empty petrol with petrol signal blinking as we started to car engine. Hubby brought his GPS along and we quickly drove to the nearby petrol station (which seemed very far when the petrol signal kept on blinking).

FI Holiday recommended us to pump RM30 petrol but we spent RM40 on petrol for the 4D3N in Langkawi as The Andaman is located secluded from Langkawi town and attraction places.

The car petrol indicator signal blinks on our way to airport to return the car to FI Holidays. Their staff were stationed at the airport departure hall and it was very convenient for us to hand over the car to them.

03 December 2011

Jaden 1st ride on a plane

24 Nov 11

Jared has his first ride on a plane when he was 2+ years old. We took him to Hong Kong for holiday. He had his 2nd plane ride to Singapore and Shanghai and celebrated his 4 years old birthday in Shanghai.

Jaden hadn't had any aeroplane ride at 4+ years old. Auntie YC recommended us to take him for holiday and offered us her Enrich miles points.

It's not easy to pack for family holidays especially we were taking a flight and not driving. I started packing for our Langkawi trip a few days ahead, started with toileteries and swimming gears for the family. The following day, I packed clothing and on the night before the final, balance of things to pack.
Our flight to Langkawi was at 11am. Taxi came to pick us up at 8.30am to KLIA. Since it was a domestic flight, we did not have the chance to bring Jaden for aerotrain ride.

Jared and Jaden watching Sky Chefs unloading food to the plane.
Playing Ipad while waiting for our flight boarding. This is the first time we have Ipad with us on holiday and it's so useful and convenient for us to browse through internet on Langkawi.

Jaden was so excited to get on the plane.


Jared helping Jaden to fasten the seat belt.

Jaden looked out the window and complained that the plane moved so slow when it was taxing on the runway.
More Ipad games.


It was only one hour flight and we landed in Langkawi airport at 12pm.

Langkawi - Closer to Nature Trip

25 Oct 11

Life is short and we must treasure our loved ones. In today's busy life and with the invention of technology ie computer games, Wii, PSP, Ipad, Facebook, internet, our days will just passed by without us noticing it. And today, we are already in the last month of 2011.

I was on leave and one of the things in my To Do List is to plan for family holiday during the year end school holiday. Something that I was determined and committed to do.

Since my company has changed the team building location from Langkawi to Pulau Pangkor, we shall go to Langkawi for family holiday then.

Auntie YC has offered free flights for us on her Enrich points. We used 51,000 miles to redeem 4 MAS tickets to Langkawi and just paid RM240 on airport tax for 4 of us. Air tickets - checked!

My cousin, Bryan is working with the Starwood Group hotel and he suggested either Westin Langkawi or The Andaman. For a family holiday, he recommended The Andaman as it offers more kid's activities and have a nice stretch of beach as well. It will be good for Jared and Jaden to get to know more about the nature. Bryan got us a very attractive "Family and Friend" rate at The Andaman Hotel. We booked 4D3N stay at The Andaman. Hotel accommodation - checked!

I browsed through Trip Advisor website to read about Places to Visit and Things to Do in Langkawi. I shortlisted a few interesting places and planned our itinerary for our 4D3N in Langkawi. I will be the tour leader and Hubby will be the driver. Jared and Jaden will be our tourists on all paid holiday on us.

I was so excited by just thinking about the 1st aeroplane ride for Jaden, staying in The Andaman with lots of complimentary activities offered by the hotel, cable car ride, sunset cruise, etc.


Jaden and his most expensive pair of shoes

23 Sep 11

This is a long, long overdue post. It is an important one and I must not omit this from my "treasure memories".
During the period that we had been in and out of Family Podiatry Centre, there are several information that have been shared by other parents visiting the same centre.
  1. Do not let kids sleep face down or up as feet will become very flexible, but to sleep on their side
  2. No walker recommended for toddler
  3. Toddler shouldn't sit on floor with bend legs as their bones are still very soft. Recommended to sit on little chair.
  4. Pay attention if kids complained tired easily after walk for a short time ie during shopping, jogging, etc
  5. Also pay attention to kids slipper ie one side worn out
We finally had custom molded orthotics made for Jaden with his name on it. We went to Family Podiatry Centre in TTDI to have this done for Jaden.
  



On the podiatrist recommendation, Hubby and I had been hunting for suitable shoes for Jaden. We need to look for shoes that have :
  1. good arch
  2. firm heel
  3. shoes sole that are wider than heel
  4. shoes string or at least 3 velcro straps 
We bought this pair of Adidas shoes from Parkson at RM120 for Jaden to wear it with the custom made mold insert inside our house ie indoor.

This pair of shoes is for Jaden's outdoor wear and it has 3 velcro straps. We also bought it at Parkson at RM150.


The black shoes is not suitable for running in the park and jogging. We bought his pair of running shoes from Adidas outlet at clearance price of only RM79.60

We have looked around at my different brands of shoes. Adidas has good shoes with good feet support and we like that their shoes insert can be removed and replace it with Jaden's custom made mold insert.

These are Jaden's most expensive pairs of shoes. We have spent to date RM1,545 on Jaden's feet and shoes. 
  1. Podiatrist consultations fee  - RM190
  2. Biomechanical examination  - RM305
  3. Feet x-ray                           - RM55 
  4. Casting fee                          - RM95
  5. Custom molded orthotics     - RM550
  6. 3 pair of shoes                    - RM350
There will be follow up biomechanical examination on Jaden's feet. Unfortunately, medical insurance has exclusion on this type of alternative therapy and our medical insurance does not cover these costs.

We feel good that we have this solution for Jaden. We hope he can run like other kids and will not fall so easily.


29 October 2011

Angry Birds Cupcakes ... I made it!

23 Oct 11


I made it! I wasn’t confident that I’m able to make it. Glad that I took the risk to try and I made it.

After my market visit to Kuantan to visit dealers, I took a day off from work. After running my errands, I rushed to Pastry Pro to buy those ingredients that I needed to make Angry Birds cupcake for Jared. I wanted to try the 3D figurines for cupcakes.

I was so lucky to meet a helpful staff at Pastry Pro. I told her its my first attempt to make Angry Birds figurines. She recommended me to use white regalice which only cost RM13.95. I called home and ask my maid to check what other Angry Bird colours (by referring to Angry Bird sticker book, pencil box, etc) that I did not have and bought Christmas Red and Jet Black colour paste at RM4.10 each.
I surfed on the Internet for Angry Bird cupcake. I was looking at the pictures on the Ipad and these Angry Bird soft toy while moulding it.

I started with the Black Angry Bird, my first attempt of Angry Bird figurine for cup cake. Not perfect but I'm happy with the result.

After dinner at my parent's house, while Hubby and Jared played with the new Star Wars Lego set, I tried making the red Angry Bird. 

The not so “red” Angry Birds. I didn't use enough of the red colouring and the bird is not red enough.  Hubby said there will be new "pink" colour Angry Bird to be introduced soon.

Jared was impressed that I could make these figurines. He said "Mommy you are so smart. I'm so glad that you are my Mother". So sweet of him.

The next morning, after dropping Jaden to his kindergarten for his concert preparation, I made these yellow bird. The colour is very nice.
Honestly, it was so fun. Just like school art project. Breaking up the project into few, small sessions does help. I took it a step at a time and able to focus on the details with no rush. I felt so relax and happy doing it.
After Jaden's concert and lunch, I made these green pigs. Aren't they cute?

I smiled looking at them. The colours are so bright and cheerful.

I also made Golden eggs on nest. I do not have brown colour gel. Hubby helped to surf on Internet for ideas and also colour mixing to get brown colour for the nest.


I made these 16 cupcakes with Angry Bird figurines. Never I thought that I could do it but I did it. It was a great feeling. As Hubby said, it is realising a new skill set that nobody can take it away.

Jo said "wow...you are so pro! the colors are so beautiful ..."

I was very happy with the results. Save RM200 for self learning. Initially wanted to go for Angry Birds class but the timing was not right.

It has been a tiring few days but a very fulfilling one. I received very good feedback on these Angry Birds cupcakes.

My friend Jo said “This is so cute” and My SIL said “Just WOW! They're amazing! You're amazing!” My colleague, Wendy said “Omg it’s so pretty and cute. Well done!” Auntie Jenny said “Wow! I won’t be able to bring myself to eat them! Yr boys must feel the same”. Others said “Nice”, “Beautiful” “These r awesome. So r u”.

These words are so great and motivating.

The following day, we made these cocktail sticks and pizza for Jared's friends.

We also fried chicken and made mango pudding.

Kids enjoying the food.

Watching Wimpy Kid DVD

They danced to the Wimpy Kid.

Playing Lego Star War set.

Jared and his classmates

The kids love the Angry Birds cupcakes. They were choosing and said "I want this".

Each kid took home an Angry Bird cupcake with matching key chain. I bought 6 of this solid plastic container at RM1.10 each.

School exam is over. Its fun time now.