Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The day she left...pfft!

So 3 entries ago I blogged about how relieved I was that Novie had finally arrived. I was nervous having a stranger in my home, hoping and praying she had the heart and patience to assist with my two kiddos. Housework was not the concern. I'd have been grateful if she could use a washing machine and vacumn cleaner without too much assistance. It took a while for her to settle in comfortably with the family but eventually she did and I liked her, I truly did. She was great with Nila and Elil was fond of her. She was strong and helped out with the gardening. She was polite and didn't talk back or show a face (all except once which is forgivable I guess).

All was well until one fine day when my phone bill came in and I did the out of the ordinary; I looked at it. To my horror, the bill came up to 5 times its normal amout and as I looked at the breakdown I was disappointed to find several calls a day throughout the day to one number. A number that was unfamiliar to hubs and myself. Oh Novie Novie, why? I know I must confront her with this but how? Two days later soon after I put the kids down for the night, I go downstairs for a glass of water. I don't have a foot down the step when I hear the phone hang up. My heart is racing and I am so upset. I decide that I will have a chat with her the very next morning. Come morning I write the number down on a piece of paper and show it to her. "Do you know this number?" I say. She immediately admits to making the calls. To her "adik kandung" who works in Perak apparently. Of course I don't believe her. I give her a stern warning and she knows never to make phone calls to whoever behind my back ever again. She knows now that any calls she may want to make to her family whom she 'misses' must go through me. So that settles that or so I thought.

Days later after she had completed her chores she came up to me watching tv and asks me to sms her 'adik kandung'. She gives me 2 numbers, one I have never seen before. Apparently this brother of hers has two lines, ok whatever. "Take perlu sms", I say. I will call him immediately. Of course I want my chance to speak to 'brother' myself. A dude with a thick Indonesian accent picks up. Long story short, none of the information she gives me regarding her 'brother' matches. He has a different name, does not work in a Perak palm oil estate and has never met a Novie in his life! WTF! If there's one thing I truly despise, it's being lied to. It pisses me off to no end. I tell her what I know and wait for her explanation. She has none, no lie readily available in her brain. After several minutes however she manages another bogus story to which I tell her I know is lies. No more I said. No more calls. Period. I ask her if she likes being lied to. She replied no. And I tell her to go back to her room.

It takes me a few days but I manage to calm down. About a month and I forget the ordeal although another bill comes in with the same pattern except the number has changed. Looking at the dates, all the calls were made prior to our little chat so I say nothing of it. Things are back to normal between us or so I think. We celebrate Nila's birthday in April. However, one morning about a week after the party I am woken by a smiling Nila trying to climb on her mummy. I am exhausted from a heavily disrupted night and on mornings like these, I hand Nila over to Novie so I can get some shut eye before beginnning the day. This morning, I call to Novie and no reply. I go downstairs, I call her as I do so. No reply. No Novie. Panic sets in. I rush to check all the doors, everything still secure. I check her room. Gone are her things together with the sports bag she had when she first came. I run upstairs to look for her passport, my heart about to leap out of my chest. Its gone! Just like Novie, gone. I don't know how to feel. I try call hubs who is in Delhi, no answer. I call my mum. I know there's not much she can do being miles away but somehow that is always my first instinct. When in trouble, run to mummy. She calms me down and tells me I should inform my in-laws and also contact the agent who would know what to do. I do this and by late morning have my locks changed and lodged a police report. The agent needs to cancel her work permit with immigration. And that's really all I can do. No replacement maid or refund cozshe passed her 3 month guarantee period (such BS if you ask me considering we just paid close to 9k for her). Only later do I find out that there is an insurance that you can get to protect yourself. Later, too late.

And so that is my story after months of absence. Shes gone. And I am alone with the kids. I am struggling I must admit. I don't have a life. Am I able? I am. I know I can do it. Maidless. But I don't really want to do it. I am grumpy and over-exhausted. I am bitter at times and stressed and frustrated most of the time. I don't like being this way. And so I will update you once we get our next domestic help.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I can't upload pictures...

I am using a prehistoric (no bluetooth) laptop with a USB port that is not functioning. And so I cannot upload any pictures which makes blogging just a little less exciting. To top that off my 'E' key has just broken off. It flies off everytime I type 'e', which is pretty darn often. And so I have put the little plastic piece aside and am pressing the little rubber knob (which has just bouncd off btw). I'll get used to it. I have so many pictures I am super excited to post, so much has been happening, so much going on. At home and with the babies. And oh wonderful (not), now my exclamation mark is giving me problems!!!!!!!!!! Oh well. Anyhow, this is one of those super rare moments where I am able to collect my thoughts (somewhat) and (quickly) blog a little about my simple, blessed and fulfilled life....

Two is a small number but two children are truly a handful, especially if they're my kids....the demanding duo! My days and nights are filled with "Mummy, no I don't want to bath!" or "Can we go playground? Can? Can? Too hot? Too late?" or "No! I don't want breakfast!" or just plain "wahhhhhhhh...." Sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out or knocking my head against the wall. Sometimes I feel my knees and ankles buckling, close to collapsing as I walk down the stairs with either baby in my arms. But most of the times I look at these two little faces staring back at me and my heart just melts. And the very rare moment where I squeeze in a 10 minute power nap and regain my strength. But there are also the times when I am anxious for this phase to pass. The terrible 2's and the early unsettled months. I remember promising to myself not so long ago that I would never call this zone Elil is in the 'Terrible 2's'. How could I ever refer to my angel baby as terrible?? But now that I am smack in the middle of it, that's exactly how she can be at times, TERRIBLE. However, I am consoled by the fact that it is a phase and it shall pass and she is absolutely normal. Anyway, a lot of the time she is angel, especially in her sleep. Console. Console.

Every (every) night for 5 months solid, Nila has woken me up an average of 6-7 times. Either for feeds or just to be pacified. In the past weeks she has settled down and wakes an average of 3 times a night which may be horror for some mummies but is nothing short of a miracle for me. I do believe she is starting to settle and develop a more 'normal' sleeping habit. However, she now sleeps with us in the bed throughout the night so I am sure this has contributed to her adjustment. Now there are 4 in the bed, mummy, daddy and two angels. I say, time for a bigger bed, no?

The day after we got back from our wonderful trip to KK, work started in our kitchen. Elil waited three whole weeks for the 'uncles' to make our kitchen beautiful. Not my dream kitchen I must say but still a pretty great looking kitchen worthy of praise! Finally, I have a fully functional kitchen! Unfortunately, because my lappy not fully functional (like my new kitchen ;)), you won't be seeing pictures of it anytime soon. I have invited Ots and her clan over tomorrow for some cupcake making and decorating fun. Yum.


Saturday, January 02, 2010


I am AT HOME in KK. I moved to KL in 1997 to pursue my degree. I have lived here ever since, minus about a year and a half after graduating (before I decided that I wanted to marry my then boyfriend) when I worked for a local consultant. KL is no where close to developing that sense of HOME in me. It probably never will. I don't hate it, I just don't love it. Sorry KLians! I am so AT HOME at home. It's a feeling I have always had. A feeling most people have about their hometowns I guess. And with things and feelings that are always with you, they tend to become immune to you, as in you forget about them. Until of course something happens to remind you of them.

Like just the other day. I met up with Sel, Mel and Yo for coffee. It took absolutely no planning and hardly any thought. I just felt like a coffee and some time with friends. So I send a mass (if I can call it that) sms, receive 3 positive replies and voila, under half an hour later, 4 old friends are together in and Olde Kopitiam. Because Nila can't do without her mama, I had to wear her on me and Sel was designated driver. A message came in my E71 and Ms. Driver said she'd leave in 5 minutes. 10 minutes later, Sel was outside my house, ringing on my doorbell. She (had the time and energy) to come down and have a short chat with my parents, say hello to Elil before we set off. It just amazed me how simple it was to meet up, to hang out, to do anything really. A coffee date like that in KL would require so much planning.

First, I'd have to find someone to hang out with! Of course this has nothing to do with the city itself but more of my lack of skill in making new and lasting friendships. Hahaha, so let's assume I find someone to hang out with, first we'd have to figure out 'when?' Said friend, "Let me check my calender...umm I'm free two weeks from Friday". Ok, so I got to wait two weeks! I might not even want coffee in two weeks!

Next, we'd have to figure a suitable 'time'. We'll need to avoid travelling during peak hours...that would be after 10am but before noon or before 5pm but after 8, IF were lucky. We'd also have to take parking space availability into consideration. Whatever! This is getting too complicated! Maybe i'll just have Bru Coffee alone at home?

You see we don't even have to get to 'where' yet. But let's go there anyway. Seeing as it takes a minimum of 30 minutes (assuming there is no jam) and 3 tolls for me to get to anywhere that's 'anywhere' hangout-able, somewhere in-between for everyone; I think i'll just stay at home and flip through my house magazines and get some inspiration for my future kitchen.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying its impossible. It's do-able but requires much effort, an amount of energy and quite a bit of stress. People do it all the time. With further distances, more tolls and unavoidable jams too. It's a way of life for some. A life considered good too. It just isn't for me. I have always been a small girl from a small town with a small town heart and I will probably always be. I've tasted both lives and I truly cherish my happy humble beginnings. With that being said, I am sure all who read this feel the exact same way about their 'humble beginnings' as well.