Sunday, July 30, 2006

Maid For Me

Been busy these past 2 weeks looking for a full-time helper. I was considering hiring someone direct from Manila since a few friend's helpers were all recommending thier sisters. But after interviewing all 3 of them, I've decided to just hire someone who's finishing up here so I can actually meet her and see how her cooking skills are.

This is the first time I've ever had to hire a full-time helper. When we were growing up in Manila, my mom was the one who handled all that. But what I remembered about the hiring process in the past was someone gets sent over from the province and that was it. There were no interviews or choices. A helper arrives, moves in and starts to get trained by my mom. If she's a keeper, she simply stays. And if not, she either misses her family too much or just doesn't want to stay. It seemed like my mom was able to mold whoever she had into what she needed. Often times I'm confident that I could do the same with whomever I hire, but somehow it just seems like helpers these days are more intelligent and shrewd.

And since I'm here now in HK, all the candidates I'm interested in have other options. If I feel one of them is great, I'm pretty sure alot more other employers would feel the same thing. I'll have to end up hiring someone who didn't get any other offers or who miraculously chose to work with me instead of all the other employers. And with Nachos arriving in December, I don't have time to waste if I end up hiring a dud!

I've interviewed 3 so far and only 1 seems to be ok. That 1 candidate has already maxed out her 2 week grace period, so if I decided to hire her, I'll end up going back to my original plan of hiring direct from Manila. But at least with her I've already met her and checked out her cooking skills.

I've got 3 more I'd like to check out before I make a decision. I hope I get some good ones coming up so I have more choices in the pot.

This whole process sure is making me realize just how important it is to find the right helper for our family. One wrong choice and Hubby could decide life without one was just fine.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Drama Again In The Playroom

It seemed to be another normal afternoon in the playroom yesterday when I suddenly saw a skinny white kid hit Boy Wonder. The kid then leaned toward Boy Wonder for some reason, but by then I had moved Boy Wonder away and attempted to grab Skinny Evil Kid. I asked him where his helper was and what her name is. He said her name is Girlie and that she's somewhere. I asked him to come with me so we could look for her and on our way, I calmly asked him if his helper and mom had told him it is bad to hit. He said yes. Then I asked him what is he suppose to say to Boy Wonder in which he looked at Boy Wonder and said sorry. We then reached Girlie who was looking after an infant as well. I told her what happened but was abit dissappointed as she didn't seem too disturbed at what Skinny Evil Kid had done. I told her he has already said sorry and told her to make sure she watches him more closely in the future. They then left immediately.

After I had calmed down abit and patted myself on the back for handling the situation so calmly, I played the whole incident in my mind again. A sudden wail of sirens went off in my head and I asked Boy Wonder to come to me as I checked out his shirt. I looked at the area in which Skinny Evil Kid had leaned towards, which was his back and saw teeth marks!!! Had they still been around the playroom, I definitely would not have been calm at that moment. I thank the lord Skinny Evil Kid did not reach any fleshy portion of Kid Wonder. If he did, Girlie would have had a really really bad afternoon.

I told Hubby about what happened that night and kept the teeth marks as the finale. He said had Skinny Evil Kid reached flesh, there would be hell to pay as he hunted down his parents. You go Hubby!

But seriously though, if I see Girlie with Skinny Evil Kid again today in the playroom, I will have to inform her of what else had happened.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Just Had To Say...

I received a real birthday card from my friend Chris in Thailand today. He's the only person I know who still sends actual cards for most occassions. Its such a breath of fresh air to recieve such things. I even received a Thank You card from him after he went back to Thailand because he stayed with us for a few days. Now how touching is that? When was the last time any of us received an actual Thank You card? In our age of emails, nothing beats an actual hand written greeting. I better go dig up our stack of personalized Thank You cards and start using them again.

Reality Check

Before Hubby went off to work this morning he asked me what I have planned for the day. I said nothing this morning coz our part-timer will be here till noon. She's new so we don't want to leave her alone in the apartment till we're more used to her. So Hubby said then that means I'll most likely stay home, eat lunch when the maid leaves then its pretty much nap time for Boy Wonder. Then when Boy Wonder wakes up its already around 4. Maybe take him to the playroom for abit then its time to cook dinner. After which its almost dinner time and Hubby will be back from work. Although that is pretty much what I do most of the days, it was abit depressing hearing it from Hubby.

But what can I do? We've still got to establish trust with the new part-timer, I can't leave Sam when he's napping and 4pm is way too late to start the day.

Oh well, a chilling reality check for me. I need to start figuring out what to do about that.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Our US Trip

Sometime back in May we were thinking of taking a quick trip to Thailand before Hubby started his new job. After discussing dates and what future trips we could still take, Hubby suddenly came up with the genius idea of going to the US instead and surprise my parents. We told my brother so he could get Boy Wonder a car seat and pick us up at the airport when we arrived.

As you can see, my parents did get a wonderful surprise. Our mission was accomplished and we had a great time relaxing, shopping and letting all my family take turns playing with Boy Wonder.

It was also the hottest one week while we were in Cali. Unfortunately for Hubby who hates the heat, my parents didn't install air-conditioning when they renovated the house. They said California only gets this hot a few days during the summer, so it wasn't worth the added investment to get one. Poor hubby, he had to sleep with 2 electric fans blowing at him everynight. And the funny thing was, after he left the following weekend the heatwave was over. We even needed blankets after that.

My brother's wife's sister also works for The Gap, so she was able to get us additional discounts at the outlet stores. Hubby and I, or rather Hubby went crazy shopping at The Gap and Old Navy. He said he had never bought so much clothes at one go in his life. That's what sucks about HK. You either get the over priced brandname clothes or the super cheap no name stuff. There isn't a Gap or Old Navy that caters to the middle income with good taste. And what about those who wants european sizes added to the mix? So anyways, shopping there was great. It was also great living less than 10 minutes away from The Great Mall which had all the outlet shops in it.

Another great thing about the trip was my mom's cooking. Yum! When we arrived my mom asked me what I felt like eating. And all I was craving for was plain congee, pickled cucumber and dried pork floss. Those 2 bowls of congee really fed my soul. My nausea seemed to melt away after that. And I don't know if it was the company or the food itself, but everything I ate in the States just tasted so good. After I got back here anything that came out of our kitchen just made me want to throw up again. Sniff, I miss my mom's cooking right now.

Boy Wonder also had a great time bonding with my cousins, uncle, brothers, brother's wife and especially my parents. Just last night we was asking for his Gonggong and Puopuo which I had to say were in the States. And that we would have to take a really long plane ride to see them again. He also learned heaps of new Chinese words and phrases. Now I'm just worried my in-laws won't understand him when we go visit in October. It was great having all those extra people to take him to the park, to play peek-a-boo and chasing games. Boy Wonder also loved my parents' carpeted stairs. He set up his base camp there with all his toys and cars and if you had to look for him, you knew where to find him.

We also took the time to visit my grandmother's grave. I always get emotional when we go visit her. She was the one person who was most eager to see me get married and have kids. And she was the one person who had to go just before I met Hubby. Boy Wonder had a great time helping my mom pour water into the flower pot and then making a mess with the remaining jug of water. All the boys also felt like Hawaiian shirts should be the theme of the day.

But after all the relaxing, eating and shopping, our 2 weeks were up and Boy Wonder and I headed home. Hubby was missing us immensely and we were eager to see him too. I can't wait to go back again. The next time we go to the US, we'll need 2 car seats! I'm sure my whole family will be thrilled to see Nachos next year.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

So today was my birthday. When Hubby asked me last night what I would like to do today, I asked him why? It was only then that I realized that it was my birthday the next day. Holy cow, I had to do the computation in my head again just to remind myself I've turned 34 this year. Waah! We had dim sum with some friends for lunch then Hubby brought home a Cova chocolate cake and we sang happy birthday, blew out the candles and ate the cake tonight. Yipee.

Some friends texted and others emailed their greeting. I always feel really touched when I recieve these simple greetings. Then I feel a sudden gush of guilt wondering if I remembered to greet them during their birthdays. I even got a greeting from my ex-friend. This is what she texted: Happy birthday! Even tho u never bothered 2 visit & see my son 4 whatever reason, still greeting u 4 old times' sake. Hope all is well... I know the old, or should I say one year younger me would feel pissed after reading this message, but I actually had a chuckle after I read it. Its so sad she still doesn't get it. From the text I can tell she is still keeping score. What for? I just texted back a simple: Tnx (her name) =)

Its also dawned on me that my chuckle meant I'm finally over the whole thing and also her. So this is what it's like when you wait to exhale. Naks! haha!

So happy birthday to me! I'll have to post about my trip to the US next.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mama Got A New Watch!

Hubby got me a watch as my wedding anniversary/bday present today. I haven't had a decent watch in ages and after dropping a few hints, Hubby said he looked at almost every watch shop in Central and decided I should pick the one I really want.

It all started on Thursday when I dropped Boy Wonder off at a friend's place. Thank goodness Boy Wonder really likes Sachi so there wasn't much drama when I left to meet up with Hubby for a rare dinner out. We looked at a bunch of watch shops and saw 2 watches that I liked. We then decided to give it more time and check out CWB as well on the weekend. So off we went to dinner at M on the Fringe. It was great to have a nice quiet meal with just the 2 of us. I had a great time.

Then today, we set off to CWB and checked out more watch stores. There was the Toys R Us side trip that couldn't be ignored then lunch at CPK. Just before we thought we had seen all the stores we stopped at one in Times Square. I loved it the moment I saw it. So Hubby got it for me.

Thanks Hubby, you're the greatest!