Sunday, May 20, 2012

Whizzzz, Zoooom, Whooosh....

This is my third consecutive post for the day. I'm making up for lost time this month in writing in this blog. I left this blog 'silent' for three weeks, something I seldom do. I usually post one per week. It's just that time seems to go 'whiz, zoom and whoosh' and before I realise it, it's been quite a few weeks.

The daily routine of juggling all the stuff a housewife, homemaker, stay-at-home-mom, or whatever you wish to call those people who work-so-hard-do-all-sorts-of-things-don't-get-paid-for-anything is responsible for, just takes up so much time. And by 'all the stuff', I mean stuff like grocery shopping, laundry, ironing, chauffering, cooking, washing, cleaning, tidying, dog grooming and feeding, plant watering and trimming, nagging, prodding, bill paying, errand running, problem solving, household fittings and appliance care and management, homework and music practice supervision, and goodness knows what else! In between all these, this housewife takes breaks by reading online news and blogs, venting her woes on Facebook, writing her fortnightly column, watching a bit of TV or YouTube at times, griping, venting and sometimes wondering what life would be like if she were married to a billionaire and could spend all her days going to spas, checking out new restaurants and travelling around the world seeking out new adventures! Yes, all that juggling just makes one dizzy enough at times to just wish for what appears to be greener pastures.

In the past week, I've done all of the above, and most weeks, I do all of the above too. On top of the usual plant watering and trimming, I literally pushed down one small tree with my bare hands (felt like the female version of Samson!) and reduced it to pieces to fit into a garbage bag, covered myself with dog fur by giving Rusty a full groom, played veterinarian with a little skin problem, played dentist by extracting a loose tooth of C's using my thumb, forefinger and a piece of gauze for grip, reported to the school about a driver who's constantly been flouting the school traffic rules, battled a reluctant Year 4 student during mid-term exams, did some grammar-checking and proofreading work for two business reports, renewed my driver's licence, took the car to a tyre shop to get a screw and a nail out of one tyre, and just this evening, got frustrated with my cranky oven while the chicken was roasting inside, as well as harping about the evils of the television and grumbling at two people in particular who worship it.

Okay, that's all the whiz, zoom and whoosh for the week. I'm going to call it a night now as a new whiz-zoom-whoosh week begins tomorrow. I will be without my car for the larger part of the day. On Saturday, it went into the 'hospital' to replace the front suspension and all related parts and couldn't get done within the day. This coming week will precede the next two weeks of mid-term school holidays. This coming Friday, the last day of school, C's school will be celebrating Teacher's Day which is originally on May 16th. What small tokens of appreciation should we give her teachers? Maybe C and I could bake some cupcakes for them....if only I could twitch my nose or snap my fingers and voila, they're done!

Oh...and this coming Saturday, I have a nephew's birthday lunch and an alumni dinner to attend and help out at. I'm tired just thinking about the coming week.

Admiring nature like the flowers in my garden can be therapeutic sometimes.

Mother's Day

This is a belated post about Mother's Day which fell on May 13th this year. That day began like any other day for me. I made breakfast, woke C up and as usual I had to rush her to get ready quickly so that we would not be late for church. Her Sunday School class was to give a small performance of two songs dedicated to mothers. After they sang the songs, they went around distributing self-decorated framed mirrors, with a poem attached, to all the women in church -- mothers, grandmothers, mothers-to-be, godmothers, aunts, etc. The pastor gave a sermon titled 'Celebrating Mothers' based on the story of how two women played important roles in Moses' early life -- his birth mother and his adoptive mother.

After church, we came home to rest for the afternoon before heading out for a birthday-cum-Mother's Day dinner with E's family. Nephew J was celebrating his fourth birthday and dinner was at this very porky place called Hoofed in Taman Tun. We had their roast duck salad, roast suckling pig, a roast pork belly-ribs-shoulder combo, pasta, fried rice, and deep fried calamari and onion rings.

Here's wishing all mothers a very belated Happy Mother's Day (better late than never, right?). Everyday can be Mother's Day in fact!

Renewing a Malaysian passport

One Friday a few weeks back, C and I went to the immigration office to renew our passports. The entire process was luckily not a tiresome experience although we got there in the late morning. I recall those days of yore where I had to get my passport photos ahead of time and on the day I intended to visit the immigration office, I'd have to wake up super-early and be there to queue before the doors open at 8.30am! Then after all the paperwork is done, we'd have to go back again two weeks later to collect the passport.

It was an ad hoc decision to renew our passports that day, so after checking out the immigration website for some info, I decided to go to one of the newer branches in Puchong. I had no idea where it was so after some research via Google Maps and using our GPS, we got there without a hitch, arriving at around 10.30am. Actually, you can also renew your passport online these days. You need to fill in their online form, submit a scanned photo and make your payment online. Then you need to collect your new passport at the immigration office of your choice later.

C had already got her photos ready but I hadn't. Before leaving the house, I made a call to the office to enquire about their Friday office hours to be sure I could get it done within the day since they usually have a longer lunch break for Friday prayers. I also asked if they had any photography services. They told me there was a shop right next door that offered it.

Upon arrival, I went straight to the shop to have my photo taken. It took only 10 minutes since with digital photography, you can get your pictures printed instantly. Then we went into the office. It was pretty crowded but there was no turning back since I was already there. Got the necessary forms, filled them up, and went to get our queue numbers. The officer checked and collected our forms and photographs, gave us our numbers and thus, the wait began. There were over 20 people before us and I started wondering how long we had to wait. Luckily I got C, who is usually very impatient and would complain of boredom, to bring a ton of books along to keep her occupied. We waited for about 40 minutes before our turn came. That meant they were rather efficient, averaging about 2 minutes per number. All they did was check our forms, took our identification (my MyKad and C's birth cert), and gave us another number.

The new number was for the next waiting 'phase' to make payment. That wait took another 20 minutes. After paying RM300 for mine and RM150 for C's, they gave us a receipt stating the time we had to return to collect our passports. Because we got 'processed' just before their lunch break at noon, we were told to return to collect our new passports after 3.00pm. So off we went to a nearby mall for lunch. Then we decided to head home for a short rest.

Shortly before 3.00pm, we drove out again to the office, took a number and waited for 15 minutes before getting called. Before handing over the passports, they required our thumbprints. There was no problem scanning mine using their fingerprint scanner but for C, the officer had to make numerous tries. Luckily he was patient enough as C was one fidgety kid. Sometimes she didn't place her thumb properly on the scanner. Other times, she kept moving her thumb and the scanner couldn't do its job because of the movements. Finally, her thumbprint was successfully recorded and we got out of that place slightly after 3.30pm.

In total, we spent about 80 minutes of waiting time to get two passports done simultaneously. Not too bad compared to the past. While we were waiting, I noticed that this Puchong branch also houses the Registration Department where you can apply for your MyKad or birth certificate and other related documents. So that's why that place was quite crowded.