So we finally got our keys end Feb, and started renovation mid March. Target to complete renovations end April, and move by mid May, latest end May. In between November and now, my computer died, we had numerous discussions about the new place, Han built himself a new computer, gave me his old one, I spent half of today on Sketchup, and I am proud to present the updated plans for the new place.
Our first floor is going to be great! And our study room will just look like a mish mash of old and new desks. Lol.
Han recently recommended Google SketchUp to me, and to my pleasant surprise, it comes with a library of items contributed by people globally. After our discussion with Blum on our urbanKitchen purchase, I decided to do up this diagram so that we can roughly gauge that the kitchen plan is able to fit into the space available, and also to gauge the size of furniture we need to buy. I spent some time setting up this diagram; first night was mainly spent doing up a rough replica of the floor plan. Then I kinda went a bit overboard putting in the furniture after that, since so many things were available in the library. The IKEA furniture models are created by the community, I only imported the models we wanted to buy, or already own. If anything is a black box, it’s because the model is not available in the library, so I just placed a black box with the required dimensions.
Through this exercise, I learnt a whole bunch of things:
Our downstairs toilet is so bloody small
The washing machine seems really small after I placed it in the diagram (the box is based on dimensions of the model we are planning to buy)
How to create and scale items in the floor plan
I’m going to need a renovation loan to make all this a reality lol
I don’t know how tall or big our windows are, and we need to get them measured when we go for the site visit. Same goes for doors. So whatever I have put in this diagram for doors and windows are an estimate.
Created some custom items using textures I downloaded over the internet. You can see I re-created Ardan’s playmat there.
I can’t wait to get started on the second floor diagram. It’s like playing The Sims all over again. 🙂
Update: Here’s the first draft of the second floor.
Bought myself a Google Pixel (Silver, 128GB) for my birthday this year. 😀 Everybody’s been quite excited and asking for a review, so here’s my perspective of the device. Samsung S4 was the last Android phone I have used before switching to iPhones. My S4 battery would heat up while charging and also randomly while I’m out. I was uncomfortable with that symptom, so I switched to iPhone. But I’ve missed my S3 experience so much that I’ve been watching out for an Android phone since. I wanted to buy this phone the moment it was announced.
The hardware feels like an iPhone, key difference being there’s no button at the bottom of the front of the phone, the fingerprint reader is on the back of the phone, which poses no issues for me, I swipe it with either of my index fingers just fine. There’s a tiny pokey thing in the box to help you remove your SIM card from your iPhone and insert it into the Pixel. The Pixel SIM card drawer works exactly the same way as the SIM card drawer on the iPhone.
The phone powers up like any other phone, with an animation sequence and some jingle.
What comes in the box:
The phone itself
That pokey thing for the SIM card drawer
Charger adapter, I got the UK one so the plug is compatible here
One USB C to USB C cable for use with the official plug
One USB A to USB C cable, so you can still use your old iPhone charger to charge this phone, if you want
One female USB A to USB C adapter, in case you want to convert any of your other existing cables to USB C on one end
Some starter kit cards a la Razer products
And then I started going through this list, you should check it out if you just got yours.
What I Love About It
The keyboard can be swiped by default (can only have that with third party keyboards on iPhone)
I get lesser weird auto correct errors with keyboard
There’s a DND profile option (great for driving! I hated when friends WhatsApp me while I was driving)
Google Now recommending articles I actually want to read (my personal Google account was configured as the main account in the phone)
Having my work schedule on a full page panel, that I can swipe to anytime, without launching my calendar app (my work account is configured in the Outlook app)
Bits That Irritated Me
I have 3 virtual keyboards set up (English, Chinese and Japanese), and I have to go into them individually to turn off key press sounds and vibration. Shouldn’t keyboard settings be across the board?!
Similarly, I have to go into individual apps to turn off in app sounds
Sometimes I tap on a hot spot multiple times and I still don’t select it. Most times it’s because I’m tapping slightly lower than the phone expects it
Battery life seems a bit suspect. I spent 10% just surfing Facebook and Google Now for 45 minutes when I wake up
I wanted to try diffusing Lavender at night to see if it’ll reduce the frequency of Ardan’s nightmares. And also to help him with his afternoon naps on the weekends. I’ve noticed recently that he only naps for an hour on weekends afternoon, that can’t be good for his age! He’s only 25 months old!
I started diffusing Lavender at night since Wednesday, and I’m pleased to report that it does seem to help him sleep deeper and also we managed to get him to sleep for 2.5-3 hours during his weekend afternoon naps yesterday and today. I am now considering getting some Peace and Calming to help everybody in our family get even better quality sleep.
Second Breakfast: Tai Wah Cafe, 84 Jalan Argyle, 10050
极乐寺 Kek Lok Si Temple, Jalan Balik Pulau
Poor Terrapins had nothing to eat, I bought a whole bunch of kang kong and fed them.
Lighted a medium sized lamp for Han and I, and a mini lamp for Ardan.
They had these wish ribbons going for RM1 each that you could get. The wishes were the usual ones for wealth, health, harmony and whatnot. There were also ones you could get for kids/babies and wish that your kid is beautiful/handsome, listens to you, listens to your spouse, grow up faster, is smart, stay safe and be healthy etc. I asked Ling to get the beautiful and handsome one haha.
We then took a lift up to see the huge Guanyin statue at the top. I prayed for Yang and Ling.
Lunch: Air Itam Assam Laksa, Air Itam Market (Jalan Pasar)
Lam Heng Cafe, 185 Macalister Road
The char koay teow and prawn noodle aren’t anything to rave about. The lor mee is nice. The otah isn’t too bad.
Village Fish Head Bee Hoon, Pengkalan Weld
You can choose fish soup base or tomyum soup base, noodles, bee hoon or Maggie noodles and fresh or fried fish. The fried fish is very good. There’s a special drink called Pink Lady which tastes like Cendol.
First Stop: Hon Kei Food Corner, 45 Kampung Malabar
First stop was to have some lunch at Hon Kei Food Corner. It was a modern looking coffee shop which sells Bak Kut Teh on one side and Lor Bak on the other side. The side that sells Bak Kut Teh sells butter kaya toast as well. Yang ordered some to try and it was the best item we tried at this place.
Second Stop: Pinang Peranakan Mansion
It is said that men would pick their brides based on their handiwork, and not based on looks. The girls were trained from young in beading and embroidery and it was a very stressful environment for them to ensure they could sew well.
I felt very conflicted while I was there. A part of me wished I was able to learn how to make such intricate handicraft, while at the same time was thankful I was not borned in such a stressful environment. Ling assured me that I would have one of the best husbands around if I were born in that time. Lol.
People would put their babies in the rattan baby chair, and to prevent them from moving about, tie their hands and legs to the chair as well. Sounds kinda inhumane though.
Third Stop: 三条路888福建面, 67-A Lebuh Presgrave
Our third stop was for dinner. The soup in the prawn noodle was pretty authentic. I had roast pork added to my prawn noodle, and they were really good. If you want, you could choose to have bee hoon only, noodles only, Maggie mee, or mix the kind of noodles.
The orh jian was a disappointment, so don’t get that if you’re there. I didn’t manage to take a photo, but our best buy was the Cendol, followed by the prawn noodles, then the wanton mee.
Fourth Stop: Durians
We went for some durians after dinner, I didn’t manage to get the address, but here are some photos.
Ardan turns 8 months old today, and he can get started on fish. I decided to try making Salmon with Carrots and Tomato based on a recipe from my Annabel Karmel book. This is my first foray into cooking (home ed classes don’t count, the teacher gave us tips along the way) while following a recipe. Totally didn’t realise I had to defrost the meat before cooking. In my defense, I cook frozen peas, straight from the freezer into the boiling water! Lol. So we went out for dinner with the Huatians while letting the fish defrost at home.
Here’s the recipe in entirety, reposted from netmums.com. I used Option 2 and cooked the fish in milk rather than microwaved it.
225g carrots (peeled and sliced)
150g salmon fillet
½ tsp milk (or enough to cover the salmon, see method for details)
2 tomatoes (ripe, skinned and desseded), chopped
40g cheddar cheese, grated
Put the carrots in a steamer set over a pan of boiling water and cook for 15–20 minutes or until tender
Meanwhile, place the fish in a microwave dish, add the milk, dot with half the butter and cover, leaving an air vent
Microwave on High for 1½ –2 minutes
Alternatively, put the salmon in a pan, pour over enough milk to just cover and simmer for about 4 minutes or until cooked
Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan, add the tomatoes and sauté until softened and slightly mushy
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted – blend the cooked carrots with the tomato mixture
Drain the cooking liquor from the fish, remove the skin and check there are no bones
Flake the fish and mix it with the carrots and tomatoes
For younger babies you can blend the fish together with the carrots and tomato for a smoother texture
If you are interested in other recipes from Annabel Karmel, you can get them here.
We started Ardan on solids the week he turned 6 months in early February. That’s a video of him taking solids for the first time. I’m introducing new foods without testing, i.e. Not waiting 3 days after introducing new foods, and have had no problems so far.
I am referring to Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner. At the same time also referring to this image to stagger the introduction of variety.
Even though I can’t cook, the initial chapters of the book are real easy. I found it manageable to wash and chop fruits and vegetables, and then steaming and puree-ing them with my Philips AVENT Combined Steamer and Blender. However it had a max capacity so I had to cook batches sequentially.
But as I went through the book, I found that I have no time and interest in learning how to cook. So what I’ve been doing so far is continuing to introduce new food by steaming and puree-ing them. I hope that later on as he gets older, I could get Sheila to cook his meals for him.