Thursday, December 20, 2007

I am an INTP - huh?

Saw my friend's post on this in her FaceBook page and decided to try it out for myself. I'm a sucker for personality tests. Hahaha... Tell me, does it sound like me? I think it does.

***You Are An INTP***

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.
Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don't get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

What's Your Personality Type?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank God for Mothers

And now I know why. It's tough. I didn't think it would be *this* tough, but it is.

From the moment you decide you want to become a mother, I can assure you, nothing that happens can be what you're prepared for, how your body will change, how you could react to the pregnancy, and then - how your life will change when baby finally arrives. Nothing anyone tells you can actually truly prepare you for any of this. All the reading, all the theory, all the prep work. Not that any of it is useless. Reading up helps. Talking to people and asking questions help. But it's still some bit of a shock to the system when you start living it out yourself.

I look at my daughter now, and she's the cutest thing to me. But knowing she's a girl and one day could be a mother, it actually pains me to think she could potentially go through all I have been. It's tough. I pray she will be tougher. And when her turn comes, I'll be there for her like my mum has been for me. Thank God for mothers.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Superman to the Rescue!

We went down to Gramophone last night for a quick look around to see what we could watch for movie night. Instead of a movie though, I found Season 6 of Smallville (currently showing on Channel 5 every Saturday at 6pm) for rental. Oh glee!

So here's the plan. I pop the DVDs in just before bedtime, and I turn the tv on at every feed and watch 30 mins worth of Smallville each time, with the subs on of course, so I disturb no one in the wee hours of the morning. And since Lauren's tummy is almost functioning like clockwork now, it means I get to finish about 3 episodes over 6 feedings from 10pm to 8am. I'll be done with Season 6 by Friday morning, when the discs are due for return, and then we'll look for a new set of videos to watch.

Last night, I completed 3 episodes, and I emerged in the morning feeling less irritable. Superman saves the day!

Friday, December 14, 2007

How long can you last on 3-4 hours of sleep?

Not much longer for me it would seem. This state of not getting enough sleep is getting to me. I'm tired, my temper and emotions are shorting out at a faster rate, and I think my sanity is just about to give way.

She wants to feed every other hour. Each feed lasts between 30-40 mins. There's usually a need for a diaper change in between. That usually takes another 5-10 mins. Sometimes, KM helps me. Most times I try to let him sleep unless I feel I really could do with a little more help. Then I need to burp her or at least keep her upright for another 5-10 mins. Therefore, if like today, she wakes up at 3.10am for a feed & change, I'm not done with her till about now - 4am. And if she needs to feed hourly, she could be up in another 10-15 mins. If I'm lucky and she decides to feed in 2 hours, I might be able to get at least 30-45 mins of sleep in between, considering I'm not normally able to fall asleep upon contact with my pillow. This pattern will last through the day until the next night. It has been like that for almost a week. I blog, typing with one hand while she feeds. This logging helps me maintain some bit of sanity, pulling my thoughts together in an attempt to find some coherence in me still.

I am tired. I am quick-tempered because I am tired. I am upset that my fuse is running so short. But I am tired. I feel bad that I feel so tired. Yet how can I not feel tired? I want time for myself. I feel guilty when I do find time for myself. But I need time for myself, to myself. I don't want visitors. He cancelled all visits from his relatives and friends. I'm grateful, but he seems angry with me. I am upset that he's angry, but I am tired. So very tired. I wish I needn't have to feed her, so I can sleep. How can I be thinking something like that? I love her. But I am so tired. I'm in tears.

Attempt at Getting Organised

We went to IKEA for a short while earlier and bought us over $150 of storage solutions.

My mum, in her efforts to help me get rid of the source of my irritation, sent me off to IKEA with a list of types of storage boxes to look out for. A minor dent in the pocket later, I must say I'm feeling a fair bit better than I did yesterday. At least the diapers are in neat stacks in nice fabric boxes and my mum managed to find space to hide the inumerable bottles of Dom. Don't we all just love IKEA?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Without a Care in the World

I wish I could keep her in this state forever, that she may never need to have a care in the world.

If only.

Feeling Irritable

I think being at home for long stretches does not suit me. I'm not complaining about being on Maternity Leave. Far from that. I'm enjoying not having to go to work and spending all my time with my baby. But, I'm not enjoying looking at the mess around me. I'm not enjoying looking at the mess around me and feeling too tired to deal with them. I'm not enjoying looking at the mess around me, feeling too tired to deal with them, and having them accumulate each day I don't deal with them. In fact, I'm not enjoying this state of mess and mentally logging an increasingly long list of to-dos to the point where I'm feeling highly irritable and ready to snap.

I can't stand the fact that I have 8 bottles of Benedictine Dom lining the floor in my study room. I can't stand it even more that I have uncountable numbers of Brand's Essence of Chicken stacked up in all possible cupboards in my home, and because there are so many bottles and so little space, the bottles have spilled over onto my study room table. It gets to me that there's an unused, old, baby cot mattress that's leaning against my study room cabinet such that I cannot open the doors and get what I want. I am not appreciating the numerous hampers with their useless content that have been coming to us from people I don't even know (ala in-law's contacts and acquaintances), taking up space in my small home. It frustrates me that my maid leaves her pillow, blanket and mattress out in the open in the study room. And it is absolutely getting on my nerves that despite repeated instructions to throw away the stacks of useless plastic/paper bags that have come with gifts and goodness knows what else, they are still lying around in even larger bags in my study room! My study room is becoming this huge warehouse of junk and I can't do any of my craft activities in there (or anywhere else) at all because I can't get to my supplies!

I feel like throwing everything out of that room into the corridor outside and let them rot and fester in the rain.

Highly irritable and irritated.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Back on Direct Feeding! Yippee!

As of last night, I've gone back on 100% direct feeding from both sides. *broad grin* I had a little scare in the middle of the night though, when Laurie somehow suddenly appeared to have problems latching on to the left breast (which was not the case just a couple of feeds before), and I really panicked. I actually started to perspire! But that eventually sorted itself out and she's been feeding fine for the last 5 hours. In the meantime, my breasts seem to be filling out really quickly, so I reckon I will still express some to keep for Grandma to feed her when I really need some extra sleep, or have to be out somewhere.

On a totally separate note, I think I have a very sleepy family here. This morning, my alarm went off at its usual shrill note, and for the first time, I actually didn't react to it immediately like I normally would, being the light sleeper that I am. Instead, I took a long while to search for the switch to kill it, and when I rolled over to look at the rest of the bed's inhabitants, I found everyone else fast asleep despite the noise.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Partially back on direct feeding...

It's been 2 days of feeding Laurie expressed milk from the bottle while my nipples heal over. Just a couple of hours ago, I tried nursing her directly from the less sore side again, and it was sheer joy to see her suckle. She seems to enjoy feeding from my breasts instead of the bottle (and I enjoy it just as much watching her suckle), so it was really upsetting for me not to be able to for 2 days. Worries of nipple confusion have been allayed, though my sis told me babies just somehow solve the issue for themselves. Even the lactation nurse I saw at the hospital yesterday told me to express and bottle feed for the moment.

I've got an appointment to finally meet the LC at the hospital on Monday. Hopefully we can solve the problem of sore nipples. The paed and lactation nurse both were of the opinion that it could be that Laurie's mouth was tiny in relation to my nipple size. Perhaps the problem would "solve" itself as she gets older. Meanwhile though, I've been encouraged by a friend to feed direct for a few minutes a day until the nipples toughen. In the meantime, I'm gonna still express for most of the day, and try to feed her directly once or twice in the evenings just to keep the rhythm. I'm praying it will all get better soon. I'm sure it will.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

So Useless...I'm in Tears

I didn't mean to release Laurie from her latch earlier, but it was just so painful, I burst into tears!

Breastfeeding is turning out to be a real challenge, not for the lack of milk production, but for the pain that comes with it. I feel so useless - I could give birth to her without an epidural, but I can't even breastfeed her! The pain was so excrutiating earlier when she gave her initial clamp that my reaction was just to pull away. That caused Laurie to burst into tears herself, naturally. She was both hungry and upset, I'm sure. She must've been wondering why Mummy pulled away so suddenly. Kee Min took over and tried to pacify her by rocking her back and forth. My poor hungry baby, screaming away!

It was a long wait before I could get any milk to her. I really couldn't let her feed from my breasts because the nipples really hurt, and waiting for the steriliser to complete its run before I could use the pump and the bottles was agonising. Her wails were so heart wrenching, I couldn't stop crying. Oh the guilt! By the time I was done pumping and ready with milk in a bottle for her, she had cried herself to sleep and wouldn't wake to be fed. Terrible me.

I'm certain I've been doing everything right. Her latch has been good and correct according to all the instructions I'd received from the lactation consultant while at the hospital, and from all the sites I've been reading. Even my sister said her latch was correct when I she came over the weekend and saw me nursing Laurie. Yet it hurts so badly. And my heart hurts so badly now too. What do I do? I'm watching my little princess sleep so soundly, but on an empty tummy, all because Mummy couldn't take the pain...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Laurie settled into this position while feeding this morning. Isn't she just an angel? I'm so in love with her! She'll be a week old tmw, and she's been feeding well and putting on weight steadily since discharge. She sleeps well at night too, so we've been getting good rest as far as standards for new parents go. No complaints. Giddy with love and joy.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Been 5 Days

It's been tiring but wonderful.

She's such a darling, I could stare at her for hours! Her feeds are finally getting longer, with her taking in more each time and consequently the breaks between feeds are also lengthening. I reckon it's got to do with that I'm finally producing milk rather than just colostrum, so she's probably getting more full with each feed. That also means I'm getting more sleep in between! Thank God for that! KM and I are certainly beginning to understand the term "sleep deprivation".

Sleep issues aside, confinement food is already driving me nuts - I don't know how I'm gonna be able to take a whole month of seriously heaty food. My nose bleeds are not going away thanks to all this extremely... what's the English word for it? Potent food? But I suppose after 9 months of great discomfort, what's one more month? :P

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We Became Parents Yesterday!

My water bag burst at 6.30am yesterday. I had never seen KM bolt out of bed so quickly before! After pottering around for a bit - both of us managed to have breakfast and a quick shower first - we left for the hospital at 7.30am and were in the delivery suite by 8am. And 4 hours later, we became new parents! So far, it's been an awesome, albeit tiring first day, and she is certainly the cutest little thing to come our way.

My aunt asked me to describe the experience in one word last evening, but I couldn't think of one. No words could've described it for me, really. But almost 24hrs later, I'd say the best word would be "intense". I didn't think I could do it without epidural or any other form of pain relief except bruising KM's hands as I held on to them so tightly each time the contractions came, but I did! Poor KM's hands now have battle scars to prove it too! I have to cut my nails before we go to the hospital the next time. Next time? Yes. Not so soon, but I do think there will be a next time.

Praise God for a quick labour and our little miracle. And thank you all, for your constant prayers and blessings.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On the Throne in the Delivery Suite

So this is me blogging from my phone (no internet connection here in the Delivery Suite), and this is it!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hot, Bothered and Very Restless

No sign of baby yet. She's enjoying the food and lodging too much. I, on the other hand, am beginning to feel increasingly restless, hot, bothered, HIGHLY irritable and all round impatient. The next person to call me up and ask whether baby has arrived yet will get yelled at by me. Which is why I am not picking up the phone when it rings. While I would like her to be a Dec baby, the wait is starting to get to me cos she's getting too heavy for me. :P And these Braxton Hicks contractions are getting me really tired. Not to mention the backaches ('cos she's getting too heavy!)

Meanwhile, I'm trying to distract myself with baking. Just baked another lot of cupcakes that's supposed to be coffee flavoured, but KM says the coffee flavour hasn't come through. Smells like coffee though. *shrug*

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Has it started? Clueless

I have been up since 2.30am. It's now 4.45am. I can't seem to fall asleep cos of this nagging lower back ache and slightly sharp pains that come and go. "Slightly" cos I'm not sure if they really hurt or not (ooh... I'm feeling it again), and I have a relatively high threshold for pain, so while these pains may be sharp, they don't make me scream or anything.

So now I'm up, sitting in my bed blogging. Just a while ago, I was IM'g with a friend, who seems rather certain I'm in the first stages of labour (she was up with her baby). Tomorrow marks 38 weeks exactly, so no, I'm not exactly early I suppose, if this really is the start of labour. I'm just wondering how to react now. Do I start packing my bag? It's partially packed now. But most everything else is still not in order.

I'm trying to time these waves of discomfort. So far, they seem to be 10 mins apart. It could well be a false alarm. But who knows? Thing is, KM is supposed to be up in 30 mins time to get ready to go to Malaysia - which we already had a disagreement on yesterday. I've already woken him up once to tell him I could be in early stages of labour, and his response was, "No kidding?" before rolling back to sleep. Duh. Ah... another one of those funny pressure feelings again... I think he shouldn't go, even if it takes another 2 weeks for baby to come. Goodness knows what men think is priority anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Two and a Half More Weeks To Go

Baby's engaged, according to our gynae, but she seems very snug in me still, enjoying the food and lodging... no sign of her wanting to come out yet. This despite contractions being detected by the whatchamacallit machine. I didn't feel any of the contractions though. Maybe cos it's not too painful yet? Or perhaps 'cos I've got a high threshold for pain? In any case, it's 2 and a half weeks away to her estimated due date. As long as she doesn't go past 8 Dec, I'll be glad. Meanwhile, I'm trying to enjoy my leave, so perhaps I should just ignore all office emails which have certainly been a source of real irritation.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Water Birth, New-Age, Airy-Fairy... Err... Hmmm...

We discussed birth options with our gynae at our last visit, and she suggested we get a doula (a birthing assistant) if we wanted to go for a water birth. And so... we made an appointment with the person she suggested, and it doesn't seem like the doula and I are gunning for the same thing.

When we decided we would go for water birth, it was really because we wanted to use water birthing facilities as a manner of pain relief, rather than to go through this whole new-agey birth experience. The doula, however, told us that if we wanted to work with her, we would need to sign up for hypnobirthing classes. Now, before anyone gets the idea that hypnosis at birth is linked to hypnotists making people bark like dogs on a stage, let me just be absolutely fair to what this technique is about - you don't get hypnotised out of the pain. Really. It's just about deep relaxation techniques so that you can "enjoy the entire birthing experience". Which truly, is a fair thing to gun for and work towards. If that is what you want. I just want to go through a natural childbirth with no epidural.

All this talk about painful childbirth seems over-rated. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm anxious or afraid 'cos it's "very painful!" Is it now? My mum never had epidurals; neither did my cousin and some friends. Apparently, the concept of horrendous pain during childbirth is a cultural one. Especially in the west. Many Asian cultures simply accept that childbirth comes with pain, and so deal with it. And I'm beginning to think hypnobirthing is cashing on this very simple concept of "dealing with it". A google on "hypnobirthing" yields nothing but a long list of companies offering courses to teach people something that's just ...cultural.

I still want to go for a water birth. Just for pain relief. But hypnobirthing? Nah...

The only real issue I have with this entire hypnobirthing technique is this - I think

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nutella Cupcakes!

KM had a choice between Carrot Cupcakes or Nutella Cupcakes last night and he picked Nutella. :) Guess Nutella sounds better than Carrot anytime, huh?

I decided to try it myself (risking all!) and had half a cupcake, and guess what? My tummy held out! Nutella doesn't make me sick! Whoopee!! *grin*

Here're some of the cakes before they went into the oven.

And the cakes cooling on the rack.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

5 more weeks!

Baby's growing well and certainly getting stronger! Her kicks aren't quite so kind anymore and they can REALLY HURT! Pain aside, I'm glad she's kicking as she has been though. Always good to know she's active and I do hope she stays that way.

I've put on all of .. *drum roll* ... 6kg!!! Quite an achievement I dare say. I reckon baby should be making up some 1/3 of that so far, perhaps a little more. Gynae said weight gain was coming along well, so no worries there! She also said that baby's cooperating and her head's already started to move downwards (her head's sorta on the bottom right hand side of my tummy now). Everything's going well, and we're well on track towards 8 Dec. :D

Meanwhile, I'm thinking lots about chocs (I miss 'em) and KM bought me a pack of Marks and Spencer Milk Chocolate Digestive biscuits, though he thinks I really shouldn't eat any since I always regret it later. I figure though, perhaps I could try some close to bed time, so even if it makes me sick, at least it's bed time... y'think? :P

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Smells like the Holiday Season is here

It's November! And things smell different. The air feels cooler and lighter already with more rains coming to us. Everyone seems more relaxed, despite year-end rushes to complete work. The holiday mood is certainly in the air. After Deepavali next Thursday, we'll all be counting down to Little Lauren's arrival and Christmas!

Thoughts of cupcakes and presents, holly and lights fill my mind now... and baby booties. *grin*

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Today's Lunch!

I prepared some batter for cinnamon pancakes a few days ago, and decided to have a pancake lunch today. Doesn't this just look yummy? *grin*

My friend said I should keep life simple, but why do that when you have pancake batter and egg rings??

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Megan was playing with Dylan's markers the other day and accidentally put one to her mouth. Being the good brother that he is, Dylan got alarmed and went straight to my sis.

Dylan: MUM!!! Megan put the marker on her tongue! Quick! Pray for her that she'll be ok!!
Mum: (reading) Mmm... ok... (continues to read)
Dylan: (alarmed) MUM!!!
Mum: Oh! Oh! Okay!

Adults... Tsk, tsk...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recent events have got me thinking a lot about how I want to live my life and what really brings me greatest joy. In fact, the year has got me thinking a lot about these issues.

Being pregnant has been the most significant thing to have happened to me this year. And more than just being pregnant, but feeling ill or physically unable to do what had previously been easy to accomplish for most of the last 8 months has been a most frightening and humbling experience. To think that there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop or prevent yourself from feeling sick (or not), putting on weight (or not), or even influence how baby is growing and developing. Everything out of your hands. No meds you can take to stop the nausea. No exercises to help determine how your body will shape up. No amount of planning. No amount of worrying. None of these would be able to affect the state of things. The only thing you can do, is to trust in God's plans for you and your baby. For you and your entire life, what it is, what is to come, what is to be.

In the whole scheme of things, suddenly, the mess at work seems not too important afterall; bitchy colleagues and ungracious people somehow seem very trivial; and wanting to be one up above the rest seems to be the wrong value to hold after all.

I find that what brings me greatest joy now is to take care of my husband, and soon, my little one too. Their happiness is my happiness. As a friend said to me today, "So much for feminism and emancipation, huh? When all that makes us happy is being a wife and mother." Well. I've always thought feminism was dumb anyway.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Is It Time?

My cousin recently asked on her facebook, when one would know if it was time to leave an organisation. My answer was, when your values were no longer aligned to that of the organisation.

I am now at that point myself where I am questioning the integrity of the people I work for. It upsets me greatly, things I have seen and heard as a 3rd party observer, and things I have experienced for myself. I am not angry. I am sad. I am in tears because of it. And I now ask myself, "What next and when?"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No More Flour

No more butter either. And soon, I'll be outta sugar. Been baking lots and lots till I've run out of ingredients at home! And it's not like I can eat anything I bake, and there's only KM and our domestic help at home... so I end up with a mountain of cupcakes and brownies, and um... they look like a task to consume. :P

But, but, but... despite the sugar sensitivities, I did try one of my teeny, tiny, mini brownie cupcakes last night. I dare say food that come out of my kitchen taste very decent! I did go to bed with a bit of a lousy tummy after that though...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Finally baked some brownie cupcakes and iced a few. These are for my mum-in-law. Didn't manage to celebrate her birthday with her, so this is a small make-up treat. I have no idea how any of my cakes taste since I'm still not keen on sugar, but I hope she likes them.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I feel so blessed, truly.

Just on Saturday, a friend who's going back to London soon, came by and dropped off her baby cot, baby changing bed, milk bottle steriliser, breast pump and travel cot! That's gonna save us a lot, and I am so, so, so grateful for the stuff!

Baby's just so blessed. And so're Mummy and Daddy. :D

Saturday, October 13, 2007


KM took me back to BIY yesterday. I finally bought me a cake decorating set, some food colouring, a cake caddy, and a cupcake magazine. It's been a long time since I've baked cupcakes, about 4 years, to be exact. Somehow, when I got posted to HQ, I stopped having the time to muck around with my baking tools. Then when we got married, we lived with my in laws who had an oven that was really more like a glorified cupboard. Now, finally, I'm re-kitting myself with all the necessary bakeware any home should have, and reacquainting myself with an old hobby.

As we stepped out of the shop, KM said to me, "Happy Scrapbaking, hun."


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Baby's Plump!

Had another visit to the gynae's today. She said Lauren's plump! She weighs 1.8kg now, and the gynae reckons she will be a good weight of about 3kg at birth, which is great! She said too that my weight gain's been very "efficient" too, cos I've only put on 4.6kg thereabouts in total, and 1.8kg has gone to Lauren. The rest is probably the water and the placenta.

Lauren's now lying mostly on my left side, with her head to my right. Explains all the kicking I get when I lie down on my left. She doth protest the lack of space whenever I do that. Hahaha!

Anyway, I'm glad baby's doing good, though doc said my health is equally important, and my anaemia has returned at an all time low. Have to start taking iron tablets, which I *so* dislike. No choice though. I wish drinking Essence of Chicken was sufficient this time. Apparently not. Bleah.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cupcake or Muffin?

I've been wondering. What's the difference between a cupcake and muffin? My American colleague says a cupcake has icing; a muffin doesn't. But muffins to me have always been savory breads ala McDonald's Egg McMuffin.

Then came the question from my American colleague - what's a biscuit? And cracker?

So, what Americans call "biscuit", the Brits call "scone"; American crackers are English biscuits; English crackers are American crisps; American fries are English chips.

Napkins and serviettes?

Have I got it right? Wrong?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Edible Scrapbooking

I got KM to take me to the Bake It Yourself shop along Bt Timah Road today. The first thing he said when we walked into the shop was, "I can see why you wanted to come here. It's edible scrapbooking!"


Indeed. It was like walking into an edible scrapbooking shop - all the tools, the icing decorations, the bottles of colouring...

My next obsession yet. But first, I need to find racks for the oven so I can actually bake!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Restless @ Work; Growing List of Want-to-Dos

I've been extremely restless at work. A lot of it has to do with the sheer amount of work to be done, the feeling of being unable to do it all in time, and the boredom of facing the same sets of things to be done day in, day out. And in my restlessness, I think up more things I'd rather be doing, but will likely never do them 'cos I'm getting heavier, sleepier and consequently, more restless. This is a vicious cycle.

Round and round the garden...

I want to bake. Cupcakes. Big ones, small ones, chocolate ones, butter ones, those with icing, those without, dum dee dum. I don't even know how to work the convection function in the microwave oven my sister gave me 'cos she gave it to me with no manual (and no baking trays either). Duh. But I want to bake anyway. Not like I will eat them. Still mostly sugar averse. But, but, but...

And I want to do up some Christmas presents now. My desk top is dead though. So I can't print photos or cards or make tags and all. No matter. Can still think about doing them. Highly likely they'll never get done though (see above reason). Nevermind.

First things though - must finish baby's knit top and start packing my bag. 8+ weeks to go. I'm slacking a bit too much on the baby front...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Enjoying Grandma's Table

KM's been at the table since he woke up. From before brunch, to after brunch, to tea time, past tea time... We're supposed to get ready to go for an afternoon swim at my parents, but he won't budge from the table! Waiting, waiting...
Seafood Picnic in a Bag!

We decided to have fish and chips at that nice little seafood place at Greenwood Avenue yesterday, but the seafood platter KM wanted was only available on their takeaway menu. So, armed with our picnic table all ready for such emergencies, we got our platter (fish, squid rings, scallops, prawn and chips) and clam chowder, found ourselves a small park nearby and had ourselves a wonderful, picnic lunch! Weekends should be like this.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My grandparents' marble dining table

It finally arrived this morning. I'd asked if I could have the table after my grandma passed ("What? That dirty, old table?!?" was my Uncle's response when I asked for it), and the Grand Council of Aunties and Uncles said I could.

It's not a big table. Measures just slightly more than a metre in diameter. The edges are chipped from normal wear, and the legs have been replaced once already. The current stand the table top is on now is very rusty and will have to be replaced again. Once we get it restored, it just might get a little smaller than it is now, but small as it might be, we somehow managed to get quite a number to sit around it at meal times, at least that seemed to be the case when we were little and the table looked so huge then.

Just about everyone in the family has had a meal there at some point in time. It excites me to think that soon, my baby will get to eat at that table too. And probably play under it like we did when we were young.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Experiments With Food :D

Salmon + Mushroom Melt

Yumms... Today, it's a muffin melt, simply because. :D Well, truth is, our maid's now here and since there's someone to clean up after my mess in the kitchen, why not cook more? Horrible me, I know. But lazy I am, and admit it I shall.

Anyway, melt was great, if I say so myself. And if you're thinking the picture looks like everything was slanting precariously to one side and could topple over, it's cos it really was. The tray was resting on my pillows.

The Countdown Begins!

At our gynae visit yesterday, we got the bed booked, and a "NUHMum" goodie pack from the hospital, with one free diapy (wah...), some magazines, instructions on what to pack to bring to the hospital, emergency numbers to call and charts to monitor fetal movement.

The countdown has started! And I'm beginning to feel the weight on my tummy (and back!). Owww...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dreaming Up To-Do Lists...

...that have absolutely nothing to do with work. Happens to the best of us I'll bet, but really, the longer my to-do list at work gets, the more I add to my other to-do list. And then, in an attempt to get all on the list done, I end up doing nothing, cos I just wanna sleep. Yes, that is the constant state I am in now. The state of wanting to sleep. All day, everyday. It's amazing how much I can sleep these days, but I have come to the point of NO GUILT. Heck it. The constant state of slumber helps with dreaming up to-do lists anyway.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Impossibly Tired

Just when I think I've had enough rest, I would feel all sleepy again. This is getting to be impossible as Lauren gets bigger, I get more tired, and work gets more frentic. Sounds like a bad state to be in, though I won't say it upsets me very much. I'm just mostly contemplating all that has to be done (both at home and at work) and wondering (with great incredulity) how on earth they're all to be completed. In 10 weeks too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What a tragedy.

I love mooncakes and look forward to having them once a year, but with baby being as fussy as she is, anything sweet makes me hurl now, so I have to pass on them this year. *sob* I'm looking longingly at the box of Tung Lok mooncakes my colleagues just got me to fish out of the staff room fridge now... *sigh*

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Out of Order

Dylan, being industrious as he can (occasionally) be, decided to help out at Por Por's wake by taking orders for drinks from visitors. He drew up a list of drinks we had and went round asking people for their orders. At our table, my friends requested Honey Fig juice. He came back shortly with the order and as he put the drinks down, confidently declared, "You're in luck! Those were the last 2 packets of Honey Fig juice. It is now out of order!"

Monday, September 03, 2007

More Memories...

While at my grandma's wake today (3 Sep 07), I recounted some stories of my childhood with my Por Por to my 2 younger cousins. Some of them took place at The Club. My cousins had not been born yet, and therefore had not the privilege of knowing that part of Por Por's life which I was so lucky to share.

Jade Bangle

Por Por is to be buried with her jade bangle which she had worn for so many years, it was practically permanently etched into her wrist. I remember having one too, when I was little. It was something I had asked for because I saw Por Por with it, and I simply had to have one just like hers. The ownership was a shortlived one though, because it broke soon after when I tripped and fell playing at The Club, and the jade bangle broke. I cried when that happen, not so much because of the fall, but because my 'Por Por Bangle' was no more, but Por Por told me that at least it was the bangle that broke, and not my arm. Good logic.

Butter Sugar Toast

One of the best treats Por Por would make us was buttered toast with LOADS of sugar sprinkled on. Por Por would take out blocks of cold butter from the fridge and with a knife, cut a perfectly even slice of butter from the block, laid neatly on a piece of toast. Then came the sugar - YUMMY! Cold, sugared butter on hot toast melting in your mouth was the best kind of teatime treat any kid could have.

Double Chin

I always enjoyed reaching out to touch Por Por's double chin. So soft and squishy, and so nice to play with! My parents used to scold me for playing with Por Por's double chin 'cos I guess, really, it was kind of rude to do so. But Por Por always let me, and she would laugh whenever I did. Just the kind of positive encouragement a kid needed to keep at something.


Never had being called "stupid" seemed so funny and not the least offensive. My Hainanese has always been just plain pathetic, and if there ever was one, singular word I knew well in the dialect, it would be "Bong-gahng" or "stupid". Now, in normal circumstances, being called "stupid" would most certainly upset a child terribly, possibly even leaving a deep, psychological scar. But Por Por never made me feel silly, stupid or dumb for not being able to speak or understand Hainanese well, even though relatives would often comment that "this one can't understand Hainanese, ah?" In fact, attempting to communicate with Por Por in Hainanese was always just so funny to me, I would often end my English-Mandarin-Teochew-spattered Hainanese (not forgetting frequent yells for help with translations to my dad) with giggles and a highly apologetic, "Nong di Bong-gahng" ("I am stupid"), to which Por Por would always say with a laugh, "Du di Bong-gahng!" ("You are stupid"). Never failed to crack me up. And I dare say this - I believe I inherited the love for languages from Por Por.

My Sister's Memories of Grandma

"If there is one word to describe my Ah Por, it would be “LOVE”.

"One image forever etched in my memory, would be her round face and double chin topped with her cheerful smile.

"My Por Por was such a loving, warm and generous Grandmother to me. Although she loved all her grandchildren equally, I always felt I was more special. Not because Por Por was ever partial, but I always felt like her only princess. With Por Por, I was always good and clever. She gave me so much confidence in myself and somehow made me feel I was capable of anything.

"Last night, I was trying to answer many of Dylan’s (my 8 year old son’s) questions about his Great Grandmother. I reminded him of a photograph in our family room with him at 2 years, sitting on his Great Grandmother’s lap watching TV together. I told him how lucky he was to be the only Great Grandson to have had that privilege for shortly after that, Por Por became too weak to sit up on her own. Dylan simply said, 'That’s because I was born earlier'.

"That very much echoed my own thoughts about how exceedingly blessed – you could even say unfairly blessed - I was to be my Phor Phor’s eldest Grandchild, just by being born earlier than the rest of my cousins.

"I spent much time in my early childhood with Por Por at the canteen she used to run in the Civil Service Club at Tessensohn Road. It was there I learned to take orders, collect money at the cashier, make and serve coffee and tea and toast. Ever so often I would go home with money in hand, generous handouts from my Por Por’s hard earned money. It wasn’t a good habit but Por Por was always so generous she spoilt me rotten.

"Some nights, I would sleep over in Por Por’s room and be awaken by the crows of chicken at dawn. One unforgettable morning, I woke up early and wandered to the games room all by myself and found myself starring eyeball-to-eyeball with Bobby the watchdog! I screamed and raced like a bullet train, shouting 'Por Por! Por Por!', with Bobby barking and hot on my heels. And of course, Por Por appeared just at the right time with a stern 'Sh!! Bobby!' and the stupid dog halted and shut up in an instant.

"My favourite memory of Por Por will always be of me sitting with Por Por and playing with her double chin. It was sure to bring a chuckle to Por Por and I loved the feel and bounce of her chin! Visits to Por Por’s house were always filled with hugs and kisses.

"Por Por was a fiercely determined woman who always worked and kept herself busy. In her last years, she was sadly bed-ridden after a fall but you would never hear her complain or give anyone a hard time. Because she first loved, and loved so much, she was deeply cherished and adored by her children and grandchildren. Because she first gave, and gave so much, she also received much and was highly respected.

"Though Por Por went through heartbreaking and painful moments in her life, she was always the bulwark for the family and never one to grumble. I learned so much from her character as I grew up watching and listening to her manage the family affairs (some of the issues were beyond my full understanding those days). She was always just, always compassionate, always considerate, always generous and sacrificial.

"I am so proud to have Por Por as my Grandmother, so blessed to be her Granddaughter. I spent time whenever I could visiting and praying for her when she became less mobile. Even in my limited and broken Hainanese I could say 'Por Por can I pray for you?' and Por Por would nod her head. And today I am at peace, knowing that she is safe and comfortable in Jesus’ hands.

"I love you forever, Por Por."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another Passing in My Family

Grandma had been bedridden for many years now, following a fall she had after she'd stopped working at a hawker stall she used to run. In the last few weeks, I heard she'd been down with a bad flu, but was told not to go visit in case I got sick too, so I didn't. :( Grandma had also been non-verbal for a long while now, after a stroke some couple of years ago too. Any my Hainanese is just about non-existent, so most visits were spent just holding her hands and telling her all kinds of nonsense in my broken-Hainanese with all other possible languages and dialects I knew thrown in, much like I used to when I was little.

I never actually spoke much to Grandma, cos of my poor Hainanese, but my Grandma was quite the linguist. She always understood me anyway, whatever language I spoke. I guess running a hawker stall meant she had to understand a wide variety of tongues. Grandma could speak Mandarin and Malay, and understood English well enough. And she loved us lots.

As a little kid, I remember going down to the canteen she ran at the Civil Service Sports' Club every other day with my parents. She kept a huge black dog (which my sister was terrified of) at the sleeping quarters there where she spent most of her nights, and every time we went, she would make us thick slices of kaya and butter toast - the authentic type on a charcoal grille, better than any you'd get from killiney or Ya Kun. One of my fondest memory was going out on a trishaw ride with Grandma and my cousin on one of those visits to "The Club", as we used to refer to it, to do some marketing. My cousin and I returned with Herbie - The Love Bug - toys. Of course, my parents would always scold us for making Grandma spend money on us, but I'd always smirk in glee when Grandma scolded them in return. Grandma had all the right in the world to spoil us.

My paternal grandmother just passed on. My uncle, her primary caregiver, had called only a while earlier to tell us Grandma was very sick and we should all go over as soon as we could. Barely 10 minutes later, my mum called again to tell us Grandma had gone home. I'm just glad that she had, a few months before, accepted Christ. Nevertheless, I feel miserable that I never got to see her before she went. I'd been feeling so ill and tired the last few months, going down to visit her always seemed so difficult. How awful of me. :( And grandma never got to see baby Lauren too. :( This has just been a miserable few weeks.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Dylan Wants to Knit

Which isn't a bad idea, really, though Kee Min's eyes popped when he heard that ("but, er..."). Boys can knit too!!! I figure, let a kid learn what he wants to when he wants to. He can decide later in life if he wants to keep knitting or not. Besides, haven't you seen the book "Knitting with Balls" for men? Might teach the boy some patience.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Hate Mealtimes

This lack of tolerance to sugar (and milk, including soya milk) is really making mealtimes difficult, to say the least. It's 10am and I am *still* wondering what I could eat for breakfast that I am (1) not already sick of eating and (2) can actually eat, cos just about everything has sugar in it. Even Gardenia bread makes me ill... *groan*

What to eat...what to eat?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Knit Knack Paddywhack

Gimme a ball of yarn!


The knitting's coming along, rather well, if I say so myself. I'm a quarter way through knitting Lauren's kimono wrap, and just got me more yarn to complete this little (in every sense of the word) project. I'm totally determined to have her come home in a full set of Mummy-Knitted clothes. *grin* Hope I'll manage to meet my own deadlines! 3 more months before her arrival! So excited!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Planned Knitting Projects

I have to be nuts to think I can actually complete all of these... but here goes anyway:

1. Baby's first blankie
I'm not following the gauge with this one... I just like the pattern. Hopefully my re-knewbie knitter "agaration" turns out ok... heh heh...

2. MJ Booties!
OK. These are just too, too cute to pass on, ya? And with the apparent success of my mini test bootie, I think I'll try to knit at least 3 pairs.

3. Baby Mittens
Wish I could find nicer patterns for these, but I guess mittens generally look like these. I'll try to match them with the booties - hopefully there's enough yarn!

4. Play Rug
This is not quite a priority, yet, 'cos she probably won't need one until she starts sitting up, which will be a while later. Maybe a maternity leave project then.

5. Teddy Bear
I bought a book with a pretty nice teddy bear pattern and I really want to try it. I've already got the yarn type in mind. *grin*

6. Baby Kimono Wrap
This will be the first proper garment I'm attempting. Have already started on it. Hopefully my gauge conversion turns out right!

7. Baby Cardigan
I *want* to do this, but it'll be done pending the success of the Kimono Wrap I guess...

8. Playing Blocks
Again, not a priority until she's old enough to play. But they would be easy and mindless to do. Hahaha... mindless is always good for me. I'm totally not intending to use my brains during my maternity leave, I tell you... hahaha...

Oh the plans... Hold me to them!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My first test bootie

Not bad hor? hahaha... Now I can make the real thing. :D

Knit Knacks

I bought a super uber knitting needle set today. I'm absolutely mad. It cost me S$110. And it's not like I'm some super uber knitter. Yet. I doubt I ever will be, but I'm determined to be able to knit decently at least. It's my latest obsession. Heh... I've got all these knitting projects lined up for myself, starting with a baby blanket for my little one who's on her way. I've made tonnes of mistakes on that one already, but no matter still. I think baby will like it nonetheless. Just a small blanket measuring approximately 40x90cm. Won't last her too long, but I hope it'll be like a toy for her when she gets bigger... It'll be her very first blankie. :D

And then there are booties to be made. I love these and hope to make a few. :D Other projects possibly include this and this and this!

I've totally gone knuts over knitting.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Nuisance

Dylan wanted a pet. Mum said no (but of course she would).

Dylan: Why?
Mum: Because it'd be a nuisance.
Dylan: But Megan and I are nuisances, and you have us.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

In Memory

My Uncle passed away at 6.50am this morning in China.

He had been suffering from cancer for more than a decade now, but for a good part of those many years, he had been doing rather well. I think he was in remission for quite some time, but it came back in the last few years, and recently got rather bad.

We had all been hoping that he would at least hang in there a while longer, perhaps until winter when the weather would be better. The hot summer air had made it more uncomfortable for him this period.

My uncle was born here in Singapore, but due to a decision taken by my grandfather years ago to relocate the family back in China, my uncle was sent back as a little boy with my granduncle and a couple of other uncles just before the Cultural Revolution started. My dad was passed over for this return trip because he had taken ill at the time and could not travel. No one else ever went back, nor returned to Singapore. My uncle spent the rest of his growing years in China, away from his family.

Years after in the early 80s when the Singapore Government decided it was "safe" enough to let some Chinese relatives of Singaporeans visit on sponsored social passes, we managed to apply for my uncle to return for a month long visit. That was the first time I'd ever met my uncle, though my dad had told us many stories about his growing up years with my uncle, who was the next born after my dad. No doubt despite the distance all those years (and communication difficulties - my dad was schooled in English, my uncle in Chinese, and neither could easily write letters to the other back then; distance calls were not exactly the most affordable too), my dad and uncle were close. No one would deny they were brothers. I took to my uncle very quickly too - he was really very much like my dad, from looks to mannerisms and their love for chicken wings.

Like my dad, my Chinese has never been particularly good. Can't really write or read it well, and my spoken Mandarin is rather the pits. Nevertheless, I've always felt close to my uncle. Blood really is thicker than water. I'd try now and then to send the occasional SMS or email over in Chinese. I think my uncle understood my efforts to communicate, few and far between as they were. I wish I could've said more.

We visited him last year. As usual, I never managed to say much - can't speak Hainanese, don't understand Cantonese, Mandarin the pits. But it was nice sitting down for meals together with my uncle and family for three, short days. I was hoping he would be strong long enough for my baby to come, then I could at least send a photo over. He'd been asking for the longest time when we were going to start our own family.

I miss my uncle.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Vicious Cycle

I feel thirsty, cos my nose is blocked and I'm breathing through my mouth and that makes it dry.

So I keep drinking water.

But that makes me bloated. So I can't drink anymore water.

If I drink anymore, I'd throw up water.

But I'm thristy.


I feel miserable.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Tough

There are days - many of which - when I'm just not enjoying this at all. They tell me I'm supposed to, but for the most part, honestly, I'm not liking it at all... I want to fast forward to Dec... This constant feeling of being ill when not really being ill is awful.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Korean Holiday, Seoul, Day 1

So here we are in Seoul... Hardly slept a wink in the plane last night. Am so glad I actually survived the night flight. The anti-nausea meds really worked. Hopefully, that would be all the help I need for keeping food in me for the rest of the trip. So far, so good.

It's about 9.20pm back in Singapore now, 10.20pm local time, but I am totally knackered already. Walked around so much today, though I can't say we went to many places. Just the palace grounds and Insadong shopping street. But boy, do my feet ache! I'm about to collapse in bed and go to lalaland, but before I do, a quick report on - THE FOOD!

We had ginseng chicken for lunch - ooh, yum! Didn't expect it to taste so yummy! They served it with soba noodles, and the chicken was stuffed with glutinous rice... yummy yummy! And then we had a sausage stick from a road side stall for tea, if you could call it tea. I was just hungry and it looked sinfully good. It was. :D And dinner - that was the ultimate! Korean BBQ! I will never step into Seoul Garden again. We had this really nice dish with thinly sliced beef cooked in soup ala steam boat style, wrapped in lettuce with glutinous rice and kojusang sauce... Dunno what it's called but it was DEEELISH!!!! Aiyah... hungry again...


I'm looking forward to lunch tomorrow! Hehehe...

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tune it up

Dylan, Mum and Dad are in the car. Dylan's watching Shrek on DVD in the back seat. Mum and Dad are listening to the dialogue on the player.

Mum: Dylan, can you tune it up back there?
Mum: Not you! The player!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ordering in Style

Dylan: (Leaning back on his chair, finger tips of right hand tapping lightly against finger tips of left hand) Do you have Coke? or Pepsi?
Waiter: We have Coke.
Dylan: (Same pose) Do you have... Lime Coke?
Waiter: Yes we do.
Dylan: (Still in the same pose) Do you have... Lime Coke Float?
Waiter: Well, we don't, but I can see what we can do about it.
Dylan: (Contemplating) Alright. I'll have that then. Thank you.
Abacus Class?

Me: Since when did you have Abacus class?
Dylan: Hang on. (puts me on hold) Since 9 weeks ago.
Me: You went off to count?? So, since when?
Dylan: Well, Grandpa talked to me about the abacus before, and some questions later, I decided I wanted to take up a class, so Grandpa found me one.
Me: Some questions later??!
Maybe he has some time for me afterall...

So 1 o'clock didn't work too well.
Dylan: I'm a reading buddy now.
Me: What's that mean?
Dylan: I get to tutor some kids to read.
Me: I see.
Dylan: I have to do that on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays except Wednesdays. How does Wednesday sound, Yiyi?
Dylan: Or we could always do Sunday after church.
Me: Er... Let me check. I'll call you back.
Making an Appointment with a 7½-year-old

Me: So, what do you do on Saturdays?
Dylan: I have Abacus class at 2pm, then Science class at 5pm.
Me: You sound busy.
Dylan: Why do you ask, yiyi?
Me: Was thinking of taking you to catch TMNT on Saturday.
Dylan: I see... I have 1 o'clock.
Me: ?!??? (He has 1 o'clock?!??)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Live the Digital Life!

Kee Min bought the 17" MacBook Pro last night. He has reclaimed his position as Computing Royalty since the demise of his iBook (which is in Apple Morgue right now undergoing an autopsy. They might be able to revive it yet, then I get to inherit it... How pathetic. Apple scraps, I oso want).

It just makes increasingly more sense to get the Mac for mobile computing. It's as powerful as a desktop. It comes with an inbuilt vidcam - don't need to spend more moolah on an external accessory which is so dteng-tor (cumbersome). It can do just about anything a PC can do. The sound quality is BRILLIANT! Like, FWAH! It's sleek and light even for its size - talk about REAL mobility! And it doesn't hurt that it looks real good.

The Fujitsu Lifebook looks like an embarrassment next to the MacBook Pro.

I want to sit at Coffee Bean with Kee Min's new piece of Computing Royalty. If only just to bask in the reflection of the silver casing...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Man of the House

We're all at Grandpa's home. Dad announces he's going out.

Dylan: OK! Now I'm the man of the house!
Me: No. Grandpa's still at home. And even if Grandpa went out, there's still Uncle Kee Min. So it's not quite your turn yet.
Dylan: But Mum says that whenever Dad's not in, I'm the man of the house.
Me: True, but this is Grandpa's house, so you have to wait your turn.
Dylan: ...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Be my valentine

Date: Thu 01 Feb 2007

Act 1 Scene 1: Inside Nissan Sunny. On the way to school.

Grandson: Gramps, When is Valentine's Day?
Gramps: It's on 14 Feb, Grandson. That would make it about two weeks away.
Grandson: I know who my Valentine's going to be.
Gramps: Who, Grandson?
Grandson: Magdelene.
Gramps: Oh? Is she from Henry Park?
Grandson: Yes.
Gramps: Is she your classmate?
Grandson: Yes.
Gramps: Was she in your class last year too?
Grandson: Yes.
Gramps: And you notice her only this year?
Grandson: No! Of course I've noticed her since last year.

Act 1 Scene 2: Inside Nissan Sunny. On the way home from school.

Gramps: How was school today, Grandson?
Grandson: Fine.
Gramps: How's your Valentime?
Grandson: Fine
Gramps: What's her full name, by the way? Magdalene what?
Grandson: Shutler. [Not sure if Gramps got it right.]
Gramps: Shutler? So she's not Chinese?
Grandson: No. She's Others.

(talk about success in Singapore's CMIO policy... hahaha)

Monday, January 08, 2007

All Grown Up

Kee Min: (to me) ... the Science Centre's a bit kiddy, don't you think?
Dylan: (from behind) No. I don't think it's kiddy at all. Are the robots still on display? They're kinda good...

[At Primary 2, he's certainly all grown up. Primary 1 - now that's kiddy.]
Call me "kor-kor"

During dinner at Hilltop.

My sis: Megan calls everyone "Ah-ma". Ah-ma, ah-ma, ah-ma... She calls me "Ah-ma", Grandma "Ah-ma", Ah-ma "Ah-ma"... Dylan, why do you think that is?

Dylan: (firmly to Megan) Stop calling me "Ah-ma". You should call me "kor-kor."

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Theology as understood by 7-year-olds

Amidst very animated and lively discussion about submarines, torpedoes, helicopters and hellfire...

Dylan: ... and then when the world comes to an end, the devil will be melted! (appropriate sound effects)
Kee Min: I think you got that confused with the Terminator.
Me: So that's what's gonna happen at the second coming huh?
Dylan: Yah! And those who don't believe in God will be terminated by Jesus! (more appropriate sound effects)
Brian (the other 7-year-old): (very seriously) There are other people who believe different things. You shouldn't say things like that.
Dylan: (ignoring all others)... yeah... terminated by Jesussssss.... hellfire.... (even more appropriate sound effects)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


My mummy says, "Public holidays in Singapore are a curse. Throngs congregate at the shopping malls (and Ikea!) and those working are overworked while those shopping are under-served. We should ban public holidays and have them add to our annual leave."

Hear ye... hear ye...