Pieces of a puzzle…

This is going to be a relatively random post, due to the fact that I’m a bit random and scatterbrained today.

It was a really foggy day this morning, and it stayed foggy until about 11.00am! I love foggy days – back in Malaysia, we only used to experience fog when we were in a hillside place like Genting Highlands, Fraser’s Hill or Cameron Highlands. Sadly, it’s more likely for Malaysians to experience haze than fog (which looks similar in pictures, but feels a lot different).

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The highlight of the day would have been breakfast out at Inglewood Inn. It’s set in a lovely hillside location, not too far out of the suburbs (only about 20 minutes from our home) and they serve a delicious breakfast! I also had a lovely banana milkshake (and I think they use Tweed milk, which is extra creamy). I can’t believe I finished everything on this plate:

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Yes, I took a picture of my breakfast – even after reading this article: http://eater.com/archives/2013/05/09/expert-photographing-food-may-be-sign-of-mental-illness.php
Please don’t judge me…

Here are a few random things I pondered through the course of the day:

1. Our dog is a Labrador x Staffy, and I was just trying to analyse habits of these sort of dogs. I know Labs are really loveable and have food on their high priority list, but I don’t know too much about Staffies.

So I googled up some Staffy trivia to share: http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Splendid-Staffies-349290.html

I’ve also heard that they are quite vocal dogs and make funny sounds, but generally don’t bark unless they’re mimicking another dog. I wish this were the case with Skittles – she’s not a really huge dog, but she has a huge bark that she must have learned from another dog. She’s quite dominating when she plays, and when she’s not dominating, she’s just plain annoying. I have no idea where she gets her energy either – she can run around non-stop for hours and still not be tired by the end of the day. And she also makes strange supersonic dolphin-like sounds.

Oh well – I love her exactly the way she is (except I wish she would STOP barking at possums and jumping the fence). Also, I do wish that she could be this size again:

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2. I may have mentioned in a previous post that I’ll be attending a Star Wars party sometime soon. I hope my costume serves me well, but I think it’s this one that will win the best dressed award:

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If you were going to a Star Wars party, what would you dress as?
I think next time round, I’ll go as this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GJOVPjhXMY

3. We were watching the Formula 1 GP and eating popcorn, which made me ponder about the origins of popcorn… Who first figured out that corn would pop? Was it just a lucky accident?

I read a few links saying that popcorn was first discovered in the Bat Cave of west central New Mexico in the 50s. How this found popcorn was preserved, I honestly don’t know but it does make sense since corn is to the Mexicans as rice is to Asians. Apparently, it was used in religious ceremonies for the Aztec Indians, who made popcorn headdresses, necklaces and ornaments for their gods.

I don’t think we hold popcorn with such high regard nowadays – though there are people who profess themselves to Jediism or become part of the Universe People, hence the world is still full of possibilities.

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On an ending note, this is a picture of my husband as a baby. Boy, I’d like our baby to look like that but I doubt my Asian genes can be overridden. Til next time…

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TGIS instead of TGIF…

I love Saturdays for many reasons.

The main one is due to my faith – I’m a Seventh Day Adventist and we observe the Sabbath day being a day of rest and faithful reverence. It reminds me that I need to slow down (which is something I’m not good at doing) and focus on the important things in my life…

Also, obviously, it’s a day that I’m able to recover from a crazy week. There are little incentives that add to my quality of life, like getting to wake up a bit later or making the breakfast I want (today I made chocolate pancakes with strawberries and honey).

I also enjoy the fact that we still get post on Saturday, and most of the time, that’s when my parcels arrive. Today, we received a lovely (unexpected) parcel from my cousin and his wife, full of goodies for our baby. I’m so blessed with such lovely, thoughtful relatives.

Here’s a picture of some of the lovely toys we received!

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I was standing on a chair while taking the toy photo, and my dog Skittles is quite concerned that I’ve got a vantage point over her.

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I think Skittles loves Saturdays just as much as I do, because that’s when she gets to go on a nice walk with us at our nearby reserve. Today we organised for someone to bring her dog over for a playdate, and the dogs got on like a house on fire.

We’re trying to entertain her more because she’s been a bit naughty lately and has been getting out of the yard quite often – we haven’t figured out exactly where she gets out but I know she can climb the fence quite well. We probably have to resort to using an electric dog fence – and no, not like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8fwtkC5UJU

We want to get the invisible electric fence where the dog gets a little, non-harmful shock when it crosses the boundary. I think it’s just crucial so she doesn’t get out into the big bad world where she could get into a fight or get run over. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to train dogs to stay within their boundaries (other than building the walls up 10m high)?

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And just in terms of my pregnancy, every Saturday, a new pregnancy week ticks over and I receive updates from my pregnancy apps reminding me how many weeks pregnant I am. Today, I’m officially 32 weeks pregnant and my baby is the size of a large jicama and is the weight of a coconut. I love how they always compare my baby to a fruit or vegetable.

I hope all of you had a lovely Saturday as well!

So tired I can’t think of a title…

Out of all the weeks of this year, this has been one of the busiest in my life… especially today. I find it funny that humans have a nature of procrastination where they’ll leave things right to the last minute despite having weeks (sometimes months) of notice.

I’m planning to do a more detailed post over the weekend, but just wanted to share two articles that I found rather interesting (and relevant):

http://au.sports.yahoo.com/news/article/-/17787718/kayaker-beats-world-champ-ae-in-final-month-of-pregnancy/

This first one is about a kayaker beating the world champion while being almost full term into the pregnancy. Now, I don’t know about other pregnant women, but my balance is pretty off now that I’m pregnant, and I can see myself capsizing in a kayak before even hitting the rapids. So, kudos to you, Emily Jackson!

Mind you, we had a staff party the other day and I won in team bowling for my team (though it was because one person hadn’t ever bowled before and another was throwing the ball backwards between her legs).

http://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/latest/a/-/newshome/17788207/baby-born-on-gp-race-track/

This is another interesting one, though not nearly as desirable on my behalf. I imagine myself having the baby in a nice comfy bed or a warm bath in the hospital, not in a car. And certainly not in my own car, unless I get a free voucher to have it given the full wash, wax and steam clean.

Anyway, good night to all. 🙂

Moons…

It’s been a good weekend despite little annoyances in my life like sore hips (more like sore bum) and a whole lot of ironing. I do admit that housework is not a skill that comes naturally.

I learned how to iron rather late in life. When I was at National Service (which is a 3 month military training stint we have to do in Malaysia, though it was really more like a summer camp with bad maintenance), we had to iron our uniform and wear it out for assembly. I remember having to do push-ups as punishment for “not ironing my shirt” despite hogging the communal iron for over 20 minutes. My dorm mates had to convince the authorities that I did indeed iron it to the best of my ability (despite making it look worse than when I first started out).

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That’s me packing up to go home after National Service (with a nicely pressed uniform – I’m sure a friend must have helped me iron it!)…

Years later, I do admit that I am a bit better at ironing. My brother (sort-of brother, he’s Thai and not blood related but he may as well be) teased me in his speech at my wedding about my lack of housework skills – it went something like this:

One day, Lianne asked me to come out shopping with her for men’s shirts for Daniel. I asked her if Daniel didn’t have enough shirts, and she said no, he had heaps but she couldn’t be bothered ironing them so just bought him new ones.

Yes, I admit I did that last week as well (though people commented on how lovely the colour of his new shirt was!). To cut a long story short, I struggle with housework but I do my best to make do for my shortcomings. Let’s hope that one fine day, it’ll be a skill I master too.

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On a happier note, my husband and I are going to have a babymoon soon. Theoretically, we already had one a few months ago in Glenelg (where we stayed in a lovely hotel by the beach), but this one will be special for the following reasons:

1. We’re going back to Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, which also happens to be the place we spent our wedding night (refer to picture above). In honest truth, I’ve been to greater hotels/resorts (although there are only so many good hotels in Adelaide) but it has some redeeming factors like its beautiful backdrop against the wine-growing hills, the delicious buffet breakfast and the peaceful privacy it offers.

2. It’ll mark the end of my work life for a while – I’m still debating about whether this is a good thing or not, but I’m sure I’ll find so much more meaning in parenthood than ever could be found at a workplace.

3. It’s pretty much free with a membership card I have (had to pay to upgrade though, cos they’re out of standard rooms, but I can’t complain).

By the way, speaking about moons – has anyone seen the moon tonight? I took a peek and it doesn’t look WAY out of the ordinary, but then again, it’s directly above our house (so it may just be the wrong angle for it)

Do check it out sometime anyway: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-23/supermoon-to-appear-in-australian-skies-tonight/4774320

Anyway, all for tonight – another busy yet rewarding week ahead of me. Have a great week everyone!

In time…

Time is something I often struggle with.

Sometimes it feels like you’re in a Judo match against an opponent twice your weight, and he sits on you (yes, I know this feeling literally from my Judo classes up in Mossman QLD).

Sometimes it feels like that moment when you’re trying to squeeze that last bit of toothpaste from the tube and it’s just not budging. 

Sometimes it feels like trying to pour a liquid from a saucepan into a bottle without a funnel – as hard as you try to control the flow, it spills all over the place.

Sometimes it feels like the constant ringing of a siren that can’t be turned off, or the dripping of a tap which stubbornly refuses to be tightened.

And sometimes, it feels like the surface of the lake on a clear day when the wind doesn’t blow and the land stands still. It’s times like these that make time so worthwhile.

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The sea enthralls me – above is a picture from Tasmania (I believe it was down near Port Arthur). If given the choice, I would love to have time every day to just sit and watch the waves crash upon the rocks.

I was watching Vikings the other day (my new replacement to Game of Thrones, though I still think it can’t compare – but will reserve my judgement until I have watched more episodes) and the Christian monk brought up these lines that really remind me of the beauty of time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted,
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

Haven’t we all seen these times in our life? As much as I wrestle with time, I really am blessed with an abundance of opportunities. I shouldn’t sulk about all the things lost, but hold on to the things gained.

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Thank you for all the moments in time that make life worthwhile.

The daily grump…

It’s just one of those Mondays and the first thing that came to mind was my favourite Grumpy Cat. Yes, Grumpy Cat knows exactly how I feel…

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I think that I’m feeling the Monday blues more than anyone because of the following:

1. A crazy work backlog. Not that I’ve been procrastinating or anything, but today was just one of those days where I couldn’t check things off the to-do list fast enough – heck, I didn’t even have enough time to make up a to-do list today!

2. Heartburn, grrr. I found that what settles me (for at least a few hours anyway) is a yummy bubble tea! Okay, I know that those pearls are not good for me so I’ve switched to grass jelly. My current favourite is Chatime’s Oolong Milk Tea with pearls grass jelly, 50% sugar and no ice.

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3. No more Game of Thrones episodes to look forward to. I can’t believe we have to wait til 2014 to find out what happens next! I suppose I could read the books, but then again, I hardly have time to vacuum my floor (and we know which is more important).

Even if Mondays are a low point, it just gets better from there (I hope, anyway!)

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On an ending note, I can still fit into my size 8 dress (though I might have stretched it a bit). Yes, I have a lot of post-pregnancy work to do. Have a great week!