Random Monday musings…

This is one of my final manic Mondays for a while… (though soon it may be manic everyday!) I’ve finally come to my last week at work and I realise I really do need the break. The house needs my attention, and it’ll finally give me time to sit back and communicate with my baby.

I know some mums-to-be talk to their babies, play them music, even write them letters. While I do sometimes talk to my baby (mainly “Ouch” or “How did you get your foot there?”), I still feel I don’t know him too well. I struggle with things that aren’t blatant reality (i.e. a baby screaming in your face) but perhaps I just need to slow down, catch my breath and savour this previous time.

Anyway, I might outline the last few days’ highlights.

Day 29

We usually spend part of Saturday at church – this week’s service was in the afternoon. The morning was spent preparing things for church including making some creamy soup (which is always a challenge for me).

I know I’m a Gen Y baby and I grew up in the midst of computers and mobile phones. But to me, technology and kitchens don’t mix. Rather than putting things my veggies into an electric chopper, I chop them by hand (which takes FOREVER). I sometimes whip cream by hand – really tones those triceps!

However, Skittles and I have a mutual agreement that the scariest thing in the kitchen is the dreaded stick-blender. I don’t think I’ve ever braved blending something with it before (not without spraying it all over the walls). Thank goodness for Daniel who is the expert at all things electrical. 🙂

One thing I do enjoy making is risotto – I made this one a few weeks ago with pumpkin, mushroom and chives. Perhaps it’s true that Asians are more comfortable cooking rice.

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Day 28

I like quiet Sundays. 🙂 We had some lovely warm weather so I did some laundry and took our dog for a walk in the reserve. We’re really blessed to have a lovely reserve with a flowing stream, lake and waterfall as well as abundant wildlife (much to Skittles delight – she loves to chase ducks). This pic below was taken a few weeks ago, after some heavy rain.

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Another highlight of the day was watching the new Wolverine. I have to admit that part of the reason why I loved it is because it was set in Japan and people were speaking Japanese. I love Japanese culture and the language – とても美しい! Of course, I enjoyed the action and I do love female fighters.

Back when I was learning Ninjutsu, I honestly wanted to explore a career (in the sidelines, of course) as a female martial arts actress, doing stunts etc. I accumulated a lot of bruises in my growing up years but nevertheless, it was fun (and still is).

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I ended my lovely Sunday with ironing while watching the Formula 1 race, and I decided to iron the baby’s sheets and muslin wraps. Yes, I know I’m strange – people say that I’m nesting but what really happened is that I left them in the dryer overnight and they all got crumpled. And my baby is not going to have crumpled sheets and muslin wraps!

Day 27

As I was saying about manic Monday, it was just one of those busy days at work as usual. I had my Japanese takeaway (probably for the last time in a long time) and resisted going out to buy a bubble tea.

It was announced today (to my great delight) that Air Asia X is flying directly from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide! This means that if I want to be my stingy ol self, I can still afford to visit home once in a while. I’m only concerned that I might want slightly more frills on my aircraft once I’m travelling with bubs.

Anyway, if anyone wants to jump on their inaugural promotion of AU$99 from Adelaide to Kuala Lumpur, check it out – the sale starts tomorrow:
http://www.airasia.com/au/en/home.page

Question of the day which I have been pondering: pregnancy photos, yay or nay? I don’t really want to spend more money on things (seeing I’m one of the world’s biggest cheapskates) but I was wondering if I should put in the effort to get some done before my belly shrinks back to its normal size (I wish).

Enjoy the rest of your week, folks!

30 days and counting…

I think I’m losing the plot this week. Part of it is my busy week, but there are other elements to be added to the picture such as a lack of sleep and perpetually sore ribs. I have to admit that I’m still sleeping pretty well for a pregnant woman, though I’m usually wide awake at 12 midnight but yet, can’t drag myself out of bed at 7 a.m.

Strangely enough, as I was browsing the net today, I came across this condition:
http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/fatal-familial-insomnia.html

That, my friends, is frightening. Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is a rare and fatal genetic disease where you just can’t sleep to a point of mental instability and finally, death. Very sad – apparently, the average survival span for patients diagnosed with FFI after the onset of symptoms is 18 months.

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Skittles feels quite sad learning about that article. As for her, she has the “eat-everything-in-sight” disease. I decided to Google “Which is better to eat, paper or plastic?” but did not find any helpful information.

Anyway, in less depressing news, I am almost 36 weeks pregnant and I’m starting my countdown officially today. 30 days to go… I’ll probably do very short day-by-day reviews, just because I can.

Day 30
A standard day at work – I have about a week left. I can’t wait but at the same time, money-minded me just wants to stay and earn more money until the day I pop. I went to the chiropractor who said that my back is going pretty well for this stage in pregnancy, which is good.

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I was frustrated at Skittles for biting a hole in her indoor bed so I patched it up. I think I did an okay job – though I bet it won’t be long til there’s another hole somewhere.

Another thing I did today was try my Raspberry Leaf Tea. I’m not a huge tea drinker, though I do like herbal teas and bubble teas. Raspberry Leaf Tea is supposed to tone your uterus and help the labour progress at a nice, steady pace. And here is my tea review:

This tea has an earthy, light scent that resembles Rooibos’. If you drink it when it’s too hot, it tastes like “Ouch”. It has a slightly fruity taste (duh, it’s raspberry leaf) and seems like the type of tea you could drink in the morning to refresh you, but also at night to soothe you to sleep. I have not found any link with this tea and heartburn just yet. I would love to try this tea in bubble tea form (i.e. cold with powdered milk and bubble tea pearls). 

Do you reckon I’d be a good tea reviewer? Haha. I remember the days at Uni where I used to have to review wines (I was studying Hospitality). Once the lecturer asked me what the wine tasted like to me and I said “dog pee”. I’m surprised I passed.

On an ending note, I was just pondering what the baby would look like. I was just looking at Daniel’s and my baby pictures and wondering what the combination would be like. 

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What do you think? And yes, the one on top is me and I am a girl. 

Have a lovely night folks!

Finding that four-leaf clover

I never quite understood the concept of a four-leaf clover, probably because we don’t have clover in Malaysia. We have lalang which is like tall grass that can cut you if you touch its edges, and semalu, or sensitive grass, which folds up upon being touched. But not clover.

This winter, our area seems to be plagued with clover – it spreads itself across the reserve and filled in the hole-dug parts of garden. Some have round leaves, some little heart-shaped leaves and they come in a whole array of sizes. 

And I’m intent to find that lucky four-leaf clover, thought it’s not in luck that I believe.

I’m the type of person that believes that nothing is by chance – everything happens for a reason and there is an underlying plan behind everything that goes on. Good things may lead to bad things, just as bad things may lead to good. There is a bigger picture that I may never fully understand until I am beyond this world.

People say that my sort of thinking takes an immense amount of faith. But don’t a lot of things take faith? Faith is believing in things unseen. Isn’t faith needed when placing your trust into things or in people? Does it not take faith to believe that we’ll make it through the end of the day? Do you not need faith looking into your future ahead of you?

Too often we assume that things will continue the way they do, day in day out. When we are in a good place in life, we may take things for granted and almost assume that we are entitled to such luxuries. And when things go wrong, we look for someone to blame, and this is where we are tested to see where our faith lies.

There may be a four-leaf clover out there waiting for me. I may never pick it up (or Skittles may have squished it) but I believe it is there. And that takes faith.

But if I can have faith in something so uncertain, something that’s one in a million, why not in something that is centered in truth?

Desserts galore…

My pregnancy cravings certainly have been rather delayed… earlier in pregnancy, I really didn’t feel like eating anything much at all. But now that I’m tired, aching and happy to sleep in til 11a.m. every day, I’ve realised there are quite a few things I’d like to eat.

I think part of it is being part of a Peranakan/Nyonya Food Group on Facebook – people keep posting pictures of food that I would really LOVE to eat! I’m in a sweet mood today for some reason.

Here are my top 7 dessert cravings, not in any particular order, and because I like the number 7…

1. Sago Gula Melaka

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Imagine pudding-like sago immersed in palm sugar and a bit of coconut milk. Used to eat this all the time at Nyonya restaurants in Malaysia. Pure heaven! (and probably diabetes too)

2. Crème Brûlée

creme brulee

It’s a skill to get creme brulee perfect – It needs to be soft underneath, but have that crackly top that snaps when you tap your spoon on it. This one in the picture looks extremely delectable.

3. A&W Waffles

A&W

A&W is an American chain that has been around in Malaysia for many many years. My mum and I would have fried chicken, curly fries, maybe a coney dog or two and finally, share a strawberry waffle with ice cream for dessert. Hits the spot!

4. Putu Mayam

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This is a Southern Indian dish – in Malaysia, we used to buy it from a roadside stall. Very simple dish, yet really satisfying. It uses a rice flour base, and looks a bit like vermicelli noodles – imagine that with soft brown sugar and shredded coconut. To really get it right, you have to eat it with your hands!

5. Tab Tim Krob

tab

This is probably my favourite Thai dessert. Don’t be alarmed by the bright red bits – they’re actually coloured water chesnuts. I love it nice and simple – just the red water chestnuts, slices of jackfruit immersed in coconut milk.

6. Fruit Tartlet

fruit tart

My mother-in-law is kind enough to remember me when she heads out to Lobethal Bakery and to buy me a fruit tartlet. I love the fruitiness of these tarts, and especially love eating the bits with strawberries, kiwifruit and peaches. Back when I used to go to the TAFE campus, I used to buy fruit tarts – basically, the students make them for practice and boy, are they good! Their secret ingredient is that they have a layer of chocolate between the pastry and the custard cream. Delish!

7. Pisang Goreng

pisang

Fried bananas are awesome! In Malaysia, we have so many types of bananas – emas, berangan, rastali, raja, abu, tanduk, etc. They have unique flavours and some are particularly delicious when deep fried. We have two types of fried bananas – the Malay style as pictured above normally involves battering their bananas, whereas Chinese style fried bananas are crumbed. Both are yummy in their own right (and I would love one right now!).

Anyway, enough lusting for food or I’ll crash out from sugar imbalance. Someone has already crashed out for the night (with her bone still in her mouth)… Good night world!

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Typical pregnancy blog post

Over the weekend, I indulged in reading a few pregnancy blogs and thought I’d do a little pregnancy blog post. I really don’t have too long to go, and I feel I really should embrace these last few weeks.

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How far along? 34 Weeks

Total weight gain: I believe I’ve put on 11kg, which is pretty alright for my body weight.

Maternity clothes? Note to self – in next pregnancy, buy size 8 not size 10. I realise that by week 34, if my maternity pants are still too big for me, I’m not going to get much wear out of them.

Stretch marks? So far hardly any- just a linea nigra, which is a dark vertical line appearing on the abdomen.

Sleep: It’s been a bit difficult to sleep with this cold of mine, though it is getting better hence sleep is getting gradually more comfortable. I probably just need more sleep in general – too hyper sometimes and then I crash.

Best moment this week: I have to admit I’ve enjoyed my days off where Daniel is at home as well (he’s on school holidays). Though I was headachy and sniffly, it was good to relax with him.

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Miss Anything? Perhaps the freedom to play sports or exercise freely. I just feel a bit self-conscious trying to do a lot of these things, and would really love to do Zumba or martial arts again.

Movement: The baby’s making more sweeping movements than kicks, and still grooves around quite a bit, especially when I’ve just had chocolate or a cold drink.

Food cravings: Recently I’ve felt like having more meat, like Korean BBQ! And would probably also like some nice Wanton Mee. This is my favourite one from Nanyang Cafe.

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Anything making you queasy or sick: Car rides. It’s sad but I get motion sickness, especially driving back from the hills (hence why I prefer driving).

Labor Signs: For some reason, I feel like the baby’s dropped, or is in the process of dropping. I could be wrong, but he or she seems a little lower and there seems to a bit more pressure on my pelvis. But then again, it could also be my posture or something, so I don’t know…

Belly Button in or out? Half and half!

Wedding rings on or off? My wedding rings are pretty loose still – I was shaking my wrists the other day and they flew off and Skittles gingerly picked it up. Thank goodness she has her gentle grip on things, so managed to fish it out of her mouth instead of out of her poo.

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Symptoms: Just a bit more tired than usual, which is expected (and may be linked to my lack of sleep). Also, I need to find a comfy position to sit in at work because I fidget too much…

Mood: I think I’ve been pretty alright – I don’t crazy mood swings but I can get manja with Daniel (Google Translate says manja means spoiled, and I suppose it’s right!)

Pregnancy dreams? I’ve had epic ones about jumping into the sea but not getting wet, taking over palaces, owning some awesome homes, being involved in battles and fights – all with relatively random people being involved.

Looking forward to: More sleep! And honestly, for the baby to be here. I’m in that anticipation stage…

Next appointment: This coming Thursday – I hope that I get a knowledgeable midwife who can help me out with a few special requests. This may be my last one at Modbury as I’ll try to transfer the rest to Lyell Mac to orientate myself.

ImageOn a final note, this ad keeps coming up on my Facebook, reminding me to touch Skittles. As a note to all, this is what happens when you touch Skittles:

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The things I used to do…

In the years where I didn’t have the means (nor the space) to buy a piano, guitar was my forte. I was just browsing around my Youtube channel (which has a lot of strange stuff, believe me) and remembered this song. I love some of Jewel’s older songs – they just sound so honest and real.

Something I may not have mentioned before is that I thoroughly enjoy songwriting and I do wish my voice were a little more developed and versatile, to complement the songs I write. I do hope that in my songs (and writing in general), I’m able to bring out a sense of clarity and truth.

Where did all these ideas come from?

I realise I’ve been out of the game for a bit, probably because I’m having the cold of the year. I’m the type of person who (luckily) only gets sick once in a while, and unfortunately that time is now. It’s one of those head colds that I can’t stand, where your head, face, nose and everything in between aches.

But anyway, I’m making the most of it by lazing around on the couch (in Skittles’ spot, because she’s sleeping in mine!) and reading random things on the internet.

One thing I’m pondering at the moment is starting or buying a business. The problem with me is I don’t actually know where to start – I can’t seem to focus my efforts into one particular area. I’ve had the following ideas in the past year:

1. Starting an Asian BBQ & Hotpot restaurant in the North Eastern suburbs

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My friends and I love Korean BBQ and Hotpot – here’s one of our favourite places in the city, Kind Spring, which has a great buffet variety and an awesome glutinous rice dessert (which we usually have seconds of). I despair at the fact that if I want good Korean BBQ or Chinese Hotpot, I have to travel all the way into the city. And if there are any up this way, I haven’t yet discovered any (and believe me, I do my research!). So yes, to satisfy my cravings (and possibly the cravings of the Asian population up here), perhaps start my own?

2. Starting my own Childcare Centre
So what if I know nothing about childcare? There’s always the opportunity to learn (and I have a good reason to learn too!). There are also opportunities for family day cares, which you can run from home – I’ve subscribed to this one as it’s int he local area, and there is potential for more startups in my area: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Early-Childhood-Learning-Family-Daycare/422785871141790?fref=ts

3. Starting my own PT Business
Yes, I don’t know much about Personal Training either but I’m sure it’d be something I enjoy doing (I love coaching people and helping them achieve their goals) and I could get a qualification at some point too. My target market would probably be other mums who, like myself, will need to lose some baby weight. I could even take up a Zumba qualification (since I LOVE Zumba) and run some classes – see how it goes. It’ll certainly keep me healthy and fit!

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See, I once used to be fit and agile! XD

4. Teaching music classes
I’ve played the piano practically all my life and been through so many classes that I honestly should know a thing or two about how to teach it. Of course, my technique isn’t great and I’m more of a play by ear person than a Chopin person, but it’s definitely something doable (with little capital involved too, since I already have my beloved piano). I could also teach some basic guitar, singing, etc.

5. Buying over a small already-established business
I keep an eye out for different business opportunities – I would love to start one up from scratch, but I feel I lack the experience. I’ve been looking into various different options like spas and clothing businesses, etc. Obviously, this may give me a less personalised approach, but I’m sure I can work my preferences into it.

6. Buying an investment property
There’s a lot happening in the market now and the interest rate is at an all time low, so why not? I was also hoping that my previous experience in real estate would assist me. Of course, we’d need to come up with some capital and also make some calculated decisions. Frankly, I enjoy looking at houses that are way beyond my means, like this one: http://www.realestate.com.au/property-house-sa-houghton-113899063

7. Writing and more writing…
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and will always have it as my little niche. I would love to write a book though (as I mentioned in a previous post), and of course, smaller bits and pieces too like articles and blog posts. Perhaps someday I’ll monetize this blog, when I can determine my direction. But it’s always good to do something you truly love.

I have so many ideas, but I guess this shouldn’t be my main priority at present – I should be focusing on giving my little one the best upbringing I could possibly give him/her. This photo below is just to prove that he/she has little cute toes!

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Anyway, I also read this amazing piece of news about this man surviving both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing (being in a 3km radius of the bombing) and living on til the age of 93. The article is from 2009, and he died in 2010 of stomach cancer. Still, it was amazing that he was blessed with a good long life despite being exposed to such radiation.

You can read the story here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/25/hiroshima-nagasaki-survivor-japan

Keep well everybody, especially those in the Southern Hemisphere who are having trouble coping in winter months!