Friday, December 31, 2010

Cheers to 2011!

Thank you folks for staying with Shortcake for yet another year! 2010 was amazing as it's the year we were blessed with our precious prince Lucas. We are now looking forward to 2011 as it's gonna be better than ever. Why, well in the words of Oprah Winfrey; a new year is another chance for us to get it right. And God knows there are many things I would love to do all over again differently on a clean slate ... so out with the the old and bring on the new!

Have a BLESSED NEW YEAR ahead!

Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold. - Author unknown

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Day!

I write this post with glee 
Cos after today I am free
Free to climb a tree
Or go on a shopping spree!

Today I say farewell, not only to my current job, but to a hectic and busy decade of a 10-year long marketing career. Even as I walked out of the car park and took the elevator up to the office today, I feel so free; emancipated from hours of meaningless toil and purposeless drudgery.

Many events swayed by fate and destiny has brought me to this place. In fact, the decision to take this break and be a full time mommy is not an easy choice to make, albeit temporary. I was swamped with a thousand worries and a zillion apprehensions on what will become of us if we are to do this ... How will we survive it? What about all the bills? Will I be bored outta my wits? Will I be outdated? Will my intellect deteriorate from lack of adult interaction? Will I be a naggy housewife? And the list goes on.... but thankfully the good Lord has given us the peace to move ahead.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 
John 14:27 KJV

And for all the tears and pain that's worth, I thank God for the coming rest and peace and I look forward to a time to think, reflect and grow. I know this sounds really weird but something tells me God has been trying to get a hold of me to just shut up, sit down and listen instead of running around trying to make sense of my life and purpose. So let's take a breather and see what's in store for 2011 .... but for now ... GOODBYE!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (King James Version)

Here's wishing all my dear blogger friends, secret followers and precious readers a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for your visits, your comments and your support *muax* May the blessed miracle of the season bring warmth, joy and love to your heart, your life and your home ... and have a beautiful brand new start in 2011!

Oh and since it's Lucas' first Christmas, I guess I'll let him take the lead with this year's greeting, we'll feature the Krazy Koala next round :)

Virtual Scrapbook page created via Smilebox

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tom Yum Style Fried Vermicelli with Thai Omelette

Learnt another new recipe from mum; tomyum fried meehoon! Looks like having her around to help with baby has some unexpected culinary benefits too! Mum got this recipe from another relative and she’s made her modifications along the way, and here’s my version. It’s a fair bit of work and preparation but the ingredients are easy to get and it’s really worth the effort!

Tom Yum Style Fried Vermicelli with Thai Omelette

This recipe is good for 2 pax. Just multiply accordingly if you have a bigger party. I’m using ballpark measurement here as it’s a pass-down recipe.

What you will need:
1. Meehoon (Asian rice vermicelli) - soak and drain half a pack, around 200gms max
2. Garlic - a few cloves, chopped or crushed
3. Red onion - one large palm sized onion, or 2 small ones, sliced
4. Kaffir lime leaves - a handful, around 6 to 8 leaves, julienned
5. Red chilli padi - aka bird’s eye chillies, julienned, around 2 to 4pcs depends on how much heat you prefer! (do not use green chilli padi, they taste different and the color is all wrong!)
6. Dried chillies - 5 to 6 chillies, soaked and roughly chopped, this also depends on how much heat you prefer!
7. Fish cakes - 1 small bowl, sliced (can be replaced with meat/seafood or tofu for vegans)
8. Carrot - 1 medium carrot (6 t 8 inches lengthwise), finely grated
9. Cabbage - half a small cabbage, shredded
10. Lime juice - squeeze approx 6 to get half a bowl of juice, set aside 1 or 2 for garnishing
11. Thai fish sauce - approx 2 tablespoons or more depending on your taste buds
12. Pinch for taste - ketchup, spicy chilli sauce, salt, pepper
13. Cooking oil - duh
14. Coriander and slices of red chillies - optional, for garnishing (I like my food pretty!)

Raw ingredients at a glance.

Prepare everything before you start!

Ketchup and chilli padi sauce optional but the Thai fish sauce is an absolute must!

For Thai Omelette:
1. 2 eggs – beaten along with items 2 and 3
2. Thai fish sauce
3. Sugar, salt, pepper

1. Firstly make the Thai omelette, set aside to cool, pat of excess oil and slice thinly.
2. Then sauté items 2 to 6 together in hot oil till fragrant.
3. Add the fish cakes or whatever other meat you want, stir-fry till ‘browned’
4. Add carrots and cabbage and stir-fry till softened and cooked.
5. Add in softened vermicelli and stir-fry in low heat
6. Combine items 10 to 12 and pour over the vermicelli as it will get dry and soak up moisture readily.
7. Add water gradually if the vermicelli looks too dried-out (hint: it should not stick to the wok!)
8. Continue to stir-fry in low heat till vermicelli is evenly coated and tastes and feels right.
9. Serve with coriander and sliced chilli with the shredded omelette at the side.

Step-by-step stir-fry illustrated. 
Hint; a sturdy non-stick wok and extra long chopsticks will be great help here!

What makes this so different from the usual fried meehoon are the kaffir lime leaves, the lime juice and the fish sauce which gives it that citrusy Thai-inspired, sour, tangy flavour. I find this a really spicy and appetizing meal for any time of the day. A word of caution though, this is seriously not for those with very mild taste buds!

Kaffir lime leaves (aka daun limau purut) gives Thai food that distinctly citrusy heavenly scent!
You seriously can't do without this!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dongzhi: Winter Solstice Festival

The Dongzhi is one festival I embrace wholeheartedly simply because I love the delicacy "tangyuen" which are glutinous rice balls stuffed with sweet brown sugar. Our dear mum has been making these balls every year since we were kids. So this year, now that I've been promoted to a mummy, I've decided to create some from scratch while my mum narrated the instructions. Turns out they are really super easy to make! It's definitely a tradition I can upkeep as it's simple and yummy! In the spirit of tradition, I'm happy to share what my mum taught me today.

Here are what you will need, they are ballpark measurement as mum doesn't go with the metric system, it's all in her head!

For the balls:
  1. 1.5 bowls of glutinous rice floor (standard Chinese rice/soup bowl)
  2. 0.5 bowl of rice floor
  3. 1 cup of warm water (not cold!)
  4. Brown sugar blocks
  5. Food coloring
  6. A few drinking straws or chopsticks to dip food coloring
For the ginger soup:
  1. Pandan leaves (aka Screwpine leaves)
  2. Ginger (roughly chop and crush 4 to 6 inches depending on your desired 'heat')
  3. Sweet potatoes/yam (optional, qty depends on your preference)
  4. Rock sugar
This recipe is good for about 4 pax depending on your appetites!

Easy-breezy Steps:
  1. Get two pots ready; one for boiling plain hot water and one more for the ginger based soup.
  2. Boil the pandan leaves, rock sugar, potatoes and ginger together till fragrant.
  3. The other pot is for cooking the balls in plain boiling water.
  4. Sieve the 2 types of floor together, then gradually add warm water while kneading it with your hand till you get a bouncy dough consistency kinda like Play-Doh, it should not be too watery but hold up well on it's own. To test if it's right, make little balls with it and see if it holds up. If the dough feels too watery, add more floor to balance it out.
  5. Separate the dough into batches based on the number of colors you want to have. I have five batches here; white, pink, blue, purple and green. Then use the tip of a straw to dip color unto each dough batch and knead till color is even. Be careful to rinse your hand between each batch otherwise your colors will run everywhere!
  6. Cut the brown sugar to little cubes to be used as fillings for the balls. You can also make them plain, or use different fillings like peanuts or black sesame paste which I have no idea how to! But anyway I prefer good old simple brown sugar; sweet and fragrant!
  7. Pinch dough into mini balls, insert a piece of sugar and roll between palms to get a nice round shape.
  8. Cook the ready balls in plain boiling water, they are ready when they float to the surface.
  9. Transfer the cooked balls to individual serving bowls. Scoop ready ginger based soup over the balls and we're good to go!
Have fun trying this out and enjoy yummy "tangyuen"! You know what, you don't even have to reserve this delicacy for the festival, it's easy enough to prepare for any family dinner or just a lazy weekend at home for tea!

Prepare the ginger-based soup, boil till fragrant.

 Separate dough into batches based on the number of colors you want to have. I have five batches here; white, pink, blue, purple and green. Then use the tip of a straw to dip color unto each dough batch and knead till color is even.
 Cut the brown sugar to little cubes to be used as fillings for the balls.

 Pinch dough into mini balls, insert a piece of sugar and roll between palms to get a nice round shape.

 Cook the ready balls in plain boiling water, they are ready when they float to the surface.

 The balls will get a little bigger and look really shiny when cooked, color also become stronger and darker. Transfer the cooked balls to individual serving bowls.

Scoop ready ginger based soup over the balls and we're good to go! As you can see in this pic here we had it with some nice keropok lekor!

  Love the way the brown sugar is half-melted inside the ball, it oozes out so sweet and hot!

Happy Dongzhi everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Legoland at Bangsar Village

Toys R Us is set to fulfill any kid's Lego-dream this Christmas. I'm sure most of us had some kinda Lego fantasy or other when we were kids. Hop into Bangsar Village to be transported into magical Lego-land. Hubby is a big Lego fan (aren't all boys???) so he had alot of fun just gazing and lusting at the various Lego collections on display.  I was pretty impressed with the ginormous 22-feet Christmas tree and the many fabulous Star Wars collections! Here's a sneak preview, I'm thinking it's really worthwhile to take your kids here. It's definitely not your run-of-the-mill Christmas mall decor.

 22' Lego Christmas tree!

 Lego on discount; perfect for Christmas pressies! Good thing Lucas is still so tiny, otherwise he will be bugging us for these stuff!

 It's like a Lego museum here; I think these belongs to hard-core avid collectors. The adults and older teens are more taken with these than the children.

  My favorite; an assembly of the entire Galactic Empire!

Clone troopers!

Seaside medieval castle.

Ancient Egyptian pyramid.

Play area for children.

Catch them before they are gone, from now till 2 January 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Friends in the Making!

Baby Lucas (born on 4 Sept 2010) and 
Baby Basel (born on 19 Oct 2010)

It's a momentous occasion when your childhood friend whom you've known since kindergarten gives birth almost the same as you do! We finally managed to catch up after my dear girl's confinement period is over. Here's a short clip of our little baby boys together; getting acquainted for the very first time. They will be seeing alot of each other and I hope they will find good friends in each other in the years to come. Just as their mothers did!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The End: Closing Another Chapter

I’ve been quiet awhile as it’s been quite challenging trying to juggle a new baby and going back to work in November.Anyway when I came back in November, I tendered my resignation immediately. Understandably, people get the impression that I’m leaving my job for the sake of my baby. That’s only part of the truth. I’m leaving this job because it’s like the biggest career mistake I’ve ever made. 

Why is it a mistake? Well, to begin with, there was a serious mismatched expectation vs deliverables. I believe I excelled as a marketer in many ways but I think I suck at this current role (client servicing in advertising). In my past 10 years, I’ve done and achieved things most marketers can only dream of. I’ve done the whole nine yards, one-leg-kick thing, late hours and weekends included. All that plus blood, sweat and tears, all in the name of passion for my job. Some of you who know me will know that when I’m completely on board when I believe in something, there will be no stopping me come hell or high waters! However, my dissatisfaction here has nothing to do with my clients, in fact I've met some pretty wonderful clients who are very appreciative.

Somehow I’m not able to replicate the same fabulous me here. Just to organize my thoughts, here are some of the more concrete reasons why things are not happening here:
  1. It’s not what I expected it to be; should never have left marketing to join the dark side!
  2. I don’t enjoy what I do; it’s all lacking a sense of purpose.
  3. I’m not good at this because I don’t enjoy it.
  4. Lack of direction, guidance and support; which means I’m groping in the dark half the time.
  5. Incongruent expectations on both sides.
  6.  Conflicting work styles within the department creating a lot of contention.
  7.  Poor top-down planning and conflicting directions leads to a lot of confusion on who is supposed to do what , how and when, resulting in a lot of unnecessary last-minute scrambling. I don’t understand why we have to pay dearly for someone else’s mistakes and poor time management.
  8.  I hate not being in control of my work.
  9. The department itself is fragmented.
  10. I’m not contributing in a way that changes the world (unlike in my previous place), when I don’t see myself making a difference, I feel very demotivated.
  11. I’m not growing professionally as I’m not learning what I need to.
  12. Socially it’s not happening for me either; I’ve always had wonderful workmates from my previous jobs which became lasting friends till today. God knows I’ve tried. People keep leaving anyway. Hence everyday is a lonely battle.
Don’t get me wrong, the company is an excellent employer overall and there are many satisfied long-standing staff. To be fair, as an organization they have pretty good values and principles. There will always be some weak links within any strong organization and I’m unfortunate enough to be stuck in one such division. As such I know I need to leave because another day of this would surely break me completely.  I don’t want to spend my hours picking up the pieces and fire fighting for someone who is so disorderly. My anally methodical mind cannot handle it, I have to be in control or I will totally lose it so help me God.

Having said that, do I regret leaving my previous job? No I don’t, the time was ripe there and I had to move on sooner or later. I will always cherish the moments I’ve had there. Looking back I appreciate all the trials and tribulations I went through and it made me what I am today. I especially appreciate the people who gave me the autonomy to make decisions, the room to make mistakes and the freedom to take pride in my work.

And so by the end of December I shall close the year by ending this small chapter on a bad career decision and  starting the new year as a SAHM (stay at home mum) for a while, we don’t know how long yet, perhaps until me and my baby are both ready. We need each other very much right now. 

Will I work again? Yes I believe I will, eventually, I’m not sure if I can resist the lure of the corporate madness and I don’t think I’m done with marketing yet. I’d like to have the opportunity to redeem myself as I don’t want my career life to end on such a doleful note.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Playtime @ Week 5

Baby Lucas getting acquainted with Busy Butterfly & Carrie the Caterpillar.

It's not easy trying to shoot pictures and videos of an infant; they either move way to much or not at all! This is one video I particularly like alot; I managed to catch him in a pretty good mood after his bath.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The First Bath!

After several careful self-education on You Tube (Praise God for You Tube! Just search "how to bathe a newborn" - the resources are endless!), I've finally worked up the courage to bath my precious prince Lucas since his umbilical stump fell out somewhere last week. It was a short bath, I just wanted to get him accustomed to water in a tub and I was so worried he will fuss or catch a cold, but he was so lovely and brave in the tub!

Here are some cute pics; I'm quite amazed he actually hang about calmly enough for me to take a few snaps too! Bravo my boy, bravo! You never fail to make mummy SMILE :)*muaxxx*

Mummy, don't shoot! I'm naked!!! 

Making eyes at the camera!

Getting restless!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stupid Questions & Remarks

Throughout my pregnancy and after, I've encountered alot of ridiculous questions and remarks. In fact I've got one post on some of the weird things people say when they discovered I was pregnant here. 

Well, after you give birth it doesn't get easier, firstly you are bombarded with endless visitors ranging from families, relatives, friends and colleagues who then decided to bring their spouses, cell members, children, golf buddies etc to witness your "just gave birth look like hell no makeup bad hair face" and brand new baby who is probably shocked to be suddenly outside the comfort of the womb and have to deal with many a staring face. Plus your nether regions are on fire with pain that is unspeakable as the epidural and painkillers slowly wear off and you are dying for a shower, bed pan, morphine, whatever, plus your emotions are highly unstable and you are physically and mentally TIRED beyond words, yet you have to smile at an endless stream of visitors and entertain questions to infinity. or all you wish to do is hold your newborn child in your arms and enjoy the moment but NOOoooooooo ..... *sheeessshh*

Well, most people are extremely thoughtful and lovely and they just want to congratulate us, share our joy and see the new baby. But some of these visitors come bearing remarks that can actually be quite unkind, offensive and insensitive, or just plain annoying. I decided to list some that I've personally encountered lately here so that (a) we don't repeat it and risk irritating the sh*t out of others AND (b) don't come and annoy me with these questions and remarks as well.

Here are some I encountered (for real, not making it up):
  1. Are you in alot of pain? What do you think??? This came from a young girl who has yet to birth a  child so I will forgive this remark LOL!
  2. You look tired. *duh*
  3. Why is your labor so long? Followed by a detailed victorious story of how their labor was so wonderfully short, painless and effortless. OMG what is there to compare? It this really necessary?
  4. How come your baby is so SMALL??? Followed by serious bragging of how their baby was 4 freaking kg and their success story at bringing forth a gigantic fetus through an almost instant vaginal birth. Oh God seriously? Are we bragging about the weight of the baby???
  5. How come you need to use a vacuum when your baby is only 2.83kg? I just wish I can say "get lost lady, get outta my face" and I wonder why I'm even having this conversation with you.
  6. During my pregnancy I didn't put on THAT much weight as my baby was good at absorbing the nutrients. At this point I'm just wondering what she's implying; that I'm too fat yet my baby is small and somehow my baby did not absorb the nutrients? Meaning what? I'm a bad mother stealing all the good stuff from my own fetus? Gosh lady, you need some serious lessons in tact, and this coming from a so-called matured woman in her forties.
  7. Epidural is not good, you will get backache in years to come. Seriously, think about it, we all know that, don't you think anyone in their right sound mind won't want to avoid this if possible, obviously it was not like an easy choice to make. And unless you can say you knew the pain I went through, you have no right to judge the labor decisions I made.
  8. Why didn't you just opt for Cesarean? This came from some clueless guy who probably think all women should go c-section so that the vaginal regions are unmarked and unscathed by childbirth. This is due to pure ignorance, a sad lack of education. Think about it, nature and God intended for a vaginal birth. A c-section, in most cases, is necessary due to medical complications and emergencies. Of course lately alot of women are opting for elective c-sections for vanity / convenience sake (and I say this without any judgement whatsoever, each to her own), so I guess we can't blame these guys for thinking it's the norm.
Well, maybe a new mother is super emo, sensitive and highly defensive during the first few days and weeks, and I think she has every right to be, given that her body, mind and soul is going through quite a lot after bringing forth a new baby into the world, and everyone is different in every way. I don't see what's there to loose by exercising some consideration, kindness and tact. I mean, after all you came to visit me and my baby, so why is it suddenly all about YOU and YOUR big fat baby and YOUR very smooth easy labor and birth? I'm not interested. I'm tired, in pain, and drugged out, the last thing I need is to hear your bragging-baby-stories. And please stop making comments about my baby being small or whatever negative nonsense. My ob-gyn confirms the baby is a good size for me and he is healthy, whole and just perfect in every way.

Ultimately the main objective is that the baby came safe and sound and perfectly formed, and that the mother is also well and alive. I know my true friends are happy for us and really, that's all that matters. At moments like this what we need are people who are kind and supportive and respect our decisions. We have no room in our lives for those who are here to pass judgement and unkind nonconstructive remarks.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Precious Prince Lucas @ Week 2

At the risk of being one of those annoying new parents whose lives revolves around their new babies, here I am again with more pictures of our dear Baby Lucas to commensurate his second week of life! :)

Afternoon nap on his favorite 'whale' pillow; I can't resist the adorable way he moves his arms in all kinds of directions during his sleep.

Fast asleep on Mummy Shortcake after a satisfying feed.

Sound asleep in Daddy's arms :)

In Popo's (i.e. maternal grandmother) arms; this is the pitiful look; about to burst into tears due to soiled diaper!

The contented post-crying face after a fresh diaper change.

My Labour Story

Everyone, well not everyone, mainly fellow mothers and mothers-to-be have been asking alot of questions about the labour and how it went and all kinds of detailed questions to the point that it's really quite tiring, hence I will detail it down here so that I need not repeat it again and again like a broken record on rerun. Furthermore I noticed my tolerance level and hormonal impatience which I developed during pregnancy has not diminished whatsoever. So here forth I will direct all Q&A on my labor to this blog post haha I'm so mean I know. To be honest at this point, I hate talking about the labor, maybe because it was quite horrific an experience plus not enough time has passed for me to look back and laugh at it yet.

But for everyone's benefit, I will make it short and succinct in point form here ...

2nd Sept 2010, Thursday
  • Arrived at the hospital in the afternoon for a check up as I was leaking for 2 days and my discomfort was mounting to the point I can barely walk.
  • They did an internal and strapped me up on the EFM (electronic fetal monitoring) and decided that I need to be admitted as the leaking cause me to be at risk for an infection and apparently the EFM shows slight contractions at 4 minutes apart.
  • My ob-gyn was out of the country for conference so I was being attended by another doctor who was great as well, very understanding and gentle.
  • I explained to the labour team I did not want to be induced (Pitocin via IV) nor do I want an epidural, they respected my wishes and worked around that.
  • Throughout the day and night, there was still no progress in terms of cervix dilation despite continuous leaking and stronger contractions by evening.
  • Towards the end we agreed to go with a milder form of induction i.e. Prostaglandin, inserted into the cervix to see if we can speed things up.
  • Needless to say I was very tired and achy from being poked and prodded the whole day and night.

3rd Sept 2010, Friday
  • No progress, Doc was getting abit worried, we decided to burst the main water bag because the leakage was from the 'hind waters' apparently.
  • After the main waters were broken, the contractions became super duper unbearable.
  • Yet I tried to resist further medical intervention, hubby and I have very strong misgivings about getting an epidural due to all the horror stories and potential side effects, but at this point, it's not the time for me to be a hero anymore as the baby may risk distress due to prolonged labour and contractions. 
  • After four tearful and unspeakably unbearable hours of pain, we gave into the epidural as the cervix still refuse to dilate despite the incredibly strong contractions. I decided here that whatever I've read in theory on labor and birth is bullshit crap and I've overestimated my own threshold of pain; tattoo and belly piercing is no indicator of one's pain threshold *duh*
  • Also, Doc says at the rate the cervix is behaving, it's gonna be many many hours of pain with very little dilation, he doesn't think I can make it, I concur totally.
  • By evening, around 6pm or so, we relented and started the epidural. It was like heaven, seriously. I felt like I could suddenly breathe again and actually lie down still and rest for abit.
  • I was still being poked and prodded, they are forever checking my cervix dilation *ouch* but thankfully, the epidural lets me feel nothing. That night, I could sleep properly.

4th Sept Friday.
  • Just past midnight or so, the contractions somehow stopped, dilation was about 3cm, they decided to go with Pitocin via IV.
  • Even that took longer than normal, it was almost 11 hours before we got to 8 or 9cm I think.
  • By 6:45am, the midwives and nurses decided I'm ready, they got the Doc in and we got ready for the baby.
  • By 7:44am; Praise God, finally Baby Lucas was born (whole and healthy at 2.83kg) after almost 45 mins of assisted pushing and vacuum towards the end (the epidural affects the ability to push plus the momma was super duper tired, seriously)
  • When Lucas was placed on my chest, all bloody and cord intact, it was such a precious moment that cannot be described, all I think of was "OMG we did it!" and I was in such awe and disbelief at this cute tiny human being that came out from me under there! No amount of reading and preparation can prepare you for that sensation at seeing your child emerge from inside you. And he looked so very perfect, he is everything I hoped and prayed he would be.
So there you go; my first ever labor and birth experience. If you've seen my birth plan in an earlier post, you would realize that it just went out the window like ashes to the wind! Oh well, some plans are made to be broken, but ultimately we are grateful we managed to have the ultimate objective; to have a safe vaginal birth; despite all the medical interventions which we tried so hard to avoid. Yup, I was also subject to an episiotomy *sob*sniff*sob* and it's still smarting like hell right now.

However, I must say the Doc and staff nurses were very supportive of my Birth Plan and they even allowed me to try to deal with the process and the pain which is why it took so long. They did not compel, force nor coerce me to do anything I was not ready to do and I was well consulted on all procedures. I was impressed and thankful of the experienced and professional labor team at Pantai KL, these ladies knows their stuff, I was really well taken care of.

My dear hubby was amazing, I was impressed he was able to face the entire birthing process and cheering on with the nurses for me to "PUSH"! He was even steady enough to catch some really good photos. Cheers to the new Daddy!

Two hours after that, we were admiring the brand new baby all cleaned up and swaddled in the cot. Hubby and I were in absolute awe and wonder that we "produced" such a beautiful creature; it's truly a miracle, by the grace of God. Then we looked each in the eye, exhausted, relieved and ecstatic and we both had an instant mutual understanding ... next it'll be a dog or cat to accompany our precious sweet Baby Lucas :)

Well, in retrospect, I would say I should not have gone into the hospital so soon despite the leakage and discomfort and I should have waited abit more; like 2 more days. But then again, truth be told, I was so eager to have the baby, I was getting quite impatient, plus I was subconsciously pressured by everyone bugging me about why is the baby so late. Looking back, I would not give a rats ass about what anyone says anymore; it's not their body, it's not their baby, and I would advise the same to any mums-to-be; trust your own body, trust your ob-gyn and don't be pressured unnecessarily by well-meaning people around you.

Anyway, what's done is done, we believe in God's perfect timing and everything works for good for those who love Him. Besides, who would know how long should I wait and what further signs should be sufficient before it's time. I guess ultimately, God was in control of the situation and it was how it was intended to be. So all praises to Jesus for bringing forth sweet baby Lucas into our lives.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome Baby Lucas!

Today our newborn son Lucas is one week old! He was born exactly a week ago; 4th September 2010, Saturday at 7:44am at Pantai Hospital KL. Here are some quick pics to introduce Baby Lucas to the world!

This picture was taken by Daddy within the first 2 hours upon his arrival; still within the labor ward. 

Mummy took this picture of a one day old Lucas right after his 'breakfast feeding' when the nurses brought him in at the break of dawn.

This pic was taken by Daddy on his first morning at home. Lucas is two days old here.

This is also a day two pic taken at home by Daddy; this is how he looks when he's in the mood to make eyes at you. He started sucking on his fingers on the first day itself.

It's been a crazy week! Overwhelmed yet absolutely overjoyed. More updates soon!!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I just came across something so bizarre it's knocking off my socks completely. I have Facebook connections who set up individual Facebook pages for their dogs. Don't get me wrong, I have nought against pets and I particularly love dogs and if you've been stalking me for a while you would have caught snippets of our family mutt scattered around this blog.

Anyway, I know some people set up Dog Pages so that they can give a life and identity to their beloved doggie and I think while that's not exactly normal sane human behavior, it is kinda cute in a weird way. They hook up with other Dog Pages and there your pet can live an online life through you, frankly I don't think the dog gives a skinny kitten's ass if he has a Facebook page, never mind if he has fans / friends on that page. In fact, back in the heat of novelty, I too created two such pages dedicated to two dogs but they are defunct now and I do not, I repeat, I do not have conversations with myself posing as a dog.

What bothers me to the point of doubting someones sanity is when they 'talk' on behalf of their dogs (as in post status on behalf of the dog) and then, get this ... they reply as themselves, the dog owner. Heaven knows I am so freaking tempted to screen capture and show the dialogs here and tickle my readers high but I shall not as i still do value these crazy connections I have. I can't resist mocking them here though.

Here's a modified example of what I saw on a wall, names changed to protect the demented:

Dog Wall Status: Hmmm I am so hungry, wonder what will mummy be feeding me later? *woof*
Owner Replies: U are so naughty, u just ate bone snacks and u're already hungry? Such a piggy glutton of a dog you are ^_^

Dog Wall Status: Yay mummy's home from work!!! *wag tail*
Owner Replies: Aaaawww you're such a darling puppy *muax*

Ok, cute to death right? Fine. Maybe one sees this as a platform to explore and express one's scriptwriting or creative writing skills and I can see how this will come in really useful in a Sunday school puppet show or to fulfill some dreams of writing children's books. But on Facebook, for the benefit of your adult friends? Maybe it's just me; maybe I'm too dense to appreciate this kinda creative banter.

And ... dig this, some of these people manage more than one Dog pages; actively. I wonder if these people are simply so high on themselves or they just have absolutely no useful and purposeful agenda in life whatsoever that they have to simulate imaginary conversations with their pets on a public social media platform. Oh gosshhhhhh ...... *pengsan*

Tell me it's not me that's weird or is this some kinda new current trend I'm missing out on??? Is it? Is it???

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Waiting & Anticipating

Alas, time is up but baby is still not checking out from Le Mummy's Bump. Waiting and anticipating yet nothing is happening. I know God's timing is always perfect and the baby will choose his own birthday but this is totally killing me.

I will bury my phone the next time it beeps with another concerned "Is baby here yet" message. Sigh, I know I'm blessed with wonderful friends who actually remember the due date and are genuinely concerned. I do love all my friends and I appreciate them but I'm not in a right frame of mind now. In fact I have taken to turning my phone on SILENT and going completely OFF Facebook and Messenger until Baby arrives. Call it a social hibernation, whatever, I am just so damn xien.

And poor hubby is inundated with "Have your wife delivered yet?" at the office all week. Looks like he has to put up with that for a few more days. Thank God no idiot has ventured to the "Why so late wan?" follow up comment after hearing "No". And every time Hubby ask me if I'm feeling alright, I sadly nod and say I'm feeling fine, when what we both really want to hear is "No  I'm having contractions, the Baby is coming!"

Everyone is asking how I'm feeling and if I'm okay. Unfortunately I am, I can't believe I'm saying this but I wish I'm wrecked with contractions and clear-cut pain right now cos all I'm getting are a wide range of inenerrable discomforts which barely warrant a trip to the hospital. I've been reading and re-reading the labor sections of all my Pregnancy books and online resources yet I'm non the wiser.

Here's what I'm getting off the net when I Google "What does contractions feel like?" And these are the gists of some real-life testimonials from various sources:

Severe menstrual cramps
I hardly ever get these back in the day and I can't quite remember how they feel. Nope, I'm not quite feeling this.

Diarrhea, gas cramps
I get lots of these which always lead me to the loo anyway so I guess mine are a results of too much chili padi or yesterday's dinner, so nope, this can't be it.

Sharp shooting pains in the abdomen
I'm not getting much of this, I thought I felt something like this a couple of nights, they went away so I wonder if I dreamt it anyway.

Dull achy cramps
This is happening on and off, probably due to Baby's weight or whatever but it's not alarming enough to set us rushing anywhere. Besides, it goes away on and off.

Tightening of the belly
I have been feeling this all the time past few weeks and it's the one and only slightly more regular sensation I have. The tightening doesn't even qualify as mildly uncomfortable so I'm ruling it out as an alarm unless it gets more intense to the point of actually being painful.

My mum says hers started out as backache and radiates to the whole belly. I don't have backaches to begin with and I guess this is only valid if the baby's back is pressing against the spine which is not quite my case.

It's something like you've never felt before
Are you seriously kidding me; how is such a description even helpful in any way?

There are other sudden indescribable sensations, little pains, aches and tenderness all around at different spots and different times of the day. They are usually more ticklish than uncomfortable.

So I'm basically sitting around analysing every sensation I experience and trying very hard to compartmentalise them into all the categories I've read up on. This keeps me up all night and it's driving me crazy. Unfortunately nothing I feel seems to be regular enough for me monitor and track. Sigh.

People say "You will know it when it happens" but I sure ain't knowing anything or it's definitely not quite happening. The thing I wonder is "What if it's happening and I don't even know it?" I might have like super-human pain threshold and not even realise I'm in labor. Gosh.

I'm really not sure how much more of this I can take. I'm insomniac, heavy, big, uncomfortable, sweaty and worst of all ... bored out of my freaking mind. At this point, I'm just praying and begging; oh God bring on the PAIN!!! At least I'll know for certain something is going to happen, the waiting and uncertainty is not fun at all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Preparing For Baby: Part 2 & Final?

Following the photo post early this month, here are more memento snapshots of our preparation for the arrival of our Prince; baby Lucas.

Here are some of Baby's toiletries; not even born yet and he's already being spoilt by Aunty Beatrice with organic toiletries! Next to the them is the soft and cute Lion Rattle which Daddy called a "Flower Bear" before I corrected him. I guess Daddy needs to sit in for animal flash cards lessons with Baby :)

How can any pregnant woman resist something that calls itself Earth Mama Angel Baby and comes in packaging like these? This US brand specializes in all organic, safety-approved baby and mummy stuff. You can buy them online here at Little Whiz, among others. They even have a perineum spray; spray to soothe and relieve the down under discomfort! Who would have thought?

Here's the tub where Baby will spend time playing with water and his two little duckies.

 These are the stuff for bathing the new mum and baby. Errrr, I didn't buy these; my Mum bought a huge bag full of these. They are apparently ancient herbs trusted for generations from the Chinese medical halls, somehow they now come in 'fancy smancy' packaging! They actually smell quite nice from the pack; like a zen spa. I will humor my mum with the lot of them as long as they smell okay during usage and won't give me and baby rashes. 

 I definitely didn't buy these but I have to put this here in tribute to my dear Mum, and to remind myself how blesssed and lucky I am to have my Mum care for me during such a critical period. I would never know what herbs to buy and goodness me even if I did; what do I even do with them? Anyway, she's stocked the fridge full of these plus bottles of ginger wine. It's a lost art I tell you.

 This is me taking the easy way out; after some googling, hearsay has it that Amway has the best post-natal care pack in town; completely traditionally Malaysian but in a modern, hygienic and easy-to use set with an instruction pamphlet in three languages! Here it is; a complete package of capsules, wrap, massage oils, massage herbs and a 'bengkung' tummy binder to 'fix' the new mum.

 These are the final reading while I wait for my Prince to make a grand entrance.

Baby's got some reading materials waiting for him too!

This should be it, we're pretty complete now and ready now. I've been told now is the time to spend some quality paktoh (dating in Cantonese) with the Hubby and some precious alone me-time as once Baby arrives, life will be forever changed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 39: The Last Week!

We have one week to go! Feels like a miracle that we've even come so far. We are both so thankful that we rode through the past nine months so smoothly and almost uneventfully; thank God! For months I've been trying so hard to ward off and pray away unpleasant thoughts of premature birth and all other kinds of fears. Now that we're in a safe zone, we're happy and at rest; just waiting for something to happen!

As promised in my last update at Week 33; here is my final update on being pregnant.

The Physical Updates:
  1. I've gained a total of 16.5 kg (from 52kg to 68.5kg) which is rather disheartening as I was hoping not to cross the 15kg mark! But then again, who can I blame when I basically let go when it came to having all my favorite desserts, well almost let go. Hubby kept a tight rein though!
  2. I'm still very breathless *pant*pant*
  3. I'm more bloated than ever; during my last update I can't imagine I can get even more bloated but I did! Even my nose and face is 'swollen' and ,my fingers are so tight with water retention it hurts to grasp my fist tightly.
  4. I tried shoe shopping only to discover I'm now 2 sizes larger! (from 5 to 7 *boohoo*)
  5. Some of my maternity clothes which I can wear a month or two back doesn't fit anymore! Just when I think I can save some $$$ I actually have to go get more clothes.
  6. Fortunately my face is still behaving very well, other than some slightly more pronounced freckles, I've been blessedly exempted from breakouts. Which is a major blessing as I can no longer visit my beautician as I can barely get up on their facial bed and lay on my back for more than  a few minutes.
  7. Another good thing; my hair fall has lessen; seeing alot less hair on the bathroom floor!
  8. I've become less moody, maybe the hormones are regulating itself now.
  9. I'm still as tired as before and although my aches and pains are the same if not worse off, I'm actually feeling more energetic now. I feel like walking, cleaning, cooking, shopping, exercising etc but I can't do either for long. Something will start to ache in no time.
  10. I'm still driving! I just did today! *applause*applause*
  11. I seem to able to eat more now due to the lightening; this is when baby has drop down to the bottom in preparation for the eventual engagement.
  12. Now that I've started my maternity break, I feel so peaceful and at ease! I guess it's good, I've read that a high stress environment can cause delayed labours which may need to be induced, not sure how proven that is. But I really want to be far far away from work matters now; I can't bear to be mentally and emotionally drained for another day!
Agenda for the week, or days to come:
  1. Get mum here and get her adjusted to the house.
  2. Stock up on key pantry items, groceries and food stuff.
  3. Final checks and preparation of the hospital bags.
  4. I should clean the house one more round before the week is over.
  5. Gonna try some DIY 'labour inducing' foot massage.
  6. Do my final revision on all matters related to birth and labour.
  7. Read up and you tube more on nursing; I'm really hoping to get it right from the start.
  8. I've already begun to commit the Brahm's lullaby to memory; time for more practise!