Piggies galore!

Guinea pigs in the making!

Sewing is much more gratifying than knitting – at least that’s the case for someone like me who is struggling with knitting projects more than her sewing and spinning WIPs. I lack stamina when it comes to these things plus it’s always so hot that there never seems to be a good enough reason to knit.

I had initially planned to work on these soft plushies over the weekend but a bout of food poisoning left me too tired out; in fact, I’m still battling the aftermath but it’s getting better despite going on medical leave today.

One thing I discovered about sewing up toys is that it uses up a good amount of leftover fabric that I have in my stash, which is good news for Nil as he often remarks on how my stash of fabric never seems to go down. Oddly enough, he never says anything about how it never goes UP. Gah.

Anyway, after a nice afternoon nap to recover, some Prevera reviews and a trip to the babysitter’s to pick Eva up at the usual time, I spent the night relaxing in front of the sewing machine and churned out two rather cute little piggies in under two hours. Only thing left to go around the eyes, nose and mouth – no buttons here as they are meant for kiddies – plus to cut out more fabric combinations to make more piggies.

Heck, I won’t be surprised if we get a piggie invasion over the next few days! LOL!

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More additions to the fabric stash!

In the form of fat quarters and half meters, that is.

In an effort to cut back on my fabric stash, I have inadvertently added to it. I’m planning on sewing up some plushies and had to hunt down some chenille, fleece as well as some fat quarters in green. So before my food poisoning episode came, I made some time from all the usual stuff I do online (hcg diet reviews, etc) and offline to hop on over to Spotlight with Eva in tow.

Not a great idea because an hour after lunch, my stomach aches got worse and Eva got fussier. By the time I was done with the shopping, I was pretty much dying and even Nil remarked that I looked awfully pale. Instead of going with him to meet his friend, I took my shopping and myself home (he got to spend some time with Eva instead). Heck, even the cab driver noted that I was tired because I fell asleep in the cab!!!

Anyway, that aside, I managed to score some ivory and brown chenille – no black unfortunately – together with some skin colour felt and other fabrics that I think will look great as part of a toy. They didn’t have fleece in the colours that I wanted and no plain flannel so I ended up with wool felt instead. I figure it should be just fine.

I think I shall start prepping for my sewing projects once my tummy gets better. Hopefully it’ll be by tomorrow. *sigh*

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I hate my stomach.

If there was every such a thing as a stomach transplant, I’d be the first to sign up.

I mean I’m happy with my body and my face (of course it could be better but I don’t wish for big changes). I can fix some things like my jelly belly or go for blackhead treatments to remove those nasties but this is something that I’m quite fed up of.

I have been going through bouts of food poisoning since my return from Australia in 2002. I don’t know if it was the food or the weather or what, but since my return, I catch food poisoning more often than the flu/cold! The first was two weeks after my return – I went head-on with some Northern Indian food. Left me incapacitated for at least a week. Since then, I go through food poisoning bouts in various degrees of intensity at least once a month!!!!

Things got better when I moved to Switzerland and I noticed chicken porridge always help but the pattern was the same – so long as the food item tastes remotely off or is undercooked (especially fish or seafood), I can be prepared for a longggggg night and a very tiring day of recovery. Along the way I discovered that drowning myself in charcoal pills, Smecta as well as probiotic pills help but it didn’t mean I wasn’t suffering.

Haiz. Now I’m back in Singapore and this is like my fourth or fifth episode – I’ve lost count. So I’m wondering. Is it just me or food preparation here sucks big time (it always happens after I eat out)?


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Some thoughts of marriage and making it last.

I originally wrote this for a post in the forum and thought I’d share it on my blog as well – for posterity sake as well as to break the monotony of writing reviews on 7-dfbx and the like. So yes, what about marriage?

Well, it takes A LOT of effort to maintain a relationship – both unseen and seen – as well as self-reflection. Self-reflection is important because that’s how we learn more about ourselves and how to tell if we are heading to disaster in our life journey (or not). We are all human and therefore imperfect. We have our up and down days, we have changes coming into our lives and sometimes we change along with it. The key is in communication, teamwork and reflection.

I’ve not been married for very long but I have had the opportunity to think long and hard about my own marriage and how to make it last. Nil and I have gone through a lot and yes, even sometimes to the point where I feel like giving up – not too sure about him though. But we stuck through it all and learn a few of life’s lesson as well. It is lifelong learning process and slow sometimes. Even couples who have been married for long cannot safely say that their marriage is in good shape as anything can happen at any time. For my HB and me, we have changed upon our marriage and then again when Eva came along and we discovered a few things along the way:

Be intimate regularly
Intimacy is not about sex. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that sex is not important. It is but it’s not the only way you can be intimate with your partner. There is physical intimacy like cuddling, kissing, holding hands and there is emotional intimacy. Many cultures around the world speak of the power of a human touch. Notice how children and babies are soothed easily with a hug, a cradle, a smooch and some skin contact. Sometimes when we are down, depressed or just tired, a comforting embrace is all it takes to help pick a person up. Make the effort to reconnect and build some form of intimacy in your life. With a baby, it can be hard but the rewards are worth the effort, especially when you consider that your actions teach your child a thing or two about what to expect when they grow up, start dating and eventually get married. Eva may just be a toddler but her face lights up when she gets a group hug and smooch from my HB and me and especially when she sees us cuddling and smooching. It sets the tone for your child and how they view relationships in the future – that sex and intimacy is key to a healthy relationship. Besides, it’s hard to be and stay angry with someone you hold hands with, kiss or cuddle with.

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Being a mum – Part I

I’ll be honest.

I was never a baby-fan…or rather, I just wasn’t a baby magnet. When I see babies, I just freeze and sometimes I think they freeze up too. We would look at each other for a minute or two, try to figure each other out and along the way, either one of us would just give up. It’s like going to the cashiers with a boatload of goods and she stops using the barcode scanner, look you in the eye, you look back and well, nothing clicks. The same happens with children.

Overtime, I begin to tell myself that maybe I’m just not cut out to be a mother. I look at some of my friends and my cousins, and they handle children so well. Me? Well, I just freeze. So you have to understand that I really felt that motherhood wasn’t me at all. I don’t understand babies, I have my own little problems and well, I just didn’t see myself as a motherly person. Having said that, it didn’t mean that I didn’t want children – of course I want babies. I just wasn’t quite sure of what sort of parent I wanted to be or if I could handled it all.

Then I got married and when we started talking about raising a family, that got me thinking. I wasn’t quite warmed up to children yet so what more babies? We ventured onward into the unknown anyway. I figured along the way that no one person is born ready to tackle babies. Most of the time, it all boils down to experience and since I didn’t have nieces or nephews to practise on, I was left with just one option (which isn’t even an option) – to practise on my own child. Hah.

When I got pregnant, I realized that this was it. No more chances to experiment. So I did the next best thing – I bought books and read up. One of the most memorable things I remember seeing was this – “Women are pregnant for nine months for a reason and one of it is called preparation”. Preparation here doesn’t mean buying a manual and learning to drive with that manual beside you. What it does is that it give you a certain edge in the fact that you have an idea of what you’re doing and not just jumping into the water blindly. Especially important for a person like me who isn’t all that baby-friendly. Nil often teased me whenever we go for my antenatal check-ups because I never seem to have any questions (because I know what’s common and what’s not OR I’d do some read-up on this test and that test, etc).

For a few months, I ruminated over the kind of mother I wanted to be, the things I wanted to teach my child, the things I wanted them to not pick up at first impulse…many things. I started following blogs of parents I wanted to be like and formulate my own parenthood strategy according to what I read/saw or observed. I remember fondly talking about wanting to breastfeed for at least six months, if not a year. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum for the first two years of my child’s life. I wanted them to learn cooking together with me. I wanted to be those mums who are involved in their children’s life without the appearance of a maid (common in these parts of the world). I wanted a lot, I remember. In that sense, I was quite greedy. *grin*

I forgot that sometimes wanting certain things isn’t always the same as getting them.

To be continued…

Other related stories:
Part II

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Babies can be very “unjudging”.

I don’t know if the word exists but it just best sums up tonight.

For most of you who aren’t aware, our little Eva is turning one this Wednesday and my parents decide to show up this weekend for the big occasion plus they wanted more pics to add to their slide show. Kekeke. So they are a few days earlier but no biggie. We didn’t really plan for a big celebration as we don’t really have a lot of kiddie friends (Eva, that is) and most of our family are abroad. This coupled with the fact that we’re not very big on parties was enough for me to just keep it low-key and limited to family – that is my parents and the three of us.

Initially I wanted to make a cutesy cake with cow toppers to celebrate the fact that she was born in the year of the cow/ox. But this week was crazy at work and consequently, I ended up feeling more tired and stressed out than ever. My nights, which were supposed to be dedicated to making Eva’s cake and working on the shop booties were just used for recovery and recuperation, not to mention the daily laundry and cooking. So I ended up with the idea of making a cheesecake – mango flavoured since she likes mangos (and cheese). Bought everything during lunch on Friday, carted it back and started work on it after she went to bed.

My problem started then. My whipped cream had gone bad so I couldn’t use it. I sent Nil out to look for a replacement only to find that none of the sundry shops nearby stocked it (they have cream cheese though – weird). I goggled some recipes and discovered a few that called for milk and thought that it would fine. So after mixing in some cream cheese and milk, I tossed in some gelatine for good measure. I had a nagging feeling that it was going to fail me since I was only familiar with gelatine sheets and not gelatine powder. But I carried on. As I placed the cheesecake in the fridge to chill, I was quite excited to see the outcome.

The next morning, I checked on it. It wasn’t firm enough. After running a knife though, it looked more like thick cream rather than cheesecake. I added more gelatine and chucked the whole thing in the freezer. After breakfast, I went back to check on it and it looked quite firm so hey, why not place it in the fridge? I did so and forgot all about it until earlier this evening. I was utterly disappointed to see that it was just as it was before I added in the extra bit of gelatine. So I had no choice but to give it some freezer treatment as we headed out for dinner.

When we got back, it was time for Eva’s “dessert” so I removed the cake from the freezer. Total disaster struck here. As I removed the pan from the cake, Nil started yelling “QUICK QUICK” and there it was, my cheesecake starting to flow like slow lava onto the kitchen countertop. And the star of the show was waiting in her high chair. Gah.

She ended up finishing a “slice” of super creamy cheesecake with fresh slices of mango. Just goes to show that as long as it tastes good, babies don’t mind a disastrous cake. Am not too sure if it’ll work with toddlers though.


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Gyming again!

Yes, that’s right. I’m going back to the gym. You see, I’m quite tired of seeing the blubber staring right back at me in the mirror every day. So I signed up for a year’s membership.

Now a lot of people will scoff and say that there is no reason to sign up with a gym because you just need to jog around the park, there is something they need to understand – I just do not have the time to go around the park since I reach home at 7pm (earliest!) every night and Eva needs to be in bed by 830pm. Leaving her alone just to go up and down the 10 flights of stairs is not a solution – in fact, it’s downright dangerous!

I have no maid, no helper, no parents and no in-laws so I tackle everything together with Nil – cooking, laundry, cleaning. It is tiring, especially after a long day at work, and I especially hate it when people tell me that I should do more. Please, I am no superwoman.

Anyway, the gym is just around the corner from the office so it allows me to squeeze in some exercise during lunch. I could go before work starts but that means leaving the house at 630am – not an option considering that I sleep around midnight every day because of the stuff I have to do after reaching home. Lunch time it is then. While I was there, I am gently reminded of how I miss going to the gym and just doing my own thing, sweating it out. I could put work behind and just relax – no one to bother me (I did insist on not having a personal trainer even though they offered a free session – after the last time, I learnt my lesson well).

I’m hoping that with time and continued discipline on my part, I’ll be able to say goodbye to some blubber (I know I’m never going to be stick thin – I’ve always been curvy – but at least I’ll be healthier) without the aid of supplements, even if it’s the best fat burning supplement around!

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Becoming more pro-active

Helping Daddy decide what to eat for lunch at Sushi Tei.

Since turning 10 months or so, she has started becoming more vocal about what she wants, likes or doesn’t like and so forth. At restaurants, she’d grab hold of the menu and start flipping the pages, but sometimes I suspect it’s more because they resemble books and she just LOVES books. That aside, it is slowly dawning on us that our baby is becoming a little adult already.

Gone are the days when she would placidly smile back, and well, it was easy getting her to do things, even regular stuff like just going for evening walks. If she has had enough or is bored, she makes it clear; in fact, she makes it very clear! So recently, I started digging out a book I have on discipline (I put it aside due to my crazy schedule at home with best acne cleanser reviews and crocheting booties) just to see what I can do to make things comfortable for everyone and by comfort, I also mean that she doesn’t go out of bounds by screaming, throwing tantrums and shouting – something which I find common and would like to avoid.

So far, we are still alright on the quiet, calm and polite grounds but I do foresee a quiet storm brewing in the near future. Looks like we have a little opinionated miss on our hands and in a way, I think that is just fine.

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