Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baby Kicks

Our lil' one is kicking more furiously than ever. Reasons so far why he kicks :

1) Mummy....I am hungry, can you please give me some Green Apple nutrigen !
2) Mummy....I don't like this position at all. my legs don't have much space to stretch ! Please move !
3) Hmmm....this is yummy, can I have more rambutans when I come out next time !
4) Hot ! Hot ! I thought you are not supposed to eat chilli ??
5) Cold mummy cold ! Pat tummy with cold water bit by bit before you go under the shower, PLEASE !
6) Daddy....is that you ???
7) Mummy, daddy, stop druming your fingers around me...I want to sleep already !
8) Ok lah mummy I will give you a lil kick so that you know I am alive and kickin'
9) Please can I distrub you mummy.....I want a lullaby !
10) Ahhh....just for the FUN of it, let's wake mummy up !

Apple Pies

Have this sudden urge to eat apple pies and write about apple pies.

I am not sure if anyone has ever noticed this about pies...but they come in a whole wide range of pastries. And I am very particular about pastries.

There are the puff pastry apple pies like this one below. I feel these kind of pastries are usually more oily. They are usually layered. When taken warm, the outer layer is crispy with each layer getting softer and softer. Taken cold, however, ...these kind of pastires oozzzeee with oil with every bite ! But the filling is still nice - soft and runny (if done well) and you can take away the pastry and still enjoy sssuucckking out the filling !


Then there are the typical kind of baked pastries...they can either be criss-crossed or placed as a layer atop the apple filling. These are less oily but have to be taken warm....coz the filling is usually less runny (in other words, more dry!)....and there is no way the filling can ooozzzeee out anywhere ! But these kind I feel are excellent with ice cream. Coz since the crust is a little bit harder and more solid, it will not soak in the ice cream too fast. So, when it is not "hot-out-of-the-oven" anymore, best take it with vanilla ice-cream ! Other than with ice-cream, taking this kind of apple pie at room tempertaure or cold actually kills the longing for a second bite!


My favourite apple pie (and the only one that I have ever baked) is the APPLE CRUMBLE !
No need to worry about it being warm or cold since the filling is all mushy and the crust can either be taken as it is or mixed with the rest of the filling. And you can cheat! If you are in high requirement for carbs...take more crust. Else take "some" crust and scoop "under-and-out" all the apples underneath ! Best to be taken in a bowl or straight from the pie plate (if it's only your family eating it, that is !)

The last kind of apply pie is the one which is BEST eaten cold. These are the ones that you can find in simple cake shops in the glass covered, cool section of the bakery (didn't manage to find a picture that would do it justice) ! These are the cheapest and nicest kind to buy at any instant's notice ! If I had any urge for apple pie, it would be this kind !

Bread with apply filling and strudels will not be covered in this area since bread is totally unrelated with pies and I have not eaten enough strudels to have an opinion of it. To me strudels are like puff pastry pies ! No ???


























Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Definitions

School: A place where Papa pays and Son plays.

Life Insurance: A contract that keeps you poor all your life so that you can die Rich.

Nurse: A person who wakes you up to give you sleeping pills.

Marriage: It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree and a woman gains her masters.

Divorce: Future tense of Marriage.

Tears: The hydraulic force by which masculine willpower is defeated by feminine waterpower.

Lecture: An art of transferring information from the notes of the Lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either"

Conference: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

Compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

Conference Room: A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on.

Father: A banker provided by nature.

Criminal: A guy no different from the rest....except that he got caught.

Boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

Politician: One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence after.

Doctor: A person who cures your ills by pills, and kills you by bills.

Classic: Books which people praise, but do not read.

Smile: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

Office: A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

Yawn: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

Etc.: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together.

Experience: The name men give for their mistakes.

Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

Philosopher: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead

Monday, June 25, 2007

Histerical reactions !

Hubby got a shock of his life yesterday when he put his hand on my tummy last night!

All this while when I told him the baby was very active, he never really understood what I meant. The best way I could describe the feeling to him was something like a very bad case of diarrhae happening not in your bowels but in your tummy !

I have come to realise this quite some time back - that when I change my position from sleeping side ways to on my back, my lil' one doesn't like it at all ! My guess is that first he is throwing some sort of tantrum to tell me that this position doesn't give him much space at all ! And after that if I do not move, he will squirm and turn until he finds some comfortable position to rest. Then all is quiet again in preggy-land !

So, that was what happened...at precisely the moment when my arms started to ache from sleeping on my side, I decided to sleep on my back a while and hubby decided to see if he can feel the baby move. Haha....the baby kicked and squirmed and punched so much that I laughed and laughed at his reaction. Until he had to take his hand away and I guess sit and wonder for a while !

It was funny while it lasted.....mummy might be used to it, but daddy still finds it a wonder !

Sunday, June 24, 2007

BEAUTY IN WORDS - The reality or illusion of nakedness

I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothes, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone though the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs.

(Taken from C. S. Lewis - The Great Divorce)

New Word : Penumbra (taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/penumbra) - meaning a partial shadow, as in an eclipse, between regions of complete shadow and complete illumination ; the grayish outer part of a sunspot

REVIEW : The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis)

It has indeed been a long time since I put a book down with great satisfaction. This book is a little spiritual in nature, and the use of words and language is one I find truly amazing. There is not one word that has no purpose in this book. And simple language strung together brings new meaning to the entire phrase.

Basically this book deals with human characteristic and how in the eyes of God, it is seen to be wrong (though always we justify and justify). For example: Intellectual proof seeking
The free wind of inquiry must always continue to blow through the mind, must it not? "Prove all thing" ... to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.

'It that were true, and known to be true, how could anyone travel hopefully? There would be nothing to hope for.'

But you must feel yourself that there is something stifling about the idea of finality? Stagnation, my dear boy, what is more soul-desstroying than stagnation?'

....We know nothing of religion here: we think only of Christ

There are other characteristics of course which I should not mention (less this becomes a sermon more than a review). What I enjoyed most was not the lessons to be learned (I know that enough from Bible stories), but the way it is described. TRULY AMAZING !

Renewal

Taken from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/renewal

1) Renewal is the conversion of wasteland into land suitable for use or habitation or cultivation
.....which is the MAIN reason for the creation of this new blog page. Multiply did not allow me to post adverts from nuffnang on the site - so it is NOT SUITABLE at all for making "some" money or cultivating "some" income ! :)

2) Renewal is also the act of doing or performing again
..... and this would be my second blog page after all !

3) Renewal is also filling again by supplying what has been used up
.....yeah....let there be great filling of other adverts and all other interesting (and "some" money generating income) stuff !

Am I all about "some" money ? Not really.....

But if there is "some" opportunity.....why not consider it ?

Two Thirds of the Way...

A friend of mine asked me one day how many weeks pregnant I was. And when I told her I would be 26 weeks by this end of the week, she mentioned that I have only 14 more weeks to go.

14 more weeks to go ! Wow....I have gone through two thirds of the journey now. Another one thrid more to go (saying this is in fact simple mathematics, but the gravity of the time left is still trying to sink in) ! In actual fact, I have been counting the days to my due date but when you put it in fractions, somehow the time remaining seems so short.

I read one of my church mates blog the other day and discovered she also counted down to the last days. I know exactly how she felt....waiting for that day when the "bump" goes "poof" !
It's scary to think about it sometimes....when I think of the responsibility. And strangely with scariness comes sadness. Perhaps something is playing up (I hate to admit it could be hormons) !
I wonder if all these down moments are at all normal...perhaps being melancholic in nature aggravates the issue !

Anyway....one third more of the journey and my lil boy will be born (unless the detailed detailed scan got it all wrong) ! I await his emergence with much anticipation. Hopefully I wouldn't be too exhausted to look at him before I drift off to "my-last-peaceful-uninterrupted-in-a-long-time" sleep.

Until then I shall overcome all through Him who gives me strength....and a lil help from hubby, chocolates and ice cream ! And I must admit the lil bouts of kicking still does make the aches bearable ! But who am I kidding...if I am complaining now, what would happen one or two months from now ??? Aarrghhh....one day at a time, one day at a time !

Changing Titles

Yesterday, I attended the registration of my brother in law Alex and his fiancee Ashley in Putrajaya. Today, they are legally husband and wife. After the ceremony, they were making fun of the newly-registered couple that they have to call their in-laws "mum" and "dad" and not "uncle" or "aunty" !

However, in the Chinese culture, it is the tea ceremony that "legalizes" the unity. it is only at the tea ceremony that the title "Mum" or "Dad" is first introduced to the girl and guy and they actually say it aloud! I feel the formality of the introduction during that ceremony makes it an easier start to subsequent calling. And this will not happen for them until September !
Wonder if the newly-wed couple thinks the way I do !

Re-birth

The inspiration to continue updating my blog was brought about by 2 factors:
1) Reading other people's blog and realising that I miss my "thought words" !
2) A new friend I made who told me that the feelings of being pregnant and having a child, is really worth capturing.

When I go through things in life that really touch the deepest part of my heart and soul, I feel the words come so easily. But for everyday things that happen, it becomes a struggle to want to write about them.

It made me realise that everyday life just passes us by with no impact at all. Perhaps all it takes is to smell the roses a little longer.....or perhaps be more aware of things around...
We always have thoughts but they just pass us by in the sub-conscious. Maybe a thought taken captive can be built into a great idea or an inspiration to someone else.....

And the top three moments for the following categories are:

Happiest
1) When I walked down the aisle and saw so many familiar faces
2) At the dinner during Yam Seng (I never knew I would have enjoyed it so much)
3) Kevin and my first prayer together as husband and wife

Most anxious
1) When I first arrived at my in laws place and was standing there waiting for the tea ceremony to start.
2) When the tea ceremony was about to start (What if I get the names or the intonation wrong?) 3) When I was about to walk down the aisle (Will I trip? Will I trip?)

Most grateful
1) When I saw the catering at the church house and the happy people eating (Whew....at least my guests are happy)
2) That despite all the running about, my parents or my sister did not complain but did it with much love
3) When I walked into the church and my SG had already prepared the tea ceremony area so beautifully for me (THANKS SO MUCH GUYS !)

Most peaceful
1) When I was preparing to "chut moon" (It could only have been the peace of God)
2) When I was signing the marriage register (through out the entire church ceremony, that was the one time I was calm and composed)
3) When I was giving my speech during dinner (words that come from the heart can be the easiet to say !)

Most relieved
1) When the tea ceremony ended in my in laws place (now to remember all the rankings !)
2) When they announced Mr. & Mrs.Cheah (some of the words in the vow were so difficult to say right when I was cold and nervous)
3) When the whole dinner ended (now it is MY TURN TO EAT !)

Most touching
1) When my husband's best friends cried ! (Their sincerity touched me to the core and I knew their wishes came from a well spring of a well groomed friendship tree that my husband had with them)
2) When I saw the gifts and wishes that my parents, in laws, relatives and friends gave me...beyond any riches in the world!
3) When I found out my silly husband ate the ENTIRE CHILLI PADI for me!

Most dreadful
1) When I first tried to walk up the stair in my gown (Oh..for the life of me how tough it is to walk!)
2) When I had to wait in the car to make the grand entrance I wanted before dinner
3) When I found out my ring was not on my finger before I went for dinner makeup (it fell into the gown bag! Thank God I found it fast!)

All in all....the support from my family and SG meant the most to me. Without them my dreams would not have come true!

Force

How can there be a force so powerful
That arises from somewhere deep down in the soul
Growing exponentially at every moment
Trapping more power as the minutes unfold

Actions become rash, quick and agitated
Thoughts become negative, words harsh and cold
And though each recipient hurts from the snapping
The force continues, bad things to sow

What can we do? How can we stop it?
How to halt the force and stop further damage
Let it run its course, let you not be within it
The path of destruction, pain and rage

At the tail end when the force is reducing
Leaving miles and miles of destruction in its wake
It turns around and looks with feeling
The things that it lost, the things at stake

Feelings of remorse then fills the heart
Feelings expressed to recipients that hurt
But in return only silence is given
Unable yet to forgive words that were curt

And a force emerges, weak but starting
Seeking for understanding and love forbearing
But expectations are not met, not fulfilling
The recipients themselves also a battling

When the soul hurts, when the soul rages,
Destructions are a plenty, both parties at lost
Control is hard, but definitely required
To not destroy life, love at the source

Oh, Lord, how hard can it be for me
To control the force that arises in my soul
In moments like this, please remind me
Of the hurt and destructions that always follow

And then give me strength and make me able
To banish all bad forces from taking over
That my soul may once again find peace
And glorify your name forever and ever.
Amen.

Dreams

When I was ten, I knew what I wanted in life. I wanted to be a vet. Veterinary was too long a word then for my little tongue to twist around. I wanted to make all the sick animals well, especially the gentle brown dogs of the world. Though I wonder where I got the notion that dogs were mainly brown and gentle. And of course I would not treat those cold creepy crawly reptiles in the world. After all I was a vet, I would only treat pets and no one keeps any other pet but nice gentle brown dogs.

Then I found out that I would have to put some of my patients to sleep. And I could not bear the thought of putting any brown gentle dog to sleep even though I was sure they would end up in Doggy Heaven.

Then I grew up and got to see the world a little bit more. So, when I was seventeen, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted to build the world. I wanted to scatter the world with my namesake. I wanted to build buildings that soared to the sky, buildings that welcomed people and buildings that were landmarks. I wanted my buildings to be used when giving directions. I wanted my building to be the first one a visitor spots and remembers.

I remember having this feeling spark up every time I traveled to Penang. Approaching the island, I could envision my building standing out in the skyline. And my building would be that destination every visitor will head for as soon as they arrive in my little paradise hometown island.

Then I discovered that my visions of tall beautiful buildings might not materialize. I was told that importance would be placed on functionality instead of creativity. No one wanted an odd egg-shaped building that had to be partitioned into square cubicles inside leaving the empty areas of circumferences idle.

I had not given up in dreams yet. If I could not build those buildings, may be I could own them. It would seem my dreams were getting more and more out of proportion. But then I was fresh out of school and in college and the world as they say was my oyster. I was the conqueror. Wait, ol’ world! Wait for me to step out into the workforce. What a force I would be. My vision became that of a lady in a smart suit, with a confident smile, a black, sleek, long chauffeur driven car and an office on the 32nd floor overlooking some crowded city.

I am now 6 years into my working life. Are my steps in line with my dreams or have I lost my way?

I do not have an office on the 32nd floor in any weird shaped circumference building. I do not have that view of some crowded city. I do not get driven to work in a black, sleek or long chauffeur driven car. I do not have any building named after me. In fact I walk in town with my head slightly bowed rushing like all others towards the train station. No one knows me and I know no one. It would seem my existence had no impact on the world at all.

But even as I walk to the train, my steps are fast, short and impatient. I have a destination.

At the end of my train ride, I know I have someone waiting for me. It may not be as comfortable as that long, black sleek car with leather seats but comfort I realized comes with the ability to unwind as soon as you get in. And when I get home, I would have my family there and my gentle brown dog that I know I would never have to put to sleep. And I may not have that skyscraper that everyone knows and talks about but I have a small lodging up in the sky on the 9th floor that my family visits as soon as they arrive in my town.

So my dreams have indeed come true. I have come to realize it does not matter about the impact we create in the world. Rather what matters more is the impact we create in our own individual world. The world takes and takes from us without giving anything in return despite any sacrifices that we make. In my little world however, we give and take, bearing in each other’s weakness and rejoicing in strengths. Each sacrifice melts into acts of willingness.
My dreams are no longer visions of on high – that view from the 32nd floor, tall buildings that reach the sky, high heels and long cars. My dreams are now closer to the ground. In the 6 years I have seen that the higher you climb, the more you gain outwardly but lose inwardly. The view on the 32nd floor may be splendid but it is lonely and much farther away from Heaven. As a future wife and mother, it no longer concerns me to be a force in the world. Rather my energy ought concentrate on my little Heaven called Family. In giving up the world, I have gained Heaven.

All in the Mind

My best friend has always been interested in playing the piano. She marveled at the ability one’s fingers had on the white and ebony keys - to create loud or soft sounds, elation and utter despair. My response to her would be to learn playing then. What was stopping her from fulfilling this dream? With a sigh, she would tell me that she was far too old.

My colleague’s birthday was fast approaching. One morning, I found her staring out of her window with a look of resignation on her face. When I asked her what was wrong, she sighed deeply and said, “I am going to be 31 soon. I am so old!”

My best friend is 27 and she is too old to learn the piano. My colleague is 31 and she sighs that she is so old. What causes us to proclaim that label upon ourselves?

People have said that being old is really just a state of mind. No doubt I have heard this phrase many times but the reality of it struck me hard that day.

We limit the things we can do and accomplish with the excuse that we are too old to start. There is no written rule that says that if you want to learn the piano, you cannot do so at age 27. The rule that is stopping us is the unspoken rule society dictates upon us. At 27, society portrays a lady as busy with work and family. Any time spend dwelling in frivolous acts like learning the piano would be deemed as a waste of resources.

As for my colleague, being old to her takes on a slightly different definition. The difference is that being old is not stopping her from acting out her dreams. She may be 30, but she is thriving in her career, sufficiently religious and has an active social life. However, her sighing of being old was also done as a result of the demands put upon her by society. She may have things going on very well for her, but she is still very much single. And by 30, society deems single ladies as getting over the hill, which hides the fair maiden from the sights of any knight in shining armor. With technological breakthroughs in child bearing, being old does not prevent her from having children 5 years later. However, at 31, being old is due to the fact that she is not “there” at the usual place a woman ought to be, in the eyes of society.

So, if being old is just a state of mind, erasing the label would take a lot of convincing of many minds. Age may only a number but the significance is determined by the minds of society. And with that intrusion of significance, the walls of limitations start to build up around us. Limitations result in less benefits accrued unto society.
And so I end in this – society begets society; Garbage in garbage out. Imagine now what we could have achieved. If dreams were to come through, it does indeed start with the mind.