Thursday, 31 March 2011

Talking face to face

I'm 31, but my face is throwing a pimply tantrum like it's 13! Argh!

Wait, my face didn't throw any pimply tantrum when I was 13. Or 14. Or 15. Or 16. Or 17.

Ok, sorry, Face..

But you did throw a pimply tantrum when I was 18! Remember the 1 cm monster that was visible from 10 metres away? Remember??!

I wonder what made you angry that year.. You seemed alright for the years that followed, except for the occasional frown. And then your anger came back a few years ago with a vengeance I couldn't handle. I thought it was work. But I am not busy now! How can I make you happy again? :(

It wasn't a pretty sight in the mirror this week. I imagine it's worse when others see me.

I shall hide in the wardrobe.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Home alone no more!

Sito came home last Saturday! :) And so did I - went to Madison to visit SZ on days 10-13 of home alone.

Hmmm, I just had a thought, that the home was really alone while we were both gone...

Anyway, so I set off for Madison on Wednesday afternoon. Took my trusty bus to O'Hare to catch a coach to Madison, but I almost took the wrong coach! I'm so rusty now that I haven't been on the road for years, sighs..

After dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, I bought a dress only to find that the sensor tag had torn the fabric AFTER we got home =( The next day when I tried to make an exchange, we found that all the dresses had that hole - so stupid to tag the sensor on the poor fabric! =(

Other than that, it was all good. We had home-made bubble tea for supper that first night!


The second day was full of activities so we stored energy with Japanese food at Takara :)


Walked an hour to and from the Picnic Point at Lake Mendota. That's me along the walk - the sun was deceiving; it was bloody cold!!! The lake was pretty much thawed after good weather the previous week..


SZ showed me around the university housing area, which I found quite cosy, before we headed for downtown - replenished our energy with ice cream before walking the State Capitol. Joined the last tour of the day halfway and it was good cos the guide was an interesting fellow.

I realised I haven't been taking many pictures of myself in recent years so..


This is just one of the many signs either scribbled somewhere or carried by protesters.


Monona Terrace was next, and from there, I took this picture of Lake Monona, still partly frozen!


We were so tired from all the walking that day! But we still made a quick trip to the Asian grocery store before we returned to a yummy dinner - SZ's lasagna! It was soooooo good :)


Spent the night playing Monopoly Deal and Bananagrams. The latter felt like mahjong tiles :p


Friday was less busy. We had an early lunch at the Mediterranean Cafe - it was so good! Check out my shwarma plate of beef and lamb - it's like the next best thing to Hassan's or Ahmed's..


We washed it down with tea :)


And I threw in a chocolate and peanut butter cupcake for a second tea while playing more Monopoly Deal and Bananagrams!


Dinner was at Bundang. The atmosphere made me expect pub food but the menu was Indonesian. The taste? Well, the food was yummy but perhaps not too authentic - where was the peanut on the tahu goreng??!

Turned in early to rest for my early coach back to O'Hare. Had Macs for breakfast when we made a five-minute stop :p

That was a good trip - lots of food!! :p And I realised it was the first time we got to hang out after knowing each other for more than half of our life! Thanks, SZ! Shall see you in Sg next!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Home alone 8&9

It's the second week, and Sito will be home this Saturday! Woohoo! But now, he's still in Jarkarta. When I wake up tomorrow, he will be having dinner at Gluttons Bay - the menu is going through my mind now but thankfully, I don't crave Sg food.

But I had peanut soup these two days, courtesy of S when I visited her yesterday. Her newborn is so pinchable :p

Tried to go shopping after that but I got lazy and went home without buying anything. Seems that nothing appeals to me these days =(

Anyway, back to food.. So, what do I crave? Thick-cut chips!

The entire McManus south wing level one was filled with the glorious smell of salted chips at about 4.30 pm today - leftover from lunch?? But just smelling it hurt my !@#$%^ ulcer =( I was out watching Jane Eyre with some girls - it was the outing of wives whose husbands went for GIM! - but didn't continue to dinner with them. Cooked some bland stuff instead.

Pls oh pls, let me eat salty stuff from tomorrow onwards! I'm heading off to Madison to visit SZ and we plan to eat and eat! Pls pls..

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Home alone 6&7, and a lot of random musings

No word from Sito this weekend...

HE MUST BE ENJOYING BALI! :p

But he's now in Jarkarta - work part.. Bleah.

It has been an uneventful weekend. It's pretty quiet here as people are emptying out for spring break. I was prancing in the lounge after gym this evening and only two persons walked by. Preparing for a dance lesson we're giving at the end of a month - we put it up for a charity auction and someone actually bade for it!

Anyway, yesterday...

Saturday, boring boring boring

I went shopping in town - like downtown Evanston, didn't feel like going far - but got nothing. I realised the last time I got myself something was in December in Sg. I don't feel like getting anything (here?) anymore. But then I wasn't shopping for myself; I was looking for something to give new mum S whom I'm visiting tomorrow. Didn't find anything suitable so I'll shop on the way to her place in downtown Chicago.

Had a bright idea to put on make-up on my way to the shower. It was pretty strong make-up that looked quite maniacal in normal light but pretty enough in dim lighting :p

Now, the other day I had a chat with miso..

mf: Sometimes, I think I’m more than pretty..
miso: Well, you’re almost beautiful then.
mf: ... Almost??!

miso couldn't answer but the answer came up in a drama I watched recently. TPO! Time, place occasion! I don't really bother about dressing up.. 一般以上、美人未満?

But this day, after I took 10s of pictures of myself in dim lighting, which is already very forgiving, I came to a dismay conclusion: I'm not even pretty =(

No matter how much I adjusted the angle, I just couldn't captured what I saw in the mirror! Then I realised that I looked quite different to myself and to others. Our mirror has three panels so I tilted two such that I could see myself the way others see me. And I moved from those two to the third to compare.

It was so odd. The two images were quite different! In my reflection, my smile was less crooked, my uneven eyebrows less uneven, and my eyes brighter. Sighs, so sad, so sad I had to watch more Glee for the rest of the night :p

My iced coffee in the afternoon was enjoyable although it was nothing like those in 茶餐厅, and a very costly mistake when I tossed and turned in bed from 12.40 am to 4.17 am, which was the last time I glanced at the clock!

All this while and when I slept, Zo-San watched over me, accompanied by Kappa-Chan behind him and 小臭臭 next to him :)


Sunday, tired tired tired

Woke to a downpour and thunderstorm. And I was tired from lack of sleep. Pretty sian. But I had the day's work in front of me - spring cleaning! This apartment had so much rubbish after being lived in for only a few months!

I tidied up the kitchen and fridge. Found some expired stuff *.*

Then I cleared out the wardrobes and cabinets. Threw out lots of empty boxes that I kept in case we had to store things in the basement but now that we're spending summer here, it's time to dump the excess.

After gym and dancing, I put clothes into the washer and rewarded myself with a steaming bowl of rice, vege and meat in front of the laptop on the sofa.. And disaster struck.

Q: What in the world made me think that I wouldn't drop my bowl a second time in two days??
A: STUPIDITY!!!

Yesterday, only a few grains of rice dropped out as I caught the bowl nicely. Today, I lost half my rice to the sofa, which obviously wasn't hungry at all. I was so sorry for it. Just sprayed some freshener on it. Get well!

Concluding the weekend...

I had such a weekend before. When Sito was in HK for a week earlier last year as part of his course; but I had KLK over for dinner. When Sito was in NYC was interviews earlier this year; and I spent the weekend lazing in my PJs.

This such weekend is definitely better than the last such weekend. At least I was productive today. Which led me to think and write to CY last night just before bed and which had me continue to think this afternoon while cleaning.

It's like when Sito is not around, 我失去了生活的重心 - there's no one to cook for, clean for.. And I'm too lazy to cook nice stuff for just myself - been having one-dish meals from the steamer.

I haven't been doing anything constructive the whole week. My brain cells are dying from disuse - by the second! I used to think I'll catch up on current affairs on wiki but man, I'm not so inclined.. I'm afraid of becoming stupid, on top of realising how unpretty I am *.*

Looks like it's 劳碌命 - I must work!

Another case in point - I'm not too engaged with work now cos, for one, it doesn't utilise my full faculties. But well, I've been told very recently to take it easy now while I can. So I will.

But you know what all this means? That I can't be a tai tai!! I'll die from either laziness or stupidity, and I won't have that.

Before we have a handful of kids (when I would be a very busy mum, not a free tai tai - don't confuse the two!), I need constructive work. And I need discipline to get down to it!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Thoughts on names

Have some thoughts to share here after I heard from XY that she had a biblical name for her #2 and was waiting for her dad to come up with a Chinese name.

1)
I thought that when people - Chinese la - have English names, their Chinese names tend to get buried in obscurity. Like Sito's. Um, actually his English name is pretty obscured too as we all know him as Sito!

I thought it's pretty sad that these days, people seem to leave the decision of Chinese names to grandparents. Usually it's because grandparents may be more particular about Chinese names, like one character must have a certain stroke to signify a particular generation of the family, or they want to check with a fengshui master.

Or, parents just aren't as good at this language and rather the grandparents give their kids a proper Chinese names than a direct translation of Mary (玛丽 - not so bad) or Tom (汤母 - you must be kidding!).

Or - I wouldn't doubt there are at least a handful of people who think like this - they just don't think Chinese names important enough to warrant their consideration since the kids will probably be called Mary their whole life rather than some complicated Chinese name.

2)
And all these names - English and Chinese - just make the full name really long!

(English name, plus a middle name for some of the religious) (surname) (Chinese portion - usually two words)

Imagine exams where you have to write your name on every sheet of paper.. Not fun!

1+2=
I've decided that our kids will have just one Chinese character for his given name. Sito agrees if the character matches the kid's birth details - yup, we'll consult a master! :) After all, we already went with fengshui for our wedding date and the layout of our apartment in Sg!

3)
And then there are those who adopt an English name. I like to look at showbiz and have a good laugh! There are some pretty hilarious unique names out there! Think Show. Or Fish. Maybe I'm prejudiced because I think Pink is a great stage name for Pink.. Anyways..

But normal people adopt names too, and thankfully more normal sounding names than the above! Although I've heard from DC that this guy in her or her husband's office in HK called himself Hymen...!

Anyway, many PRC students here give themselves (normal) English names. I suppose that's to make it easier to remember and pronounce. Perhaps they've adopted their names since they were kids. For me, I don't care if people don't remember or can't pronounce my name. If I call myself Mary today, I wouldn't remember myself. I know, because when I was 17, I used to call myself Crystal after the protagonist in a novel I've since forgotten! How embarrassing.. And no, I can't respond to that name anymore!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Home alone 4&5

Thursday, St Patrick's Day!

What a lovely day it was! Bright and sunny :)

But for some reason, I was so tired that my nap extended to dinner time and I didn't make it for dinner with the girls! L called and woke me when I gave a no-show, and I went back to sleep again *.*

When I finally woke, I decided to make some spring onion pancakes for dinner, and set off the smoke alarm when frying them. Not my day, hur...

Eventually got out of the house at 8.30-ish to meet the girls at Nevins. It was so crowded! But turned out that they went to Prairie Moon instead, which was less crowded. We got our necks a Miller Lite (ewe...) shamrock badge on green beads, and sat around and chatted for some three hours. Then I got tipsy from two beers, oops..

Yup, tipsy already at this point.. One of the bottles was mine. And so was the glass in the foreground!


Friday, thoughts on exchanging emails

Before I slept last night, I saw an email from Sito :) I wrote back this morning. Saw on my calendar that he's flying - has flown - to Bali today. Relaxing weekend!

Anyway, I thought, this exchange of emails is pretty romantic :p It has been mostly SMS and Skype in recent years, especially when we were dating when we would Skype every night. We only use emails to exchange links, photos etc, often without any text in the body.

And then I thought again, it was even more romantic back in the old days of snail mail and carrier pigeons!!

I wanted to go out today but got lazy. After 30 min in the gym, I watched too much Glee and decided to sing my lungs out on Youtube! I figured it was fine since it's beginning of spring break! :p

Back to Glee.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Home alone 123

Maybe I'll do a log of what I do while Sito is away...

miso: Don't you already log everything you do while he is here??

Monday, Sito left on a plane..

And I caused him to miss his carpool to the airport =(

Stupid Pinky II! Because of daylight savings, the alarm for 7.30 am went off at 6.30 am so I set it to 7.30 am again but it didn't go off!

Luckily they were planning to be real early so he was still on time when he left later.

Spent the rest of the day rather unproductively..

Tuesday, Sito far far away in Vietnam

I was moping a lot. Then he emailed to say he arrived in Vietnam :)

Still, I continued to mope. Cos I have this ulcer in my mouth :(

I had only milk for breakfast and some vege and meat stirfry for lunch. Met the girls for a four-hour long tea which was so fun!! Each of us brought something - muffins, brownies, cinnamon rolls, cookies, crackers and cheese, samosas. So much to eat!

Orange and oatmeal muffins which did not rise but tasted good nonetheless:


Sorry, Sito, I stopped moping here :p But you came up in our conversations! We had to talk about our husbands :p

Realised none of us took photo.. But since I'm at it, here are some pictures of an earlier girly tea - we made dumplings!


Apparently, cooking the dumplings with a sprig of spring onions prevents them from sticking together.


Ta-da!


Anyway, got home just before 9 pm and spent 30 minutes washing my silicon muffin cups! Yes, 30 freaking minutes washing six muffin cups! Darn those grooves!

By then, I'd decided I would go out with the girls - to the Keg!! This was my first time at the Keg this quarter. We got there just before 10.30 pm but the music hadn't started so we sat around and chat at Pete Miller for a while.

My drink when we eventually headed back to the Keg - I can't remember when I last had this!


Hell, when was the last time I danced like this?!

It was just 30 min on the dance floor as I had to work this morning - sighs.. Left at 12.30 am and slept by 1 am.

Wednesday, Sito emailed me again! :)

So happy to see his note :) Apparently FB is blocked in Vietnam...

Had M and T over for lunch - chicken rice rice (as in just the rice, using premix :p), bok choy with black fungus, failed foo yong eggs (just scrambled in the end), Milo (no one took the offer for Milo Dino!) and jelly!


Now when was the last time I had that!

Sat around for a while and discussed languages and watch youtube videos before we called it a day...

The outdoors were so inviting today! When I stepped out for milk, it felt so good I wanted to cry! Wish you were here :)

Monday, 14 March 2011

From sad to irritated and back

I’m moody. Sito left for SEA this morning. My life has been so centred on him, or us, that it seems so empty when it’s only me... Pathetic? Not really - I'm tea-ing and lunching with some friends while the husband is away! :p I just prefer Sito to be with me..

So I wasn’t in the mood to do anything but read blogs this afternoon. I must mope a little.. Then I started to feel irritated.

I kept reading about negative sentiments, perceptions and – if you wish – analysis of our public policies. So there’s this one that talks about a government scholar from low-income family making it through our meritocractic system – it was then qualified that there would always be someone like that but it’s not possible for everyone to achieve that.

Am I the only person who thinks that strange? Of course it’s not possible for EVERYONE to make it la! At least not to the same extent but the possibility of mobility is there, isn’t it?

Was talking with Kel about similar issues just a while ago. As a kid, I didn’t like it but I accepted my family circumstances as they were, and dreamt of bigger things for myself when I grew up. With no material distraction, all my attention was focused on studying, which did me, and many others we know, well in the end. In the end, we ourselves need to fight for our own happiness instead of whining about life.

Finished ranting. The sad feeling is creeping back. Time to head for the gym.

My Engrish

I didn’t think much about it the first couple of times but today, it happened again!

A couple of Latin American friends and T (from Taiwan) said I had a British accent.

Huh? That’s like the most bizarre thing I’ve heard about me! (I don’t consider it bizarre when people think I’m only 23 or 24 years old :p)

On the other extreme, this guy from HK/Canada who knew Sito exclaimed how I had a thick Singaporean accent while Sito had not.

I guess for those who are acquainted with Singlish, it’s pretty obvious what kind of accent I have. There was one occasion when I was suddenly awakened to my own accent. That was the spring of 2003, when BBC news was covering SARS in Asia. I had my back to the TV and turned around with a jerk when I heard a primary school teacher address her class to “take out your thermometer” in that familiar Singaporean monotone – to suddenly hear that amid the crisp accent of the BBC reporter was very startling! I suddenly realised that the way we spoke English can sound quite terrible to others and even ourselves if we have been immersed in a different accent for a while *.* Somehow I just wasn’t aware of it when I was hanging out with the Singaporeans..

So today, I don’t know it got started but suddenly, they were telling me about the way I say certain words, like “can’t” which I don’t say in the American way – I could hardly figure out whether they’re saying “can” or “can’t”! Ok if you count that as an accent, but “four years”, how I pronounce that in a different way, I just don’t get it!

Anyway, just yesterday, actually, day before on Saturday, while we were chatting with a friend who just arrived from Sg for a week in Chicago, and saying how angmohs might not understand our English, I commented that it was because Singaporeans do not articulate our words properly, especially the terminal consonants. Singaporeans, just try saying “forget”, “and” – don’t we love swallowing that final “t” or “d”?? We’re used to it ourselves so we have no problem understanding fellow Singaporeans but it can be difficult for others to understand us.

I only started to be more conscious about my consonants and vowels when I was doing the language module in my Montessori course, and now when I’m learning Spanish. In fact, every time I learn a new language, I glean new insights into English. Like when I was learning Japanese in secondary school, I began to have a better appreciation of English grammar, strangely..

Anyway, no, there’s no way I have a British accent despite four years in Oxford. Even when I drop the whole la-leh-lor thing, it’s indisputably Singaporean, since, well, I’m born and bred in good old Sg! This came up too on Saturday, they were saying that – well, I don’t know if this could be some urban legend but it’s worth a thought – MM was once posed a question by someone in a forum, and before he replied, he asked him whether he was Singaporean (yes) and then why he was speaking with an American accent! Well, either he was born and bred overseas or just fake! There’re so many of these angmoh-wannabes in Sg – two weeks on a holiday and among their tons of souvenirs was a brand new accent. Bah. I cannot take it! Or, buay tahan :p

Sunday, 13 March 2011

On the train home..

It has been decided on our pinkies: Sito is the CEO of Clan Sito while mf undertakes the CFO function. In this household, it means that I'll take care of our finances for the present while he strategises for the future :p

And, I really like the train conductor or driver:

"Good evening, good evening, good evening! *heartily* This train will terminate at Howard. Please remember to take all your belongings with you - bags, clothes, shoes, children (!), wallets..."

mf: This is either his last or first day at work..
Sito: Or he's just knocking off..

Now, returning to Evanston feels like coming home :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Goodbye, polka dots...

These lovely polka dots have seen me through so many years. I really like them. They look so peaceful..



But it's time for a change. I have issues adjusting certain layout in this old template... So, it's goodbye now, polka dots..

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

What is normal?

T brought me soup again, fish soup which I’ll have for dinner tonight, and she commented that I looked better than last week. Indeed, my store of iron is being replenished and it showed on my face, and more importantly I’m feeling ok.

Emotionally, it’s amazing how fast it took for me to feel normal again, with Baby* gone. Since last Friday, I’m able to talk about Baby without getting teary or sobbing. Grief has given way to acceptance, I think.

* I asked Sito if we should give baby a name, and he said “Baby?”

Baby did strange things to me, things which remain even though it is now gone. Physically, I had an incredible urge to hit the gym yesterday, a habit that started with Baby. Gastronomically, my appetite for sweet things has not yet returned; I’m no longer repulsed by chocolate but I’m certainly not clearing out my Halloween stock any time soon.

Other things are back to pre-pregnancy normalcy. Hormonally, this “normalcy” is pretty dismal because zits big and small are back to colonise specific areas of my face. Allergically (new word, only in mf’s dictionary), I just realised last night that I stopped having a stuffy nose in bed.

The only odd thing is that somehow I’ve been eating too much. Way too much. The other day, I kept going at a huge tub of ice cream while watching stuff online, and didn’t notice Sito’s constant jabbing at me to stop until I had gone through a terrifying amount of ice cream. At least that was one-off..

Bought some bread on Sunday, and I’ve been drowning it in peanut butter for mid morning and/or mid afternoon tea EVERY DAY. I mean, I love carbs, especially bread and rice – seriously, I don’t think you can find another girl who loves carbs this much in this carb-conscious and flab-fearing world! But it isn’t healthy with that much peanut butter and when I’ve already satisfied my carb craving with oatmeal porridge for breakfast and pasta or rice for lunch and dinner!

I hope it’s just a phase that goes away once the bread is depleted. Won’t be buying any for a while! Like Sito said, it’s overall better to just have peanut butter off the spoon than to have it on top of bread if I don’t want to overeat!

I have an urge to head for the gym again. I really like this – haven’t felt this way since I went to Amore when I just started working and wasn’t too busy. When my abdominal muscles feel better, I’ll return to pilates. A healthier body makes a healthier home for the next baby!

...

Actually, I think I’m not answering my title question: What’s normal?

I was thinking of what the word meant: the usual, the standard, the common. So pregnancy is actually not “normal” since we don’t spend the majority of our life being in that state. Although being pregnancy isn’t exactly not normal – in fact, it’s quite a normal thing for those of childbearing age!

In other context, “normal” may not be normal. I’m thinking particularly of our secondary school system, with its various streams ranging from gifted, special, express and normal. I never understood the first two but aren’t most people in the express stream? How then is the normal stream normal?

What is normal??

At times like this, I look within for an answer..

miso: Not abnormal..
mf: What is abnormal?
miso: Not normal!

... and try not to strangle my imaginary twin!

This brain is certainly not meant for much thinking...

Our chocobo story

I was reminding Sito to take his vitamins and I made this questioning sound that went something like "mmmm?" at a rather high pitch.

Sito: You sound like a chocobo...
mf: *grab some hair into a mess* Fluff ball here!



Sito: *brush brush*
mf: You're my chocobo breeder! But you cannot send me out to breed!
Sito: .. I can retire you??



mf: Noooo! You can only brush me and feed me!

I forgot to say that he could send me out to fight too! :p



I've been playing too much Chocobo's Crystal Tower on Facebook *.*

Monday, 7 March 2011

Our funny times

We have fun times and we have funny times..

1)
Once at some party, a girl was asking for a bottle opener for a bottle of beer. We didn’t have one but apparently, people had been twisting the caps off! Sito was near and he helped, and I went wow!

Sito: That’s why you married me! =D

Well, among other things :)

2)
Out of the blue one evening..

mf: I think you’ll still be charming when you’re 60 =)
Sito: *happy*
mf: I don’t think I’ll still look like this when I’m 60!
Sito: *.*
mf: I can remain cute?

Oh well.. I think I got the better end of the deal!

3)
We headed for Forever XXI after tea on Saturday to walk off some calories. Some teens were in the same section..

Sito: *visibly disturbed* They look like they're 14...
mf: Ok what.. Girly clothes..
Sito: It's ok if they're like 18, 19... I don't want to go to jail leh...
mf: Huh?
Sito: If you wear the same clothes as these girls...

Oooh, but my face doesn't look like I'm 14! Hoho!

4)
We carry the same excitement over different parts of the same thing..

When we were getting married:

mf: Are you excited? ROM next week!
Sito: Hmmm, ok la.. I’m more excited about the wedding dinner!

When we got pregnant:

mf: Are you excited about our first prenatal visit? :)
Sito: Hmmm, I’ll be more excited when you pop!

Ah, not happening yet...

5)
Sometimes, Sito would hum to himself. Sometimes, I would pick up on it. This day, I did again but with the lyrics. Then he sang with me..

... 也许我会忘记,也许会更想你,也许已没有也许!

Old song! As I was typing this post, I had to find the song online. That attracted him to my desk. Somehow, the male voice was different from how we remember it.. Anyway, here’s the closest:

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/jxQpG5Sk6Cw/

Sito sang along with a deep deep voice, the way we remember it :p

Then he had a bright idea – let’s sing 上海滩!



Then I learnt that Sito knew a lot about 上海滩! He mentioned the show and the lead characters 许文强 and 丁力 – in Cantonese!! I’m suitably impressed :)

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Recovering with work, food and more

I'm really fortunate and grateful to have supportive friends far and near.

I resumed work yesterday to take my mind off things. We also had a pre-arranged dinner with the Sg crowd yesterday. Chicken rice premix was wonderful! We ate so much.

And this morning, I woke early and even though I wasn't hungry, I heated up some yummy red bean soup for breakfast. More red bean soup for breakfast tomorrow. Both T and K brought me red bean soup yesterday :)

When Sito woke, we had leftover chicken rice, chicken curry and chicken soup! Chicken soup was from T yesterday - I saved some to share with Sito today.

And we weren't even hungry when we decided on Cheesecake Factory in the afternoon - Sito had a Snicker bar cheesecake and I had a warm apple crisp. We were supposed to be shopping, 散散心, but in the end, we didn't buy anything. Despite that and the snow, it was a rather nice stroll in the snow...

Now Sito is at dinner with the guys. I'm still too full to eat. So I'm doing random things.. Just morphed our faces on a website to see what our kid would look like.

Ta-da!

(Nvm the hair - my hair in my photo was cropped *.*)

To compare in future :)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

总结被我误以为是星期五的星期四

刚才煮水的时候,突然有一种很不真实的感觉。有些事情好像从没发生,又好像自己正过着一些虚浮的日子,渺渺茫茫的。这些日子里,我到底在做些什么?庄子梦蝶的时候,是不是也有这种不真实的感觉?

晚饭前,我在想,人,有真正开心的时候吗?为什么有些人总是在唠叨些鸡毛蒜皮的琐事、毫无意义的问题?大部分的时间里,我一直都很开心,因为我知足、分轻重。可是为什么不开心的事总比开心的事容易想起呢?是因为我不容易不开心,所以不开心就真的是很不开心吗?

今天又放纵了自己、放空了脑袋,浑浑愕愕的过了一天。明天吧。明天得过得充实一点,真实一点,重新回到有规律的生活。做得到吧⋯⋯

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

爱哭

拼 title 的时候,竟拼出了“哀哭”。

哀哭?有啊。不就是昨天咯。哀哭过了,现在听着梁静茹的《可惜不是你》,听着听着,有一种感动让我想哭。

哭,是一种情绪的发泄,在言语无法传达一切或无法言语的时候,让我得到解放。

其实我很爱哭的,也可以说我很容易哭。听歌,感动的哭。听朋友诉苦,忍不住的哭。爱的人没了,难过的哭,遗憾的哭。日常生活中的小事若触动了任何一丝泪线,眼泪瞬间就飙出来了。因为有些事情,只是被深埋在心里,并不是被忘记了。日子久了,泪光也可以带着微笑。

今晚,让我静听梁静茹的歌,沉醉在优美的词曲里⋯⋯

Learning points from drama, again

Spent my day in dorama-land. Almost forgot my medicine in the evening.

After catching up with the latest episodes of The Mentalist, I started on Hotaru No Hikari 2. Some lessons to note:

Epsiode 1: When I work hard, I don’t know why I work hard. But it sure feels good when that in itself becomes inspiring – to myself or to others.

Episode 2: Eh.. Forgot!

Episode 3: 小さいことも我慢できないと、結婚なんて無理でしょう。

Episode 4: Well, I think we’re always very ラブラブ even though we didn’t think much about it! We were, um, commented upon after a lunch with DC :p

Episode 5: It’s important to put in effort. It’s more important to put love into these efforts. Even if these efforts come to nought, well, it’s ok! 煮干しの一ポイント!

Very often, fictitious stories like this can help put things in perspective. And at the end of the first day without baby, I’m putting various aspects of my life in perspective. All the mundane worries about work and money seem insignificance to life. Necessary, yes, but not sufficient.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

You were loved and you will be remembered

We found that we got pregnant in January. And this afternoon, barely five weeks later, we miscarried. Or rather, I choose to say that we “delivered” – 30 weeks early.

I want to pen everything about it from the beginning to the end. I want to be able to remember everything about baby years from now. Half of this was lovingly written in the past five weeks; I was waiting for the day when I could post an ultrasound scan of a big baby and tell the world! The other half was mostly tearfully scribbled yesterday and peacefully written today. It may be a little tmi at parts..

Like anyone who wants to get pregnant, we were hoping to get there asap. But six months into it, all I had was a polyp on my uterine wall. After removing it, we left for Kellogg, where we had no luck until after winter break in Sg.

Sito was starting to get busy, and tired, with recruiting. By then, I was over with obsessing about babies. I was pretty zen about it, so zen that when my temperature dropped on CD32 – by right, the cycle resets with a drop in temperature –, I was simply waiting for my period to happen. All symptoms were there – boobs starting to hurt, (strange) period cramps in the past two days.

But no period the next day. And the temperature remained low although it climbed a little. Decided to take a test the next day to convince myself that there was no pregnancy.

The next morning, Saturday 22 Jan 2011, temperature rose a fair bit. Strange. Nevermind. Then, faint line. I couldn’t believe it! I vaguely recalled that a faint line also meant a positive. I booted up the mac and checked – yes!

Woke Sito and we were happy :)

Turned out we had a faulty thermometer *.*

I started telling a few girls that week or so. Sito went a step further – he told two interviewers! :p But we decided to wait to see the doc before telling the family.

There was so much happiness and hope in those days..... We totally enjoyed it, especially me – no morning sickness, only painful boobs, lost my sweet tooth and gained a love for walking in the gym! Good baby!

I was so excited about 15 Feb 2011 until that very afternoon, when excitement gave way to anxiety. At the doc’s, a nurse took my weight and blood pressure, and sent me to a room. I remember feeling vulnerable while waiting for the doc to come in. Who wouldn’t when they’re half naked!

Doc did a PAP smear as part of the standard procedure and felt about my insides. Then she attempted to find baby by scanning my belly as my bladder was full.

Turned out that my bladder was too full! So we had the transvaginal probe. And once she found the baby, we could only focus on that little pea on the screen :)

It was so tiny! Only 14.19 mm! The measurement put it at seven weeks and five days. Later when I looked at the picture, I couldn’t tell the head from the bottom. But the heart was beating fast in the middle, the little flicker on the screen, captured on video on our phone. Sito didn’t even realise he was blocking my view while video-ing its beating heart :)

It was such a wonder that there was a tiny being pumping blood within itself within me.

She continued to probe a little and pointed out a black shadow next to baby. It could have been another baby, which somehow didn’t make it.

Oh well, if it was meant to be, it would have been...

Which made our baby a survivor from the start!

That evening, Sito received more good news – a second offer! We told the family the next morning – baby and his internship. At least one piece of good news will endure..

Our survivor didn’t survive for long.

On Sunday, 20 Feb 2011, I had some spotting and slight cramping around noon. But everything stopped that afternoon. All was well until Friday, 25 Feb 2011, when I had a brief spotting episode. The next day, it wasn’t so brief and there was a tinge of red by the evening. My worries worsened the next day when I was positively bleeding even though I felt no pain.

Finally, yesterday. Doc said my cervix was closed and there was no tissue in my bleeding, but she sent me to the hospital for a detailed ultrasound to be sure.

While waiting for my turn, I wrote a little prayer for baby. But it was too late. The measurements put baby at eight weeks and a half – that was wrong, it should be nine and a half. Deep down, I knew why my boobs stopped hurting for the past week or so, and why I started to be able to look at chocolate and eat it too. But I was still hoping to see the heartbeat.

Then I saw baby. I thought it was more baby-like than the last time – it was so cute.. But I couldn’t see the beating heart like we did the last time. I was hoping that the sonographer’s eye was better at that. But she said she couldn’t see the heartbeat too. And when she turned on the sound, there was no sound.

I felt emptiness all round while she left the room to consult my doc. Encouraging words to baby were said but likely not heard..

When she came back, she put me on the phone with the doc. Went for a blood test immediately to confirm hormone levels before a D&C. The alternative was to wait and let my body do the job but it might be painful or I might still need surgical intervention in the end to remove any remnant.

I didn’t cry until I got home when I realised that there would be no baby to hold and love come 26 Sep 2011. Sat on the toilet and cried. Wrote and cried. When Sito came back from a work event, I hugged him and cried.

Sito was more zen. Since a miscarriage is usually due to some chromosomal or development fault along the way, we should rather it end than result in an unhappy baby. I knew he had a point but it was just difficult to accept at that point.

Eventually, we discussed and agreed on the D&C. I didn’t think I wanted to see baby come out; I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I certainly don’t want to flush it down the toilet!

Cramps in the middle of the night. More bleeding. I kept thinking and fearing that baby might come out but it didn’t.

This morning, I was no longer teary, just resigned. While Sito was at school, I googled about what people did with their miscarried babies. I was thinking of cremating it and keeping it in a little vial. But various sources said that such small foetuses would be burnt to nothing! When the doc called us to her office, I asked her what others did. She said I had a choice if I wanted to bring the “tissue” home. Baby became “tissue”..

Anyway, my hormone level was less than 20% of the expected level for 10 weeks. Another ultrasound showed no heartbeat. And baby looked like a little lump. But at least Sito got to see it one last time before the scheduled D&C for the next day.

Turned out that it wasn’t the last we saw of it.

We had lunch and Sito took a nap to sleep away his cold. While I watched drama - it was a good distraction; kept me from crying my eyes out yesterday –, I had this cramp and backache which got worse and finally, I couldn’t sit or lie still or concentrate on the drama.

Baby slipped out at about 4.00 pm, followed by a gush of liquid. I was so shocked, first by the sensation then the sight. I had a plastic box just emptied of its golden raisins this morning. So I took a plastic fork and scooped it out of the toilet into the box!

Then I woke Sito and told him that “there’s something gross in our toilet”. He didn’t hear that line until I told him just now. And it was only just now that I realised that I called our baby gross!

Anyway he took a look and confirmed that it was baby. So I called the doc who asked us to bring baby over right away. It didn’t happen right away cos the cramps continued for a while before another lump came out...

On the way, we decided to just let the doc deal with baby.

Doc took baby away to have a look. When she came back, she said it seemed that everything had come out, sac and placenta. After a pelvic exam, I was sent away with prescriptions against infection and for uterine contraction. She would call me tomorrow morning to check on me before deciding if we should continue with the D&C.

Then we left the clinic without baby. The doc didn’t mention anything, and we just let it be. I said a little goodbye as we left the clinic. A sad “goodbye, baby” said with a little smile, after many happy days of “good morning / goodnight, baby”.......

The way things turned out was better than a D&C after all. Delivering and seeing baby – even in its unrecognisable state – was some sort of a closure. I asked the doc how my cramps compared to actual labour contractions. She said they weren’t too different, just that the latter would be more protracted. So baby and I had gone through the front and end of pregnancy together despite missing the middle part.

Now, I’m feeling much better. Less bleeding. Less backache. Sito is back to bed :p I think friends and family may feel worse for us when they know. But the worst for us both should be over. We’re managing and we’re looking forward to having a healthy baby in the near future. Thanks to all who have written back :)

It just happened that yesterday, CY replied to an inspirational email I forwarded her last week, saying that she liked this particular part in the story:

“Attitude, after all, is everything. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

You didn’t know it then but it meant a lot to me – thank you :)

And baby, you were so loved and you will be missed and remembered forever. 放开不代表遗忘⋯⋯

Update 2 Mar 2011

Yup, no D&C. I’m empty enough as it is.
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