Friday, April 25, 2008

We Can Do It!

I always love to read my mother's glossy magazines, and since 10 yo I have the habit of borrowing my mother's magazines to read. I loved (and only recently ditched the habit) to read the horoscopes which always appear on the last few pages (thus, not easy to find these pages).

I recalled when I was around 12, I was shocked and fell ill after reading about the 3 major turning points in my life ie. at 17, at 30 and at 42. When you were 12, anything more than normal is unusual. Anything unusual implies it would disturb the state of life I was in. I used to dislike "change". Now, change is the constant of my life.

Thinking back, 17 was really the first turning point in my life. Without my parents' decision to transfer me to another school, I wouldn't be in the job I am now. I wept to sleep for two weeks when I was 17, and complaint to myself that my parents have caused me a lot of pain with the transfer of school - new school, lots of new subjects to catch up, no friends, friends at old school wouldn't want me in their circle anymore etc. I gave myself a two weeks ultimatum before I pulled myself up, and really pulled my socks up and worked very hard on new subjects that I had never liked before eg. maths. Everytime I felt like giving up, I recalled my parents' words: "When others say you can't, you prove them all wrong by showing them real results not just words."

When I was 30, I felt lonely - no real friends to exchange inner thoughts, no boyfriend, Mr Scorpio called me "Fat Pork Chop", career was sabotaged by a good friend, studies was going no where, I saw disappointment on my supervisor's face when he read my first proposal, parents and siblings were so far away, no hobbies, no car, and didn't even know how to cook!

One day, I almost fell on the bus while juggling with three shopping bags full of my weekly groceries. No one on the bus gave up their seats for me, and a young boy even laughed at me as if I was a clown. I watched Bruce Willis's "The Kid" that evening on Channel Nine, and I missed my two siblings. I called both of them to chat for a while, but didn't tell them much of what was on my mind. I am their Big Sister, I have to be The Strong One. I cried for 10 minutes. I missed my family alot. I called a coursemate to discuss, and he thought that was my pick-up line. I hung up, and thought about the world, my faith, my family, my friends, my career, and what I want to do next in my life.

I made new workable resolutions.

I felt like a new woman when I woke up the next morning. I always believe, the right attitude could change the course of our life. I had breakfast at a cafe near my apartment that next morning, and I complimented on the waitress's hair colour and the omelette the cafe prepared that morning. She told me they used only free range eggs (I got a new recipe, in a way). When I reached uni that morning, I invited my supervisor and his wife to coffee, it turned out that he wasn't disappointed with me - in fact, he just couldn't understand what I had on my mind. When I was nervous, my ideas stucked and became sketchy in second language. We discussed, and we found out that the more relaxed I was (am), my sentence flowed(s) easier. I bought a book that afternoon to aid my reading. I found a niche, and managed to solve a technical problem for my proposal under one week. In fact, the coursemate mentioned earlier even asked me for help because he and his coursemates couldn't figure out the answers for weeks. A week ago, I wouldn't believe if one were to say I would become teacher to my senior coursemate. I practised and thought about a better, steady way to stand on the bus. From that week on, I could carry two-three bags of groceries easily without the previous clumsiness.

My thinking and my world have started to develop the crystal ball model. I heard and alert with all comments around me and about me, I felt like I had a shield protecting me. Crystal ball, though strong but it's fragile, so I constantly protect myself from unnecessary words. I listened. I heard. I picked the essentials and ditched the negatives.

No one would believe now when I was a kid, I had no friends to play with me. Every young neighbour kids avoided me (I was clumsy and my hobby was finishing homeworks and nothing else), and my grandpa even had to pay them in order to get me some friends. No one would believe when I was younger, I was very indecisive and irrational. It was easy for me to lose directions because I wasn't focused.

Now I believe in faith. I believe my God is a "She". I believe my two grannies are the Angels. Grandma Hwa always on the right side and Grandma Sura on the left side. The three of them will always protect my family and me, bless us with Good Health, Good Luck, Peace on our minds and at home, and of course plentiful of Happiness.

Nothing is difficult in this world, as long as we have the willpower.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Weight Management

In order to keep to my "weight" promise, I had claypot noodles (I've chosen the no starch, clear soup base) for lunch. I am a "soupy" person because I love soups, but everyone in my family knows very well that I prefer everything I consume at room temperature including coffee and tea I am taking.

The claypot noodles was so hot that I almost burnt my tongue. I guess, despite I am keen to lose some weight, claypot noodles has topped my chart for never-again-consumed-food.

Diet progress: Completely no bread today
Weight progress: Nil, yet.

My Version Of Ideal Weight

I want to lose another 4.5 kg (defnitely, not another 23 lbs, haha ..). I've cut out bread, and reduced carbo intake in my diet. Unfortunately, due to my tight schedule these two weeks, I've eaten fatty food too. In the last two days, I have been eating fried spring rolls because that's the most convenient food I could find when I was hungry. So, minus 1 plus 1, I still haven't lost any. Weight loss: no progress, yet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What Mac You?

I may invest in a Black MacBook end of this year. Not MacBook Air, Not MacBook Pro, just normal MacBook because I will still keep my other laptop which I am using now for my statistics use. It's too expensive to buy this statistics software in both Window & Mac versions, so I bought most statistical and their upgrade softwares in Window version. Thus, I have to still rely most times on the other laptop.

You'll be thinking, then why Mac again? I am so annoyed with the 188,888 (exaggerating figure haha ..) viruses come from everywhere. While you are disinfecting some of them here, the other some pop up at the other end. Some friends of mine don't even aware of their laptops/pcs were infected until I noticed weird incidents happened (diagnosis from their descriptions) eg. their machine works extremely slow, pc switching off in the middle of their chat or e-mailing, constant attacks by spyware etc. and troubleshooting doesn't seem to help their pc at all. Since Mac now runs on all the major operating systems including Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Vista. With software like Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion, one can even run them side by side. I don't see the switch to Mac any harder than the inconveniences from troubleshooting my laptop and the lag while multi-tasking.

My only concern is the MemoryStick compatibility issue, since I use them quite a lot to transfer my photos. I haven't had the opportunity to visit the Mac store yet, so I rely my information mostly from internet research. Most websites I've researched don't seem to provide me with convincing answers to the MemoryStick issue (eg. how do I transfer my photos from my M2 and Micro SD cards of my respective Sony Ericsson and Nokia hand phones)!?

Unbeatable Fashion

Baby K is 20 weeks old today. He has shown more personality than when he was younger. He doesn't seem to take after his parents' personality, hobbies, general likes & dislikes, except he and his daddy like lions. Sometimes he has this expression on his face which says: "I love it this way. This is my life, and stop telling me what's right from only your own angle." My Mama and SIL have started to take him out shopping. His first shopping field trip was last Friday, and now Baby K wants his daily outing trip as soon as he has showered. When he's out, he will make loud noise when he sees things he likes. Babies these days are adorable. Mama told me we only mastered giggling and no specific personality traits were revealed when myself and my younger siblings were at 20th week old. Baby K loves orange and dark blue colour. He likes one-piece suits, preferably with stripes. He knows his likes & dislikes, and he will show instant disapproval with his dislikes. His favourite bib is the one with green rim that says: "I love my grandma, my grandma loves me." HaHa ...

Aren't these Baby Gap clothes cute?

Note: Actually I don't approve of this photo above. Children shouldn't be allowed to carry sharp objects.

I bought this Baby Gap polo with stripes one-piece suit for Baby K, because it doesn't come in Baby K's favourite colours.

I love this Baby Gap Safari design one-piece suit, but South East Asia doesn't seem to carry this design.

I'm sure my brother would like his baby son in this Baby Gap body suits, but it has sold out when I was looking for it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

You Determine Your Future Path

Do you believe in our fate is pre-determined by lines shown on our right palm? I don't.

It's better to, Believe in ourselves.

"Your capabilities are real, but your self-doubt could bring you up short just as things are going promisingly. Believe in yourself, step out of the comfort zone to where your capabilities could handle and you would experience an entire different world."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Single-By-Choice Mom

Unsure if this is what novels usually refer as "the biological clock ticking". Looking at cute Baby K smiling, shouting, whining and laughing; and admiring my SIL's glowing and happy face looking at his son, all of sudden I am keen and mentally ready to be a mom now. I want to adopt 1 child or 2 children. I believe I would be a good mother. Why adoption? I don't think I am as strong as some women who could go through 9 months pregnancy all by herself without a husband or partner next to support and take care of her. Also, on top of that, my current work schedule doesn't allow me to go away for 56 days maternity leave.

I've seriously thought about adoption these few years, though I still don't have the gut to bring this issue for discussion with my parents. I knew my parents would object to my adoption decision. My mother would disapprove and probably cry for months thinking I have gone crazy. Since young, I have been fiercely independent and different from other kids. Even so, I don't think my mother's tolerance level would extend to accommodate my new decision of adopting children. I may be wrong about them, like how I presumed on the lily plant that I bought for new year - it turned out I was the only one at home worrying about the colour of the flowers. Mom seems very pleased that the plant is growing faster than she has expected!

Single Mom Diary

I want to be a mother more than I need a husband.

Article written by Kimberly Forrest

We all grew up believing the fairy tale: You meet Mr. Right, and soon after, start having kids. But what if he never comes along? What if things don't go as planned and time starts running out? Meet the new breed of single-by-choice moms.

You know that old saying about jumping on a plane at a moment's notice? That was me. Positano. Kyoto. Istanbul. Paris. It might sound like an oxymoron, but a sense of freedom has been my life's organising principle. I've developed a solid reputation as a freelance fashion writer, making a good living and working out of my rent-stabilized apartment in New York City's West Village. I'd often find myself thinking, What more could I want?
In the fall of 2006, I'd just gotten out of a serious relationship and turned 40, and I thought that casual might be just the thing. (Read: I was scared to feel anything poignant and lovely and painful again.) Enter Luis, my kickboxing instructor. He was young and exciting, and after dancing in the ring for months, we started dating. Our fling was lighthearted and fun — he joined me at a spa for New Year's, and in March we went to a wedding in Brazil. The trip was gorgeous, but by that time our relationship was on the wane.

Fast-forward a month-and-a-half, and my period was late. I took back-to-back pregnancy tests at the home of my friend Jean — they're both positive. She yelped with joy while I, strickened, squeezed limes for a watermelon margarita. Until now, my idea of a timeline for having kids had been, "Maybe in 10 years." But I'm 41 and filled with fibroids. What are the chances of ever conceiving again? I took a teeny sip of the margarita and, without thinking twice, knew that I was going to have the baby, with or without Luis. The next day, Luis stopped by my apartment, and I told him "I'm pregnant" before he closed the door. He sank into the sofa. "I don't want to get married," he said. "Neither do I," I replied, knowing that no matter what happened between us, "I am keeping this child". I told Luis that he could do whatever he wants — be a father to our child or not — and that I wouldn't resent his decision. (Naive? Perhaps, but that's how I felt.)

"You know that I never wanted to have kids," he said "And certainly not right now. But if you want to have the baby, I'll do whatever I can to support your decision." Translation: "You're mostly going to do this on your own, and I'm not a bad guy." We talked about our ideas of what a serious relationship would be. He wanted to fall in passionate love. I told him I don't believe that's sustainable — to me, love is a partnership, negotiated and planned. "I find that heartbreaking," he says.

I was miserable at month two. Swollen legs. Gas. Unable to digest anything. I woke after 12 hours of sleep in a pool of saliva on my John Robshaw, sari-print pillowcases. Friends dropped by to check on me, but all I could muster was a wan smile before going back to staring out the window. The months dragged by, and I reached a state of sadness I've never felt before. I wondered how I was ever going to manage this. Then a funny thing happened at the amnio. The doctor announced that I was carrying a girl, and with my friend Christine holding my hand, I observed this little being who has made her home inside me. I was awed by the architecture of her spine. The beat of her tiny heart. The way she responded with a jab of her own. A week later I felt her move for the first time — our own covert communication.

As I write this, I'm nine months pregnant. Luis joins me for birthing classes, but not a hint of our former romance remains. It might not sound like a storybook ending, but it's the right one for me. Although I've been wildly independent since I was a child, and it was fun to hop a jet for a long weekend in Miami, I've always craved the warmth of family — the sounds of the dishwasher running in the kitchen, a Sunday morning spent listening to public radio and making pancakes. Now I know I can have all of those things and I'm not alone.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sweet Tooth Fairy

People comment I am fat. I think I am fit. I believe I will look fab if I put in more effort in my diet and devote more time to exercise.

I've gained much weight in the past 5 weeks, largely it is due to stress. The more stressed I become, the sweeter the food I consume. My coffee is getting sweeter, I take more sweet cupcakes, sugar-loaded version of muffins and more chocolate bars than before.

In addition, I don't think twice when I buy crisps and indulge in chicken rice. I feel bloated after eating, but angry and hungry if I don't eat enough. Sigh, as if anger could help burn off the unnecessary calories and fats!

My timetable is upside-down in the past 6 weeks. I've stopped exercise. Even when I exercise, I eat more after exercise, and tend to eat more than required.

Eventually, I gained two kilos. However, due to my bigger bone frame, I look like I have gained 10 kilos and could kill James Bond. Most of my clothes snug tightly on my upper arms and made me look perfectly like female version of Hercules, and I have to send most of my pants for alterations.

Friends comment I look better if I lost a few more unnecessary kilos. My skirts are too tight, they advised me. I knew they meant well. Water retention is bad excuse, and I have stopped using it to protect me for more irresponsible eating.

I will think up a good plan to lose the extra kilos. Don't worry!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Brunei Won SCB's Environment Challenge 2008

Follow up on my 12th March posting, I am pleased to share that Brunei topped some 50 countries in Standard Chartered Bank's Greatest Race on Earth (GROE) 2007/2008 Environment Challenge and won the first prize of US$5 million, revealed in The Brunei Times on 6th April 2008.

The significant sum will be channelled to the Heart of Borneo (HoB) programme, to be administered by World Wildlife Foundation (WWF). The HoB programme is a collaborative effort by Government of Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

5 Words That De-Stress Me

1. Family
2. Happy
3. Freedom
4. Release
5. Holidays

April's Fool

"The world has become closer because of globalisation, Many hearts are becoming smaller because of selfishness."
- Pancakeism