A Chapter Closed

Friday, 29 May 2009 marked a closing of a chapter in my life. It was my last day at work in the department after 7.5 years.

7.5 years is by no means a short span of time. It was in this department where I found my 1st job, fell in love with the work, and discovered that my gifts and inclinations suited the industry. I found personal growth, travelled lots, was given many wonderful opportunities, and interacted with all sorts of interesting personalities. The bosses believed in me, and I was trusted and given space to develop my skills while I took on managerial responsibilities early on.

I will always look back at the past years with much fondness. What I didn't expect was the flood of emotions that came about that day. My team of staff took me out for a lovely buffet lunch at the Sheraton Hotel. We had a wonderful time enjoying the food and sharing about ourselves. Later, they helped me to move my many things to the new department I am moving to, on another floor.

When it was time for the last "move" downstairs, it suddenly became very emotional. My staff suddenly broke down. Not just the ladies, but also the guy. When I saw the tears, I couldn't help but break down myself. Soon, the tissues were brought out and we told ourselves to stop crying. We said to each other to forgive the times we might have step on each others' toes, and I told them that I am always a phonecall/email/visit away.

I really thank God for the team I worked with, and feel humbled and very touched knowing that they genuinely enjoyed working with me too.

The day before, I was also pleasantly surprised to find this pretty bouquet of flowers at my new cubicle. It was from my new team, together with a warm handwritten note to welcome me. We are a team that is split up and seconded to different business units playing specialist roles, therefore most of us don't sit together and I am the only one seconded to this business unit. The feeling of warmth filled me knowing that I was thought of, welcomed and supported.

I look forward to the new challenges ahead in my career!


I'm up again once the clock hits 4am, and I really wonder why? It is very strange because I know I am tired but I just can't sleep.

After tossing and turning for 45mins, I have been spending the last hour trying to prioritise the online selections I have made from Old Navy. I think I should leave the final decision to be made tomorrow though - I'm pretty sure the clicks I have made are just too many anyway. I blame it on the fact that I just can't seem to be sure that I have bought enough or if I have bought the right sizes. Will she have enough clothes to sleep in, to play in, to go out in, to allow for peeing, pooing and the occasional pukes? Hmmm...

Bubbles is awake with me too. I'm watching her bounce around as I am typing this. She is a lot stronger now and makes not just bumps but waves on the surface of my tummy. A good part of boring meetings at work are now spent watching her many movements! My colleagues sometimes join in to watch the 'show' too :)


Dressing up my (almost) daily glass of milk.

Cold milk always seems to taste better drunk from a glass!

Blessed Bubbles

This past weekend, Bubbles received many pretty gifts from very generous friends of mummy! Me the mummy was slightly overwhelmed. Now I know why there is a term called "showers" of blessings. I feel very "showered" recently. Must be one of the reasons why people enjoy pregnancy :)

Tippy Toes socks! From a dear childhood friend who loves to blast the "shower" at me :) Heh. She also got me the Kate Spade Diaper Bag, but promptly "forgot" that she did!

A pretty Fox Baby outfit from a new found friend who herself has the most adorable baby girl ever! I never knew Fox had baby clothes until very very recently when I was told. I was so thrilled by the teeny little skirt! hehe. It comes with attached matching panties too - how adorable!

A lovely Zara Baby dress/top from a sweet person who recently hosted a little tea party where I was invited. (I got invited to tea AND received a present!). I love the ties at the shoulders :) Oh, I also never knew Zara had babywear. I have been so oblivious to baby stuff previously! I have yet to check out the store, but from this pretty sample, I'm excited to...hee hee

Chocolate Ice-Cream at 4am

I can't sleep.
Chocolate ice-cream tastes good even at 4am.

Stubby tail & Hairwash bliss

For about half a week these days, I sport a stubby looking "ponytail". My hair has reached the annoying length where it starts to stick out at the ends. I refuse to get it cut short (although I do go for regular trims), because the rate it is growing now seems much faster than pre-pregnancy. I miss my long hair, and hope to grow it out before the baby comes, so I can tie it up nicely.

So yes, for those days where I wash my own hair, I do the stubby tail so I don't look like a mad woman.

On the rest of the week however, I have found the PERFECT place to get a hairwash and blow (with a head/neck massage thrown in).

Truth to be told, I have been doing this off and on for a couple of years now, but since getting pregnant, I have been trying out all the hair salons around my home and office areas. I pop into random ones just to see how they fair. So far, I have paid between $11 to $26 per hairwash & blow.

And FINALLY, about 2 weeks ago, I found the perfect place. The lady who does the wash for me has super strong and deft fingers. She does a really mean head and neck massage, effectively rubbing away any lingering aches or tiredness. She takes her time during shampooing to do this, and I just sit there with my eyes closed enjoying every moment. Not only that, the massaging continues right through the shampoo rinsing! I can literally catch forty winks lying down, feeling the cool water and strokes across my head. She does not use her fingernails to scratch, the way many stylists like to do.

After about 30 minutes of bliss (I suspect she gives me extra long massages because I always go in looking so pregnant and tired), I emerge fresh and relaxed, ready for the hair blow and styling. This, she does it perfectly too. Many stylists take way too long to blow dry and style my hair because of its thickness. The heat and sound of the hairdryer then negates all the wonderfulness of a hairwash. But she is efficient, and does it beautifully and quickly.

So for half of the week, my hair looks nicely blown, with ends that curl naturally under my chin. I walk around with a bounce in my hair :) I willingly pay $14 for this weekly (or twice a week) ritual. It puts a bounce in my step too!

Not for the lack of trying

I have been trying to hunt down the family's elusive generational poem. The kind which has a series of Chinese words that indicate the Chinese character to be used in the naming of each generation of a family with a certain surname.

My husband, his brother and his dad were all named according to the poem. Unfortunately, the hardcopy of it has been misplaced, and no one in the family seems to have it.

I called the Hokkien Huay Kuan only to be told to send an email instead. And after 2 that I did send, I received a reply to say that they don't keep any such generational poems. However, I was given 3 contacts of kinship clan associations that could possibly help me.

I picked up the phone to dial one of the numbers. An old croaking voice was on the other end of the line. He could only speak Mandarin, so I tried the best I could to explain what I wanted. He seemed kindly though, and appeared surprised that I wanted such a poem. He said no one in Singapore follows these poems anymore, and advised me to just pick a name that sounds good and was meaningful. He explained that usually once the characters in a poem has been 'used up' in a family, it is no longer utilised. He also said that the exact poem of any given family depends not only on the surname, but also from the place/village in China from which the family originated. He then proceeded to give a few examples of such places, all of which went way over my head. After ascertaining that he could do no more to help me, I thanked him and proceed to dial the next number.

Funnily, the same old man answered the phone again. Apparently 2 of the associations are linked to the same phoneline. This time, he told me it would be better to call on Sunday, when "the others" (whoever they may be), would be around to take my questions. I said ok, and hung up.

The 3rd number yielded no reply after several tries, so I guess I'll have to call again another time.

I want to get that poem to name Bubbles! (Googling didn't help either)

The Sale

Everyone was telling me about the Robinsons Sale. Since I was in town for an event, I popped by at Raffles City Shopping Centre to have a look.

"What are you intending to get?" My friends asked.

"I don't know, I'll just browse around for baby stuff." Was my reply.

I was so wrong. Well...let me explain...EVERY SINGLE kids shop on the 3rd floor of the mall had items on sale. This being my 1st baby girl shopping foray, I went absolutely crazy. Fueled also by online links of drool-worthy baby clothes sent recently by well-meaning friends, I was picking up item after item of absolutely adorable teensy clothing.

In less than 2 hours, I ended up with more than S$300 worth of baby girls' stuff (and a pair of shoes and 3 CDs for me, but that's another point and another budget)!

Roboman came by as I was paying for my last purchases. His eyes grew really wide seeing the many bags I was carrying. I told him I'll give some away, since we have many friends expecting baby girls this year.

Upon reaching home, I couldn't help but still ooh and aah at my purchases. The thing is, even HE softened when he saw the little pretty clothes. These baby clothes designers have really done their job well!

A little boy's work

My MIL presented this little cross-stitched patch to me sometime back. It is of a little teddy bear (If you can't tell!). Roboman sewed this when he was about 6-7 years of age. The colours are funny because he was given leftover thread to use.

It is a little dusty now, and the cloth has turned slightly yellow. But I can't help finding it so adorable :) I'm going gently wash and frame it up for Bubble's nursery!

For Bubbles

Babycentre's weekly email to me says that at my now 21 weeks, I may soon feel like my baby's practising martial arts.

As we're still racking our brains to name her, I've decided to call her Bubbles. Why? Because it she feels like bubbles in me! Sometimes a big bubble, and other times small fluttering ones :)

Anyway, Bubbles' Great Grandaunt has knitted her the cutest ever little baby cardigan! I love it so so much, and I'm sure Bubbles will be snug in it.

And those little teeny socks are from Baby Gap which I saved for Bubbles during one of my shopping trips buying stuff for other little bubs. I couldn't resist!

Mother's Day Meal

Happy Mother's Day to all mummies out there!
Mum wanted Chinese food. We made reservations at Si Chuan Dou Hua at UOB Plaza after not managing to get places at My Humble House and Taste Paradise.

The dish in the photo above was by far my favourite. Deep fried chicken bits drowned in lots of dried chilli and peppercorns.

The service at the restuarant however, left much to be desired. In fact, it was so bad that even my amiable dad who hardly ever gets upset at service got slightly riled at the end of our meal. My pregnancy hormones meant that I was controlling a burst of temper towards a particularly surly and rude waitress. At close to S$70 per head, I would have expected more decent service. I commented to the family that we get better service at our nearby Zi Char stall.

Thankfully, the mum was in a jolly good mood, and our family chatter and enjoyment of (most) of the food meant that we could more or less push aside the annoyances during dinner and agree that I could write in a complaint later on.

I don't yet feel particularly articulate so I haven't. I should soon though.

One of nature's pretties

Oh pretty snail

You were saved from me accidentally stepping on you by my vigilent friends. I can't see the floor so well with my belly in the way.

Don't ever position yourself in the middle of a walkway again!

I love how your little shell reminds me of Opal :)

Daddy's girl

No other reason why I should be craving for ice-cream the way I do these days. And finishing double scoops too! Daddy's genes at play.

Loving and Learning Hospitality

I had a blast with my cousin staying with us over the past weekend. We haven't seen each other in 3-4 years, and she's still as vivacious and beautiful as ever. Some say she looks like a cross between Tata Young and Eunice Olsen :)

I'm like the boring old fart compared to her and her social life. Haha! Anyway, it was lovely catching up in the comforts of my home and over meals. There is just something about getting to know a person better when he/she is a guest in your home. There is more time for casual chatter, conduciveness for deep sharing, and just an unspoken intimacy in providing hospitality.

We did a quick count last night as to the number of people who have stayed with us since March 2007 when we were first married. The number now tallies at 20 unique individuals. These 20 have stayed with us anytime from 1 night to 7 months.

To us, our guests have brought us a lot of joy and taught us a bit at a time what hospitality really means. Our 2+ years of marriage has been made more interesting with our guests :) We've also learnt how different each of us are made. Some people are naturally neat and tidy, and do things in a certain order. They try not to make too much noise - closing doors silently, and tiptoeing in when they return home late. Others are gregarious. They want to be involved in your lives, buy things to stock your fridge for you, and are usually also messier - leaving personal belongings wherever they last left them. You smile when you notice because you know that means they feel at home!

Some come with huge luggages, bringing along everything under the sun although toiletries are provided - others with tiny bags that make you wonder how they manage. Some thrive on air-conditioning while others prefer to sweat it out in the guest room. Then there are those quiet sweet ones who leave surprise Thank You notes on your fridge or presents for you to find when they leave.

We have enjoyed all of our guests visits, and now have a good supply of towels, toiletries, sheets and blankets to allow for surprise visits. I feel I have gotten to know a little better all those with whom we have shared the same roof with - even if for a while.

I wonder how things will change now that our guest room is going to be converted to a nursery.

Now We Know...

It's a GIRL!

For sure :)

She gave us a thumbs up and a flick-of-fingers wave yesterday.

This mummy's super excited, but also kind of sniffly now after the fantastic weekend. She'll write more soon.

Another craving

I was craving for these Chilli Tapioca Chips, and we spent 3 evenings scouring supermarkets and convienience stalls near our area - but to no avail. I even ventured into a wet market and asked every stall that looked like it could carry these snacks.

After being disappointed and 'complaining' to a few people, I suddenly found that others are more eagle-eyed than I! Received all of these from dear friends :) Chomp chomp!