Monday, June 30, 2014

Suck It Up

More than one friend has mentioned coming to Melbourne during this gawdawful winter. I get all pysched about meeting an old friend even if it's just for an hour or two but the excitement wanes as quickly as they come. I almost feel like telling them not to bother, it's quite un-beautiful here right now. Pockets of sunshine are few and far between and for someone who's mainly stuck in the office like me, it's a rare day that I even chance upon one during a coffee hot chocolate run.

I'm a summer girl. I love not having to shed them layers when I shop. I even love the feeling of sweat on my toes split in flip flops. 

I miss thin, gauzy, billowy tops. Brown arms. Legs. Skin.

The warmth of the sun on my back and not worrying for my face/ ears and fingers every time I step off the train/ tram/ any enclosed area. 

The wind - It is SO rude in winter. It just comes along and smacks you. Stinging.

*

This morning I had my blood taken for a glucose test. The phlebotomist happened to be a Singaporean guy. I asked him, after a while of chatting, whether he likes it here, especially in winter. He replied with such a happy "Yes!" that I immediately felt ashamed. He said, well, if he was going to be here for a long time, and he has, then he will just turn all cons into pros.

As the blood literally flowed out of me, I grudgingly knew he was right.

Time to suck it up. And show my friends a good time.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The 32nd

A lot of people have told me that 26 is quite a young age to get married. Well, if I'd had my way, I'd have married Dwayne when we were even younger. Maybe, 2-3 years before we actually did. However, as fate would have it, we got into a long-distance relationship even before we were actually dating for a year. 

And the reason why I got into the relationship, knowing already that at some point it would be long-distance (my second one, might I add), was because I knew he was the one. 

We have learned together, from previous relationships, that we should never ask ourselves, "Who else is going to love me/ accept me/ understand me?" Trust me, a lot of people would - But if everyone thought like that, we would all be in serious trouble, thinking we are never good enough or thinking our partners are never good enough. 

This year, I am most thankful for him. I don't know what I'm doing but I must be doing something right to keep him because Dwayne - he still makes me feel like I'm the luckiest girl. And it goes without saying that I feel extremely blessed to have a happy, healthy smart cookie for my daughter.

Dwayne organised a "surprise" birthday dinner with close friends and family at a Japanese restaurant on Saturday. It was lovely, and he also got the cake from Burch & Purchese that I'd been dying to try. After that, we went home and I had a bubble (and salt) bath, candles lit and a glass full of ice. So good. We caught the Brazil-Chile game and thanks to the 'keeper, Cesar, they won on penalties after extra time. My whole family in Singapore were watching too so they called me right after the match to wish me. We finally hunkered down onto our bed at 5.30am and gloriously and miraculously slept till 9.30am. I know that Miranda was up way before that but the little sweetie pie didn't even disturb us till it was too much for her that so much light was streaming through and it just must be time to "wakey-wakey" already! She then sang me a birthday song and gave me "freshly picked" flowers. ;)

We spent Sunday at home, completely happy to be warm. It was the coldest day of the year yet too. I cooked a few dishes and spring-cleaned my wardrobe. 

For the 32nd year. It was extremely therapeutic. 

Not all years can be the best years but all years can be filled with the best people. Thank God for all the love and my sweet, little family.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sydney 2014

I love Sydney. 

I don't care what the Melburnians say -- a place with warmer weather will always have my heart.


Little holidayer.


She loved the bathroom!


Thoroughly entertained by Giordy and her story about two little birds in Italian.




Black Star Pastry - super famous for its watermelon cake. And it's no wonder.


With Amelia, who brought us to Ayam Goreng 99, a really good Indo restaurant. 



She's definitely taking ballet classes as soon as she turns 4.


Too sad to leave on the last day.

Bump Talk

Week 28

Favourite food: -

Weight gain: 7kg

Annoying symptoms: Backaches.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why I Love Being Married To Him

Thursday night. In the car. On the way home from work.

Dwayne: What are we having for dinner tonight? (same question every night)
Me: I don't know. I wanted to make mee pok but I haven't marinated the mushrooms so we'll have it tomorrow instead.
Dwayne: *Fav dish but not excited in the least - I made mee pok once and he claimed he didn't miss the dish any more because the one I made was good enough - and it's been 5 years since I made it.*
Me: *Wondering why he's not more excited.*

Me: It's 17 deg and sunny tomorrow!!!
Dwayne: Oh is it? Why don't you go out with Miranda tomorrow?
Me: Yea...
Dwayne: What are we doing this weekend?
Me: I'm probably gonna be stuck in the kitchen again, making World Cup snacks.
Dwayne: Why don't we do something this weekend?
Me: Uh, the weather is going to be kinda crap. Might as well stay home.

Home. Stripping for a shower.

Dwayne: *Hurriedly. Urgently.* I forgot give you something. OMG, I can't believe I haven't given this to you yet.
Christine: What is it? (annoyed, thinking it's something important.)
Dwayne: *Fishing something out of his bag* Here.
Christine: *Looks at papers* Huh?

Flight tickets to Sydney for Friday morning at 8.30am.

Mad, frantic rush to cook dinner, do laundry, pack, straighten up the house.

And off we were at 5.30am the next day for Tullamarine aiport.

Advanced birthday trip for the weekend. :) :)


Monday, June 16, 2014

Bump Talk

Week 27

Favourite food: Curry puffs

Weight gain: 5.5kg -- World Cup snacking :(

Annoying symptoms: Backaches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Miranda @ 33 months

Miranda has been sick the past few days. It's the first time she's ever had a cough and tell you what, Dwayne and I are just heartbroken at the sound of her hacking away. You can tell it's a phlegm-y sort and she doesn't know how to cough it out. 

Luckily, despite the cough, she has been in good spirits. She's still playing, telling stories and singing. She picks up song lyrics so easily now - reminds me of Dwayne.

I love her sense of imagination and wonder and I love that we are privy to this world of hers.

For example, when she pretended to be at a swimming complex one day, she asked if she could change into her "swimming kaschutm". She asked me to buy her goggles the other day so I had to pretend to buy her one at the shops. I asked her what colour she wanted and she replied, "Purple". So I got her to put them on and she told me, without missing a beat, "Mommy, it's too tight."

Her stories these days start with, "One day" or "Once upon a time". It is quite curious because she only has a select few books that actually start with those lines. And again, even though I have never bought her a single fairytale or "princess" book, they seem to be the ones that stick in her mind the most. To be perfectly honest, there could only be a total of 3 books tops that were gifted that mentions princesses/ fairies and castles. Yet all her stories always have a king, queen, princess, a castle and always, always, "Suddenly, a purple monster came!". 

Miranda's vocabulary has improved by leaps and bounds and I think it will continue to as long as she reads books with us but her pronunciation is not the best. I know it's silly and some parents would probably try their very best to correct this but I think this will come in time. She knows we repeat the correct word after she says it wrongly but we never press her to say the word properly. I am quite Nazi about her grammar though - that is just intolerable to me.

And the fun bit - Singlish! Growing up in Singapore, I spoke Singlish and the truth is, I love it. It is part of my identity as a Singaporean. At work, I refrain from using any Singlish. It is not so much that I'm afraid to be made fun of. I actually think people here find it quite funny and unusual (as they already do with my accent) but I don't think they will understand what I'm actually saying. As it is, a few of my girlfriends' non-Singaporean husbands think we are speaking a whole other language when we are conversing with each other because we tend to get all excited and chatter on way too fast.

Naturally, I have been teaching Miranda a few Singlish words here and there. Not that it is helpful to her here but I think it helps her understand later who we really are and where we came from. Also, it's hilarious when she says it! I guess it helps too that she will not to get a total culture shock during her visits to Singapore. So far, she has learned a few words and has even used them in the right context. "Kancheong spider" has to be my favourite!

As far as food goes, I have had a good run for the most part but well, it's not that easy these days. No green vegetables for her now. I don't even know when and why she decided that "it's not for her". Like any "good" mother, I have had to tell her all sorts of things to get her to eat them. She's totally fine with carrots, cauliflower - anything not green. I guess the good thing is that she still loves her healthy, good food as much as she loves her french fries and fried chicken (true vices). Oh, and does she love her Hokkien Mee and carrot cake! She really is our daughter, isn't she? :)

I am still deciding on a theme for her 3rd birthday. Last year we had a tea party and she could not have been happier, especially with her rainbow cake. I would be quite happy to do it all over again for her this year since she hasn't actually grown out of the tea party phase. If anything, she is just is so much more into it. All her presents (by us and Dwayne's family) have been planned around her love of tea parties. I might just make a few tweaks here and there for this year. And I swear, it's not just me being lazy!!

So that's about all for 33 months - can't believe it's only 3 more months till she turns 3!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bump Talk

Week 26

Favourite food: Ice cubes. 

Weight gain: 4kg 

Annoying symptoms: Waking up every 5-10 minutes for the toilet before I sleep. :(

Long Weekend - Feasting

We had a long weekend, thanks to the Queen's birthday. 

Every time a long weekend comes along and we haven't planned anything, we end up staying home mostly, doing chores, going to the playground and just "relaxing". For some reason, I seem to live in the kitchen during this time and whip up all the time consuming stuff that I just don't always have the time for during normal weekends. 

We had french toast one morning, "croque monsieur" the next (no gruyere, no bechamel), leek and mushroom pie, hor fun, my virgin attempt at lamb curry (which was surprisingly good! YAY!), homemade mint ice-cream, homemade apple crumble....You get the idea.

So.

Back to reality.

I have been having overnight oatmeal for breakfast everyday - seriously, isn't it kinda like having dessert for breakfast everyday? Since I just don't like milk, I have substituted it with coconut water with pulp, greek yogurt and honey. Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and the rest of the ingredients is on a cycle -strawberry/ banana, mixed berries, kiwi/ avocado.

For lunch, Dwayne and I have been having Jimmy Grant's grain salad. It is so, so good. My sister-in-law first made it for me last week and ever since I got the recipe, I had been hunting high and low for the all-elusive freekeh.

This is the recipe. Do yourselves a favour - try it.

1 cup freekah
100g green lentils
1tsp cumin seeds
280g natural Greek-style yoghurt
1tbsp honey
2tbsp pumpkin seeds
2tbsp slivered almonds
2tbsp pine nuts
1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
½ red onion, finely chopped
2tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed
75g currants
Juice of 1 lemon
60ml extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Method:
  1. Cook freekah and drain, rinse and cool.
  2. Cook lentils, drain rinse and cool.
  3. Lightly toast cumin seeds until fragrant, then grind in mortar and pestle.
  4. Mix together yoghurt, honey and cumin until combined. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  5. Place pumpkin seeds, almonds and pine nuts in a saucepan and toast lightly, remove and set aside.
  6. Wash the coriander, parsley, then drain well and spin in a salad spinner, roughly chop and set aside.
  7. Place the pumpkin seeds, almonds, pine nuts, parsley, coriander, onion, capers, currents, lemon juice, olive oil, freekah and lentils in a bowl, then season to taste.
  8. Mix well, top with the cumin yoghurt and serve.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bump Talk

Week 25

Favourite food: Ice cubes. Always.

Weight gain: 4kg 

Annoying symptoms:  Constipation - time to hit the Metamucil. :/