Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Souvenirs from Japan

Finally, hubby is back from his Osaka-Kyoto-Nagoya trip~~

He bought me a "have a safe pregnancy" good luck charm from Kinkakuji Temple, which means a lot to me! Also got me thinking, where did I misplace my charm that I bought from Fukuoka Dazaifu in 2009? 

Charm from Kinkakuji Temple
Our princess also got a souvenir from daddy... a pink flowery yukata! Can bring her around wearing this during Bon Odori next year d... she'll look so cute in it! :-D

Baby's yukata
Of course, there are other souvenirs too... such as some nice printed cloth, crackers and chocolate!~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 22, 2nd Trimester


One of the most common questions I get from my friends and family during the 2nd trimester is: "Can you feel your baby kicking yet?" 

I have been waiting eagerly for this moment since my doctor asked me during my monthly check-up on Week 20. It depends on pregnancy, some people are able to feel baby's movements as early as Week 20, some around Week 24.

Some say the initial movement feels like an electric jolt, like a buzzing. During my first ante-natal class the doctor said it should feel like a fish flapping around inside a plastic bag. I thought it should be a big fish. A friend I met during the ante-natal class told me the trick to feeling it is to lie very still and just wait for it. 

On Sunday, I drove myself to church since hubby was not around. After the worship service and pastor started saying grace... I suddenly felt it! A little fluttering inside my stomach... words cannot even begin to describe the feeling... I sat there in awe and joy, feeling the little taps coming at certain intervals throughout the service... and feeling even more sure than ever that I am not alone, I have my baby inside my tummy accompanying me.

Then I went home and ate chicken rice until very full and lay on the bed and touched my tummy. This time I'm quite sure it's fluttering because the movement is happening at the right place (lower abdomen) and not just my normal stomach rumbling cos of digestive motion.

And today at work the fluttering comes more frequent... like somebody gently tapping their fingers from inside my belly... and actually more like a small fish inside the plastic bag rather than a big fish flapping around.

*the feeling is just so beautiful*

Monday, April 07, 2014

Week 20, 2nd Trimester

March 29, 2014

Again, it's time for me to give an update about the *little bun that's baking in my oven*! 

After months of eager excitement... the gender of our baby is revealed...













*Ta-da* We're having a little baby girl!


Our little Miss Malaysia

As we looked at the ultrasound, baby was continuously waving her right hand at us, as if to tell us: "Papa Mama, look! I'm here! Hello! Weee...!" Waving, waving, just like a little Miss Malaysia. :-)

Her Papa's heart melted so much that he straightaway went shopping the next day to buy her a little baju and cleared a little space in the wardrobe for his little princess.

Names for our baby girl

We decided to give our precious baby girl a cheerful-sounding English name, a name which we had already decided upon a long time ago. As for her Chinese name, I'm going to name her something meaning "a gift of joy from God", as she is truly our little bundle of joy. :-)

Baby stuff

Now we already know the baby's gender, next up, is shopping for baby items! Hubby already bought an Avent double electric breast pump from the USA for me, in preparation for me to become a milk cow for our daughter soon~ so excited about this... I also attended an MMPS meeting about breastfeeding, and gained a lot of valuable information from the group!

Also, thanks to the wonderful couple that gifted us the book "What to Expect - The First Year". It is as thick as a Bible... lol... and now I'm on the breastfeeding pages. 

Can't wait to clear my house and make space for more pink princessy items for my little one... Mommy and Daddy loves you very much ♥

New York Cheesecake

New York Cheesecake

Bought a new baking recipe book from the Big Bad Wolf sale for RM12 and thought I'd try out the easiest recipe in the book ~ New York Cheesecake!

Btw checked out a newly opened cakeshop at The One area and darn... a whole NY cheesecake is selling for RM99 there. Better make a bigger one myself for half the price!

NY cheesecake is surprisingly easy to make, I'd say easier to make than no-bake cheesecake cos I didn't need to heat the gelatine. This time I remembered to cover my springform pan with baking paper so that the cheese mixture would not seep out from the sides...

So, as always, calamity sure will happen whenever I'm baking. This time my electric mixer suddenly stopped working at 10pm on a Sunday night. Poor hubby had to go to Tesco to help me get a new hand mixer... but luckily before he was about to buy it, my mixer suddenly came back to life! Guess there's some auto-stop mechanism inside the machine to prevent it from over-heating...

I baked the crust first, then poured in the cheese mixture and baked it at 200 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes, then switched it to 100 degrees Celcius and continued baking for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool in the oven for 2 hours and popped it in the fridge to let it cool and set overnight.

After it had baked in the oven, I was checking to see whether the insides of the cake were well-cooked by sticking in a chopstick and seeing whether it came out clean. But after a few tries, the chopstick still came out wet, I guess this is the characteristic of the NY cheesecake after I searched online. I should just need to check whether the top is wobby but firm to prevent over-baking.

In the morning, when I checked, the cake had pulled away from the sides and was ready to serve for breakfast. :D

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Melbourne, A City Built of Gold - Part 2

September 1, 2013 
Melbourne CBD

Back to blogging about my Australian trip. :P

The Victorian Gold Rush between 1851 and the late 1860s transformed Melbourne into a major boomtown. The gold wealth caused a great many lavish architectures to be built around the city center, transforming Melbourne into a world-class city.

Before I stepped foot in Melbourne, I simply imagined it to be a plain city with many modern glass and stream-lined buildings, nothing more. So it is fair to say that I was simply awed by the many elegant and luxurious heritage buildings in the city center. As I walked around, I was dazzled by the gold buildings, their color reminiscent of their wealthy origins. 

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Railway Station at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets is the oldest station in Australia. The main station building, completed in 1909, is a cultural icon of Melbourne, with its prominent dome, arched entrance, tower and clocks one of the city's most recognisable landmarks. The Melburnian idiom "I'll meet you under the clocks", refers to the row of clocks above the main entrance.

St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral is diagonally opposite Flinders Street Station. The location for St Paul's Cathedral marks the location of the first Christian service held in Melbourne in 1835.A distinguished English architect, William Butterfield, designed the cathedral, in the architectural style of Gothic transitional. The foundation stone was laid in 1880 and, on 22 January 1891, the cathedral was consecrated.

Princess Theater

The Princess Theatre is a 1488-seat theater. It was first erected in 1854 by actor-manager George Coppin, who would create Melbourne's theatre land. Many world-famous shows have opened there, including Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera.

Hotel Windsor

The Hotel Windsor is a luxury hotel in Melbourne. The Windsor is notable for being Australia's only surviving grand 19th century city hotel and only official "grand" 5-star Victorian-era hotel. The Windsor is situated on Bourke Hill in the Parliament Precinct on Spring Street.

Now this is another elegant building which I don't know, but it is situated near the Stanford Fountain. Most of the heritage buildings are pretty well-preserved, maybe partly due to the favourable weather. There are also many statues of famous people and early pioneers erected around the city center.

The horse carriages also add a touch of old-world charm to this beautiful city.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Week 16, 2nd Trimester

Boy or girl?

We had been waiting eagerly for this day to arrive cos there would be a good chance of us seeing the baby's gender on the fourth ultrasound scan. But baby was being playful again... despite facing forward each time during the previous ultrasounds, this time it decided to be mysterious and faced downwards! So doctor's conclusion... might be a boy because she saw a faint hint of something... but don't go shopping yet because she's still not too sure...

Argh now we have to wait one more month to know!

On the bright side, everything seems to be developing well for baby. I tend to get a little bit worried cos till now I still can't feel anything growing/kicking inside of me, so I'm always looking forward to the scans to get a glimpse of how baby's growing inside my womb. Since baby was facing downwards, we got to look at its very nice backbone (which reminds me of those dinosaur skeleton inside the museum), its thigh bone which gave us an indication of how heavy is the baby (half the weight of a Philadelphia cream cheese now!), and its little finger bones (open-shut-open-shut)!

Cute baby, be good next scan and Mommy will buy you more books from the Big Bad Wolf Sale!

Morning sickness

The weird thing is my morning sickness has only begun to reveal itself during my second trimester. My first bout of vomiting started near the end of my first trimester, and yesterday I threw up everything of my home-cooked lunch (4th time). There is a joke between me and my hubby that baby is acting up (causing mummy to vomit) whenever daddy is not around.

Anyway, I don't really know what triggers it since I am able to eat almost everything... perhaps I shouldn't eat too big of a portion during my meals. It also might be due to acid reflux as the uterus is pressing on my digestive tract. And I am yet to try out the pills that doctor gave me to relieve the acid reflux. 

I am also yet to have any real food cravings... just that most of the time I am susceptible to food pics people post on Facebook. Hmm I think I shall have my hubby make me that egg salad sandwich tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

All you need is love ♥

All you need is love
*ba ba ba ba ba*
All you need is love
*ba ba ba ba ba*
All you need is love
Love is all you need ♥

I was looking back through my years of February blog posts, and I realized that I haven't been blogging about any Valentine's day celebrations! *gasp* Well, that could only mean one thing - not that we're the Scrooge of Valentine's day and haven't been celebrating it - it means that we've stuck to the yearly routine of celebrating it post-ceremoniously at home...

This year we celebrated it the day after, which was a Saturday night. He cooked our favourite butter rice and oven-grilled lamb chops. Fixed up a non-alcoholic cocktail of pomegranate + lime + lemon bitter for me and a alcoholic one for himself. Finished it with a double scoop of Haagen-Daz mixed summer berries ice cream. Yummmmmm................

On Monday night I made a blueberry chilled cheese cake. Ohhhhh I miss Philadelphia cream cheese... Leo went to four hypermarts and they were all out-of-stock... gahh just doesn't taste the same without it.

By the way, if you haven't heard the good news already, this Valentine's Day is extra special for the both of us, cos we have a little bun baking inside my oven.... yesss that's right, I'm preggers!!! Gosh, figure we're not going to eat out next year during Valentine's Day again.............! ♥

P/S: I'm already more than 3 months pregnant so here comes the deluge of baby posts!~

Week 12, 1st Trimester

January 29, 2014

Today we had our third ultrasound scan for baby + first trimester screening to screen out the risk of baby having Down Syndrome. 

First trimester screening:
The doctor will use ultrasound to measure nuchal translucency, which is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of baby's neck. The screen must be done between the 11th week to 13th week of pregnancy. Research has shown that babies with Down Syndrome have an increased amount of fluid (>2mm thickness is considered high risk). After measuring, doctor said that our baby is low risk so I did not need to go through the blood test which costs RM750 (hurrah!)!

Something funny that happened... because the doctor had to measure the fluid underneath the baby's neck, it could only be done from a certain angle, so we had to wait for baby to shift its position to face the side. Dunno is it because papa is always telling baby to face us and smile for the camera and to show little birdy (if yes), our baby is always facing us directly each time we do an ultrasound! So after 15 minutes of baby not nudging and always looking at us and waving his hands and feet around despite us coaxing for it to turn around, doctor asked us to go out and wait while she served other patients first. =_=||| The second time we went in, baby looked like it had fallen asleep, but still in the forward-facing position! So doctor asked us to go out and wait again. Until the third time I climbed on the bed (tired...), all three of us (papa, me and doctor) were practically pleading with the baby to please turn around so that doctor could scan the back of its neck! Papa said: "look up baby! got cicak!" =_=||| And our doctor was like: "oi... faster, i wanna go home lah..." In the end I did some breathing and abs exercise and doctor scanned again and voila! This time she got it. Phew~~~~~

Our appointment lasted from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, which almost made us get stuck in the CNY home-bound traffic from Penang to Ipoh... luckily still not too bad.

When I reached home I told my mom about the experience and she concluded that baby is stubborn, just like me~~~~~ T.T||| 

Oh ya, this time the hospital gave us a nice paper frame to hold our baby ultrasound picture. And we stuck it on the fridge. So baby is now looking at me whenever I reach into the fridge to grab some milk. :P

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 6, 1st Trimester


December 21, 2013

Today we had our first baby ultrasound scan! Our ob-gyn is Dr. J Karen from Island Hospital, Penang, which maternity package is one of the most expensive on the island... so I actually feel a bit guilty going there. However, money really saves us time! Service at Island Hospital is really fast and efficient. We arrived at the hospital around 8.15am on a Saturday, registered, had our breakfast in the canteen, and were no. 3 in line at the doctor's office. Consultation was over before 10am.

After asking a few general questions such as my patient history, and when my last period started, the good doctor started the ultrasound scan and we could see our BABY in all its sesame seed glory, lying there nicely in my womb! Seeing it there for the first time felt so miraculous to both of us, and when I giggled the image disappeared for a while, so I had to contain my giggling so we could see it a while longer on the screen. It was also amazing how the doctor simply measured the baby on the screen (3.8mm) to estimate how many weeks old is the baby and also the EDD (Estimated Date of Delivery). I was happy to see my hubby's face all lit up throughout the session... he is ONE HAPPY DADDY! :-D

Then we asked the doctor some questions, such as what food to eat. So, raw food such as raw eggs and sashimi are a no-no, supplements such as fish oil, Glucosamine and Panadol medication are ok, coffee, wine and alcohol are in moderation (but hubby says no)... and I heard from some of my relatives that pineapple, crab, chilli and iced drinks are a no-no.

So far what I think are my "morning sickness" symptoms have started, although they are still considered mild due to no vomiting. I feel queasy every day during meal time, and I hate the food they serve at the Chinese restaurants in Penang cos it all smells bad (too much garlic). I don't have much appetite these days but it might be also due to lack of exercise, hence, my resolution (also for the new year's) is to swim more often!

Other funny stuff that are happening are like we have already been starting to think of English and Chinese names for the baby (so far we are keeping our fingers crossed it's a boy!)

Baby, next week you'll be a cute mustard seed... *love*

Week 5, 1st Trimester

December 17, 2013

Earlier this week I downloaded the "I'm Expecting" app on my Android smartphone. According to the app, our baby is now the size of a sesame seed. 

I can't imagine something so tiny living inside of me that is gonna take over my body so soon. Maybe due to its size, I am yet to feel any symptoms of pregnancy. My mom was like: "What? No morning sickness?" Hehe like amazed. But for the past week, I started to feel tenderness in my breasts, and I was so bloated the whole of yesterday night I couldn't sleep. 

Nowadays things that are normal pain occurrences even start to raise a little red flag inside my head, such as abdominal pain - maybe due to just normal cramps or overeating or what. And I'm also worried that my baby is not getting enough "good" nutrients from me, but as Leo reassured me, my body is able to provide sufficient nutrients to baby for now, just keep swallowing those folic acid pills... 

 Baby, faster grow bigger, daddy and mummy can't wait to see you... *love*

Movie/Drama list (2012 and before)

Movie/Drama list on the main page of my blog is getting too long, so I'm throwing it here as a record.

Movie Rack 2012

  • 怒火街头 2
  • Ted
  • How to Train A Dragon
  • 寒战 (Cold War)
  • Skyfall
  • The Walking Dead (Season 2)
  • American Horror Story (Season 2)
  • American Horror Story (Season 1)
  • Gossip Girl (Season 5)
  • 桃姐
  • 我可能不会爱你
  • 护花危情
  • The Vow
  • 中国好声音 (Season 1)
  • The Secret World of Arietty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ)
  • The Dictator
  • The Woman in Black
  • 心戰
  • Total Recall
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Revenge (Season 1)
  • Desperate Housewives (Final Season)
  • Prometheus
  • Once Upon A Time (Season 1)
  • 拳王
  • Grimm (Season 1)
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • Case 39
  • The Avengers
  • 步步惊心
  • Cabin in the Woods
  • House M.D. (Season 7)
  • Suits (Season 1)
  • Smash (Season 1)
  • Top Chef (Season 5)
  • The Next Three Days
  • 不再让你孤单
  • Atonement
  • 缺宅男女
  • 人约离婚后
  • Underworld
  • 127 Hours
  • 单身男女
  • Gossip Girl (Season 4)
  • Tazza: The High Rollers / 화투 (Korean movie)
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins

Booklist (2013 and before)

Booklist on the main page of my blog is getting too long, so I'm throwing it here as a record.

  • Yōko Ogawa - Hotel Iris
  • Yōko Ogawa - The Diving Pool: Three Novellas
  • EL James - Fifty Shades of Grey
  • 连美恩 - 我,睡了,81个沙发
  • 林冠英 - 槟城在望
  • John Grisham - Ford County
  • Jodi Picoult - Nineteen Minutes
  • Paul Midler - Poorly Made in China
  • Agatha Christie - A Murder Is Announced
  • Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars 2 Flawless
  • 橘子 - 寂寞无上限
  • Arthur Golden - Memoirs of a Geisha (re-read)
  • Mitch Albom - Five People You Meet in Heaven (re-read)
  • Sara Shepard - Pretty Little Liars
  • Stephen King - Different Seasons
  • Tina Wainscott - What Lies in Shadow
  • Sidney Sheldon - Tell Me Your Dreams
  • Nancy Woodruff - My Wife's Affair
  • Imogen Edwards Jones - Fashion Babylon
  • Stephen King - Bag of Bones
  • Stephen King - Full Dark, No Stars
  • J.I. Packer - Knowing God
  • Julia Quinn - What Happens In London Stays in London
  • Steig Larsson - The Girl Who Played With Fire
  • Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now
  • Alain de Botton - On Love
  • John Grisham - The Appeal
  • Sophie Kinsella - The Undomestic Goddess
  • Mary Higgins Clark - Loves Music, Loves to Dance
  • J. K. Rowlings - The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Mary Higgins Clark - On The Street Where You Live
  • Elizabeth Gilbert - Committed
  • 王信智 - 市内光
  • Dan Brown - The Lost Symbol
  • Steig Larsson - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Lonely Planet - Korea
  • John Ortberg - Everybody's Normal Till You Get To Know Them
  • Agatha Christie - Uninvited Stranger
  • Alice Sebold - Lucky
  • Agatha Christie - Sad Cypress
  • Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
  • Yann Martel - Life of Pi
  • Stephen King - Just After Sunset
  • John Grisham - The Associate
  • 九把刀 - 后青春期的诗
  • Andrea Lee - Lost Hearts in Italy
  • 林悦 - 彳亍地平线
  • Khaled Houssini - The Kite Runner
  • Stephen King - Duma Key