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1.1.2013

Happi new year!

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All four of us, we watched the 8 min fireworks display from the master bedroom

Baby in me, qinzhi holding mommy n daddy together

N the colours just right in front

My heart felt so stable n at peace

It was void of other feelings save for gratitude n contentment

As I searched myself for what I wished for in 2013, I couldn’t really get an answer.

What more do I want ?

Nothing actually. I m happy as it is.

Then Qinzhi dearie threw out her hands, reached for the colours n says: catch the fireworks!

Yes yes yes, catch the sparkle in the e-v-e-r-y moments of time.

Be one with the sparkle.

Happi new year my dearies.

May 2013 bring us fresh energies, inspirations, perspectives. May we create new pathways n better ourselves, n there, make good 2013.

May we make effort in the right directions to help ourselves n others.

Happi new year!

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38 weeks

It is 31st Dec n baby is 2.8kg

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Dr Soon says, we will just wait for baby. Mayb he could put on a little more in one two weeks.

🙂

In fact this time I can feel baby preparing to inch out

The tummy hardens n contracts with greater force n frequency

And the cramps/shooting pains/hook like feelings to the vagina area seems to offer a hint

Baby is getting me excited really!

Happy new year dearie!

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2012

My Dear Dearies

It is 30th Dec, in just a bit, 2012 will pass us all by.

I spent the last few days of 2012 while-ing time away, not doing anything in particular, yet
feeling that i needed to do something in particular.

I felt that i needed to go somewhere, when i went out, my heart told me : not here. i did not really need to buy anything more.

Then i realise, the place i want to go to, is just,

HERE.

not outside, but inside.

in touch with my thoughts, just as writing allows me to.

i read a few of my posts on this blog n realised how much i have done.

On Jan 1 2012, i posted this:

“May the new year bring forth shifts in attitudes, new perspectives, new ways of doing things, courage n wisdom.may 2012 bring me a newer me n a newer u. A better world. Haaaaapppi new year!”

And this i did!

i took heart in these words, n ventured to do as i had said, i mastered shifts in attitudes, gathered new perspectives, new ways of doing things, i did it all with more courage n wisdom than i ever had.

2012 brought forth a newer me indeed.

i experienced the transition, the development n an elevation.

how did it all happen? what propelled these changes?

is it awareness?

i felt like in a certain point in time, i did a turn n decided to change the direction in life, with the help of some kind of inner wisdom/awareness.

n that seemingly easy to miss point, consolidated/amassed/brought forth all the changes bit by bit, one by one.

And those changes culminated in the me now.

and so they say, don’t underestimate little changes.

For a little change here n there, makes THE difference.

apart fr words, art helped me alot in 2012 as i was able to express /articulate myself n identify what i really wanted.

it was a newfound friend n freedom

i enjoyed the creative process of translating thoughts to art

if it not were for those 1 hr plus sessions with art teacher yen, i wouldnt b what i m today. in fact, she is one of the most important persons that i have met, she identified for me ME n guided me along the way, sniffing out the ME in me, then, recognising n acknowledging the positive moves i made.

i felt i knew myself better.

i felt i m surer n more confident.as if i have found a position.

2012 brought me another baby as

i felt i m closer to the ME that is inside much more than at the beginning of 2012.

As i read n re-read these quotes:

“You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. The presence of this force will erase your self-doubt and motivate you to give your thoughts and feelings form.”

i had a change of opinion what my muse is,

i thought it were qinzhi or the baby in me, no doubt, they were my muse.

but now, i also think my muse is ultimately me.

Its The ME inside, wanting to make good this lifetime n the time i have, to better me n to better the world around me

i still have uncertainties, fears n worries off n on, in fact at this juncture, just as the year n time transits on n moves on.

What will the new 2013 bring me? What will the new time bring me?

I WILL pray n hope for the best, with all optimism n walk each step with great wisdom n awareness, each time acknowledging the habit that i have sown in me, but as well n more, seeing it as an opportunity to veer myself off this habit each time it arises, creating a new pathway towards goodness.

And in this work, bettering me.

with awareness, i know i can do it.
For that is what i want my children to.

Then i read this:
“Once you have identified your muse, embrace it by giving yourself over to the creative
inspiration it provides. No matter what you are moved to create, you will find that neither fear nor criticism can penetrate the wonderful bliss that goes hand in hand with the act of taking an idea and turning it into something the whole world can enjoy.”

Thank you 2012.
I grew up a lot in the good time u gave me.
And I m grateful eternally, for all the opportunities n kindness you have shown me.

Now I say with pride, that I made good each n every of them to the best of my ability.

If 2012 were for inspirations, 2013 must be for putting those hard earned inspirations into place.

I will carry all the inspirations that I have had with me into 2013, to work towards a better me n into building my family. I will refine the understandings n work towards being stronger, wiser n becoming more aware.

So, Well done, girl.

Keep up the good work! N

All the very best for 2013 n beyond

🙂

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The best quotes i gathered in 2012

Looking back on my own facebook posts n quotes this year brings me alot more inspirations, i looked at the things i posted, n the feelings in them, n i do think i m wise.

on hindsight, i don’t think they are random at all.

n i m pleased with that.

worth a read once every while.

Dec 30:

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“Life really begins when you have discovered that you can do anything you want.” William J Reilly

Dec 18:不一定富裕才富有。

写有感觉有生活的字句。我总是对自己说。

Dec 15:不一定要有自由才会自在

Nov 15:心,不要乱

Nov 14: “每个人来到世间都有一件特定的事要完成,那就是他的目的。如果他没有做那件事,就等于什么事都没有做。” <西藏生死书>

Nov 5:那些感覺就放在一個不起眼的暗角,不生不滅不增不減。某人某事再也不會影響我的生活心情,卻不曾在我生命完全抹掉。我沒有執着地把發生過歸零。—林夕

Nov 1: “If u make a mistake, just tango on”

Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman”

Oct 2: Just received this n I thought, how beautiful!
“Books r the plane, and the train, n the road. They r the destination, and the journey. They r home.”

Sept 20: 维持你的警觉心,但同时要放松.放松到连放松的念头都不执著。

Sept 14: “美不应该只是一种沉重的负担和知识,应该是知识的解脱。”蒋勋

Sept 12: 忘记里面有一种美。最美的时候,是当记得忘记的时候。

Sept 8: 常态又当然的生活。偶可随心所欲。不用抓紧时间。瞄一瞄书,抓几个字。很感激。
Aug 31:舒国治<流浪集>:"偶遇之至乐也。虽仅三两分钟,至珍也。"
华文华语的美总是美的入心入肺。
A surprise gift fr 2 star chef Mario Gamba, which brings to mind how precious a meeting of the minds can be. No matter how fleeting.
Aug 16: I soooooooo love the feeling of walking out of THE office building
Jul 28: 粉嫩,原来是这么一回事。

Jul 13: From a Wise man: ” Don’t forget to make space in your life to recognize the richness of your basic nature, to see the purity of your being and let its innate qualities of love, compassion, and wisdom naturally emerge.”

Jul 6: Worth. Value. Appreciation….. These simply don’t work with figures.

Jul 3: my heart did a little dance

Jul 1: 一切唯心造

Jun 27: There are 2 gifts we should give to our children . One is roots, the other is wings.
Jun 25: a ‘negative path’ to happiness that entails taking a radically different stance towards those things most of us spend our lives trying hard to avoid. This involves learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity and becoming familiar with failure. In order to be truly happy, it turns out, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to stop running quite so hard from them.—Burkeman
Jun 22: 专心的感觉真好。

Jun 21: 路在脚下。
Jun 19: wisdom of the day: let it run its full course.
Jun 15: When you encounter a situation that requires concentration, can you approach it as an opportunity to welcome distractions?
奶妈的粥和菊花茶,是什么时候都最好,的味道!

Jun 10: From someone wise: my advice is to slow down n enjoy this chapter in ur life, before long, u wud hav entered into the nex season.

Jun 6: After sitting for 19 min, observing n trying to observe, I realize: NOW is all that I have, it’s so precious ! Yet we keep trading it for something else!

May 28: 智者:“觉受纷起应如何?觉受起时如是观。”
谢谢智者教诲。
May 11:

And so, Love is loving things that we don’t really like.
May 6: 总是不那么完美的,更有内容。with ref to the pottery i did in bendigo
May 4: What the mind does not ‘mind’, it does not mind – and the body will not feel it.
Apr 1: How true?
“Because it’s only after we stop searching that an answer may arrive”
Dan Dennett: Collected Wisdom on Memes, Luck, Consciousness, and Existence“Every living thing is, from the cosmic perspective, incredibly lucky simply to be alive. Most, 90 percent and more, of all the organisms that have ever lived have died without viable offspring, but not a single one of your ancestors, going back to the dawn of life on Earth, suffered that normal misfortune. You spring from an unbroken line of winners going back millions of generations, and those winners were, in every generation, the luckiest of the lucky, one out of a thousand or even a million. So however unlucky you may be on some occasion today, your presence on the planet testifies to the role luck has played in your past.”

Mar 27: A few more wise words fr another of my favorite chef.

“The more you do to food, the more you take away from it.”

Marco Pierre White

Mar 15: Its a wonder n a great privilege to speak to someone like him! I feel so inspired n it is this that keeps me going. He said to me this :”To cook is to live, I cook everyday to forget about death.” Guy Savoy.
Mar 14: get off the road for long enough… to catch our breath and remember who we are and what we truly want.—–
Mar 11: creativity is subtraction—–Austin Kleon

Mar 10: Stacey kent 的音乐会,空白的和唱唱跳跳的部分成比例。于是,我有了一次接触、欣赏空白的机会。
Mar 7: I realli love these moments that take me to work

Mar 5: The best way to get approval is not to need it.

This is equally true in art and business. And love. And sex. And just about everything else worth having.”. Macleod

Mar 1: 2 teachers who taught me about letting go in a most most unusual unimaginable way. Great to let go this way. Thank u! (on doing the zbNOW rap )

Feb 28: 我们比想象中的,透明。

Feb 27:
梦想的这边,总是有天使护航。And so I learn today: follow ur heart, with all sincerity n earnestly. All the others, they will fall into place. (on amei gg to korea)
One of the intense pleasures of travel is the opportunity to live among people who have not forgotten the old ways, who still feel their past in the wind, touch it in stones polished by rain, recognize its taste in the bitter leaves of plants. Just to know that, in the Amazon, Jaguar shaman still journey beyond the Milky Way, that the myths of the Inuit elders still resonate with meaning, that the Buddhists in Tibet still pursue the breath of the Dharma is to remember the central revelation of anthropology: the idea that the social world in which we live does not exist in some absolute sense, but rather is simply one model of reality, the consequence of one set of intellectual and spiritual choices that our particular cultural lineage made, however successfully, many generations ago.”—-In The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World
Feb 26: Fly high! Tan chew yen
I so want to fly off to b on my own

Feb 21: It is loss of control more than anything else that humbles us and enables us to see the big picture. It reminds us that the key to the universe lies in what we do not know, and what we do know is a small fraction of the great mystery in which we live. ——Dailyom

Feb 15: “When the dough is ready, u need to b ready for it. Wait any longer n the yeast would have died. The dough will then not b strong enough. The product will b flat.” a lesson I learned fr Maxime Holder, CEO, PAUL International
Jan 30: “But if we really understand that our basic nature is already whole, pure, and complete, why do we continue to act as though our level of contentment depends on the size of our paycheck, the quality of our relationships, or on the number of pleasurable experiences we can surround ourselves with.
the answer is quite simple: It’s a bad habit. “. Mingyur Rinpoche
Jan 21: there’ll b a rainbow after the rain 🙂

Jan 19: “where do u stop,as a traveller?as a reader,where do u stop?can u say, I have read enough books….does the world get bigger as u travel or become smaller?” 赖声川

Jan 17: You get your intuition back when you make space for it, when you stop the chattering of the rational mind. The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.” Anne Lammot

Jan 13: ” You will know that you have found your muse when you encounter a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity. ”
And so, have u found ur muse?

Recently I enjoyed saying no. I began to not compromise. To not give in, n in the midst, learn about this preciousness.

Jan 3: But its only by having some distance from the world that u can see it whole, n understand what you should b doing with it. Pico Iyer

Jan 1:
“May the new year bring forth shifts in attitudes, new perspectives, new ways of doing things, courage n wisdom.may 2012 bring me a newer me n a newer u. A better world. Haaaaapppi new year!”

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Penang Hawkers Buffet

I m so glad I brought your daddy to this fare

It’s at York Hotel n three times a year they invite the famous Penang hawkers to cook here

There’s their crispy lor bak
Cuttlefish Kang kong
kway teow soup

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Penang laksa n rojak

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Penang o luak ( egg omelette )n char kway teow

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Penang prawn noodle soup

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Ban Chang Kueh

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The best ban chang kweh I have ever had
Crispy thin n lightness n a salty sweet peanut crunch

Then chendol !

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These r all food of yesteryear
Of Singapore some 20-30 yrs back
Tastes of nostalgia
They r not refined or of especially high quality
But they simply taste close to heart
They r not tastes hotels can replicate
But borne out of the Penang hawkers’ experiences
I love food that way

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Welcoming you, my Boy

Dear baby

It is dec 29, the last sat of 2012.
When r u coming?

Days flew past in the past 40 weeks carrying you

And mommy is 37 weeks n I have put on 18 kg

When I had your sis, 1 put on 21kg
So when r u coming?

I m feeling the practice contractions more n more these days as the tummy hardens with more grasp n strength, with a higher frequency of course

i c u r eager as well

This gets me excited, as well, I m a bit at a loss.
I knew what to expect , as well, I don’t .
Do come with great ease n in safety 🙂
Make it easy for mommy!

As i expect u, i was looking a lot at how much qinzhi has grown, I sometimes feel surreal. I cannot believe looking at this fine young lady, that I have her as a daughter.

And now a son.

I m full of gratitude

Yet

It’s so surreal.

I still remember how it was at the beginning

The first day of my last period was apr 7, 2012.

Thereafter, I had u with me.

I was excited n tense at the same time in the beginning

I still remembered taking the pregnancy test at home with a stick one morning n u showed up with two lines

I left the pregnancy test kit in the bathroom so daddy could c it when he woke up

And he said: “congratulations!”

We tried for u for a few months before seeing that 2 strips on the test kit.

That was how we began this ten month journey.

A few weeks later, I developed a red “mask” surrounding my nose n all the way to the lower lip

I was worried about my health

I was nausea a lot more than when I had your sis

I had bleeding gums n they bled as n when they liked

I had alot more tummy upsets

The worse,
I had piles all the way till now
I felt fearful each time I wanted to poo
It was painful

But I reminded myself to “enjoy the pregnancy” each time I worried
Those were daddy’s advice, I wasn’t able to do this when I had your sis bcoz I was way too tensed up, not knowing what to expect

This time, the experiences felt blurry, I knew something, at the same time, I knew not

I guess it’s all in the mind, it’s the attitude that counts,
And I began to pick myself slowly

I began to b aware but not dwell in those

I felt happier recognizing n not dwelling
It wasn’t easy though

And I feel myself enjoying this pregnancy more, n more n more
Your aggressive kicks even till now, u responded v much to loud noises fr the tv, Mozart

You kept me v warm esp my two hands n legs.
They were brimming with warmth n the pure sweet energy of life

We ate v well in the ten months

Birds nest
Popo made us black herbal chicken
A hui yiyi cooked lor bak with sea cucumber
During my rest days, I cooked scrambled eggs n tomatoes, we ate lotsa good breads n I cooked risottos

At the newest n best restaurants in Singapore

Mommy writes for lianhe zaobao n I review restaurants n write gourmet features

We ate at Jaan at Equinox
Michelin 2star chef Jason Atherthon’s Pollen
We ate when Michelin 3 star chef Alain Passard, Italian 1star chef Mario Musoni were here

We ate at all the top hotels’ Chinese restaurants n had all the delicacies one would have once in a while, but we had them everyday in late nov n dec when the hotels were sharing their Chinese New Year menu

As the year passes us by, our preparations to welcome you became more intense

Buying the sterilizer, baby detergent n the things that u will need

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bringing out the milk bottles n having them washed

Washing the cotton nappies n your clothes, used by your jiejie
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these r some clothes gengyan jiujiu brought in London

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That day, I met a respected old colleague who is in the same newsroom as me, but we never spoke to each other

He saw me n said : giving birth! What an accomplishment !

吴启基:"生孩子,真有成就感!年轻的时候多生!"

Another colleague who taught me about the coarseness in life said this.

谢裕民:”把你人生最精华的十年给你的孩子。想想,当初为什么要带他们下来?小孩子需要父母的时间其实很短的。”

These words touched me at that moment! N now as I m writing

I guess because I m aware, I could feel the depth of its meaning. It’s tinkle n jingle .

It puts into perspectives what really mattered in life.

You r v special to me because I wanted u a lot

I have always wanted another baby to accompany qinzhi, to protect her n b with her

But not that, I just wanted another baby. So I just WANT.

And having experienced you this way, u inspire me to want to have one more.

You came along after 3 plus years

After mommy went thru a period of emotional cleansing n settled myself with surer thoughts of myself, life n what I want with my life

You embody all these as you grow with me

I hope you will grow up wise n enlightened n b a great inspiration to yourself n to others

B A light upon others.

I was asking daddy this yesterday :”so can i quit after maternity leave?”

daddy says:” Up to u”

and i felt what a luxury.

up to me, as i wish, as i want it to be.

And i replied in somewhat choking voice: “if i were able to realise that, it would have been a gift to myself.”

Actually I know nothing about taking care of babies
Even if i have had qinzhi
It was Ah hui yiyi n popo who have been taking care of her

In fact, I have even forgotten about breast feeding n warming milk

I do not know how I m going to handle qinzhi n u
But I sort of feel happy starting like a fresh piece of white

I guess it’s that I m ready n comfortable with myself

🙂

And I know, u will guide me, much like ur sis.

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How to be Happy

By Tommy Koh

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My dearies,

You wouldn’t imagine that mommy—-yes, me have had the chance to sit n eat with Prof Tommy Koh in hawker centers n restaurants.

He is ambassador at large with the ministry of foreign affairs Singapore . We ate together more than once as we were both judges for Singapore Hawker Masters, when we went round Singapore looking for the best bak chor mee, yong tau foo, carrot cake etc.

He was always warm n friendly n would ask about how I was doing.

In this writeup, he was responding to a poll which said that Singaporeans r a dissatisfied lot.

He mentioned ten rules to work towards a happy person, amongst them

Find a job u love
B positive optimistic n kind
Treasure ur frens
Exercise regularly
Enjoy eating but healthily n avoid gluttony
B a volunteer n support philanthropy
Read books n listen to music
Take pleasure in the little things in life
Don’t envy others

The one that called out to me most, is the one I above