January 30, 2008

My husband's famous!

Ha ha, Nick was featured in today's Straits Times Mind Your Body supplement, full back page! There was a trailer ad in yesterday's main papers that some of my friends already spotted and today more people were smsing and emailing after reading the article. He's famous!

It's quite amusing, there was a question about how he typically ends his day and he included a line about finding out how his wife's day went. It's not like he actively asks me how my day goes...more like I volunteer the information and fill him in because he's always so quiet!

BTW, he was also featured in the Jan08 issue of August Man, with an article contribution about Paris.

January 28, 2008

The countdown begins

Another week closer to meeting Nutty! As of tomorrow, I will be 37 weeks and that's considered full term so anytime she decides to make an appearance now, she won't be premmie.

Went for a routine check this morning and did some CTG scan that monitors the baby's heartbeat and contractions if any, for 30 mins. The attending nurse forgot all about me and left me hooked to the machines for 45 mins! Anyways, all's good with Nutty's heartrate and apparently I had a mild contraction during the test...didn't feel a thing though! The doc checked the baby's head position and said my cervix has started to dilate...he predicted I could pop anytime in the next two weeks...am still holding out for a Rat baby!

Couldn't sleep much last night, was feeling hot plus I don't think the afternoon nap yesterday helped much, resulting in a very sleepy me this morning. At least the Screen Actors Guild Awards was on and I got to watch the red carpet arrivals 'live' before heading to KK. Angelina Jolie definitely looks preggers!

Hollywood seems to be having a baby boom this year. Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie already gave birth earlier this month, Halle Berry looks due soon. JLo, Jessica Alba, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett are also all with child! Our kids will all be the same age!

Speaking of same-aged kids, one of my best friends just found out she's with child so stay tuned here for updates! Am so HAPPY for her and we'll have so much FUN!!!! You know who you are...

BTW, I went back to the kids clothes warehouse sale on Saturday and spent another bomb on clothes for Nutty...all the outfits are soooo cute, she'll be nicely dressed even at home!

January 24, 2008

A wardrobe to rival mine

Natalie isn't even out yet and already she's competing with me for closet space!

Her collection grew today after I popped by a warehouse sale by a garment manufacturer in Tampines. They had children's clothes from Osh Kosh and Carters and everything was under $1o! In fact, most were like $5 per piece or 3 for $10, 2 for $10, 5 for $10 etc. I spent $100 on 34 items but am not all that satisfied because I was alone and my hands got full fast and I couldn't browse properly! Have to go back!!!

BTW, one more dish to tick off my list - had my carrot cake from Chomp Chomp yesterday. And I found the bak kwa stall I had been meaning to check out, New Eastern at Serangoon Gardens. Tried their bak kwa once at Sports Council when my boss Marilyn brought a box. Liked the thin-ness of the slices and the burnt bits and thought of buying for CNY this year. Bought some to sample again last night and it was enough to satisfy my bak kwa craving. Don't think I need a whole box anymore!

January 22, 2008

Natalie at 36 weeks

Yesterday we went to KK for a routine check-up and everything's progressing normally according to Dr Siow. He managed to get a face shot of Nutty, at first I couldn't make it out but the longer you stare at the printout, the more it makes sense. One of her hands was covering her left eye, but you can roughly make out it's a face. And she looks like she's smiling. Can you see?

I think she looks quite dainty, Swana says she's got chubby cheeks and is already calling her Theodore, from Alvin & The Chipmunks!

Yesterday, we paid the deposit for the hospital package and made a booking based on the estimated due date. It's all starting to feel so adult, can't believe we'll be parents in a few weeks! Even my 'push present' is all picked out and paid for. Spotted a ring at Cupid Jewels that was quite symbolic and managed to psycho Nick to get it for me. Collected it yesterday and passed it back to Nick...told him to present it to me at the hospital. Too much right? Ha ha!

Pregnancy - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

As I start counting down to D-Day, I've been reflecting on what I've gone through for the last 8.5 months.

Overall, I must say I've had it pretty good. I was lucky not to suffer morning sickness, I didn't put on all that much weight, my nose didn't swell, my skin didn't break out, I didn't have weird cravings, I wasn't irritable etc etc. Some people said I looked radiant, others called me 'yummy mummy'. I still made an effort to dress up, I ate what I wanted and even managed to go on a couple of holidays.

There were some downsides, like losing sleep and getting stretchmarks but overall it was a mainly positive experience...one can only hope the labour experience is similar. But who am I kidding? I know that's gonna be a torturous! And the aftercare? I will probably wish I could stuff the baby back in me!

Anyways, just thought I'd record down the experience so far, so that Nutty knows what it was like, plus in case I forget!

The Good (what I liked about being pregnant)
- No morning sickness
- No swollen nose
- Only 10+kgs gained so far
- No skin breakouts
- No weird cravings
- Hormones behaved
- Pigged out and didn't have to worry about the weight
- Got a new wardrobe for me
- Being rewarded with a push present
- Someone else did the housework
- No periods
- Attentive husband
- Shopping for baby outfits

The Bad (the things that sucked)
- Waking up to pee in the middle of the night
- Which led to sleep deprivation
- Having to sleep on my side
- Occasional breathlessness
- Nosebleeds
- Leg cramps
- No alcohol
- A brief bout of acid reflux and indigestion
- Puking twice: once from overeating, and once from indigestion
- Food tasting bland in the first few weeks

The Ugly (I'm so shallow)
- Stretch marks
- Varicose and spider veins
- Uncoloured hair
- People not giving up their seats on buses and trains

If I had to pinpoint a craving, I must say I developed a weakness for ice cream and cakes. There were moments when I HAD to have a blueberry cheesecake, strawberry shortcake or hot fudge sundae. But I didn't have to have them at a particular moment, I could hold out a couple of days. I didn't have to wake Nick up in the middle of the night for char kway teow or anything, he got it easy! But I did get hungry very often, I was like a bottomless pit, eating every 2 hours!

I did make him go Rochor Beancurd a number of times, but only because I don't drink milk and wanted fresh soya as a calcium substitute to aid Nutty's growth. Lately though, I've been dictating where we eat so that I can check off the list of sinful dishes I have to pig out on before I pop.

Yesterday, we met the Dopes and the Babes at Founder Bak Kut Teh after our KK check-up. Been meaning to introduce them to that place and we finally made it. They were quite impressed! Another 10 dishes to go I think...I forgot I had the Hock Lam Beef Noodles last week!

January 21, 2008

A lovely weekend

Last week I sent Nick a list of dishes I wanted to eat before I pop, and I'm running out of time to enjoy them! Was all set to have nasi ayam penyet at Changi Village last Friday since we were going to Ajen and Vim's new house in Pasir Ris, but after we picked up the Dopes, we were all too hungry to sit through the 30 min car ride and decided to eat at Tiong Bahru market instead. Luckily my favourite Hokkien mee stall, Hong Heng, was open so that was one dish down, another 11 to go! Here's the sinful dozen:

1) Ampang Yong Tau Fu
2) Punggol Nasi Lemak
3) Hong Lim Crayfish Hor Fun
4) Lau Di Fang Curry Rice @ Jln Besar
5) Char Tow Kway at Chomp Chomp
6) Hong Heng Fried Sotong Mee
7) Mellben butter crab
8) Cuppage S11 wanton mee
9) Founder Bak Kut Teh
10) Marine Parade Char Kway Teow
11) Changi Village Ayam Penyet
12) AMK Mee Siam
13) Hock Lam Beef Noodles

Anyways, after dinner, we made our way to Pasir Ris to check out Ajen and Vim's new place and also congratulate them on their ROM, which had taken place that afternoon, 18.01.08 or 1818 (nice number for 4D!). Their new house is lovely, resort-ish but still modern. Loved the tinted mirrors and the granite counters and the loos were all dark and sleek. We didn't stay late, all of us were tired and Kevin had work the next day so we were outta there by midnight.

The next day we had a relatively full programme. Swana needed to go to the Phillips showroom at Toa Payoh, so 3 of us headed north then had lunch at the HDB hub. After that, we had a quick nap before it was time to visit the aunts and Ata at Sengkang.

It was Aunty Susie's birthday and Aunty Sarda prepared tea while Swana contributed doughnuts. Me and Nick left early to attend mass at St Anne's, where I introduced Isaac to Natalie. Thereafter, we headed to Ben's place where some of Nick's relatives were gathered to have dinner with Daniel, his cousin from Darwin. Some of us played Blackjack and In Between after dinner and Nick had bad luck, losing almost $30 bucks, most of it to his mom! Here's a pix of us with Daniel!

On Sunday morning, I had a treat in store for Nick. I know he loves his breakfasts, and we hadn't been anywhere fancy for a while so I made a reservation for us to have brunch at Mimolette, a restaurant in Bukit Timah that was located within a saddle club. I was quite excited cos' I read we would see horses walking around and I wasn't disappointed.

We were seated indoors originally but changed to outdoors. The weather was nice, not too hot and thankfully it didn't rain. I ordered the Croque Monsieur and a scone, and Nick had the Corn Beef Hash, they were all yummy! It was nice to have that couple-time, even if only for a few hours. Nick really liked the place and I think we will be back soon.

In the afternoon, it was time for footy. Once again, while the boys huffed and puffed, the WAGs headed to Burger King. We had a little king in our midst though, courtesy of one of the players Alvin, who brought his 4 year old son TJ. He was so shy and well-behaved and all the 'aunties' fawned over him. After the game, some of us headed to a place called Beach Hut for a drink, and then later that evening, we had dinner with John and the Dopes at Great World City. And in the blink of an eye, another weekend was gone....

January 14, 2008

35 weeks and counting...

Natalie is squirming in my tummy as I type, sometimes I can feel a limb 'swimming' across or sticking out from the side of my stomach...really reminds me of Aliens the movie, like at any moment, something will just pop out of my middle section! My belly button is stretched to the limit, I don't know how it can possibly stretch some more. It's getting to the point now where I can't wait to offload the cargo, wish the belly button could function like an eject button. Just press and out baby comes!

With only 5 weeks or so left, am cramming all my social activities and meeting up with different groups of friends after work. Joanne's in town and last week we met up to get her evening gown done and on Thursday I had dinner with Adrienne. Friday, I caught up with my Sports Council ex-colleagues plus some from the Alumni, and we had dinner at Amirah's Grill in Pahang Street, then adjourned to Timbre @ The Arts House for drinks.

That was the start of my Timbre-ish weekend, because the following day, Nick, me, Swana and Kevin went to Timbre @ Substation for dinner. We were joined by our niece Anjali who's also in town, and as the evening progressed we added more friends to our table.

Later in the evening, Nick firmed up a footie session for the next day, so all the guys were psyched. We managed to sleep in on Sunday a little, having attended mass the day before and I even made Nickypoo paint my toes before we left the house, I can't reach them anymore!

The Timbre-ish weekend continued because the co-owners Danny and Edward were among the footie players at the indoor courts at East Coast. Caryn, Edward's gal was there too and so was Winnie, Kavitah and Swana so us WAGS left the boys to play and cooled off at Burger King with Winnie's two tots, Mikey and Madison before checking out the beach.

It was a lovely weekend, not sure how many more of these I will get to enjoy. Am off to meet Joanne, Adri and Susan for dinner this evening and tomorrow, am meeting Joanne again along with the other bridesmaids. Wednesday is dinner with Jane, Germaine and Rena and Thursday is dinner with some SingTel folks! Phew, I hope all this running around doesn't bump up my due date!

BTW, the cot and playpen were delivered last Saturday too, the house is starting to resemble a children's department! And we've finally packed our respective hospital kits too, so from now till 19 Feb, we are ready should Nutty decide to surprise us early!

January 10, 2008

Freaking out

Yikes, D-Day is just under 6 weeks away and I'm starting to panic. So many things are not done yet, and I only have a few precious weeks of couple-life left...after that, our lives will be forever changed.

On one hand, I can't wait to meet Natalie, am dying to know what she looks like. But on the other hand, I'm terrified of the actual labour and delivery. Back in the early days, it all seemed so far away, but as we lead up to D-Day, reality is starting to set in.

Little Ms Low-Pain-Threshold a.k.a me thought that I could somehow manage without the drugs or painkillers...but I think I shall not attempt to be a 'hero'. I can't even stand normal cramps, don't know what made me think I could withstand that pain magnified by a 100? So I will opt for the epidural methinks, even though I have fears of flinching while it's being administered and becoming paralysed! Touchwood.

In the past few weeks, we've been shopping around for things and stocking up on essentials. On Saturday, the crib will be delivered, along with the Graco playpen sponsored by Swana and Kevin. However, Natalie's room is still a mess and being used as a storeroom currently. I figure she'll be in our room for the first few months hence no real hurry. I can slowly do up her room during my 12-week maternity leave. I'm thinking multi-coloured pastel walls and a built-in wardrobe on one wall, and moving the study table and laptop to my purple room...

Nick has also been talking about packing the hospital kit for the past week, but we haven't gotten down to it yet. He's also been bugging me to wake up early so we can go to work together, he's concerned about discomfort to me walking out to the bus-stop and standing on buses, or going into labour suddenly. We tried it a couple of times this week, but both times, the 196 bus I needed to take was jam-packed and I ended up being late anyway since there was no space to board and I had to wait for the next bus. So looks like we have to revert to leaving home at different times.

But all these worries and insecurities are nothing compared to the thought of being responsible for another life, for the rest of my life. What kind of mother will I be? I keep saying she's gonna be very deprived with no TV, sweets, junk food etc but will I succumb and spoil her?

I don't want a spoilt brat, is it too much to ask for a well-balanced, well-adjusted, streetsmart, non-whiny, intelligent, healthy, sporty, feminine, morally upright, disciplined, confident, independent, respectful, witty, good-looking and sociable daughter? Someone who can kick a ball with the best of them, yet colour co-ordinate her wardrobe?

I guess it will all boil down to how we raise her, the values and morals we impart and the education and support she receives. Children are like sponges so we're gonna have to be very mindful of what we say and do around her so as to set the right examples.

I hope all goes OK with the delivery and that she's born healthy with everything intact and in working order. Everytime she squirms in my stomach it's uncomfortable, yet comforting at the same time. To know that she's alive and kicking and hiccuping, never mind the pressure on the pelvis or the displacement of my organs!

Even though the pregnancy has been pretty easy with minimal discomforts, I've already decided to reward myself with some bling by July. Have hinted to Nick about a push present - you know, where fathers reward their wives for carrying their child for 9 months and going through hours of labour etc - but I'm not holding my breath. He's too practical to spend on jewellery when we have an extra mouth to feed but I think I deserve a treat still...so trilogy ring, here I come!

It's supposed to represent past, present and future so I guess it will be pretty symbolic. Past would be my singleton self, present would be my status as wife and mother, and the future is Natalie. Plus anyway, I hit the big 3-0 this year, so 3 diamonds for 3 decades! See, all planned already! Can't wait till July!

January 7, 2008

Another par-tay!

Last Saturday, Nick and I hosted another party at home. It was a Krabi reunion of sorts, plus we also had the St Mary's gang over along with some cousins and childhood friends like Sham and Sherene.

We decided to go with homecooked food for this party and preparations started early. Actually, that morning we were supposed to attend a brunch at one of his friend's houses but I was feeling under the weather with a sorethroat and cough so he went ahead.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I started on some of the food preparations. I baked a batch of Brazil nut fudge brownies and chopped all the ingredients for the Shepherd's Pie and vegetarian pasta I was making for dinner. The rest of the food i.e. chicken curry and roti jala, plus mee goreng was catered from Kim's Kitchen, a.k.a mummy! The guests were raving about the curry!

Swana, Kevin, Kavi and Siva came at about 6 pm and Monica arrived with Raiden soon after. The rest of the guests started streaming in after 7.30 pm and the party was in full swing by 9 pm.

Raiden was so well-behaved and smiley and Sham practiced her babysitting skills on him, including feeding and burping...I know who to call when I need a babysitter for Nutty in future!

Coincidentally, the day before was Monica's birthday and the day after was Rachel's, so at midnight, the birthday gals cut a chocolate and banana cake that Swana had bought from Cedele.

As the night progressed, we played card games and John put in an appearance after attending a childhood friend's wedding. Us girls and him played In Between, while some of the guys played Texas Hold 'Em Poker, with chips and all, courtesy of Miguel. In the end, I made about $10 bucks...quite pleased with that!

I had a freak show moment when Nutty started swimming around violently in my stomach and everybody in the game paused to observe.

And I had a good laugh when Merianne and Monica asked for the secret recipe to my brownies...because I used an instant mix, just added my own nuts. Someone had told me not to let on that they were instant, but I couldn't take credit for something I did not make from scratch...so I kept the suspense and pulled them into my room and asked, "You really want to know?" Then I teasingly said, "The secret is....the secret is....Betty Crocker!" They were surprised instant tasted so good.

Anyways, the party finally ended about 3 am, I was pooped but it was an enjoyable evening. Me and Nick managed to take a picture with our Xmas tree, we took it down the following day.

The house is great for entertaining and I'm looking forward to many more parties although with a baby in the house, it's gonna be a challenge. All the upcoming parties will probably be for her anyway...although I hit the big 3-0 this year...any excuse to party!

Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

12 Russet Burbank potatoes, peeled and cut into half
2 tsp of salt
150 ml of milk
10 tbsp of butter
120 gm of grated tasty cheddar cheese
750 gm minced beef
1 small carrot, diced into cubes
1 packet of button mushrooms, chopped
½ a large white or yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp of green peas
1 tsp of ground black pepper
3 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of ketchup
2 tbsp of tomato paste
2 tbsp of dark soya sauce

  1. Boil the potatoes in a large pot with 1 tsp of salt until tender. (Approx 20-25 mins)

  2. While the potatoes are boiling, melt 4 tbsp of butter in a large frying pan and sauté onions and carrots. When the onions have softened, add the mushrooms and peas.

  3. Next add the minced beef and stir until the meat is no longer pink. Add the pepper, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, tomato paste and dark soya sauce and cook over low heat for 10 mins.

  4. Drain the boiled potatoes and add 1 tsp of salt, 6 tbsp of butter and 150 ml of milk and mash until not lumpy.

  5. Place cooked beef in a 9” x 13” deep baking tray and top up with the mashed potatoes.

  6. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the mashed potato and bake in an oven at 200ºC for about 20 mins or until cheese has melted and browned.

    Makes one 9” x 13” deep tray, serves 12

January 2, 2008

New Year's Day 2008

Tis' the season for parties and there have been a couple at the Lim residence these last few days. Ever since we got our furniture, we've been doing mini housewarmings and gatherings, starting with Xmas eve dinner with the immediate family, and last Saturday's lunch and tea for Nick's colleagues, travel industry acquaintances and childhood friends.

New Year's Eve was a quite affair at home, we both had colds but he had to attend a Northwest CDC countdown party first so he went for a while but made it back before midnight. My folks came over before 12am, so did Baskar and his family and we watched the fireworks at Mt Faber from the balcony. I love fireworks!

Yesterday, we had both extended families over for yet another party. This time a housewarming cum birthday celebration for our two mums. Yes, isn't it freaky that my mum and his mum share the same birthday? They're two years apart though...

Lunch was catered from Angeli's, the same caterer we used for our wedding almost 5 years ago, food was still pretty good. My niece Riley was there, all of us were fawning over her, she's so adorable!!! Her hair is really spikey and stubborn, we've nicknamed her Kramer!

Cousins Nicholas and Nicole hung around till the end, and the elder cousins plus Sham played Indian Poker and Heart Attack to entertain them. Nick and Kevin are such kids at heart! It was a long and busy day, but am glad everyone enjoyed themselves... looking forward to the next 'do' this Saturday!