December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010

And so here we are on the very last day of's been a tumultuous year economy-wise but it looks like recovery is on track. It was a historic year, with the inauguration of the first black US president and it was a shocking year in entertainment, with the sudden death of Michael Jackson and the infidelities of Tiger Woods coming to light.

On the work front, it was the year I changed portfolio to marketing and got to travel for work. On the personal front, I fulfilled a lifetime desire to visit Greece, made a baby and observed Nat's second year of life.

She's grown so much in the last 12 months, already I get misty-eyed thinking of her as an adult and getting married and leaving home etc but that's still a long way off!

We didn't do much all day, I brought her down to the playground in the morning and she played on her slide in the afternoon.

In the evening we headed to town, which was surprisingly quiet in my book. We had tea at Borders Cafe and fed Nat her dinner there but she refused to sit in the high chair. I ordered some bruschetta but it was not lemony enough for me.

Shopped at Isetan a bit, where I was 'forced' to buy Nat a toy fish after she tore the packaging.

Had a simple dinner of mee siam at Membina before coming home to have a quiet countdown. Actually we were supposed to babysit Gigi while her parents went out but she started screaming once she got to our house and the Dopes had to come back for her. Nat knew there was going to be fireworks at Mount Faber and we tried to let her stay up for them, but in the end she crashed at 11pm.

Have decided not to make any resolutions for next year because I know I won't adhere to them. 2010 is going to be interesting what with a new baby and all, can't wait to meet Natasha Sonali Lim!

Yes, that's the name for now after much deliberation but it could still change once she's out! I think Sonali's more or less confirmed, it means 'golden' but Natasha doesn't have any Greek origin which was what I would prefer so we could still revert back to Nikita, Nicola, Nicolette or Nora depending on what she looks like.

PS: The fireworks at Mount Faber was sucky, really low budget this year. We could see the tops of explosions from Sentosa and Labrador Park too but they didn't shoot them high anti-climatic...lucky Nat didn't stay up!

December 30, 2009

Pot luck reunion

The SingTel alumni (except Crispian who still works there!) gathered at Desmond and Chen Tze's house earlier this evening for a pot luck pre-New Year party. I contributed chicken curry, and there was shepherd's pie, chicken wings, otah, beef stew, pizza, donuts, potato salad etc.

Nat got to hook up with Cameron again and promptly raided his toy box. He was good natured about it, such a 'kwai' little boy.

It was fun seeing everyone, though I didn't get to chat much having to keep an eye on Nat. Juliana brought her 5-year old niece and had to entertain her too so it was mostly the men who mingled!

Michael had good news to share, he'll be a daddy in the second half of 2010...that makes his the 13th or 14th baby I know due next year!

Baby Tristan woke up midway through the party and joined us in his rocker. Nat kept kissing him, though I tried to stop her...she loves babies! I really do think she's gonna be an awesome big sister, especially after having Gigi around.

Jeannie took a nice family photo of us, I love it! Notice the hair? Got it re-done on Monday after a lousy cheapo haircut before Xmas....ah, the difference between a $16 and a $60 one.

December 29, 2009

Yellow Christmas Tree

Nat loves this Christmas tree at ViVo which we can see part of from our balcony we brought her for one final look before the Christmas decorations are taken down. At the beginning of the month, she called Christmas trees 'key key key' but now she can say 'kiss mass twee'. This one is 'yellow kiss mass twee' to her.

I don't have to work from Thursday onwards...start of a 4-day weekend. This past month has been bliss, we really got to spend a fair bit of time with Nat whilst on leave and come January it's back to the daily grind. Will make it up to her during maternity leave...

December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

When Nat woke up on Christmas morning, she was in for a treat as she got to open all her presents. I bought her some plastic fruits and vegetables, plus a Winnie the Pooh recliner chair from Toys R Us which she's quite comfy. But the highlight was a slide I bought at the last minute, also from Toys R Us.

At first she didn't want to go on it but now she can't get enough!

She gave her daddy some handkerchiefs as a pressie and he was also rewarded with a big kiss.

Went for mass at Christ the King and then had an early lunch with Mildred at Crystal Jade before heading to the Jayanandans' for lunch part 2.

It was baby central, what with Riley, Ananya, Nat and Gigi and we even got a '3 men and a baby' pose courtesy of Kevin, Siva and Kumar.

Dinner was at Toh Yi with the Gomez family and Nat and Gigi entertained all the adults with their antics. At one point, they spun round and round on Ann's study chair, cheap thrill!

Today I went to Ethan's 1st month party, hitching a ride with Adrian and Rena since Nat was under the weather.

Jane seems to have lost more weight from 2 weeks ago and it was so funny to see her so motherly and fussing over the baby when he cried at one point. Poor thing had his hair and eyebrows shaved, am sure they'll grow back in no time. Food was catered from Mum's Kitchen, you can count on the food being nice...I had 3 rounds!

December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve dinner

Christmas Eve dinner this year was at Amah's house.

Once again Nat and I wore matching outfits courtesy of Old Navy, and I contributed a prawn and mango salad for our appetizer. Ben and Wendy made beef stew and chicken shepherd's pie and I bought an Amer cake from Bakerzin for dessert.

As usual there was too much food because Mildred prepared some extra dishes like corn soup, chicken sausages and fried fish fillets plus cocktail jelly and fruits.

Nat got a tad bit hyper because I let her try some of my ice cream and she had some of the sponge bits from the chocolate cake. Check out her gleeful smile after some ice cream!

December 23, 2009

All the fishes are swimming in the water...

Went to Underwater World today with Nat, she was mesmerized by the numerous fish she saw. There was a promotion for locals, so we paid 30% less on the admission but it's not a very big place so we were done within an hour.

It was fun pointing out the marine life she had only seen in flashcards previously, stuff like sharks, sea jellies, seahorses, sea turtles, eels, leafy seadragons, octopus, dolphins and stingrays. Speaking of stingrays, all I could think about was barbecuing one of those suckers with sambal...

Before we left, we went to see the pink dolphins in their new enclosure. There'll be a show from January onwards, but for now they were just swimming around in circles.

Ask Nat now how big were the fish and she'll hold up her hands wide apart and say 'So big!'

December 22, 2009

Nat's first boat ride

Brought the munchkin out for a river taxi ride this morning, her first time on a boat. Before leaving the house though, my klutzy daughter hit her mouth on the dining table, resulting in a bitten lip. There was a tiny bit of blood, but Nick decided to stop the bleeding with a sugar-coated jelly lollipop! Naturally Nat refused to let go of the thing after getting a taste but I threw it away after letting her have one bite.

We parked at Clarke Quay and paid $6 per adult adult to go from Liang Court to One Fullerton. The ride was about 10 mins or so, and Nat seemed excited.

I was like a tourist snapping away at all the buildings and skyline, plus of Nat too but she would never pose or smile for me!

We paused for a drink and muffin at the Starbucks at One Fullerton, Nat couldn't get enough of my orange juice, kept saying, "I want some more, I want some more."

Soon enough we were taking the boat back to Clarke Quay. A British lady commented she loved Nat's top, especially the print. Nat has the same print as a swimsuit too...thanks to Baby Gap!

From Clarke Quay, we headed to Nick's office for a Christmas party organised by the Insight folks. Nat took a while to warm up but pretty soon was roaming all over the office. She received some pressies, mostly sweets and chocolates - guess who's gonna end up eating them?

December 21, 2009

Definitely Girl

Went for my 24-week scan today with Nick and the munchkin and Arlyn - who found Dr Siow handsome!

This time Nat didn't cry upon seeing the doctor but instead amused him by saying 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed!', as that's what the doctor says in her current favourite nursery rhyme.

Everything appeared fine on the scan, Nike was sleeping I think but you could make out her face...looks a bit like Gigi! And looks on the chubby side to me! I made the doctor reconfirm the sex after a couple of people told me of scans showing up the wrong sex and it was definitely girl.

I've put on about 4kgs now and can't see my feet when standing anymore. The stomach is definitely bigger than the last time, must be all the brownies I've been consuming in the last couple of weeks! I really should try to eat more healthily, I owe it to Nike.

Joanne gave me a book called 'Skinny Bitch - Bun in the Oven' and it really opened my eyes about all the junk we consume, thanks to the straight-talking authors. I know we shouldn't believe everything we read but there were some arguments raised that seem to make sense and facts and quotes about ingredients shadily approved by the US FDA.

I knew that aspartame was bad but the book put into perspective just how bad. Plus, I'm apparently not missing out on much by not drinking milk, which actually speeds up bone deterioration instead of aiding it. According to the authors, we don't need milk...or rather there are other sources of calcium which are better for us. Humans are the only species that drink the milk of another species, plus other animals don't feed their offspring milk when they're no longer babies so why should we? Think about it.

Went to explore 313 Somerset after the appointment, bought a top and some belts from Forever 21. I like 313!

There was a free photo-taking session with Santa Claus sponsored by Canon and Nat said she wanted to meet Santa, but froze when presented to him! We took a photo nonetheless and then had lunch at Food Republic. Recognised some SingTel folks at the food court and we bumped into Stephen Tan from SES. He's aged...but then again, so have we!

December 20, 2009

Nat meets Elmo

The bubbas have been so into Elmo of late so on Friday we brought them to the Sesame Street show at Centrepoint.

Nat loved it but unfortunately she didn't really have a good view but it didn't matter because the next day, she was back there again, this time with Ben and Wendy. They had offered to babysit her for us, while we fulfilled a dim sum lunch appointment Nick had with an industry colleague.

Lunch was at Wah Lok at Carlton Hotel, it was my first time there but I must say the food was good. Loved the charsiew polo buns and our host was kind enough to order a box for us to take away. Suffice it to say, will be back there for dim sum soon!

Met up with Ben and Wendy after our lunch and we had tea at Robertson Walk. Nat missed her afternoon nap and was super hyper all evening, talking gibberish and roaming all over the house like an Energizer bunny. She crashed 1 hour earlier than her regular bedtime and was still lethargic today.

Went for mass at the cathedral, think we will be there more often now after the mass timings at St Joseph's changed. Saw the archbishop, it was like seeing a celebrity. The choir was pretty grand too, and the music arrangements transported me to different countries each time a hymn was sung. There was a hula-sounding hymn, a tango-y one and another that sounded very National Day-ish.

After mass we ended up at Suntec. Shopped at Carrefour a bit before having lunch at Qiji, it was so nice and quiet and you can depend on the food being nice.

Dinner was at AMK again, where my clumsy daughter slipped and hit her eye on the wooden arm of the old-fashioned sofa. She wailed of course and Mildred panicked and started giving her pinches of sugar. If I hadn't insisted on stopping after the second pinch, I think Nat could have very well ended up with a teaspoonful of sugar in her system!

We iced her eye to reduce the swelling but there's definitely going to be a bruise either above or below her eyelid. Sigh, it was a close call - she could have seriously damaged her eye. I shudder to think about it!

December 17, 2009

Countdown to Xmas

Today was the start of my leave, don't have to work till after Christmas...yay!

Went to Vivo in the morning with Nat and Arlyn but we didn't have time to walk around much before it was time to meet Nick for lunch. Took a cab to his office and showed Nat off to some of his colleagues before we had lunch at Han's.

She loves wearing her sunglasses now even though they're too big for her!

In the evening I met some of my colleagues for a pre-Christmas dinner at The White Rabbit in Dempsey. We never socialize outside of work so the get-together was a good step towards changing the culture in the office.

I had a white sangria, it was yum and for my appetiser, I tried the lobster chowder (a tad salty, but love the crunch). Main course was the wild mushroom risotto, which was nice too but I was actually already full before it arrived, having helped myself to generous portions of their mac and cheese and mashed potato which we ordered as sides, plus 2 bread rolls! Still managed to finish everything though and try a little of the 3 desserts we shared - warm chocolate cake, creme brulee and carrot cake.

Towards the end, my colleague's sister and her husband joined us. They were down from Paris and coincidentally she is friends with a guy who tried to pick me up once in bar ages ago - saw him on my colleague's friends list on Facebook! Small world!