August 31, 2010

Going the distance

Of late, I have been getting disturbing news of marriages breaking down which leaves me to wonder, does nobody hold wedding vows sacred anymore?

In our parents’ and grandparents’ time, spouses stood by each other. Divorce was taboo and people stayed together even if they were not happy.

I don’t wish for my friends and family to be stuck in unhappy marriages but when such situations arise, I wish both parties would put in a greater effort to find out what went wrong and make a commitment to change the status quo and work things out. If it still fails, then at least they tried. But don’t quit without even giving the other person a chance to make things right.

In this day and age, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel when things are not going well instead of trying to make things work. I know every situation is different and I can’t expect everyone to be old-fashioned like me when it comes to love and marriage but I do wish when people make the commitment to spend the rest of their lives with someone, they actually mean it and not just when times are good.

Sometimes a situation does warrant a break-up i.e. adultery, paedophilia, substance abuse, violence but other than these I can’t think of any other major motivations to end a marriage, provided the two parties were emotionally ready and got married for the right reasons in the first place like mutual love, respect, companionship, friendship, shared values, shared goals, common interests and of course some passion. A good sense of humour goes a long way too.

I suppose if the foundation wasn’t strong to begin with then a marriage would be susceptible to stress and doomed almost from the start.

As a marriage progresses and reality sets in, expectations are bound to change, responsibilities grow and our personalities also evolve. Things become routine and once you add kids to the equation, that’s when the real work begins.

It’s easy to drift apart when all your attention is focused on the children. Children are a distraction and they do command a lot of time, but you don’t have to spend all your time and energy with them. It doesn’t make you a bad mother to outsource their care once in a while, I am selfish that way.

I make time for me (too much time Swana would say!), and I try to ensure me and Nick have time for ourselves, if not a fortnightly date night, then at least once a month. Although, convincing him to go out is another story! Our roles are a little reversed; he’s more attached to the kids than I am and feels guilty spending any time away from them but I have no such guilt!

As I write this I am reminded that there is more I could do for my husband. I know he would appreciate it if I spend less, save more and devote all my free time to the kids instead of surfing the net, blogging, and purchasing yet another dress on eBay.

I think he would worship the ground I walk on if I wake up early to make his breakfast and coffee, see him out when he leaves the house and greet him at the door when he returns… like his grandmother used to do for his grandpa. He can be quite traditional that way and as much as I would like to, mornings are a mad rush when one is working.

Anyway, going back to drifting apart, I think it’s something that is within our control to not let happen. Do things together, don’t lead such separate lives. I don’t mean being joined at the hip all the time, but get together every now and then for a meal, snuggle on the sofa and watch TV, catch a movie, go for a walk, go for a drive….and talk.

Hold hands when you go out, give each other a peck or two each day. A hug goes a long way in making someone feel loved. And no matter what, don’t get lazy in the bedroom to the point that you can’t remember the last time you did ‘it’. (I shall not elaborate more as I have young readers!).

Bottomline is, if you sense someone distancing themselves from you, nip it in the bud and do something to address it because if you let it build-up, it might be too late one day to reverse things. Oftentimes, each party is waiting for the other to make the first move but men being men, they can be obtuse sometimes!

Our destiny is in our own hands…

August 25, 2010

Not so nice fried rice

Went for the gala night performance of Fried Rice Paradise last night, after Nick received complimentary tickets at the last minute.

Was in two minds about going, because it would mean missing Swana's birthday but then again, they were pretty good seats and I had wanted to watch the show so Swana forgave me for ditching her.

As the president was in attendance, we had to be seated by 6.45pm plus dress a little more formally since it was the gala night in celebration of People Association's 50th anniversary. Wore my new DKNY dress and spotted lots of who's who in Singapore, people you regularly see in Tatler. That Michael Palmer is kinda cute, ha ha. But me and Nick didn't schmooze during the cocktails, we stayed in a corner sipping wine before waiting for the buffet lines to clear.





Snacked a little, the special fried rice was not paradise found, in fact, it smelled a little off to me, so I didn't eat it! The show itself was ok, not as funny as anticipated but I was impressed by Alemay Fernandez who usually sings jazz in our local bars. She played a middle-aged Indian woman and she was good at it.

Went to Membina after the show to eat leftovers and drop off milk. At least I managed to see my sister on her birthday. Happy birthday again Swana-poo!

August 23, 2010

Dressaholic

Help! I am addicted to printed dresses! Just purchased another 6 via eBay over the past few weeks, and I blame Swana for making me open my own PayPal account because previously I would exercise some self-control when tapping into her account. But now, it's anything goes!

I think I shall call my dress collection a hobby. Some people collect Star Wars, some people Hello Kitty, but I collect dresses. Here are the latest additions, which amazingly all fit well!

1) Diane von Furstenberg Lune dress in Orientalist Diamonds. The retail price here was $660 I think, even after 30% sale was $462. I was mulling over this dress for the longest time, kept going to the boutique and couldn't decide between the wrap or non-wrap version. Finally decided on the non-wrap and bought online for US$185, saving about SGD200. A pricey dress but something to be handed down to the girls when they're older, will be vintage by then!


2) DKNY Scoopneck dress. Fell in love with the contrasting B&W prints and the hint of red. US retail price was US$245, Singapore was selling $490, after 40% discount was $294 but I purchased at US$99, saving about SGD$150.


3) Maggy London / London Times cotton sateen dress. Loved the print and the price was gentle on the pocket at US$19.95. It's a brand that can be found on Nordstrom's and I found a site on eBay that sells store returns etc, and it was 1 pc only and in my size. No brainer!


4) Maggy London / London Times cotton sateen dress. You know I'm a sucker for blue dresses, fell in love with the print instantly and HAD to have it.


5) Ann Taylor Linen tunic dress. I wish Ann Taylor was available here, they have some nice things from time to time. Another blue printed dress, love things with contrasting borders.


6) Ann Taylor portrait floral shift dress. Just purchased yesterday. This one came out last year I think, and was featured on O' magazine if I was not mistaken. Such a pretty pretty dress and wasn't available in my size when I wanted to buy from the Ann Taylor website. Would look for it from time to time and when I found it a couple of weeks ago, it was like hitting the jackpot. But then the seller replied to say there had been a mistake and the size 4 dress had already been sold to someone else. Was bummed but a few days ago I found a size 6 and couldn't bear to wait till the auction ended and made an offer to the seller which she accepted. Can't wait to receive, hope it fits!

August 19, 2010

Flower power funeral for Uncle Jaya

Today was the floral send-off for Uncle Jaya, who passed away on Sunday 15 August at 6.41 am. I suppose he picked a good day because 15 August is also India's Independence Day, Sri Aurobindo's birthday and Assumption, plus it's one day before Amah's death anniversary so it's easy to remember.

Swana ordered flowers for Sharmila and added a wreath for the rest of the family too. In the obituary that appeared on Tuesday, there was a request that those attending the funeral wear bright floral prints. Aunty Gowrie and the kids did not want it to be a sad occasion and my only dilemma was deciding what to wear since 85% of my wardrobe is floral! Mummy was complaining my final choice was too bright and she tried to make me wear a jacket but Jeanette was even brighter!

Surprisingly I didn't cry as much as I normally do at funerals, maybe because the kids kept it lighthearted. Rhubesh gave a short eulogy and he, Kaelash and Kavi sang 'You Are Always on My Mind' by Willie Nelson together with Thanesh. That was touching, especially since Uncle Jaya sang it to Kaelash at his wedding and the words had meaning.



Over the past few days, we took turns attending the wake at Chai Chee. Though things were solemn during services and when people paid respects, the rest of the time it was almost festive. I suppose he would have appreciated that and would have joined in with a beer if he could!

There was one strange man who came on the last night of the wake, his name is Vincent Loo and he claims to have been a recruit under Uncle Jaya in the seventies. Though we don't doubt his story, we concluded he's not all quite there. He spent over 15 mins writing in the condolence book, about his career history and gave out his handphone number to everyone, even offering his ATM cards to Aunty Gowrie to withdraw whatever she wanted!

On the day of the funeral, he came in a suit, sat right in the front rows which were reserved for family, went up to mumble a few words when the pastor invited people to share their memories and gave his employment history again. He would also 'Amen' loudly and sing enthusiastically.

Whenever immediate family were invited to do something, like place flowers on the white coffin, he would be right there with them. When it came to the cremation, he wanted to stand in the front row too until Nick not-so-gently guided him away. Funny man. We joked maybe he was a guardian angel and the whole loony behaviour was an act...but I don't think so.

Going to nap, we had left the kids at Membina last night in anticipation of the early start today but at 2.30 am Swana called because Nat was hysterically crying for her daddy and refusing to sleep. Nick rushed over and brought her home by 3 am and then he couldn't sleep after. Soooo zonked...

August 13, 2010

YOG-mania

Singapore plays host to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from tomorrow to 26 August and for the past few days, the YOG flame has been making its way around our island. I was hoping to catch a glimpse and got my wish when the flame went around Shenton Way this evening, and past the office building.

I went downstairs alone and next to me were a bunch of Deloitte supporters and down the road the gang from DBS, both are corporate sponsors. There was a party atmosphere in the middle of the road, other workers were wondering what was going on.

Soon enough a parade of sorts arrived with open top buses, traffic escorts and runners and I managed to click a couple of shots from my phone.



The entourage made a loop at Anson Road and came down Robinson Road thereafter so I crossed over to watch from there too. So exciting, shall try to catch some of the sporting action 'live' if possible!


On the not so bright side, I popped by TTSH to visit Uncle Jaya during lunch. Unbeknown to me, the doctors had just before I arrived declared there was not much hope and to start informing the family, hence I was among the first from our side to show up. There was a pastor who come to pray and those of us present said our goodbyes. Uncle Jaya was struggling for breath and unconscious so it's just the waiting game now. Sigh...

August 11, 2010

It pays to shop!

My legs are all wobbly and my heart is racing! I just received a call from the Marina Square management informing me I have won a trip for 2 to the Maldives! Woo hoo!

At first I didn't want to answer the phone because I thought it was one of those credit card spam calls but I answered anyway and when the lady identified as herself as from Marina Square, I held my breath. When she finished her sentence and congratulated me, I wanted to scream in the office and do the dance of joy!

She said she called me yesterday but I didn't answer. I saw the missed calls after my nap and didn't call back because I thought they were spam calls. Silly me!

Thank goodness I didn't buy Pops' aircon from Carrefour but Marina Square's Gain City instead...after several unsuccessful trips too. I love Marina Square, and UOB and Gain City!!!


I was eyeing this particular prize when I entered the draw, never dreamed I would actually win. It's the 2nd prize and includes a 5D/4N stay at Anantara Veli and flights on SQ. Am sure we'll have to pay taxes etc, but that's ok. Check out the resort, I can't wait to go, always wanted to stay in an over-water bungalow! I just need to convince Nick not to bring Nat, which he is insisting upon!

August 10, 2010

Joanne's Dirty, Flirty, Thirty Party

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PURPLE PRINCESS!

My favourite burpaholic turns the big 3-0 today and to usher in this dirty and flirty (according to her) decade, she threw a poolside party at Botannia yesterday, thanks to Tsolmon and hubby Edwin who helped book the BBQ area.

Dress code was hot pink and/or lime green and I sported both colours on my top, earrings, bag and slippers. Most people were in pink though, including Joanne and family. She tailored shirts for Tarek and Ray in the same fabric as her romper.





Though it was Joanne's party, Ray was the star of the show. At any one time, he had an entourage surrounding him, either playing with him or snapping pictures.



We decided to leave the bubs at home, Nat wanted to watch the NDP parade on TV and Natasha was sleeping. Plus Gigi had come over to play since Kevin appeared to be down with stomach flu and Swana wanted to minimize contact with him so she was around to babysit. (Thanks Swana!)

Am glad we went child-free, the weather was so hot and Nick would probably have been sweating buckets if he had to run after Nat. He had fun with the other hubbies though, at least there was some male company for him.

Joanne's cousin made the cupcakes and birthday cake, which I matched! Food was courtesy of Germaine's aunt, who happens to love to cook. Jo's caterer bailed on her at the last minute and it was Aunty Gladys to the rescue. Shepherd's pie was good, there was also oxtail stew, fried bee hoon, chicken wings and kueh pie-tee.





Germaine came really late, we stayed on just to say hi and bye to her before rushing to TTSH. Towards the end of the party I had received a call from Swana saying we had better visit Uncle Jaya at hospital, his condition was deteriorating.

He had been admitted last Thursday after falling and hitting his head. Suffered some internal bleeding in the brain and was unconscious for a while and then the doctors found that he was actually suffering from advanced pneumonia. He was in ICU then woke up and was getting better the last couple of days but today was not a good day so the family are preparing themselves for the worst.

I'm hoping he pulls through...we can only pray.

August 7, 2010

Hi Gwyneth Hii!

Attended the full month party of Michael's latest darling today, the 'Just too cute' Gwyneth. Food was good and so were the decadent cupcakes! Must find out where they were from.




I brought Natasha with me, Nick had to work this weekend and Ben had kindly offered to bring Nat out. I was going to catch a cab to The Bayshore but at the last minute Swana said she was going to bring Gigi to Chai Chee for Riley and Ananya to play with so I had a free ride.

Was the first one there, killed time by feeding then putting Natasha to sleep and was halfway through my meal when the others started arriving.


Jeannie was radiant with her baby bump, only 7 weeks or less to go. Tummy was quite compact. She's decided on Gareth for her son, not long more before we attend another one of these!


I'm surprised Hong Wei actually turned up, he usually doesn't show up for weekend events and had passed me money to pay Jeannie when we had lunch last week in anticipation of his no-show.


It was a pity I didn't bring Nat, she could have played with Cameron. Tristan is looking more like his brother, snapped a pix of him with Natasha reminiscent of when Nat met Cam for the first time. Two years down the road and the Lulu Guinness' are getting a new lease of life with the younger siblings.


On the way home, Ben picked me up, so I saved on cab fare again. Nat had requested to go to the airport after a pit-stop at Suntec so just nice for me!

August 5, 2010

The Mamas and the Papa

Met JGR today for a belated birthday lunch, they granted my wish of having dim sum at Wah Lok, Carlton Hotel. Joanne is in town again and she joined us too, along with Ray.



Jane, Rena and I were already munching on our har kows and siew mais when Germaine and Joanne strolled in. Germaine happened to go home to change and picked Jo up. They looked like a couple especially since Germs was pushing the stroller, decked in jeans and a blazer - hence the 'Papa' title!



Food was good, the polo buns as I remembered. Some of them tapau-ed buns home. We had a leisurely lunch, entertained by Ray. Rena was looking radiant with a new hairdo, she goes back to work next week after 3 months maternity leave. Jane's lost more weight too. Not so long ago we were all preggers at the same time, including Joanne - how time flies!



Made the waitress take some pictures of us, I wore a cheongsam I haven't been able to fit into for at least 4 years. I have to maintain this weight!

August 4, 2010

Natalie ver 2.5

Nat is 2 and a half and so far we haven't had to deal with much nonsense for the so-called terrible twos. Touchwood!



She really tries to be a good little girl, especially well-behaved for a while when reprimanded for anything. She has her naughty moments but thankfully she knows who's boss!


This month was all about the monkey dance and penguin walk. The former started after she and Gigi imitated a monkey's actions after listening to an animal sound book. She'll take on a sumo stance and bounce up and down. I'm not sure how the penguin walk started but it's quite Chaplin-like.



The novelty of pooping in the potty wore off after a few days so it's back to square one. She refuses to try again and instead finds quiet corners in the house to do her business. Her favourite spot is behind the high chair, if not, she'll stand between my bed and the playpen or hide behind some curtains.



She likes sour stuff, sometimes insisting on eating the lemon slices in our drinks. When we eat at food courts, the de facto meal to order her is macaroni soup and/or chicken rice.


She still stubbornly insists she has boobs and milk. She stole my bottle once and tried to turn on the pump! Caught her in the act!


The sibling rivalry has started somewhat, especially when only 1 parent is around. Sometimes when I carry Sasha, she'll ask me to put the baby down and carry her, but she still loves her little sister lah.



She mothers over Gigi though, reminding her to 'be careful' and to drink her water so that her poop is not hard. Likewise Gigi tells Nat to sit properly on the slide so they look out for each other.

From hiding in the wardrobes, the two munchkins have progressed to hanging off the clothes rod and swinging from the bar. They wear their sunglasses at home and pretend to be 2 blind mice.

They have gone all holy and sometimes will 'bless' us by catching air from the fan and going to each individual and saying "Bless you".

Gigi's teeth are still growing really slow, she has only 8. 4 front and 4 back. Think more are on the way because she's been quite cranky.



She's looking forward to her birthday next month, already practicing singing the birthday song to herself. Her sentences are now 6 words or more and she can a few nursery rhymes.


She's gung-ho and independent, unlike Nat who's still very scared of new experiences. She's going to enjoy her first holiday next month, Swana is contemplating visiting Alicia in Perth. She gave birth last week to a little girl, still no name yet though.