i went on a rollercoaster ride with Misako and Nissy?!

I had a strange yet nice dream two nights ago. It involved members of AAA, Misako and Nissy in particular.

So it seemed AAA was having a concert and I was getting a cab from somewhere to go to the concert venue. Lo and behold, Misako and Nissy were in the queue just before me. Since we were probably all going to the same venue, how about we share a cab? I asked and Misako agreed, and we all boarded the cab.

While in the cab, Misako and I started talking (no idea in what language) but soon we were like old friends. Nissy was for some reason being all sullen and refused to join in the conversation. Misako told me that he’s like that and to ignore him. In the dream, I felt surprised and a tinge of disappointment as it was so unlike him on stage — always bouncing around with energy and being all chatty.

Anyway, soon we reached the concert venue. A couple of fans were already there and started running up to Misako, asking for pictures with her. I was kinda brushed aside but somehow she remembered me and got me to be in the picture too. The fans were all squealing and disturbing this outdoor band performance so we got shoo-ed away.

As we were walking off, Misako suddenly pulled out a concert ticket. Strangely, it had this coupon for a free ride on the rollercoaster at the concert venue. (Yea, strange…like what?! Is this a concert or funfair now??? And why the hell would Misako have a ticket when she is the artiste that will be performing???) She asked me if I’ll go sit the rollercoaster with her and Nissy. I felt so happy.

Soon the rollercoaster ride ended and it was time for her and Nissy to go get ready for the concert. We walked together to the hall. Just as she opened the door to the hall, I took a peek in and saw the other AAA members already there and getting ready. At that moment, Shin-chan came out and wanted to get something. I was so excited and said: “Hi, Shin-chan!” (This time I was sure I spoke in English as I knew he understood English.) At the same time, Shin-chan said: “Hi, I’m Shin!” Maybe he thought it polite to introduce himself since I was Misako’s friend.

And then I woke up. Argh. Would have loved to talk to Shin-chan more. That is like my real life dream too. Ah well.

Hmmm…sure as hell hope that Nissy is not all sullen in real life. That would really be a huge disappointment.

thoughts about me and lolita fashion

Amidst all the flurry in the local lolita community for tomorrow’s big event, I couldn’t help but slow down and think about my own lolita journey — specifically wearing wigs.

I’ve never worn one. I just don’t have the guts to. Admittedly, wigs are great coz then I can probably have any hair colour I want without having to dye/bleach my own hair. Yay for pink ombre hair! I can have the braids I so love but can’t tie on my own hair. Again, I just don’t have the guts to take that first step. It’s really not about me. I’ld do it anyway…just that I don’t think I can handle the reaction from family members.

Here’s why. Lolita fashion is a part of me which I enjoy. I’ve never really seen it as strange but I can’t say the same for others. It is something out of the ordinary for them so I really don’t blame them if they make it a big deal. It’s just that sometimes I wish they would treat it as normal and not pay like super big attention to it.

Case in point, once I was hurrying out the door to a lolita meet. A family member stopped me for some pictures. Erm…nothing really wrong with that but I think the whole point was coz I was dressed DIFFERENTLY. Imagine if I was in a wig. Oh gosh, I feel like all the why questions would start flying out and honestly, I don’t want to launch into a lengthy explanation on why.

Sigh. I am weird like that and I guess it’ll take a long long time before I’m mentally ready to handle that. For now, I’ll just stick to my crappy hair.

back again

Back again…well, kinda. Trying to go back to blogging while juggling mummy duties. It hasn’t been a whole lot easy. I tried a few times but failed, so I hope this is the last and successful attempt. At first it was just being mum to Emilee. Then my computer had to die on me. So I’m pretty much bound to what this new laptop has (which is practically starting from nothing) until I find a way to get my old files out from the old hard disk.

I’m still microblogging on Dayre and the updates there are more frequent than here coz I can do everything from my phone.

my first hospital stay

I guess when life gets a little too comfortable, you’re being thrown some lemons to spice things up a little. But that’s how life never gets too boring because there are always challenges for you to navigate through.

At my last check up last Wednesday, I received the most horrible of news. I had gained weight which was good, but baby is still not growing well and putting on the necessary weight. In fact, baby’s weight is now slightly off the chart at 1.61kg when she should be 1.8kg. Doppler scans showed that everything else was fine except her waist measurement. More importantly, the amniotic fluid is a little low but still considered normal and the blood flow from the placenta is good. So, doctors really have no idea why baby is not growing well.

I have to go for weekly scans now to make sure the blood flow to baby does not drop. If any time the blood flow drops, they will induce labour. If not, they will still induce labour at 37 weeks just as a precaution to make sure that baby has a better chance of survival. So yup, baby can be out any time from now till the week of 9 November. The minute I heard that I could be delivering baby at 34 weeks (which is this week by the way), my mind went into a mess. Baby’s room is not even totally ready. I haven’t packed my hospital bag. Oh my goodness, there’s still so much outstanding stuff to do! I was just thanking my lucky stars that I had completed the last minute buying of clothes and bath tub just a week ago. But still!

If baby is to be out at 34 weeks, I needed to be given two steroid jabs to help with the development of baby’s lungs to cope with the outside world. Because I have gestational diabetes (GD), the steroid jabs could cause my blood sugar readings to spike which is a danger to both baby and me. Therefore, I was warded for observation. I think everyone is worried about how I’m taking to all this, but trust me, I have learnt to take things easy and take things as they come. There is no point in asking “why me?” If God has willed that I am to go through these challenges in life, then so be it. He has his reasons. Besides, like I said before, I think God has been really fair. While other mummies have to endure horrible morning sickness, pains and aches, I went through almost nothing. GD and this are my only challenges throughout my pregnancy.

[Cross posted entry on MUMMY TO BABY]

life with GD (part 2)

I am slowly learning to accept my condition. While it is a quite a hassle to change my food intake schedule, I try to find and focus on the positive points in this whole exercise of monitoring my blood sugar. Although I’m told to only take and record down my blood sugar readings twice a week, I’m doing it for more days just so I can experiment with eating different foods. This helps me find out what foods and at what amounts are ok. It is still tough when people snack on potato chips and eat desserts in front of me, but I can resist the temptation quite well.

Just so you know how strict my food intake schedule is:

9am — Breakfast * (2 servings carbohydrates)
12pm — Lunch * (5 servings carbohydrates)
3-4pm — Tea (1 serving carbohydrates)
7.30pm — Dinner * (5 servings carbohydrates)
10pm — Supper ** (1 serving carbohydrates)

* signifies to take my blood sugar reading before and after the meal
** signifies to take my blood sugar reading after my meal or before I sleep

Of course I do take proteins, fruit and vegetables during lunch and dinner, but carbohydrates are what I have to watch most. Carbohydrates cause sugar spikes in a shorter period of time as compared to proteins. In the booklet I’m given, the carbohydrates food list includes bread, cereals, starchy vegetables, legumes, milk and fruit.

It’s necessary for me to stick to these timings for food intake as I don’t want to have huge sugar spikes at any moment. So, I have to space out my meals and make sure I don’t eat more than what I should during each meal.

My hubby and I were quite surprised to learn about the servings of different foods required per meal. For example, two matchbox sized pieces of meat is enough to meet the protein requirement per meal. Six servings of protein is the maximum requirement needed in a day. One serving of lean meat is about 30g. We looked at each other and imagined the amount of steak we eat each time. He can eat 200g of steak at one go. That’s already slightly more than the required amount needed in a day. In other words, we have been overeating for a meal or a day.

You may be wondering if I feel full after lunch or dinner since the amount of food eaten during each meal seems to be very little. The answer is yes. I do feel hungry faster, but that’s where tea and supper come in to fill the gaps.

[Cross posted entry on MUMMY TO BABY]

life with GD

My life just got a little more complicated.

I meant to blog earlier about the last baby seminar I attended, but things got a little busy for me. By the time I was ready to write, I got hit by some bad news. I had gone for the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) and the results weren’t good. I am diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

While I was half prepared for the bad news, I must say that it did shake me up a little. I couldn’t help but wonder why me. Things have been going really well for this pregnancy and now I’m being thrown into some crap situation. But the rational side of me knows that there is no use asking why because God has his plan and to be quite honest, I have already gotten the sweeter end of the deal so far (e.g. no morning sickness, no aches and pains, etc.).

I am grateful for the support I’ve received from family, friends and other mummies. Their encouraging words help me to get on with the slightly inconvenient change in life — planning my meals, watching my diet very closely, pricking my fingers seven times a day for twice a week. Yet, their encouragement can only get me so far.

It is not about bearing with this slight inconvenience for another three months. Three months? I am very sure I can do it. I’ve been resisting the temptation of eating sweet food since week 8 of my pregnancy (did pinch a little now and then, but otherwise, I’ve been quite disciplined), what’s another three months? Nothing much to me. It’s the afterwards that I fear, my friends. Two to six weeks after my pregnancy, I will need to go for another GTT to determine if I’m a regular diabetic to begin with. This is exceptionally scary for me. Due to my family history, I am at higher risk of developing diabetes.

Imagine not being able to enjoy sweet food and desserts all your life. Imagine giving up your favourite sweet dessert for good. Now, you tell me whether it’s scary or not? I don’t even know how my mum deals with her once in a blue moon can of Coke Zero or annual birthday cake only.

It is very frustrating…

Ok, back to planning my meals for today.

[Cross posted entry on MUMMY TO BABY]

nippon ga daisuki dayo

日本! *clap clap clap* 日本! *clap clap clap*

Anyone who knows me, knows that I adore Japan and Japanese culture. There is something mysterious and moving about Japan that sweeps you off your feet, and pretty soon you find yourself being caught up in this dynamic culture. From the timeless beauty of olden traditions to the upbeat modern life, there’s just so much to experience with Japan and its culture.

Music

Japanese pop has been a great part of my life. Till today, I prefer Japanese music over any other music.

 

My love for Japanese culture really began with music. About 15 years ago when I was in secondary school, the 哈日风 (Japanese craze) hit Singapore’s shores. Japanese TV and music were the first things that seeped in quickly. I will always remember watching Music Station, a famous Japanese music programme where artistes would sing their latest singles. It was a great music programme as I got introduced to Japanese music and got to know about new artistes. And of course, Singaporeans were very much into SPEED and “White Love”, while my sister and I fell in love with MAX. Yup, MAX became the first Japanese music group that I liked.

If you’re female, it would be quite accurate to say that you have fangirled a Johnny’s boy/group some time in your life. Oh yes, the mysterious marketing powers of (the) Johnny’s Entertainment empire that makes every teenage girl (and some Japanese ah mas…I really kid you not) weak in her knees. I started out as a great Arashi fan…so much that I carved the members’ names on my secondary 3 school desk. Then, NewS came along. 🙂

Over the years, I got introduced to more and more Japanese artistes. If you take a look at my music play list now, you’ll see that Japanese music dominates it. When I go to KTV, I look for Japanese songs to sing. Yes, that’s how much I love Japanese music.

If you ask me why the love for Japanese music, it’s not something that I can quite explain in words why. It’s just different…plus there’s lots of eye candy.

Dramas and Movies

Back then, local TV was showing Japanese dramas…just like how Korean dramas proliferate it now. Being closely linked to music, I of course, had to watch dramas starring my favourite artistes. If TV wasn’t enough, the video shops were selling (pirated) vcds so you could easily keep up with the J-dorama marathon. Sad to say, all that came to an end when Japan started to clamp down on piracy. Soon, the Japanese craze in Singapore died down. BUT, my love for Japanese stuff did not die along with the exit of the Japanese craze.

School work got heavier for me as the years went by and I found it hard to keep up with Japanese dramas, so I turned to Japanese movies. The storyline and theatrics for some movies are just so good. Simple, yet thought-provoking.

Manga and Anime

When we talk about Japanese stuff, who can forget about manga and anime? Japanese manga and anime has been a part of my life since primary school. Oh yes, Sailor Moon. That laid the foundation for my liking of the shoujo genre in manga and anime.

Thanks to a poly friend, I was introduced to Ai Yazawa and NANA. Two of her best works — NANA and Paradise Kiss — are now my favourites. I love how she portrays the difficulties and complexities of life in a way that is so brutally honest and real.

Language

How can you truly love Japanese music, film and animation, without loving the language. You can rely on translations all your life, but soon you will realise that it is hard to get the exact feel and description without understanding the work in its original language.

But of course, learning a new language isn’t easy. Yet, I took the plunge. After going through intensive Japanese classes in college, I completed the intermediate level. Sadly, it is still not enough to understand music lyrics and conversations in its entirety…not to even mention how tough it is for me to actually hold a conversation in Japanese. Haha, I can probably only manage anime that’s meant for elementary school kids if I were to watch something with subtitles. But at least, I get the gist of some sentences in lyrics and films.

日本語を勉強は難しいけど、私は絶対頑張ります。

Tradition

If you thought that my love for Japanese culture is only skin deep, you’re wrong. As I grew up and entered college, something made me want to learn more about Japanese culture. I took a minor in East Asian Languages and Culture, with a focus on Japan. I took classes on Japanese history and literature. As I dug deeper, I began to see things in a whole new light and started to appreciate Japanese culture in all its glory and simplistic beauty. Before college, my family had made Japan an annual holiday location. Back then, when I walked the grounds of castles, temples and old streets, they never left a strong impact on me. After college, armed with a better understanding of Japanese history, I revisited some of the places so I could soak in the atmosphere and feel the true meaning of how the past has changed and influenced the future. The dynamic nature of trends can transform Japan and make it attractive to the modern world, but the beauty of olden traditions will always get passed down and leave a lasting impression (like the finishing touches to an art piece).

Japanese culture is also experienced through the arts. Although I do not have a firm grasp of the language, I’ve been to traditional theatre performances such as Noh and Bunraku. There’s something intriguing about these performances as it mixes storytelling, folklore and religious practices.

Back in Singapore, I try to immerse myself in Japanese tradition by taking part in Japanese-related activities such as the annual Natsu Matsuri (Japanese summer festival). Wearing a yukata is a must for me and my sister!

Fashion

After talking about the tradition, one must talk about trends. If you love Japan and its culture, then you gotta love its fashion. The Japanese fashion trend is pretty fast paced. If you remember the loose Japanese school girl socks, those are now passe. How about the 109 辣妹 look (probably referring to the yamanba phase in gyaru fashion)? That is long gone too.

For me, I fell in love with lolita fashion when I was in college. Lolita fashion itself has gone through a lot of changes since the beginning of it (with Mana and the gothic look). I’m not going to delve to much into what is lolita fashion and which styles I love as you can know more through my other blog entries specifically on lolita fashion. Just know that I love the aesthetics of the fashion — the grace and elegance that it stands for. I love it so much that I had to wear a lolita dress and dress my helpers in lolita outfits for my wedding.

Food

ラーメンが大~大~大好き~~~<3

I have covered almost every conceivable topic on Japan and Japanese culture, but wait…there’s one more. Food! There’s just so many dishes in Japanese cuisine that you have to try, other than sushi and sashimi. There’s tempura, udon, soba, somen, okonomiyaki, curry rice, onigiri, tako yaki, etc. Just listing all of this is making my mouth water. You can find all the tastes in Japanese cuisine…sweet, salty, sour, bitter, spicy…and not forgetting, umami. There are different foods for the different seasons too — think sakura mochi and ice-cream in spring, yaki soba (fried soba) and mitarashi dango (soy sauce dango) in summer, kuri (chestnuts) in autumn and nabe (hot pot) in winter…mmmm…. So many different tastes and choices, what’s there not to love about Japanese food? You’ll never get bored with Japanese food!

If you’re still not convinced that you’ll never be bored with Japanese food, just look at Japanese Kit Kat as an example. Have you seen the variety of flavours for it? Even with ice-cream, there’s flavours like miso and squid ink. The Japanese are rather creative with their food. Haha. XD

But, my one true love in Japanese food is…RAMEN! Sorry, but as I told a friend before, my love for Japanese ramen is not just about how popular the stall is. It’s not just simply downing a bowl of ramen and rating is good or bad. It’s about how every ingredient tastes in the bowl of ramen and how it contributes to the overall enjoyment of eating. Generally speaking, I like the fresh noodles that’s not too thick or thin; stick ramen does not sit well with me. For the broth, I prefer tonkotsu or miso as they have a more full and robust flavour. For toppings, I especially love ajitama (soy sauce flavoured soft-boiled egg).

PS: I’m still looking for a good tsukemen in Singapore.

 

So after all this talk about my love for Japan and Japanese culture, what exactly am I getting at? Well, you see…KFC has some new wings on their menu and it’s a tough choice between the Umadare wings or Yang Yeum wings.

BATTLE OF THE KFC WINGS

Freshly breaded in-store with a special batter, these juicy wings are cooked to crispy perfection and coated in your choice of two bold flavours – choose between the Japanese-inspired tangy yet savoury Umadare and the Korean-inspired sweet and spicy Yang Yeum. Who will be crowned king of the wings? You decide.

Pick a side and be part of KFC’s greatest wing-off. Hashtag #kfcoishii to support Umadare or #kfcmashisoyo to support Yang Yeum on Instagram!

I vote for #kfcoishii. What about you?

One wing got eaten up before I could take the picture. Too oishii to resist…

having faith

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my saviour.

— Hillsong United “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

I just wrote an entry in my other blog about prayer and faith, and this song came to mind. I first heard this song at the Jayesslee concert and fell in love with this part of the song. The words are very powerful and seek to motivate.

Disclaimer: I’m neither of Christian nor Catholic faith. I’m just a free thinker who believes there is a God or higher power/s up there.

SG50 funpack

The funpack is usually only given to National Day Parade spectators, but because this year is special — Singapore’s 50th birthday — and everything also SG50, every household gets a funpack.

First, it’s good to note that this year’s bag is a canvas tote bag. Feels thick and of good quality. Even has a zip.

Second, there are a couple of designs printed on the tote bag. Some are submitted by common folk. You can view all the designs here.

Third, items in the bag are largely similar though there may be a few variations. (Sometimes I think it’s because some item ran out so it is being replaced by something else.)

So, what did my family get?

I was hoping for one of those with a “uniquely Singapore” icon like the dragon playground or singlish phrase. I got Dick Lee’s design which features the lyrics to “Home”. Not too bad I guess. I like how it’s “handwritten” and not in a typed out font. Feels more authentic and genuine.

Items included:

  • Singapore flag with stand — Seems like they include this in the funpack since like two to three years back? Great for collecting and trolling your colleagues.
  • Bottle of NEWater
  • Sample packs of Super coffee and cereal beverage
  • Sample pack of UIC washing detergent
  • The “ingenious” balloon torchlight — Yup, it’s always sponsored by AKIRA.
  • Haw flakes and lollipop — Supposed to be tidbits/candy from your childhood to bring back that sense of familiarity and nostalgia. My in-laws got the Smarties-wannabe candy in the 8 blister pack.
  • Pack of SNAP cards and country erasers — Another one of those items from your childhood. Of course, the country featured on the eraser is Singapore. My in-laws got the blow up paper ball and chapteh.
  • Singa figurine — In case you don’t know, Singa is the lion mascot from the national courtesy campaign. Our Singa figurine is wearing the police uniform. My in-laws got a Singa figurine wearing the old Army uniform.
  • Some temporary tattoos
  • Card with the Proclamation of Singapore — A piece of history — back to when Singapore first gained independence.
  • Map of National Day activities

Would have been more thrilled to receive more tidbits like KAKA, Tora/Ding Dang chocolate balls, Mamee, Bee Bee or even the 10 cents bubble gum with a temporary tattoo wrapper. Oh well.

Enjoy your funpack and look forward to this 9 August. 🙂