December 31, 2010

Top 10 List - 2010

Last year I made a list to sum up the great and crappy moments I had in 2009. I had a lot of fun doing that and I thought I'd do the same this year.

Now here’s a list of random things in my life that stood out in 2010.

Most annoying/ embarassing/depressing/terrifying/ akward moments of 2010

1. When Alden had a fever fit.
I hate febrile seizures

2. When Alden farted in front of Yoda, my supervisor.
Losing Momentum

3. When my respondents refused to co-operate during data collection work.
Non Compliance Part 1
Non Compliance Part 2

4. When Alden got the pox.
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!

5. When I found out that Kusai watched porn
Jack and Jill

6. When I found out that we needed to go to Wellington to do Vava's passport.
What's in a Cert?

8. When Alva stuffed a styrofoam in her ear.
Alva and the Styrofoam

9. When we were hit by 4.9 magnitude earthquake.
Shaky Sunday

10. When a hairdresser at City mall messed up my hair colour. Had to recolour twice!!

Most pleasant/ fulfilling/ exciting/memorable moments of 2010

1. Seeing my family for the first time this year and spending time in KK. 
Updates and Let the Blogging Begin

2. Seeing Alden pee in the toilet for the first time.
So Far So Great

3. When I met aneroxic girl and J-Lo's butt for the first time.
The Hot and the Not in Gym Class 

4. When hubby and I went to Mount Cook and Twizel to celebrate our fifth anniversary.
New Year In Twizel

5. When Vava got the pox.
Good Timing

6. When I got Alva's passport from the courier guy.
Please Don't Burst My Bubbles

7.When we got lost on our way to Lake Coleridge and ended up playing in the snow.
Weekend On Ice

8. When I got myself a new car for my birthday.
A New Ride

9. When Alva and Alden celebrated their birthdays.
The Boy Who Rocks My World
The Girl Who Rocks My World

Okay. I didn't write about this one but I just can't help bragging telling you about it. This incident really made my day :)

10. When a young WOMAN made a pass on me at a parking lot two months ago. She started a lame conversation and told me I looked 'hot'. Betul ba. Another perempuan thought I'm panas. Hehehe. I told hubby about it the moment I got home but he wasn't amused. Me? I was flattered to pieces.

And there you have it. A summary of the good and bad in 2010 :)

Have a wonderful 2011 full of happiness, excitement and dreams come true! xoxo

December 30, 2010

Christmas Away From Home

When do you take down your Christmas tree? My mom always keeps it for weeks, even months after December 25.  I was planning to do the same but after seeing this, I changed my mind.

While I was doing the laundry, the dynamic duos ravaged the tree and decorated it with a diaper, tea-cup, a tea pot, a serving tray, an aeroplane and a fire truck.  The decoration wasn't spectacular before the makeover but at least it was decent. Now it's an eye sore.

So I'm taking it down tomorrow.

Let's move on to our Christmas celebration. Alden started the Christmas morning with opening presents. He was so excited...

Alva didn't really understand what was happening but she was happy when she saw her present...

After all that excitement, we got ready for church and left the house at 9.50 a.m. The church is only 1km away from home so we figured there'd be plenty of time to find a parking space and get the kids out from the car.

When we finally got there, we noticed that something wasn't right. People were getting into their cars, not out of them. Weird, I thought. A minute later, the church door was opened wide and an elderly man came out. OMG. It was then that we realised the mass was over. We were an hour late!

We hadn't been to church for weeks so we didn't know about the change in the Christmas mass schedule. Missing the mass was our punishment la tu.

So. After that unfortunate incident, we proceeded to the Macleans' in Kaiapoi. They had put together a nice barbecue feast for us and got some friends over for lunch. Everyone got along pretty well and had a lovely time eating and drinking. Alva and Ryan hit it off too.

Alden wasn't at his best behaviour that day. He tried all sorts of tricks to get my attention and repeatedly bullied Vava. This is what he normally does when he gets cheeky...

He wasn't going to leave the two alone so hubby took him out to play with Jess, the MaCleans' black Labrador.

Alden absolutely enjoyed that.

I really missed home that day but after spending the whole day with the MaCleans, the homesickness eased a little. It was with them that I finally felt the Christmas spirit and I thank God for that.

December 28, 2010

Shaky Sunday

It's getting more and more shaky in Christchurch now with more than 20 aftershocks in the last 48 hours. We haven't had any major shakes since November so the one we had recently caught everyone by surprise.

The earthquake measuring at 4.9 on the Richter scale occurred at 10.30 a.m. on Boxing day. At that time, we were all in the living room watching TV. When we realised what was happening, we quickly sat on the floor and held each other's hands in fear. I watched in awe as the house rattled furiously, causing the furniture and floor to vibrate. After 7 seconds or so, the vibration subsided. The moment it stopped, Alden got up and said "house moving mommy!". He thought it was the coolest thing ever.

It was terrifying, yes. But like Alden you can't help feeling a wee bit excited during the shake. It's a weird feeling you know, to be scared, in awe and excited all at the same time.

Anyway, the aftershocks have continued but they aren't as damaging as the one we had last Sunday. According to this site, the shaking reached MM6, MM7 and MM8 in different parts of Canterbury. These are measures of intensities for earthquakes and aftershocks.

MM6 shaking is defined as, “Felt by all. People and animals are alarmed, and many run outside. Walking steadily is difficult. Furniture and appliances may move on smooth surfaces, and objects fall from walls and shelves. Glassware and crockery break. Slight non-structural damage to buildings may occur.”

MM7 is defined as “General alarm. People experience difficulty standing. Furniture and appliances are shifted. Substantial damage to fragile or unsecured objects. A few weak buildings are damaged.”

and MM8 means "Alarm may approach panic. A few buildings are damaged and some weak buildings are destroyed.”

Although the shaking did not last long, GNS Science has reported that it was more violent than big quake  on 4 September. The big September quake, which we missed, was centred 40km away from CC. The recent one? Only 5km away. Because of this, lots of buildings are damaged, adding another setback to the city. 

These were taken two weeks before Christmas while we were out shopping.

Quite bad huh?

Well, things turned for the worse when the quake hit us last Sunday. Another 115 buildings were damaged and needed immediate remedial.

These are photos taken after the Boxing day aftershocks.

*Pictures courtesy of NZ Herald

The quake has certainly changed the cosmetic appearance of the city. Now everywhere you go, you see safety fences, rubble, detour signs and fallen bricks. It's a whole lot of mess.  

Having said that, the Cantabrians have remained positive and are confident that Christchurch will recover in no time. I hope for the same thing too. No more big shakes please.

December 21, 2010

The Melbourne Story: Part 2

This should be posted weeks ago but a lot of stuff happened in between that period and last week, that there wasn't time for anything else. Anyway, putting a Part 1 in my Melbourne entry was clearly a mistake cos it implied that I was going to write a sequel. After 3 weeks, I didn't feel like writing Part 2 anymore but my conscience won't let me rest until I get it done. So, here it is. An entry written out of guilt.

Okay. About the trip. Was it fun? Absolutely. Melbourne is so much bigger than Christchurch and ten times more exciting. It has bigger malls, more city trams, more Malaysian restaurants and a more diverse population. Having said that, I don't think it's the most conducive place to do your studies. Especially if you're the type who loves shopping. There are too many distractions!

Anyway, our trip was brief. We only spent 5 days in Melbourne so there wasn't really much time for us to explore the whole city. The first day was spent lounging at the hotel and having dinner with friends. It was quite tiring cos we had an early flight and we moved in and out of three different rooms at the apartment. Remember the poop story?

The second day was so much better. I attended the conference in the morning but snuck out in the afternoon. I felt a little guilty doing that but it was the only way I could spend time with hubby and the kids. We went to Melbourne Aquarium straight after lunch and the kids had a great time.

The third day was presentation day. I pasted my poster on the melamine board and rehearsed my lines 10 minutes before showtime. I wasn't really that nervous cos it was done during morning tea and the whole atmosphere was kind of informal. All I needed to do was stand there and clarify my facts if people stopped and asked about them. Only 4 people bothered to do so by the way. I thought it was cool cos I got to talk about my work and get feedback.

I also learned that it is always important to read instructions from conference organizers. The instructions for the poster size was: A0 size/ portrait position. This guy whose poster was next time to mine got it all wrong.

To cover his flaw, he made another copy of the same  poster and stuck it diagonally on the board. I think this made it worse. Two wrongs don't make a right. Right?

Anyway, at 1.00 p.m. I slipped out of the conference venue to see hubby and the  kids. My good friend zee brought us to Victoria's market to get some souvenirs. We then had lunch at a nearby food court.

Later that day, we went to the Melbourne Docklands. Located on Victoria Harbour, the $12 billion waterfront development is said to be Australia’s largest construction project. It's only half way done but still,  there are heaps of stuff to do like water activities, dining and yachting. Since we were only there for two hours, our activity was limited to photo-taking.

On the fourth day, I didn't attend any of the conference programmes. We went sightseeing and headed to Melbourne museum after lunch. Before we started our journey, I had to go to a shoe shop at Melbourne central cos my feet were sore. I had been walking around in my ankle boots the whole time and towards the fourth day, I started to feel the strain on my legs. I thought I could endure the pain until we get to CC but I couldn't, so I bought a pair of flats.

After visiting the museum, the plan was to go on the City Circle tram  and stop at each checkpoint  to take photos. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. It rained the whole afternoon and by the time  it stopped, it was already 6.30 pm. We had to cancel our city-tour and just stay put at the hotel. This sucked big time.

On the last day,  I went shopping with Zee. Just us, without the kids and hubby. We headed to DFO - Direct Factory Outlet, which is just opposite her apartment. What's great about DFO is all of the stores sell their products at factory prices. That is about 50 to 70% off normal retail price. I was so excited when we got to a Guess boutique cos I really wanted to get a pair of jeans.

Getting a perfect pair wasn't as easy as I thought. The jeans were all scattered in clearance bins and some laid on the floor. They weren't placed according to size or style so you really need to dig in to find your treasure.I loved the challenge so I started digging into a big pile like some frenzied woman. I tried on 4 pairs but none of them caught my fancy so I went digging again. As I was about to pull out a pair of skinny, Zee got an SOS call from her hubby. Something about a guy sending a new fridge to the house bla bla bla. The point was, we needed to get home. And just like that, my dream of getting a perfect pair of jeans  was shattered. Sad. They only cost $49.90.

We got back to Zee's apartment and had lunch with the kids. We could've gone back to DFO but I was too exhausted to walk. Plus, my feet were still sore. We just lazed around at Zee's apartment the whole afternoon. At 6.20 p.m. we flew back to Christchurch and four hours later we were finally home.

I guess that sums up our entire trip. It was short but it was great while it lasted.

December 8, 2010

Alva and The Styrofoam

This is one of our Christmas ornaments. Inside, you'll find a small, square styrofoam that looks like this.


As we all know, styrofoams can easily be torn apart into small pieces. Alva knows this too cos she has experimented with styrofoams before.

Now this is Alva at 15 months. At this stage, she is very inquisitive and adventurous.

Last Sunday, when nobody was looking, she tore apart one of the ornaments from the Christmas tree and stuff a piece of styrofoam ball deep into her right ear. When hubby discovered this he went ALAMAAAAK in the most dramatic manner which sent me running over to the living room  in seconds. The moment I saw Vava's ear, I went ALAMAAAAK too. I guess we both panicked.

My first impulse was to turn Alva on her side and give her left ear a gentle tap. That's what I normally do when water gets into my ear, so I thought this method could work. I did this a few times tap tap tap but nothing came out. Damn! I looked at hubby and his expression read:  Are you nuts? That will never work. My expression read: Shut up. After a few failed attempts: tapping her ear, turning her upside down and tilting her head, I got a bit frustrated cos I still couldn't get styrofoam out. Hubby said there was only one rational thing to do and that was to go see the doctor immediately. Right. Why didn't I think of that?

So we went to the after hours clinic at Upper Riccarton and saw a lady doctor. I think she must have had a tough day cos her eyebrows were not drawn, her hair was a mess and she had eyebags the size of China. That probably explains her unfriendly demeanour towards us. Anyway, she examined Vava's ear with an otosope and confirmed that there was indeed a tiny ball of styrofoam  inside. She asked hubby to hold Alva firmly while she tried to extract the styrofoam with a special forcep. Slowly but surely, she manouvered the instrument into Vava's ear and after a minute she managed to get it out. Phew! I wanted to make sure that everything was okay so looked into Vava's ear once again. When I did, I almost fainted.


Miss-know-it-all who was already seated on her comfy chair didn't like what she heard. She knitted her brows in disbelief and said Are you sure? Of course I was sure. She stood up reluctantly, took her otoscope and  look into Vava's ear once again. Seconds later she confirmed it. "Yeah. There's another one". That's the bad news. The worse news was, the second styrofoam ball has gone too deep for her to extract using her normal forcep. We were told to wait outside while she made a few calls.

Ten minutes later, she came out with a paper in hand. Due to the delicate nature of the situation, Alva needed to see a specialist at the Ear, Nose and Throat Department in Christchurch Hospital. We were given a referral to see the doctor and the appointment was scheduled on Monday. Before we left, she dropped another bomb on us. During the procedure, Alva would need to be really really still.  If we fail to control her, she may be given an anesthetic. I was shocked. This whole styrofoam thingy had just become my biggest nightmare.

On Monday, we got to the hospital at 9.15 am and headed straight to the 5th floor. After the routine registration, we were asked to wait at the waiting room.

Since there were 5 others waiting there, hubby thought it would be a very long wait so he went to the cafe to get some pastries. I was against this but he said he was very hungry. *Eye roll* Come on la. How can one be hungry when one's daughter is about to be anesthetized right?  I mean, the wise thing to do was to ignore one's hunger pang and just stay put. You're with me on this right? Okay. Whatever. So he went down. No sooner had he left when a nurse came out to call Vava's name. CRAP! Just what I expected. I walked in, all the while cursing under my breath. SHIT SHIT SHIT.

In the doctor's room, I was in a foul mood. The procedure began with the usual Q & A about when and how the 'accident' happened. When that was done, I was told to get onto the bed with Vava on my lap so that the nurse could wrap her up in a white sheet. This was done to keep her still during the removal process. Using an LED otoscope, the doctor showed me the location of the styrofoam inside her ear and told me he was going to start immediately. I suddenly felt sick inside. Oh God! I can't do this alone. Just seconds after that, hubby appeared. Phew! I could breathe again.

Hubby took over and held Vava on his lap while the doctor inserted the slim forcep into her ear. It wasn't an easy task cos Vava tried hard to break free and when we wouldn't let her, she went hysterical. She screamed and screamed at the top of her lungs and she made sure everyone on the 5th floor heard her. You know how you get brain freeze when you drink your smoothie too fast? Well, that's the sensation I got when I heard her scream. I'm sure everyone felt the same way. Just look at the doctor in the picture.

After ten minutes of torture, it was all over. The styrofoam ball was finally out! Yay! Everyone in the room sighed simulatenously when this happened cos all the screaming stopped too. Peace was once again restored on the fifth floor and now everybody could hear themselves think. Me? I was just relieved that no anesthetic was used in the procedure. That was my greatest fear. When it was time to go, we thanked the doctor, bid the nurse goodbye and headed home. Everybody's happy.

My little Alva is okay now. A great lesson to learn from this incident? DO NOT let your babies touch styrofoam. It's dangerous and it'll make your life miserable. The End.