January 27, 2010

At seven months


Nick name: Vava/ Goliva/ Butod.

Abilities: Crawls, eats 2-3 baby meals a day, imitates language sounds and utters the word nenen and ma ma occasionally, listens when you speak to her, gives you wet kisses when you say the word "kiss", has the constant urge to put everything she sees into her mouth, cries in various pitches and volumes according to her needs and mesmerizes people with her magnetic smile. 

Likes & Dislikes: Loves being cuddled 24/7, playing peek-a-boo games, being swaddled, sleeping with a human body close to hers, seeing colourful moving objects and munching on papers, strings and wires. Hates being left alone, sleeping alone, being static as in strapped on the baby capsule, being forced to accompany mom to her boring office and getting bullied by Alden. 

Special attributes: Possess an infectious laugh, soft, cuddly and adorable.

My precious :)

January 22, 2010

Sunset at 9.40 p.m.

9.45 p.m. looks like this. Still terang benderang. Due to this abnormal phenomenon, my dinner and bedtime routines are officially screwed cos the sun constantly tells me "Hey, it's still early! You are not hungry. You are not sleepy!". I lose sense of time and I start having late dinners, going to bed at 1.00 - 2.00 a.m. in the morning. Just so you know, 1.00 am is way beyond  NZ's standard bedtime.  I'm not entirely sure what the standard norm is, but I reckon it's no later than 10.00 p.m.

Here, even chickens have bedtime. Yes, that's right. Chickens. We discovered this yesterday when hubby went to our neighbour's house for a short visit. Our neighbour Richard rears chicken in his backyard so hubby jokingly insinuated that  his chickens are a noisy bunch, making a lot of "Cuck-A-Cuck-A,Cuck-A-Caw" noise that probably drive him nuts. Richard who obviously thinks the world of his chickens, defended them and surprised hubby with his answer. He said "No, not at all. They are not loud. Right now they are very very quiet cos it is their bedtime". So hubby palak-palak mata la. In awe. Richard is probably the best chicken trainer in the world  who is  blessed with the most intelligent chickens in the history of mankind.

Now where was I? Oh yes. I was talking about this crazy summer phenomenon right. Point is, there's no use getting used to having the sun at night cos in autumn, it'll all change. In a few months' time, daylight saving ends and everything will be total chaos again. My biological alarm clock will go awry and I have to reset it until I can stop depending on the Sun-alarm clock. The latter just messes up everything you know. The best thing to do at the moment is indulge in this sakainess until I  feel normal again.  

January 12, 2010


Not so long ago, when I was pregnant with Alva, I ballooned to 68kg. That was me at my heaviest. After delivery, I went through two months of confinement with a diet of chicken soup, plain rice, veggie, bread and crackers. In no time, I managed to lose 10 kg and I wasn’t even trying. After that small success, I took for granted that I would lose the kilos naturally and I started to be more relaxed about losing weight. Apparently, I was wrong. Four months have passed and my weight has remained stagnant. I've reached a plateau.

This realization calls for drastic measures so I started a new diet last week. Today is my 8th day and so far it has been surprisingly good. It’s not without effort I assure you. I have to constantly tell myself that pastries are bad and fruits are good. Even a toast with peanut butter spread is considered a luxury now. That applies to all the demons of junk food out there like Oreos, Sneakers and Pringles. It's madness. There were times I was so tempted to eat a bag of chips lying in the cupboard, I had to close my eyes and count to 10 just to restrain myself from ripping the evil package. One wrong move could ruin a 24-hour effort you know.

So what do I eat? Well, my diet consists of easily prepared food and lots of fruits and veggies. For breakfast, I take Special-K Cornflakes which is 99% fat free with low fat milk. To make it a bit colourful I’d add a sprinkle of raisins and dried fruit so it'll appear more appetizing. For lunch, I'd make myself a chicken salad which consists of shredded chicken meat (mine’s usually taken from Alden's chicken soup) thinly sliced apples and cucumber. You mix them up and voila! you get a delicious chicken-apple salad. Sometimes, that’s not enough so to keep myself from going insane with hunger, I eat apples or whatever fruit available in the fridge.

Finally, dinner time. This is where things get a li-ttle challenging cos I usually have dinner with hubby and he normally prepares a heavy meal. For my diet to work I can only have a small portion of rice, say 5 tablespoon, a generous amount of veggie and whatever dish we’re having that night. Then when I feel like I want to have more, I close my eyes and imagine myself in a swimsuit. That's when all desire ceases and I get myself on track again.

Aside from food intake, regular exercise is equally if not more important. Who doesn't know that right? Back at home I used to play futsal twice a week and there were times I had four games in a week. It felt so good to be active. But that’s highly impossible now cos I don’t have the time nor a team to play with.  Still, I am planning to begin my exercise routine. My plan is to follow a fun workout video and spend around 40 minutes a day doing just that. Ambitious huh? I know you're not convinced. Even I'm not convinced, but to see it in writing makes it much more believable and resolute you see. So far I haven't decided how many days a week I will be working out and since the CD still hasn't arrived, this will have to wait.

So that's the plan. It's tough but it's all about baby steps right? I just hope I have enough will-power to stay in this path.

* Some useful tips for those like me

January 7, 2010

Being a Martian

As a teacher, I've encountered so many different types of students in class. The Einstein who is always holding a notebook and ahead of everybody. The Critic who watches  your every move and  notices your newly pedicured toes. The Quiet one who remains cool even though there's a natural disaster happening.  The Energizer who's always fired up about everything, from the lesson to the handouts to the homework, you name it. The Hippie who's laid back and couldn't care less about school. The CNN who knows everything about every other student. And finally, the Martian from outer space, confused by the world around her. I think at this moment, I belong in this category - lost and disoriented in my own little world.

Everything about my study is so confusing right now and it just frustrates me to no end. These past few days, I've been sitting at home, staring at this book entitled A Guide to Doing Statistics in Second Language Research, hoping for some kind of miracle to happen. Like having the ability to absorb information. The staring part is actually a way to motivate myself to open the book cos the thought of reading is just too daunting. I've tried it once and it was a nightmare I tell you! Statistics is a horrible horrible subject. Ahh..I wish I could have a tutor who looks like Rob Pattinson to guide me.
It's a good thing I met Yoda yesterday cos he gave me a  little nudge to get me going. He has this amazing ability to help me function systematically like a robot. The problem is, when I don't see him, I get disoriented again and I lose that focus. Now that he's away for three weeks, I have to struggle  independently. Why can't  I remember anything he said during our meeting? *garu kepala*. The notes I've written aren't helping either.

When he comes back, he expects to see a finished product and that's what freaking me out right now.
So. I am back to where I started - staring at buku statistics. Mulau is the word here. Before things get out of hand, I think I'll stop here. Otherwise, I'll start talking about Alden's poop and how it has affected my concentration. Nah, you wouldn't want that would you? Martian signing off :)

Mount Cook

I was so excited to blog about Mount Cook when we came back on Saturday. The moment we got home, I took out my lappy and started blogging about our trip. Happily typing away with Alva on my lap. Half way in the writing process, exhaustion somehow got the better of me so I decided to continue the next day. Obviously that didn't happen.

Now four days have passed and I don't even feel like talking bout' Mount Cook anymore. However, I'm not doing justice to my blog if I don't cos I've mentioned in my previous post that I would. Right. So, Mount Cook,  how shall I describe thee?  Let's see, you're the tallest  mountain in NZ and you're 331km away from Christchurch. Okay, that sounded lame. Let's try again shall we? Right. Physical attributes. You are breathtakingly beautiful, cold, picturesque and you look a lot like Mount Kinabalu covered in snow. Everything about you is so wonderful and very Lord of the Ring-ish and because of that one can't help but stare at your awesomeness. One word sums it all. WOW. That's how I'd put it.

Here are the pictures :)




January 2, 2010

New Year in Twizel

This year hubby and I decided to celebrate New Year and our fifth wedding anniversary in Mount Cook. Since hubby had to work half-day on the 31st, we only started our journey in the late afternoon.  Now that it's summer, it's still okay to set off a bit later because the sun sets around 9.00 p.m. Plus, the journey to Mt Cook is an easy 5 hour drive from Christchurch.

We left Christchurch on State Highway 1, driving towards Timaru. At Rangitata we followed SH79 through Geraldine and from Geraldine we drove on towards Fairlie and then to Lake Tekapo.  Along the way, we passed through the scenic Canterbury plains and we saw acres and acres of farming area with sheep, cattle, deer and cows. The cows reminded me of that Fernleaf ad on TV, the one with the caption "Kami ada 1 juta ekor lembu di New Zealand". Remember that one? Well, I didn't see 1 juta la but I saw lots and lots of them. Since I didn't get to take any pics of the cows, I'll show you the adorable sheep instead :)

The botak ones have just been sheared

After a long drive, we finally reached our first pittstop, Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo is breathtakingly beautiful with turquoise blue water, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. We really wanted to stay at Lake Tekapo but the hotels were all fully booked so we had to settle for Twizel instead. After taking a few photos we carried on to our destination. Another 53 km on the road brought us to Twizel. Several scenes from the Return of the King were filmed here and a  tour called Lord of the Rings Twizel Tour is available for LOTR fans. Twizel is actually a small town in the Mackenzie Basin and it is known as the Town of Trees. Pine trees to be exact.  Everything about this town reminds me of Forks in Twilight. You know that scene where Bella arrives in Forks? The part where she's in the car with Charlie, monologing about the town's demographics? Well, that's my first impression of Twizel and I felt like Bella arriving in Forks. Population:  1,017. It's so Twilight!! Lots of trees, small, secluded, quiet and mysterious. The only thing missing is Edward Cullen. Deliciously handsome, Edward Cullen. Hehe.

Lake Tekapo


Anyway, we stayed at a pretty nice hotel called the Mackenzie Country Inn. The room was really clean and cosy, with a flat screen TV and cofee/ tea making facilities. The basics. The downside of this hotel is, wifi  doesn't come free. They charge $6.00 per hour so if you're staying here, you better forget about internet. Apart from that, everything else is great. After settling down in our room, we had dinner and waited for new year. There were no fireworks, no big party to welcome the new year. But it was perfect. After a long day on the road, all I wanted was a quiet new year's eve with just the four of us.

*Our visit to Mount Cook will be posted later. Too tired right now :)

January 1, 2010

Wood Anniversary

Five years ago today, I said I DO to this charming guy.

This may sound overly corny to you but I think I fell in love with him when he kneeled  down to shake sand off my feet at Rasa Ria. At that moment, it was as if cleaning my feet was his only mission in life. I was touched cos he did it in such a humble manner which made me feel like a million bucks. When he was done cleaning, he helped with my sandals and finished the job with a happy 'Ta Da' look. My heart skipped a beat. He could be the one, I thought excitedly. Before I could say anything, he stood up, took me in his arms and...okay I'll stop here. I just remembered my sister reads this site.

Anyway, after this feet-dusting episode, we hit it off and he proposed a month later. The rest as they say is history.

This year's anniversary is extra special cos we've added a new addition to our family.  With Alva in the picture, we have more tantrums to handle at home and less time for ourselves. Nevertheless,  we can't help but feel blessed for having them in our lives.

I am looking forward to the day ten years from now when hubby and I are sharing a special moment to remember how it all started and what we have achieved together.

Happy New Year and Happy 5th Anniversary dear.