I dreamt of my baby

It’s the last month before life changes forever next month. And this morning, I had the first dream of my baby.

In my dream, I was frantic and was wondering what I had missed out. Then I realise I have a baby.. and she’s out. She was sleeping soundly in a cot, in the room where DR and I were in when we were still staying with my parents. I peeked into the cot, and she was sucking her pacifier, sleeping soundly. Mom was also standing near me.

“She looks like me when I was a baby,” I thought in my dream.

Then I woke up… and I felt God assuring me that my baby will be out to see us soon… counting down to end Jan 2018!

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Getting ready for our little one

It started with attending a pregnancy seminar…

And we visited a baby fair at Expo where we got a breast pump and a cot, including this free packet of diapers!

Mom (Grandma) bought our little one lots of onesies that can be buttoned from the front.

And we bought a changing table cum chest of drawers from Ikea, which was later painstakingly assembled by DR and Sarah using three hours!

Mom bought her towels..

And a church friend offered their pre-loved bottle steriliser!

Some pending items that we need for now:

– Baby bottles

– Baby carrier (getting a second-hand Manduca from Carousell which is in a pretty good condition. If the baby doesn’t like the carrier, at least I know I haven’t spent a bomb on this)

– One or two more sets of bedding (mattress cover, pillow case) for the cot

– Lots of diapers (S and M-sized)

– Lots of baby wipes

An eventful lead-up to being 30

So, here I am, writing as a 30 year-old. I have finally reached the milestone of being 30 recently. But boy, from the last post to my current one, so many things have happened all at the same time.

Anxiety, fear, grief, loss, joy, hope, strength – all in the past one month before my 30th birthday.

11 August – the passing of Ah Ma and hospitalisation of my dad.

15 August – the passing of DR’s aunt after a 3-month fight against a rare brain disease.

These were just one of the few major things during this period that made me shed tears, made me realise how important family are, and how precious our lives are.

God has been so gracious to me and our family. He is our good Father who comforts us and gives us hope and strength. I believe that as I enter into the next season of life being in my 30s, God wants to remind me that He is my help, my strength and my hope. I really cannot stop marvelling at how God had placed angels to sustain me during those trying times.

Dad was discharged on 21 August. And he is regaining his daily functions. For that, I thank God for healing him, and giving mom the strength, patience and love to help him, even as she is dealing with her grief of losing her own mother (my Ah Ma). I truly thank God for making these trying times short, and helping us along the way. In the future, we don’t know what will come, but God is there, and He is the unchanging anchor we can always trust.

 

 

 

 

What to eat in New Zealand (South Island)

I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT IT HAS BEEN MORE THAN ONE MONTH SINCE I’M BACK FROM MY TRIP TO NZ!

Where did time go? Well, although one month has passed, I am still thinking fondly of that beautiful country. I had such a lovely time there, enjoying the crisp spring air and majestic mountains and lakes in NZ’s South Island. I think I may take some time to blog my trip itinerary down but it’s ok, I think I will blog about food first! So, people often wonder what they should eat in NZ. Is it going to be fish & chips all the way? Well, here are some recommendations!

1) Fergburger, Queenstown

Just try their classic – The Fergburger (NZ$11.50) and you will be an advocate! The lettuce and patty were so fresh, the aioli sauce so tasty and the burger buns so pillowy soft, I wondered “What food sorcery is this?” The burger was amazing. I wolfed the whole burger down on my own. Good thing is this burger shop opens till the wee hours of the morning. 

2) Taco Medic, Queenstown

At NZ$7 per taco, this is a hearty meal if you order 2. I ordered The Bushman (recommended by the staff) and The Stockman. Both were delicious but I personally prefer The Stockman. This meal is awesome when you sit at the lakefront and enjoy the sunset while eating.

3) Eden Alley (Korean food), Riccarton, Christchurch 

Riccarton is unofficially known as Chinatown of Christchurch due to its large Asian migrant communities. DR and I had our Airbnb stay for 2 nights around this area. Recommended by our Korean hosts, we trooped down to Eden Alley for some Korean food… The weather was cold so we needed soup to warm our tummy. And little did we know we would return again for the 2nd time because their oxtail and beef ribs clear broth (NZ$18) was sooooo awesome! I also enjoyed their kimchi jiggae (NZ$15). These soups came with rice and side dishes. Price-wise, I dare say that it is much more affordable than some Korean restaurants in Singapore! 

4) Kohan Japanese Restaurant, Lake Tekapo

Sushi. With a view. Of the gorgeous, oh-so-blue Lake Tekapo. Enough said. The Lake Tekapo Roll you see in this picture costs NZ$17. The portions are huge and I enjoyed having some rice, after eating steak, chips and burgers for the past many days. You can skip the sashimi (NZ$15) though because there is nothing special to shout about. There are better ones with decent portions in Singapore. 

5) Creme Brulee fudge at The Remarkable Sweet Shop, Queenstown

Sorry, no picture of the fudge but I find it interesting that the Kiwis like fudge. Fudge is soooo sweet but I understand people usually enjoy eating it with tea or coffee, like a dessert. I thought others might not like it due to its saccharine sweetness, so I only bought one. Never did I know the creme brulee fudge (NZ$6.80 per slice) would grow on me. I really enjoyed it after I brought it back to Singapore. The Remarkable Sweet Shop sells nougats too. I bought the nutty one which I gave to my mom. 

So, this is the introduction for now. I will add more to this list when I have some time. Hope this post has been useful if you are planning for your trip to beautiful NZ (:

Another eventful day

It is highly unlikely that one will meet with a terrorist attack when living in Singapore. Just like a plane crash, while the probability of being killed in a terrorist attack is low (unless you are living in conflict-torn areas, but that’s another story), the impact is catastrophic if it happens.

To me, losing a loved one in terrorist attacks was distant, until last year and today. I see it on TV or read them in the newspapers, but I will never imagine that it can be possible. This possibility drew so close, when my sister was due to land in Paris ALONE, the day after the Paris attacks on 13 Nov 2015 and right now, she is staying near the downtown sites of the Jakarta blasts that happened this afternoon. Two times – so close to a terrorist attack! I will never want to imagine the consequences should this – losing loved ones in a terrorist attack – happen.

This is when we learn how to trust in God when our lives seem so fragile. Much as we want to protect our loved ones, we know their (and our) lives are not what we can control. But our sovereign God, who is ever-present, is a great “I AM”, whom we can trust and take refuge in. We rely on His promises that His protection will be around when we call upon Him, just like in Old Testament, when God delivered Israel from harm during the Egyptian exodus.

I look to my mom as my role model during this time of uncertainty. While she worries, I can sense that she is collected and did not ask for hourly updates about my sister when the Jakarta blasts happened. There is an inner peace within her, knowing that God will protect. I believe having Sarah based there in Jakarta with ZH for the next 2 to 3 years is a worrying thing for my mom, but I trust that God will give us the peace from above, and reveal to us that He is our strength and protection.

 

 

8 things I’m thankful for

8 days of 2016 have passed. 2015 whizzed by, and here I am in year 2016. Wow.

2015 has been an eventful year – both for the good and bad. But God has been so gracious to me that amidst the bad, I have been blessed with so many good things. Here are 8 things I am thankful for in 2015:

1. Deren graduated. Sanity restored for him, and for me. We could finally go overseas, head to weekend movies, watch tv dramas at night, and not worry about incomplete assignments.

2. My new house. Remember my post almost 3 years ago (check it out here)? I was still thinking about it and now, here I am, living in it. I love chilling in my house on evenings, sitting beside my window and gazing out to the peaceful park and flowing river. I love nature, and I believe Heaven would be so full of flowing rivers and green pastures. So the view outside my window is like a tiny, little glimpse into eternity in Heaven.

image

Relaxing at my reclining sofa, admiring the calm evening outside

3. My mommy and sister. They have been such great help in easing me into my new house. I suffered terrible adjustment issues when I first moved. I doubted my abilities to manage a household and felt completely at a loss when it came to household chores and handling of bills. I didnt know how to cook, the appropriate detergent or cleaner to buy etc. Basically, I felt dumb and helpless. It was darn scary, I tell you. Worse still, I had to separate from my mom whom I have depended so much on for all my 28 years. This means, no more home-cooked food and cleaning my own house *bawls. I dunno how to do it* but, thankfully my mom and sister stepped in and helped to buy many household products to settle us in, cleaned our house and bought pretty bowls and decor to bring cheer to the house. Now, my mom comes over every other week to help us iron our clothes and cook dinner for us before she goes off for work in the afternoon. For that, I’m really, really thankful.

4. My new workplace. Someone told me that when you dread going to work every day, it means it’s time to leave. Leaving, it was, from the job I had for the past 5 years and one that I no longer found joy in. In fact, I sometimes woke up feeling nauseous last time. I was amazed how God opened paths so smoothly and quickly for me to go to my new workplace. There are new challenges in this new place, but having gone through the heat at my last workplace for the past 2 years (late-night rushing of major papers to fault-finding, perfectionist bosses; piled-up projects that were waiting to get started and never-ending work), I feel that these challenges are not as daunting.

5. My parents’ health. I thank God for watching over them and keeping them safe. Because they do not have any major health issues, I can concentrate on managing my work and personal life. I pray that they will continue to be healthy and enriched through God’s Word. Gotta admit, now that I moved out, I go back home about once every 2 weeks (as the other week is spent at Deren’s parents’ home), and darn, I miss my house and the comfort of being with my parents. I realise time is limited with them. So I do want to spend more time with my parents.

6. My friends – JC gal pals and C Girls. They kept me sane and human. They were understanding when I told them I felt too tired to meet up due to work. They allow me to be who I am, and cheered me on when I was going through a loooong rough patch last year.

7. My Nainai’s recovery after hospitalization. My nainai had a pacemaker inserted near her collarbone late last year. Thank God she recovered relatively well, but I really do hope I can help her more to ease her daily life in her twilight years.

8. God. I was torn down, ripped to the core of my identity, both at work and in my serving in church last year. DR said I probably was going through depression last year. But on hindsight, I believe God allowed it so that my identity could be rebuilt, rooted in Christ Jesus and not on my own supposed abilities. I remembered the many tears I cried, on Sundays during church, at home.. Oh, they still bring tears to my eyes as I think back on those days last year. God was so good, because He helped me up and sent so many different angels to encourage me in different ways, including healing me through the Pixar movie, ‘Inside Out’. For this, I am thankful that when I realise I had nothing, I still had God. He was and is really all I need.

So yes, this sums up the 8 things I am thankful for last year. Onward to 2016!! Can’t wait for the 1st exciting thing to happen in 2016 – our trip to Taipei in February!! And I will make Trip NZ happen soon, preferably by this year…must save $$.

Hello again!

Hello there!

I’m going to breathe a little life to my blog. So much has happened since I last blogged.

I moved to my new house. Travelled to Seoul. Survived 2 iterations of this super stressful work paper (but now, praise God, it’s getting some headway). Survived heaps of work and organising of meetings. Celebrated SG50. Voted in the General Elections where all the seats were contested. Settled the spring-cleaning of Nainai’s room so that she can recuperate better after her surgery earlier this month. Turned 28. Learnt how to cook some simple dishes and wash the toilet.

Wow. Thank you, God. You make me realise that I’m blessed because of You, because of who You are and not because of what I can do.

The lessons I faced this year were painful, but I’m so thankful that God placed his angels around me to encourage me when I was down in the pits.

Really thank God for my family, my sis and my mom for being such a great help when I first moved in to my new place. I had difficulty adjusting to living on our own, and felt so sad then, when I went back to my 娘家 (literal translation: mother’s home) and had to leave to return to my new home. I realise how dependent I was towards my mom and truly, it was a struggle to be away from her. It didn’t help that i was also facing one of my stressful periods at work. But yup, survived that, and now I manage things a little better on my own.

I thank God for being my strong anchor when so many things were changing.

To end off, let me share this Psalm from the Bible that brought healing to my bones:

‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord , “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91:1-16 NIV

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