Beauty in Chaos

End of the year, and *facepalm* can’t believe my last post was in June!

But if I were to fill in the gap between June to December, let me tell you it’s filled with boring routine mumster, mid-life stories.

I think life have become pretty standard (ZzzZzzzZz): Come back from office, pick cheeky-boo Daniel up from the nanny’s, stuck in traffic, rendam the vegetables, defrost the meat, feed Daniel his dinner porridge while watching TVB drama, wash him up, cook the rice and cuts up the dishes while watching my son delightfully open-close-open-close-open-close the washing machine before pressing on all the buttons on the (read: destroying), and many times goes inside the washing machine to see if papa’s sock or mum’s panties still stuck in the roof (my machine is side-loading). Then, I feed my boy some fruits puree, read him some fire engine and old Macdonald’s farm animals, while letting him watch some BabyTV (Billy Bam Bam is my son’s favourite). When papa’s back, I will dump my son to him, run straight to the kitchen to cook a bunch of chinese delicious (subjective) cuisine for 2 pax.

His favourite grand-uncle and grand-aunty aka babysitter’s family.

I will go upstairs and get a shower while my son watches me happily playing peekaboo at the bathroom door with his naked mama. Daniel will be saying “chak, chak“, squinting his eye signaling (hurrying) me for a feedback of chakkks, smiling widely. He dare not go into the bathroom (kena scold before, and he knows he shouldn’t), but will surely cry if  I had to have a peekaboo intermittent because you tell me lahh how to chakkk with shampoo on my face ok. He absolutely hates peekaboo intermittent, and I must do this chak-chak-chak thingy in my whole 10 min in the shower. Papa will be left alone at the kitchen doing all the dirty dishes and then makes his fruits/vege juice with the juicer. Then, when my son sleeps at exacly 9.30pm, I will handwash all his clothes. If you are asking, yes, I still handwash my baby’s clothes every damn blardy night since he was born. I can be such an OCD piece of shit sometimes.

Peekaboo!

As a mum, I don’t know how to compare (btw, we shouldn’t compare our kids), but Daniel is definitely a textbook baby. Meaning, his developmental milestones are exactly as what you google month-after-month in BabyCentre or WebMD. He is quite predictable and easy to take care! <–my mum claimed, not me.

He has been speaking a few words which are meaningful – put, take, give, “tit tit tit” when he holds the Astro remote controls and points it to the tv, “mai” (Hokkien for ‘No’), “puyaoo” (<–Mandarin for ‘No’), “yallooooo” when he puts the phone to his ears, “cat-cat” when he sees a cat in the book, or real cat. “Nennen”&”Mam mam”, if he wants milk/food and “Papa” are his first ever words. He still can’t say “mummy” yet to his kiasu mummy although he’s with me all the time, manja and playing with me. Sux wei. And of course, he has been getting more and more talkative bablebablellele babbles baa booo goo gaga aiyooh sumida all day, and I believe my son was a Korean guy reincarnate.

He is already holding his own milk bottle himself to drink, and I swear I was delighted because less one task for the parents with an independent child. LOL! Can marry him off already lah. Can. Hahaha.

After work, I try to take him to the playground nearby.

After 14 months, I realised how my son has changed me. I am born like this: over-dominating, big headed career woman, ever the high achiever at whatever I try/do even though I am not talented in it, reads 4 books a month, perfectionist-bitch, and quite kiasu. But when my son is born (also when I met my husband), I find it easier to let go of certain things. I find it easier to let go of perfection. I let people take care of my son and close one-eye in many things, while I catch a movie alone, go for a facial, takes 1 year to finish 3 books, not making the bed, living in a untidy hall, bedroom, etc. This is because I don’t want to be trapped in the cycle of woman-doing-every-thing-in-the-house-and-takes-care-of-children-too-and-earns-a-bunch-of-salary-back-home. I don’t want to do everything for the household or my family. And want people to help me. I allow my hubby to help me out in anything he can (no matter what tasks), not caring about the outcome, let my son fall down and bump his head, let my son eat hair, food he picked up from the floor, let my son eat junk food and kacang puteh, loads of sugary vitagen (vitagen keeps him quiet in the car and when I watch TVB drama), let my floor be dusty for a week, forgot to wash the vegetable and cook it, simply cut the vege, the eggs are hangus, the meat is hancur, Really, nevermind, Because I feel quite happy being imperfect!

 

His coconut hair-do. It makes him look cute, but I cut the unruly hair off to be ready for CNY.

He can be quite a good boy. Often listens to us and afraid of scolding. A bit sensitive (like Papa)

Going kai-kai is his favourite past time.

He loves flipping books, but also enjoys his BabyTV and unexpectedly, loves to watch Berita (the RTM version)

Sorry, but bash me all you want you breastfeeding advocates, but the KEY to my current happiness was: Stop breastfeeding. There!

Gosh, I felt so liberated once I stopped bf because I hate that my son keep latching to me and I have absolutely no farking time to do any farking thing. I honestly hate the pumping regime both at home and at work, and I can’t focus on my work or meetings. When I want to do some work/experiment, suddenly I need to pump. Soooo mah fun! After 6 months of essential breastfeeding, and when my son seemed to love solids more than breasts, I was extremely happy to quit the pump and that fugly bra. He was unhappy too because he kept getting scolded for biting my boob tits when he latches (6 months already got 4 teeth ok). He frustrated, I also frustrated. Without breastfeeding, Papa also get to play a role in feeding his son, and at least this empowers the man to hold the feeding bottle and do the feeding. More than 3/4 of Daniel’s feeding now is Papa’s job. And I have sooo much time after that. Sleeping also felt sooo good for 8 months already. I wake up a happier person each morning because I have good sleep every night with my son sleeping through without waking up hungry. I don’t like that feeding goes exclusively to the mother. Don’t like. Period. Btw, my son holds the feeding bottle himself and feeds all 7 ounces already! Both papa and mummy are proud of his independence, plans to marry him off soon). 😛

Semakin kaypoh

Fell from the bed and got his first manhood bruise.

His favourite Thor hammer. He fought well <-bruises everywhere

Truth: I wished I was a high-milk-supply-mum, so then I can pump like 100 bottles a day and leave them to the dad/nanny to feed. But obviously I am not. I am a low-supply-kais-pagi-makan-pagi milk supply mum and my son is a big eater and cries every time after breastmilk because still so hungry, so that’s why it’s not conducive for me to continue breastfeeding. Again, it’s all in the mind(!), and when I purportedly tell myself that I hated breastfeeding cause it wasted a lot of my goddamn time, milk definitely didn’t come anymore (yay! no more leaky breast). However, when I wanted to quit, I went to upset to depression because people that idk (the internet, forums) trying to throw such formula milk mums down as a “bad mums”. Perfectionist, high-achiever you may think I am, but this is one thing I am willing to give up for the love of MYSELF. No breast milk after 6 months, but my son is still alive and kicking and cuter than ever….but that is because I have great genes, kan….

Manja boy. Always golek around me, hug and kisses me frequently. I miss him daily when I am work.

Well, blink blink eye, it’s Christmas:

My 5-foot Christmas tree is up, my son dare not touch it after I warned him once only. Good dog boy. He was such a menace initially, but now will just say out loud: “WAHHHHhhhhHH” if I point him to any Christmas tree in the mall or at home, and absolutely dare not touch any ornaments on our tree. Because perfectionist mummy here doesn’t like heterogeneous placing of ornaments; the OCD me loves exact spatial placing of ornaments and symmetry. 😛

This year 2016 is awesome in many ways. I am optimistic about next year: career-wise: I hope the crude oil price will bounce up further; the ringgit will strengthen so that I can go more overseas holiday with my two boys, and I hope that my family and friends will be happier and achieve what they aim for. And lose weight.

Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

 

Doing naughty cheek face to his cousin, Amanda.

Love you both!

No Symmetry

So my hubby cuts me mangoes. See photo already can see he so meticulous and symmetrical. Gosh, I can do the same actually but in lesser symmetry and proudly – uglier.

He cuts me fruits cantek-cantek all the time. Mango, starfruits, jambu, grapes.

 

My hubby cooks me spaghetti bolognese with grilled chicken as sides after work. I could do the same, but in higher grease and salt content.

 

He climbs the roof to fix it DIY while his emo wife screams and screams for him to come down and ask some other pro to do it. After that, he cleans the toilets of my entire house, and still have time to make me tea and buys me seedless grapes to eat.

 

He buys me a Swiss watch because he cannot tahan his corporate wife wearing an Adidas digital watch to work.

He bought me a Swiss, but not Federer.

 

He scolds the gangster neighbour for me at the front gate of my neighbour because his wife got mad of the neighbour’s parking antics. I horn horn horn and my hubby, full of guts, scolded da gangster. Now hubby more gangster than I have ever knew. I strictly believe he would go prison because of me.

He does the gangsta behaviour in public occasionally.

 

He explains to me historical facts of China before I went Beijing, and tells me in details about the Nascar Lines and how it is connected to the Egyptian pyramids. He explains the SAS (that army thingy) to me, while I mind flies off blankly and eyes fixed on this month’s Harper’s Bazaar.

He plays Napolean Blownapart here.

 

He translates Chinese movies to English (real time) and re-explains the story line/scene because that movie don’t have English/Malay subtitles. He’s expert in chow sing chi movie.

 

He runs with me every weekend slower than his usual pace like slow snail like dat…because of scared his wife kena kidnap. Mosquitoes also faster.

 

Things he does for me. Makes me a spoilt princess.

 

I am never a drop-dead romantic person. I told (more like warned) my hubby since day one we met that I would never(?) do lovey-dovey things with him. PDA is fine, flowers and fine jewelry are fine (of course they are fine! haha), but I told him: NO wearing same shirts around, NO matchy-matchy colours, utter respect for my big laughs, NO sharing of DNA in any form unless his well-done steak looks better than my medium-rare chicken, NO ending a race together holding hands, Don’t expect this girl to bake a cake or cookie for you, You eat all my homecooked food without complains, etc. So this is how it was, how it is today. Pity him. Hahaha.

 

Then things start to wean as time goes by and I realised he is not that romantic actually. Ok, let me rephrase: I realised that he is romantic in a way women is not likely to identify with. As time goes by he is giving me less flowers and cards and jewelry, but he is getting more affectionate and responsible of me and my life. He cares. He makes time for me every single day. He make me laugh everyday. He laughs at my jokes even not funny just to please me, I know. So stupid.

My hubby is a latte art destroyer and this particular act always breaks my heart….
….but I close one eye.

 

Why am I documenting all these hubby antics? I really don’t know. Maybe anniversaries does make me go emo. One day probably I’ll look back (knowing that relationship ages with time and if I get Alzheimer), I can smile back and remember, yes, remember this good old days and read them like bedtime stories to my cucu-cicit.

One year ago, yesterday. Bliss.

 

(Disclaimer: Again, I am no relationship expert)

Most important we don’t change each other and accept each other. What he doesn’t like, he close one eye; what I don’t like, I don’t go changing him. I close my eye too. We don’t go tolerating each other but accepting each other’s traits. Things can change, we change it by our own merits without force; if we start to go into changing things that we CAN’T change, that will be the horrific term called: controlling. And nothing more confusing than giving you 1 more good advice: Discuss with each other before doing/deciding anything huge. I am an independent girl and he is an independent man, but we are hubby-wifey, needs 100% discussion. No golden ratio in relationships. Weird, we do fight but lesser and lesser and lesser (amen!) this past year, but when argument happens, I will start crying, then he cannot tahan wan…sure he gives in (secret strategy). That’s our fighting rhythm. Hahahaha. I know he knows.

 

He’s not only my Napolean, but my Legolas. Only shorter.

 

Happy Anniversary Hubster! Aren’t you lucky to have found me 4 years back?!

 

1 Day, 2 Celebrations

6th May 2013: A day after election, when I was still berdebar-debar with the near-death election results (esp. Perak), we went to JPN (National Registration Department NRD, Ipoh) to submit our marriage application. Thank God my hubby and I are both from Ipoh which makes registration much easier and business was as usual at the government’s offices despite the GE13 frenzy a day before. One of my bestie thought NRD was the name of some cafeteria. Lol!

Somewhere in May 2013: Bought a dainty LWD for my ROM (great buy: good quality taffeta material) and a pair of ZangToi’s for the occasion. Most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought…yet. (the furthest I went was Aldo).

Bought a bridal package which was great and no hard-selling. Nowadays, bridal packages (e.g. prices and offerings) are extremely competitive, thus some bridal advisors resort to hard-selling, which often turns me off.

31 May 2013: I’ve gotten myself a Korean Wave (read: hairperm like those Korean babes) and new hair colour for a change. I did think I went over-board (read: too adventurous) with the colour. Whatever! I do feel ‘changed’…for once, for real. I applauded myself for being brave.

I learned two new words during the process: ‘Boutonniere’ and ‘Burgundy

7th June 2013: I drove down from KL to Ipoh the night before, picking up my uncle and aunt who joined the rest of my more-excited-than-I-am family members. This day was not without its trauma: my bridal bouquet and cupcakes (doorgifts) delivery was delayed for 4 hours, when that 4-hour delayed could bring me back to Ipoh much sooner. The florist gave me much excuses: it was Friday, traffic sucks and Malaysians abide by Malaysian time. I did panic.

7th June 2013 (pm) until dawn of 8th June 2013: I slept with my Maltese, Pei Pei. Woke up with her by my side.

Bantah?? My ex-high school classmate (Freda Hew) spotted this by chance, and snapped this for me at Ipoh’s NRD.

8th June 2013 – I turned 3# years old and I am going to change my name on this very day!

8th June 2013 (am) – Put some make up on, set my burgundy hair into a Korean wave, spend a few minutes for some candid pics at home with relatives and we’re good to go!

Me and the Godfather(!)

Pei Pei and I

I though I reached NRD early, but the Fong family was already there. Pinned the *swallow* Boutonniere onto his blazer and we went in to take our queue number. We are the second couple. Saturdays only receives 4 couples at NRD.

Meanwhile, my bestie, YP and my aunt snapped some pics of us in the waiting room. Thanks Pooi!

My brother will marry first, but we ROM first. So, Fong don’t need buy him trousers to hang.

Aiya….photographer tak pandai Macroshot. (This is where I did miss you Kenny Law, with your photography skills)

Okay, boleh masuk dah:

Satu kampung MASUK!

…..and I thought witness is supposed to be >18 years.

The angkat-ikrar room is not too huge and the sign in front says: “No Children Allowed”. But my witness is my nephew. Cannot?

Then the whole lot of family members, friends and kids(too!) went into the room and the room was packed to the brink! But I am blessed everyone’s here to witness our signing together. Just blessed. Mum and my uncle, as usual, made crazy jokes, and we laughed and laughed just before the Registrar came in. Everyone suddenly turn quiet. Can hear a pin drop. She’s like Judge Dread.

Okay, start The Registrar said a few legal stuff….bla bla bla, angkat ikrar…signed, habis. I am now known as ….same lahIvy…what else. Thank God for first names. Lol!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m yours.

After coming out from the Registrar’s room, the photo-taking frenzy begins:

L-R: Bestie forever YP, Fong, I, Leng chais Meng and Beh 

We siblings.

     

      Original Chai family: Eric, Dad, Mum, (Mr. and Mrs. Fong) and Andrew and future missus Chai!

My parents and parents-in-law

My new family

8 June 2013 (brunch): After taking a whole lot of pictures…like A LOT, we went to old town for dimsum. Once back home, everyone begin celebrating my birthday. Once again I felt blessed. I was over-joyed by the presents and presence. My hubby got me charms from Thomas Sabo. Blessed gilerrrr!

My 1-candle-cheese-cake birthday at home with everyone!

8th June 2013 (pm): Okay, remove my make up but still no rest. I had to rush to another appointment: Meeting my Actual Day photographer. and he is like the BEST! Better than you, Kenny Law 😛

Tired like mad.

Ivy-KongOUT!!

More photos on my Google+ account or on Picasaweb.google.com/cchivy

I am the Pope

Fumata nera?

 

 or Fumata bianca?

Of course you will understand that these are the smokes that emit from the Sistine chapel’s chimney upon a failed x2 to x10 (nera) or successful x1 (bianca) selection of a new Pope during papal conclave.

Rejoice if you see white smoke! That’s when the new pope will comes out to the infamous balcony and pageant wave to all believers and tourists that patiently awaits, just like Queen E, Kate, or like the Japanese royal family.

Yay, a Pope! Wherever he’s from.

But I don’t get it. Maybe because I am not Catholic (Btw, I am Methodist, whatever, or am I Baptist? *What am I??!* I need to ask Jesus what kinda Christian-type I am).  I don’t get it. I don’t get this papal conclave because I don’t understand why people have to rejoice when a pope is selected. I mean, don’t they always GET selected at the end? No surprise. But yah, maybe if the Pope originates from your country, only then, probably, you (or I) may feel a great difference and I may even feel proud. Otherwise….meh!

But you see, this is tradition. This is process. This is meaningful. Bare in mind, each step in every process as its significance. 95% confidence. May not make sense to you, but make sense to others. I’ll just rejoice, when everyone does. I will also feel sad together-gether with the anxious crowd if no pope pops from the balcony after 20 fumata nera (unlikely! 95% confident). I will just do and feel as the masses do. Process. Culture. Tradition.

Oh no, false alarm. No pope?

Let’s relate:

This Sunday will be my first time (once in my entire life!) going through a ‘process’. A tradition. A culture. My own papal conclave. I may be lost in translation but at least when I am an important part of the process, I might be learning faster than normal times. And I just KNOW that my papal conclave will result in a fumata bianca even in the first round of voting. So, already, please rejoice!

My “Sistine Chapel”. Obviously without a balcony.

This is my big FUMATA BIANCA:

White smoke can have many meanings

Disclaimer: This post may touch the sensitivities of some readers. Views are purely personal and unintentional. 

Myth Busted

There was a time where I thought I would be getting married and have kids only at 45. Because of the lingering myth that I have had too many failed relationships and am too intelligent a woman for any guy to appreciate scientific conversations (No, I don’t bring up such topics in any dates); that […]

Double Hill

I’ve gotten my pre-valentine treat at Cameron Highlands, a place where flowers bloom and strawberry business thrive. ‘Strawberry business’ in my dictionary is not limited to strawberries growing in soil, but it also refers to merchandises that LOOK like strawberries, e.g. strawberry-shaped pillows, magnets, pencils that has strawberry prints, strawberry fondue, strawberry clothings, tea-infused strawberries, etc… Travesty! Gosh, they are everywhere in the whole of Camerons. Urrrgghhh….!

Don’t let this ‘beautiful’ fruit trick you

I hate strawberries and I am not kidding. The Malaysian breeds are rarely sweet, in fact they are super sour. This fruit is only beautiful skin-deep. Before you know it, they are grown with white-fluffy fungus, Rhizopus nigricans, with post-harvest ‘leak’ (I learnt this in my Ph.D. years of fungal res.). The only piece of strawberries I can consume are processed strawberries – in the form of jams and ice-cream. Nahhh, not even whip-cream on strawberry can change my mind abt this fruit.What made my impression of strawberries worse – the hideous English:

Haiyoor…England so worse!

The main objective (omg, too much of scientific research makes me so skema lately) of this trip was to hike up two hills (thus, Double hill) where lies the most amazing stretches of tea plantation: Sg. Palas BOH tea plantation and HABU tea plantation. The former is at Brinchang, while the latter is after Ringlet. And of course, to spend time with Fong away from the buzzling city :). If you didn’t know, I have been very stressful at work lately. I need some kinda time-out.

Flowers, yes, flowers are more my type
These are definitely not lavender, but they are so pretty!
Bharat tea plantation, off-Brinchang.

After checking in to Equatorial, we headed to Tanah Rata for lunch. During my Ph.D. years, I spent 5 days living in Tanah Rata to study the pesticide levels of produces here, hence I thought I was pretty familiar of Tanah Rata. But that was 2007. There wasn’t Starbucks then; I was surprised to see the coffee outlet being out-of-place in a tea-dominant area and teh tarik stalls! Hah, I spot only kwai lows and backpackers patronizing Starbucks at that time…See!

I do not know, but I feel that this Starbucks is kinda out-of-place

Wasting no time, we head to Lord’s Cafe to filled up our stomachs before the hike. Back then, this place was called T-cafe. infamously known for their classic scones &amp; jam and creamy (strawberry?!) cakes. Pies here is a must-try too. I ordered scones, while Fong shared his strawberry mousse cake with me. It was disappointing to know that they do not serve main entrees anymore here. Wonder why.

Lord’s cafe lived up to its name as it does have a Christian feel in here. Loads of posters and encouraging verses from the Bible hung on the four walls of the cafe. Books/magazines are ample, contributed by backpackers stopping for a meal.

At Lord’s cafe
Finished scones.

After that quick brunch, we make the foothill of Sg. Palas BOH plantation, Brinchang. The primary reason we don’t want to drive up was because I’ve experience a literal heart attack the last time I came up here with my Kelisa with my ex-classmates. Was driving up to Sg. Palas with my Kelisa, and yet, I was pressured to passed those huge busses and other vehicles coming down. The gap between me and the edge of the ridge were mere inches!! I remembered I was
being honked and honked and honked and compelled to brave through the horrendous traffic flow. And that was with a tiny weany Kelisa we’re talking about; imagine going up with a Honda City! Historically I doubt there were any car that fell over the edge before, but it takes a heart of a lion to get up there. I was a squishy insect that time. 

Nevertheless, a hike is lots better cause:

1. It’s mere 2 km

2. It’s cooling!

3. The view was fantastic

4. We both love exercising, Fong’s from Menglembu. A tar-road hike-up = Kledang hill.

This was why we didn’t want to drive up to Sg. Palas. Traffic in standstill for
a moment. The road up/down fits 1 car and 1 car only.  Don’t fall off the
edge!

Rest for a while
Check point no.1 – white roses decorating the guard post
He doesn’t mind a pose. Plantation worker harvesting tea
Ethical spraying: Good agricultural practices by BOH. FYI, you’ll need  7 days after spraying pesticides before you harvest your produce.
An old smoke house bellowing …well, smoke. Well, it’s a rare sight (my first), cause in Malaysia  you don’t see fireplaces working on a sunny afternoon!
Arriving at destination. Sg Palas BOH plantation
A short break and hydrate before we hike down before night comes.

Early in the morning, even after finding out that Whitney Houston has passed (was shocked!), we were still enthusiastic and getting ready to do the next hike at Habu. But first, I can’t help but to play a game of pool after spotting four(!) pool tables at the hotel’s lobby.

When you see pool, you play pool

Alright, so we reached Ringlet and just after Ringlet, is another older BOH plantation – Habu. Habu is a little complicated and roads towards Habu is kinda hidden amongst the intensive agriculture. You have to drive up to Habu….and the hike starts from Habu tea house to Malaysian Nature Society (MNS: check point 1).  I’ve done this before in May 2011, so this route is pretty familiar. Probably 1.5 km. You can go another 4km to the peak of Habu, but time does not permit.

At Habu tea house.
Habu plantation as backdrop.
Was wondering what the white spots were. Zooming in showed hardworking plantation workers doing their tea-thing. Harvesting?
MNS check point 1. This place is filled with tall trees forming a shadowy canopy in a sunny afternoon, giving the divine sunlight a slight penetration.

On the way back from MNS, we spot two millipede doing their thing. They were bergolek-golek in proximity with each other. My take was that they were having sex. Ohh, I mean, mating.

Huge millipede. There were a pair (but not another was not photographed). Yes, mating.

We arrived at KL in the evening and were blessed to have each other, sharing the same passion. Bought like tonnes of vege and flowers, til today also still cannot finish. As my boss would say: Objectives were met.

Fellie’s Baby Shower (8th month) – Sneak Peek

This is my first time attending a baby-shower, and what an interesting experience. Didn’t know such event existed in the first place! 😛

My colleague, Fellie who is conceiving her first child will give birth coming early November (or see if baby cannot tahan di, maybe late October 2011). Mommy-to-be, together with her best friend Gracey and sister Ken, threw a baby shower party…to celebrate the coming of a baby boy to the family!!

Also partly because mommy will be leaving soon to hometown Kota Kinabalu Sabah, so that the whole confinement period can be held there with the help of her own mother.

The highlight of the party are the party-going hosts and guests, plus some guessing games (e.g. how huge is mommy’s ass, diameter of mommy’s tummy, cannot say the word B-A-B-Y during the whole party, and seach for a missing ‘baby’). Food was homemade but I kept picking on some nachos dipped in some unfinished spaghetti sauce! A combo one must try.

Congrats once again to both Fellie and Tharmain! Good luck in welcoming your new born baby son in November (or October) (Eh, u choose to go natural birth, kan?)