Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Welcome to Midnight


Welcome to Midnight.

With news of another plane crash and the floods that has stricken our country, it is on a somber note that we Malaysians step off the final second of 2014 into the unknown of a brand new year.

I want to end this year and welcome 2015 by remembering and praying for the passengers, crew and family members of MH370, MH17, QZ8501 and all the victims devastated by the floods across our country.

Before the clock strikes twelve, I want to reflect on my personal experience of year 2014.

If asked to describe offhand what I remember about this past year, the first few words that jump off my tongue would be: plane crashes, sadness, tragedy, lots of people dying, floods, people losing homes, war, crazy Islamic extremists, children dying, grief, struggle, pain.

That’s just me though, because I have this annoying tendency to remember vividly the negative things first, causing those closest to me to label me as a negative person.

But if I take a step back and look at the past year in a whole picture, then slowly zoom into certain scenes here and there, I find that… yes, there were a lot of sad things and bad things that have happened, but there were also a lot of good things and blessings to be thankful for.

I thank God for His unfailing and unwavering love for me.
This was a year I struggled through many emotional and health issues alone that no one understood, and some didn’t even really believe me, but He stood by me and comforted me. This has been a year of constant physical pain, and I choose to believe in Him for healing. 

Holding on to Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is having confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”

I thank God for family. For my husband, who is my better half. I am blessed to have him in my life. Even though he doesn’t understand me fully, but he is steady and still loves me anyway. It is not easy to find someone who has seen you at your worst and yet, still chooses to love you.

With all the bad news in the world and uncertainties in our regular lives, being a grown-up who feels the need to be in control in every aspect of my life is a cause for tremendous anxiety. I thank God for who He is, for being my steady Rock.

This was the year when Joseph caught the dengue fever for the second time, and during that same period of time Helena had chickenpox. It was the most exhausting moment of my year. Then after they recovered, it was my turn to have the pox. Two weeks of quarantine at home, and it was the most painful moment of my life, I swear, childbirth wasn’t even that painful. Every nerve in my body felt like it was being electrocuted and burned, for a whole week.

But then, I thank God for delaying my chickenpox (from my teenage years when I should’ve caught it when both my siblings had it) until this year, for it was also a much needed break from work. With the pain, came also relief and a time of refreshing. A time to rest and think.

It was the year I managed to do something I’ve always wanted try, I volunteered in a food distribution project to feed the homeless. And though I haven’t been able to do it since, I hope to be able to make time for volunteering work on a continual basis in my future.

This was the year also unfortunately, which I read FB posts and comments which discouraged me tremendously, knowing these people who set out to promote race and religion supremacy in our country, who continually criticize the opposition party, but unable to answer when questioned on the more critical issues which our country is facing. These people continue to brainwash their own kind, garnering support from hundreds in their FB pages… and most dismaying thing of all, I am ‘friends’ with them. They leave me to wonder what hope is there left for our country, and for our children.

But these are also the people, who during this time of the flood disaster, rose to the call and volunteered their time and energy to lead the donation drive to provide aid to the flood victims. They worked together as one, regardless of race, religion, and/or beliefs. 
It is through this situation, I can see that though we may be flawed, all of us, but there’s still good in us. 
It makes me wonder at the possibilities, if we were all able to be more selfless to put aside our own priorities and agendas; and work together for the greater good of all Malaysians, think of how much we could achieve!

I thank God that in the midst of all the bad, we can still see much of the good.

What do I think I have sort of learnt from this year?
That you can’t stay disappointed with God forever. I mean, you can, but it is of no benefit to you. And thus, you need to… …grow up. And learn continually.

I think… what I’ve learnt this year is that… perhaps…perhaps our entire existence and its purpose rests in the choices we make. What we choose to believe, who we choose to be, and how we choose to act or react.

I think it isn't really about how much great things we achieve in life, how much we can do with our life... because, to be honest, not everyone can be the hero. Some people live a few years and die at a young age due to incurable disease, some live their whole lives dependent on others to support them. Most of us live completely ordinary lives. 

So what's the point of living? For what purpose? Why do some struggle so hard, go through so much hardship but yet choose to live? 
I think... perhaps it is to exercise their right to continue making choices. This was the one thing given to us from God at the very beginning of creation, and what we do with our choices is what we give back to Him.

We could choose to blame God for all the bad things that have happened, or choose to believe in Him and love Him and trust in His promises.

Therefore I choose to believe that God is good, God is love, God works all things for the good of those who love Him, that in the midst of all the bad, He has a plan and a purpose for us, not to harm us but to give us a hope and a future. 
I choose to believe that He gave His only Son to die for us, to wash away our sins. 

As I step towards 2015, I pray and hope that I'd make better choices each day, choices that is pleasing to God, choices that are good for me and those close to me.

And, the last day of 2014, is also when I received an email from my HR with good news, that we’ll be receiving our bonus payments in Jan 2015. Yahoo! Thank God :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Time to go somewhere!

Last day of work today...until mid-November...wooohooo!! :D

Traveling overseas for the second time in my slightly-over-quarter-of-a-century life. What to expect? Not sure... I'm just gonna blunder through this adventure and hope to be pleasantly surprised :)

Australia, here I come ;D

Pics of me taken during my birthday celebration with my siblings and our kids :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shopping: A Health Hazard

Having a H&M store newly opened just below my office is seriously hazardous to the health of my bank account. Lol.

But seriously, can't help myself.... Their fashion for adults is just so-so, but their range of kids clothes are so 'arghhh,gimme gimme I want it now!' Lol! y'know what I mean?

Sometimes I look at the kid's shoes and clothes and I wanna go like, "hey, you there (staff) I want these in adult sizes" How rude of me, tsk tsk.

Found a pair of cute flats... reminds me of 101 Dalmatians :)

Bought some clothes for Lena... this white blouse with hearts and pink pants. Couldn't resist when I saw it! had to bribe her to wear it tho', since she prefers dresses and hardly wants to wear pants...sigh... again, I wish they had this in adult size, hehe.
sigh...I need self-control. SELF-CONTROL...say it with me,


Sept 13th till 16th. 

It was her very first holiday away from mummy and daddy. She told us she wanted to go Penang with her Granny, Ye yeh and Audrey che-che, and so she went without a fuss... 4 days 3 nights away from mummy and daddy!

*sniffle* my lil' baby's all grown up and going for holidays and leaving mummy daddy at home *sniff*

Somedays I can't believe she's only four... she can behave quite grown-up at times. Or perhaps more like a child pretending to be grown-up... cos the tantrums and stamping feet are very much existent, lol :P

Some pics from her vacay in Penang... you can tell she not a fan of the hot, hot sun! :P

Monday, August 25, 2014

NOQ Online Bookstore and 15% discount special

It's no surprise to anyone who knows me that I love reading. So naturally I was quite excited when I found out about NoQ Store, an online bookstore. 

A bit on its background: NoQ Store is an online bookstore of Times Publishing Group. Founded in 2011, NoQ has a database of more than 14 million titles, spanning across genres like Children's, Educational, Parenting, Fiction, Cookbooks and many more. The name NoQ stands for 'No Queue', meaning you have all the convenience of shopping for your favourite books without the hassle of lining up to pay at the counter. Isn't that great?

Their webpage is rather attractive, in my opinion. Not too 'wordy', the colors attractive and the layout is well thought out.

I was required to register in order to purchase books but it was a quick and easy process, so no problems there at all. 

My only dilemma was what books to buy? I decided not to buy children's books this round, since I've already bought a huge bundle at the recent booksale. So in the end, I chose three books for myself :)

The payment process was straightforward, and very quickly the purchase was made and I soon received a confirmation email. 

I ordered the books on July 18 and received them on August 7, a reasonable timeline especially taking into account the Raya holidays from 28/7-3/8

My books arrived packed nicely like this... and in great condition.

Here they are! My beloved books, The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. So happy to see them, and I enjoyed reading them very much. A book review to follow at a later date

Now, thanks to the generous guys at NoQ Store, all readers of my blog are entitled to an exclusive 15% discount on all purchases at NoQ store when you use the code BABYLION at checkout. This discount code is only valid till 30th November 2014, so hurry!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bwak bwak bwakK!!

Okay... in my last few posts I mentioned I'd like to get chickenpox too right... so guess what happened???

Just when those two monkeys got well, and I went back to work... totally exhausted and ready drop, it was my turn. Feverish for three days, joe and I were wondering which one did I get? Dengue or chickenpox?? The fever was bad, it made my entire body hurt and ache terribly. 

Spots slowly appeared on my body. Chickenpox it was. Within 3 days, it was a full blown rash all over my body, and my face, oh gawd, my face! 
Thankfully, I was recommended by few people to get anti-viral meds, because the anti-virals really saved me from alot of pain. The pain in my body, was worse than anything I've ever experienced before. It felt like my nerves were being attacked. In that first week, I literally could not do anything. I could not sleep well, shivering and in pain at night...and I also could not eat much. The anti-viral meds were really strong and made me so nauseous. 

By the 2nd week it got better, blisters drying up quickly and no more pain in my body. My appetite came back and I suddenly craved something meaty, really meaty. I craved chicken. How ironic is that? Lol. 
Sick of all the porridge and soup, I indulged once my appetite returned. I had McDs, KFC and Nandos. So bad, but so yummmm... 

I could finally enjoy my much needed time away from work during that 2nd week. Thank God for it really, and maybe I wouldn't mind going through it all over again, just for that break, lol.

Anyway, we're past that now and everyone is well now, thank God (heaves sigh of relief). All I have as a souvenir from the sickness are the scars on my body, and the occasional twinge of numbness/ache in the nerves of my arms/hands. Hopefully that too will fade, in time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

If we were in a Twilight movie...

We would be the vamps of the East :P
heh heh

Saturday, June 28, 2014

One Crazy Week

It's been one messed-up week.

It all started last Friday. That's right, 20th June 2014, that's a memorable date there. I took leave to start caring for Lena 'cos we found she had chickenpox. 

Chickenpox... gosh.. that meant she was quarantined, couldn't go to school for at least 1-2 weeks.

On that same day, the husband was on MC and didn't go to work either. He had high fever.
Since I was already short on annual leave, our plan was I'd be on leave Fri, Mon and Tues, and he'd go on leave the rest of the week to care for Lena. 

Then... on Fri night, he decided to admit himself to Assunta, 'cos he felt like he had dengue. Wise man... I'd never have thought of admitting myself to hospital for high fever. But the man had dengue once already, and knew the symptoms.
(btw, what are the odds of getting dengue TWICE??? gosh)

And so I took the whole week off.... (woo-hooo!!) Not that I'm happy that the man and girl are not well, just happy to be away from work no matter what the situation. Yes. I dislike my permanent desk job THAT much. 

But anywayyyy... here they are... 

The little one has been one highly wound up monkey, practically bouncing off the four walls of our small apartment, and almost driving me nuts. Other than a slight fever and itching all over, she was alright, thank God.

The big one however, was all weak and tired and blur the whole week... don't be fooled by this picture.

He's finally discharged and resting at home... whew! *wipes sweat* 
And as for me... I'll be back to work next week.... almost wishing I could get a 'bout of pox too, and be quarantined for a week...heh heh... I am kidding!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mid-year Resolution

Starting this year I shall put myself first. I shall pamper myself first and care for myself first. Because if I don't no one else will, and the one who'd suffer is me. So I shall do nice things for myself first, then others. The world and all that is in it can take care of it own for a little while without me.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Helena's Fourth year

Last weekend was Lena's first time as a flower girl.
I hope she enjoyed herself, although she appeared slightly terrified at the beginning. After the ceremony ended though, she was so happy and willing to pose for photos :)

Time seems to have passed so quickly (or maybe it's me who have moved so slowly in my exhausted blur, trying to catch up), and suddenly this year I'm looking at my girl who is already 4 years old, built like a 5-year-old. 

She started out this year on a Frozen obsession. It was the first time she went to the cinema, and she sat up straight, eyes glued to the huge screen for almost the entire show. Here and there, she would just smile at us happily, and laugh with us at the funny parts of the scene. She was so happy.

On her fourth birthday, we gave her a Frozen-themed celebration. With Frozen cake, decorations, and dancing in a blue cape (it was a huge blanket), like Queen Elsa. Her cousins Remy, Alfie, Petra and Olivia came, together with their parents to celebrate with her. Just a small, simple, family celebration.

Oh, and she also started kindy this year. We sent to the local neighborhood kindy (they call it a 'Taska', in bahasa), one of the many in PJ. The first week was the most difficult and scary time of her young life I should think. That was the first time ever I heard my independent daughter, who'd never say she wants her mummy, break down and cry out loud "mummy, mummy, I want mummy! I want mummy!"
I've heard a lot that a lot more times since then. Not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing.