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Jay Chou gets married. FINALLY.

So Jay Chou is off the market. Or rather, he finally came forth and made it official. I guess it is quite a big deal because Mr Chou has never ever spoken about his alleged relationships previously and suddenly, BANG! This is all over the news.

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I’m not sure about you but he being 35 years old and his girlfriend (fiancee?) being 21 years old is a tad…odd. But hey, maybe it’s true love and age is not a barrier to true love. Never mind the glaring fact that he’s a multi-millionaire with fast cars and tons of money to burn (“Want to start a singing career? Come, I produce an album for you”) does not stand in the way of true love because true love is blind :)

Oh and he also shared these (rare) photos of them while out cycling.

I don’t know about you but when I’m out cycling, I’m definitely not dressed in a leopard-print jacket with such nicely styled hair, or super tight denim shorts. Then again, I don’t live in Taipei (where it can be cold) nor do I have millions of rabid fans out with camera-ready phones.

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I have to also confess that when I saw the second picture, my first question was: Who’s that girl?! New girlfriend ah? It took  me a while to realise that it’s his 21-year-old partner. And I couldn’t help but notice that she has a nose that is exceptionally nicely shaped, eyes that are exceptionally wide and cheekbones that are exceptionally sharp and high. But again, that’s just me. Some people are lucky and are born pretty, yes? :)

I also read that most fans are happy for him but some are very upset that he’s off the market. Erm, seriously? What were these fans thinking? That one day, they’d meet and he’d fall crazily in love with them and they’d live happily ever after in one of his many expensive apartments? Or he’d remain celibate and single all his life to “stay true” to his loyal everlasting fans?

People. Seriously. Get with the program.

Anyhoo, congratulations Mr and Mrs Jay Chou. May you make beautiful babies together. Time is on her side so I guess you’d have many years ahead of creating enough babies for a football team. Or two.

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Being thankful.

Last Thursday, I was in a bit of a fluster because it took me longer than usual to get home. It rained cats and dogs a couple hours before which meant that the roads were wet and slippery, and drivers were being extra careful on the roads which naturally led to crazy traffic. I was also trying to get home ASAP because mum was heading out for an appointment and I had to be home to care for Elliott.

Just as I turned into our street, this amazing sight greeted me.

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A gorgeous half rainbow. This photo does not do it justice. It was glorious in real life. So glorious that I momentarily forgot that I was rushing. I got out of the car and stood there just staring and taking in nature’s beauty.

It made me smile, and this beautiful sight reminded me that I have many things to be thankful for. For the many good things in my life.

  1. For Elliott;
  2. For Elliott being a (generally) healthy and happy kid;
  3. For the boy who tries to be a good husband and father;
  4. For a selfless mum who places us above all else;
  5. For a sister who loves and adores her nephew;
  6. For wonderful girlfriends who think of me and drop me random messages just to say “Hey”;
  7. For the home cooked meals I get almost everyday;
  8. For a job that allows me to leave on the dot so that I can be home with my child (and dog) for evening walks at the park;
  9. For having a car at my disposal so that I don’t need to squeeze with the masses on public transport;
  10. For living in a country where I can safely leave the gate wide open and park my car on public streets.

What are you thankful for?

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miss ene eats: char

We took Elliott swimming over the weekend and the boy suggested that we check out char as it was in the vicinity. It was about 5.50pm when we arrived at the shop front and already, there was a bunch of people milling about, waiting for the casual eatery to open. Wow. We were given a “reserved” table and told that we had to finish eating by 7.30pm which wasn’t a problem because we had a whiny baby on our hands (post swim = no nap = tired and whiny).

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I spotted a sign that said that food is cooked fresh and to expect a 30-minute wait. Whaaat? For char siew? Hmmmm. Thankfully, our food arrived after 5 minutes. I guess being one of the first few diners has its merits!

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I am a big fan of char siew. In one of my first jobs, I was always eating char siew rice for lunch. ALWAYS. As such, I consider myself quite an expert on char siew. It’s extremely unhealthy but I love my char siew slightly burnt and smoky. It also needs to be slightly fatty and melt-in-your-mouth.

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The char siew, simply put, lived up to its reputation. It was covered in a thick gooey sauce and had a smoky undertone. Check out how artery-clogging it was:

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The roast duck was underwhelming and I’ve definitely had much better elsewhere. Advice is to just stick to the char siew. We also ordered a side of vegetables (typical stir fried vegetables with garlic so no pictures) and this pot of tofu and belly pork to erm, make the meal more erm, healthy? Tofu is good, right? I enjoyed drizzling my bowl of steamed rice with the sauce. My only complaint about this dish? It was a tad too oily.

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When we were done gobbling down our meal (cranky baby, remember?), the entire restaurant was packed to the rafters. I saw quite a few groups of diners being turned away due to the eatery being filled to capacity. Phwah.

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I guess I would return just for the char siew but if I had to queue and jostle with a hungry crowd, I’d say no thanks. There are other places serving awesome char siew at a fraction of the price – and importantly, without the crazy crowd. Also, we paid $60+ for essentially a casual, zi char meal for 2 pax. Gulp. Very very expensive.

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393 Guillemard Road
Singapore 399790

Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 11.30am – 2.30pm; 6.00pm – 10.00pm. Closed on Mondays.

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Going down the TCM route

I have received numerous emails asking me for my TCM contact after this entry and thought that I should just write an entry about it because I have quite a bit to say. I guess when one is on the long drawn infertility journey, it is easy to try everything within our means to conceive a child. I know because we’ve been there. And even though we have been blessed with Elliott, we will never ever forget the journey.

Trying everything would most probably include seeking alternative routes, i.e. traditional chinese medicine, or TCM. The Chinese believe that one’s body must be “strong enough” and “balanced” before it is able to conceive and “hold” a baby. I remember a TCM doctor using this analogy which made sense:

If your womb is too cold (similar to a winter climate), it will not be able to “bear fruit”. If your womb is too hot (similar to a desert environment), it will also not be ideal.

Basically, you need the elements to be in harmony and balance for conception to take place. It may all sound very airy fairy (especially when I explain it in English!) but if you delve deeper into the study of TCM, it kinda all makes sense.

I was never a big believer in TCM. Growing up, my mum used to try and make me ingest all sorts of strange-coloured black soup. I had no idea what went into those soups and naturally, would try all ways and means to avoid drinking them. This changed when I was introduced to ba zhen tang or Eight Treasure Decoction. I used to get terrible cramps when it was the time of the month. I remember one time, I was in such pain, I was lying on the office couch, helpless and in pain. It was then I decided to seek out TCM and tried this “wonder” soup that many women swore by. Long story short, it took away the cramps and after a few months of taking it, Aunt Flo would come visit and leave without me even noticing it because I stopped having cramps completely.

I was amazed. And very very impressed.

Then came our long long journey to conceive. Many friends told me to seek out TCM and we did. I must have seen 3-4 TCM doctors who all declared that “nothing was wrong” with me nor the husband and to just “relax and keep trying”. It was frustrating, to say the least. I knew that I wasn’t ill per se but yet, at the back of my head, I knew that I wasn’t at my optimum, health-wise. I was tired easily and despite all the huge meals that I ate, it was very difficult for me to put on weight. I constantly looked gaunt and tired.

The BFF was the one who introduced me to my current TCM doctor, Dr Chia. He apparently cured her sinus as well as her MIL’s eczema which plagued her for 30 odd years. In fact, almost her entire family sees Dr Chia for an entire gamut of reasons. I decided to see him as well because what’s another TCM visit, right?

My first visit to him was back in October 2012. I was expecting an elderly doctor (as with most TCM doctors) but he looked to be in his 40s. Also, he speaks English which helps because sometimes, it is hard to explain medical terms in Mandarin. Other than Mandarin, he is also conversant in Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien. I know because whenever I lie on the treatment bed during acupuncture, I marvel at how he switches effortlessly between languages for different patients. His patients range from the usual aunties, to parents with young children. He shared that the youngest patient he’s had was a 3-month old baby. Wow.

The clinic is a family business so they’ve been in the business for a long long time. For the record, the clinic is old school. Like, seriously old school. If it wasn’t a recommendation from the BFF, I would be a tad afraid to venture up the stairs. Ha.

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It’s located on the second floor of a row of shophouses along Upper Serangoon Road. If you know where the porridge places are, that’s where it is. The clinic does not take appointments so you just walk in and register. Here’s a tip if you want to minimise waiting time: Be the first in line, just before opening time. When I was doing my weekly visits, my mum would be in the queue by 5.45pm to be the first in line when he opened at 6pm. This means that we can be in and out of the place (including acupuncture treatment in about an hour).

He is one hardworking TCM doctor because his clinic is open even on Sundays and public holidays (9.30am to 12pm). Just be prepared to wait if you pop in on a weekend or public holiday.

See what I mean about the clinic being old school? I always feel like I’ve gone back to the 70s. Check out the retro floor tiles. That little window is where you register and collect your medicine after you’re done.

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Here’s Dr Chia himself giving advice to the boy. I brought the boy along with me at my last visit because he has been getting crazy migraine and his shoulders are ridiculously tight. Dr Chia was explaining to him what was causing the headaches (gall bladder and liver overworking which leads to the bad headaches).

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I like that he takes time to explain the cause and not simply brush you off with your complains and throw you a bunch of meds. If you look very carefully (near the model of the ear), there’s a red card on his shelf – that’s the thank you card I sent him :) I told him at the same visit that I have introduced quite a few patients to his clinic and jokingly said that he should pay me some sort of commission. He said that he’s currently seeing about 3 that I referred but he feels a bit stressed because he feels like he needs to work miracles.

This is my fear too. That when I share our journey and mention that TCM somewhat helped, many would see it as the surefire way to conceive. I would thus like to highlight a couple of things:

#1 – Please know that as with all things fertility-related, there are no guarantees and definitely not some sort of “miracle” cure. Up till today, I still do not know how big (or small) a role TCM played in us conceiving Elliott successfully. I guess it’s something we will never know. The only fact is, I know that TCM made me sleep better and my qi se (complexion) was a lot better about 4 months after I started TCM treatments.

#2 – TCM is not a one-time-cure-all. It is a long term treatment process and a lot of patience and time is needed. I went faithfully every single week for acupuncture and took my medication religiously. It was tiring because I went after work every Friday. You will need to keep up the treatments and medication. Just remember that even if it doesn’t bring about a baby, your body will be stronger which is not a bad thing.

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#3Trust your TCM doctor. You need to find a TCM doctor that you fully, 100% trust. I’m the sort of person that needs to know what goes into the medicine that I am taking (I read labels and ingredients religiously on my medication) but this is something I cannot do with TCM meds. They’re just bottles filled with dark liquid and tiny little pills. So yeah, you just gotta trust that the meds will do you good. Also, although Dr Chia’s treatment and meds might have worked for me, this may not be the case for everyone else.

#4 – Listen and follow instructions. When I was undergoing treatment, Dr Chia said “no cold drinks“. It sounded easier than it was because we live in a very hot country and sometimes, I was just dying to have a cold glass of Coke! Apparently, this is because I had a “nei han wai re” constitution (cold inside, hot outside) and this made it more challenging to treat. As such, I had to stay away from cold foods. I had to always order warm instead of iced water whenever we dined out. Really difficult at the start but as with all things, over time, it became a habit and I no longer hankered after cold drinks. I know of some TCM doctors that give you a long list of items that you cannot eat/drink but thankfully, Dr Chia is pretty relaxed. I thought that I had to give up my daily dose of teh-si and spicy food but he said they’re ok (whoop whoop) as long as taken in moderation.

So yes, that’s what I wanted to say about my journey with TCM. If you’re still keen to give it a shot, here are his details:

Chia Kit Chay Medical Hall
1010A Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534748
Tel: 62883675

Opening hours:
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 9.30am – 12pm, 2.30pm – 5pm, 6pm – 8pm
Wed, Sat, Sun, PH: 9.30am – 12pm

 

 

 

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Note to Elliott – 08

Dear Elliott,

You’re 8 months old today. That’s just 4 months away from hitting the one year mark. I’m starting to sound like a broken record but seriously dude, WHY ARE YOU GROWING UP SO QUICKLY?!  Just the other day, I cleared my phone of all your photos and videos because I was running out of storage space and oh wow, I  have so many photos and videos of you. I’m very thankful that we live in an age of technology where I can capture your growing moments at the press of a button because time is zooming by so quickly, these precious photos and short video clips are all that remain of those fleeting moments.

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You have fully mastered the art of crawling. Previously, you used to drag your little body across the playmat to get to me but these days, you crawl towards me with your 4 limbs. You have also learnt how to go from a proning position to a sitting one. You also enjoy pulling yourself into a standing position. The other day, you “showed off” to your Ah Gong and Ah Ma by holding onto the rails and  “walking” wobbily in the baby cot from one end to the other.

Your Por Por is still your primary caregiver on weekdays when your parents are at work and I love it that she shares with us photos of your daily activities, i.e. sleeping, playing, sleeping again, playing. She shared that you much prefer playing with everything else but your toys. Typical, isn’t it? Always hankering after stuff that we can’t get. Ha.

On the eating front, you are now eating better than when we first started out. You enjoy sweet potato and spinach porridge and would voluntarily open your little mouth widely when you enjoy the food and want more. We have also noticed that you take an interest in “adult” food and would move your mouth whenever we eat. So darn cute, if I may say. We have since let you try cream cheese (love), star fruit (ok), bread (love), broccoli (yucks) and even some haddock (love) from your Daddy’s portion of Fish and Chips. Your evil mother here also gave you your first taste of lemon (yucks). That precious moment is captured on video and till today, I rewatch it often because it makes me laugh.

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Despite starting on solids, you still enjoy breast milk very much. I guess being so close to Mummy provides you with comfort. We also supplement with formula milk which you take to readily (phew). Many have asked how long I intend to breastfeed you for and honestly, I have no answer. On one hand, I love the bond that we share. On the other, having to express milk when I am work is a (pardon my language) total b**** because there is no nursing room to speak off and I have to be creative in finding ways to express milk. One day at a time, I suppose.

You still love your “shower shower!” time and you give out your loudest chuckles. They are really the best sounds in the world (to me). You have little animal rubber floaties that squirt water and you enjoy chewing on them. I’m not sure what’s it with babies and bath water. Do they really taste that good? You have also learnt how to splash water with your hands and watching the look of amazement on your face is a real delight. Trying to dress you after the shower is a completely different story though. You scream and wail like a banshee. Pfffft.

These days, you are definitely a lot more aware of your surroundings, including Moon. Whenever we ask “Where’s Moon?”, you’d look in her direction and at times, will attempt to crawl towards her. Poor Moon looks slightly afraid of you, to be honest. She’s always moving away whenever she sees you approaching. You love holding onto her leash (and attempts to eat it, of course) and it is really very cute watching the two of you interact.

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You seem to enjoy watching older kids play. Just the other day, we were at the playground and some older kids were on the swing. You stared at them for the longest time and at times, even made “err err err” noises, as if wanting to join them. One day, my child. One day, you can also play on the swings and scream with wild abandonment while on the slide.

We haven’t measured you officially but we are pretty sure that you’ve grown taller. Your pyjamas are getting a tad shorter and Daddy had to adjust the Jumperoo to the “second setting” (instead of the first) as your legs were touching the ground flat. Sometimes, I watch you as you sleep and marvel at how “long” you’ve grown. Whatever happened to my little tiny newborn?

Speaking of sleep, I’m still getting the “So, is he sleeping through the night yet?” question. I wish people would stop asking me that because it makes me feel like a bad mother for not “training” you to sleep through the night. And honestly, what exactly is “through the night”? 10pm till 7am? 1am till 5am? On most nights (i.e. when you’re not in teething pain or going through a growth spurt), you do pretty well. You go to bed at about 8.30pm after your second bath and would wake at the magic hour of 1am+. I’m not sure why but magically, you always stir at about 1am. You’d then nurse for a bit before falling back to sleep before waking again at about 5am+ or sometimes, 6am+. Of course, there is no “set” pattern to your waking times and I have gotten used to nursing you sleepily.

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But wait. There were times when you woke every hour. Every single hour. Like last Monday. You woke up to nurse so many times that I lost my temper at 5am+ because I was so. damn. exhausted. I am not proud to say that I was frustrated because I had to work the next day and my sleep was horribly broken by your frequent wakings. You repeated the waking-up-every-hour feat the next night and I was so so thoroughly exhausted, I had to seek help from Por Por. My instinct told me that something was definitely not right and it turns out that your 2 upper teeth is coming through. My poor baby. You  must have been in so much pain, yet was unable to articulate it. Your 2 upper teeth has broken through and I cannot believe that you now have 4 teeth. FOUR! Teething is definitely part of growing pains (literally) and every child has to go through it so I hope for strength and oodles of patience to help you through it.

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Last Saturday, you also went for your very first trial music class. Aunty Yi Lin wrote a very good entry about the Suzuki method of music here and I was intrigued. I have never heard of the Suzuki method until her entry. I took piano lessons from the age of 4 till about 16. That’s a good 12 years of music education. I am extremely thankful for those music lessons because I am sure it trained my ears to music and rhythm but did I enjoy classes? Not really. I hated practising my scales and memorising pieces. It was soooo painful!

Daddy did not get the opportunity to learn music and I remember him saying that when he has a child, he would want him/her to have the opportunity to be exposed to music. Long story short, you did very well at your first trial class and we have bit the bullet and have signed you up for the Suzuki Pre-Twinklers Program (such a cute name). I hope you grow to appreciate and love music.

My dear dear child. I love it that you laugh so heartily and easily. You are generally a happy smiley child and I pray that you remain so for a long long time.

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Happy 8 months, my sweetie. Slow down a tad on the growing up, ok?

Love you loads,
Mummy xoxo