Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Longing for You


More details here


C'mon, let's go!! Jom, jom!! JomKecoh!





On another note (but entry title still applies):

Poor Butterflutter can no longer access to efx2 from work. Dah kena blocked!! Sian dia.

She has set up a new home over there. Go lah visit her and say Hi.



Monday, February 26, 2007

I'm Weird Like That

Out of the blue, a newfound blogger-buddy rotikacangmerah had asked me to list down 6 weird things... about ME.

I hesitated in the beginning, because firstly, I don't think I'm weird. Unique, yes; vogue, (ahem!) maybe; but definitely not weird. heh. Secondly, what I perceive as weird about me could be normal to other people. So how to measure or determine if I am weird? Or not?

But for the sake of a being labelled 'sporting', I decided to just do it. Membuka pekung di dada (is this how it's supposed to be used?) ini.

1. Sucks and Smells
When I was little, errr... aging 6 and below, I had a thing for pacifiers. I don't use any pacifiers when I'm outside (kindergarten, out visiting etc etc etc) or in the company of other people, but I did require pacifiers when I wanted to go to sleep. Nothing strange about that kan. But wait... there's more...

I didn't only have one. I had TWO. One for sucking, one for smelling. One goes into the mouth, and one strategically placed horizontal in between my nose & mouth, the latter resting intact on top of the one already in my mouth. Why oh why, you ask? I loved the used rubber smell. It gave me a sense of calmness, left me feeling high before I dozed off to la-la land. I didn't own a bantal bucuk, but I had a puting bucuk instead.

I have outgrown that fetish, of course. ABSOLUTELY, OF COURSE! Don't you even dare think that I go smelling/sucking Aidiin's pacifier nowadays. Seriously-lah.

But nowadays I like the smell of new/fresh bank notes (for duit raya). And freshly xerox-ed documents, y'know those hot hot hot from the photocopy-machine ones. Oh and sometimes, the after-makan cencaluk smell on my fingers.

Weird or not?


2. Camel on Caffeine (cuh, cuh, cuh; "Cuh" is the sound of "C")
I can go without plain water (for at least 2 days) but I cannot survive half a day without a mug of Nescafe. I usually have two mugs of Nescafe during the day and I need a mug before I go to bed. This 'weirdness' still applies till now.

I shouldn't be surprised that both my kids are super-hyper, should I? They were on caffeine for 9 months in my womb. Ugh.

I never bothered to find out why, but I have a feeling it is somehow tied to the smelling thingy as well... maybe the coffee aroma serves as a relaxant. Or maybe I am just addicted to the taste? *shrug*


3. Dreamy Babies
I used to dream about pregnant women; to be specific, pregnant friends. Women in my circle.

I dreamt about Anis before Elisa confirmed that she was pregnant. I dreamt about Mdm Y's second child before she told me about it. I dreamt about another friend conceiving the night before she called me to inform me of the happy news.

Before I got Aidiin, I tried to conceive for a whole year. I was on medication to 'stabilize' my menses, I was on fertility drugs. I visited my obgyn almost every other month.

The night before one of my appointments, I had a dream. I was having lunch with my lunch gals, and my gynae happened to be dining at the same restaurant, sitting at another table across from ours. I walked over to him to say Hi, and told him, rather confidently, "Doctor, I think I may be pregnant." He just smiled, and told me to come over to the clinic to confirm.

The next day, at the clinic, I took the urine test and it turned out negative. Hampa. The doctor told me it's ok and that I could try again, so don't be despaired. I told him about my dream. I told him how confident I was. He smiled and told me that I was probably thinking about it (coming to see him that day) too much, sampai terbawa-bawa dalam tidur. I was adamant. I told him I really think I was pregnant. He told me to come back the following week.

The check-up on the following week produced the same negative results. The ultrasound showed no indications of a pregnant woman's womb. But I was still hanging on to that dream. I didn't want to have my period induced. The doctor told me to come back the week after.

The following week, we saw a tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor. I was already six weeks pregnant. About 8 months later, Aidiin was born. :)

...

I think, after that, I lost my "powers". I don't dream about pregnancies anymore. Not about others, not about mine.

I didn't realize it before but I think I did dream about Zan's pregnancy (not with Nael, but with this coming baby). Cannot recall the details but I remember bits and pieces. She was visiting my house, asking if I had kittens to give away. I told her No, my cat is not even pregnant. But she pointed out that Misha's tummy looked big (mind you, this was before I realized Misha's bulging tummy and before I knew that Zan is pregnant) and that she loves kittens and Nael would love to have baby cats to play with since he is an only child. Creepy coincidence, eh?

So, is Misha pregnant? That dream has yet to be proven. I am supposed to bring her for a check up either this week or next week. Till then, I really can't tell.

I certainly hope I don't dream about pregnant bloggers (or bloggers' pregnant wives or pets) after this post. isy isy isy.


4. The Pirate in Me (Har!Har!Har!)
I used to have perfect vision. But not any more.
It's all because those glorious days, during college years, I spent too much time in front of the TV PC. Also because I did not pay much attention to the dimness of the lights when reading in not so well-lighted areas.

For the past nine years, I have succumbed to having contact lenses in my eyes. Different powers, left and right eye.
But since the past two years, I survived wearing contact lenses in my right eye only. Left eye is left as is. My husband calls me a pirate. I tell him it's cost-saving.


5. Of Folds and Foldings
Out of all household management tasks, I like folding laundry the most. This may be a dreaded chore to some of you, but for me, no matter how big the pile is, I would still be ever-willing to fold. Fold, fold, fold. Then organize and sorted neatly into who-it-belongs-to piles. And I don't even need a TV to distract me while I do it.

Note: This obsession with folding clean laundry applies to laundry in my house only ya... y'all don't start getting ideas now.


6. Bookends
Last but not least, I think some of you know of this already...

I like books a lot.
I simply adore books.

I am obsessively passionate about books.

My secret fantasy: I should own MPH. Or maybe Borders. Seriously.

My even 'naughtier' secret fantasy: To have a library named after me. But then, I'd probably need to be famous first. heh heh.

Why obsessively passionate? Because of the following reasons:
- I'm of those annoying individuals who'd be overly extra-extra careful with my books so that they never appear battered or creased (or read, for that matter!) and must always look as good as new. I don't have a problem with secondhand books, or even thirdhand books for that matter so long as they are in good good condition.
- I'm one of those who makes sure I open a book just 'wide enough' to be able to see a complete sentence from left to right, but never 'too wide' to avoid unnecessary creases on the cover (yes, yes, I know I'm irritating but I can't help it...)
- I'd almost always freak out if a borrowed book was returned to me with doggy-ear folds at the pages as markers (please, please, can't you use proper bookmarks instead??). Believe me... this compulsive behavior/disorder of mine simply drives my hubby nuts!!


There, I've said it!! I am weird like that. *blush*

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What happened to my 4-day weekend?

We ate out mostly because I was too lazy to cook I wanted to take the kids out for treats since it was a long weekend.



These pictures have been resized for best viewing


The original-sized pictures came out a bit blurry because I was still trying to familiarize myself with the new toy. Had unknowingly left the camera settings set to default for x-tra small pictures (duhh!) Masih sedikit jakun, you see.


The kids had lots of reserved energy after being kept in the house for long periods of time. It was impossible to get them to stand still for me to take pictures when we went out.


Forever running around and chasing after one another



Aidiin, especially, was uncontrollable highly-spirited. He squirmed and wriggled when he was carried. He refused to have his hand held when we walked. He wanted to see and touch everything. He almost gave me a heart attack when he managed to break free from my grip and ran straight towards the escalator going downwards in Ikan0 (depan Macy's tu). No brakes whatsoever on this boy. I was screaming out his name asking him to stop running while I, panting and breathless, scurried to try and outrun him or at least catch up.

There was this one couple, already on the escalator going down, immediately panicked upon hearing my screams. The guy actually jumped up several steps to try 'catch' Aidiin in case he couldn't/didn't stop. Adoiiiii. Semput nak kejar budak ni. Scolding him "No!", "Cannot!" and babap-ing did nothing to this bundle of energy coz he just looked up at me and grinned cheekily.


How can I stay angry at this boy??


Note to self: Need to start consider exercising to build up stamina. *cough* *cough*



Siblings in 'paused' mode



We went to check out the new MPH in B@ngsar Vill@ge II. Not as big as the stores in MidV or OneU, but they had a reasonably good promotion (read: discounts) so I was terpanggil-ed to go pay a visit. Smart shopper, I was.

On another day we went to Ik3a. After bookstores, I'd say Ik3a would be the next 'Happy Place' for me. As usual I drooled looking at very nice furniture, [my] dream kitchen and [my] dream bedroom. Also stuff for the kids' rooms. And like always, I caught myself mentally rearranging the existing furniture in my house or justifying why I need a particular vase or side table or lampshade as value-added items for the home. heh heh. Love the smell of (new) wood during each visit.

Aidiin got himself a new (long-awaited) train set that day.


Yayyy! Ad-diin pun-ya trrr-ain! Ad-diin punya trrr-ain! Choo-chooooo!!




And Sofea coaxed me into buying her that strange-looking giraffe.


Jack the Giraffe gets acquainted with Flower the Bunny and Osito the Bear


Family bonding was also in the agenda since my grandparents were in town. My cousin and her husband too. Sofea and Aidiin were pampered the whole time. Great-grandparents, atuk & nenek, aunties and uncle at their mercy to entertain them and do their bidding.

My sis and bro-in-law and the twins dropped by the house on their way back from Ipoh. Memeriahkan lagi suasana di teratak hamba. The kids were ecstatic to have their cousins around to play with instead of being forced to take their afternoon siestas.

All in all, it was a good break. I will spare you the other no-fun updates about having to standby and be on-call for multiple sites since everyone else is Gong Xi Fa Cai-ing for the entire week, up till this weekend. Or the part about getting calls and smses about "unreachable servers" on the first day of the break.

The 4-day weekend looked very promising on calendar... y'know, like "Wowweeee!! Long break! Looooonnngg break!! What should I do??"

In reality, the four days came and went in a flash. *sigh*


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Attempt

My mom gave me this oven sometime ago but I didn't have the motivation (and guts) to take it out of its box before. So it sat in my storeroom for a few weeks amidst other goodies, i.e long time ago wedding gifts like rice cookers and irons *grin* still secured in their packages/boxes (the gift wrappers dah unwrapped-lah of course).



The Butt3rfly Oven


It comes in black only. Hmmm... I don't think there are other colors except black. It has two adjustable shelves and two handles on the top left and right, for transporting purposes.

It has a squarish-cubic shape and it's not very heavy to carry.

Once I had a craving for something chocolatey and homemade. I didn't want to ask my mom to bake me something coz then she'll know that I never bothered to cuba-try-test her gift. Merajuk nanti susah nak pujuk oooo. Isk isk isk.

I have digressed.

The oven has a door with a glass window for you to peek peek inside. There is the temperature control thingy, which, to tell you the truth, I don't really know how to read.

Oh, I forgot to mention that this oven needs no electricity and runs on heat from a stove/burner. Jimat elektrik, beb!

Heat enters this oven through its 'opened' bottom. Urm... I guess, in other words, this means that this is a bottomless oven. I just need to place it on my stove/burner, turn on the heat, and voila! I can bake, even during blackouts. My Grandma told me that in the olden days domestic goddesses used this oven on dapur arang for baking.




The first time I used the oven I had issues getting the correct temperature.

Well, for one thing, the recipe I was referring to uses Fahrenheit degrees, but the oven control reads in Celcius.

There I was struggling to recall the formula... is it minus 32 times 9 or times 5?
Or was it divided by 5? Or maybe 9? Arrrrrgh!!!

...

Something smells. Burning smell??
But it's only been 10 minutes and the recipe says 25-30 minutes. Maybe this is how it should be.

So I waited.

And waited some more.

Till 25 minutes later. Because the recipe says so.


As you could probably guess, my first baking attempt using this oven did not turn out well.

I started out with gooey brownies in mind, but the end results came out as hard rock rock hard biscuits. Appearance-wise, they looked okay. Taste-wise, they were exceptionally crunchy-hangit.

So the little Butt3rfly Oven went back into its box. Back to its little corner in the storeroom with its buddies.

I told myself to just forget it-lah. Some people are just not cut out for baking. Self-consoling and comforting, I was.

It was even more disappointing to see the faces of my kids when I told them I couldn't deliver as promised.

Tapi Ibu kata nak masak brownies?? Kenapa kita tak boleh makan brownies ni?? (But you said you were making brownies?? Why can't we eat these??)

Tapi this, Tapi that. Why this, Why that. Why? Why? Why???





Last last weekend I decided to give the oven another try. Because I am not a quitter, that's why.

The second attempt turned out pretty well. *beams*



Husband-tested, kids-approved.




No special recipe to share because I used the instant brownie-mix with added chocolate chunks. Not adventurous enough to start anything from scratch for now.

Yummy-smelling brownies. Mmmm mmm mmmm. Chocolatey and soft, moist, simply divine. And more importantly, homemade home-baked with love.

This 'lil accomplishment opens the door to many other baking possibilities. hee hee hee.


Note to self:
1. Tc = (5/9)*(Tf - 32), where Tc = temperature in degrees Celsius, Tf = temperature in degrees Fahrenheit
2. I should not depend too much on the temperature control reading, it may not be accurate since this is not an electric oven. So kena main agak-agak saja lah.




Friday, February 09, 2007

If Time Permits...



Difficult to resist lah, this book.

It got me thinking about and yearning to read it when I wasn't (or couldn't).

It made me try very hard to 'steal' time, by staying up late or waking up several minutes early.

It got me dwelling on the story, days after I finished reading it.

It made me look forward to watching it on the big screen next year.

Reading The Time Traveler's Wife (TTTW) started out a bit slow for me at first. I got confused with the dates and the age gaps, initially. But once I had gotten used to the author's writing style and had gotten myself fully immersed in Clare and Henry's lives, I discovered that these fictional characters were actually realistic people that I could relate to. As a wife, I can emphatize with Clare's fears and anguish being apart from Henry for long periods of time during his departures, especially when he was not contactable in any way. I understand her eagerness to become a mother and her anxiety each time she got pregnant. I wouldn't say that I can relate to the feeling of losing a loved one, but I can surely imagine the pain.

There were parts in the book where I was eager and anxious to flip through the pages, to share and celebrate the couple's happy moments. But at times, like when Henry got really sick or when Clare had bleedings, I just couldn't bring myself to continue, afraid to face the (fictional) truth, although I 'knew' what was coming next.

Some parts made me go Hmmm... *rolleyes*

The later parts of the book moved me to tears. *tissue alert!!*



Dalam Kenangan... (Dec 2001 - Jan 2007)


This book reminded me of a movie I watched a couple of months ago; The Lake House, which stars Keanu Reeves (yum yum) and Sandra Bullock. The movie was not really about time-travelling, but it did revolve around time-space continuum. This was a love affair that blossomed between two people who existed 2 years apart.

In TTTW, Henry and Clare were pretty much destined to go through their lives as 'planned'. For them, history (or the future?) cannot be changed whereas in the movie, the doctor (Bullock's character) was able to go back in time to stop something in her past from taking place in Reeve's future. For Henry and Clare, as much as they wanted certain things to change, prevent certain events from occuring before they were supposed to occur, they did not have the power to do so; they were unable to intervene with fate.

I think Ms Niffenegger did a brilliant job intertwining the past, present and future (although not necessarily in that order!) with the concept of time-travelling and love beyond life and death. I admire her ability to induce genuine fear, happiness, passion and sorrow through her writing.

I had mixed feelings when I read the final page.

On one hand, I was proud of myself for having completely read it from cover to cover. On the other hand, it saddened me that I had reached the end.



 

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