Hello!!

Hi there

How are you? and how have you been? I am sorry for my long silent.  I have tried very hard to get back to blogging on the Easter weekend.  I started the post but didn’t get anywhere and then I tried again on the Mother’s Day weekend, also didn’t manage to get anywhere.

And just to let you know how hard I have tried…..   

My original post title was suppose to say “Happy Easter!” (with a cute little rabbit image on the start of the post). I later changed it to “Happy Belated Easter!” and then I have to change again to “Happy Mother’s Day!” to now just a simple “Hello!!”.  I really think I had a mental block because I haven’t been writing for close 7 weeks now.  I haven’t been blogging nor writing emails (not those long ones that are interesting and inspiring :P) so that explained the mental block.  Of course tireness played a huge part to my mental block too which you will read about them later in the post.

That being said, I really wanted to get this post out today, before my post title change again to “Hi and bye!” 😛

Having said that, I think I will be OK today because I am feeling really motivated after reading a few posts shared by my team lead.  Boy, I really like her writing style and her posts flow very well.  It is as if like she is speaking of them.  I am contemplating if I should share her blog here because if she gets a pingback I will be doomed if she caught me blogging during working hours. 😛

…..so maybe we will leave her blog out for now.

A lot has happened in the last 7 weeks and it will be hard to link all the events together.  I don’t think I am really up for that today so will just be sharing some updates by category.

Mother’s Day 2011 – I hope you had a great mother’s day, whether you spent it with your mother or your children.  As for me, it was fabulous.  I get to spend really good time with Kay and my hubby.  We didn’t do anything elaborate, just a nice shopping trip and good mother’s day meal deal at the City Center. 

Kindle 3

Then, I received my belated Mother’s Day gift on Tuesday, a Kindle 3! This is one of the best gifts I have received so far.  Since we have moved to our new home, I haven’t had the chance to unpack my books.  Partially because we have not got ourselves a book shelf and partially because we are delaying the purchase of the shelves.  We want to keep the space open for Kay to play for now.  So I have been living with magazines and cookbooks for the last 6 weeks and with my new Kindle 3, the problem is no longer a problem anymore. 🙂

 

Our New Home – Since we took possession of our home on March 14, everything has spiralled down to just busy-ness.  We were busy planning for our move (wanted so much to move out of my in laws’ within 2 weeks), busy with the actual move of course and nonetheless settling into our new home after that.  Besides packing, there were alot of coordinations to do from getting the furniture into the house, confirming a mover, appliances installation, installing all ultilities services, ordering and getting our blinds up, installing the security systems, installing child safe items, working with the builder to address some issues, shopping for household and kitchen items, cleaning and etc. etc. 

Landmark _Catalina II

Busy-ness continued with unpacking, organizing the spaces (not even decorating at this point), more coordination for people to come in the second or third time on fixing things, more washing and cleaning, dealing with some blackout and internet issues since we moved in on March 30.   And since we have a bigger space now we are spending a fair amount of time chasing Kay up and down too.  It was extremely extremely exhausting for the first few weeks.

Yesterday, we reached another milestone at our new home. We had our first home inspection.  Our builder sent someone out to our home to go through every item regarding the home we are facing issues with.  While me and my hubby sound like two critical Asians with a long list of “issues”, I have to say I was very impressed with how the home inspection was carried out.  The home inspection gave us the opportunity to express our concerns live whether it is relating to the dented hardwood floor, holes on the walls, squeaking floor, power plugs that are not working, cracks on the frame, pooking nails, bad paint jobs or garbage on the roof.  We got to show the inspector live and said “See, that’s what I mean.”  Well, I don’t mean I was pleased because I get to complaint about the issues in front of someone.  I was pleased because the process helped us to explain exactly what the issues are and where precisely they are in the house, so they can be addressed promptly.  The inspector then recorded the issues and have on the spot scheduled the right people to come round to fix all these problems for us on an agreed date.  Tell me if this is not impressive to you. 😛 And that’s not all.  The inspector has also shared quite a few handy and useful tips on home maintenance, which I am pretty sure will be helpful after our home warranty has lapsed.

Bread pudding - awesome breakfast

Cooking – I have the pleasure for cooking from my own kitchen since we have moved in. It was a lovely lovely feeling – like I was deprived of something I well deservered for a long time and it is finally finally given back to me, so I am not ashame to say that I love my kitchen more than my luxurious bath tub.  Doesn’t matter how tired I am, I am always motivated to cook something for Kay and my hubby.  On an average I cook 5 days a week trying out different recipes.  I am really enjoying it.  We have host two dinners so far.  Once for my in laws’ (got to do what politically is right though it wasn’t my priority) and the other time with some of Nick’ relatives.  Why two separate dinners? Because my MIL is not seeing eyes to eyes with my FIL’s side of the family. *shrug*

TasteHongKong’s blog has been quite an inspiration for me because some of her dishes are really easy to prepare.  Not to mention they are healthy and tasty so I refer to them as often as I need to.

I will share some pictures on my next post because I have promised myself to get this post out today so there is no time for photo downloading now. 😛

Whatelse have happened for the last 7 weeks? 

Work pilling up, up, up!

Work – Workload was extremely high with a new project on hand.  If that doesn’t tell you how “extreme” it was, I have received 9 new assignments on the same day I returned to work, after our move.  That is 9 new assignments on top of my existing load.  It was quite a challenge to stay focus and deliver because I was working from a new environment, with unstable internet services, constant distractions of people coming and going (on fixing things) and dealing with my little rascal.

Kay’s carer has been away for a 6-week holiday and she started her holiday the exact day we move.  What a coincident eh??  And though a back-up was provided while she is away, I have decided not to put Kay through too much of changes consider we have just moved.  I kept her at home for the first 2 weeks, so she could spend a little more time adjusting to the new home.  I have to say it – was – a – bad – decision.  This decision was made before I knew about the 9 new assignments from work.  My hubby worked from home to help out the first week but he was suddenly called back to the office on the second week.   So, for two weeks I was operating like a mad woman, juggling with changes, works, tasks, people and trying to get a little of everything done with limited time.

Head north and passed 4 traffic lights, turn left if you can find a break among 3 lanes of oncoming traffic, then turn right and left again, the dayhome is expecting you to be on time!

On the third week, we started sending Kay to the back-up carer’s home.  Journey to the dayhome are now 10 to 15 minutes farther each way.  During peak hours, with more traffic on the road, it will take even more time.  The back up carer is not very flexible and I have been told in a few ocassions to be on time.  Well, not that I was very late in picking up Kay but I was learning about the new routes and traffic myself.  It was also a challenge to finish work within the limited time I have, given my workload had suddenly double.  It didn’t help when I have to deal with a difficult stakeholder that like to keep me on the phone at 430pm everyday pushing for some last minute works to be done….so zombie, mad woman, crazy worker, hypertension mom, I was all of them.

Good news is, I managed!!  I didn’t know how I did it but I survived and I managed!  The best testiment for this was the performance reward I received from my lead yesterday. It was all worth the while…but do I want to di it all over again for that performance rewards? 

No, thank you.

By the way, workload is still high but manageable.

Kay -Kay now has her own room and she is sleeping in her own bed.  Yay!!  I have to say (touched wood) the training of her sleeping alone wasn’t that difficult nor would I say it is very successful.  Kay started sleeping through the night in her own room and new bed since the second day we moved in.  Probably due to the excitment during the day, she went to bed exhausted and fell asleep quickly so we didn’t have any problems the first few nights.  The subsequent weeks, she started coming into our room at 4am, sometimes 5 am, on certain nights either crying or talking to us.  She refused to go back to her bed or come into our bed.  All she wants was to sleep on the ottomon in our room with her blankie.  Worried that she would fall off the ottomon, I have fought very hard to stay awake and constantly checking on her.  I placed some pillows below the ottomon but I wasn’t entirely sure if she would land right on the pillow if she fell.  Maybe I have heard too many horrible news about child accident at home….so if you think juggling with work and everything else at home with limited time is worst, this is a million times worst than that consider being dragged out of bed at 4am when you are already worn out by exhaustion. 

Good thing is Kay now no longer finds sleeping on the ottomon fun.  She is still waking up at 4am ocassionally but all it takes is to walk her back to her room and fall asleep together on her bed.  I know…it is not the best way in training her on sleeping alone but I will settle for that solution for now. 🙂

So Kay now is in the back up dayhome.  She gets to play with more bigger kids there.  There are 2 that are the same age as her and 2 that are slightly elder.  One of the boys is according to Kay called “Aniyam”.  For a few weeks, I have thought Aniyam is an Indian boy and I have never met Aniyam.  Then one day, when I was there to pick up Kay, “Aniyam” was there putting on his shoes with his dad and I didn’t know that was him because I was not expecting “Aniyam” to be a white…until Kay said “byeeee Aniyaamm”.

“Ooh…” I thought to myself “Aniyam is a white? and even his dad is a white too….it is  unusual for white to give their kid such an “Indian” name….”

“Say bye to Kay, Liam.”  “”Aniyam”‘s dad said.

“Byee ah Liaam.” Kay said again.    

Trust a two-year old to come up with something interesting everyday. 😀

Hubby – Nick has to take 2 buses to work since we have moved and it takes him an additional 20 minutes more for each journey.  So far he has been pretty positive about the extra journey and time he has to spend on the road.  He has even made new friends at the bus stops and while he strolls up and down the street to the bus stop every morning and evening, he gets to meet some of the neighbours too.  I don’t think I will able to embrace that extra journey as well as him especially in the bitter cold weather, so I have to give it to him.

As much as possible, I offer him rides home from the bus interchange on the days I don’t have to rush.  That way, it is one less bus he has to take.  I try to find a reason to go the mall near the bus interchange and tell him I will meet him there, after picking Kay up from the dayhome.  This has worked well so far.

Maybe I should find a reason to go to that mall again today…..for some ice cream perhaps. 😛

So guess what my hubby will get for Father’s Day gift?

A – Kindle 3 too! 😀  Honestly he appreciates the gift more than I do because he has been reading on the bus so what can be more perfect than this right?

Wesley – Yes, I have “W & K” at home.  Not William & Kate but Wesley & Kay.  Wesley is always a very well behaved boy.  He seems to grow to be more mature lately and always doing the right thing at the right time.  For example when Nick and I are busy with the chores, he would sit in the bonus room with Kay, keeping her company while she plays.  Sometimes he sleeps outside of her bedroom at night and he always always insists on going with us when I send Kay to the dayhome….and he sleeps under my desk while I am working.  Sometimes, when I am talking on the phone, I can almost certain that my colleagues could hear him snore. 😀  Zzzzzzzz

My BP – My blood pressure has been the same.  Since I have been put on medication, BP has been in control but not great.  It is now hovering between 120 / 80 to 130/90 and I haven’t had the chance to return for a follow up check with the doctor.  I really need to pay more attention to my health.

This kinna summarize our new lives at the moment.  Looking back at last year this time, I am definitely in a better place now….so I have nothing to complain about.

And by the way it is bright and sunny today, with temperature around 24C!  🙂

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Eat, Pray, Love Discussion Questions

Eat, Pray, Love discussion over a cup of nice coffee. 🙂

Wrapping up the read along for the Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, we have agreed to write a post about the book, discuss some suggested questions and also watch the movie if time permits.  This movie remains on my to-watch list because I don’t have access to the DVD right now, which I thought I did (must be one of those Deja vu moments).  Anyway, it will be part of my plans to watch this at my new home with a nice warm yummy hawaiian chezzy pizza on hand.  

One of my read along partner, Jo, did an amazing job in reviewing the book and movie and documenting her discussion in her recent post.  Not only that, Jo also did some picture comparisons of the real person and the movie characters…so you ought to check out her post here.

That being said, here are my answers to some of the discussion questions.

Quesion 1 – Sitting in an outdoor café in Rome, Gilbert’s friend declares that every city—and every person—has a word. Rome’s is “sex,” the Vatican’s “power”; Gilbert declares New York’s to be “achieve,” but only later stumbles upon her own word, antevasin, Sanskrit for “one who lives at the border.” What is your word? Is it possible to choose a word that retains its truth for a lifetime? What is your city’s word?

I lived in Edmonton which is a city located at the mideastern of the Alberta province.  Edmoton is right on the snow belt so winter is especially bitter and cold here.   The first reaction of many Canadians when they heard I am living in Edmonton is “freezing” but if I look at the City as an overall and not just the weather alone, although it has quite a huge influence over our daily activities here, I would say “neutral” is the word.  “Neutral” also describes my feeling about the city now.  I don’t particularly love or hate this place.  This city is far away from being vibrant.  It doesn’t offer the excitement and variety of entertainment compared to cities such as Vancouver and Toronto.  Some of the brands are not available in Edmonton.   On the contrary, Edmonton is one of the lowest density city in Canada which translates to space.  There is hardly long hours of traffic congestion in the City.  Parking is never a problem and for the same price we paid, we get bigger lots and homes in Edmonton compared to other cities.  I like the idea of Edmonton being close to the rockies mountains too.   That means we are close to the nature.  It is a family oriented city though it doesn’t offer a lot of job opportunities to those that would like to climb the corporate ladder. 

Is it possible to choose a word that retains its truth for a lifetime? I don’t think “neutral” is the lifetime word for Edmonton.  The city would changed and evolved….so are other cities and so is my feeling about the City, as I get to explore this place more…but for now “neutral” it is.

…….and what is my word?  Mine would says “wanting to be contended”.   There might be just one word out there in other languages that describes it.  I just want to be contended but I am finding hard in doing so.  It has to do with my personality I suppose.  I am someone that is result oriented and I constantly set goals for myself to achieve and when I get into a mundance and routine mode, I feel bored and I feel unsatisfied.   I acknowledge this is not healthy and I am always reminding myself to be contended, don’t be too ambitious and stress myself and people around me up…so yeah, my word would be”wanting to be contended” and always do.        

Question 2 – Prayer and meditation are both things that can be learned and, importantly, improved.  In India, Gilbert learns a stoic, ascetic meditation technique. In Bali, she learns an approach based on smiling.  Do you think the two can be synergistic? Or is Ketut Liyer right when he describes them as “same-same”?

Definitely! I have touched on that in my earlier post.  Always pray with positive thoughts just like Ketut Liyer said smile even in your liver.  Even you let your mind wander during the meditation, doesn’t means it cannot be happy thoughts and wandering to a nice place.  Same a prayer.  We pray for the good and we pray for something realistic.      

Question 3 – What is one thing you did not like about the book or disagreed with?

The pace of this book can be smoother.  Liz spent alot of time talking about a particular topic and she goes back and forth about her depression throughout the book, even at the last couple of pages when I thought she was way passed that.  Then she would cruised through some other topics.  At times the pace seems jerky like fast and slow, fast and slow…so hang in there.  It is still a good read.  

Question 4 – If you were able to travel for a year, where would you go and why?

I would visit all the Disneylands and take the Disney cruise with my family.  This has always been my dream.  Maybe it is not spiritual like some has expected but I owe my inner child a nice long holiday. 

Question 5 -How does Richard relate Groceries to big eater?

Now, this is the question I have raised.  I have no idea actually.  My best guess would be another word for groceries is “chow” like chowing down on food.  Groceries is just a nicer name for that.

Question 6 – What do you think a man can get out of this book?

I think if a man has the patient to read, digest and understand Liz’ experience while endure all the moanings, he would be a damn good lover…so test this out with your man perhaps. 😀

Eat, Pray, Love audio book cover

Lastly, I have came across a lot of images on this book and one of them, which is the image of the book cover, puzzled me.  I was wondering why it has a line that crossed horizontally at the middle of the cover (like this image on the right) but after studying it and reading the book, I believe it signifies white tiles. 

What do you think?