Archive for the ‘Thoughts & Ramblings’ Category



Look at what I got from New York ๐Ÿ˜‰

9 bottles of A&W rootbeer.

One bottled immediately chilled in the freezer when the hubs got home, and downed in this 36 degree celcius heat, tasted just.absolutely.divine.

Oh, I got me some items from Sephora too, a Bobbi Brown foundation and some Clinique moisturizer. Would have been better if I had gotten that Nars blusher. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  And who cares about Coach bags when Prada from Milano is just like a hop and skip 2 hours away from my house. Ahem. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The sister and brother-in-law arrive from Malaysia in 2 days time, and she’s got some Super Ring snacks for me YUMS. We leave for a trip to Germany on Wednesday and get home on Sunday. I hope the weather’s cooler there than it is in sweltering hot Modena.

Now that I’ve gotten my oh-so-elusive root beer, I hope the cravings stay far, far away. I have been thinking about asam laksa lately, but so far, I’ve managed to keep it off my mind. Fingers crossed ๐Ÿ˜‰


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A quick update. Don’t worry, it’s not gonna be a snarly one. The hubs has been away for the past 3 weeks. He’s in Peru and today he flies to the States for work, so hey, if he’s not gonna hear me rant, this blog will! ๐Ÿ˜‰


I’m at the end of week 19 of this pregnancy, and on Tuesday, I hit 20 weeks which is officially HALFWAY through the pregnancy journey.


OMG. Where did all the time go????


I have been having heartburn lately, and it seems to be getting worse. When it first started, I used to down some milk whenever I felt that burning sensation in my chest, and it worked. But now, it doesn’t work anymore ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It really is the most uncomfortable thing. I’m trying not to resort to antacids to relieve this, and I hope it doesn’t worsen else I just might cave.


What else, ah yes, the dreaded backache. I really feel like an old woman now. I wrote in one of my previous posts about my tail bone (coccyx) pain that I used to have as a teenager. Now I feel it again, and what’s scarier, each time I stand up after being seated, I feel this “click” like sensation at the coccyx, almost as if the bone’s coming “loose”. Scary I tell ya.


I have been having the weirdest dreams too. I tend to dream a lot of my late dad, and these dreams are usually quite warm and pleasant. The other day I dreamt that papa and I were in my clunky old car, and papa was driving, and as we approached a traffic light, it turned orange, and quickly turned red. Papa went all pedal to the metal (learnt this term from my cousin Mark :P) while grinning. We beat the red traffic light, and I was chiding papa, and he was laughing, and next thing we knew, a policeman stopped us and slapped us with a saman (summons/ticket). Papa laughed it off saying, “Aiya, saman only lah!”. ๐Ÿ™‚ I dreamt of our fishing trips too many times. One of my best loved school holiday activities back then was going fishing with papa. He’d bring us to the weirdest spots, like some clear river in the middle of an oil palm plantation and we’d be all ready with pails and rods and worms for bait. Don’t forget the worms! How many girls you know aren’t squeamish with earthworms ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, sis and I weren’t. We’d pour soap water in our backyard and then frantically dig the soil to find the wriggly worms.


Yesterday though, I had a scary dream. I dreamt of Dobby, that not exactly cute character from Harry Potter. Except in this dream, there were 5-6 Dobbies, and they were all dead and rotting, and floating around in a room around me. I could see the flesh putrefying on it’s body and I was just stuck in that room, petrified and helpless.


I am usually a very “rigid” sleeper. In fact, when I was a kid, I was told that I freaked my sister out many a time due to my corpse like position when I sleep. Hands clasped together while I sleep on my back. And I wouldn’t toss and turn. At all. Now, it’s a totally different story. I realized I have been rolling around in bed so much as it has gotten SO HARD to sleep. Well, since the hubs isn’t here, it isn’t too bad. When he comes home, he and I are both gonna have a tough time sleeping!


On a different note, the sister and the brother in law arrives in Europe in a couple of days for their honeymoon. They will be following the hubs and me to a friend’s wedding in Germany before spending a few days in Modena. I have yet to clean out the guest room, and the whole house is a mess. I hate sorting through all my clothes, as I have to put away all the winter/spring clothes and keep away the summer clothes that I can’t fit into (almost all!). That means I have to put away almost ALL my clothes, and it’s such a nuisance.


I am itchy to do so many things at once, but I realize once I start something I get really tired quickly and then I tend to abandon whatever I’m doing and lie down to read/rest/nap. I’ve been wanting to bake, but there isn’t anyone apart from me to eat the baked goodies! Besides, although my appetite has returned, I am still quite averse to many foods and just seeing those things in my kitchen tends to make me go all Blearghhhh and there goes my cooking/baking plans. For some reason, I can’t stand pasta! I’m practically living on bread and rice and other sources of protein for nutrition. My weight, sigh, my weight, has barely gone up 2 kilos, and here I am at 5 months of pregnancy. I have my bigย 20 week fetal anomaly scan coming up next week, and I *PRAY* that everything goes well, and bubs is a good size.


Can you believe it, I’m tired already after writing this entry. I feel like a real grandma I tell you! “I need to nap now”.



P.s. : To the hubs who may be reading this, please get me my A&W rootbeer from the States. I don’t need Coach bags, or perfume or cosmetics from Sephora, just ONE BIG BOTTLE of rootbeer.


P.P.S: To the ladies who are reading this, please comment/tell my other half how it’s a MUST for women to get their husbands to buy them Coach and goodies from Sephora in the US, and that he’s ONE LUCKY dude to be having me ask for JUST A ROOTBEER ๐Ÿ˜› Kthxbye.


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1. Sometimes, all it takes is a little EFFORT.

2. “Medication” can make you feel better, but “medication” can also kill you.

3. “Corny” is good. Only when it is the edible kind. Not the joke kind.

4. What does not kill you makes you stronger. I was almost “killed” before. I am stronger than most people think.ย Non dimenticare mai.

5. Bad tempers all around, tsk tsk. Ironic how it’s NOT from the pregnant woman ๐Ÿ˜‰

6. So I am a SAHW. Got a problem with that? Deal with it.

7.ย If you call yourself educated, act and think like one.

8. I refuse to be dragged into anyone’s self-made web of negativity and crappiness.

9. I am a better person now. Thanks to that little person inside of me ๐Ÿ™‚ย Can you say the same about yourself?

10. When I look back, 20 years from now dear bub, I will have no regrets.




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I’ve been advised against writing ranty posts, but heck care, I’ll write what I want, when I want.


Been feeling absolutely crappy today. All in all, I’d say this has been a good pregnancy thus far, I am usually upbeat, cheerful and happy – rather uncharacteristically me ๐Ÿ˜›


Apart from the dreadful first few weeks where I had all-day sickness, I’ve been relatively free of mood swings, bad tempersย and tantrums which are said to be very common in pregnancies due to all the changing hormones. I think the hubs has got off easily in this aspect ๐Ÿ˜›


However,ย the reason I have been feeling miserable is this : Food. Yes, those pregnancy cravings. I know for a fact that I have been trying with all my might NOT to think of food, and when an urge for a certain food hits me, I try to brush it off as much as I can. The first craving that hit me was at the end of my first trimester. I wanted rendang so badly, and having no ingredients for making rendang, I brushed the thought off. Till about 11pm at night. I was grouchy as heck and I finally went to the kitchen and made chicken curry instead and told myself “this is rendang, it tastes just like rendang” x100000 times.


Then onwards, no cravings hit. Except for the occasional love for green apples + asam (best combo EVAR), nothing major hit me. Till last week. I wanted root beer. Bah, just plain ol’ rootbeer you say? Grab it at the supermarket you say? Well, get this, THERE AIN’T NO FRIGGING ROOTBEER HERE. I’m not even asking for the icy cold ohhhh sooooo yummy A&W rootbeers. I’d be plenty happy with just a CAN of any generic rootbeer. But naa-ahhh. You can’t find rootbeer in Italy. Not where I am anyway. I googled it, and realized that rootbeer is simply not something that you find in Italy, unless you’re lucky enough to be living in a big city that has one of those supermarket selling foreign, imported items. So what did I do? I bought a can of Coke light to placate myself (you know, to CONVINCE myself that it tastes like rootbeer). This time it didn’t work. I took one sip and poured the rest into the toilet bowl. Did you know that Coke is so corrosive that some people actually use it to clean toilets. I digress.


Coke –> Rootbeer, FAIL.


And then today, of all the friggin things in the world, I couldn’t get CHUKA HOTATE off my mind. For the uninitiated, chuka hotate is basically marinated scallop frills served cold in Japanese restaurants. I never fail to order this when I’m at a Japanese restaurant.



Or, it could come like this:



To try to get rid of the images of chuka hotate off my mind, I ate two slices of bread + peanut butter, an apple, a glass of milk, 2 chocolate chip cookies. Nope, it was still at the back of my head. And that was at 10am in the morning. At about 3pm, I had lunch. I ate a place of rice with potatoes+peas+minced meat+acar (Indian pickles). I was full. I still am. But what’s on my mind? C H U K Aย  H O T A TE!




And no. The lousy Japanese restaurants here don’t have it. Japanese food here = SASHIMI, raw fish, soba, that’s all thank youverymuchpleasecomeagainOMGIWANNAKILLYOU.


Then in hopes of cheering myself up, I watched Everybody Loves Raymond on DVD. It never fails to cheer me up. Except today. Oh God, I hope its not an omen or God forbid a SIGN. SOBS.


This episode had Debra who was pregnant with twins annoucing to the family that they were expecting twin boys. Raymond’s mother is so happy, she tells Debra to “eat all you want, dear, because if a pregnant woman doesn’t get to eat what she wants, then the baby will get a birthmark the shape of the food she craved for”.


It sure opened the floodgates. I sobbed my eyes out, simply feeling sorry for myself, and for little bub. I’m sorry little bub, mommy tried, but this town doesn’t have anything. ANYTHING. Please don’t get a birthmark the shape of chuka hotate or a rootbeer can, or anything resembling the letters A and W.ย I promise you I’ll eat/drink all those things when we get back to Malaysia ok?


Feeling miserable is an understatement. Not only am I feeling miserable, I’m also feeling a little scared.


Sigh. Gimme a break already. I’m not even craving for unreasonable things like say, durian, or foie gras, or beggar’s chicken or sharksfin soup.


Just chuka hotate. And rootbeer.






*all images courtesy of Google


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Dear baby,

I was supposed to write about my trip to Salzburg, Austria, but I guess you have become my first priority these days. Moreover, I can’t seem to resize my pictures on my wonky laptop, so we’ll just have to wait for daddy to come home to fix it (or just pinjam his laptop for a while). Right now, as I write this, I am at week 17, going into Week 18.

I was considering a gazillion times whether or not to post a picture of my bump in here, as I am quite the stickler for privacy, and well, mommy’s no supermodel. I’ve not posted any pictures of myself in this blog, not my face anyway, and this would be the first one. I chose this coz it isn’t too clear anyway ๐Ÿ˜›

That’s you in my belly at 16 weeks. The picture was taken on 7th June 2011. I am flabbergasted at how nature works. Though my belly is now showing, I have not put on a single kilo since my prepregnancy weight! Where did that bump come from??? I have been trying to eat more this week in hopes of seeing an increase in my weight, but no success thus far. My gynae says that it’s ok, and I shouldn’t be too worried about it as long as I’m eating and not losing weight! You know, baby, I might regret this whole wanting to put on weight thing once I further along in the pregnancy and feeling like a whale, and looking like one. So, when that day comes, I’m gonna dig up this post and bang my head on the wall. Haha.

Today, 19th June 2011, on Father’s Day, I felt a real, unmistakble strong KICK/THWACK in my belly. I take it as my first REAL kick/nudge from you, although you’ve been making some pretty unmistakable groovy moves in there since week 14 onwards.

Last week at Dr.Vecchi’s appointment, I saw you on screen and what was most amazing was I saw you lying quietly in there, and when Dr.Vecchi prodded my belly around to get a better look at the screen, I saw you raise your arm and cover your face! That, dear baby, was astounding. I guess you were feeling irritated in there, and your reflexes got you shielding your face. I’m sure you can now close your ears in irritation too when daddy sings you hear loud noises.

Mommy wants to say thank you for not making her puke so much anymore. The once or twice a week throwing up is MUCH better than the all-day, everyday throwing up horror that was the first trimester. However, mommy’s starting to get backaches, specifically on her tail bone (coccyx) which worries her as she had a bad, bad episode when she was in Form 5, in school. The pain was so bad then that your late grandpa had to take mommy to the orthopaedic surgeon and mommy had to endure an embarassing painkiller injection right at her tailbone. Now be a good little baby and try not to give mommy too much discomfort ok?

Daddy and I have been doing SO MUCH research and reading on baby development, baby items etc that mommy’s getting a little overwhelmed. Last week, we went to three different baby shops to look up specifications and prices of strollers and car seats. It’s just mind boggling! Mommy has been dilligently reading up reviews, emailing suppliers (in Germany!) and daddy has been watching Youtube clips on how these strollers function. We narrowed down our choice of strollers to the Bugaboo Cameleon, the Stokke Xplory and the Concord Neo. Bugaboo has these wonderful colours, and so does Stokke with their high position seating advantage, and the Concord offers the best of German sturdiness and practicality and looks pretty good to boot. Right now, we’re waiting for daddy to come back from his trip to Peru and then mommy and daddy will visit another shop or two outside of Modena before we finally make our decision / purchase. Over here, things need to be bought/ordered much earlier in advance as everyone goes on vacation at the end of July and August and stock would be impossible to get then. People may think that mommy’s doing things too early on, but heck care, mommy would rather be prepared earlier than be rushing at the last minute, especially since mommy leaves to Malaysia at the end of September! Now the 2 other major items that are left would be your wardrobe (daddy wants a big one!) so he can dump all his stuff in there buy lots of clothes for you ๐Ÿ˜‰ and also, there’s the baby crib too.

Mommy’s all teary eyed now thinking if you would one day read these posts and understand how much we want the best for you, at so many levels, and though you may one day be a moody, disgruntled teenager saying no to everything and (God forbid) being irritated and hating your parents, you’d realize that we love you so very much, even before seeing you, and you mean the world to us.

Till the next post.


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Just a quick post. I have been feeling this strange sensation like bubbles popping just below my navel for the past 2 weeks (14 weeks onwards). At first, I thought it could just be gas, but by golly, it’s getting more frequent, and I’m pretty darn sure it ain’t gas. In fact, I have been getting a few “nudges” that are pretty strong, it can only be some POWERFUL gas if it is indeed gas, LOL.

So yes, I assume it’s bub moving about in there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I get it most frequently after having dinner, and while sitting quietly watching TV or reading a book. And usually at nights. Oh gosh, I hope this does not mean that baby’s gonna be a night owl! *crosses fingers + toes

I am at 16 weeks today, and today, I was soooo wishing I had me some kiam chye soup ๐Ÿ˜ฆ *drools. And then I read about Spring Golden Char Siew (my fave!!!) at The Baby Steps of Lifeย and I literally felt my saliva gathering in my mouth, I had to swallow >___< Sighhhhh. Why oh why can’t I crave for someting easily available like pasta or pizza??

I have been feeling much better lately, and I have started cooking again, but simpler stuff. Today, I made a nice grilled fish on banana leaves (all the way from Rome! from hub’s friend’s garden) and a nice fresh salad. For dessert, we had chilled lo han kuo with mata kucing. And then half an hour later, all my food graced the porcelain throne. :/ For some strange reason, I still throw up during different hours of the day. 2 days ago, I threw up my delicious Spaghetti Vongole dinner at 2 am.

This Saturday, the hubs and I will go check out some baby stores just for a look see. We’ve decided not to buy anything till the summer sales next month, but having a look at things should give us a better idea of what we should get apart from price range at the stores.

And ohhhH!!! We have officially bought bub’s first clothing item! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s an adorable little…..ahhh wait and see what we bought coming up in my next post, heh ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s a simple item really, but oh so cute, to us anyway. Baby also received his/her first gift from hubs friends who were visiting from Singapore.

I’ve yet to write about our trip to Salzburg, but OMG trust me when I say I have been having the crappiest computer luck lately. Nearly killed my laptop, and hubs had to reformat the whole thing. I lost all 6 years worth of pictures and documents. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And then I think I may have nearly killed hubs new uglyass canggih 1500EUR gaming computer simply by switching it on. It’s like I’ve been Midas lately, except everything I touch goes kaput! So fingers crossed, pictures should be up soon.

In the meantime, I have restarted Italian lessons, and I am GUNG HO about really learning before bubs arrives and I’d have toย bid arriverderci to my life social life.

The bed is a-calling now, and I hope I dream of all things nice like puppies and char siew and satay and loh mai kai and char siew pau and mutton curry and rasam and fried pavaka.


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Not literally! Thank God for that. ๐Ÿ˜›

The past 3 months I have been cooped up at home due to all the vomiting and general feeling of crapiness. Now that it’s much better, albeit the once a day puking (which I gladly accept over the whole day puking) I have been hit by the restless butt@ Itchy Tush @ travel bug.

The hubs and I try to visit different cities whenever we can, and being in Italy means LOADS of them. Just last weekend we visited this castle in a nearby town in Sassuolo where we were entertained by actors in medieval costumes reenacting the history of the castle. Granted that they used philosophical Italian for the most part, which led to me understand say, only about 60% of what they were saying, we enjoyed it nonetheless. Hubs company which organised this tour was thoughtful enough to have provided us with a knowledgeable tour guide who spoke in English. She really knew her stuff! One had only to point to a certain fresco on the wall/painting, and she’d spew out information like she had grown up knowing it all along. Can’t be all that easy being a tour guide can it? Having said that, I am always amazed at the intricacies and details that painters put into details. The frescoes were amazing and made me wonder how they manage to paint all that on walls and ceilings; I can barely paint on paper! ๐Ÿ˜›

This Thursday is a public holiday in Italy; Festa Della Republica, or basically the birth of the Italian republic. Hubs co closes on Friday and due to this, we get a nice long weekend! I have been pondering where to visit during this time, and somehow Salzburg in Austria caught my eye. When the hubster comes home tonight, we will make hotel reservations. I am suuuuper excited and looking forward to visiting the sites where The Sound of Music was shot in Salzburg and to see where Mozart lived!ย I grew up watching The Sound of Music, and heck, one of my earliest recollection is running around the house with a piece of paper that had symbols drawn on them by papaย singing Doe-A-Deer, a female deer (Do-Re-Mi). That song was of course, from The Sound of Music. I must have been about 3 or 4, and being unable to read well, papa drew those symbols for me so I could memorize the song. I especially remember that sun symbol (Re-a drop of golden sun) ๐Ÿ™‚ This trip would be especially meaningful and symbolic for me for this reason, and this Saturday, 4th of June would have marked papa’s 64th birthday, thus making it all the more special. *teary-eyed

I hope to post pictures of the place when I’m back, so bear with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the pregnancy front, I am now sporting a little bump ๐Ÿ˜€ I am ever so thankful I bought a bunch of A-line babydoll tops from Malaysia as I just about live in them. Have gotten compliments on this particular green top/dress that I’ve been wearing, as it’s very summer/spring-ish, and each time I’m tempted to shout to the world that I only spent RM25/EUR6 on it ๐Ÿ˜€

I have not been sleeping well though, been having backaches. I think I need some sort of bolster or support. I tried the regular bolster that we have lying around, and it’s more of an annoyance because its simply too fat for me to hug. And no, don’t ask me to hug the hubs. He drools snores ๐Ÿ˜›

My appetite seems to have returned but I don’t quite like pasta and cooking is still quite a chore for me. I could be fine one minute and all queasy the next, hence I stick to cooking simple stuff like soups.

I also had a nuchal translucency test done and the results came out fine, thank you Lord. We saw bub waving his/her hand around and it was just amazing.

So ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you, our little bub at 13 weeks and 3 days @ 21st May 2011.

It’s amazing how we’ve fallen in love with this little being without even knowing if it’s gonna be a boy or a girl, how he or she looks like, feels like, sounds like.ย I sometimes catch myself talking/singing to my belly. I’m sure he/she can recognize my voice by now. I sing Do-A-Deer and It’s a Small World while the hubs insists on singing his WRONG version of ABC. (I don’t know how his kindergarten got away with teaching kids an out of tune melody of ABC!)

Ahhhhh, for preciousย bubs, I am thankful. For the wonderful hubs, I am thankful. For the opportunity to see the world, I am thankful. Life is good ๐Ÿ™‚

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Still here!

*Takes down cobwebs from blog*

Yes it has been a long time indeed. I had to reset my password to the blog simply because I had forgotten what it was. I am now back in Italy from my 3 month holiday in Malaysia.
LOADS have happened, and boy is there a lot to write. Gimme a few weeks, and I will share with all 3 of you out there who still read this blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

I have been feeling under the weather and well, down, lately, and chanced upon this little gem of wisdom I found on Karen Cheng’s blog:ย 

The grass isnโ€™t greener on the other side of the fence.

The grass is greenest where it is watered.


So, if you’re having a tough time, hang in there.ย Excuse me while I go water my grass/plants ๐Ÿ™‚

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The fish and I





Ever had one of those days where you wondered what if, and what could have been?


It’s funny how life can give you roses and chocolates and cotton candy, and then the next day you get rotten fish.


It’s just one of those days for me. Rotten fish. You think you know how to keep the fish alive and well, and the next thing you know, it’s floating belly up, putrefying and turning the water it’s in all murky and cloudy, affecting all the other fish in the tank.


How do you keep the fish alive? You feed it, you nurture it, you change the tank water, maybe even talk to it. The fish may grow, slowly, albeit steadily. You and fish become good friends. You know what your fish likes to eat, and your fish is happy to eat off your hand. One day you decide to bring your friendship with Fish even closer, and you try to pat it gently. Fish turns around and bites you till it bleeds. And it bleeds really badly. You feel really hurt. Not because of the bleeding wound, but because you had trusted Fish. You thought that Fish was your Good Friend. Apparently not. Fish doesn’t trust you after all. It had only trusted you up to a certain level. Even that perhaps, was a “fake” sort of trust.


Do you try and nurture your friendship back with Fish? Or you leave it be? Leave it at that level where you just feed Fish from afar? Or maybe take one step back and be less friendly with Fish?



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Is there even such a thing? A hectic holiday? Well that’s how my holiday back in Malaysia is turning out to be! It’s almost the end of January 2011, and it’s only my first blog entry. It’s my own doing really.

I signed up for baking classes and I have classes once a week. On top of that, I have to REPRODUCE the cake that I have learnt at class that week for the following week’s class. In other words, I have homework! I questioned myself loads before signing up for these classes, thinking that I could just learn baking from books. But you see, I’ve always reproduced cakes from recipe books, and somehow they never turned out the way I wanted them to. That’s where the classes come in handy. My teacher teaches from scratch and assumes that her students know nothing. The right way to mix, the right way to fold in ingredients, how to prevent your cakes from becoming dense. Now I finally know the answer to my perennial problem of having a cake with a damp/sticky bottom!

The baking part is actually the easy part. Yup you that read that right. No cake is complete without icing. And THAT my friends, is the difficult part. I thought buttercream icing would be easy peasy. Well it’s not! It takes a LOT of practice. The first time I did my homework, replicating a cake we made at class, I was cursing like a sailor at home and yelling at everyone in sight. Teehee. Then again, I was in a rush, and one should never, ever, decorate cakes in a hurry. But woohoo, the following week, I made a cake which looked LOADS better. It’s all in the practice.

I also signed up for a whole-day hands on puff pastry class. Granted I had to drive to the other end of the world from where I live (fine, it was just Puchong, but DEEP inside Puchong, and it’s under Sepang municipality ok!), I totally enjoyed it! My classmates were all makcik-makcik (elderly ladies) but hey, who cares, I was there to learn. We learnt to make puff pastry from scratch, and I hope I have banished the Demon of the Failed Puff Pastry from my kitchen forever ๐Ÿ˜›

Dough resting

And thiiiis is how you work it

Beautiful layers of dough + butter = puff pastry

Let's make some little pies

Danish Windmill

Vol Au Vent

Final products - all from scratch!


Aren’t they absolutely beeeeyoootiful? I was dead tired from class that day which started at about 10am and lasted till about 6pm. But the end products are absolutely worth it.

Let’s hope I am able to successfully recreate them when I am back in Italy! ๐Ÿ˜›

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