Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Week 20: Chugging along

I picked up the wok after what seemed like a century of absence from the kitchen. I'd finally gotten fed up with all the junk we were eating outside - fried koay teow, mediocre fried rice, Japanese, steak - and the indecision that goes along with deciding where to eat. I was also starting to get a little worried about my intake of calcium, greens and fruits; not sufficient is putting it mildly. So off I went to the nearest Cold Storage on a grocery spree.

My fried rice last night could give Little Penang a run for its money. It was just as I predicted: I CAN cook better fried rice than that place. But then again I've never doubted my ability with a wok, a pot or a frying pan or even an oven. It's just my inherent laziness that gets in the way; if only cooking were less hassle and didn't take up so much space and time.

At least the blob can rest assured it had a home-cooked meal devoid of MSG.

According to the books, it should be about 16cm in length by now. I still haven't felt any movement from it yet, not anything that I can tell from the outside anyway. It seems to have a penchant for the left of my uterus; I'm quite sure my bump's skewed to the left. When I cough or sneeze too hard, I get a stitch on the left.

It's getting harder to bend down and lifting my feet to scrub them in the shower is getting to be a chore. I try to sit as straight as possible so that my bump isn't all scrunched up and the little tyke in there has room to move. Flats are definitely easier on my legs and feet now than even low heels. The boobs still seem to be expanding and sweat can now gather freely and uncontrolled under their weight. My usage of talcum powder has increased in a tangent with the sweat. It's just about now that I'm wishing I'd bought some padded maternity/nursing bras because the nipples just won't back down. I'm tempted to get some inserts just so to stop the peaks from peeping out from under my tops.

I still can't eat too much of a full meal at dinnertime. If I do, I need to walk it off or Rizal would have to contend with my moans and whines after dinner; doesn't seem like my metabolic rate is picking up, my stamina either. At the end of my cooking session last night, I was huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf from the fable, The Three Little Pigs.

I'm still hit by inexplicable waves of tiredness at odd times of the day and now, when it's really quiet, I can feel my heart going at it as if I was in a triathlon. I was looking forward to starting prenatal yoga with a friend's instructor, however that plan has been shelved because the instructor found out she was pregnant and bleeding so classes have been canceled. Talk about a weird twist of fate. I'm now on the lookout for other venues for prenatal yoga. I need to do SOMETHING to ease the dull throb at the base of my tailbone.

I'm looking forward to next week's detailed scan. I hope we'll be able to tell whether it's a girl or a boy. We can then move on to choosing names; I simply will not go through the trouble of going through every list of girls' AND boys' names to choose something suitable. Referring to the baby as the blob is also getting a bit old. The girl or the boy sounds so much more personable. I just hope the boy, as in Pixel the cat, doesn't develop an identity crisis.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Chinese New Year Resolution: I Shall Get Along With My Brethren

A rare occasion indeed: all three felines together - Meg, Trixie & Pixel - in close proximity and no fur balls in sight.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Desperately seeking skin

I had a pau before heading out to dinner last night. The kitties were saved from starvation by an emergency pack of Whiskas soft food from 7E.

The two girls hungrily dug into their bowls. The boy refused to eat his food after a few bites. No help in that, we left him and went out for dinner.

When we came back with a pack of Iams, I found my leftover pau skin, which I'd left on the coffee table, gone. Nothing except for the paper that lined the pau.

Looks like someone chose plain pau skin over Whiskas cat food. Wonder what the cat food company would say to that?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

If only my friends knew

Being pregnant addles the brains.

Just recently I bumped into a friend at dinner. The face was familiar and since he said hi, I acknowledged him. We got to chatting but at the back of my mind I was frantically trying to remember who this guy was. I had ABSOLUTELY. NO. IDEA. Other than the fact that I knew him from somewhere, I could not, for the life of me, figure out who he was, what was his name, when I'd met him, how I knew him, who we both knew, I just could not place him. If he'd looked closer, he could have seen the beads of sweat forming on my brow and threatening to rain down my face. Luckily, the lighting was far from perfect.

It wasn't until about 5 minutes or so into the conversation when he made a reference to his work and someone we mutually knew that it hit me; so THAT'S who he is!

Needless to say, I was as relieved as if someone had come put out a major fire forming at my feet. I didn't have to look like a complete moron and ask him who the hell he was after 5 minutes of conversation.

You would think this is an isolated case but no, this is the second time this has happened to me since I found out I was pregnant. The first incident was worse: I walked away without an inkling of who the guy was. And I hadn't asked. It wasn't until I'd jogged my memory thoroughly the next hour after the encounter that I hit on the answer.

Today, I told myself to remember to buy cat food for the kitties before I came back home. We're down to the bottom of the tub and there's not one bit left for dinner. Of course, I came home and totally forgot about the poor kitties until I walked in the front door.

Five more months to go, five more months to go...

One day it's there, the next day it's GONE!!

I almost collapsed from a heart attack this morning. I've taken to watering my pots of plants in my driveway in the mornings before I head off to work. My giant bonsai's bed of moss recently started turning brown and threatened to wither up and die from the dry weather, hence the dilligence in watering. I bought the pot complete with lush green moss surrounding the foot of the trunk and almost covering the entire span of the 2' diameter base 2 years ago. Half of that green carpet has turned to brown fur.

Imagine my shock this morning when I discovered not a brown patch in sight, but even the healthy green spots were completely dug up and all that was left were a tangle of roots and earth exposed in their entirety! I could have dropped dead right there on the driveway if not for the fact that I was too shocked and heartbroken to ellicit any response from my body other than a faint sputtering.

"My moss! My beautiful moss!!!"

I initially wondered if any of the stray cats within the area had made a litter of my pot and dug up the earth to cover up their poo but upon watering and not detecting any pong, I ruled that out. The only explanation: my maid had dug up the moss, thinking that it was unwanted, and thrown it away. Why she would have done that after having worked for me for close to a year and not paying any attention to it whatsoever, is beyond my understanding.

When I called her, she confirmed the fact: she'd dug up the pot and thrown the disgusting brown stuff away. Whyyyyyyy???!!!!!

There is no help for it. It's time to go back to what I remember doing as a child, being dragged by my parents around KL city when there was still a racecourse at the current KLCC Twin Towers site. They were bonsai freaks; they'd bring me on their expeditions ot the many drains in and around KL, near the former race course and we'd have a ball digging up the lush green moss from the damp drains.

I think I'd find more than just moss in KL drains now. My uncle claims that his garden has an abundance of moss. I guess I'll find out after our reunion dinner this saturday when we head over and I go equipped with a little spade to transfer some moss to cover my poor naked, exposed bonsai base.

Pre-Valentine's Day Surprise

I'm hopeless at the romance stuff. There used to be a time when I'd handmake cards and write soppy, mushy loveletters. Key phrase here is "used to". These days my shows of affection include not burping too loudly when Rizal's around or not whining too much when I'm annoyed.

So as Valentine's Day rolled around the corner I vowed not to have to do the Valentine's Dinner circuit just because everyone charges exorbitant prices for a regular dinner packaged as a lover's dinner. I also conveniently forgot about getting Rizal a present because seriously, there really isn't much that he wants (other than his D&D books, of which I'm not sure which one). I expected no more from him.

Hmm...I underestimated my husband.

He presented me with a Crumpler 6 Million Dollar bag, in black for our Nikon D80 (which is currently unceremoniously sitting in one of the free canvas bags I picked up from a trade show). A friend had suggested a bright red (red, RED!!) but he picked black because he thought there'd be an issue with dirt and grime.

God bless my thoughtful husband.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Experiencing the growth spurt I never did during puberty

It's a good thing growth spurts only occur at certain specific times in your life: puberty and pregnancy. I never had one during puberty, having reached my height potential by 5' and stopped growing by the time I was 11.

The latter growth spurt, the one that happens during pregnancy, is actually quite frightening. At least, that's what I feel as I go to bed with my belly a certain size and then waking up 7 or 8 hours later to a different rounder, bigger size. I'm loathe to note that this is only Week 17 of my numbered weeks and already I'm wondering how I'm going to cope with anything bigger than a honeydew melon stuck between my pelvis and my chest. Suddenly those maternity pants I bought about a week or two ago don't seem so big anymore.

It suddenly dawned on me that my encounter with mild diarrhea yesterday might have been my body's way of preparing itself for the imminent swelling and taking up of valuable shelf space between the internal organs. It's like the uterus telling the intestines and bowels, "Hey, growing baby in here. Make space!"

But then again, it may have just been the rib-eye steak from Monday's dinner and the result of stuffing my face during lunch yesterday.

Who knows? I've got a ways to go and I'm not kidding when I say I feel more than a slight twinge of alarm at how I could possibly cope later on. And we're not even talking about labour yet.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An indication of our weakness?

The more I read about our country in alternative media (i.e. not sanctioned by the government or any other media that is not the local dailies), the more disillusioned I become about our future. And more specifically, my future here.

So, what did I learn today? Well, that our FDI lags those of our neighbours by light years behind. Here's a summary of the local region's 2006 FDI:

Vietnam : US$9.87 billion
Singapore : US$9.33 billion
Indonesia : US$5.71 billion
South Korea : US$5.11 billion
Phlippines : US$3.94 billion
Thailand : US$2.94 billion
Malaysia : US$1.44 billion

Source: LOCO Monitor

These are the hard facts despite the recent splash of media hype over our country's so-called economic strength.

I say it's time we brace ourselves.

Overnight changes

I was bloated and uncomfortable for most of yesterday. Before I got out of bed this morning, I ran my hands over my bulge. Kick me, but I could have sworn it was smaller yesterday. It seems as if the blob has been busy and been growing overnight.

Today I walked around with a more pronounced bump and a resolve to get those maternity pants out of their bags and sent to the tailor's for alteration (they're too long) before I have to cut up my existing work pants.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Infections of the best-left-unnamed kind

Did I mention that the wonky hormones have resulted in a less than acidic pH environment in the nether regions and the vagina? In plain words: the friendly bacteria have flourished and turned hostile. Doc took a culture swab and sent me home with a plethora of medication: gels to insert (complete with 6" plastic tube and plunger), tablets to insert after completing the gel treatment, antifungal cream to spread and two courses of antibiotics to swallow.

Doc hopes it's not a strain of strep which could cause pneumonia to a newborn. I don't remember the scientific name but I remember the initials GBS. I am to call back in a weeks' time for results.

No name

As most would have noticed, my masthead and title have now become nothing more than ...

I got tired of Funky Carnival but can't decide what else to call my blog. So for the moment, it shall be nameless and waiting in limbo till I can make up my mind.

Brain drain

I wonder how some women are able to be pregnant and continue putting in the same amount of focus and concentration at work that they used to before they began growing their baby.

These days, I'm either too tired or cranky or hungry or just plain uncomfortable in my work clothes (no I'm not being stubborn; my maternity pants are too long and I haven't had time to get them altered and there are only so many days I can wear skirts to work) to concentrate on work as I used to. I never had much patience before but it's riding on an even shorter leash these days. Anyone who fails to get my point or perform to expectations usually gets a lambasting.

I tried doing sums in my head. This is just counterchecking on claims forms submitted by my sales team. Not only am I not able to add up the sums mentally, my apparent dwindling lack of skill with the calculator had me redoing the sums at least 3 or 4 times before I managed to tally the totals of each person's claims. This is with the help of an electronic calculator! If that isn't bad or an indication that my brain is getting royally fried, I don't know what is.

Not only am I not able to concentrate mentally, my body seems to be able to focus physically on one task at a time. After meals, I'm washed over by such a heavy wave of sleepiness that I could probably fall asleep in the restaurant right in the chair if not for the fact that to do so would land my head unceremoniously in my plate. I probably couldn't stand the embarrassment and humiliation. So instead, I try to follow conversation while trying not to seem too rude or uninterested, usually leaning back in my chair and sliding down several inches or so. I haven't slid off one yet, I'm just wondering when that will happen.

I really, truly admire the business or career women out there who can somehow figure a way of winging it all together and making it all look so damn easy. While my own pregnancy does not seem to have been especially harsh - no morning sickness, no debillitating back pain - yet, not too much ballooning - I'm somewhat low on the energy and concentration levels. It's a wonder how some of these women can jetset around for work sometimes almost all the way until they end up in the delivery room (I thought airline companies don't allow heavily pregnant women on their planes?) or how some of them carry on with their work just as focused and concentrated as if that growing bump was just another minor speed bump in their career path: slow down just before and then speed up right after, back on track in no time.

I'm happy just to be able to get through the day without feeling like I need a 5-hour nap after lunch or making sure that my tongue doesn't get entirely tied and twisted over itself so I can coherently deliver a sales presentation without looking like my brain just got dissolved in acid.

Oh, and of course, who can forget those blasted claims forms?

Friday, February 09, 2007

The once over

It seems an automatic reaction to run my hands over my belly now everytime before I sleep and before I get out of bed. It's quite amazing, really. For the last 15 weeks, there has not been much physical evidence of a bump. Suddenly at week 16, the bump seems to be growing overnight. I swear!

And everytime I run my hands over to feel if that convex has grown even a tiny bit, I come away with a resounding 'Yes!' Finally, I have something to show for being pregnant other than the humongous boobs.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another reason to leave

The Information Ministry recently announced reviving a ban on multi-racial or Pan-Asian faces in the advertising industry to give priority to "local" faces.

What is a "local" look and what is not? How are Pan-Asian faces different from Chinese, Indian, Malay, Portuguese, Dayak, Iban, and the many other faces found in Malaysia? After all, we are ALL Malaysian.

So if my mother happens to be Chinese but she married an Indian, and my grandmother is Portuguese and I look like a motley cross between all, thus I have a multiracial look (meaning, I don't look like a Chinese, Malay or Indian), that means I am not local? Or I don't have a local look?

Can somebody explain the logic of this to me? As far as I'm concerned, being Malaysian does not have anything to do with what one looks like. Can somebody please explain to the goofs in the government that Malaysia is a MULTIRACIAL, read, MULTIETHINIC country and that being multiracial it means we don't necessarily look like one particular race but a mix of a few, if not many? By multiracial, does the government mean Malay? If it does, then they are so stuck in that white castle of theirs so plainly in denial and full of their own shit that they can't see the forest for the trees.

So, which part of this slogan, "Malaysia, truly Asia" (our Tourism Minstry's slogan for a few year) holds true then? How do we go about announcing proudly to the world at large that we are a multiracial country and then turn around and ban multiracial faces from appearing on the media? Those people in the government (I'm tempted to call them swine but that would be demeaning the porcine species, as my sis would say) sure can be blatant hypocrites. But that's an open secret, isn't it? To cement the fact openly is not beyond or beneath their means, in fact, it should only be expected of them.

In this case, it's clearly a case of "looks matter". I suppose to them idiots there, looking Malaysian (read, Malay) is more important than feeling Malaysian, or thinking like a Malaysian.

When will they ever realise that Malaysia is not just one race, and specifically, not just Malay?

Emergency shopping

The bra I bought about 3 weeks ago to accommodate my growing boobs almost suffocated me yesterday. So during my lunch break, I dashed out to buy what I was inevitably putting off till the last minute: maternity/nursing bras.

Not only did I save myself from a possible fainting spell, I walked away with two pairs of skirts and a delightfully comfortable ruched top that is supposed to expand beautifully with my growing belly. I don't even want to look through the bill again. Let's just say that all the pregnancy books were true: maternity clothes cost the earth!

So from now on, it's no underwire but comfy nursing bras (I got three), and I think I'll have to dig up those maternity pants I bought for work. Jeans will do for anything else. Plus that lovely elasticised corduroy skirt I got yesterday.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


"How do you feel about moving out of the country?"


"In a way, I wish you'd say you don't want to go so I can just say no."

Saturday, February 03, 2007

King of the world

Thursday, February 01, 2007

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