Tuesday, February 23, 2016

half empty or half full

Last Saturday, I met a new friend, Marielle. We were chatting over some random topics and she brought up an interesting philosophy which I did also read about it sometime ago. It was a great chat because that philosophy serves as a reminder to us. The philosophy we were talking about how we look at a half glass of water – is it half full, or is it half empty.
How we define the half glass of water actually reflects on our attitude towards life – being an optimist or being a pessimist. We either feel appreciative, thankful and happy with what we have or be resentful and unhappy about what we don’t have in life. When life present something unfamiliar or uncertain to us, how do we react towards the situation does influence how we feel and subsequently how we handle the situation. A positive and optimistic mind will motivate and drive us far while a negative and pessimistic attitude will pose many fear and roadblocks even before we assess the whole picture.

The key to move forward in life is always be thankful and grateful. Be happy with what we have (good health, peace, love, family, friends) and also for the greater things that are yet to come. Be happy for NOW, for the very moment we are having right NOW. One of the things we are still learning now is to live in the present moment even as we plan for the future. For some reason, there is power in being optimist – not only to ourselves, but to our spouse and the people around us.

The key to happiness is simplicity. There may be luxuries and advancement of technology, but sometimes we found ourselves reminiscing the simpler things in life and reliving the nostalgia that we had in the good old days. More often than not, simplest joy comes in the simplest form, like a kind gesture, a smile, a home cook dinner, or by just simply being healthy. They are not expensive and most of them are free yet priceless because it comes from the heart. Money can’t buy a smile, because it has to come from a sincere heart. Home cook dinner are the best because it is prepared with love. Money cannot buy health because it takes time and effort to nurture it. While there are many things that are so dependent on money these days, never forget that money is not everything. There is still humane side of things that are free and worth the time in our life.

These days, when I am feeling dejected and jaded, I remind myself to cut the thought – the half empty thought that might give way to pessimistic and bitterness. Rather than dwelling in sadness and the negativity, we would rather invest the energy to improve ourselves or current condition. There is no point in sulking because sulking would not improve the situation. It is our choice to be happy over sadness and we should all forget about self-pities. One of way to draw positive energy from our surroundings is to always think big and wide, think out of the box. Go out and meet new people and always be ready to be inspired. There is always new things to learn every day.

We recently moved out from our rented room into a small cosy home across the street. We are really grateful with this provision because for the first time, we are living happily without stress here in Singapore. Goodbye to all the stress that we had sharing with previous flatmates and landlord. Moving out and living by ourselves, without the presence of landlord and housemates is probably the best decision we had made. We had probably compromise the quality of life sharing a flat with others before this but I guessed we had no choice, given that the housing/flat rental in Singapore is way too exorbitant. Now that we are expecting a baby, this upgrade comes as a double portion blessings which we have been very thankful every day. All I could say is, one cannot stay in a shared flat forever. At some point of time, it is good to move out and live on your own, that is when you really start living properly.

The flat that we are currently renting is nothing fancy, but it is warm. There is a living hall with a small rectangular timber table which we got from Muji Store. It is also a space where @pandamopi loves to surf the internet and read. I personally like to occupy the sofa after a long day, lying down just reading or browsing from my mobile. We sometimes play our favourite music over the speaker or watch a movie together. Recently we watched Steve Jobs.

We have a small corridor outside our flat where we dry our laundry and planted some herbs for own consumption. At the moment, we have tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, lemon balm, spring onion and orchids in our little garden. For some reason, the plants helped to spruce and liven up our house entrance, giving some life and energy to an otherwise a mundane flat unit. Every morning before heading out to work, we shower the plants with water and love. It brings us so much joy and happiness to see how plants are growing every day under the sun and outdoor environment (we previously kept our plants in bedroom which is very much deprived from sunlight).

The kitchen is always kept warm with me starting the day early in the kitchen preparing lunch boxes and cooking dinner in the evening. Occasionally, I love to snip a few of our home-grown lemon balm leaves and mix it into our cups of lime juice. The concoction of juice exudes positivity and wellness and our body seems to be happier these days with these little details and interaction with nature.

As the day is drawing to an end, we progressed to our simple bed room. It is a place we rest our heads. There is a small window by the side that allows natural ventilation to breeze through the room while we sleep and let the gentle light in as morning approaches.

For some, there might not be anything special living in this particularly small HDB or it might not be good enough for some, but like the half full and hall empty philosophy. We are more then contented and thankful with what we are blessed. It makes us feel happy to start the day and grateful as we end the day by retreating to bed peacefully. And as we close our eyes and allow the natural lullabies emitted from the good old fan, we say a word of thank you to our Lord Jesus our provider and kiss each other goodnight.

Monday, February 22, 2016

mi dulce bebé

20th week, another milestone achieved. Half of the journey is done, another half to go. So far there had been so much emotion involved and every experience is precious. It is a life-changing journey so far, so much so the changes are big enough to make you stop, slow down and think as you journey forward. This is a point where I come to taste and realize the changes, emotions and experience taking place when my mom first had me and why my parents are making certain decisions this and that way. It is as if you are replaying your parents’ video reel of parenthood but this time you are feeling every single emotion they were feeling at that very moment. It is surreal and unbelievable, but that is the reality.

I wrote a poem recording my emotions and joy upon seeing our baby in 20 week anomaly scan this morning. The feeling is vivid. As much as I am excited to see you, my baby, I am wondering if you feel the same that your mom-to-be is seeing you and feeling extremely excited.

My sweet baby
Nine thirty at Thomson Suites,
In a small cosy room,
With a lady radiographer,
My heart is calm yet excited,
For I am going to see you today, my baby.

It is our monthly ritual thing,
For mummy to see you,
They call it ultrasound scanning,
I call it opening the window to see,
How you, my baby is doing in there.

Entering the dimly lit room,
Lying on the couch,
Pulling up my dress,
Scanner with gel on my belly,
I opened my belly window and
I saw you, my baby, this morning.

You moved from up to down,
Legs wide opened and crossed,
You moved your hands,
Placing them on your lips, then your face,
Oh, baby, You are so active today.

Your little heart is pumping fast,
Supplying blood to your tiny self,
I closed my eyes and gave thanks,
For this miracles that is happening in me.

Your little arms and hands,
So fine and beautiful,
Clenching tightly and firmly,
“Baby, open up your fingers.”
I tapped my womb and whispered to you.
Slowly you opened up your hands,
Showed me your perfect palms.

One second you sat upside down,
Legs opened wide,
And kicked me hard the next second,
I never knew what you were doing in there,
When I am busy working.

Are you also eating when I am eating ?
Are you sleeping when I am sleeping ?
Did you hear papa whisper you goodnight kisses ?
Did I pressed on you accidentally when sleeping ?
Did you felt papa’s goodnight massage ?
Are you busy playing when mummy is working ?
Do you enjoy living in mummy, walking with mummy
and hearing mummy’s voice ?

Never would I thought,
That I would fell in love
With someone I have never met.
Never would I thought,
That my heart would grew
So tender and loving.
Never would I thought,
You made us feel happy and blissful.
Never would I thought,
I would miss someone so much.

All Glory to be our God,
For the most perfect gift
To our humble marriage.
We love,
Because You Loved Us first,
And now seal our love with
A sweet baby girl.

Spanish version :
mi dulce bebé
Las nueve y media, de Thomson Suites,
En una pequeña habitación acogedora,
Con una señora radiólogo,
Mi corazón está en calma aún excitado,
Para que voy a verte hoy, mi bebé.

Es lo nuestro ritual mensual,
Para mamá a ver que,
Lo llaman la ecografía,
Yo lo llamo la apertura de la ventana para ver,
¿Cómo usted, mi bebé está haciendo ahí.

Al entrar en la habitación con poca luz,
Recostado en el sofá,
Tirando hacia arriba de mi vestido,
Escáner con gel en el vientre,
Abrí la ventana y el vientre
Yo te vi, mi bebé, esta mañana.

Has desplazado de arriba a abajo,
Las piernas bien abiertas y cruzadas,
Has movido las manos,
Lo colocaste en tus labios, y tu cara,
Oh, bebé, eres tan activo en este momento.

Tu pequeño corazón está bombeando rápido,
El suministro de sangre a su pequeño auto,
Cerré los ojos y dio gracias,
Por esta milagros que está sucediendo en mí.

Sus pequeños brazos y las manos,
Tan fino y hermoso,
Apretando con fuerza y ​​firmeza,
" Bebé, abrir los dedos."
Golpeé mi vientre y le susurré en tu caso.
Lentamente abriste tus manos,
Me mostraste las palmas perfectos.

Un segundo que se sentó al revés,
Las piernas se abrieron,
Y me dio una patada con fuerza al segundo siguiente,
Nunca supe lo que estaba haciendo allí,
Cuando estoy ocupado trabajando.

¿Tu también está comiendo cuando estoy comiendo?
¿Estás durmiendo cuando estoy durmiendo?
¿Has oído susurro papa besos de buenas noches?
¿Hice Presioné en forma accidental cuando se duerme?
¿Te sentiste masaje de buenas noches de papá?
¿Estás ocupado de juego cuando la mamá está trabajando?
¿Te gusta vivir en mamá, caminando con mamá
y escuchar la voz de la mamá?

Nunca hubiera pensado,
Que me enamoró
Con alguien que nunca he conocido.
Nunca hubiera pensado,
Que mi corazón se creció
Tan tierno y amoroso.
Nunca hubiera pensado,
Se nos hizo sentir feliz y dichosa.
Nunca hubiera pensado,
Me perdería tanto a alguien.

Toda la gloria a ser nuestro Dios,
Para el regalo más perfecto
Para nuestra humilde matrimonio.
Nos encanta,
Debido a que usted nos ha amado primero,
Y ahora sellar nuestro amor con
Una niña dulce.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reflections @ 2015

2015 passed by without us doing much in counting down or anticipating the arrival 2016. Too much has taken place at that transition period and we barely have time to sit down and reflect and make resolutions.

Ever since my younger days, when the years were drawing to an end, it is almost like a habit for me to ponder and reflect on how I did for the year. This was done on 31 December 2014, with me wrapping up the amazing year with my doodles.

I did the same for 2015, but did not manage to find any time to pen it down. I guessed it is never too late to count my blessings in 2015.

If there is a word of phrase for me to describe the year 2015, it would be bittersweet. The roller-coaster journey has once again shaped both of us. It was not a total smooth-sailing one but we believe we made it because He brought us through, with sufficient grace and mercy.

Jan 2015

The year started enthusiastically with us penning our resolutions for 2015.

We had a rough start in Jan 2015 when we discovered that our pregnancy was not successful. Doctor diagnosed that it was blighted ovum and we would not be able to keep the baby.

We were terribly sad and painful and felt that life is too cruel, giving us sweet surprise one moment and took it away from us the next moment. I spent a reasonable amount of time at home at this start of new year at home, nursing myself physically and mentally.

Feb 2015

Slowly recovering from our nightmare, there was Chinese New Year with both sides of family gracing us warmly with love and food.

And then, we celebrated Friendship day together with Spanish peeps by writing wishes and then exchange them randomly. I got a pretty good one : Viaja y conoce el mundo. Es una de las pocas cosas que te puedes comprar para enriquecer tu vida. (To travel and know the world. It is one of the few things that you could buy to enrich your life). This is really good and looking back, we really had a great year travelling after that.

March 2015

March turns out to be exciting as ever, with lots of opportunities to sketch, draw and paint. Travelled to Muar, Vietnam and then to Muar again for my cousin’s wedding. Bought 2 sketchbooks for my two lovely cousins and encourage them to write and sketch.

April 2015

Started an exciting project together with our fellow artistic friends – Kartika, Astrid and Richard at Jorge’s dive shop.

Baby Ethan arrived to this world. We are officially auntie and uncle now. We were pretty excited to celebrate his full moon in the following month.

May 2015

Baby Ethan is one month old. He was still so small and cried at little new things he experienced like pooping, peeing, hunger and thirst for milk, cuddling.

I can’t help but feeling motherly when I carried baby Ethan. He is such a love.

May has always been our favourite month because we got married in the month of May. So it is a ritual for us to travel somewhere special to celebrate our love while appreciating the beauty of God’s creation in all over the world. We celebrated our anniversary in the possibly most magical place in the world – Istanbul. The trip was made even more beautiful with us getting to know 2 amazing friends along the way, Ali, Paulo & Joao.

May is also the month that I started my greeting card & illustration business in Carousell. Nothing was sold until June.

June 2015

I painted and sold the first wedding card. Had the first taste of entrepreneurship. The month continues to be busy

July 2015

Participated in an online art contest by drawing a camel. Did not win anything but I was still feeling very happy with it. Now the artwork is hanged in our new crib!

August 2015
Churros for birthday. Nothing elaborate, just simple joy.
Received my first ever colombian handmade bag from Pablo & Diana. Love it to bits.

September 2015

Celebrated Pablo’s birthday. Painted a huge birthday card. Singapore was hit with massive haze and we had to put on masks.

Saying goodbye to a project manager which I worked closely with in CGH. I didn’t like saying good bye, but it always makes me reflect what is my next step when people are moving on one by one.

October 2015

Travelled to Bandung for a short getaway. Visited Batu Kawah, spent some time together chilling out by just being away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.

November 2015

November is a special month for both of us because we started being together in the month of November. As we grow together, there is no need elaborate celebrations or expenditures to make the day special. Being together itself is the most special thing in life. It is also the month that we discovered that we are pregnant. I could not help but feeling emotional about it. He made me cry because he bought me a card and wrote me a long letter (something I always look forward to). Our pregnancy is also the reason that I barely have time to write and reflect, having to cope with my morning sickness.

Picked up urban gardening as a hobby. Our first gardener's meet up was at Jorge's place over a cuppa of Greek Coffee. 

December 2015

We celebrated Chunkeat, Diana, Michele and Ress’ birthday in the month of December. The theme was musical. Chunkeat requested me to make a couple headgear and I made it specially for the occasion.
Loved the outcome so much that after the party, we framed our headgear as remembrance. Christmas month is another busy month for me with lots of Christmas greeting card order. By this time, I was a little exhausted with my pregnancy and had some trouble coping with order but thank God all went well.

It was definitely not the easiest year but turned out to be a beautiful year. There is a saying that goes, “In Life, Expect the Unexpected.”

Life has many ways of surprising us, in a good or bad way. There were many laughter and tears along the way, but the journey is amazing because we ride together.