Saturday, January 3

The year that was 2014

Note: This is going to be one loonnggg post since it has been close to 2 years since my last post

2014..... What a year it had been..the highs and the lows....but the outcome has never been so good and life has been turned upside-down and inside-out but I definitely will not have it any other way....

It all started a week before Christmas 2013...... I was in Singapore for a last-minute work trip and talk about the worst trip ever... I was constantly tired and had so much in my mind with Christmas coming soon with zero preparation from me and my in-laws in Sydney (ironic they came to Sydney to visit hubby and me and I'm in Singapore)....and then for some god knows what reason I decided to get a pregnancy kit....and it came out positive! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.... Here I am in Singapore miles away from my hubby and finding out I am pregnant....Didn't help that I miscarried a couple of months about emotional roller coaster....ended up telling my hubby via FaceTime and decided to leave it to fate and not get too over excited.... So went through a whole week in Singapore feeling like crap and don't even get me started on the flight back to Sydney... Worst ever flight!!!!!

Couldn't do much once back in Sydney since my in-laws were here and we didn't want to let them know anything yet.... Thank goodness my parents, brother and sister were overseas and only back in 2014.... Had a Christmas/house warming party which was planned before so couldn't just suddenly say we didn't want to do it.... Seriously being pregnant during Christmas sucked big time!!! All the food I cannot eat!!!!

And then the morning sickness begins.... Spent my festive season leading to 2014 feeling crappy.... What a way to start 2014.....Morning sickness definitely lasted a while...literally up to week 19 of my pregnancy!!!! I have never puked so much in my life before.... Everything just comes out ... I learnt though that the worst things to puke out are seaweed, green vegetables and beef noodle soup.... Surprisingly few things that actually stayed in would be meat!!! I had a McDonald burger and fries  one day and all I puked out were the fries.... Ahhhh morning sickness I so do not miss you....

(lasted about 1 hour in my tummy before puking session began)

14 weeks preggie 

And after my morning sickness went I thought I can now finally enjoy my pregnancy since I have passed the first trimester and looks like the pregnancy is here to stay.....then came the positive gestational diabetes (GDM) result.... Seriously?! And my very conservative obstetrician insisted since I'm Asian (higher risk for GDM) I should stay far away from ice kacang and anything sweet for the whole pregnancy!!! What?! No sugar and reduce carbs for the whole pregnancy?! And 4 times a day pricking my fingers to check my sugar level? I hate being pregnant!!!! 

And then my wrist started to be painful... Started with the left hand wrist and then the right hand wrist started being painful.... Side effect of the pregnancy.... Fluid retention! So I'm not only just fat and swollen now... I can't even use my hands properly....And worse my chiropractor banned me from playing Candy Crush to rest my wrists!! No more Candy Crush??? I'm like addicted to it ok???!!! Talk about having withdrawal symptoms!!!! I really hate being pregnant!!!!!!!!

Is it me or was I pregnant for a long time?! It felt like eternity!!!!!! Farout I can't even remember what life was without thin (not that I was thin to begin with but I was sure feeling like an elephant by now)!!!! Not to mention having a thing inside kicking and punching all the time!!!!

August 2014.... Finally the diabetic consultant gave me an all clear for my gestational diabetes seeing how I was actually losing weight during my pregnancy!!! I have an entire 2 weeks to binge all I want before giving birth... And trust me sugar never tasted better!!! Infact I had to instruct my brother and sister to bring me all things sweet when I'm in hospital (think Krispy Kreme, egg tarts, chocolates and ChaTime in my hospital room)....

Then came the day to pop the baby out.... Because of my earlier gestational diabetes, obstetrician said better to be induced....Oddly enough it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.... Yes the contractions were painful but easily solved with an epidural.... And then we waited and waited until decided it needs to come out (been 8 hours or so) ie emergency caesarean due to failure to progress (didn't feel very emergency to me)...anyway given more anesthetic which made me seriously feeling cold (I was literally shivering) and sleepy.... Seriously I just felt so out of it that all I can remember now are just snapshots of what happened....they cut me open, 'she' came out, they pass her to me to kiss, they pass her to me again to carry (but I was shivering so badly I couldn't really hold her), my hubby saying bye to me as I needed to go to recovery room, ppl moving me to another bed and darkness....and that was it.... Literally few seconds snapshots of those until I woke up in recovery room.... I had such a good long nap (2 hours apparently) and my poor hubby upstairs with 'her' all by himself (poor as in he had to settle the baby for a whole 2 hours with no experience whatsoever).... I came up to the ward looking heaps more awake than my hubby definitely....and finally I got to hold my baby girl properly for the first time.... That feeling........

And our whole life changed from that moment onward..... Life really does go by so fast with our Rachel..... I was lucky I wasn't that badly sleep deprived since my hubby took a month off to become my confinement man.... Not that I was confined.... That whole month was the best month ever!!! I literally felt we bonded as a family....F.A.M.I.L.Y!!!!!

When Rachel was 1 month old and we were all starting to get used to nappy change and her sleeping habits, she then was confirmed she had DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hip).... We found out some of the risk factors were first born, female and genetic history.... I was born years ago with DDH too and I was in a spica cast for 6 weeks....hai and now my little Rachel has it....:(

Rachel was put in a Pavlik harness for 8 weeks. Then comes a whole new routine we have to get used to. Was not too bad since once she was in a harness she started sleeping a lot!!!! As in through the night...imagine the bliss of having atleast 6 hours continuous sleep...changing nappy was a little tricky but was all good except when she have poo explosion which always seems to happen once a week and right before the weekend (have to wait until the following week when I can go into the hospital to request harness change due to poo)....and worse we can only wipe her clean and no baths.....carrying her was also a bit tricky but we all managed.

After 8 weeks in the Pavlik Harness (3 months old), her left hip was fixed but her right leg was still displaced. And came the bad news she had to go for closed reduction surgery and be in a spica cast for 12 weeks...imagine my heart sinking......thanks google for images of these so I was more or less prepared for the image of my daughter in one.....

Surgery went well and her hip was put in place.....not sure though whether it is still in place and will only find out in 3 weeks when she is due for a cast change....after the surgery she put on an additional 3kg!!! Talk about giving our biceps and triceps a good workout!!!!! Who needs the gym when you have Rachel?

Before her closed reduction surgery and spica cast

So yes it has been a crazy 2014....and I doubt 2015 would be drama-less..... But I'll just take it as it comes.....bring on 2015!

#rachuilau for more pictures of HRH Rachel!!!! 

Wednesday, February 13

Gong Xi Fa Cai 2013 - Black Sesame Tong Yuen

What I love about Chinese New Year is the food!!! And me love gluey sticky tong yuen!!!!!

Tong yuen

This year I did it a bit differently.... I made everything from scratch!!! Even the black sesame Filling that was requested by my sister

Roasted black sesame (according to taste)
Caster sugar (according to taste)
Melted butter (enough to glue sugar and sesame together)
Glutinous rice flour

First blend the black sesame until fine... Add it to a pan with the sugar and slowly put melted butter in until it sticks together. This should be done over low fire!!! Let it cool overnight in the fridge.... Would make it easier to handle

For the tong yuen, just add water to glutinous flour and work the dough until enough to roll into a ball.... Add food coloring if fussy haha

Ads filling into the tong yuen and roll into ball. Put in boilin water until it floats... Then put in cold ice water till it cools

For the soup, could just use plain sugar water... But I like mine with a bit of ginger and Gula Melaka for colour..... yUMMY!!!!!!

Monday, January 7

Merry Christmas 2012

Note: One week down for 2013..... Time need to move a little slower.....

Christmas 2012

Merry belated Christmas!!! Just a little late but better than nothing....

Sunday, December 9

Afternoon high tea at the amazing Tea Room Gunners Barracks!!!!

Note: 3 more weeks to Malaysia!!!!!

Gunners Barracks high teaGunners Barracks high tea

We had our wedding at the Tea Room Gunners Barracks in October and it was simply amazing!!! The place and people were just so professional and attentive.... And just a couple of days after our wedding we get an email from them asking for our feedbacks and an invitation to a complimentary afternoon high tea..... Happy!!!!! Usually is about $40 per person!

We got sitted at the Harbour Terrace which has excellent view.... Food was as usual just so good hard to fault it....

Plate 1 (hot food): Vegetable samosas with yoghurt dipping sauce, Roasted pumpkin and feta quiches & Traditional scones (huge!!)

Plate 2: Assorted sandwiches - Egg sandwich, Smoked salmon sandwich & Roast beef sandwich

Plate 3: Mango panna cotta, Raspberry cheesecake & Orange and almond cake

Plate 4: Coffee opera cake (complete with chocolate logo of the Tea Room Group & Blueberry macaroons

Looks little but was absolutely filling!! N

Thursday, December 6

The "Friendship" Band

Note: Trying to get back to blogging slowly......

One sign that I'm getting older.... My 17 year old brother coming up to me and asking me how to make a "Friendship" Band!!!! That was like way high school time for me!!!! And he is doing it now!!! Oh dear!!!

Good side: Some things are still continuing?? Kids nowadays are still doing the "Friendship" band!!! I wonder whether it would be an "in" thing for the next generation?

Friendship band

Wednesday, November 28

My wedding!!!!!

Note: Been a while since I posted anything..... I need time and more time

Yeh October is finally over!!! And wedding is finally over!!! Got to say is nice to have my normal weekends bak without having to worry about wedding things!!! Now to worry about other things!!

Just thought I'll share some photos of the awesome day with everyone. Thanks all for coming again and making it extra special!!!!

Most importantly thanks to my lovely cousin velverse for being my bridesmaid!!!! Yes you can definitely retire as a bridesmaid now :)

Ps: More pictures can be found on my awesome photographer website here. Thanks Ben Teh photography!!!!


Sunday, August 19

Super Moist Orange Cake

Note: 48 more days to the wedding!!!
Orange cake

When I was young, traditional orange cake usually consist of just grated orange skin and orange juice for the orange taste. Couple of years back I discovered this orange cake recipe that make full use of the whole orange (and saves the trouble of grating the orange skin and juicing an orange). I have been converted since then for a fool-proof super moist orange cake with intense flavour!!!!

1 orange
Water for boiling
3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 and 1/2 cup self raising flour
180g melted butter

The secret to this recipe is boiling the orange first. Just boil the whole orange for 30 minutes and leave to cool.

Cut the cooled orange to small chunks and blend everything (yes even the skin!!)

Mix the blended orange with butter, eggs, sugar and flour. Pour the mixture into a greased pan and bake for 40 minutes at 180*C or until cook.

It is that simple!!! See why I converted!!!