Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Sunday In The West

We hardly hang out in the west side of Singapore. Maybe it's because much of the west is filled with industrial or residential buildings. But on Sunday, we decided to go eat at the McDonald's in West Coast Park.

It has been ages since I've come to West Coast Park for a walk in the day. And by ages, I mean it's been approximately fifteen years! The last time I was here, I was a little kid. I loved the playgrounds here but the park has always been rather bare to my memory.

Today, the playgrounds are still there, if not upgraded and expanded.

There are many more trees planted than I remembered and they've all grown taller. We saw a large community of Filipinos pitching their tents under the generous shade. I think they were having some sort of community celebration. What a great low cost way to hang out together in pricey Singapore!

West Coast Park is bordered by the busy port to the south. 

It was a very sunny day, so all the sheltered benches were already taken up by people. We had no choice but to keep walking. For a park that's only readily accessible by private transport, it was pretty crowded. I don't remember public parks ever being this crowded even on weekends back when I was little. How times have changed!

To the left, we spotted a quiet beach corner which reminded us of the Singapore we knew as children.

Dinner that evening was had at Sushi Tei in West Coast Plaza. I've been having cravings for their sashimi salad with Sushi Tei sauce during the past month of my pregnancy. Originally, I didn't feel too comfortable eating raw fish or salmon/tuna for that matter (because of the supposed higher mercury content). However, my cravings ultimately got the better of me and I caved in :P 

I trust that God will take care of the development of my baby...

To comment on this particular Sushi Tei branch- first I want to highlight that not every Sushi Tei branch in Singapore serves great food. The best ones that I've tried so far are the branches at Raffles City Shopping Centre, Thomson Plaza and Ngee Ann City. Unfortunately, the branch at West Coast Plaza fell far below my expectations. Not only did our food take long to arrive, the salad was disproportionate in its fish-to-veggie ratio. The Thomson Plaza branch has been the most generous and freshest tasting one so far. This is the first and last time we'll be eating at West Coast's Sushi Tei I suppose!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Tea Break At Colbar

After a late breakfast on Saturday, I opted not to go home despite the drowsy rainy weather. Instead, we drove to Colbar for tea break.

This is the cover of their rather flimsy menu.

Colbar, or Colonial Bar, is located in the middle of nowhere, aka Wessex Village, next to a bunch of new buildings that had sprung up over the past few years.

Despite the encroaching urban sprawl, Colbar remains relatively green and still retains much of its rustic nature. My dad's been coming here since the 70's and he reports that it still holds some of its olden day charm. That's pretty rare for any place in Singapore.

We sat by the little garden which was flooded from the rain and watched the water drip from the plants.

The main seating area is nice and spacious with high ceilings.

Within a few minutes of sitting down, I had gotten two mosquito bites. Yerrrkk!

I think part of the reason why this place is frequented more by foreigners and less by locals is that, what you see in the photo above- a plain cheese sandwich and a small cup of hot Milo, costs $6.50.

In a regular kopitiam (coffeeshop) elsewhere, this should only cost about $2.50 max.

I told Jerry that after all, we're really paying for rental, not the food...

Another thing my dad once told me- old houses in Singapore used to have windows and window grills that looked like this. His own bedroom used to have window grills like this too. It must be very nostalgic for him despite the steep price hike in teh tarik here.

Altogether, we had a nice time just relaxing outdoors in the cool weather. 

Friday, December 05, 2014

25 Weeks

On Friday, I went for my third appointment with the gynaecologist. I'm currently seeing Dr. Wen Lim at Mount Alvernia Hospital.

The last time my family came with me, my dad commented that Dr. Lim seemed rather cold and emotionless. I thought that perhaps she was just a little thrown off by the large party of people in her office. The first time I had gone to see her, she actually seemed pretty nice. I had switched to her from Dr. Chia Yee Tien at Mount Elizabeth Hospital because Dr. Chia's office was always crowded and the whole hospital environment at Mt. E just wasn't very pleasant. Jerry hates the parking situation there as well.

But I love love love Dr. Lim's clinic at Mount Alvernia. It's clean, never crowded and the receptionists are very friendly.

I was so happy to see that baby had put on some weight especially in his cheeks.

I wish I had an ultrasound machine at home so that I could look into my tummy anytime I wanted!

He's so cute.... :)

During my last visit at Dr. Lim's, I signed up for a package. It's 1,000 SGD for approximately 9-10 more visits, not including ultrasound photos (10 SGD each) and 3D scans (20 SGD each). Natural delivery and a 2 night stay at Mount Alvernia will cost an additional 2,000 SGD as well. Without the package, it would have cost 2,300 SGD.

Shirley's Birthday & Wet Market Shopping

Today is Shirley's birthday, but Helena and I surprised her yesterday evening. I had asked Shirley out for dinner but didn't tell her that I also told Helena we were meeting. And since Helena was planning to surprise her later that night anyway, we decided to "join forces".

It was pretty funny watching Shirley's reaction when Helena appeared with the cake at McDonald's. 

At first, Shirley was staring in the opposite direction, wondering aloud if the people at the other table were talking about insurance. While she was being distracted, Helena came in from the back and when Shirley turned around, there she was! :D Success.

We spent the rest of the evening strolling around Ang Mo Kio central and finally ended up in the Zone-X upstairs. There's Shirley, the two-time Wangan Midnight champion, playing her last boring game with just one hand on the wheel. We ended the night with some PIU (Korean DDR) then split to go home. 

Today's Friday, which means that my mother-in-law will most likely not be using the kitchen. That gives me a chance to whip up a small dinner later. Jerry said fried rice and chicken potato soup sounds good, so I quickly went down to the wet market to buy some ingredients before the stalls close.

I bought: 

One large potato ($0.90), two ears of corn ($1.50), a handful of char siew or barbecued pork ($2), two medium carrots and four string beans ($0.70) and two whole chicken wings ($1.50).

For some reason, I always feel like wet market people are out to cheat my money... Maybe it's the absence of price tags which makes me nervous. Or my early childhood memories of my grandma haggling in the market. Either way, I never ever feel like I got a good deal at the market other than the food being fresh.

What do you think, was I overcharged or not?



Chicken soup

And fried rice for dinner ;) 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Photo-Taking Hiatus

Four, even three years ago, I was a photo-taking junkie. You'd never catch me anywhere without my camera. Things, people, places... They all get snapped regardless of whether or not they look lovely. Pretty much anything that caught my fancy got caught in my lenses. But today? My trusty little camera sits in some forgotten corner of a drawer. I suppose a few things led to its sad demise. 

Firstly, I got a smartphone back in 2012. Granted, the quality of its photos still can't beat what I was used to on my camera, but then again it was the most convenient thing to use especially in random moments (my favorite kind of photo-taking opportunity).

Secondly, I started getting lazy about organising my photos on the computer. I never really liked the photo app on my Mac that much to begin with, but when the photos REALLY began to pile up, I just sort of gave up on all of them. Photo hoarder. Yep, that's me. I hoard them but I never organise them anymore.

Thirdly, I stopped blogging regularly. And by regularly I meant once a month. Without an online avenue for my thoughts, the interesting photos I took lost a bit of their meaning. Everything in life interests me to a vast degree, but the things that I do take photos of are things that I not only find interesting, but would like to share or remember. So if I'm not recording them somewhere (in terms or organising) or sharing (whether blogging or on Facebook), I kind of just... let those moments go. 

Case in point: four years ago, I took a gadzillion photos at Thanksgiving dinner. This past Thanksgiving? I didn't even bring my camera. I just took a quick darkened one on my phone and I'm even contemplating deleting it because you can't see much from that angle anyway.

But things are going to change. I know they will because baby is on his way and the last thing I want is for my child to grow up without any photographic memories. 

For starters, I'd like to get the digitized photos from my wedding and honeymoon printed. After which, I'll feel a little better about accumulating/hoarding more photos. Also, I'll try to blog more often :)

Monday, December 01, 2014

24 Weeks Or 6 Months

As of now, I can only fit into two bras, a few shirts, one pair of shorts, two pairs of jeans, about four dresses and that's about it. Dressing for work is a pain (no thanks to ASOS for the shipment that went missing), but casual dressing around the house is great. I'd just slip into Jerry's t-shirt and boxers.

Though I'm a little apprehensive about shopping on ASOS again, I don't feel like I have many other choices. My fruitless searches on Gumtree for secondhand clothing have left me feeling frustrated. Why isn't there anyone out there who wears a UK size 8? Also, I've been hunting around in H&M, Forever 21, etc, hoping to find some stretchy dresses. To my dismay, I found that this shopping season is just not pro-pregnancy at all. The waistline is fashionably placed right in the middle now (where I'm expanding). Stretchy or jersey materials are not the rage and ultimately, I just need something a little more dressy for work. I don't need another casual maxi dress! Maternity shops here offer only expensive clothes and my other dilemma is having to find something that can fit my 5'9" long body. Let me just say, it ain't easy even on ASOS.

On Sunday evening, Jerry and I dropped by the Mothercare store in Harbourfront Centre to officially check out baby things we'll be buying in the months to come. But what I really enjoyed was witnessing Jerry's growing excitement as we went from aisle to aisle. We finally left the store with no purchases but this priceless statement from Jerry: "I think we are going to have a lot of fun with our kid". My sentiments exactly :)

So, I spent some time today on Gumtree looking around for secondhand cots and strollers. I was initially thinking of buying brand new stuff. But when I think about my dad and his habit of using secondhand furniture, I can't help but feel like it's a big waste of money to buy something straight out of the store, especially if we will only be using it for a short while. Babies do outgrow their things very quickly! I'm also determined to save as much money as we can. Who knows what may come in the future? Working in Prudential has definitely made me want to be more prudent in my life.

Oh yes, last night, baby did something really weird. He usually kicks around a little more at night when I'm about to fall asleep. But yesterday, he did this super fast back and forth kicking that made me freak out a little. I had no idea he could move so quickly at this age! Perhaps it was the DDR earlier in the evening that inspired him. Speaking of which, playing DDR this weekend gave me such a great mental boost again. I LOVE being able to sweat and feel happy hormones flooding my brain.

I also did some skating... 

Shhh.... :P

Hung out with some friends... I had a really good time :) Socialising feels soooo great!

Oh baby I really cannot wait till you come out and start skating with us HAHA! Since Eito Yasutoko said his son started skating at age one, I figure you'll be fine starting at eleven months eh? Just kidding... Can't wait to see your cute little face soon.

Oh yes I had a little panicky thought last night. I started thinking about the actual labor process and the pain that would ensue and it made me really anxious all of a sudden. I've actually been pretty calm and cool about it until recently when EVERYBODY keeps asking me if I'm going to do a cesarean or get an epidural. The response from all my supportive friends are uniform when I tell them I'm going au naturel: "ARE YOU CRAZY?! IT'S GONNA HURT LIKE HELL!"

Well for someone who's never been to hell, it's easy to brush them off at first. But you know, I can't help but think: what if I can't handle it? I don't want to faint from the pain or have to do anything drastic!

All this just goes to show- I should just stop discussing the labor process with people. I haven't heard a single "you're gonna be fine" throughout all these discussions. It's making me anxious for no reason and that's it!