Saturday, December 3, 2011

Next chapter

And, as the title of my blog goes, I have yet another turn in my long road journey of my life.

I am now married, a Mrs, the other half : the better half I would like to think :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Family in Cape Town

I must admit that sometimes I get more excited that my family is here in Cape Town, than the wedding itself.
I think this is perfectly normal, because I was brought up in a very close family.
I also don't see anything wrong with it, because for me, my family is the most important. And the best thing is I don't have to hide this fact from Ian (which people will tell me "Better don't let Ian hear that!"). He knows me and perfectly understands why. And that is why I am marrying him.

Last Sunday, Mummy, Daddy, Ahyee and Yiu-Shern braved through the 15 hours flight from Penang to KL, KL to Cape Town. Both me and Ian were so excited! We made sure we got there earlier, just in case their flight got here early. Call me emotional or sensitive, but I think it is really very disappointing and irresponsible if they come out and their daughter is not there yet!
It was rainy hard that day. We haven't had that much rain for the last few months! I prayed silently that they followed my advice in emails to bring extra jacket.
When we got to the airport, their flight has been delayed ! Luckily, only for 15 mins la.

I don't know why but my heart was pounding fast when I saw the red  "Delayed" to green "Landed" . This is it!


The best part is that we were able to see their plane from the arrival waiting area. Not from far away, but very near. Maybe 20m away from the glass. We can also see them coming out from the corridor, and because the corridor is tinted, we can only make out who they are from the shape. But we managed to spot the 4 of them! (picture still in my camera). I let Ian take photos with the camera while I take photos using my phone.


I then reminded Ian to take photos of them when they come out, especially Shern, because I know Shu-Yin surely will want to know every single detail about Shern. lol. Thats why.. a lot of photos I took with my phone on that day is of Yiu-Shern, so that I can report so Shu-Yin to show her he is doing well..

 I was getting worried if they were stopped by customs, especially with Mum bringing so much spices and even a steamboat pot for me! Hehe... They finally came out - they were the last to come out! 4 people with more than 100kg of luggages . And that's only checked-in luggages. They still have hand-carry bags and a stroller.

I always find it amazing how Shern just accepted me and Ian as Wen YeeYee and Uncle Ian... without seeing me as an outsider, as if he has known us forever and we have always lived with him in the same house. This time again, that's exactly what happened.


Family is always family. We can not see each other for months. But once we see each other, we are so comfortable as if we have never been away from each other. Shern as well as doing well and is at home immediately.

Hello it's me!
Meeting his first friend in the house

Making African music with Uncle Ian

Watching cartoons and mimicking them talking

Want prawn prawn only!




I know I am going to be a happy person for this whole month :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Engagement Shoot - First Try

Marrying in Malaysia compared to South Africa has a very different practice.For Chinese living in Malaysia, the cronology of events for a marriage to take place is as follows:

Comparison #1 : Cronology of Events for Wedding

Malaysia:
  1. Proposal
  2. Registration of Marriage aka ROM
  3. Wedding Shoot
  4. Customary Events + Wedding Ceremony
As a Chinese in Malaysia, the wedding day / wedding ceremony is actually a day of culture practice. The wedding ceremony only happens after the couple is legally married (during the ROM).


 South Africa:
  1. Proposal
  2. Engagement Shoot
  3. Registration of Marriage + Wedding Ceremony + Couple Shoot
    To me it makes more sense that the registration of marriage is on the day of wedding ceremony itself. If not you always find yourself in the position of "Oh, I'm legally married but we dont have our wedding ceremony yet!"

    Comparison #2 : Wedding photos
    Malaysia :
    In Malaysia the couple photos are done before the wedding day, due to the fact that on the wedding day itself there are too many things happening! All the traditions and customary events on the same day eg. fetching of the bride, tea ceremony, going to the temple, etc leaves no more time for the couple to have their photos taken as well.
    Therefore, they are normally taken a few months before the wedding ceremony. Usually the bride will hire a few change of customes and have their photos taken in a few different venues. It is great that you then get to bring back a portfolio of photos in different customes in different venue and setting.

    South Africa:
    In South Africa, the couple shoot as they call it here, happens on the day itself. The photos are taken normally after the ceremony and before the wedding dinner.The downside of it is you get to usually only take photos in your wedding dress, or another change if you have the time to squeeze it in. The better side of things is that you only do these on the day itself, on your wedding day, in your wedding dress. *romantic*
    They do have another thing to cater for pre-wedding photos though. They call it Engagement Shoot aka E-Sessions. These are photos of the couple before the wedding day, normally in casual clothings, showing their love for each other.
    See this and this.


    As a Malaysian Chinese marrying a South African in South Africa (confused yet?),
    We decided to go this:
    1. Proposal
    2. Engagement Shoot (Pre-wedding shoot)
    3. Wedding Ceremony + Registration of marriage + Customary Event (in our case, Tea Ceremony) + Couple Shoot

    Now that my braces are officially off (yes, and that's another post by itself!), we have to quickly get our Engagement Shoot done. Our calendar was blocked for the 30th October 2011. The first thing that comes to my mind , of course, is what to wear.

    Something that looks relaxed and casual but will not look like an aunty.
    Some makeup that will make me look groomed but still look natural.

    Ahh... the headache.

    Besides that, I must also think of what Ian will be wearing so that our colours do not clash.

    Finally the day has arrived.
    Early in the morning, I was greeted by a large noise......from the toilet.
    Ian "informed" me he has a runny tummy the whole night. It was from the Curry Rooti we got from his mum's church bazaar the day before.
    I know, I know. Food poisoning is not the best thing to happen on a day we are supposed to skip happily down the beach, looking casual and in love.

    When we got to Sea Point, our photographer is still not around. Ian decided to visit the toilet again (hoping to empty whatever's left in the bowel). When our photographer arrived after 10 minutes later, Ian just came out from the toilet. His face was still screwed with pain and I reminded him to try to smile for the photos and don't look too constipated *lol*.
    One step, two steps, and a quick sorry, Ian rushed back to the toilet.
    The last rush to the toilet seems to be the worst one, he didn't emerge till probably 20-30 minutes later.

    Luckily the sky responded. It then started to rain, and pour.
    *Rain is a blessing indeed*
    We were actually glad that the photography session has to be cancelled, and we spend the rest of the day in front of the fire watching TV, where Ian can be near his toilet :-)

    Date set for our next Engagement Shoot : 12th Nov 2011.
    I'll make sure we have normal food the before.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Quirky Parties Wedding Party Hire

    The theme of my wedding is rustic, vintage and romantic.
    Imagine my happiness when I was announced the winner of R1500 voucher from Quirky Parties!
    *Pictures from wedding at the bottom of this post*

    Quirky Parties (www.quirkyparties.co.za) is a home-based hiring of decor items. They started only late last year but their business is growing fast, thanks to the wonderful decor items , most of them hand-made by Carol's talented husband, Keith!

    Among some of their items that they have for hire are :

    Vintage suitcases

    Wood table letterings

    Trolleys

    Lawn games and boards

    Candy jars

    They also have available items for sale like these below



    Parasols


    Sparklers

    Wooden hanging hearts

    I'm having so much fun picking the items now.

    Thanks Carol for making my day :-)

    _________________

    Updated : 2012-01-06  Pictures from after the wedding, with Quirky Parties props

    Carol and Keith has been amazing. They were at the venue early to set up the items. Carol has amazing talents, coupled with good taste. She did most decor plus extras without me needing to let her know. She understands perfectly the mood and feel of how I would like the wedding to be. After the wedding, she cleared the decors without any need of help from the wedding party. Her team was seamless, and have been a godsent on that day.










    I urge those of you who are planning your wedding to contact Carol at Quirky Parties. Let her know you come from my blog :-)
    What is there to lose? You will be surprised how underrated they are!

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    A scary week

    Last week was a crazy week for Rainbow. I mean, me.

    It started on the day before Ian's birthday on a Friday. I noticed Rainbow's poo is runny, sticky and dark *very descriptive, eh?*
    However, it was very busy that day as we are getting the house ready for Ian's birthday the next day, imagine we have to transform a house that is on renovation to a house that is hosting a party for 25 people in a day.
    Total Chaos.


    As this post is about Rainbow, I will leave the house renovation post for later.

    On Saturday, the day of the party, Rainbow seems a bit scared as there were a lot of noise and people, and as she is almost blind, I would imagine this must be really stressful for her. She kept following me around, and after a few hours, I put her in our room and close the door behind her so she can have some peace and quiet.
    I checked on her every hour or so, and she seems to be comfortably sleeping on her continental pillow.

    After the busy day, we woke up the next day Sunday at around 11am.
    The first thing I do always, is to let Rainbow out to do her "stuff".
    I then got a shock when I noticed blood in her poo.
    The first advice any dog-owner will get when they notice blood in poo is - Go Straight To The Vet.
    And that is what we did.

    We went to Panorama Veterinary Clinic and was diagnosed with Gastroenteritis.
    The doctor mentioned that Rainbow is actually feeling very sore because she tucks in her tummy whenever the doctor tries to touch them. We were then sent home with medications, but was told to bring her in immediately if her condition worsens eg. vomitting or not eating. I should also only feed her boiled chicken breasts.

    Two more days later, Rainbow still seems to be having diarrhea still, although there is no more blood.
    However I noticed that her poo is still very very dark (almost black!) and slimy.
    Nowadays when you have a question, the first thing you do is - yes you are right - Google!
    Its says that your dog has "Melena" , as the blood in the stools causes feces to appear as black and tarry suggesting the blood is digested and coming from the upper intestinal tract. Also, Melena is actually more dangerous than having fresh blood in the poo.
    I quickly called the vet, explained to her how Rainbow stool is like (without telling her what Google says), and she said the same thing - she might be bleeding inside still. She suggested to come in again.

    So I went to the doctor again, which the vet said she will need to take a blood test to find out that it is not the other organs that are giving problems. She also explained the black stool is probably ulcer in her stomach. Rainbow was then sent home again with medication and to look at her closely. Later that night, Rainbow seems very uncomfortable with the spot where they took her blood, and was whining the whole day in pain. They shaved a part near the neck, and it looks raw and very painful. To make things worse, it is a place where Rainbow can easily scratch. In the middle of the night we got woken up with Rainbow whining , she is really in pain. I called the vet again (luckily they are 24 hours), and told them I am going to bring Rainbow in right now but will not pay for any after-hours consultation.
    Doctor confirmed she had a raw hot spot in that area and gave her some injections and medication to put over it.

    By Friday, she seems to be still in pain and uncomfortable.She seems now to be more uncomfortable on her neck than her tummy. She has stopped her diarrhea but has not made any poo since Wednesday morning - which is also not good!
    I went to work as always in the morning, but drove home (10 mins away) to check on her during lunch time.
    She is still doing not good (whining in pain), and I know there is nothing more the doctors in Panorama can do for me. I decided to call Acuvet - the homeopathy vet that Rainbow visits for her skin condition

    I always wish the clinic is nearer to my house - it is almost a 45 mins drive away, and traffic there is not always the best. I managed to get an appointment later in the day, and took the afternoon off to bring Rainbow there.
    Dr Barry Hindmarch - as always- checked her thoroughly. Explained to me the spot in her neck was probably the nurses that took the blood didnt take it nicely - especially if Rainbow does not stay still. I know Rainbow, obviously she will not be too happy getting pricked with a needle there.
    Dr Hindmach suggested that Rainbow has to do acupuncture to release the blood flow in that area, as her whole neck and upper body seems very tense and painful. Rainbow does not seem to feel any needle going in (very different from her reaction to injections), and the needle was left there for at least 15 minutes.
    I also told him about Rainbow not making any poo poo now, and he said he is reluctant to give any laxative to her because she was first diagnosed with diarrhea. But he encouraged me to add more fibre in her food (carrots) and yoghurt to promote probiotic to her system.

    See the acupuncture needles?

    Taking it like a real Chinese dog :)

    Miraculously, after the acupuncture session, Rainbow seems more relaxed and not that painful anymore.
    I have never experienced acupuncture myself, but now I am intrigued. It seems to work on Rainbow.

    Rainbow advised that I keep a scarf around the spot so Rainbow will not be able to reach it.
    He also gave me his mobile phone to call him during the weekend (his clinic is not open on weekends) to update him about Rainbow. How nice and comforting to know that advice is always a call away.

    She does not like the scarf

    That night, Rainbow slept soundly. Good news for me, that means I can also get some sleep.
    By the next day, Rainbow is up and normal. No more whining!
    The only thing now is to wait for her poo to come.

    Saturday evening still no poo. Means that is already 4 days since Rainbow's last unhealthy poo. I called Dr.Hindmarch to let him know, he advised to add olive oil in her diet as well as a little olive oil up her rear end. I did just that, praying that I will see a poo soon.

    Sunday morning - same thing. Chicken breast, rice, carrots (mashed because if not she won't eat), yoghurt and olive oil. And a syringe to put some olive oil on the other end. In less than a minute after i inserted it "there", Rainbow made a big looooooong poo !

    Yay!!

    This is probably the highlight of the week. A week of worry, a week of sleepless nights. Although the first poo wasn't the usual healthy texture, at least it has a shape and I know she is going to be alright :)

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Ceramic Braces Progress - 11 months

    Nothing much to report really.
    Just closing the last gap and pull the teeth to the back a bit, before the orthodontist will take the braces out in September hopefully. And then I will be able to get a real working tooth in front.

    Upper Teeth

    August 2010
    September 2010 - 1 month

    January 2011 - 5 months
    May 2011 - 9 months

    July 2011 - 11 months

    Can't wait for the odd fake tooth (you can't miss it, the one tooth that looks odd and white and in the face *sad face* ).

    And here's the pics of the lower teeth.

    Lower Teeth

    August 2010
     
    September 2010 - 1 month

    January 2011 - 5 months
     
    May 2011 - 9 months
     
    July 2011 - 11 months

    Doctor is basically happy with lower teeth, keeping them in place while waiting for the upper teeth to be ready. Doctor is now seeing me bi-weekly instead of once a month, so that I will be ready to take them out in September (hopefully).

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Something in between

    Life has been hectic here, with the house renovations and wedding preparations.

    It is especially hard as the people I am most comfortable with discussing the wedding details are my family.

    And you would not believe how hard it is to discuss something simple with someone from far away. Eg. pink has many different shades of pink. From mauve to mink to rosered. They are all considered pink!
    I do miss my family. I think sometimes I look forward to see my family here more than I look forward to the wedding itself! Haha...

    After my wedding, I will share pictures of my inspiration board and preparations for the wedding. I don't want to spoil it by posting it here before the wedding, although no one from SA actually knows about my blog. But just in case.

    My focus now is to start on a beauty regime, now that I am 5 months away from the wedding.
    I will go for monthly facial, and has started taking Vitamins for my skin, hair and nails.
    I also drink plain water at work now, instead of coffee or tea. Hopefully I will see results.

    No photos this post, next post I shall share with you the renovation work ongoing at our house.

    Until then, bye!

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Drain walking

    As most of you know by now, Rainbow eyes are partially blind.
    Most dogs that are partially blind tend to become aggressive as a result of fear or shock. However, thankfully, Rainbow is such a sweet and calm dog (luckily not those yappy type that most small dogs have).

    Because of her eyes, whenever we go on our evening walks, she likes to walk on the white line at the side of the road or near the edge of the road. Gradually I realize that it helps to guide her to walk and gave her confidence to walk quicker.

    She also prefers to walk in the tiny drain like these ones. It's like her own little pathway.

    Drain walking

    Fortunately, the drains in Cape Town are mostly dry and clean. Unlike the ones in Malaysia, they are either filled with rain water or dry and clean and not smelly :)




    Basically, the other reason I am writing about this is that I have seen owners pulling their dogs away from something they do, or something they prefer their dogs to do, to be a "normal" dog. Eg. walking on the grass, running alongside them, etc. Owners should instead try to understand why their dogs do what they do and allow them if no harm is done. There must be a reason behind it! Same goes for us human beings. If another person does something that is not the norm, there might be a real good reason why.

    Say hi to the drain-walker !  :)


    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Rainbow down with food poisoning

    I took out the overnight sushi from the fridge, having in mind that I had to eat it before it goes bad *kiasu*. The sushi was left in the fridge the night before. I finished as much as I can, and had to share it with Rainbow when I could not eat anymore *lucky dog, get to eat salmon*, if not it will go to waste.

    Result of being kiasu, later that night, I had diarrhea  and had to go to the toilet twice at night. Did not have a good night sleep, and alarm clock went off as soon as my head touches my pillow :(
    I then prepare Rainbow's food as usual. However, she was not interested and flopped to the ground, lying on her belly. When I touched her body, she seemed to shiver every 2-3 seconds. I then took her to her pillow-bed (which is actually a Continental pillow) and covered her with blanket, thinking she was cold. When I let her out in the garden to do her business, she didn't seem to want to walk and just lie down as quickly as she could.
    I know there must be something wrong with her and I suspected she had food poisoning as well cos we both ate the same thing the evening before! I finally persuaded her to eat some of her food and left for work, feeling worried.

    I drove home again during lunchtime to check on her. I let her out again, and this time she did walk around but seemed weak. She was very slow when climbing up the stairs and preferred to sit or lie down. She still did not pee or poo which was what I was hoping for, for her to get rid of the toxins in her tummy. After all, I  "got rid of my toxins" that way and I am fine now.

    Rainbow not wanting to walk

    After work I brought her to the vet, seeing that she was still weak and had no appetite. The "shivering" that I felt in the morning was actually her tummy contractions which was painful for her.
    I took her in to Panorama Veterinary clinic, her usual clinic and also where she was spayed and had her lump on her tail removed. I usually will ask for Dr.Prins but he had left for the day so I had no choice but to see any other vet.

    Rainbow feeling down, while waiting for the vet to bring the medication

    The vet that examined her tried to touch her tummy, but she cried out in pain. We could now see that her tummy looked and felt bloated. I told the vet about the 'Sushi-incident'. The vet was a worried that it might be splintered bones that hurt her stomach and suggested X-Ray. She then went to ask opinion from another vet (I think a more senior vet) and finally decided that the bloating and pain in the stomach might be because of gas accumulated, so I can only do an X-Ray if she doesn't come right after a day. I assured her that Rainbow did not eat cooked chicken bones and so she gave Rainbow an injection (to release gas from her stomach and to relieve her from pain), and two medications (one for antibiotics, and the other for nausea). And I was left with ZAR250 bill (around RM100).

    The trip to the vet was well worth it.
    By the time we got home, she was all alive and happy. No more contractions on her tummy so no more pain. And she is hungry for food - the best news of the day! Ahh.. such a relief for me!

    Amazing how small things like when she is hungry - I know that she is well. When she snores at night - I know that she is sleeping comfortably. Small things that assure me she is doing good :)

    Rainbow up and alive!

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Ceramic Braces Progress - 9 months

     My teeth has gone through a lot. A lot of dentists visits, orthodontists visits, and even implant surgeon visits.

    I grew up with not-perfectly aligned teeth. It was not too bad, but it is the case of overcrowded teeth. I suppose I must be thankful that I have small mouth with big-sized teeth ( that can still be saved, hurray! ) compared to having a big mouth with small teeth. 

    And then during my teenage years, I was naughty and pillion ride on my ex-boyfriend motorbike, which with him as a driver is not the best place to be. We met with an accident and I lost one of my front teeth. Besides that, the whole alignment of my teeth was moved because of the impact and the space of the missing tooth. For the next few years, the missing front tooth has always been replaced by a denture. A one-tooth denture which is so uncomfortable because it is not that fitting as a whole mouth denture, and I miss crunching on apples, biting on corn in a cob, etc. 

    Community service message courtesy from Shurainian.blogspot.com : Please remember to "appreciate" your front tooth because you won't realize how useful it is until you lose it!

    No one knows about it, except my family and a few close people in my life. Not that I am ashamed of it, but it gets so uncomfortable if a person looks at my tooth instead of looking at my eyes when speaking to me. I like taking of my tooth for my family member to see! It just clicks in and out. Lol
    I realised I must get an implant quickly, but before that I will have to have braces fitted to get my teeth back into alignment and then have my implant that will feel like a real tooth! I got my braces eventually, and to make the long story short, I am near the end of my braces and have a temporary crown on my missing tooth to be replaced by implant soon.

    I realized that I haven't been updating on my braces progress since 4 months ago. So let's see where I am now, from Aug 2010 until May 2011.

    Upper Teeth 

     

    Aug 2010

    Sept 2010 - after 1 month

    Jan 2011- after 5 months

    May 2011 - after 9 months

    Please excuse the yellow bands around my braces, I ate curry on that morning. Lol.

    What? Did you say you see no difference at all? Pictures can be deceiving :)
    The difference is at 9 months, I had all my wisdom teeth taken out. As the straightness of it is already sorted out (excluding the missing tooth), my Orthodontist was working more on my bite as well as pushing the teeth to the back. Also, if you look carefully, you will see thin wires twisting around each brace. This is to tighten the gap between the teeth.

    Another difference is the fake middle tooth (on the right, my left) has been replaced with a temporary crown. The colour of the crown is not right, but as long as it is just temporary and not permanent, I am not fussy about it. But the dentist promised me that before he implant the permanent tooth, he will make sure that it's perfect :)

    Lower Teeth

    Aug 2010
    Sept 2010 - after 1 month

    January 2011 - After 5 months


    May 2011 - after 9 months

    Again, please excuse the yellow bands :) Besides the fact that it needs to be pulled to the back a bit, my Orthodontist is pretty happy with my bottom teeth. Just need it to maintain their places and that gums are healthy.


    Previous posts on my Ceramic Braces Progress :
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