Friday, March 29, 2013

A Fresh Start

It has taken me almost 2 years to be in the correct state of mind to write again. A lot has happened since we returned home to Perth. My 2nd boy was born. I continued to improve on my cooking and baking. My husband and I built a house (putting an end to 7 years of renting). And I started an online fashion store.

It hasn't been easy, which is why it has taken me this long to come into this blog again. But this will be my last post here. This blog reminds me too much of my beautiful time in Japan and it will hurt to continue writing here. All my writing here will be archived away, just like how my memories of Japan will forever be stored and cherished deep in my heart. If anyone is still interested in reading about my stories, please visit my new blog
The Stories behind Cindy’s Kitchen . It is primarily a food blog but will also document the stories behind everything that I am passionate about.
Thank you for visiting here again. Take care.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Going into Hibernation.... for the time being.

The past couple of months have been hectic. The earthquake on 11 March in Japan resulted in us moving to Singapore, my hometown, for a month. We made the decision to relocate back to Perth, Western Australia (where my husband is from) so on 19 April, I went back to Japan with my son with just 5 days to do final packing and bid farewell. We arrived in Perth on 24 April.

Things did not get easier after we came back. We had been away for 4 years and almost everything from medical accounts, driver's licence to bank accounts needed to be re-established again. We also had to find an obstetrician who could squeeze me in for my september delivery and a new school for our 3.5 year old. On top of all these, we also had to decide on a new car, and a house to rent which took us almost 4 weeks. We finally moved into a nice rented house on 26 May and things are starting to settle down a little for us.

I don't want to go into the fine details of everything that had happened over the past few months. It had been extremely hectic, and was probably the most stressful time of my life. I have been trying my very best to deal with it and although things are finally settling down into a routine again, I am still trying to recover from the impact of everything that had happened. I am mentally and physically very exhausted. Been thinking alot about life lately and I know I still have certain issues to deal with. For this reason, I will stop writing on this blog for the time being. I need to give myself some space to seek clarity in life again. So it's adieus for now while I go into hibernation.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling blessed

Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colours appear - anonymous.

Very true indeed. It was rain for me yesterday. I had pregnancy gastric and backache at the same time. I had to manage Aiden the whole day as he had no school. I covered my mouth to prevent myself from throwing up as I cooked dinner. I cried to my husband. I felt miserable.

Today I saw a little ray of sunshine. Aiden was picked up for school by a friend. I had a peaceful 3 hour nap in the morning. I walked to his school to pick him up in the afternoon. The fresh air and sunshine felt good. The pain from yesterday was not present. I felt hope.

These days, my life is full of ups and downs. Some days I feel ok, with no gastric, backache or shortness of breath. But some days are gloomier. The gastric pain and backaches make me just want to do nothing but lie in bed or on the couch. Some days I feel good enough to take Aiden out for a walk or to the playground. Some days he just has to entertain himself with toys and tv while I lie down to rest.

I'm starting to learn to work with my body. I realised that I usually feel the best the hour after I have breakfast so that means that is the best time for me to engage in activities like laundry or household chores. By afternoon my body deteriorates so that means it is time to rest. I still don't have the appetitite but can at least consume some food as compared to a couple of weeks ago. But my gastric problem makes me feel terribly bloated after a meal (even when I eat very little) so I've learnt to eat my food really slowly. And I mean really, really slowly.

I'm feeling really thankful for the support I have been receiving after my world came crashing down (okay I'm joking but you know what I mean) since I found out that I'm pregnant. I've been talking to my mum everyday, sometimes crying to her because I was in pain. She not only listens, but tells me that she completely understands what i am going thru and that I can always cry to her. Some of my good old friends in Singapore have sent me words of encouragement over emails or facebook and I am more than thankful for the fact that they are thinking of me. A couple of friends that I have made here have also been wonderful, offering help with Aiden, taking him to school and picking him up when they can. Like the other morning when it rained, I had 3 friends who called just to ask if they could help pick Aiden up for school. And of course there is also my husband who may not necessarily understand what I am going thru but is nevertheless very supportive and helps out at home whenever he can.

My life is beautiful because of these people. And for that, I feel very blessed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I've been dealing with guilt ever since I found out that I am pregnant.

Guilty for eating bad - think processed cookies, instant noodles loaded with msg etc, because these are all that I can stomach, and also all that I can prepare in my current physical condition.

Guilty for the fact that my husband and son have also not had a decent home-cooked meal in ages. My husband has been surving on junk and going to work with no healthy home-made salad lunch box. My son has been going to school with sad looking ham and cheese sandwiches.

Guilty for missing my prenatal supplements occasionally because they make me gag.

Guilty for having my house in a mess which only gets cleaned and tidied once a week when my god (aka domestic helper) arrives.

Guilty towards myself for my lack of grooming and looking like shit most days.

Guilty towards my son for not spending enough quality time with him because I wanted to curl up on the couch and rest.

Guilty for feeling weak. Guilty for not being as strong as I should be. Guilty for not perking up.

As I progress into my 11th week of pregnancy, I am only hoping that things will look up from here. That all the above feelings will be gone when I start feeling better, physically and emotionally. Will be seeing the OB later. Hope B2 is doing well. I need some positve news in my life right now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pregnancy Update: At 10 weeks

This pregnancy has really screwed me up big time. My tastebuds have been screwed, my usual routine has been screwed, my moods have been screwed, and my overall physical health has been screwed.

I have only put makeup on once in the last couple of weeks and it was only because I had to attend a birthday party. This is really a first for me because everyone knows how vain I am. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those women who can't leave the house without makeup. I do go run errands or go to the local shops with a bare face occasionally. But I've always taken pride in dressing up. Looking groomed and nice have always been important for me (in fact, I believe it should be important to all women). But since feeling unwell with all the pregnancy issues, I really, really, have no mood and energy to engage in any grooming activities. I wouldn't know me if I see me now.

Another reason why I have been feeling so weak is probably because I haven't been eating alot. People who know me know that I always have a healthy appetite. But since the time I was 7 weeks pregnant, I lost my appetite. For a few days, I couldn't eat at all because of the gastro problem. Then I also had craving issues to deal with. I am still craving very badly for some singapore hawker food but can't really get any here easily. To make things worse, I have different cravings everday. One day I would feel like having spaghatti with tomato sauce. Another day I feel like having curry. Or Godiva chocolate drink. It is driving me nuts!

I had an almost perfect pregnancy with Aiden except for occasional shortness of breath and mild gastric in the first trimester. No cravings. Normal, healthy appetite. No backaches. Boundless energy. During that pregnancy, I paid so much attention in maintaining a healthy diet with balanced meals and avoiding all kinds of processed food. This time, I'm happy if I can stomach something. Have been having cup noodles alot. Feeling very guilty about it but it's the easiest, fuss-free meal I can prepare in my current state.

This pregnancy so far has given me a who new different experience I'm finding it really hard to adjust. I don't even have the energy for my usual favourite activities like shopping and cooking! This is also the reason for my lack of presence here. Writing has become even a chore to me.

If I have a choice, all I want to everyday is to curl up in bed. Rest and sleep. All day long.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My fashion savvy man

I think I've done very well in educating my husband. When we first met in Singapore, he was a laidback dude from Australia who was totally happy living in his Bonds t-shirt/singlets and shorts and completely clueless about high end fashion. He thought Bata shoes and Giordano clothes (I'm not anti these labels by the way) were cool. And he had no idea what the hell Gucci and Prada were. That was year 2002.

Fast forward to today, 9 years later. Zara menswear has become one of his favourite labels. He owns shirts from Gucci and Prada. His jeans are from Diesel and Guess.

Tonight, he made me laugh. He told me that these days, when he is on the train to and back from work, he notices that more Japanese women are using Longchamp bags (I mentioned to him before that Longchamp doesn't seem to be popular here). And occasionally he sees a woman carrying a chained shoulder bag that looks like a Chanel 2.55 from a distance but he can tell if it's a fake when he gets a closer look. I laughed because it was so funny that he said that. So I said it was great. It was then he said,

"Nooooo it is NOT good! NOT GOOD! What is happening to ME?!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Challenging times

I can't believe I'm doing this again. When I fell into postnatal depression after Aiden was born, I felt I was done. Done with babies. I was never a child-friendly person to begin with and Aiden being a very difficult and fussy baby for pretty much the first year really didn't help. But after he turned 2, I started to think about my family's future again. My husband has always wanted to have another child and deep down in my heart, I can't deny a family of 4 looks more like a picture perfect. So as much as I was never really excited about being a mother again, I couldn't completely write the idea off either. For the last few years, I kinda checked this idea in the KIV file of my to-do list. Being not very fertile (confirmed by doctor), I didn't think my chances of conceiving again is very high anyway. So we have been letting nature takes its own course. I thought I will conceive again it's meant to be.

So I'm now coming 8 weeks pregnant. And this pregnancy so far as compared to my first one has been pretty bad. The only reason why I'm writing today is because I am feeling alot better as compared to the last couple of days and wanted to make use of this sudden burst of energy to document my thoughts. Well, before I go bedridden again.

I haven't eaten much the last couple of days which is so not normal of me. Yesterday I could barely keep half a bowl of plain rice porridge down and was pretty much in bed the whole time. I was in so much pain that I couldn't stop myself from crying. The pain from having a constant gastric (some may say it's heartburn), the pain from extreme backache, and the pain from my active keloids (scars being active because of raging hormones). I also started feeling nauseous and kept waking up in the middle of the night wanting to throw up. Mentally I was trying to stay strong (and sane), but physically I felt pain and weak from the lack of food. I felt I couldn't focus because my body was trying to deal with the pain from all the different avenues.

A large part of me was also feeling helpless, a feeling I always get when I fall sick while living in a foreign land. It is times like this that you will miss your family and closest friends. Miss being taken care off. Miss having someone you know you can turn to for help. Aiden did not go to school on last Friday and I really struggled thru the day with him. I wanted only to curl up in bed but he wanted my attention. And even when I couldn't eat, he needed to so I had to summon whatever energy I had left to make food for him. Yesterday he had no school again (he only goes 3 days a week) but luckily my filipino domestic helper was here in the morning and I paid her to stay until 6pm so that Aiden could be looked after while I go bedridden again.

The costs here in Japan is really high. Just for staying from 9am to 6pm yesterday, I paid the helper SGD180. Five days of such will be equivalent to what my Aunt in Singapore pays for her fulltime, live-in domestic helper in a month! It is so expensive here that I feel the pinch each time I pay my helper. But now, she is a saint to me. Anyone who can help me during these challenging times will be my god.

Sometimes I wonder what is harder: being a pregnant fulltime working woman, or being a pregnant fulltime housewife and mother? It is human nature to want to feel sorry for oneself so I'll stick to the latter. No, actually being a pregnant fulltime housewife and mother living in a foreign land is the hardest! Last night I told my husband that as much as I love Japan, maybe it's time to consider moving back to Singapore or Perth again. I'm very independent and I'm strong but I am allowed to feel tired too right?

On a positive note, my 2 boys have been great and supportive. My husband has been taking care of Aiden over the weekend and when he comes home from work. He even prepared Aiden's lunch and snack box for school this morning. As for the little boy, he has been nothing but sweet. Eversince we told him about the pregnancy, he has been super excited and talking to my tummy often. He even tells "the baby" how his day went when he came home from school! When I walk down the stairs, he tells me to be careful not to fall as I have a baby in my tummy. And when I told my husband I had no appetite the other day, he reminded that I had to eat because the baby needed to eat! It was all so cute and sweet.

Time to take a rest again. And hopefully things can only get better. It has to!