March 11, 2014

I Think about Time

I think making time for oneself is important. I think it´s often too easy to say there´s no time. I think about it and how easy it is to while away time and how easy it is to make time when there's no time.
 I realized that making time is really the key to my happiness these days.
 So these are the 5 things I try to make time for everyday.
 
1. To wake up around 30 mins earlier than my son. This give me time for a  nice relaxing shower and to look and feel great for the day.

2. To sit down and have a decent lunch.  I wait until I have the time to do this. I love to enjoy mine, since I'm an extremely slow eater while my son naps.

3. Since I'm mildly OC ( I'm sure Luis will beg to differ and will decribe me slightly higher up that scale of OC'ness), I find sparing at least 30 min a day for organization keeps my head clear. A lot better than me going around and saying "oh no, oh no, this is driving me nuts"

4. I'll make time for a cuppa and a slice of somesort.  For me my guilty pleasure has always been a piece of cake, or lately not sure why TWIX. Marsha, chocolate? Seriously. Never used to. Anyways, I've lately been enjoying my Chai Tea with spicy spices.

5. To connect with a friend, read or write. This one is so important especially when I contact or drop a note to a friend,  as God only knows what great friends I have  in my life and so making an effort is a priority for me these days.  Again I say, love the people that really love you.
 
                          " Time is very slow for those who wait, very fast for those who are scared, very long for those who lament, very short for those who celebrate
but for those who love, time is eternal."
- William Shakespeare

March 5, 2014

Once a Week, A Malaysian Meal

Unsettling things are happening in Malaysia, my birthplace. From corruption to violation. Just last week, a maid kills 2 young children under her trusted care, made headlines.  Any crime, you  name it. Not shocking,  Kuala Lumpur makes it high on the list of the most dangerous cities to live in.  Am I fortunate to be living away?  thoughts like this cross my mind,
thoughts I thought I'll never have to entertain.
These matters, never hit me as profoundly as it does today,  having a little one to care for, it's unthinkable to fathom all the fear, it's really sad
 just those chills you never ever want to feel,  eats at me
I feel it to the bone and I'm miles away.
 
At this time and age, being a mom is a whole different ball game.
Really hoping things settle. I recall the stories of my father, of how they played after school, dragging along their toys made of cans, carefree...gone are those days.
 How would life be for my precious little LA?
 
On a different note, I had a Malaysian friend leave Chile and head back to Malaysia,  so I'm once again blessed with another remarkable friendship that I'll forever treasure plus I have spices, ingredients and more -  flavors and prices one can only savor in Malaysia.
 
 When melancholy kicks in, I try new recipes. As a couple, before LA, recalling our life in Australia,  Luis and I would pick a recipe and we would get all excited in the process of getting the ingredients,  just to try a new recipe a week - it used to be our thing and still is when time allows it. I really treasure these precious times, music in the background, his tender soft kisses,  the sips of wine and his engaging smiles.  These days come, but not too often juggling a child,  how I treasure them. Parents alike will concur, I'm sure.
On the bright side, it makes me really appreciate my relationship at a different level.
  The kind you can only feel when you have a child.

Getting back to the recipes..
 Luis has been a lot better and has tried out a couple of recipes from our Jamie Oliver's recipe book-Jamie's Italy. He tried the aubergine and tomatoes a Sicilian recipe.
 
 During our memorable year in Sydney, we tried out a couple of Chilean recipes.  I  thought of doing the exact same thing - you know, to really try out the dishes from my own roots. So thanks to rasamalaysia.com, I've tried out her stringy french beans and her black bean fish recipe.
Luis said, " These flavours are only in Malaysia".
  I felt the same, it's nice to be able to get most of the ingredients here,
but mom does stock me up when I need.
The dried prawns certainly was the key!


 
 
Of course I have to forward gratitude to having the time to cook. So...
Thanks to my gorgeous boy who found the sugar bag
and flour mixing bowl the coolest thing in the kitchen!
 
 

 Luis Andrés, mom thinks you're just the best!


Between Luis and I, when we touch down in Malaysia next, we're gonna eat, eat and eat!
What's your top ten dishes in Malaysia?
Luis has a mental list and so do I





 
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January 31, 2014

Hello 2014

The year has really started off so nicely! Although it was rather tough trying to settle in and adjust to routine after such an amazing holiday - what a dream come true , a whole month with my family in NZ! It was just pure joy to see my parents and my gorgeous LA bond, to attend my sister´s wedding, meet my oh- so- cool new brother -in- law and see my varsity and high school mates after a good 8 years! Oh, it was all too much of a good thing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord. What would life be without you?

We touched down in Santiago on the 4th of Jan 2014-  horribly jet- lagged but feeling so blessed, it was so nice to be back home too, back to our lovely refuge.
So all this has made me stop and conclude that -
  I´m done looking back and then feeling grateful.
I'm hoping to cherish this year, my life, my good good life.
 
 The question is, how can I seize each day and what can I already be so grateful about?
 (Thinking cap on )

1. Make my son laugh and just enjoy him  - I really haven't laughed so much in my life,  so I attempt to make him as happy as he makes me. What could be more of a blessing than children?
2. To continue to clear out my closet and give things away! My "OC'ness" is really helping in this area.
3. To cherish my Luis. This man, where do I start? I'm just blessed. Such a beautiful person inside out. 11 years...it's been 11 years and I'm still smitten.
4. I love my home. It's just a great representation of us. I also enjoy our daydream talks of our future home.
5. To know an unimaginable dimension of love that my son has given me.
6. For such amazing friends! I smile at this and it makes me so content because I really do have such friends that would do anything for me. "Really love people that love you"
7. For my new career path that I'm embarking on. Such excitement.
8. For being in Chile now - who knew that I'll never ever ever wanna move again because this is just perfect! Now travel is a different story - I'm always thirsty for more.
9. For the ability to eat and eat and not put on weight ( at least for now) oh, how I enjoy my food! Credit goes to my Pilates teacher though. (Luis keeps mentioning he needs to send him a gift ! ha )
10. To spend more time with God.
11. To not whinge.
12. To not be too OC even though it brings such joy to see my home spotless.
13. My family is scattered, miles away,  but  I do not miss them in a painful kinda way because of such technology. Oh, how things have change - I remember speaking to mom only once a week in highschool! Look how lucky we are now? it's basically constant! Makes me so grateful.
14. My son's loving nature. His cuddles, his kisses and the smiles he gives me.
I live for moments like that.
 (Son, you are so like Daddy in this way)  
15. For a husband that prays.
16. For a son that is kinda OC too !


.....and the list goes on...my hope is that I'll make time to continue this list!

 

LA with Aunty Ness ( @ Aunty Dance) & Uncle Alex ( @ leg slightly raised)
 The brackets represent how LA remembers them, a bit of family humor here

Us at my 33rd birthday - at one of our favourite restaurants called HANZO in Santiago.
Thanks for always making me feel special, my handsome Luis.
My Parents enjoying LA during their 37th wedding Anniversary.

October 24, 2013

My light, my heart.

It's so nice to feel so put together.  Not physically like in a nice bright top that makes you pop kind of  beauty, but mentally. I spent a good amount of time today with my son and with some very good friends and I'm just bursting with love. I think to myself, there is really not much time to love the people we are really meant to love. Time to sip on tea and laugh the afternoon away, to discuss engaging books or just to sit and enjoy the sunset. True friends. They are precious and not many. The pressures of society haunt me though as I play out my thoughts. You know, "the face" we need to put on to please everyone in sight and to fear rather than to respect authority, to conform rather then to voice out.  I remember spending my younger days in much silence as I didn't really see the point in voicing out when some people really aren't worth the effort.
  I guess in a way, that is how I guarded my heart.

 I grew up in a highly disciplined environment which in a way didn't make it hard for me. It suited my personally, my true friends know me and I thank God for giving me the greatest friends.
 How do you guard your heart?
 
So, I was thinking about all of this today and a bible verse really hit a nerve from Joyce Meyer's teachings.
It says..
 We need to guard our own hearts.  Guard our hearts, Guard our hearts.
We are the masters of our heart. Don't let those voices haunt you.

Proverbs 4:23 " Keep vigilant watch over your heart;  that's where life starts"
Think about that. It's a strong message. It´s an easy message

July 22, 2013

Valparaiso and stuff

Again?  I know right, but you do realize we really love this place?  We had such an amazing break this past long weekend that I had to share the hotel and of course the places that we dined at. We stayed at the Boutique Hotel 17. Would I recommend it? Let me first re-cap. Well, it had its serious perks - one being the bay view room.  Equiped with its own generous terrace which opens out from the room. It is generally accesible to public, but blocked when there are guest.  It was just brilliant getting up to a breathtaking sea view. The hotel also has a fully functional common kitchenette set in the midst of a mini apartment setting which made things easy for the storing and the heating of LA's food. Then the feeding in the comfy brightly decorated sofa area, makes one feel so at home with the tv and such.  The staff was also really accommodating and offered to help out in this area. Secondly, massages are generally unheard of especially in the first year of your baby's life especially on holiday. This hotel provided this service so Luis and I took turns looking after the baby while the other got pampered! Something's gotta give . Pure bliss. Luis actually was so relaxed that he slept past his hour and was abandoned by the masseuse. Aside from the massage, there is a sauna and a hydromassage facility that can be accessed during the stay.

Food food food. Luis and I love food. We usually try different places, but this time we had to go back to Samsara. Again. Why? Cos it never fails. This restaurants wins hands down for the best Thai food in Chile. We didn't take photos this time, but if you search my blog there is an earlier entry on the restaurant and the Red curry that I had.  One word - contentment-  just the right amount of spice and consistency. Luis had the Solomillo again after not being overly thrilled about the last fish dish. Obvious choice to return to, as it's just one of those dishes which gets you salivating just thinking about it. From our previous little chat to the chef, we discovered something like a total of 3 days to  prepare this delicate dish. A definite must-try people!

A must mention this time is how special we were made to feel and the first class treatment we received by the hotel with its combined efforts with the renowned restaurant next to it - La Concepcion. With a baby traveling and without a babysitter, there is almost a 0 chance of having a romantic dinner unless room service counts. We were so blessed to have food delivered to our private terrace so we had a 3 course dinner with our own waiter.  Normally, one would have had to have paid a ton for this and not forgetting the added prep time! We are blessed.

We do love each other abundantly and it pains us when we don't have enough time together.  We are best friends in its entirety. This dinner was perfect.  Short getaways are always nourishing for us and I do believe we have angels looking out for us. Things just seem to come together.  The next challenge would have to be an overnight stay and the leaving of little LA in the care of Granny Chile. It's not something I would do in a blink of an eye but after numerous conversations with Luis about it ( sobbing to the discussions of it..) I do agree that it would be a healthy thing to do. Our relationship and its nurturing is essential in the bringing up of our son. So the challenge is on.
The challenge to let LA grow up as independently as possible but bursting with love;  knowing that we'll be gone for a while but we'll be back.

A very good friend of mine said to me once that I should try not to leave the things that make us a couple, besides she said, the baby is an addition to the family. Thus, the baby should fit in. I really believe in this. Happiness is delivered from the parents down. So happy parents first promotes a happy child and hopefully a happy family.  I see parents who think that they have given up everything for their kids and use this as though their kids owe them something in return and thus the cycle of, "after all I've done" begin and never end.  I don't agree in this form of parenting and it really tires me to hear parents complaining about their kids.  At least if you must, say 5 things that compliment before the 1 complain.
On the flip side,  doing things out of love because love means not wanting anything in return first brings another form of reaction and zero resentment from either side. 

Do you ever think about what kind of parent you would like to be? Like to be perceived as? This is at the forefront of my mind. I am always willing to learn from happy families for it is such a joy to be around them.  I think about how I would of liked to have been brought up if I had the chance to re-live my childhood days again. Not that I didn't have a good one , don't get me wrong. But there is always room for improvement. I think even if you ask me down the road if I could have been a better mom, I'm pretty sure I would say yes. This helps me everytime I'm around my little boy, to look at him with love even when I'm so tired and not in the best frame of mind.  Even though all this might sound self-righteous,  I do believe if we don't try..how can we improve. Right?
So, It's an everyday thing. One step at a time.

I'm glad I waited and really knew Luis before I had a child. Everything seems more manageable and easy. Without a strong foundation it's impossible to bring up a happy kid. So, I'm I thinking of more kids? Yes, but in time.. as kids need love and love can only be given when you have the time, energy and the support even financially speaking and most importantly,
you are at whole with yourself to deal with all the physical and mental changes that come inevitably. 
Plus, at 1 plus,  little LA is just too much of fun! to have to miss out on his little antics would be a sacrifice I am not willing to give up just yet!

Thus, I choose to wait,  I'll will patiently and the angels will guide me, us.. as they have always done. Oh, and yes, I would recommend the Hotel!
Wouldn't you?



Room with a view

Us

My loves of my life


June 28, 2013

Thoughts and A New Month

This new year was somewhat a new milestone for me in the way I live my life. Since having my son, I realized that I've felt such a huge sense of purpose in trying to do something right for someone else rather than myself. It got me thinking about simple things in my daily life. Thoughts of "what if ?" cloud my mind and is subdued by prayers. Below are the things I think about very so often now, things I've figured out and the way I'm trying to live my life.

1. Who would look after my son if Luis and I passed suddenly? Who has given me such love and security in  my life which surpasses even money? This question I have answered today. I'm glad I know.

2. I no longer think about my needs and wants anymore. This is such a great feeling. There is something so beautiful about living with a lot less. I have a huge desire to get rid of things which is leaving my home a lot more spacious especially my closet.

3. I say no to free stuff now. Trust me you get funny looks! :)

4. I try to do something nice for someone per week.  Today I let the car behind me take the park right in front of the supermarket. I found one 2 rounds later.

5. I think about how I might work again here in Chile, my true passion I think has surfaced and it brings a smile to my face.

6.  How I am truly happy and passionate about my marriage. It brings a smile to my face.

7.  It is important to try to keep calm and together in any situation. Strength comes from God.

8.  I vow to support my son in all ways. In his choices in life, in his occupation. As long as it's not harmful to anyone of course. 

9.  I remember the pains of growing up too quick. Also, in a way how that turned out to be my greatest gift

10. I know that if other peoples' concerns predominant my mind,  I'm not being true to myself.

11. I rather be honest and be hated than be fake.

12. I used to be very quiet, but now I know to speak to those that hear me and I'm blessed as I have great great people in my life

13. That children are the greatest gift from God if you realize it. I haven't laughed so much in my life. I catch myself starring at my son very so often.

14. I think about my lost cook book. Now where is it?

15. How I may use my clothes differently to save money.

16. To learn to say no to people. To not say only what people want to hear. To tell people things honestly if they ask, sometimes I just tell. True friends appreciate things like that.

17.  How to live a healthier life,  think about the meals we have at home. I don't spend more than an hour in the kitchen preparing them, but I hope I'll always prepare them with love.

18.  How difficult my Nana's life is with a 8 month old and how I could help her.

19.  How important is it to have a few hours in the week for myself. Simple thing like a hot cup of coffee and a slice of cake is therapeutical.

20. Who I haven't kept in touch for a while now, and people I must write to.

21. How food scared me at one stage of my life, and how I love to eat now but at the same time how much I respect my body to maintain it and work at it.

22. How nice it is to be in a warm home while it is raining outside. It was a trying time - to be "house-less" at times to be living with "friends"

23. I think twice before I complain.

24. Jesus all the time. I sing little hymns to my son and most of the time it calms him.

25. People that are nice. Don't they just radiate? I have a few friends like that. It's marvelous.

26. How parents are responsible for their children - good and bad. How much good they have done is always overshadowed by the hurt they have imparted upon their children. 

27. My glass of  red wine that my Luis never fails to offer me at the end of the day when we're relaxing after LA is in bed.

28. My Friday nights with Luis.

29. Names of my future kids. 

30. My grandfather.



June 18, 2013

Surprises

Don't you all love a good surprise? I'm one that likes them most of the time. I prefer things nice,  orderly and thus like to get things done with a lot of planning. My son is 1! Time has flown! As I look back on the year, how can I claim that I don't like surprises. He has certainly surprised me in so many ways and has taught me to live life a lot more spontaneously. It's very hard to try to fight that. Believe me, I have tried to work around looking after my son and trying to get things done as per usual.. you know how it used to be - nap when tired, grab a new book, spontaneously try a new recipe, take random walks, draw a bath and the big one - sleep in..oh,  how Luis and I miss that. To be honest though, we have nothing to complain,  we are so blessed.  LA follows such a good routine and sticks to it and that in itself has given us both some sanity.  He started sleeping in his own room at 2.5 months. I respected his needs then as a baby and now as a toddler making this new life as a mom very enjoyable.
He has taught me to be selfless, which I think is essential in today

 - you can't reap the benefits of life if you just take, take and take. Have you tried clearing out your closet and giving your unused clothed away? One word. LIBERATING.

Anyhow, these are the 10 things my little one has surprised me with up to this year:

1. He comes and gives me kisses, even when I ask for one randomly and repeatedly throughout the day.
2. He no longer nibbles on my phone but now passes my phone to me when it sounds. I know right? Happened once last week and I was in total shock convincing myself of course that he is indeed a genious.
3. He is such a good story teller and is always jabbering
4. He crawled to the door when Luis arrived from work one day. He brightens up in delights as soon as he hears the door, without fail.
5. He is SO independent.  He can entertain himself for hours with his toys, but I must admit he loves it when Daddy or Mummy is around. Even now he has been in his playroom for over 30 minutes as I scribble away here.
6. He hardly cries.  Luis and I freak out when he does and think to ourselves - something is really wrong!
7. He has really regular stools. ( Honestly -  0900, 1300 and 1700 hrs is a sure thing! ) Anything in between really depends on the diet. Don't you all love a good poo?  Oh, he's like a little person really only follows the routine in the comfort of his own home. If we're out for lunch, he will wait till we get back. Cool huh? LOVE him.
8. He loves Baby TV and certain ones, you know like we love our shows
9. He slept in the water during all his swimming lessons at 5 months,  yes amidst all the noise and kids kicking and screaming. I guess the water was calming.
10. He eats whatever I feed him! and I'm super cautious about his diet. Healthy steamed home cooked food - up to now, no salt, no added sugar as per Dr's orders . Oh, but he did enjoy his 1 year old birthday cake - a  very normal ( minus the brandy and coffee) family recipe of chocolate cake!! He is free now to eat anything, .

                     Slowly letting go ...it's so so tough. 
I know I have issues people which I can smile about now or rather with you :)

Isn't he lovely? :) I melt every time I'm with him and that's almost every moment of the day.