Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Letter To My Boys: What Do You Desire if Money Didn't Matter

Friday, November 23, 2012

Would You?

Go down this motherflippin slide of head-exploding death? I have a heart attack just by looking at it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to Make And Play The Five Stones Game

Well, they are not really stones, but cute and soft little bean-filled bags. Back in school, we call it Batu Seremban. This is a traditional childhood game we girls used to play everyday during pre-assembly and recess. One could get rather obsessive and addicted to it. Now, kids could only feel the same way about iPads.

So, I wanted to bring it back. Hopefully Daniel will enjoy it!

What you need:
1. Five pieces of fabric cut into rectangles, measuring 8cm x 4cm.
2. Something to fill it up with. I use polypellets bought from Spotlight. You can use green beans. Or even small beads from old unused bead jewelry. Some use rice but I think after some years, they seem like they are leaking ricey powder.
3. Needle and thread.

What you do:
Fold the fabric pieces in half with the right side facing each other like this, and stitch the sides.

Turn them inside out.

Fold a hem inwards.

Fill up the fabric sacs with polypellets or beans or small beads.

Slip-stitch the opening. Or just stitch it up your way :)

Cute beanies!

How to play:
Traditionally, the first move (sometimes called the jockey) is to hold the five stones in your palm, toss them in the air, catch them on the back of your hand, then flip them up and catch them in your palm. If this is a little too hard to master, just skip it and get on with the rest of the game, which is played as follows. (Note: All the moves are done with one hand.)
Step 1: Toss all five stones(1,2,3,4,5) on the ground. Pick Stone 1 up. Toss it in the air, and while it is still mid-air, pick or sweep up Stone 2 and catch Stone 1 before it falls to the ground. Do this for each of the remaining Stones 3,4 and 5.
Step 2: Repeat step 1 but pick up two stones at a time.

Step 3: Repeat step 1 but pick up a combination of three stones and one.

Step 4: Repeat step 1 but pick up all four stones.
Step 5: With all 5 stones still in your palm, toss one up and quickly place the remaining four on the ground, and then catching the falling stone. After catching it successfully, toss it up again and pick up the four stones on the ground.
Step 6: Toss all five stones on the ground. Pick any two stones. Toss one in the air and exchange the other with one on the ground. Do the same with the remaining stones on the ground.
Use only one hand! At the end of this step, you will have two stones in your hand.

Step 7: Toss the two stones held at the end of Step 6. Pick up one stone from the ground and then catch the two falling stones separately in each hand. Do this until there is three stones in one hand and two in the other. Throw the two stones and catch it separately. Throw the remaining stone and catch it with the hand that has all the stones.

Step 8: Toss all five stones on the ground. Your opponent then selects a stone to be thrown in the air. The player has to pick this stone without moving any others. The player throws the stone in the air and picks the remaining on the ground in one clean sweep.

If at any point of time the player fails to complete this set of eight steps, he/she will have to forfeit his turn to his opponent. Upon his opponent's failure to complete, he will return to the incomplete step, starting from the very beginning of that step.

Note: There might be several variations of the steps but it’s ok! Just play it as you deem comfortable. You may visit the youtube link below for an example of a visual demonstration.

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Make A Simple Bow Tie

I think bow ties are coming back. Remember Abdul Kadir, Mr Bow Tie? You will know if you have read enough Lat comics. He was the only minister who dared to wear patterned and colourful ones. Onz la Dato!

Now, patterned bow ties are like fashion statements. Like a cool geeky accessory. I have not seen any nice ones in JB, so what does a crafter with a nifty sewing machine do? Make some!

What you need:
1. Two pieces of fabric measuring 3.5 inches by 5 inches.
2. One piece of fabric measuring 4cm by 9cm. I just couldn't fit it in inches. Sorry for the unit inconsistency. Crafters are liddat.
3. Cotton twill ribbon/tape.
4. Small metal buttons.
5. Fray glue. Optional.

What you do:

Place the two big pieces of fabric together, with the right sides facing each other. Sew around the edge and leave a 4cm gap in the middle. For the smaller piece, fold it in half (long side) and sew one side.

Turn them inside out. It's easy for the bigger piece, but not so for the smaller, thinner one. Use a forcep or tweezer if you must. And have lots of patience.

TIP: If the fabric you're using is thick, turning it inside out will be impossible. Do this instead. Then fold it in half (long side) and do the slip-stitch.

The slip stitch is awesome because it is hidden. It is as if you turned the piece inside out.

Use slip stitch to close up the gap in the big piece.

This is the turned-inside-out pieces. Iron them.

Take the small piece and fold it in half. Sew an inch away from folded side.

Again, turn it inside out so that the extra bits are towards the inside. It looks like a thick ring doesn't it.

Next, pleat the center of the bow tie piece like this.

Fold it the same way to one side so that you can squeeze in the center ring. If it can't fit, you can thread in a corner of the bow piece first. OR make a bigger center ring.

You will need to do some adjusting so that the pleats are nice, even and centered.

Next, slip in the cotton twill ribbon behind the bow. The length of the ribbon is measured first beforehand. You can do this my measuring around the neck, and give an extra of 1.5 inch to fit around a shirt collar.

Use fray-stop glue to seal the edge. If you don't have the glue, use any strong glue will do, my favourite is UHU. And then sew the little silver snap buttons on at the ends.

Make different ones!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

8 Years and Counting...

Last week, we were married for 8 years. It has been an amazing journey so far, and we're stronger today than ever before, and I look forward to many more years of togetherness.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Emotional Closure After Miscarriage

I googgled exactly this. I thought it would probably return with 1 match linking to You Are Crazy Just Move On Bitch. But nooo... I was surprised that this is such a validated topic that seeks recognition by sufferers AND therapists, mostly Westerners. I have never heard of 'emotional closure' in Chinese, have you? Maybe to Chinese, the month-long confinement is part of the emotional closure. Get drunk and happy on wine chicken everyday speeds up the emotional healing, yes?

Anyway, this emotional closure is something I needed. I'm not sure if I had it, from the time it happened in April 2011 to recent days, I may have had it in some form but I may not be aware. I did all I could to have closure, you know. I named him, I even got obsessed with bunnies and bought a bunny soft toy and a figurine to represent him, I turned to my blog for expression, I cried for cathartic release, I kept doing what I enjoyed and what made me happy. But somehow, something's not complete.
The reason I'm searching for this now is my recent observation of my moodiness.
A friend pointed out that I may have post-natal depression, perhaps a mild and delayed one, I thought. But it's been more than a year, am I a 'slow developer'? Hee. Nevertheless, a depression is a depression and it could strain my relationship with the husband, which I felt has already happened. I am not as emotionally engaged as before. I keep a lot of things to myself. I don't even chat about mundane everyday stuff anymore. And these are actually the little things that keep a couple engaged and happy. I am withdrawing into my own world, and get upset occasionally if he does not 'seek' me. Maybe I want to be rescued.

So, back to the Google search, my little cyber support group. I pulled out some excerpts that resonated with me.

"..After my first miscarraige I was devisated. I drove for hours alone & in the darkness. I have only blurrs of memories of that evening. I was parked in a closed park. Then I was on the shoulder of the highway. Then I found myself back in my doctor's parking lot. Her office had been closed for hours & not even one light was on. But, somehow I felt like I had left my baby there. I needed it back! I kept my feelings inside because everyone in my family kept saying, "At least it happened early & you couldn't get attached.". It went unacknowledged except for the, "I'm sorrys". Is that what you say to a still born's parents? We had no closure. No funeral. No mass. Nothing. Not even a face to remember.

8 years have gone by and I'm still devistated. Not once does a day go by that I don't feel someone missing at the dinner table. " -taken from here. The writer also listed 5 ways to get closure.

"...I blogged every thought I had. Once I had it figured out enough to commit the thought to paper, it stopped swimming in my head and gave each topic a sense of closure. My grief counselor even confirmed that there are synaptic changes in the brain when you get a thought organized and finalized by writing it down so I wasn't just imagining that closure.
Write letters to the baby, write a diary, or blog, whichever best suits your personality and privacy preferences. It doesn't completely wipe the thought away, but I'd say it takes 95% of it out of your head, and if you can get rid of 95% of each of the thoughts and horribleness, that's quite a lot. The remaining 5% becomes much more manageable." -taken from here.

And this is probably the Mother of all hits. I have a couple of excerpts from this article written by a lady gynae:

"...When I tell a woman that she is not crazy for having feelings about her miscarriage and that her loss is real no matter if she miscarried in the 6th week of pregnancy or in the 6th month, she always looks relieved. I have validated her feelings."

"...comforting words might serve to disavow a woman's experience of loss rather than allowing room for it. Commonly heard expressions like, "It was early in your pregnancy," "Miscarriage is not uncommon," or "You'll have other chances" might be interpreted by a woman to mean "This happens all the time. It's no big deal. You don't have to get so upset." On the receiving end of such tarnished comfort a woman might be left feeling guilty for feeling grief stricken, after all, miscarriage, she is told, is not "uncommon". Or she might feel angry and think to herself, "No one understands what I'm going through!! I don't care if miscarriages happen all the time. It's a big deal to me and I feel wrecked!" Then she might find herself feeling isolated and alone in her experience"

This is how I felt. Alone.

And then it struck me yesterday. I have been alone, and rejected. The hubz said my body was weak and that I should rebuild my health back (IF we were to try for another one). He meant it as a matter of fact, harmless indeed, but to a woman who has miscarried, I interpreted is as "It is my fault, my body is weak" because there is a phase when you ask a lot of questions on why it happened, what caused it, what did I do wrong etc (see article above). And what he said affirmed it more. "It was my fault, and your fault alone"... that's what my head says. That was why I got upset and moody almost every week, every time he goes out for drinks. I felt alone and rejected.

I guess I'm unravelling the emotional closure I need. An apology and assurance from my husband. Assurance that he still loves and cares for me. An assurance that it wasn't my fault. An assurance that he will be my side side through it all.

Update: Isn't it funny, after having these thoughts 'keyed' down, I felt a huge sense of relief. I didn't ask or that apology. The fact that I recognize the cause was enough for now. Knowledge is indeed empowering.