Friday, January 29, 2010

The weather outside is frightful...!

But thankfully, it's nice and warm inside the house and my camera has a large enough lens/zoom to take some cool pictures! Looks like the amount of ice has doubled overnight. Looking at my blog post yesterday, the icicles on this same area of the shrub was definitely not this thick and heavy!





We also lost a couple more branches on our pine tree by the side of the house. This poor pine tree had already lost the top half of itself 3 years ago during the bad ice storm then. I hope it survives this one!
But ice can be so pretty at the same time. Here are some other photos that I had taken this morning.







Although, the ice on this tree in the backyard is getting so heavy that the branches are now touching the ground!














And as you can see here, it's starting to snow!
I hope the birds were smart enough to fly south for the winter!I hope there's enough snow by the end of the day for me to build a snowman on the deck. If not, there's definitely enough to throw a few snowballs at Bobby! :-)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why can't I sleep???

I highly doubt it that I'm still jetlagged from our vacation. It's been over 2 1/2 weeks since we've been home (did I mention I REALLY miss New Zealand???). It was the first time last night of my pregnancy (6 months today!) that I actually spent the night on the couch. Bobby and I went to bed just a little after 11pm last night. I drank a glass of milk before heading upstairs just to be sure I wouldn't get hungry in the middle of the night. Well, it didn't work. In about an hour, I was downstairs eating a yogurt. In about another hour or so after that (at 0300 hours), I ended up bringing my body pillow downstairs and camping out on the couch, in front of the tv watching tennis (The Australian Open), with a Special K chocolate shake. Dozing in and out of sleep, I later heard Bobby waking up upstairs and finding out that Murray had just won despite losing his first set to Cilic. It was 6am...
After having Bobby tuck me back into bed (with another yogurt of course), I finally fell back to sleep. Bobby did later wake me up as he came home to drop off our new kitchen table.
We went with a round pedestal table and I think it fits quite well in the kitchen. We have moved the old kitchen table into the soon-to-be painted dining room. It looks so much smaller in there, but I think it will serve it's purpose quite well, especially when we start having visitors!
In the meantime, the wintry weather has arrived again in Tulsa. No snow yet. So far, just sleet and a lot of ice! Here are some pictures taken today. Some pretty neat icicle formations on the shrub!
As I was hanging out in the kitchen, the deers showed up in the backyard to feed. At first it was just the family of 4. And then, all of the sudden... there were a whole bunch of them! I think there were a total of 8!
I love living in this neighborhood! :-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Baby registry

Bobby and I decided to head out to Target this past Saturday to start our baby registry. And who would have though that so many other people would do the same too! The baby isles at Target sure was busy and there's barely enough space to get 2 shopping carts in the same isle!
Thankfully there were only 4 isles in the baby department. But even then, I think we spent over 2 hours at Target that day! Picking out the big items were easier - the crib, car seat, stroller, etc... but then when it came to items like clothing - how many onesies does a baby really need??? There's the long sleeve onesie, short sleeve onesie, the new born onesie, 0-3 month onesie, cotton or organic, onesies with mittens or no mittens... YIKES!!! So let's not even get started about the milk bottles! Phew!
Anyhow, once we got the list at the end of the day, I see "Airbake Natural 2-pc. med/lg cookie combo". What's that??? Once I get home and get online - I notice that we have put cookie sheets in the baby's registry. How did that happen!? There were also other items in there that we had deleted but still appeared on the registry as well as items we had scanned and didn't make it on the list. Looks like they have a bug in their registry program! Anyhow, after tinkering with the list a few more times, I decided to start a new registry at Toys "R" Us. I'm sure my sister will have plenty to say about these lists!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guest bedroom - All done!

Finally finished up the guest bedroom! I started painting the walls last week (Bobby was a little bit skeptical about my 2-tone walls but he now says that he likes it!). Then, painted the closet (which is no fun at all!). Hung the drapes and some photos, and finally put the new comforter set on the bed. I think it looks pretty darn good, if I may say so myself! :-)
Here's the before:
And here's the after!
Hope our guests will be comfortable in this room!
Now... what to work on next? The baby's nursery or the guest bathroom???? Guess you'll find out on my next blog! ;-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

I love Photo Stitch!

There's a software that comes along with the Canon camera called Photo Stitch. You basically take a number of consecutive pictures using the "Stitch" setting on your camera. And then, once you've downloaded these photos onto your computer, you are able to "stitch" them all together - producing a photo landscape!
I took some pictures during our trip in New Zealand. The first attempt to stitch Hole #12 at Cape Kidnappers didn't turn out so well. Bobby must have moved in the picture because as you can see, there's two of them in the photo stitch! (You can barely see the two little black dots in the middle of the photo, just by the glitch if you look along the horizon - that's him!)
Fortunately, the photo stitch for the infamous "Pirate's Plank" or Hole #15 came out perfect! You can see Bobby in the distance, by the golf cart. Unfortunately, the blog-site keeps returning an error when I'm trying to upload the picture! Perhaps the size of the photo is too large. Oh well, you will just have to believe me that it turned out great! :-)
And finally, here's a photo stitch of Bobby at the top of "Bob's peak" in Queenstown, New Zealand. At 2,500 ft, you get a clear view of the Queenstown Bay and the mountain range (the larger one to the left) called the Remarkables. It's just stunning!
I had forgotten to upload another video that was taken during our trip. This one is of Bobby providing a documentary during our time at the Franz Josef Glacier, at the South Island in New Zealand. It's quite hilarous, as Bobby imitates the late "Crocodile Hunter" - Steve Irwin, in his Australian accent. And I just can't help myself but chuckle in the background!
video
And of course, I didn't quite finish my part of the video. As I had mentioned - pointing the camera towards the glacier - about how that is one part of Franz Josef. And so, here's the other part of it...
which is the view of where we had trekked from. Mostly rocks with a path carved out in between, with very tropical hills/mountains on both sides,... although not very clear as it was a very cloudy day. Like I had said in the video, we were just glad it wasn't raining!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pregnancy update - 22 weeks

Just had another doctor's appointment this week and glad to say that all is well! We didn't get to see the baby via ultrasound as the doc has now moved to a different location and not all rooms have the equipment. He said that ultrasounds are gimmicks, but then again he had to agree with Bobby that the machines are really COOL gimmicks! In any case, it does save some money (thank goodness for health insurance!).
So the appointment was a quick one. We were able to hear the baby's heartbeat through a heart monitor - which is always very self-assuring that he's still living and breathing in my belly! I do feel him kick occasionally now, especially when his hungry... or wait, would it be when I'm hungry???
And I am now officially an "outie"! My belly button started becoming an outie probably about a week ago, during our last week of our vacation in New Zealand. You can see it poop through my shirts now. Scary!!! And there's so many other things that they don't tell you in the books. Like you start to lose your breath when you have to bend over and pick something up or when you try to put your shoes on. I basically have to squat... knees pointing outwards, letting my belly hang freely downwards before I can get to the ground! It will be an experience trying to cut my toe nails in the next few weeks! :-)
And I'm only halfway through my pregnancy. How much bigger am I going to get?! I've already gained about 13 lbs so far. Studies show that an average woman should gain 25 to 35 lbs during pregnancy. So guess I still have quite a bit to go!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Toilet malfunction

Even before our trip overseas, the toilet flush had been acting up. The water would just keep running and running and it's only after tweaking a few things on the fill valve, it would finally stop. Well, the fill valve finally quit working when we got home from our trip. So for the past 3 nights, we've been using the guest bathroom across the hallway upstairs. This wouldn't be that much of a hassle except it is a longer walk for me in the middle of the night!
So after a trip to Lowe's to buy a new fill valve (and among other things...), the toilet is now fixed! It was such an easy and inexpensive fix too! Thankfully it didn't require too much since I don't have a lot of plumbing experience. And no, don't worry - no plumber's crack was sighted either ;-)
Ahhh, yes... welcome back to Home Improvements!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Honeymoon in New Zealand!

Bobby and I just returned from our (belated) honeymoon. We actually started our journey back in Malaysia - to spend Christmas with my dad and also to attend the Lee family reunion. The reunion was very successful. I was asked to say a few words, which I struggled with in my mother tongue. Bobby was then introduced by my dad to the crowd and also had to say a few words, in Chinese too! Oh, I also found out, after 33 years that I had been writing my Chinese name the wrong way. How can this be???? Anyhow, the rest of the the trip was spent eating (lots of noodles... YUM!), taking naps in the afternoons (especially for Bobby coping with the heat and humidity), and meeting up with some old high school friends. We were also able to play a round of golf with dad which was a lot of fun!

After a quick 5 days in Malaysia, we were off to New Zealand for 12 days. It was AMAZING! New Zealand is beautiful in so many ways. We picked NZ as our honeymoon destination mainly because of two things - both my mom and dad went to the University of Otago in Dunedin where they met and got married. And the other reason was for golf. We watched this golf tournament last year on TV called the Kiwi Challenge and it was held at a golf course called Cape Kidnappers, on the east coast of the North Island in NZ. It looked beautiful on TV and sure enough, it was beautiful in person!
Our 12-day adventure started out in Auckland. We rented a car and made our way down towards the South Island of NZ. On the way there, we educated ourselves with the Maori culture including the Haka which was made popular by the NZ rugby All Blacks team. I may have to start implementing the Haka into my pre-round golf/tournament routine so I can intimidate my opponents. You can't actually see it in the video, but the dancers actually stick their tongues out and widen their eyes during the dance!
video
We also saw some geysers (stinky ones!), visited the amazingly blue Huka waterfall, and played golf on New Year's day at Cape Kidnappers before we finally got on a ferry to get to the South Island - from Wellington to Picton. Thankfully it was a big ferry because it was over a 3-hour journey and the sea was rough, although marked "moderate" by Kiwi standards :-s
Bobby and I enjoyed the South Island so much more. The drives were scenic with farms of cattle, deer and of course, sheep! The roads were also amazingly curvy and steep! Our stops in the towns/cities had plenty of good food and fresh vegetables and fruits. In Blenheim, we stayed with my dad's friend that ran a local motel. On our continued drive south, we saw rock formations called Pancake Rocks.
In Franz Josef Glacier, we were able to get right to the bottom of a glacier! It was amazing! And thankfully it wasn't too cold since it is their summer season now.
We were not able to see Mt. Cook on the drive southward as the clouds were not cooperative. We spent our 3rd wedding anniversary by Lake Wanaka, probably one of my favorite places during the entire trip. By the way, I gave Bobby socks for our anniversary since that was exactly what he asked for! I, on the other hand, was given a budget to shop at a souvenir store up at Bob's peak in Queenstown (yup, it's really called Bob's peak!) - where I ended up with a pair of jade butterfly earrings :-) I would have never known that jade was an important/popular stone in NZ.
We decided to skip the bungee jump and the luge at Bob's peak and took the gondola back down instead. Our next stop was Dunedin, but on the way there we decided to look for the orchard that my dad worked at when he was a college student. After a few extra turns, we did find Teviot Orchard in Roxburg! We met the Bennetts family that ran the orchard and ate some FRESH yummy cherries! Funny,... they are still hiring Malaysian students from University of Otago to help pick and sort cherries every summer.
In Dunedin, we visited the University of Otago. We were not impressed with the newer buildings but the architecture of the older section of the university was really pretty.
Dunedin was the farthest south of our trip so we proceded to head back north towards Christchurch. But not before going out to the Penguin reserve! Unfortunately, we didn't see too many yellow-eyed penguins, but nonetheless we did spot a few furry baby penguins in their nest and some seals lazing on the beach. By the way, never stand in the direction of the wind when a seal yawns. It STINKS!!!
Finally, on January 9th, it was time to leave to New Zealand. We had a quick flight from Christchurch back to Auckland and then from there, an 11-hour flight on Air New Zealand back to Los Angeles. I really started to miss NZ when I had to go through immigration and customs at LAX airport. We decided to stay overnight in LA and when we touched down and arrived at home in Tulsa, we were greeted with leftover snow on the ground! Thankfully our neighbor was nice enough to clean up our driveway and walkway during our time away.
For the past 2 nights now since being back in the US, I have been dreaming about our "extended" vacation/honeymoon. Bobby, on the other hand is still struggling with the windshield wiper/indicator mix-up and having to think twice about which side of the road he is on.
New Zealand is now definitely on our list of highly recommended places to visit. I miss it so!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Bobby and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary yesterday - Jan 6th. 3 years... wow! Time sure has flown by pretty quickly! In 3 years, we've been in 3 different states and 4 different street/home addresses! And within these 3 years, we've accumulated a lot more furniture and now we have a baby on the way! So it's a good thing we are currently on our (belated) honeymoon now. It will probably be a while before we take another big trip across the pond.
Yesterday, we woke up to the beautiful views of a little town called Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand.
Then, it was a 1 1/2 hour drive to Queenstown, NZ via the Crown Range. Talk about a winding road! When we finally arrived in Queenstown, we took the skyline gondola ride up to Bob's peak. Yeah, can you believe that... they actually named it Bob's peak! The view of the city from the top was spectacular, with the view of the moutains "Remarkables" in the backdrop. There were some brave souls bungy jumping off a platform on the edge of the peak - screaming on their way down obviously!
It will be difficult to top all of this for our next anniversary!