Racial Social Media | Emoticons Changing Face, Race?

Is it just me or is everyone a bit confused with the new emoticons from Emoji? My BFFs are now appearing gold in my Contacts list like this” 👯” and what about  the new skintone choices -💃💃💃💃💃?

Here’s how all my BFF’s look on my contacts list. Problem? They are all Chinese with black hair, yellow skin and black eyes.

Funny how I never saw a problem with the old emoticons until now.  Now that Emoji had to make a point about being able to select different skin tones for each emoticons, it became obvious that my friends have gold hair!

Is the world becoming more socially/racially sensitive?  Or are we creating problems that never existed?

I’m inclined to lean on the latter as a statement.

Does that mean we now have to create a different racial version of cartoon characters?

I have to say, the first time I noticed a similar phenomenon was when I was walking through the aisles of Toys R Us.  In the girls toy section, there were different skin tones of baby dolls, ranging African babies to Asian babies to Caucasian babies. If I had to be critical about this, I could have taken this as a marketing effort to widen their product mix.  Instead, I welcomed this and felt it was a great educational staple for our next generation.

So why is it that when it comes to adult toys, I immediately view this through tainted lens?  Like we’re creating problems for society?  Perhaps it is in our stubborn adult nature that is resistant to change.  What a hypocrite I am!

So, it’s ‘educational’ for kids but it’s ‘problematic’ for adults?

Perhaps it’s a reminder for us to start embracing change in our lives and stop being critical with change.  It is an emotional subject, isn’t it?  I guess it is ’emot(ion) icons’ we are talking about.

Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Our Baptism, Our New Lives | Wesley Mission International Congregation

My husband, Willie, and I got baptised today.

Thank you God for sending us, Jesus, your son to free us from our sins. We Praise You, Lord.

An old friend of Willie’s (Dan Lee) said that it was miracle that Willie was standing there giving his testimony, as the man he is today. And Dan is right. It IS A MIRACLE – only something that God can make happen.

Thank you to my parents for your prayers and bringing us back to Jesus. How blessed we are to live a Christ-centred life in our family.

Thank you to our church, our family, our friends, who have all supported us in growing in Faith.

Today is THE MOST IMPORTANT day in our lives as we say, “Yes, I do” to follow Jesus and be redeemed.

***

The night before our Baptism day, we had been partying all day at a friend’s wedding.  To say that we were physically exhausted was an understatement.  We had been standing since 9am in the morning.  By the time we got home, we had been out for 14 hours and had spent the past 5 hours dancing.  Nonetheless, I got home full of excitement about my tomorrow.  My body was asking me to lie in bed and shut my eyes.  My heart told me something else. And that was to pray.

Literally, as I was lowering my head on my pillow halfway, I propelled myself up with all my core strength sitting upright on my bed and bowed my head in prayer, which sounded like this:

Dear God, I thank YOU.  I THANK YOU for guiding me along throughout my years. Me… so undeserving…yet You continue to pour your unconditional love onto me.  You sent Your only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for us.  He  who carried the weight of all of our sins…I can’t even imagine.  Lord, it brings tears to my eyes just to have to think for a moment if my own child had to be nailed on the cross after hours of torture.  Yet you allowed this to happen to your son, your righteous son, purposely.  So that we may be redeemed.  So that we may have a relationship with you again.  Ah…Lord, I kneel at your feet and ask for your forgiveness.  I thank You for giving me the opportunity to be redeemed.  Tomorrow, may You pour the Holy Spirit through me.  May you pour the Holy Spirit through the hearts and bodies of all my friends and family who are there to witness my testimony and faith in You, Lord.  May You bless us with good weather for the ceremony.  May you give me strength as I deliver my testimony so that my non-believer friends find curiosity and seek You.  Lord God, please bless me with a good rest.  Please bless my baby (who is staying with my parents) with good rest so that we all wake afresh and be ready to soak in the Holy Spirit.  Lord, thank You…thank You…Just thank You.  In Jesus’ name…Amen.

***

I wake feeling refreshed. The narrow ray of sunshine seeped through the opening of my curtains.  As I pulled open the curtains, the ray widened and lit up my bedroom.  Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus, for great weather.

I dressed myself in the white outfit that I had chosen days in advance.  (I remember telling my mother excitedly about wearing this white ‘jumper/dress’ that we had bought together on our shopping spree in Hong Kong recently.  “It’s perfect, Mum!  It’ll be my first wear out of it..and a very special one.  And it’ll keep me warm.”  And my mum’s response? “You will look just like an angel.”  Those words I will never forget. Somehow, my mum’s reference to me being angelic made me giggle…I’m not sure how long ago it was since she last made any similar references. Ha!)

The boys had stayed the night with my parents and I remembered to give mum a call to see how Noah slept.

Unfortunately, he woke every hour during the night, the cheeky thing!” my mum said.  “Nooo….I’m so sorry, Mum.  I still hope you managed to get some rest!” I responded, wearing a level of guilt but full of appreciation. “I’ll be fine..don’t worry!”  Those were the quick exchange of words on the phone before I hung up and got on with freshening up for our big day. So, Jesus doesn’t always grant all wishes in prayers.  You just have to trust that all will be ok sometimes.

As we were about to drive off for church, Willie pulled over to the side a few doors down from our home.  He said, “Let us say a little prayer and be reminded of what today is about.”  And he did just that.

***

We arrived at Wesley International Congregation in Macquarie Park.  As expected, my parents had already arrived.  So had Krissy, our home manager, who had already gone to Black Star Pastry in Newtown to pick up the cake for our celebrations afterwards.

Fellow sisters who were also getting baptised that day; we all gathered together with Pastor Andy to say a little prayer and to run through the process of the baptism briefly.   It was during this time, almost all the others started tearing up and getting emotional while I could only feel excitement and smile.  I encouraged us all to embrace the ‘anxiety’ but not let that take over and that we should be overwhelmed with the feeling of ‘joy’.  And with this, we said ‘Amen’.

Our guests slowly started to roll in and were directed by the church ushers to the dedicated seating area.  How very happy I was to see all of those whom I had invited turn up.  I was overjoyed!

Here is what one of Willie’s old friends, Dan Lee, said,

I’ve known Willie for so long.  And seriously, it’s a miracle that he’s getting baptised today and being the man he is today…”  Indeed, only God makes miracles happen.

For those who know me, you would know of my battles through anxiety and depression; the challenges I have had to face through my teenage years with my mother, then my tormenting newly-wed issues that overlapped with the shock of young motherhood.

The torturous emotional confinement of an ambitious and liberal woman who was constantly struggling for freedom.  And then I met Jesus.  He gave me the ultimate liberation.

Knowing Jesus freed me from all of those things.  Those torturous years of pain and resentment were no longer.  The same way God forgave our sins, I learnt to forgive others.  To forgive myself.   As Willie and I both grew in our relationship with God, so did our relationship blossom.  Likewise, my relationships with my mum, with others were all mended and reconciled.  God is so gentle and loving.  He is faithful, indeed.

***

We gathered together for our baptism ceremony. I was second up, after Gloria.

It’s somewhat of a joke that, earlier, I was the one encouraging others not to cry, yet I ended up being the only one who barely held it together with my testimony. Something like this from memory. (I’m glad it was capture on video, although I’m not sure I want to watch myself crying!)

Firstly, I want to thank God for giving us His son Jesus to free us from sin.  I praise You, Lord. 
I have been in and out of church.  I have been a bad daughter, bad wife and maybe even a bad friend…yet Jesus still loves me.  His love has helped me through so much.  For those of you who know me, I have had ups and downs in my marriage and Jesus has helped us.

I want to say thank you to my friends who have come today to support me.  Thank you, to my parents (at this point, my tear ducts were uncontrollable).  I know they have waited for this day for a long time.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you to my aunties who have prayed for me. Thank you to all of mum’s church friends.

Thank you Jon Teo and Ka Mun for bringing us into WIC, into this family.  And thank you, Pastor Andy.

I think Andy said I’m supposed to have 2 minutes only and I have talked way passed that….and yes, I AM a social cryer…..so yeah, I’m ready.

I remember the moment that my head was immersed with water…the bubbling sound of the water in my ears.  As I rose out of the blow-up pool, from the cold water (yes, it was a cool day), my body was fresh. I felt cleansed.

Willie was up next and he delivered a quick speech that was also very powerful and I hope, inspired many others too.

***

After the ceremony, many came up to give me a ‘high five’.  I left a huge weight lift off my shoulders.  I felt renewed, freshened and full of energy.  The Holy Spirit was running through me.

Thank You, Jesus.

Of course, I always find reasons to celebrate.  And what better occasion than our baptism to do so!

We invited all our friends along to Yum Cha with our beautiful Rose and Watermelon Cake from Black Star Pastry.  This cake is just so amazing.  It bound our celebration with that unique and sweet touch.

With all of this, we say, ‘Hallelujah’!!.

I could go deeper into the meaning of Baptism but I’m sure it’s just a ‘Google’ away from millions of articles.  But if you’re reading this and you’re interested, I encourage you to do just that right now. Google ‘baptism meaning‘. 

    

Anthony & June’s Wedding | Centennial Park, Longrain, Fox Studios

A Yahoo! reunion, reminiscing good old days.  I had the honour of seeing good friends, Anthony and June walk down the aisle together.  Blessed with wonderful weather, good company from long-standing friendships built over our careers, great food, we saw the commitment of a very sweet couple.

Anthony has been a dear friend of mine.  Sorry, June.  Not to say you aren’t! But Ant and I have had our fair share of different ‘relationships’ with each other.  Ok, that sounds wrong!  So let me set this straight…

Ant and I met when he was my Account Manager from Sensis while I had just started my career in Digital at Starcom.  We then got recruited into Yahoo! to build their Search Marketing Agency business there about the same time, where we shared lots of laughs and the occasional colleagues-getting-frustrated-with-one-another moments.  He was one of the first to pick up about my not-so-secret pregnancy, the first to teach me a few things about investment, the first (together with June) to experience my son’s hospital-warranted injury!

I also saw how the beautiful June got scooped up by the charismatic Ant when she moved into our Yahoo! offices.

I’ve seen them grow from their lovey-dovey relationship to the strong married couple relationship they’ve had for a while.  Today was the icing on the cake.  To bind what they already have but officially.  To announce their union as one and complete.

And that’s what weddings are about.  As the Bible says, “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:22-24

Thank you for having us. We had the most amazing day…so much that we almost forgot we weren’t teenagers anymore and that we actually have to leave the dance floor to pick up something called….our children!

   

       

Jennifer Loiselle Cherry Perspex Earrings | www.jenniferloiselle.com

Who doesn’t want a pair of @jenniferloiselle ‘s Tutti Fruitt Earrings? Got my creative juices flowing in the office today with these delicious ‪#‎perspex‬ earrings. Thank you,‪#‎jenniferloiselle‬! I LOVE THEM!!!

Check them out at www.jenniferloiselle.com

Noah | 6 months old

In a blink of an eye, my little Michelin baby is on solids. He is no longer a newborn. He is a properly interacting human who knows the demands of survival and wants. 

This spoilt baby needs to be coddled. A lot. Well, is ‘need’ quite the right word to use? I’m not sure but he has certainly developed the ‘want’ to be coddled. This includes any time he is bored in his waking hours, he is hungry, he is tired and he is startled and stirring from his sleep. In short, he is high maintenance. 

Many would argue it is personality. And from the outlook, it may seem the case. However, as an avid believer and practitioner of military parenting, I believe we have just loosened our training with this one. We have simply just succumbed to every beckoning call of this Por Chop. We have given him his way. Whether we want to admit or not, we have spoilt him. No wonder he has no ability to keep himself entertained. No wonder he has lost the ability to self-settle. 

Why have we been so lenient with this one as compared with his older brother? Because we’ve realised how quickly this time will pass. We followed all the rules of the parenting books we read with Seth. And did it work? 

Sure, it did. In fact, it worked wonders. 

But no one mentioned that not only do you need a heart of steel, you will look back and only remember how your baby was left to cry in his cot to learn to self settle. You won’t really have any fond memories of smothering him with kisses and squeezing his fat thighs and holding him in his arms until he is so deep in his sleep that his mouth is open with drool dripping onto your arms. 

This time round, I didn’t want to miss out. I was not plagued with the fear of him not learning how to self-settle. Not to say that the thought of co-sleeping doesn’t give me the shivers. But the memories and the need to cherish these previous moments trumps all requirements to produce a disciplined child.

Surely, the older one will be able to teach the younger one when he grows up. No?

For now, that’s the idea anyways….

Happy 6 months, Noah!

So, what are the milestone achievements and what’s new this past month:

1. Started on home-made purées .  To alleviate the constipation problem Noah has, I have been purée-ing papaya in my Nutribullet and feeding him at 10.30am every day (between his 1st and 2nd) bottle feed. It has worked wonders. The poor boy has had bad spouts of constipation since being completely weaned onto formula. It could well be the Bellamy’s Organic formula causing this. We have persisted through for 2 months now to see if it was just a breastmilk-to-formula adjustment. Clearly it’s not. So, while the papaya is a good solution for extra fibre, I’m thinking of moving him to S26 Gold after this tin of formula is finished. His older brother never had this issue and he was on S26. Let’s see… More updates on the 7 month post.  

2. He started on juices. Yes, that is freshly squeezed and hand-strained, pulp-free orange juice. Thank goodness Navel oranges are in season. 

3. New nanny, caretaker – Miss K. Miss K is in love with Noah and I think vice versa. Miss K comes every weekday mornings to help with Noah and the general running of the household. Not only does this give me time to go back to work, it means I have extra bandwidth to spend more quality time with the boys and having a clean house. I am starting to think I should have married Miss K!  

4. Swimming with the neck floatie in the bathtub. This has become one of Noah’s favourite activities and frankly, mine too. It means that when Noah cannot settle himself at 12 midnight and I just need a break from holding a screaming baby in my arms, I can pop him into the bath with his neck floatie while I sit next to the bathtub with my phone and scroll through Instagram! A life saver (literally) for me! Check these neck floaties out! I know there has been a lot of controversy around them and whether they are safe etc. Personally, I think if your baby loves it and you are keeping an eye on him/her, it’s not different to putting him/her into a rocker! Sometimes desperate means calls for desperate measures.     

Mum loves you too much for your own good, Pork Chop!

   

  

Seth’s 6th Birthday | Chipmunks Playtown

I can’t believe it. 6 years already… Only moments ago, he was still squirming inside my oversized belly.  Only moments ago, I was making a Tiramisu for his 1st birthday.  Only moments ago, he started Kindy and went to school with his massive school bag. 

He’s turning 6. In a blink of an eye…..

As usual, it was last minute. But that’s my style. It always works out in the end. Son, you are so blessed. I hope you continue to have so many friends to invite to your party. 

I hope you had fun! Thank you Krissy for making it relatively easy. Thank you, Cristina for the amazing cake.  Thank you everyone who came to make it such a special day for Seth.





Reasons For Being Fit |Inspiration from FitizenOfInsanity

Inspired by fellow blogger, M, and her wonderful blog about her fitness journey, I decided to do the same.  Thank you, M from @FitizenOfInsanity , for your inspiration. 

I asked myself to dig deep and answer the question, ‘Why do I want to be fit?’ Is it purely for health reasons?  Or vanity?  Or setting a role model for my children? Or do I want to be inspiring other women?  The deeper I dug, the more uncomfortable I realised I started to feel.  Because I simply did not have a concrete answer!

I think it’s a mix of a few key things.  Some of which are for the wider benefits of staying healthy for longevity.  Some of which is for vanity (I mean, who doesn’t want to be ‘that hot mum’?, if I had to be really truthful.)   So, here’s my utterly honest list of reasons: 

 1.  VANITY 

I care about the way I look.  A LOT.  And that has started from a young age and whether my mother likes to hear it or not, she heavily shaped me in this regard.  “Don’t eat chocolate, baby.  It’s fat.”  (No, not that there is ‘too much sugar’.  It is just, ‘Fat’)  So, staying fit for me is a means to be able to live up to that social definition of ‘beauty’.  I admit it. 

 
2. TO ‘FEEL GOOD’ PERSONALLY 

Driven largely by point 1, over the years, I have conditioned myself that staying fit and healthy is a discipline and a constant achievement.  And for those who understand what I mean, you know it requires effort.  For me, being able to achieve that and live up to that standard is rewarding.  It makes me feel good.

3. FOR WIDER SOCIAL RECOGNITION 

Further to point 2, most would have to agree that staying fit requires dedication that, frankly, not every one can (or afford) to do.  And yes, when you can do it, it comes with a lot of applause.  I enjoy being applauded and the compliments.  Sometimes, even taking it so far as to setting myself goals and hanging them out on social media for the world to see so I cannot back down on my commitments; so that I cannot accept defeat. 

4. FOR LONGEVITY 

Notice how this is not point 1 when really it should be?  Now you know how messed up my priorities are.  I figure, if I fess up to it, it will give me a chance to change my focus.  How can you change or improve if you can’t self-reflect? 

 5. FOR STRENGTH 

Ok, this is a boring one.  But it’s true and should definitely sit higher on the list.   I exercise and eat well for mental and physical strength.  I am a mother of two and being able to carry my baby around and live a busy lifestyle, having strength is like oxygen to your lungs.  It is a must.  And exercising allows me to challenge my mental strength.  Think “Ok, one more burpee…just one more…and I’m done!” 

6. FOR THE CHALLENGE 

Just to elaborate more on point 5, it is for the mental challenge and discipline. 

 7. TO BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL TO MY TWO BOYS 

The same way my mother heavily shaped and influenced my ideas of what was healthy or not, I want to bring out all the positives of healthy living and fitness, and make a difference to my children’s lives.

8.  Just because…I LOVE IT 

Ok, I may not enjoy the actual process of circuit and resistance training as much as I do the results (Kayla, I’m sorry to say this). But hey, yoga?   I love it…just because.. I DO.  The same way you can’t articulate why you love your man. 

 So there.  I’ve opened my heart out.   There are some priorities I need to shuffle around, I know.  And 2015 is the year for it.

As part of achieving my fitness goals this year, here’s some motivation from Carrie Green, Founder of Female Entreprenuer Association.

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