Friday, October 31, 2008

Passion Fruit

I'm in a lazy mood, so I'll blog-hop later, OK? Just wanna share some more pics of our trip to Indo. When R2 first came to Indo in 2006 to marry me, we introduced him to jackfruit ("nangka" in Indonesian) and he fell deeply in love with it. He even said, "This is my candy!!!"

So my Mom remembered to buy him some when we were there.
Look how happy he was to be able to eat jackfruit again!!! ;-D

I pointed some durians at R2 in one supermarket, but he wasn't interested in trying it. I personally don't really like durians he he when I spotted passion fruit, I thought I'd introduce it to him, too!!!

When I split it open like this below pic, R2 was confused to see all those "seeds" inside HA HA HA HA HA...I could tell he was SO skeptical about this fruit. I told him how to eat it and then told him to try.

Here he was, trying it out...he said it was OK, though jackfruit was still FAR better than passion fruit hi hi hi hi...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pay Triple?

As you probably know, R2 and I went to Singapore for a few days in between our trip to Indo. After walking SO much for a few days, a day before we were supposed to fly back to Indo, we decided to find a massage place to have a full-body massage. After our WONDERFUL spa experience in Bali, having a full-body massage was something we wanted to have a relaxing massage for our sore body/legs/feet.

So we went to a mall in Singapore on a rainy Sunday afternoon and found this massage parlour there. There were two Chinese ladies there that barely spoke English to us, but we thought that it was fine since we didn't have to talk too much.

We were given separate booths since it was a small place (unlike the spa in Bali where we could lie down side by side) and we were told to take off our clothes and put on the disposable panties. Everything went well and the massage (we chose deep tissue massage) was EXCELLENT!!!

After a while (we lost track of time obviously since we were enjoying ourselves), the masseuse in Arttu's booth asked him something that was really unclear. I heard: "Half hour? Half hour? Hour?"

Since we couldn't really get it, we just said yes HA HA HA HA HA HA...I was thinking if she wanted to ask if we wanted half an hour massage or an hour massage. Anyway, so they kept on massaging us (we were first lying face down and then we were told to lie on our backs).

When everything was done, we dressed up and paid. There was a little bit of confusion when we were going to pay. At first I was going to pay for the both of us, but they wouldn't let me. They pointed at Arttu to pay on his own.


Weird, isn't it? Anyhow, turned out that we had to pay for a 1,5 hour full-body massage. So the question that one masseuse asked us was whether or not we wanted to PROLONG the massage!!! However, since we weren't aware of the time, we didn't think she was asking about such a question. Well, it was okay, though, since I think the total price was still worthwhile, considering their GREAT service!

After walking out of that place, however, Arttu giggled and said that the masseuse asked him something that he didn't understand. She tried again and again, but still he didn't understand. Then she pointed at his "thingie" and asked, "Pay triple?"

OF COURSE HE SAID NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Geeeeeeeeeeeeee...I was SO surprised since the place didn't look like the kind of place that offered such a plus-plus service!!! Oh dearrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...well, in the end it became our private joke, though. Sometimes we'd say to each other, "Triple price, dear?" LOL LOL LOL!!!

And this story made his brother and cousin laugh, too. I bet it's going to make my in-laws laugh, too, when we visit them this Saturday he he he he he...

The Pink Sisterhood

Janice and Shinade tagged me to do this meme about breast cancer. By all means, bring it on!!!

Ladies, do take note!

* One in eight women or 12.6% of all women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
* Breast cancer risk increases with age and every woman is at risk.
* Every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer.
* Seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over 50.
* Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 15 and 54, and the second cause of cancer death in women 55 to 74.
* Risks for breast cancer include a family history, atypical hyperplasia, early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), current use or use in the last ten years of oral contraceptives, and daily consumption of alcohol.
* Early detection of breast cancer, through monthly breast self-exam and particularly yearly mammography after age 40, offers the best chance for survival.
Facts taken from Women's Health

And now here is the tag and the rules:

. Put the logo in your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who shared it with you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Add your link to the list of participants below
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

PINK Sisterhood

1- Fara 2- Massy 3- N.O.Y 4- Mariuca 5- A Great Pleasure 6- LadyJava 7- Kim 8- Pink Thoughts 9- Turn-u-Off 10- Roxiticus Desperate Housewives 11- STAY AT HOME MOM 12- Fida Abbott 13- Also Mommy 14- Janice Ng 15- Juliana's Site 16- The Painted Veil 17- Amel's Realm

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Ken

Baby Ken arrived at the PERFECT timing for many reasons. I'll explain them all to you in this post. First of all, Arttu and I got to see the little bundle of joy 1,5 days before we were about to fly back to Finland.

On October 22nd at around 5.30 pm, we got a phone call from my SIL's father, saying that my SIL was taken to the hospital earlier and they told her to stay there. We didn't know much more about what was happening. So my Mom decided to go there. Since I was worried of her having to take a public transit alone, I decided to go along with her and I took Arttu as well. I was torn between leaving R2 at home or taking him with me, but he said he'd come.

About half an hour later, we arrived at the hospital and we could pop in to see my SIL who had an IV already by then. The doctor put her on an IV since her water broke at around 5 pm, but still no signs of contractions. So they had to make her start having contractions right away. When we got there, my brother was feeding her in the labour room. They told her to eat so that she could get enough strength to push.

So we waited in the waiting room in front of the labour room she was in. There were already my SIL's parents and younger brother. Not long after that, her aunt and uncle came by to wait, as well. The contractions started becoming steady at around 7 pm (she was 2 cm dilated by then). So started the hellish hours!!! At one point, I could hear her crying softly for a little while from outside. My Mom was SO worried about her already that she also cried and she started praying right then and there.

We waited and waited...and at around 8.45 pm, the nurse said that she was already 7 cm dilated. So we were sure that it wouldn't take until midnight before the baby was born. At around 9.30 pm, the doctor came in to assist the labour. The baby was born at 9.45 pm and my SIL only needed to push twice. She half-screamed on the first push, but then I heard nothing else (I was standing right in front of the room to listen to the progress). Then I heard a baby's cry HE HE HE HE HE HE...and everybody who was sitting in the waiting room came out and praised the Lord! ;-D

A while later, the nurse came out with the bundle of joy and she asked if we wanted to look at him. He was SOOOOO CUTEEEEEEEEEEEEE, even though he was still "damp" he he he...However, he looked so small, too! He was born 3.1 kgs, 51 cm tall.

I saw him sneeze while we were looking at him hi hi hi...then he was taken to the baby's room. A while later, my brother came out and we congratulated him. My SIL was still "being taken care of" inside. Only after some time could we get in to congratulate her. Her legs were still shaking slightly, but she was smiling so widely. She said she was hungry he he he he he...

Almost forgot...the doctor came out afterward and said, " many supporters!!!! Congratulations to all of you!" and then he shook hands with all of us he he he...

We were all SO glad that it went smoothly and fast!!! It's considered very fast, esp. for a first baby!!!

Anyway, another reason why the baby was born at perfect timing was that my brother had decided that the next day (October 23rd), before he found out that the baby was going to be born on October 22nd, he'd start taking his leave (he hadn't taken any leave this year). So that day, October 22nd, he went straight to the hospital from work and the next day he could stay by his wife's side without worrying about work he he he...

The other reason about the perfect timing is that the baby and the mother went back to my parents' house a day after Arttu and I went to Jakarta by bus to fly back to Finland. SO, my parents didn't have time to miss us too much since the baby would occupy so much of their time. Isn't that WONDERFUL????????

OK, now here are two pics of the baby. Unfortunately they're not too clear, esp. since he was put in that "warming box". He was feeling cold, so the doctor decided to put him in that warming box for a few days. (Note: My bro's promised to send more pics of Ken later on, so hopefully I'll get clear pics to share!)

Here's Ken's crib he he he...

And here's a short video clip R2 took of Ken. :-))))

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3BT: Random Days

Today is a special day since hubby did most of the house chores hi hi hi...

1. He took down all the dry laundry from the clothes lines in our bathroom.

2. He set the washing machine to work again to clean up our bed sheets.

3. He changed the bed sheets.

4. He folded the dry laundry and arranged them in our cabinets.

5. He cooked lasagna.

6. He washed all the dishes, including the ones I left behind yesterday HE HE HE HE HE...

Other than this list, I'm also GRATEFUL that I've received a very early b-day present from hubby's eldest brother and his family.

Pap Smear Result

It snowed a lot last night. Everything was white when we woke up in the morning. We still experience jet lag, so we woke up early again today. The snow melted somewhat as the temperature rose, but then it started to snow a little bit again in the afternoon. The ground is white now. Just the way I like it. The white, pristine snow makes everything brighter.

I called my gyno today to ask about the Pap Smear test result. It was SO hard to reach her. The line was always busy. I almost gave up, but finally the sixth time I got through. When she realized who I was, she started talking slowly in Finnish. BLESS HER!!! ---> This is one of the few times I HAD to make a phone call in Finnish, so it was GOOD practise for me!!!

She said that my Pap Smear result was OK. There was some slight "something", but nothing to be worried about. I didn't really get that one word, though. It might be discoloration or something else, but she said that I'd get the written result by mail later, so I didn't ask for more details.

Then I asked her when I could do the ultrasound. She asked if I was pregnant and I said no. I told her that we were trying to have a baby and I just wanted to make sure that I had no cyst or fibroid or other abnormalities (I asked my doctor friend and she said that to rule out cyst or fibroid, I needed to take an ultrasound). She then asked me if I had had any weird symptoms in the past or pain or any abnormal bleeding. I said no. Then she asked me how long we had been trying to conceive HI HI HI HI HI...I said "only a few months". She said it was too soon to do an ultrasound and that I should just wait until a year was passed by.

I think she might have thought that I was crazy or something ha ha ha ha...The thing is, in Indonesia, if you ask for an ultrasound, the gyno will definitely do it for you, even if you haven't tried to conceive for more than a year. A friend of mine did that on her 6th or 7th month of TTC (trying to conceive). Oh worries, then.

I still haven't tried finding a training place or asking back the library about the possibility of doing the training there as I still feel jet-lagged. I think I'll wait till Monday to do it.

This Saturday I'm going to visit my in-laws again as usual. My BIL said that we'd roast sausages there. YIIIPPPIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! ;-D

I sent SMS to my MIL on Sunday to tell her that we'd arrived safely and she was SO excited to have us visit her again HE HE HE HE HE HE...Had we lived nearby, I would have visited her sooner than this!!! Unfortunately with this weather and the fact that she lives 25 minutes away by car (no traffic, 25 straight minutes driving time!!!) made me unable to do so. Oh well...

Enough rambling!!! I'm trying to edit my videos to make them smaller and to convert the file types so that I can show you a video clip of my little nephew. Wait until I publish it!!! ;-D

Photos with Blogger Friends

As per Trinity's request, here are my pics with my blogger friends: Trinity and Blur Ting. Trinity and I met in Bandung. She picked me up and then we went to a mall to have lunch together with Cliff, her youngest son. She tried to take a picture of us, but Cliff wouldn't let her have the digital camera ha ha ha ha ha...and then the battery died, so here are the only two pictures of us.

THANK YOU for treating us in the resto, Trin!!! It was a pleasure to meet you and Cliff! ;-D

A funny thing happened when we were supposed to meet Blur Ting. She was coming to pick us up at our hotel (Metropolitan YMCA). I didn't realize that there was another YMCA hotel near Orchard Road, so when she rang me and told me that she was in front of the lobby already, we got out and looked around the small parking lot and found no one hi hi hi...Then when I told her the address, she said she had gone to another YMCA hotel. Silly me! I should have told her the address of our hotel!!!

But anyway, she found us just fine and she took us to her lovely apartment. I LOVE how she decorated her apartment and her bedroom is HUGE compared to ours he he he he he...Rusty was there, too, so we got to meet him. He's SO cute!!! ;-D Just look at him! That was Arttu's hand, by the way hi hi...

This first picture wasn't so successful since the guys, CH and Arttu, were looking elsewhere ha ha ha ha ha...but I want to show this picture since Rusty's in it he he...

Anyway, Blur Ting cooked us different types of dishes: Tom Yum soup, chicken curry, fried tofu filled with meat along with slices of fish, and shrimps. She even gave me some clothes and body lotion!!!

THANK YOU again for everything, BT and CH!!!
Would love to meet you again someday. CH even spent time to browse for some local shops online since Arttu wanted to buy some computer games and the address that he gave Arttu was really useful for us. ;-D

When I mentioned to Arttu that next time we could go back to Singapore, he said that we should probably just fly to Singapore first before arriving in Indo (or the other way around) so that we don't have to go back and forth from Bandung to Jakarta to catch the flight he he he...

OK, time for me to start my exercise regime again before I blog-hop. :-))) Taebo, here I comeeee!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Trip to Indo: The Beginning

It's hard to know which story I should tell you first, so let me just choose randomly, okay? While flying to Indo, I was gripped with intense anxiety. I was afraid that I'd be shocked about the heat and the traffic jams and everything would overwhelm me. Due to the long plane journey, my anxiety dissipated bit by bit.

It felt strange to be back in Bandung, since I felt as though I had never left it. I still remembered clearly the public transit routes (provided that they didn't change) and everything seemed familiar. Maybe it's because I only left the city for 1,5 years before I visited it back. Of course there were some changes about the city, but the most surprising thing was the HEAT. Prior to moving to Finland in March 2007, it wasn't at all THAT hot. Now Bandung has become FAR hotter than 1,5 years ago.

My Mom and her elder brother were waiting for us in one mall in Bandung when we arrived there. We took a bus from Cengkareng airport in Jakarta that dropped all the passengers in one of the malls I used to frequent while I still lived in Bandung, so my Mom didn't have to go all the way to Jakarta to pick me up. These days there are FAR more choices to go to Bandung from the airport. There are plenty of bus or car rental services every half an hour or so.

Anyway, Mom and my uncle hugged me when they saw me. :-D We went to a pizza resto first to buy pizza for Arttu, since he was hungry. I ate already on the way to Bandung. We talked about many things while waiting for the food. After that, my uncle took us to my parents' house and left right away. I hugged my smiling Dad when we got back home and talked with my brother and my SIL.

We unpacked right away since we had to get the souvenirs and chocolate out he he he...My Dad was happy to get the 2-in-1 chess station. Turns out that these days he often goes out for a walk in the morning to a nearby place and then he would play chess against some people there. Then he'd go back home at around 10 am to sleep. He sleeps a lot during the day and at around 2 am he'd wake up for a few hours before he goes back to sleep.

Arttu and I took a shower right away after that. My Mom wanted us to take a family picture at a photo studio, so one afternoon we went there together. Here are the pics:

This third picture is a picture of our family when we went to a mall with my Uncle (my parents have sold their car, so my Uncle helped me go around a bit with his car - BLESS HIM!!!). There we met his daughter and her family he he he...My Uncle is the one standing on the right behind my Mom.

OK, it's enough for now, I guess. I'm gonna watch movies with hubby now he he...To be continued tomorrow he he...

Survey: I Lost My Files!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Back Home

Just wanna let you all know that we arrived back home safely at around midnight last night. We were so dead tired already. It was such a long journey, especially since we were "stranded" in Bangkok airport for 10 hours nearing our sleep time in Indo, so we didn't have enough energy to do anything much for the first few hours. We tried finding some soft seats to lie down on. Unfortunately there were only hard metal seats to sleep on as all the soft seats were taken by sleeping travellers, so we took turns in taking a nap for about 1,5 hours.

The airport itself was MUCH MUCH better than the airport in Jakarta. It was MUCH cleaner and there were more restaurants, shops, and space. Impressive!!!

Anyway, in short, our trip was WONDERFUL!!! I got to meet Trinity in Bandung and also Blur Ting, her sons, and CH in Singapore (and I got to taste her delicious food - boy, she cooked SO much for all of us - her sons are LUCKY to have her!!!) ;-D

I also got to wait on my SIL when she was giving birth to her son on October 22nd. My brother went in to support right next to her. So I got to see my little nephew after all HE HE HE HE HE...;-D I'm an AUNT!!!

I still have PLENTY of stories to tell, but I need my rest first. I need to do so many things for tomorrow. I have to go find either a training place still or a work place and I have to report to the unemployment office and buy grocery. I'm going to tell you my holiday bit by bit. I still haven't had the energy to upload all the pics and video clips I've taken, so we'll see how it goes. Our bodies are still following Indonesian time, so we're still groggy. I'll catch up with you this week bit by bit, OK?

Hope you've all been fine and been sheltered by God's angels!!! Miss you all!!! THANK YOU for all of you who've visited my blog while I was away and for all my EC droppers. I'll return the favour once I'm well rested he he he...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Speed Warning + Camera

For some of you, these following two pics are a common sight. For an Indonesian girl like me, they're pretty interesting to see. Around downtown Sodankylä, there are no such a thing as a speed warning and speed camera. When we went to Southern Finland last July, we put on our GPS system and every now and then the female voice warned us, "Warning! Warning!" when we were about to come across the speed camera or when our speed was a little bit over the required speed.
First pic: here comes the warning sign that a speed camera is about to be seen not farther away from this spot.

Second pic: Here's the pic of the speed camera. If you're over the limit, it'll immediately take a picture of your car and then you'll get a bill about the speeding ticket later on in your mailbox. Ugh!!! No no no...a speeding ticket bill here costs around €160-180 if I'm not mistaken.YIKES!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Soul Guardian

As usual, this is just for fun he he he...let's share our results, shall we? Here's mine:

Mother Nature watches over you. You're wise and observant. You have a keen sense of people and are a dedicated worker. Your emotions can run wild and you may at times be controlling. Mother Nature is always there to protect you, though. Like a mother, Mother Nature is always holding your hand and will guide you through life. She will help you through life's obstacles. You may find yourself feeling unusually comfortable in the presence of nature.

This is the link to the test: Who Is Your Soul Guardian?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sugar Cube

Found out a while ago that our apartment building is called "Sugar Cube" or "Sokeripala" in Finnish. I read one of hubby's gaming buddy's message to him about "sokeripala" and I asked him what he meant. Imagine my surprise when I realized that he meant our apartment building. But it does make some sense, though. Take a look at this pic!

What do you think? Do you agree that it looks like sugar cube? HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This Song's Dedicated to Hubby

I just want to dedicate this song to my WONDERFULLY PATIENT hubby. He's been helping me in learning Finnish by correcting my mistakes and answering all my questions (sometimes they can be tough grammatical questions). I know he's my husband and he's supposed to help me, but I don't want to take it for granted. I LOVE the way he's been SO patient with me every step of the way. He's NEVER raised his voice at me. He always supports me in doing anything and he always lets me find my own way. He never forces me to do anything I don't want to. He often does loving things for me even though I don't ask him to.

The longer I live with him, the more I realize that he's truly the one and only for me...
Honey, this song is for you...listen carefully to the lyrics of this song 'coz they are my words to you...

"I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Taken Young

During my university years, I had plenty of friends. One of them had a brother who was around 5 years younger than her. On the second year at the university, she decided that she wanted to move to Australia to further her studies there. She was already preparing for the student visa and everything. Her mother had a friend who had an Australian citizenship and the friend lived there, so she was ready to help my friend.

While preparing for the papers, her brother got sick. At first they thought that he had sprained his ankle or something since the pain started to come right after he played basketball. He was an active boy and back then he was in Junior High School. They took him to a Shinshe (traditional Chinese medicine man) to have a therapeutic massage and the Shinshe also gave him some medicine (herbal concoction or something).

The pain didn't dissipate. The massage was painful and he was always crying during the tough ordeal. After all, the boy was only about 14 or 15 years old. His condition didn't get any better. After a while, he even had to use walking sticks to help him walk. The family decided to take him to a doctor and what they found out was really shocking.

He suffered from BONE CANCER!!! X-ray photos showed that the cancer had already eaten parts of his hip amount of massage therapies could help. He was treated in a hospital for a while and the family fasted and prayed for a miracle. My friend lost A LOT of weight during these agonizing months.

As her friends, my friends and I visited her brother at the hospital, but we didn't even know what to say!!! We knew the condition was already so bad, so we knew it was hopeless unless God decided to give him a miraculous healing. When we were there, we didn't stay long since the brother was crying due to the pain. We almost couldn't bear to see him like that.

My friend's plan to move to Australia was postponed...and in the end it was cancelled when her brother died. Her parents didn't want her to leave, since she was all they've got left. It all happened so fast...I think in less than a year God took him away. Maybe it was for the best so that he didn't suffer too long.

We went to the mortuary to give our condolences and it was such a sad affair. The room was SO full of people: relatives, teachers, school friends. His classmates sang his fave song: "Rain and Tears". He loved playing that song with his guitar, so they said goodbye to him that way. I felt choked with tears...he was taken so young...

We'll never know when God takes away our loved ones...remember not to take them for granted. Life is SO precious...

P.S. Now my friend's gotten married in Indo and she's just given birth to a healthy baby boy. :-))))) One life taken, another life springs forth...the cycle of life...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Umbrella Test

HA HA HA HA...I hope it's right, but it's merely just for fun hi hi...

What Your Blue Umbrella Says About You

When faced with adversity, you can be counted on.

You rise to the occasion when things are tough, and you are very dependable.

You are cool and laid back. Everyone finds you easy to get along with.

You are a good communicator and conversationalist. People pour their hearts out to you.

On a rainy day: you should spend the day catching up with your closest friends

Monday, October 13, 2008

Effective Communication

We communicate every day with other people. Everybody says that communication is very important in any type of relationship, but just how effective is it

In order to carry on an effective communication, first you've gotta know yourself. If you don't know what you're feeling and why you're feeling something, how can you explain that to another person? 

I remember one time when my mother had unbearable pain on the back of her leg again, I decided to ask my brother to take her to a doctor since our car was left in a rented garage. I didn't have the heart to ask my Mom to walk to the rented garage and back home, since she was obviously in GREAT pain. My brother's motorcycle was at home, so I thought she could just get on it and go back home fast.

Since it all happened in a hurry, we forgot to tell my Dad, who was at the time at the side of the house. When my Mom got back home, he yelled, "What are you trying to do? Kill me by giving me a heart attack?"

Yep...he was angry because he was SO worried (and it was my fault too for not telling him about the situation), but he said it in a way that made my Mom felt bad!!! This is not a good example of effective communication. 

A good example of effective communication would be like this, "I feel this and this whenever you do such and such..." instead of saying "YOU make me feel such and such..."

So, let's try to be more aware of the words that come out of our mouths. Remember that words can make or break a person...and it can heal or jeopardise a relationship.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
- Anthony Robbins

“Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”
- Jim Rohn

Friday, October 10, 2008

Motorcycle + Emotional Quotient

In Indonesia, the legal age to drive a motorcycle is 17 years old. However, of course you can "get around law" and get a driver's license even when you're 15 years old. My brother and I went to the same Junior High School, but different High School. Dad used to take us to school until my brother got his own motorcycle.

At first my parents were going to let him get a driver's license when he was 15 years old, but then something happened that made them change their mind. My cousin, who was going 21 years old, died in a motorcycle accident a few months before my brother was going to get his driver's license. My cousin had just visited his girlfriend's house and since it was late already, he decided to speed up so that his mother wouldn't be too worried. Along one empty street there was this bump on the road and he didn't see it. Some witnesses saw his motorbike turn several times in the air before landing on the ground.

He hit his head so hard on the ground that he must've died in an instant. His whole body was intact, except for some blood coming out of his ear and a cut on his ear. It was such a devastating death, especially since the family had lost the father years back due to some illness. So the only ones left was the mother and the eldest son. (Now the son's gotten married and he has two kids already)

Anyway, that incident made my parents wait in giving my brother a driver's license. They thought that younger kids were more impressionable, so if somebody challenged them to speed or do something stupid, they were more likely to do it. So they told my brother to be patient and wait for two years.

He was patient enough to wait for two years and I must say that until now (and I hope until forever) he's never had an accident. It's tough to know how much trust and responsibility you should give to your kids, since sometimes every child is different in the process of growing up. My Mom says that a parent should get to know the kids' character and deal with (or approach) the kids according to their different personalities.

I'm not a parent yet, so I'm just trying to gather all the important lessons from other mothers and parents. One thing I heard from my friend Michelle rang VERY true to me. She said something along this line, "Education is important, but it's not everything. What matters most for me is that my kids have a BALANCED life (she means that they have a good Emotional Quotient). They need love."--- Btw, if you wanna know your EQ, click on the link and do the test. My result was average hi hi hi hi hi...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Spelling Test + How I See the World

Your Common Spelling Mistake Score: 90% Correct

Your spelling is excellent.

You don't fall for common spelling pitfalls, and you spell almost everything correctly.

You See the World Through Blue Colored Glasses

You live your life with tranquility. You have faith that things will work themselves out with time.

You judge all your interactions through the lens of hope. You try to get all the facts before forming your opinion.

You face challenges with wisdom. You know that all bad things pass, and you have the confidence to see problems through.

You see love as the utmost expression of trust. Your relationships tend to be peaceful and stable.

At your worst, you can be cool, melancholy, and detached. You sometimes have to step back from emotionally charged situations.

You are at your happiest when you are able to reflect and relax.

Monday, October 06, 2008

An Irony About "Outer Beauty"

Sometimes I wonder why we're so obsessed with our looks that it becomes simply ironic in some ways. Most people in Indonesia think that "fairer" skin is better than darker skin. Here in Finland I've NEVER found any skin whitening products, whereas in Indonesia there are so many different kinds. I've got a friend whose mother is a doctor in a village in Central Java and one time a patient came with a serious skin problem. What was wrong with her? She used too much skin whitening products that her skin was so irritated, yet she still didn't want to stop using those products even after the doctor said that she should.

What is "outer beauty"? It's such a relative term with such relative "requirements". Fair skin, dark skin, voluptuous body, model-like body, long hair, short hair, big chest, small chest, big butt, small butt...the list goes on.

My Thai friend who's got dark skin once stayed in a B&B here in Sodankylä and one of the guests, a foreign woman, envied her skin SO much. She said to my Thai friend, "Your skin is SOOOOO beautiful! Where did you go to tan yourself up?"

She smiled happily. She said to me, "She didn't know that I didn't have to go to any tanning salons. This is my REAL skin colour!"

But it's not that easy to get rid of the "outer beauty idealism" that's been embedded in your mind, don't you think so? Why am I saying this?

Well, I went out with my Thai friend once to a clothes store here and there she tried on a nice top. It was checkered and the checkers were yellow and white. It looked GREAT on her, so I told her so. She wasn't sure about buying it since she said, "But it makes my skin look darker, doesn't it?"

Ahhhhh...I understand fully where that thought was coming from. She decided to think about it, but the next day she finally bought it and I'm GLAD she did!!! And she put it on right away to show it off to her husband. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!

I LOVE celebrating victories when other people embrace their own unique beauties. It feels liberating.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Farewell, Until We Meet Again!

Hubby got back home at around 2 pm with a sore body since he went bowling and floorball (it's called "sähly" in Finnish). Late last night I decided to clean up the place. Great exercise before I slept ha ha ha ha ha...

Now I just need to make sure that I don't forget anything. I still need to burn a CD for my brother so that my family can see all the latest pics of this place and of us.

Tomorrow we'll probably leave our place at around 11 am to catch the 1.45 pm plane in Rovaniemi (it takes 1,5 hours to drive there). We'll spend a night in Helsinki and then on Tuesday afternoon we'll fly to Indonesia. We'll arrive in Jakarta on October 8th at around 2 pm and hopefully we'll be in Bandung already at the latest at 7 pm he he he...

Well, take care, everybody!!! To all my EC droppers, I'll make it up to you when I'm back, okay? To my Singaporean blogger friends, SEE YAAAAAAAAAAA in Singapore soon he he he he he he he he he he he he...

I can't waitttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *jumping up and down*

Saturday, October 04, 2008

3BT: Random Days

1. Having warm-hearted in-laws that always accept me as who I am and they never make me feel like a stranger. They never get involved in our affairs and they always accept our visits lovingly and warmly. I LOVE the homey atmosphere I always feel when I'm there. The house is never filled with angry voices or criticism. Instead, it's filled with laughter and comfort.

2. Having a hubby that never raises his voice at me. This morning before he left for his trip (I was still sleeping - BLESS him for accepting me for who I am!!!), he left me a love note. It's been a while since he did that and I was secretly hoping that I'd get one this morning...and I DID!!!!!! HURRAHHHH!!! ;-D

3. A few times hubby warmed my foot up with his big hand (my shoe size is only 35-36) when he realizes that it's rather cold. Mmmmm...I LOVE it when he does things for me when I don't ask him to do!!!

4. My own family (my parents and brother and his wife) always support me. My Mom even supported our going to Singapore even though that meant that our time together in Bandung would be shorter. What would I do without them, without her?

5. Found out from Mom when I called her yesterday that my brother's wife's Dad has volunteered to take us to one mall in Bandung at around 4 am later on to catch the bus to go Cengkareng Airport when it's time for us to go to Singapore. He's not even my Dad, but he volunteers to do it for us???????? GOD BLESS THAT MAN AND HIS FAMILY!!! My brother's LUCKY to have in-laws like that!!!

6. Missing hubby. It is good that he's away like this for one tomorrow I can run to the door and shower him with kisses and wag my tail HE HE HE hE HE HE HE...

7. Hearing birds chirping loudly outside this morning. The sound was so loud and clear.

8. Excitement to meet my family, my friends, and (hopefully) my Singaporean blogger friends SOON HO HO HO HO HO HO...And excitement to eat Asian food again, of course. Yum yummmm...Foodvaganza, here I come!!!!!!!!!! ----> The other day when I was rather stressed, I didn't feel excited, I just wanted to stare at the floor all day and do nothing hi hi hi...that's why I count "excitement" as a beautiful thing he he...

9. Sauna on a cold night (it was 0'C already yesterday when we got back from Kelujärvi).

10. Since it was already so cold, the sky shown beautiful pink color near the horizon...mmm...I LOVE staring at that type of sky. Wish someday I could capture the moment with my camera, though photos won't do any justice to its beauty.

11. Anticipating some kind of spa activity either in Bandung or Singapore. OH OH OH I MISS having a massage!!! Especially a side-by-side massage with hubby ho ho ho ho ho...

Pap Smear in Indo

Judging by the comments on my Pap Smear test post, I should tell you something that may be shocking hi hi hi hi...In Indonesia, since Pap Smear isn't free, there aren't that many women who would volunteer to go for that kind of check-up.

Gyneacologists there also wouldn't really recommend to do the test on virgins (they suppose unmarried women are virgins since it's very impolite to assume otherwise), unless the patient insisted on it (I've heard of a virgin who insisted of being tested, so she must've been very sure about it so that the doctor finally gave in). My own mother has NEVER had a Pap Smear test in her entire life. She just doesn't want to do the whole thing and she says she just prays that nothing bad happens.

So yes, even until today women are still expected to marry as virgins there, even though I know these days there are less and less virgins there. Among my married friends who live in Indonesia, I've only heard one of them who's ever done Pap Smear test on her own free will.

In Indonesia, in everybody's mind, a Pap Smear test is "too gruesome" and "painful" to endure. That was what one friend told me (she has never had a Pap before even though she's had a kid), so I guess we can concur that most women in Indo think that way.

Today I'm home alone. Arttu has an office trip to Rovaniemi (bowling, etc.). My plan is just to take it easy and to watch "Sex and the City" he he he...Our suitcases are packed. The only thing we need to pack more neatly is the backpack and we also need to bring some more last minute details like toothbrush, my moisturizer, etc.

OK, time to blog-hop nowwwww...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pap Smear

WARNING: This post may contain graphic description!!!!!

Hubby could take some time from work to take me to the health care and pick me up. THANK YOU, Hubby!!! That's the good thing about living in a small village hi hi only takes a few minutes to go someplace to pick me up and then back to the office ho ho ho...

So, I was slightly anxious while sitting in the waiting room alone. I only had to wait for 5 minutes before the gyneacologist called me. Thank GOD it was a WOMAN he he he he he...So I came inside and she asked me a few questions, such as:

Where I was born
Whether hubby and I had sexual partners in the past
When my last period was
Whether I had taken this kind of test before
Whether I had a history of chlamydia etc.
Whether I had experienced bleeding before
Whether I had given birth before
Whether I had taken birth control pills before

Then when she found out it was my first Pap Smear, she said that I shouldn't worry as it wouldn't hurt. I would just feel something cool there. Okie dokie...Btw, when I didn't understand the question, she'd rephrase it for me, so she's a COOL gyneacologist!!! ;-D

So after taking down my history, she told me to undress though I could keep my socks on. Yes, thank you, doctor, I'd like to keep my socks on, please he he he he he...

Since I had to concentrate on my Finnish (listening and answering her questions) for the first 10 minutes, my anxiety and tension were gone. So, THANK GOD that Finnish managed to get rid of my anxiety HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

So I laid back on the examination chair, then she moved the chair a bit upward so that she could see clearly HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...Before she did anything, she would tell me first so I wouldn't be shocked. GOOD doctor!!! Plus she spoke SLOWLY so that I would understand HO HO HO HO...Bless her!!!

She also talked to me while taking samples, so I could focus on Finnish again hi hi hi hi...Well, first of all I felt something cool there and then some kind of tool to separate "the walls". I could feel her turning a knob so that the tool separated "the walls", then I felt some light probing and rubbing (when she took the sample with a Q-tip or something) several times. Nothing else.

The booklet I received stated that I might feel a slight pinch (like being bitten by an ant), but I didn't feel any kind of pain at all. It was done pretty quickly, so it was BETTER than I thought it would be he he he he he...The doctor said that there might be some slight spotting, but it wouldn't be dangerous. Well, until now there's no sign of spotting. ;-D

So that's that. I even managed to go to a clothes store and supermarket right after the test was done hi hi hi hi...

New Glasses at ZenniOptical

Hubby needs a new pair of glasses. I'm going to ask him to browse through the internet first to see how much they cost and then in Bandung we can also browse for some glasses to compare the prices. We all love to find good quality goods with affordable prices, right? Especially since global economic situation isn't too good. Thus we need to do some research first before deciding on buying anything.

For those of you who need a new pair of affordable eyeglasses, then search no more. ZenniOptical has launched new frames for you to choose, starting from $8. Isn't that a GREAT price for a pair of stylish single-vision frames with full UV protection, anti scratch coating, quality case, and full guarantee?

Browsing through their website is also very easy. They have put the categories on the left hand side, such as half rim frames, pure titanium, women's fashion, bifocal frames, and many more. It's definitely a one stop shopping place for affordable glasses!

Do you know that the ClarkHoward Show also recommends ZenniOptical? You can read what customers say about ZenniOptical here. Well, if I ever need a pair of eyeglasses, this is the pair that I like. Don't they look fabulous???


YESSSSSS!!!! Now the flight AND hotel room in Singapore are confirmed already. Phew!!! I feel a HUGE load off my shoulder, esp. because the hotel room is within our budget, so I don't have to cut off the budget for other things. (Yeah, I'm a budget freak ha ha...)

Now the excitement can risseeeeee again freely ha ha ha ha ha...

Last night I told Arttu, "Next time we do this kind of trip, I'll let YOU do all the research and booking and stuff."

He asked, "Why? I don't want to do that."

LOL LOL LOL!!! Yeah, right! Naughty babe!!! He deserves to be spanked HI HI HI HI HI...

This evening we're going to my in-laws for the last time before we fly to Indo. Arttu needs to change his tyres with winter tyres, since when we get back to Finland, it'll surely be the beginning of winter already. We're going to drive to Rovaniemi and leave the car in the airport car park.

Now we're ready to flyyyyyyyy awayyyyy...but before that, I have to go for my Pap Smear test this afternoon. I'll write about it when I get back ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Survey: Fall TV Series

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Under Stress

Do you work well under stress? I don't. I LOVE having plenty of time to prepare everything, so that if plan A doesn't work, then I have time to pick plan B or C or D he he he...

Browsing through the hotels and stuff online is a tough deal when you have a tight budget, especially when the rates on the online pages are sometimes in US dollars or Singaporean dollars and I have to calculate everything in Euros he he he he he...I've filled up a page with calculations, price comparisons, and reviews he he he he...

Why do we insist on going to Singapore when our holiday can be simpler if we stay in Bandung? Because it may be our last honeymoon before we have kids. That's why we'd better enjoy our holiday just in case. But that means that we have to be REALLY careful with the money we spend, especially since we're thinking of buying a new digital camera.

Yep, browsing through digital cameras was also tiring since I have to read so many reviews of different types of digital cameras and if possible I also had to compare the results of the photos some people had taken. I do enjoy research, though, if I'm not limited by time and budget HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI...

Wouldn't life be simpler if we had less and less and less wishes and wants????

This image below captures my mood perfectly:

I don't know why but I'm also tensed about coming back to Bandung. Weird. I should feel only excitement and elation, but I have this somewhat disturbing amount of tension that I can't explain. I just wish I could get this all over with by arriving in Bandung he he he...

OK, let me now think of calming thoughts and see calming pictures like this...