Friday, March 15, 2013

Happiness is...

Lately I've been finding less and less solid blocks of time (and energy) to be able to sit down in front of the computer to blog.

Even finding time to check and respond to emails and Facebook updates has been a challenge Though have to say that I'm getting more and more adept at typing on the teeny tiny little keypad on my phone (without resorting to throwing it against the wall whenever the autocorrect function tries to get too clever and presumptuous with me).

However I still wanted a place to journal all the special moments going on in my life. So I recently started a little project to try and snap photos of everyday moments of happiness.

I can't say this is a comprehensive photo journal of every single happy moment I encounter every day. Sometimes I simply forget to get out the camera. Sometimes I'm just so into the moment that I can't stop to snap a photo. Sometimes the moment is just too fleeting to be able to capture it.

But whenever I can, I try to snap a photo here and there, so I'll always have the evidence to remind myself that life is indeed Full of Happiness. It's a simple but sometimes very much needed reminder, especially when it can get difficult to look on the bright side of life.

Here are a few highlights from my project so far

Happiness is...
... The feeling of cool fresh grass on bare feet
... Receiving a bead bracelet made by my little boy especially for me
... Watching my boy slide down the big slide at the playground all by himself
... A water gun fight on a hot summer afternoon
... Listening to a live music performance by my  boys

That is happiness to me.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Moving into a new dimension

We’ve been going through a rather uncomfortable patch lately.

At our last 21-week ultrasound, some alarm bells were raised. What they found was a thicker than usual nuchal fold measurement on our baby. The nuchal fold is the tissue at the back of an unborn baby’s neck. A nuchal fold measurement above the normal range is seen as an indicator of an increased chance of the baby having a chromosomal defect – i.e. Down Syndrome.

We were referred to see a specialist to verify the measurements and provide further advice if needed. The earliest appointment they could give us was not until the following week. Until then, we were left sitting in limbo, which was not a very comfortable place to be in.

During that week of limbo, my mind was filled with a whirlwind of a million what-ifs. I kept most of those thoughts to myself because saying them out loud even in a whisper was too unbearable.

In the midst of that whirlwind, a few thoughts bubbled to the surface…

~~~

Having children takes courage. It’s stepping into the unknown. It’s leaving behind a familiar place to journey into a whole new dimension.

What is this new dimension like? I cannot explain it to you. People living in a two-dimensional world can never comprehend what a three-dimensional world is like until they are there.

You will see a whole different side to life that you could never have imagined before. But until you see with your own eyes, a three-dimensional world sounds like a pretty scary place.

Will you have what it takes to be able to step into a three-dimensional world? Well the funny thing is that once you take that first step, you will find that you DO have what it takes to take that step. And the next one. And the one after that.

And before you know it, you cannot imagine living in anything less than a three-dimensional world.

~~~

And so, those were some of the thoughts that came to mind, as I pondered over the possibility of having a special needs child.

What would living in a four-dimensional world be like?

 

P.S. We eventually managed to see the specialist who assured us that the situation turns out not to be as dire as what we imagined. Since the initial ultrasound, the nuchal fold measurement appears to have stabilised. We still need to go back for another review in a few weeks to see how things are tracking, but we are in a much better place at this point in time.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Snippets of old Jesselton town

Phew… it’s been getting harder and harder to find some time to sit in front of the computer for some personal time. Most of the time when I’m not working and running after Nathan, I just wish I could crawl into bed and stay there until I’m ready to pop.

But I would never miss my monthly date of story time with my parents.

Through this little project, my dad has discovered a huge network of long lost relatives in our family tree we had never known of before. It’s definitely been a very exciting journey.

I remember when we first started this project, my dad insisted that he had nothing much to write about. But since then, numerous stories and accounts have just been pouring out.

One account he wrote which I really enjoyed reading was this one about making a big trip from KK to Pulutan (Menggatal) to visit his grandmother. He likened the whole journey as being just like flying from KK to KL today. I cannot imagine what the contrast would be like for my kids in the future.

As I caught these little snippets on what KK and its surroundings was like in my father’s childhood days, it made me think back to one special day years ago when he took me for a walk around site of his childhood home to see what it was like.

~~~

I was maybe around 13 or 14 years old then. My dad and I happened to be out driving one day near the Signal Hill observatory. On a whim, my dad pulled over the car near one of the small off-roads along Jalan Istana. Back in his day it was known as Harrington Road.

The small road led into a what seemed to me like a jungle of trees and dense undergrowth of bushes. The path curved downwards and led us down into a little valley. In the clearing, we saw a few wooden houses scattered about, occupied primarily by some Filipino and Indonesian immigrants.

This was roughly the sight we saw that day on that little impromptu excursion;
Much of the hill site has been pulled down or eroded due to development…
On_the_top_of_the_land_viewSource: propwall.my

My dad pointed out the bearings around the area and showed me the little path that led further down toward the town centre, while I slapped the mosquitoes gathering thickly on my arms and legs.

Here is a snapshot of the typical scene would have greeted my dad’s eyes whenever he walked down to bustling and happening town of Jesselton in his boyhood days…

GayaPhoto Source: jesseltonhotel.com

My dad recounted how he and his brother and friends on rare occasions used to walk down the forest-covered path to the town centre to catch a movie at the old Capitol Cinema. James Bond, a.k.a. agent jilo-jilo-jeven was a big favourite even in those days!

But there was the odd occasion when they unwisely opted to watch an evening horror flick. After which they had to brave the harrowing walk through the dark jungle path to get home. With hearts beating wildly, they would tear through the dark and narrow path at top speed to escape the ghosties and ghoulies pursuing them from behind.

I laughed out loud as I pictured the funny sight of those boys tearing through that jungle path in hot pursuit by the ghosts and zombies of their imagination.

Imagine having to walk through the thick ‘jungle’ pictured on the
left side of the image below every time you want to get to town…
ap-australia-place1.jpgSource: beautifulkk.wordpress.com

As I looked around my jungle surroundings, I thought how glad I was that I was spared from having to brave dark jungle paths at night after a night out at the movies with friends.

~~~

To step further into the history pages, you can read the following stories recounted by my dad…

Paying a visit to grandmother’s kampung home

About my Kadazandusun great grandmother

The man who married a Dusun – Part 1 and Part 2

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