Thursday, July 31, 2014

Busy Busy Days

Been so busy with work and life. I'm actually PMSing at the moment and have been having trouble with my temper. I suppose with many more shifts and lots of hot days at work, I've been feeling sort of fed up with work and really looking forward to our holiday. 

A coworker has been signed off for a few weeks and then yesterday she resigned from work. I had a feeling already that she wouldn't stay long with us. I have no idea what she's having because here in Finland it's unethical to tell other people about stuff like this, whereas in Indonesia stuff like this is considered normal to share. I was wondering if I should ask her through FB or not, but not sure anymore now that she's decided to quit. Her decision to quit means that the rest of us gets more shifts, which is rather difficult for me to handle because I know my own limits and it's getting rather straining to me these days (and PMS doesn't help). I am thankful that I still have a job, but I know that if I work too much, I won't be able to do my best at work (i.e. serve with a genuine smile and be intentional when serving people - instead, I'd just be counting down the hours until I can come back home).

Anyway, while struggling with my temper through work yesterday, I saw this gorgeous little boy. I almost couldn't take my eyes off him. He was seriously one of the more gorgeous children that I had ever seen. I felt like he'd fit a baby commercial. He was that gorgeous. He was staring at me intently and I tried saying hi to entice a smile, but no smile came, though it still didn't spoil my enjoyment he he...

Last Saturday I went to a coworker's graduation party and had one bingo question. Because I had to come earlier to the party (much earlier than the official time), I was the first and only guest there and her mom was in a talkative mood. We talked about many things, but of course in the beginning it was introductory time.

Mom: "So, do you have kids?"
Me: "No."
Mom: "Ah, but you're still young..."
Me: (smile) "Nah, I'm not that young anymore."

Realizing I had rendered her speechless (a few awkward seconds ensued), I quickly added, "But that's fine."

To which she replied, "Oh, yes, that's definitely okay."

That's refreshing! :-D And then we continued talking about other stuff. A few days later I met that coworker at work and she thanked me for coming and apologized if her mother was too nosy. I told her that it was completely fine and that Indonesians were even much nosier than that.

Yesterday when I rode my bike from work, I met a regular customer who always tried to chit-chat with me at work (a grandma). We rode our bikes side-by-side for the first time ever (the first time we had time to talk like that outside of my workplace) and talked about different stuff (holiday, summer, etc.). And of course she started asking about myself. She actually thought my husband was an Indonesian as well he he he he...but she didn't ask me about kids, though. She just asked me about my parents and siblings and husband. And after those questions she said, "I hope I'm not too nosy. Feel free to stop me if you feel that I'm intruding your privacy."

It's a whole new world compared to what I'm used to in Indonesia. I've had many other customers who sheepishly asked for permission first before they started asking me private questions like those. Funny how cultures can be SO different. 

P.S. Oh yeah, the grandma also asked me how I met my husband and when I said the internet, she said, "Oh, maybe I should try to find a husband in the internet, as well. You know, give the grandkids a new grandpa." She laughed while saying that and it made me laugh, too he he he he...:-) Nice to have a good and light-hearted conversation.  

P.P.S. Oh yeah, almost forgot...I found this article written by a Christian couple. In case someone wants to read it, I'm going to put it on my sidebar as well:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


When I'm back in Indo later this year, I'll be signing a waiver. My brother has contacted a lawyer concerning this. When my mother dies, I'm not sure if I can go to Indo ASAP and to make things easier for my brother, it'll be more practical if I do this now when my mom's still alive. Besides, my brother who has two kids needs mom's inheritance more than me. My mom isn't rich, but the house and land that she owns (that they're living in at the moment) is worth quite some money because of its location.

Besides, it's not that I'm entitled to the inheritance anyway. After letting go of my Indonesian citizenship, I'm not entitled to any inheritance or to buying/having properties in Indonesia. However, because the bureaucracy in Indonesia can be quite messy, it's much better to have this kind of paperwork so that my brother won't have any trouble later on when my mom passes away.

When I got married, my mom gave me some of my childhood gifts from our relatives, such as a pair of gold earrings and a baby bracelet. She also gave me a necklace, a pair of earrings, and another antique bracelet. In the past I was holding on to them because I thought I could give them away to my own children as their inheritance, a piece of my mom's and my own history. When my brother got married, mom also gave his bride some jewelleries that she had kept for years.

Now that we don't have kids, I don't know anymore whom I should give those to. Or maybe I should just keep them in case I need some money in my old age - perhaps to cover the costs of my own funeral/cremation or something he he...

In Indonesia when a baby is born, some close relatives and close friends tend to give jewellery as a present. It doesn't matter even if the baby is a boy, because there are lots of gold baby jewelleries to choose from. I think the bottom line is that they want to give a long-lasting gift, which can also be sold later on if the parents need money. In Indonesia within the Chinese community there is no baby shower tradition (well, unless the mother is very modern and wants to copy this foreign tradition, that is). 

People usually come flocking to visit the baby soon after he/she is born, bringing gifts. And at least within the Chinese community, the parents need to give back to those gift-giving people after the baby turns 30 or 40 days old. In the past the parents would send a cake or some food (chicken) ordered from a bakery/restaurants. Imagine having to send a few hundred cakes. Time consuming and expensive, no? But then again imagine receiving hundreds of baby gifts. The more people you know (at work, church, etc.) and the more relatives you have, the more people will come to visit you and your baby in the hospital. (This trend also applies to weddings - it's really hard to have small weddings there because the relatives that you don't invite may feel left out if they aren't invited)

These days, though, there are people who opt to be more practical. They'd pre-order some thank you gifts (a mug, some towels, etc.) and when the baby's born, the orders are made right away and given to the guests that come and bring gifts at the hospital. The only problem with this kind of practicality is: what if the baby doesn't make it? I have NO idea. My brother did this with his second son and when I read my mom's SMS about it, I shuddered. I didn't say anything because I felt like it was morbid to even say the words, but after the baby was born safely, I told her what I thought about this new trend and my mom shuddered at the thought, as well.

Anyway, enough rambling. This is what I made the other day that I've posted in my main blog (click to view a bigger size). 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Baby Face Generator

Back in the days when we were still in the throes of TTC, I found a baby face generator online and had fun with it. The baby produced was kinda weird, but still when one is still in dreamland, it just feels like a fun thing to do. 

Note: I googled up "baby face generator" and found out that there were many more baby face generators these days and when I clicked on MorphThing, I couldn't help laughing because some people had combined crazy photos: for example Gollum with Marilyn Manson or Chewbacca with Christina Aguilera LOL LOL LOL!!!

OK, back to my point. Was talking to some ladies in an online forum and the thread made me realize something even more clearly. I just love these clarifying moments! :-D

You see, without actively searching for answers, I had always wondered why I didn't really feel any roller-coaster emotions when I saw my brother's baby photos or heard their stories or even when I came for a visit. On the contrary, when a close friend had her baby (the first biracial baby in my group of close friends), it was hard for me especially in the beginning. I knew that my friend's baby was/is more of a reminder of what we don't have, but my brain didn't really link this fact with my brother's kids. When I see my brother's kids, I don't see genetic reminders of what we've lost (which is probably good considering the fact that I don't have to battle any roller-coaster emotions whenever we meet). 

To me, it's so hard to imagine our possible children's faces. Only God knows what they could have looked like: more Asian? More Finnish? 50-50? Or if we could have had more than one child, maybe one could be more Asian and the other more Finnish (I've seen many different combinations of Asian kids with foreign spouses)? Both may look more Asian or both may look more Finnish? Or maybe both may look 50-50 with different genetic contributions from each of us? 

I remember one friend who had a hysterectomy (since the dating period she and the husband-to-be were already thinking of adopting children - yes, they want many children) tried that baby face generator and shared the result (I forgot whether it was in FB or her blog). There's just something primal about the wish to see one's own flesh-and-blood and your genetic resemblance with them, I suppose.

Case in point: another friend was upset when people kept saying that her firstborn looked exactly like daddy, making her feel that nobody could see her contribution. She was happy whenever some rare individuals said that they could see the resemblance between the baby and her.

Another case in point: a cousin has a foreign wife and they've just had their second baby boy. The wife put up her husband's baby photo side-by-side with the second baby's photo in FB and wrote, "Maybe our next baby will look like me." 

But don't worry, talking about this doesn't hurt (maybe it helps that I'm not having PMS). :-)

Anyway, I'm counting down until our holiday in Indo. My husband has already been using an app on his mobile phone that can do a countdown to our holiday he he he he he...Work has been rather busy because many coworkers are still on their holiday and one has just started her maternity leave. 

P.S. Have you ever tried this generator during TTC?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fight Flight or Freeze Mode

Another one I found on Brené Brown answering someone's question. The freeze mode is something I can totally relate to. Well, not just the freeze mode, but the other stuff she's saying as well he he...but I won't say too much. Just watch it: