Monday, 31 December 2012

2012: Thankful what happened... and what didn't!

This post first appeared as a guest post on The Gingerbread Mum blog.

2012: Thankful what happened... and what didn't!

This is the first time I've written a year end post recapping/summarising the year. I guess, usually, December is a busy time for me and I've never really gotten around to doing this. However, having now attempted this (albeit at the prompting of the lovely Gingerbread Mum), I think I shall make it a point to write such a post every year.

My problem is: I think too much. And I get all long windedy. Not very good. So! I have decided to write this in point form! Doing that usually helps to rein myself in... 


 For 2012, I'm thankful that...

#1: We didn't have to go to the hospital A&E this year!

Every since Isaac was born, he's had croup. And he seemed to have had a fixed quota to at least make us rush him to the hospital in the middle of the night with a croup attack - minimum once a year. The doctors at KKH tell us that it is a childhood condition and that he would outgrow it in time. We couldn't wait for that time to come. When the twins came along, we were afraid they'd get this condition as well - since Isaac was so prone to it. Our fears were not unfounded - the twins caught it and were hospitalised even before they turned 6 months old. Thankfully, the twins have since proved that they are made of stronger mettel dispite their smaller size (compared to Isaac at that same age) and they have not been having croup attacks. So, I'm happy to say that in 2012, we didn't have to make a trip to the hospital in the middle of the night due to the kids having breathing difficulty :) 

#2: Thankful for what didn't happen!

I'm thankful that my family and our loved ones didn't fall gravely ill this year, nor did we get contracted with any serious illness/es etc. My mother-in-law's lymphoma condition (which we found out last year) has also gone into remission after a successful course of chemotherapy treatments. We pray that the cancer goes away and never comes back again. My parents have been blessed with the oppotunity to go travelling very often after their retirement, and have been very blessed to be kept safe on all their journeys. Our Perth trip in October was also quite uneventful in that nothing traumatic happened to us, so we're glad. Currently, my sister's family and my parents are on the road (or in the air!) again. Different trips! Praying that we'd always be kept safe when travelling, be it in Singapore or abroad.

#3: I'm glad Asher has started eating and pooing!

Asher used to have 2 big problems. Eating and pooing. He wouldn't eat solids (only drink milk). And he wouldn't, no, couldn't poo. I guess they were sort of inter-related. But this year, he finally started eating solids. He had a "red spaghetti" phase - spaghetti with tomato-based sauce. Then he ate spaghetti plain, without sauce, and now, he eats spaghetti, any noodles, bee hoon, and even rice and soup. He has started to eat school food and can now take two servings during lunch where before he would only drink soup, or at most eat half a serving. In tandem with his eating, he also started to poo without problem. Having improvements in this area is a huge relieve for us!

#4: My First Games - my soon-to-be full time business!

I've been very busy with my sideline business venture: My First Games. I've just received news a few weeks back, that the HQ (of my current day job) may decide to close the Singapore office soon, in a bid to cut cost. Thus, I may be out of a job soon, like in January 2013. But I think that this is a divine sign for me to concentrate on My First Games as a full time occupation. So that's cool too. I've also been really blessed to be part of a wonderful group of women known as the Singapore Mom Bloggers.They've been really supportive of My First Games in trying out our games, and writing reviews etc. There are also many other mumpreneurs within this group, and we they constantly inspire me and spur me on to persevere.Virtual support from these people is very real! :)

#5: Hubbs is going back to school!

For the past three and a half years, hubbs (who used to be a secondary school teacher) was seconded to Ministry of Education HQ to be the HQ liaison officer for a co-curricular activity. Come January 2013 - he'd be going back to school to teach again! I'm thankful he had this chance to be in HQ for these past few years. It came at the time when we had the twins - the flexibility of time this posting afforded him was really invaluable for the past few years. Now, hubbs gets to go back to teaching - something which he has a passion for, and misses dearly. Just praying that the new school will not be too crazy and demanding that he'd need to work late every day.
I guess that's it. The 5 major groups of things that we're thankful for this year. May 2013 be an even better year than 2012! :) Here are the Spidey Tans of the Tan Family Chronicles wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Trivia Thursday: Isaac the big kor kor

For today's Tan Family Trivia - let me share something with you that I just found out myself. Last week, we went to the childcare to have our yearly tea sessions with the school teachers, about the year coming up. The school organises these yearly to tell us their syllabus, what they'd be doing, what we should be expecting etc. We were talking to Teacher Rev, who would be Isaac's teacher in K2 next year. She also happened to be Asher & Shawna's teacher last year, when they first started childcare. So she was telling me that...
August 2011 - Asher & Shawna's first day in childcare
More than a year ago, in August 2011, Asher & Shawna started attending childcare. They were 19 months old. During the twins' first few weeks in childcare, Isaac would constantly come to their class to keep them company, whenever he could - when he didn't have any lessons on. In the beginnning, the teachers allowed him to do so, since the twins needed to adjust and having their big brother there was a big help.

However, after a week or so, they decided that he should stop doing so as it was disruptive to both classes. So Isaac resorted to coming to the the twins' class during nap time to nap with them. Seeing as the teachers just stopped him from coming when the twins were awake, they also allowed this for awhile...

Then, they decided that it should stop too. So, Isaac had no choice, he could only stand outside the twins' classroom, and look in on his siblings during nap time, with tears in his eyes...

*giggles* hehehe I can't help it. I'm giggling away (with tears of laughter in my eyes) as I type this. So sweeeeet, right? This is the trivia I just heard from Teacher Rev. I knew about all that happened before - but not about the "tears in his eyes" part ;)

My sweet Isaac! He has grown to be a good big brother and as much as he sometimes quarrel and fight with Asher and Shawna, he also loves them and takes care of them. The three of them also play very well together :) I hope they keep it up!


Tan Family Chronicles

Friday, 7 December 2012

Asher the Chocoholic

Look what I saw yesterday on my Facebook feed? Chocolate!!! They looked so delicious I resisted the tempatation to pop down to the nearest convenience stall to grab a few bars of these! My friend Evelyn has the same thought as I did: If only we could pluck chocolate out of the picture to eat! That would be fabulous! And that reminded me...
Picture from Geek Culture - Name them all and be a Chocolate Geek! :p

Do you know who's a chocoholic like me? It's Asher! Shawna and Isaac both like to eat chocolate as well, but the one that reeeaally appreciates chocolate and can eat it for meals is, without a doubt, Asher. 

Asher has always been a picky eater, and when he was young, he refused to eat solids at all. He would refuse porridge of all consistencies, refuse noodles and pasta of all shapes and sizes, refuse breads of all make and texture - he just didn't open his mouth. We got desperate at times and tried to force food into his mouth - and he would either spit them out, or gag on them.

At first, we thought:"Oh, he's still young! Haven't learn to eat solids yet." But by the time he was 18 months old and Shawna was eating rice and noodles with gusto - we knew the "he's still young" excuse couldn't really hold. Then we started worrying that he had some kind of "condition" that causes him to gag and have trouble swallowing solids.

My mum wondered whether it's because his teeth were too small. But we put him beside Shawna and saw that their teeth were roughly the same size. So, scratch that. Then my sister asked whether his tongue was "stuck to the bottom of his mouth" - but, no, when he cries or laugh we can see his tongue waggling well, and he can stick out his tongue as long as Shawna can. So, nope. Tough luck being a twin, buddy!  You ain't pulling wool over our eyes!
Asher & Shawna, my Little Twin Suckers, I mean Stars - Little Twin Stars @ 17 months old
Last year, in June 2011, we visited Perth, Australia. Asher and Shawna both went on a food strike as there weren't familiar with the food and environment there - we tried cooking porridge/rice/noodles but they wouldn't eat. This is quite usual for Asher, but not so for Shawna. At that time, they were both still breastfeeding, and so they depended on me for sole sustenance for the whole of the 10 days we were there. They were 17 months old. They sucked me dry, really.

So, it was actually in the Perth 2011 trip that the twins ate chocolate for the very first time in their lives. My cousin Yew Hui was trying to pacify Asher to ensure that he would remain seated in the carseat during the long drives - so she fed him the chocolate pastelles that they sold at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. And then we realised, that Asher had no trouble chewing and swallowing chocolate. He ate them at lightning speed. We have never seen Asher eating anything that fast before! We tried giving him bigger chunks of chocolate, and chocolate cake, chocolate muffins, chocolate cookies... and it confirmed our suspicions - Asher had no problem chewing and swallowing solids! Oh! The little tike!!!

And hence the chocoholic was born.

Back in Singapore, Asher continued to refuse all other solids and only drank my milk for sustenance. We were trying to wean the twins off my breast and so we tried to introduce formula milk, which they did take a little of. Shawna decided one day to stop drinking from me, and so she self-weaned herself. Now, Asher had both breasts to himself, making him one happy boy indeed. On weekends, we decided to give Asher a bit of practice eating solids, so we allowed him his chocolate fix of chocolates and chocolate cake etc... Thankfully, we slowly managed to transit him to solid food thereafter... and his food fads... well, I will leave that for another post.
Cheeky Asher the Chocoholic! @ 33 months
So that's cheeky Asher, our Chocoholic boy. We do not allow the kids to eat chocolate or other candy very often, though. Coz it is heaty and they have a tendency to start coughing if they eat too much of it. So, most of the time, they'd get to eat chocolate say once a week, or even two weeks or more, if they have been coughing. Not very often.

One day, in the morning while we were getting ready to leave the house for school and work, I saw Asher, walking, and while he walked, his left hand pulled open the pocket on his shirt, while his right hand reached in and plucked out an imaginary item and he popped this imaginary item into his mouth! He then started moving his mouth in a chewing motion...

Me: "Asher? What are you eating?"
Asher:"Chocolate."

I was stunned. And started laughing. 

Me:"Oooh, looks good. Can I have some chocolate too?"
Asher:"Sure!" 

And he reached into his pocket, picked out another chunk of imaginary chocolate, and fed it into my open mouth. He then took another piece, and popped it into his own mouth, happily chewing... and walked away.

I was giggling to myself and went to find hubbs to tell him about it. Suddenly, I had a pang in my heart. Was I too strict in not giving him the chocolate he so loves often enough? So much so that he had to pretend to eat chocolate?! So poor thing! But then, too much chocolate is really not too good, so I'm glad he found his own way to eat chocolate! Ah, my clever chocoholic Asher! :)

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CatchFortyWinks

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Trivia Thursday

Sorry for disappearing for a couple of weeks like that. Christmas is approaching, so I've been busy with both personal and business stuff. And, no, I didn't disappear coz I didn't have anything to write. On the contrary, I tend to be quite long-winded in my blogging such that I sometimes take quite awhile to churn out a post. Hence the "I've so much to do that I better prioritise." - and unfortunately, blogging takes a backseat to a lot of other stuff. So... that's where I've been...

So, this morning, while in the shower, I was trying to think of interesting stuff to write about which would make a short post, and then it hit me! You know how you have these random bits of information that floats in your head - not that important to make a hooha about but interesting enough to bring up in a conversation with a friend for a laugh? Well, I have lots of those floating about. And the thing about such random facts is, it will not be critically alarming if I forget the information, but yet, I would much prefer to remember it.

Thus, TRIVIA THURSDAY is born! I shall attempt to share a trivia every other Thursday, starting from today. And I invite the good women of Singapore Mom Bloggers and any other blogger on earth (or any other planet which manages to connect to us - by wifi? :p) To join me in sharing interesting trivia of their lives. Everyone has a story to share! Share yours! No matter how trivial it is! :)

Tan Family Chronicles


Now for the inaugural bit of trivia...

Do you know I actually went live on radio before? It was about 2 years ago, on Gold 90.5 when Maggie and Hamish were hosting the morning show together. They posed this question to their listeners:"Why do hotdog sausages come in packs of 10 when hotdog buns come in packs of 8?"

I smsed in my answer:"It's a conspiracy by the sellers to make consumers buy more packs of hotdog buns and sausages. Because, in order to buy the exact same number of sausages and buns, you need to buy at least 4 packs of sausages (4 x 10 sausages per pack = 40) and 5 packs of buns (5 x 8 buns per pack = 40)! Lowest common denominator theory!"

Maggie and Hamish were so amused by my answer that they called me and ask if I would go on air with them to tell listeners my answer :)

Now... what's YOUR trivia?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Halloween 2012

We celebrated Halloween last night! Well, not that we really celebrated the event, I think it would have been more appropriate to say that we joined in the fun. My sister lives in a development which has a high proportion of western expatriates. Hence the residents celebrate it en masse, and everyone just joins in the fun.
Shawna in the elephant suit; Asher as Incredible Hulk and Isaac the Ironman!
This is Isaac's 3rd time joining in the fun, and he remembered the fun he had the last two rounds, so he was looking forward to this indeed. He requested an Ironman costume which we managed to throw together without too much trouble - thanks to a Ironman mask printable I found online. Asher got to be the green Incredible Hulk and I found an Elmo face mask for Shawna - but she chose to wear the elephant suit instead. She looked very cute in it, but it was sweltering hot to be in it. Before the night was done, we had to take her out of the suit before she had a heat stroke.
Look at the crowds and the house decor! This year was actually more toned down than previous years coz it was a working day. The residents were all very game and stocked up on candy to give out to the kids.
There were the usual vampires, ghosts, mummies, witches and wizards. But there were also pumpkins, pirates, a grim reaper, bumblebee, spiderman, etc... but the best and favourite costume we all liked best - was the washing machine and laundry basket (see above)! So cute, ain't it?! :)

We got Isaac to don his costume and pose for some pictures coz I wanted to take him in his costume showing off the gloves we dyed for him. He said:"Mummy, I don't need to smile because you cannot see my mouth." Hahaha. yes, indeed! That's my Ironman for you!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

We built these lanterns!

Yet another long overdue post: about the lanterns we built for the Mid-Autumn Festival this year. Didn't have time to post this before coz it took place just before our trip. But I wanna show you what we made!!! :)

The kids came home and told us that it was a school assignment for them to make a lantern. I said:"Oh, you want ang pow paper is it? No problem, Mummy got lots of ang pow paper for you to take to school..." But Isaac said:"No, Mummy, no need to bring ang pow paper to school. We just make the lantern and bring the lantern to school, can already!" I see!

Inspired by one of the Singapore Mom Bloggers - Hai Fang's wonderful creations here and here - we set out to build some lanterns. Ours weren't as well-executed as Hai Fang's ones were - partly coz I was too lazy to paint the lanterns (confess that I am rather afraid of the mess paint creates). Nevertheless, I pledge myself to try harder next year! hahaha...
Our plane and space shuttle. The plane looks more like a bird, though!
So we had the two lanterns above for Isaac and Shawna. What about Asher? He loves the colour green, and I had this green tea can that I was itching to make a craft out of. So I made a lantern of it, and this is what Asher got to bring to school to hand in.
So we did the rush jobs above over one night, just so that the kids could bring something to school to hand in, right? But I wasn't exactly pleased about the standard of the lanterns that turned out. So I started tinkering around, and did the following one made out of three takeaway food carriers joined together. Found the pink and red gauze/ribbons and added that to give it some colour. Ended up tying up the ribbons to give the lantern more stability. Looked great with the candle lit up!

Super simple lantern - but looks the most like a 'traditional' lantern, yah?
 I had so much fun making the can lantern, that I made another one. Also, this is for Isaac coz he requested for one of his own in red, one of his favourite colours! It's very easy to make as well - just use a regular penknife to cut some crosses, and using a pen (and then your fingers), push the flaps in. This ensures that the edges are not sharp too. The big window in the can (so that we can put in the candle, as well as for ventilation), is made by cutting a squarish U shape.  Roll up the piece and tuck it into the can. Leave a margin on the other three sides and fold them into the can - again, ensuring that there are no sharp edges to hurt anyone.

This is not an ad for Coca Cola.
Our flight to Perth was on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival. So here we are, below, playing with the lit lanterns, before it was time for us to go to the airport. We didn't get to light up the plane and the space shuttle that night as they were still in display in the kids' school. I had to make the 100plus can lantern coz Isaac twisted off the tab on the top of the coke can, so we couldn't "hang" it!
The can lantern looks better 'in person' than it turned out in the pix it was stationary in. So i twisted the rubber band it was suspended on, and made the can spin when I took the pictures, so that you can see the light in the pictures of the can above.

I think the can lantern would make a great lighting piece for like garden furniture, ya know, if you wanna sit out for a cuppa wine or ice-cream! :) Romantic lighting, recycling style! :)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

My precocious Shawna!

Shawna has always been quite precocious for her age, since she was born. Then again, perhaps this only appears to be so because she has a twin brother, Asher, that she inevitably always gets 'compared' with. We do not intentionally "compare" them all the time, we simply like to observe the similarities and differences in them. You know, the old nature versus nurture study - yes, we like to 'study' them! haha!

Shawna @ 2 years 8 months | September 2012
So, just last night, I was at our friendly local mall that's just right beside the train station I drop off at, picking up a few stuff for our last minute attempt to make Isaac his Halloween costume (he requested Ironman!), and I called home, to ask hubbs if there was anything else he wanted me to get...

Me:"Hello?"
Shawna:"Mummy!"
Me:"Hi Shawna!"
Shawna:"Mummy, kor kor wants kaya!"
Me:"Oh okay! Is Papa there?"
Shawna:"Papa!!!"

So I spoke to hubbs and apparently Isaac wants to eat his favourite kaya waffle from Prima Deli, which we allow him to - provided he finishes his main meal first. I walked to the Prima Deli and realise it's closed for renovations. So I called home again - to let hubbs know to tell Isaac that it's not available. Isaac is the sort that you have to pre-empt and warn, failing which he will throw a huge tantrum. But if we "warn" him about it, he will be okay.

Me:"Hello?"
Shawna:"Mummy! Kor kor wants to eat kaya!"
Me:"Yes, I know! But can you tell Papa that the shop that sells kaya is closed for renovations?"
Shawna:"Oh! Papa! No more kaya!"

I burst out laughing. I was amazed that she could decode my lengthy sentence and summarised it to the bare essence - very succinct too, I might add! You might be wondering why I would speak like that to a 2 and half year old child. Well, I've always believed that one shouldn't talk down to children. Also, I wanted to see if she could repeat the word "renovations" - I know if Asher was the one who picked up the phone, he would have attempted to repeat my entire statement to hubbs, and probably do it perfectly.

That's the difference, in this aspect, between Asher and Shawna. Asher's diction and ability to repeat and parrot is top notch. He can speak very well in that sense. But he doesn't necessarily understand what he is saying. Now, Shawna is different, her diction and pronunciation is not as clear as Asher's - but her level of understanding, is much higher.

Interesting huh. Stay tuned on more on my 'study' on twins! :)

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Stranger Danger Safety Education

So, as you know, we just came back from our Perth trip not too long ago. We had a fantastic time - didn't chalk up visits to tonnes of tourist attractions - but we spent lotsa time with just each other, and family and friends living in Perth. That made the trip faboo, in our books!

However, being the paranoid Pam I am... (*That Pam-I-Am, that Pam-I-Am! Oh!!! That Paranoid Pam-I-Am*)

Before the trip, I said many quick prayers (whenever these worries cross my mind) for our safety while overseas. It's always a little unsettling to leave home, albeit for a holiday. I would worry about losing the kids, or meeting with terrorists on the plane... etc. Not totally unfounded, right? Considering we are two adults travelling with three kids, and terrorists, well there can be terrorists and mad people any where. Besides, planes can malfunction even without the aid of terrorists...
The hits and misses of self-taken pictures! My Isaac and I - October 2012
In any case, rather than just worrying about it, I decided that I needed to try to educate the kids as best as I could, Stranger Danger and that sorta stuff. The twins may be slightly too young to really understand what I am saying, but Isaac should understand fine. It never hurts to start educating the kids about such stuff this early, and so I started to...

Me:"Isaac, when we are in Australia, or even in Singapore, when we go out, you must always stick close to Mummy and Papa okay. Don't wander off."
Isaac:"What is 'wander'?"
Me:"Walk off. Don't walk off without us. Don't suddenly stop."
Isaac:"But sometimes my shoe come out, that's why I stop."
Me:"It's okay, then you tell us you need to stop, then we will stop to let you wear your shoe properly. It is not safe to suddenly stop. In places where there are lots of people, you can easily get lost and separated from us."
Isaac:"Okay. "
Me:"Oh, also, you cannot any how follow other people ah. You can only follow Mummy and Papa. Even if someone tell you they are Mummy and Papa's friends and tell you to follow them - you cannot."
Isaac:"You mean they are telling lies?"
Me:"Yes! Exactly! You are right! They are telling lies! These bad people, they tell you lies to bluff you and make you follow them and go with them. But they will catch you and take you away. So you should not listen to them."
Isaac:"Oh, adults can tell lies?"
Me:"Yes, these bad strangers can tell lies. You know what is stranger, right?"
Isaac:"People we don't know?"
Me:"That's right. So if people you don't know, suddenly catch you, hold you very tight like that. You must scream and shout very loud ok. Say "You are not my Mummy!" or "You are not my Papa! Help help!" Then I allow you to beat the stranger, kick him, scratch him, bite him, poke his eyes."
Isaac:"I know I be like a ninja and hiah hiah hiah him! Chop him and kick him!"
Me:"Yes! That's right! Cannot let them take you away! And cannot let him change your clothes or cut your hair, you understand? Cannot! 
Isaac:"Why they want to change my clothes and cut my hair?"
Me:"They do that so that we cannot recognise you, then we cannot find you. We love you, so we will definitely be looking for you coz we don't want to lose you. But these bad people dont want us to find you, so they may try this trick to change your clothes and cut your hair."
Isaac:"Oh okay."
Me:"Oh and you must take care of your brother and sister ah! If you see a stranger talking to them, or want to take them away or catch them, you must shout for us also."
Isaac:"Okay, I will protect them!"
Me:"Yes, very good. You're a good kor kor. Oh, and you also know, right? That you cannot take and eat sweets or chocolates that strangers give."
Isaac:"Yes, the policeman come our school say cannot. But why cannot?"
Me:"That's right. Because sometime these sweets they give you got bad things inside that will give you a stomachache or make you sleep - then they take you away. Not good."

I thought this was enough for one sitting. At another time, I approached a different topic...

Me:"Isaac, in school, now, who bathe you?"
Isaac:"Teacher S turn on the water, but I bathe myself"
Me:"Oh, so you soap yourself and wash your backside and kookoo bird yourself?"
Isaac:"Yes, I wash myself."
Me:"Okay good. So ah, Mummy tell you ah, you cannot any how let people see or touch your penis or your backside, you understand."
Isaac:"Yes, understand."
Me:"If outside, got people say to you 'Little boy, can I see your penis, please?' what must you say?" I asked him, as I shook my head. He took my cue and said
Isaac:"Cannot."
Me:"Yah! Cannot! Even though he said 'Please' also cannot, understand."
Isaac:"Understand."
Me:"What if he say 'Little boy, you so good boy, if you let me see your kookoo bird, I give you chocolate.' Can or not?"
Isaac:"Cannot..."
Me:"That's right! Cannot!"
Isaac:"Mummy can I have some chocolate please?"
Me:"That's right! If you want chocolate or sweets, you ask from us; cannot take from strangers, understand."
Isaac:"Yes, understand."

And I hope that he really understands what I am trying to knock into him. Just over the weekend, while standing in a queue at the Ikea cashier counter, I took the opportunity to teach Isaac my mobile number and managed to successfully get him to memorise my number. This is partially in preparation for the planning for my next lessons: I want him to learn to recognise cashiers and information counters in shops and shopping centres, so that if he ever gets lost, he will go to such points to seek help. 

When we came back to Singapore safe and sound, I said many quick silent prayers (whether the thought strikes me), to thank the good Lord in blessing us on our trip. Thank goodness nothing untoward happened to us!

Linking up with SANses's Talkative Thursdays SANses.com's Talkative Thursdays

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A train, a train!

"A train! A train! Would you, could you, on a train?"

Don't think dirty, please. The line above is from a children's book by a very renowned author, and talking about eating weird coloured food. So no dirty thoughts there... :p Brownie points for you if you know which book the quote came from! :)

Do you remember this post on how we made our own cars? Well, I thought the cars would also make good carriages of a train! So on the night of the KidsRead Make Cars Day, when I had the three cars that the kids made that night, I transformed it into a train!
How to attach the bottle bottom to the first carriage? I just cut slits into the carriage, and slid the slots of the top bottle in. The connections were really easily done too - just cut an X into the bottle, tie a knot in the rope and push it through. The 'rope' is actually saved from paper bags that had deteriorated and was going into the bin - but I usually save the handles coz they come in handy ;)
So after it is done, you can paint it, or paste paper, or whatever. This one above has masking tape plastered all over it. I wanted to varnish it, to give it an antiqued look. This masking-tape-varnish-antique was a craft that we did way back when I was in Secondary school. But I couldn't find any varnish at home, and the train has been this way ever since :p

Try making your train today! :)


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Monday, 15 October 2012

A Day in the Life of Playful Pamela!

This Day In A Life (DIAL) guest-post I wrote first appeared here :) Read more DIAL posts by more than 12 mums collated in links over at the Day In A Life series by Mum in the Making!

When Justina first approached me to contribute to this new series that she was hosting, I thought it'd be fun. What I didn't expect was that I had to consciously remember to take pictures to chronicle the day! So below is a post on what happens on an average weekday of my life, consisting of a compilation of photos taken across several average weekdays.


Of the three children, Shawna is usually the one who wakes up first, at approximately 6.45am. After snuggling up to me for ten minutes or so, she will go out and "order milk" from our helper. I.e. she will ask our helper to make milk for Asher and herself, and she will patiently wait for the milk and bring the bottles into the bedroom. This is how I steal another 5 minutes of shut-eye :p
After the twins finish their milk (while I check my phone for Facebook updates that were chalked up over the night), they proceed to give their older brother Isaac a wake up call... They will try asking him nicely to wake up, followed by nudging, then pushing, then climbing on him to wake him up. Once Isaac is up, the three of them start tumbling around together amid my cries of "Please be gentle with each other!!!"
Shawna would be the first to get changed, followed by Isaac. Asher tends to drag it out a little and be the last to get changed. While hubbs and I bathe and get dressed, we tell the kids to entertain themselves by reading. Isaac would either pick a book he wants to read and start reading it, or the twins would pick a book and ask their elder brother to read it to them.
Next, dressing Asher! Usually, either hubbs or I would have to haul Asher off to the next room, and pass him to our helper for her to help dress him. On quite a few days, he would simply refuse to change. Shawna, despite the fact that she is the youngest of the three kids, acts like the Big Sister and would chase after Asher with a set of his uniform, asking him to change. Asher usually obliges her, and allows her to help him wear his pants (top two pix) even though he is well capable of putting it on himself. Nowadays, Shawna even does up the buttons for Asher. He is always patient and quietly waits for her to be done.
It's 8.15am and we're at the void deck (with all our bags and stuff) waiting for hubbs to drive down the car from the multi-storey carpark. Every day, Asher & Shawna would follow hubbs to the carpark to drive the car down. Hubbs would wind down the windows and as he drives down the storeys, every time the car window faces our direction, the kids would shout "HELLO!!!" through the windows. Isaac and I would wait at the void deck. Some days we play "What's the time, Mr Wolf?", sometimes we talk and chit chat about what he did in school or about his friends. When he is smiley and in a good mood, we'd take pictures of ourselves!

Hubbs drop me off at the nearby MRT station before driving the kids to school. I take the train to work and it is about 9:15am by the time I walk to my office building. Glad to have missed the bulk of office crowd who must have rushed to get in before 9.

9.30am at my desk, booting up the computer, switching on the radio... I have my coffee in a large over-sized mug which was given to us on our wedding day by hubbs' students (yes, he's a teacher!)... After breakfast, work begins!

12 noon - Lunch time! Colleagues and I love this salad place not far from our office. It's not exactly cheap, each bowl of salad above costs between $10 to $12.50. But salads in this area all cost that much so, we don't have much choice. That's my salad at the bottom of the picture consisting of: spinach leaves, poached chicken, broccolli, sweet corn, raisins, feta cheese, mushrooms, boiled egg and cashew nuts, with honey mustard sauce. $10!
It's 8pm and the kids are having their dinner at home. We have this Little Tikes bench (which the Chanders gave us two Christmases ago) that would comfortably sit 2 kids on each side of the table, but no, on some days (such as this) they would insist on all squeezing at one side.

After dinner we play boardgames! Usually hubbs and I would "divide and conquer", meaning, he will take the twins and play with them a game, and I will play a game with Isaac, or vice versa. This is because they each have their favourite games of the moment, since games are usually age-appropriate at that young age. So the games which Asher & Shawna would like would usually be too simple and not challenging enough for Isaac. Occasionally, we do play games together, all five of us. Games suitable for this are usually dexterity based, like Toc Toc Woodman, which is a recent favourite.

Occasionally, the boys have war games! When this happens, I will either play another board game with Shawna, or we will go in to read books together. This is where I get my personal bonding time with my daughter while the boys play with Papa.

When it's late and time to sleep, we make sure the kids keep the games and toys before we troop off to the bedroom for milk (the twins) and story time! Hubbs is in charge of reading Chinese books, whilst the English books are my department! :) When we are done with the books, it's time to brush teeth, off lights, and off to sleep!

So that's it! A day in the life of... Pamela! :)

Liked this DIAL (Day In A Life) post? Read more DIAL posts by more than 12 mums collated in links over at the Day In A Life series by Mum in the Making!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Our bags are packed...

Our bags are packed, we're ready to go... back to Australia! This picture above was us in Perth in June 2010. And we're going again. Got family there, so we're there to catch up with them.

Now, don't go robbing my house. We have alerted all our neighbours to watch out for us. And my parents and in laws are conducting spot checks. So, you have been warned.

Paranoid Pam signing out. Wish us luck for the flight :p

Thursday, 27 September 2012

5 years on: How motherhood has changed me

Guest-posting on Mum in the Making - How motherhood has changed me! (This post first appeared here - as part of the Month of Motherhood series hosted by Mum in the Making)

Ever since I started blogging - which, incidentally, is when I became a mother - I have always wanted to write a blog post on how motherhood has changed me. Somehow, the post never got done. And through the years (more than 5 years now, wow!), the mental list of ways in which motherhood changed me just kept getting longer.

I shall not talk about how my girth has enlarged and fitness level dropped. Nor what a waste it is that I am not into tattooing since I now have so much real estate for tattooing on my thighs and butt. Neither shall I talk about how my shoe-size has increased by one size, or that I now wear my wedding and engagement rings on a chain around my neck as they can no longer get pass the knuckle (and fats) on my fingers...

Instead, I shall tell you about how motherhood has made me into one big paranoid scaredy-cat.

Before motherhood, I was this garang, dare-devil tomboy who enjoyed thrilling activities like canyoning and sky-diving; relished watching macabre movies (Saw!!! zombie movies!) and tv shows on gruesome crime (CSI); reading and collecting books on famous serial killers...

Today, while I am still game to go on crazy roller coaster rides like the Battlestar Galactica at the Universal Studios Singapore which I very much enjoyed - I now, tend to vere towards "safer" thrilling activities like say the luge or a long water slide - essentially, something which will not potentially be fatal. I confess, that, as I sat in the suspended Cylon ride carriage, I actually said a silent prayer as the ride started. Suddenly, all the newspaper reports of how the Battlestar Galactica ride was delayed before the theme park opened due to a ride carriage falling off during one of its test runs flashed past my eyes. "This could be the day I die." I thought to myself, thanking God that hubbs wasn't on the ride with me, so that, *touch*wood* if anything happened to me on this ride, he'd still be around to take care of the kids.
The Gloucester Tree in Pemberton, Australia.
The first time I consciously realised that I was now afraid of taking part in activities which were potentially fatal, was when Isaac was about 22 months old on our holiday to Perth, Australia with him for the first time. We were in Pemberton to see its climbing trees - trees you could climb coz they inserted metal rods into the tree for you to climb up. The Gloucester Tree was 61 metres high, and you could climb all the way to the treehouse built at the top of it, just like climbing a ladder. The rungs were about a feet apart, plenty of space for someone to slip through. But I'm sure no one has died there yet, but still.  My cousins and hubbs - all climbed the tree all the way to the top of the 61m high tree. Me, I just climbed a few rungs to have the picture taken. I didn't even consider climbing it, it was out of the question.

There and then, looking after the kids while waiting for hubbs and my cousins to climb up and come back down, I realised that I refused to climb because I felt that I was unnecessarily endangering my life. What if I died? Isaac would have no milk to drink (I was still breastfeeding then). I have responsibilities now. I am a mother. What would my child do without me? I realised that the pre-mummy me, would have been one of the first to have climbed up that tree. Suddenly, I was glad that we had an exciting honeymoon in New Zealand where we did canyoning, white water rafting, sky-diving etc... activities which I am not sure I will partake in now.

While I still have a macabre interest in serial killers, I don't read about it much now. Because when I do, my heart aches for the victims and their families. I'd imagine how heartbroken I'd be if those children killed were my own. The same goes for true crime reports or tv shows like Crime Watch and CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). I never used to feel this deeply for the victims before I became a mother. I was more interested in the methods the serial killers used to do away their victims with - twisted, I know!

Also, perhaps because I have read so much about so many serial killers. I know all the tricks they employed to help them successfully capture the children and women they have killed... Gives me the creeps now! and I start to formulate lesson plans in which I would warn my children to watch out for suspicious characters, and how to fight back and protect themselves should anything untoward happen. 

Is that a nice old man? No! It may be another Albert Fish! What about that funny clown? Urrgh, that could be John Wayne Gacy's protege! What about that nice couple there? That auntie and uncle is asking for help... wait! They could be another Brady & Hindley or even closer home Adrian Lim and wife! Oh the horrors! Not all dangerous people look as hedious, scary or as awful as all these mugshots too. Ted Bundy was a handsome fella - and he used his smiles to trick many a girl! The world is such a dangerous place!

I remind my eldest, Isaac, that he's only a little boy, so adults should not be asking him for help - a la Ted Bundy's little trick of asking people for help. I also role play with Isaac to teach him and warn him against anybody who might ask him for permission to view or touch his private parts.

My overactive imagination went into overdrive when, a few months back, reports were sprouting up everywhere about attempted kidnapping of children in Singapore. Eventually, police stated in reports that no kidnappings actually took place and that it was all a hoax. But frankly, I believe there is no smoke without a fire. Perhaps no actual kidnappings took place - because none were successful. But attempted kidnappings very likely took place, and the government is just trying to prevent a public panic when they issue statements that there were no kidnappings... Can you see Paranoid Pam at work?! In any case, at least the whole episode made parents more careful and cautious and not take the safety of their children for granted. And hubbs stopped saying that I was being silly when I insisted that the kids should not be allowed to play outside the restaurant, out of our sight...
I guess all this stems from me being the protective mother and all. Being a mother makes me appreciate all the sacrifices parents make for their children. It also makes me more likely to tear now, than before, when watching movies with touching scenes.

There is one movie scene which only made me tear after I became a mother. It was in The Incredibles, the animated film about a family with superhero powers. Remember the scene where the mother Elastigirl was with her two children, in a plane that was going to crash? She actually wrapped her entire body around her children to protect them from the blast of the aeroplane blowing up. Before I became a mother, I thought this was so cool, and cheered that the three of them were not hurt. After I became a mother, I teared, thinking that if I were to choose a superpower to have, this would be the super power I will choose, just so I can protect my children if and when such a need arises. I was moved to tears as I was so relieved that Elastigirl was able to save her children. I never thought I'd be so soppy!

So, 5 years on, these are some of the ways in which I had observed how motherhood changed me. It amuses me that motherhood would change me this way. I suspect there would be more to come :) and I must say, it's all not that bad either!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How Spidey Gal met Kermit Prince!

Unable to resist the call by June of MamaWearPapaShirt to share our love story, here I am to regale you with the story how hubbs and I met. We actually did a powerpoint slide of our story and screened it during our wedding church reception. It's in this post here, but *spoiler*alert* - you may wish to read this post below before viewing the powerpoint slides in the link given above.

How Spidey Gal met the Kermit Prince!


Hubbs and I first met, as in literally set eyes on each other, in year 2000. It was during a two day one night camp for children with physical disabilities organised by Happy Friends Club for the children of TeachMe.  I have been volunteering with Happy Friends Club since 1999, but this was hubbs' first time. Our jobs as volunteers were simple. Each Volunteer was paired with a child to take care of him/her for the duration of the camp. As the children were physically disabled, the volunteer: kid ratio was 1:1.

However, hubbs and I hardly spoke at all that first camp. I was still attached at that time, to my JC (junior college) boyfriend. Well it wasn't just me, he was attached at that time too. Hubbs is 7 years older than me, and hence was in the "Uncle" category, since I was still in uni at that time. He was unthinkably "too old" for me. Plus he was a serial smoker (bleeaauughh gross!!!). Point was: we didn't even give each other a second glance.

Happy Friends Club is a 100% volunteer basis, and we weren't paid at all. It was quite easy to commit because we only organised camps twice a year: during the June and the December holidays. Each camp would be a 2 day 1 night camp. Well, usually! So over the next few years, hubbs and I would see each other every 6 months, during the camps.

Then in 2002, we not only had the 2 camps for the kids, but also a Volunteer Camp for the volunteers only. We volunteers have come to be a close bunch of friends and we organised a trip for ourselves to go on a leisure cycling trip to Penggaran... so we saw each other a bit more that year. One of the kids' camps was an overseas one. For the first time ever, Happy Friends Club brought the kids out of Singapore, into Malacca. It was a trip with the MDAS (Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore) kids.

I was paired with a great kid named Isaac who was both autistic and had DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). One of my JC best friends PY was paired with Shalom, Isaac's younger brother, who also had DMD. As this was an overseas trip, the family of the kids came along. PY and I got on very well with the boys' family and we continued to keep in touch with them after the camp. A short while after the Malacca camp, Isaac's mum asked if I could see if any male volunteer wanted to give the boys tuition. J, a fellow Happy Friends Club member volunteered. It was a stroke of luck for PY and I that J stayed near us in the west, and had a car. So every week, we would follow him to the boys' house and play with the boys after tuition. Hubbs was one of J's best friends since their uni time, so he started to come along as well. Thus, the four of us started to hang out quite a bit since the tuition was a weekly affair.

By 2002, hubbs and I were both single. I don't know when exactly did hubbs start to see me as potential candidate for a girlfriend. But I know I didn't see him as a potential boyfriend candidate at all. Personality wise, he was a great guy. But he smoked a lot and drank a lot, not exactly traits that I liked. Plus he was still 7 years older, though the age gap didn't seem so wide now that I had graduated and was working. Oh and he was quite a ching chong fella, very different from the anglicised me.

Then in early 2003, hubbs started to find excuses to meet me individually, as opposed to meeting me with PY and J. It kinda helped (him!) that J & PY had gotten together as a couple in end 2002. So I didn't really suspect anything when he asked me out for dinner alone, asked me to help him correct his English on a project he was working on, asked to go catch a movie with him coz J wasn't free... Then suddenly, one day, I realised that I was meeting him almost every night the past two weeks. And I got suspicious, like "Does he like me THAT WAY?!"

I can't recall how I got the affirmation, but yes, he DID like me that way. I did a stock take again, and you know what? He had miraculously quit smoking completely and cut down on drinking by a lot. Those two points were the most negative thing about him and he effectively negated them. Years later, I asked him whether he quit smoking because he knew I didn't like smokers and he wanted me to be his girlfriend - he said no, he quit smoking coz he wanted to stop. But I think it was because of me. A person wouldn't smoke for 15 years up to a height of 2 packs a day, and suddenly stopped smoking without good reason. Yes, that's me, "good reason". hehehe...

Hubbs has a very kind and compassionate heart, a wonderful personality, a wide smile and a great sense of humour. Best of all, we had similar outlooks on life and most things in general. I knew he would make a great father with the kids I knew I wanted to have. And so I said yes, when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Despite the seven years gap, the receding hairline, the ah beng looks, and the damaged lungs and liver, I said yes. And I haven't regretted it one bit since. [See this story in pictures at Chapter Two in this post.]

Slightly more than a year after we got together, he proposed to me. I said yes, of course. It didn't feel too "fast", what with all the time we spent together. Both our parents were all smiles and agreed it was time we made plans to get married. We got married in 2005 - wanna see? :) Oh and you know what? PY & J got married in 2005 too, three weeks after we did :)


This year marks our 7th year anniversary as a wedded couple and our 9th year together. Despite the fact that hubbs hairline has receded even further, and SpideyGal has morphed into Miss Piggy, we know that we have been very blessed and we are very thankful for all that we have. May the good Lord bless us with many more good years to come! And to my dear Kermit Prince, thank you, too! *muakz* !

Linking up with Mama Wear Papa's Shirt beautiful linky:
mamawearpapashirt

Friday, 21 September 2012

Photo heart heart heart!


This is the first time we're joining in Photo Heart Fridays, and this is the perfect picture for it.

Earlier this week, I managed to catch this picture of Shawna buttoning Asher's buttons for him. He patiently sat down and let her do up his buttons. This was in fact the "second round". She did them up the first time, then we realised that she had misaligned the buttons. So I had to updo them, and she gamely did them all up again!

Being twins, Asher and Shawna have always been quite close. Even though they do fight at times, they are also very loving towards each other and they help and take care of each other quite a bit. Sometimes it happens so fast that it's quite tough to catch it 'on film'. But this one I managed to. Photo heart heart heart!!! :)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Why do I blog?


I have always enjoyed writing, ever since I was young. One of my first ambitions was to be a writer, like Enid Blyton. I thought she was very prolific, churning out tonnes of books in all genres.So at the tender age of 7, when I was enamoured of all Enid Blyton books, it was my dearest ambition then to be a writer. As such, since the advent of the internet age and websites like Blogger and Wordpress which made starting blogs a cinch, I wanted to start a blog. But, thanks to my well honed powers of procrastination, it simply didn't get started.

When I got pregnant with Isaac, I knew it was time to stop procrastinating, and time to start that blog. I had more reasons to start a blog now. Going through a pregnancy and having a baby are both life-changing events. They are events which have phases and are constantly changing and evolving. I wanted to remember each and every phase of these events. I remember asking colleagues stuff about their pregnancies, but they couldn't remember. "Too long ago" they said, "can't remember already". Then it struck me, I was going to forget too! My memory is horrendous! My ex-boss used to joke that my memory was so bad even before I had kids, that after I have kids, it'd be so bad, I'd forget my name. I wasn't THAT bad, but still...

Hence, essentially, the driving force behind my meticulous chronicling, is the fragility of my memory. I am afraid I'd forget.

I feel old, when I think back on the past 30 ought years of my life. I remember the joys of the good times, but I also remember the pains of the bad times. And often, the good is coloured by the bad - hurt tends to be recalled more sharply than the good, though, in time everything fades and is eventually forgotten. But I want to make sure that I don't forget the good things that have happened. I want to remember how sweet hubbs was in the early years of my marriage. I want to recall the smiley baby my Isaac was. I want to be able to recount and recollect the interactions between my toddler twins Asher & Shawna... I don't want to forget these!

I want to remember, that even though times can be hard, there were good times before, and that we can work towards a better future too. Sometimes, one tends to live so much in the present moment, that we forget the past, and don't see much of any future ahead. This is fine if you revel in the the present goodness - live the moment, ya know. But this is not good if the present is tough or hurtful. We don't want to wallow in  misery, that's not good at all.

I am so, not looking forward to my kids hitting puberty. Thinking back, I remember the puberty pains I went through, and I recall thinking at that time that I really hate my parents. I thought they were horrible, and that they didn't love me. Of course, looking back, I know that's not true, and it was really just growing pains and teenage angst that I went through. I can't help feeling that I'd get my retribution in a decade's time. I pray that my children will bestow on me only half (or less!) of the grief I heaped on my parents.

This blog is all part of that plan. I hope that in the dark times of puberty when my kids are wallowing in self-pity, thinking that their parents just want to make life difficult for them, they can read that we actually love them very much, since the day they were conceived. That we have their interests at heart, and that, it really doesn't matter if they don't top their class, or win the competition, or stick by their curfew all the time. That even though we may have disagreements with them, or how loudly we scream at them, we still love them very much.

But even if they don't read it, I will read it. And it will remind me, that despite the kids being difficult the way they are, that they are still my babies, the same babies that I love and will always love. And I hope that will calm me down, and let me center myself and allow me to compose and collect myself so that I can approach any problem I have with the kids in a more effective way. 

There is also that morbid part of me, that fears death. Or rather, that death would come too soon. Before my kids grow up, before I get to see them get married and have kids. And I fear that my kids would forget me. Forget me, and the love I have for them.

And so I write. I write so that I remember. I write, so that they will remember. I write, so that, when my children ask me about their childhood, I'd will not give some vague answer that ends with "So long ago, can't remember already.". Instead, I have the option of saying, "I can't recall the details, go look up the blog books."

This post is one of the carriages in the blog train hosted by Rachel of Catch Forty Winks. Fifteen mummies from Singapore Mom Bloggers will share with us their response on why they blog on this blog train. The Singapore Mom Bloggers are a lovely bunch of ladies I have gotten to know this past months. With them around to read my blog, I don't feel like I'm talking to myself anymore! :p They also inspire me to blog more often!


Next on this train!
Step into Adeline's world as she blogs about her encounters as a SAHM at THE ACCIDENTAL MOM BLOGGER {http://accidental-mom-blogger.blogspot.sg/} Amongst the many roles she undertakes, Adeline especially enjoys being the designated photographer and chef in the family. To keep herself sane from her mundane tasks, she also independently runs a blogshop at ADELINE'S LOFT {http://ade-loft.blogspot.sg/}, creating lifestyle jewelries for the past 7 years. Her passion was recognized by a local women lifestyle online magazine and was awarded for being an inspirational woman during International Women's Day in 2011.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Madness in August 2012!

August has always been a bit busy for us, what with Isaac's birthday and a public holiday on National Day. But this year, August was quite quite horrid for our family. The last time I remember us feeling this bad was almost two years ago in June 2010, when we all fell sick. This time, admittedly, wasn't as dire as it was two years ago - but maybe because I am personally affected this time round, that's why it hits me particularly hard..

It sort of started in July when a spate of Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) cases were taking place in the kids' childcare centre. By the end of July, the school was sending out emailers to parents, warning them of an impending compulsory closure of the school as the school had 17 cases of HFMD under its belt already. True enough, on the 6th of August, the 18th case was reported, and that triggered the order from the ministry to close the school for ten days. Hence school was closed for ten days, starting from 7th August.

Isaac's birthday fell on 6th August. We had already ordered a cake for him to celebrate in school with him. However, due to the recent spate of HFMD cases, the school no longer allowed parents to enter the centre. The teacher would organise the cake-cutting and the celebration for us. Isaac was very upset, but eventually had to accede to it - he didn't have a choice, really. That day, only 2 other classmates of his turned up in school. The rest either had HFMD, or had parents who were afraid that their kids would get HFMD if they went to school. Luckily the other K1 class had like 8 people so there was a decent 10 pax or so to celebrate with him.

6th August 2012, Monday
On the 6th August, since we weren't required, I went to work. My colleague V, noticed a cut/scratch of some sort above my left eyelid. I didn't even know I had that until she told me, and I checked it out in the mirror. I didn't know what it was. It looked like a minor scratch, or maybe a mosquito bite. I thought it was insignificant and would heal and fade away in no time. I was so wrong. By the end of the day, the eye was obviously starting to swell, and my lymph node near my left ear was swollen and sore. So I went to see the company doctor, a General Practitioner (GP). He said to look out for globules of water - could be shingles, he said. Yikes. He gave me a cream for the scratch/bite thingy and anti-biotics to bring down the swell of my lymphnodes.

7th August 2012, Tueday
My eye was swelling even worse than before and I was starting to have a headache as well. Vision still okay.

8th August 2012, Wednesday
My eye was so swollen, I could only open it for like 2mm. My headache became a fever as well. Vision normal. But because of the fever, and the fact that the swell has gotten worse, I went to see the GP again. This time, he told me to be on the lookout for blood clots over the long weekend, indicating that it could be dengue fever.

9th August 2012, Thursday. National Day.
My eye continued being swollen. I had fever the whole day, even after medication there still was fever. Thankfully no blood clots though.

10th August 2012, Friday
Fever continued, but started to go down by the evening. Also, miraculously, in the evening, the swell on my eye started to subside! yay, I thought! Maybe things were looking up!

11th August 2012, Saturday
No more fever, yay! Swell going down down down, yay! My eye white was red, and vision started to blur. Sob sob.

12th August 2012, Sunday
No fever, swell down. Eye red, vision blurrrr... SIGH

13th August 2012, Monday
No fever, hardly any swell, eye very red, vision blur like sotong. Went back to GP for a third time, this time, to get a referral letter to see an eye specialist.

14th August 2012, Tuesday
Saw the eye specialist, who also couldn't tell me what went wrong, nor why. He ordered some blood tests. Gave me this eye drop thingy to tame the severe inflammation in my eye.

This whole episode with my eye really threw me off-kilter. Even though I had only blur vision in one eye, it was very disorienting and disconcerting. I couldn't see properly, couldn't read my smses clearly, couldn't see my kids' faces in sharp focus - suddenly, I wondered if I'd go blind and not be able to see my grandkids next time :(

Thankfully, the eye got better after the visit to the specialist. The eye drops worked in halting the spread of the inflammation, and made it recede. By the next few days, most of the redness and inflammation was gone, but the blurred vision was still there. Doc says it's due to the eye drops he gave me, but that it would help with the healing.

And while I was having my eye problems... The kids' childcare centre had their 18th case of HFMD on the 6th August, and promptly started their ministry sanctioned 10 day compulsory closure beginning 7th August. Since the kids had no school, and I was on MC, hubbs took time off as well, and we brought the kids out. We figured we'd treat this period of time like a mini-holiday and make use of the time to spend time with the kids, and bring them out etc...

I didn't exactly enjoy this time coz of my eye problems. So, after 14th August, when I finally saw the eye specialist and the eye inflammation receded, I thought I could finally enjoy this time with the kids and hubbs... then, guess what?

15th August 2012, Wednesday
Isaac got the chicken pox!!! We saw the spots and brought him to the doctors who said it was 90% chance that it was chicken pox. The uncertain 10% was due to the fact that he didn't have a fever. But doctor says it most likely is, so... we are now confined to home! SIGH!!!

16th August 2012, Thursday
More and more spots popped up and Isaac complained about the itch all day.

17th August 2012, Friday
There seemed to be no more new spots, and Isaac stopped complaining about the itch - which means, not itching anymore? The spots also looked like it was drying up. We checked and realised that Isaac had taken one chicken pox jab before, so we figured it was because of that that Isaac didn't have many spots, no fever, and the spots dried up so quickly. Lucky break! We thought.

18th August 2012, Saturday
Isaac was fine all day. Ate a full packet of char siew rice for lunch. We watched movies (on our home theatre) in the afternoon, and then then suddenly, Isaac woke up from his afternoon nap, complaining that he couldn't breathe - he had a blocked nose, and that he had a headache. He was running a fever! After he took the fever medicine, he coughed some, and started vomiting! That night itself, he vomitted three times. Sigh. It was so odd that the fever came a few days later - so we guessed that it could be something else that Isaac picked up. From where though?! We were home bound!

19th August 2012, Sunday
Thankfully, Isaac's fever receded, and he stopped vomiting as well. We were afraid that the twins would pick up the chicken pox (though they had the jabs already) and/or the wierd fever/vomiting thingy. But they were fine. Phew!

20th August 2012, Monday
By this time, the kids were missing school, and frankly, hubbs and I missed the school as well. The 10 days compulsory closure has come to an end, but the school requested that we do not bring Asher & Shawna to school yet, even though they didn't have chicken pox. The theory being that they could be carriers and transmit Isaac's chicken pox germs to the rest of the kids in school... I don't blame the school for being cautious. They just closed for 10 days and certainly didn't want to go through another epidemic and have another round of closure. I didn't want us to be the ones to spark off the epidemic either! As such, we kept the kids away from school

21st to 26th August 2012
Other than the chicken pox spots which were starting to turn into scabs, Isaac was fine. Hubbs started to develop this hacking cough that had been plaguing him on and off these past two years. Isaac caught the cough from hubbs... and then, the twins caught the cough too...

27th August 2012, Monday
Marched the hubbs and the kids off to the doctor to get medicine for their cough. Isaac's scabs had also all fallen off. So we finally got the okay from the doctor, to send Isaac back to school. So the kids could go back to school too! yay!

Meanwhile, I was getting really busy coz we, My First Games had a booth at the ParentsWorld Magazine Exhibition at Expo, starting 31st August to 2nd September! It was our first time so I was kinda nervous, and did my best to prepare as best I could. More on the Expo experience in another post.

So yeah, August 2012 was madness for us. If you were wondering where we'd gone these past month plus, now you know! :)

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