Monday, March 30, 2009

Being ill again.

The son has fallen sick again. The ups and downs of a fever, the hacking cough at night, the cough until vomiting. He's really picking up a lot of germs at school. Heard that a couple of his classmates are sick too. One was even hospitalised.

My dear boy. Fortunately he seems pretty ok in the day. The fever only spiked at night. Same as the cough. One good thing is that he just loves his medicine. So no problem in giving him that. The bad thing is that I might have caught his bug too. Damn bone aching weariness.

It didn't help that I have to work over the weekend. The son was with me on Saturday. And I had a very bad premonition when I saw him sleeping on the couch in the next room. I didn't bring an extra pair of pants for him! Sure enough, and it was even worse. Actually he didn't pee in his pants when he was asleep. Ask me what he did. And it had to be at the point when we were so busy. Shessh. Rolls eyes.

The son has been bedwetting on and off for the past two weeks. I guess we are also at fault. The poor boy had been sick, so I had been watering him lots. And whenever he didn't have much of an appetite for dinner, or when he vomited his dinner because of his cough, I'll make an additional cup of milk for him before he slept. Of course he couldn't empty his bladder before he fell asleep. So last night I let him wear his pullups again, and everyone was happy. Although he woke up in the middle of the night at cried because he thought he wetted his bed again!

The daughter is also slightly sick, with some runny nose and some cough now and then. Didn't sound too serious, so no medicine for her too. I think my kids are pretty strong actually. The son has had all his vaccinations, and has been exposed to super many germs at the clinic. Heh. It'll be the daughter's turn soon.

I wanted to write about some of my girl's antics. But I forgot what they were. :P

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quality Time with the Son

So I thought, rather than another day buming at home, playing with more Lego, or playing online games - that's the latest hit, ever since one desperate day, I searched for Lego online games and wala. Can't quite remember the website my neighbour was telling me about, some website with educational online games for preschoolers. Hmm. We were bored with the cdroms I got for him, the most interesting one was at my parents' place.

So rather than just vegetating at home, I decided on a whim to bring my son to the zoo. It involved quite a big upheaval actually, since I just can't go off and leave the daughter with the maid. Have to send her to my parents. And I can't drive the car with the two kids, so the maid has to go along, and she hasn't even done half her chores. *sigh*

Was so angry with her, but that's another story, I think I seriously need to start looking for a new maid. Enough chances.

So off we went, driving the stupid manual car (after stalling a thousand and one times at the traffic lights).

Off we went to the zoo. To see so many animals. And it took us only an hour and a half. I did all the walking, my dear son enjoyed himself being pushed on the pram throughout the whole journey.

A little bubble of a dream burst - the part where he would hold my hands and we would walk together, or he would be running around and smiling happily.

Pushing a pram is very tiring work. Do I wonder why my back ached a lot now?

Within an hour an a half. I'm quite proud to say that we saw a record of animals. Even more so than when we went with hubby.

I think the zoo has too many types of monkey. It just seem to be monkeys and monkeys everywhere. There're chimps, there're orangs, there're the big nosed ones, there're the red butts, there're the black ones, there're the black ones with white hair etc etc. Man, it's really a monkey zoo, no doubt.

We saw the hippos, giraffes, zebras, horses, goats, deers, polar bears, white tigers, lion, parrots, ostrich, flamingos, fish, turtles, and the many many monkeys. The son fell asleep towards the end when we were reaching the exit. I promised him ice-cream when we leave, but he was so sound asleep, that when I asked him if he still wanted one, he only snored in reply. Heh.

He didn't forget my promise when we got home, fortunately I had some quality ice-cream waiting. Japanese strawberry ice-cream. One word. Shiok. :)

Now my back is still hurting while the two kids are sleeping like babies.

No Skip Beat yet, unfortunately.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almost Nine months post

My darling girl is almost nine months old. Here are a few things she can do.

1. Call papa.

2. Stand with support.

3. Cruise along the sofa.

4. Pulls herself to standing.

5. Takes semi-solid food.

6. Takes a few tottering steps if you hold her hands.

7. Crawls super fast.

And she still has only two bottom teeth.

Last night, the son snatched her new toys from her and was going to scratch her. We scolded him and he cried. The daughter, on seeing her brother cry, started crying too. We told the son to apologise and stop crying. And when the son did that, his sister stopped crying too. We told the son to smile at his sister, he did that, and she smiled back at him.


I think my two kids will be good to each other next time. :)

One by one, and round and round it goes.

I think it was the son who brought it back. Maybe from school.

Then my mom caught it. It went all the way to macaw. She got it the worst, or maybe because of her bad habits there, it got worse. She had high fever, and she can still gamble and win. She told me she was shivering and thought it was the shiver of excitment since she was winning! The chills! The chills! Brought on by high fever. Lah! And who never listen to me and bring travel medicine, although the last time I've packed for her the medicine too. And they couldn't find any doctor. I told her to call her hotel conciege to get one for her next time. *sigh* What can daugthers do to their hopeless mothers?

So she came back and she was still sick. We started her off with antibiotics. Because she was complaining about the cough.

Then hubby got it. When a guy gets sick, you'd think the whole sky is falling down. Period.

So he started himself with the maximum dose of medicine. Antibiotics, prednisolone, flu medicine, cough medicine and his favourite lozenges. And don't forget to tuck him in at night and keep his chest warm. Heh heh. It's the asthma type of cough.

Then if I remember correctly, I think the son caught it back again. But it didn't last very long. And he kept coughing into my face. Arrgh.

Then I caught it. Mine didn't go into the lungs. It was all stuck in the nose. Blocked nose with evil greenish looking stuffs. For almost a week. And I can't be a sore bear too. *sniff*

Two days ago, everything cleared up. And now my girl seem to be down with it too. She has the throaty cough as well. She vomited a few times. Let's hope tonight won't be too bad. The trick is to keep the chest warm. We have been sleeping without air-con for the past few nights because of this. Fortunately the weather is quite cool. Although the kids end up sweating, especially the head.

I wonder who is going to be next. :P

Making pizza, toys and more.

So I was inspired by a fellow blogger to make pizza.

Sure, I know that if one involves the kids in the cooking, the kids will love to eat the food. Read that in many of those online kiddie help places as well as Dr Sears' books. From time to time, I do that, like for a period of time, I involved my son in making his own breakfast. Basically it only requires him to cut his sachet of milk powder (with his scissors, he loves to do that!) and pouring it out into his tupperware cup, and filling it with warm water (which I've already prepared in another cup. After which we'll stir together for a while, and I'll let him spread his kaya jam on his slice of bread.

Does it work in making him eat? Well, he finishes his breakfast as always. And as always, it's either myself or the maid feeding him spoon by spoon of the milk and piece by piece of the bread. Leave it to him to eat, and it'll be like tomorrow we get to school.

So here we go, making pizza. For your information, I cut everything myself since you just can't rely on the maid to cut the mushrooms, onion, squid and ham to the shape and size you want. Maybe next time I'll let my son do the cutting, if I could get him away from his lego. He was building a house with his daddy while I was preparing lunch!

Spread a spread-spread.

Add a add-add.

More! More!


And there. The finished product.

It still took him forever to eat his pizza. And the maid has to feed him in the end, one piece by one piece. Oh well. He was more interested in his lego, and we just got him hooked on Star Wars.

Here is his Darth Vader, and he was listening to YouTube playing the Darth Vader theme. Nowadays he'll ask you to sing the Darth Vader song when he takes out his Darth Vader and the good guy song when he plays his Republic solders.

And I just bought him R2-D2 on Friday. Ran all the way down to the shop to get it. Cost me bloody almost $20 for one tiny piece! Who says I'm bias and only write about my daughter? Cheh.

Daugther has got two new toys as well. A playmobile shed with a truck. See, you can actually put the different shapes into the roof of the shed. Can't quite see in this pic. And a rattle. When the son was at this age, he wasn't too keen on toys, but my girl just loves to play with toys. Especially her brother's. And she sure loves to play with this set, because her brother immediately took over it when we got home. Haha.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New stuffs

Gosh, blogger offers so many new gadgets nowadays. I'm so backwards. Put up a playlist like Wen, but can't really find any music I like. At least I don't autorun it (yet). *grins* I still prefer my anime music. Favourite currently is the Skip Beat ending theme (the new one) and Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou ending theme. Listening on repeat. Bliss.

New stuffs. My dear girl is standing quite well now (with support) and she's really keen to walk (with support). She's becoming quite impossible too, if you put her down and leave her alone, she'll cry her eyes out. Nothing much to report about the son, not that I'm being bias or so. Am usually too tired to write about his many antics. The latest being when he was supposed to practise his violin, the cheeky boy came out with many cheeky positions on where to place the violin (at rest position). Is it here? - On his head. Nope. Is it here? - Behind his backside. Nope. Is it here? - Under his foot. Nope. He can become a first-rate actor if he ever overcome his shyness in front of people. LOL.

Need to do lots of housekeeping though.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How sianness can rub off from one to another.

So today I was looking forward to spending time alone with my dear daughter in the morning. Maybe both of us could catch some nice nap and some quality time together. I could tidy up the house a bit too. In the afternoon, my father would send the son back from school and he'd dabao my favourite teochew meepok. Yum yum. My day is set. My mouth watered to think of the delicious fishball noodles.

Then when it was time to leave, the son cried and cried and refused to go without me. The hubby was helpless to do anything as usual, plus it was already so late to do anything else, so all my beautiful plans fell flat on my face.

I fed my daughter to get her to sleep. But the son does his dinosaur tramping and up and awake and bushy eyed the girl became. Right now the bad boy is soaking himself in his meimei's tub, kicking his legs and splashing about in the water. I check on him from time to time, because it's never safe for kids to be alone with water. Am trying to get him out but it'll only lead to tears and beatings. *sigh* Oh well, at least some peace for me out here to type a sianness post, the only harm is pruned fingers.

When a girl is sian, she cheers herself up with ice-cream and chocolates and shopping therapy. Yay shopping! When a guy is sian, he lies in bed all day and mopes about, practically spreading the gloom. It's all the fault of a person, so annoying actually. I told him to forget it and try to make up, but he refused. Oh well, I've tried. It's no wonder no one wants to hang out with that person. It's probably all my fault again. Ha, but I'm zen now.

All I need is a break from my two kids. Yoga. Arrgh, I need to go back to Yoga.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beauty is more than just skin deep

So I hadn't seen Wen for a very long time. That day when we met up for her birthday, it was like a few months since I last saw her. Oh boy, I must say, she looked real good. Her skin was glowing. No fine lines, very smooth skin. Yep, was definitely impressed. And her secret? Collagen pills.

Rewind a few weeks before that. My mother was telling me all about this drink she was taking. Some collagen thingy. Supposed to make the skin smooth and supple etc etc. I listened with half a ear and the words floated over my head.

After that one glimpse of Wen, I was reminded of what my mom said.

Fast forward a few weeks after that. My mom started talking about the drink she was taking again. This time I was more interested. Then she started saying that all my aunties were taking them. This time my ears twitched. Then she continued saying that both my cousins were taking them. Now my cousins are one one year older than me and one four years younger than me. This time my brain went into active drive. Okay, I want to take them too. It's kind of like, hey, you know, your cousin P is also taking them. Implied, how come you don't know? Why aren't you taking them too? My cousin P is very pretty, by the way.

After so many years, maybe I'm still a bit jealous. :P

Not sure if that is my mom's intention to make me take this collagen drink. Haha. What a strange mom.

So I bought a box off her, and am now finishing my second box. The Fancl drink. All natural. Wen said that's the most expensive in the market. I don't know about that, never looked around the prices. But I remember ten years ago, mind you, ten years ago when we were in the early twenties, I had a classmate who was on Imedeen, and her skin glowed too.

So I am convinced that there is some effect, to a certain extent. For sure, my skin does feel less dehydrated. And smoother. And I'm still waiting for someone who hasn't seem me for a long time to comment on how good I look. Haha. Maybe that may not happen. :P

The hubby wasn't convinced that taking collagen worked. He was reminded of some examination question which was posed to him when he was a student and the answer was that there was no scientific proof that it worked by taking collagen. Heck, who cares. He agreed that if you think it does, then just do it. I loved my hubby when he is like that. Heh. After all, now that I'm not working, he is paying for it, in a way.

Beauty, to a woman, is the most important thing. For sure, I don't want to look old and haggard, and it is very easy to become that when you are so busy looking after the kids and don't go to work anymore.

Man, I'm becoming a very Auntie-like figure now. Always in T-shirts and jeans/shorts and hanging out with all the old aunties and old uncles at the fruit section in the NTUC-supermarket, waiting for the store-assistants to bring out the fresh apples and oranges. Then all of us will elbow each other and pick and choose the apples and oranges. It's kinda fun actually. And I'll have my girl with me in my carrier doing just that. And most people thought she is a little boy. Duh.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

If I have my way ...

To me, there are a few things which are very important for a young child.

Routine. Self-discipline. And good habits. These are three things which I can think of right now.

A set routine is very important. Bedtime. By 9pm, all lights out, and it is time to sleep. I read somewhere that 14 days make a habit. A bedtime story before sleeping. In the morning, all to wake around 7 to 8am. I'm quite flexible. Routine. Breakfast, shower and brushing of teeth. To teach the child to tidy up his own bed if possible (got maid though). Hmm, will do the bed thing as next target. I'm starting to teach my son to make his own breakfast. Because I make my own breakfast, the maid's version is always not very consistent.

Routine. Lunch. After lunch, nap. This has been quite a failure for the past week. I'm not sure why the son doesn't want to sleep anymore in the afternoon. Actually I know why. Because I'm not available to read him a book and lull him to sleep. And that is because the daugther is now demanding quite a lot of attention from me as well. She cries when the maid carries her nowadays. The son cannot sleep when I do not give him my full attention.

If I have my way.

Self-discipline. Not too many toys. Playtime with toys is to be restricted to at most one hour (or two?). There is a time to play, a time to read, a time to learn, a time to write.

My son has too many distractions. Too many types of toys. Too many Lego. And my time with him is limited. His sister is becoming just as demanding. And he simply has too many toys.

So I'm quietly keeping some of his toys away, and slowly, hopefully, I can restrict his playtime.

If I have my way.

There is a time to play Lego. There should be time to do other things like go for a walk. Like get some fresh air, like go for a swim. Like go and learn to bike. Like go and jump and run in the fields. It's unhealthy to spend all days indoors playing Lego.

I cannot do all these with him, because I have to carry his sister as well.

There should be a time for him to do some drawing. Do some colouring. Practice recgonising his name. Learn some letters and words. Read. Listen to music. Practise his violin.

I cannot do all these with him, because there are simply too many toys.

Sometimes I feel so helpless. And that is why I cannot be a SAHM. Because I cannot teach my child self-discipline.

Good habits.

Not to be late. I cannot teach my child good habits too.

Good habits.

Meals is to be taken at the table. Another failure.

Good habits.

To eat by himself. Unless I can bear to see him play with his food and eat very little.

I can think of a lot more. But I cannot teach my child all these.

Sometimes I do not have the time or patience or energy to sit with him to do certain things. There are a lot of things which are easier said than done. And sometimes I need my own time to do my own things. So I cannot be all self-sacrificing, so that's another reason why I need a safety line back to work.

Because the guilt is less when you have an excuse.

If I have my way.

He shouldn't be sleeping at midnight and watching my brother play his violent computer games.

What are the grandparents thinking of?

And that is one big reason why I am not working right now. If I have my way.

Although my dear father loves to criticise me the way I handle my kids, and I cannot return the favour.

The pot calling the kettle black.

And I try to change. It's difficult to change. I know my faults. And that is why I keep my mouth shut when he does the same thing I do (although he will criticise me for it).

My mother will make sure my kids have good meals. And that's about it. She cares a lot about them, but my parents do not understand Routine, Self-discipline and Good habits. I want my kids to have these, but I'm not sure if I can do it.

Do parents actually think of all these when they bring up their kids?

Adventures with my two kids, sans grandma.

So there I was, telling my girlfriend, that coffee has absolutely no effect on me. I still sleep like an angel after drinking coffee. Boy, have I spoken too fast! The Iced-vanilia latte at starbucks is very toxic to my system. I was on a roll throughout the night shift and am still wide awake right now. Otherwise usually at this time of the night, I'm in la-la-land.

Or maybe because my mom is back from her lovely holiday, and it feels so good to be able to leave both kids with her. The kids are a big handful, she says. She's definitely not like some friends/colleagues mothers who are so keen to have grandchildren to take care and play with. Sheesh.

So anyway, the past one week was just me and two kids. On Monday, I did an incredible unprecedented brave thing. I brought both kids with me to Wen's convocation. Just me, and my two lovely kids. I forgot that my mom was going off for holiday and when my friend asked me to go to her convo, I was so honoured. Heh. Yep I immediately agreed. It was also a good thing that by Monday, both were already recovering from their flu. So after my son's school that day, we mrted down to Chijmes, baby in carrier, and son hogging the pram. Fortunately, both were very cooperative that day, with baby sleeping all the way there, and son was rather excited to find out more about this convo-thingy.

It was raining cats and dogs when we got out of the mrt. I remember cursing the skies, especially when it had been so hot a week ago. Couldn't cross the road, and finally took a cab to get across the road. Nowadays cab drivers are the pits. Guy couldn't even get out of his cab to help me keep the pram in his trunk. I dumped the pram in the seat with me, and refused to help him close his trunk. I think he drove off with his trunk hanging open. And when we reached the destination, he also wouldn't help me get my pram out. Maybe I should do what hubby does, and refused to pay until everything is out of the cab. It took two guys waiting for a cab to help me unload kids and stuffs. Sheesh. Why should we be paying for such lousy service? I think next time when I'm in a taxi-queue, I shall just go to the next taxi in the queue if the taxi-driver is so unhelpful. Hey, we're free to choose the taxi in a queue right?

So the convo went quite smoothly. Fortunately, C was there to play with the kids. He was as bored as any other sane person can be in a convo. Haha. It was a good thing it wasn't too long a convo. The local chaps gave quite a long-winded speech, which we basically tuned out, and the son was full of questions. I think his voice was a bit loud in the otherwise hushed hall. Towards the end, my son was asking me about the food. Food was being laid out for the reception, and he was like eyeing the food and telling me clearly that 'Mummy, I'm hungry.' When I told him that the food is not ready yet, he observed astutely, that 'Mummy, there are already people at the table, can we go and get the food too?' Unfortunately, those were the waiters so he still had to wait. All in all, my kids behaved beautifully, and I am so proud of them!

C carried the daughter quite a bit during the long speeches, when she woke up and son insisted that it was his turn to be carried by me. I think my daughter was quite taken by C making faces at her. She must be thinking whether it would be a good idea to pull his big nose or his mouth. I think if he held her any longer, she would have done so. Warning: her nails are really sharp! Even after cutting. First, she will pat pat the said place. That is actually to guage the striking distance. Then without warning, she will shoot out her little fingers and grab said place on face with all her might and sharp claws. I think I managed to save C from having such a pleasant experience. Boy, he should thank me!

The son was mighty happy with all the gassy orange juice. I think he fell sick again after that beacuse of all the cold drinks. Arrgh.

On Tuesday, I called my father to bring us out for lunch. The two of them weren't behaving very well at all. It was quite bad. Both were whiny and weepy. I bribed my son with sweets (and that added to him being sick again too). My girl just wanted me to carry her. Nowadays when she sees me carrying her brother, she'll look at me with this super hurt look in her face and she'll cry and cry. Sheesh. And the son is sometimes so totally stuborn and refused to let his sister be carried. Sheesh.

That was bad.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I hid at home and asked my father to send the son back from school. Heh. Excuse being the daughter is sick from all the 'outings'. :P

On Friday, I peeked at my son in his school and brought them both back in a cab. Am still not confident in driving, let alone driving with two naughty kids.

So one week passes by in a flash. Without Grandma. I survived. We survived. Yay.

It's not easy to be a stay-at-home mother. I think it takes a lot of self-sacrifice to be able to do so. To give up one's career and to dedicate one's time to the kids. It's really difficult. And I think the whole reason for it is that there is very little appreciation going on.

What I mean to say is this. When one is working, one reaps the 'rewards' of the hard work. In terms of monetery returns, in terms of performance bonus, in terms of bonus etc. There is a freedom, and a certain detachment, as in if you don't like your job, you're free to find another job. At the end of the day, it's just a job. If you work hard and enjoy your work, you get rewarded, your boss appreciate your work, your clients need you to do your work, and there's always a bonus to look forward to, or a nice paycheck.

But a stay-at-home mother has no value. To the kids, they will not appreciate your pressence, because they do not have a basis for comparision. Ask any people out there who survived a working mother environment, would they have preferred if their mother did not work and is there for them all day? I doubt these people will turn out any worse off than they are now, well, at least for those who have their heads screwed on correctly. Or if they have good grandparents taking care of them, they won't feel the difference.

To the kids, they wouldn't understand the importance of having home-cooked meals. Of coming home to a home where your mother is always there. I never understood it either until I was so much older. When I thought about it, I realised how frightening it was if I were to go home and there was no one at home. But to the kids who have always been going home to an empty house, they wouldn't understand the difference of coming home and the mother is there. It's all about perspective.

I know of kids who couldn't take that kind of adjustment when their mother went back to work. It is kind of depressing.

But what I'm trying to say is that, the kids do not know and understand and appreciate this, so being a stay-at-home-mother, one do not get that kind of 'instant-appreciation of your self-worth' from the people you hang out with (in the case of working - your clients, your boss etc, in the case of being a SAHM, your kids, your spouse etc).

Hmm, am I making any sense?

So besides the kids, the spouse has also the responsibility of assigning value to a SAHM. If the spouse thinks that, hey, staying at home all day and not working is so cool and so relaxing, then that's where the pitfall is. There's no break for a mother. And it's not easy having that kind of freedom when you are working to being changed to a SAHM. You don't get paid, you don't get appreciated, you don't get cpf, you don't get appreciated. In society's eyes (i.e, the govt), you are not contributing to the economy, so you're just a parasite. If society looks at you that way, how can you have any self-worth after that?

What the mother needs to hear is this: Darling, stop working and take care of the kids and the family. Give them a good headstart, good nutritious meals. I will give you an allowance, and we'll try to work out some time off for yourself to have some personal time.

A break to keep anyone sane.

Nobody says that anymore.

Because, working life is so stressful. Standard of living has gone up. Working is stressful. Working is not fun anymore. Worklife has its share of politics and evilness. People are not friendly and people are getting retrenched. Money is the new happiness in life. What is success in life all about? Will you be happy if you have no money? I'm also afriad to find that out.

But I realised that I don't need a lot of money to survive.

Although I have fallen into the trap of wanting the best for my kids. And the best is not always a good thing.

For me, sometimes I'm not so sure if I can continue being a SAHM for my kids. And that is the only reason which is stopping me from handing in my resignation.