Monday, December 28, 2009

Towards a more frugal 2010

I have not been very good at saving money this year, 2009. My husband complains that my favourite word is "BUY!" :P Perhaps I should change it to "SAVE!" next year, 2010, which is just around the corner.

In order to change my "favourite word" to "SAVE!" I am listing down all the things I need to do and how I need to change my mindset to a more Frugal state of mind. I don't really do New Year Resolutions, I prefer to fix resolutions all year round. However, since New Year is just around the corner, maybe this could qualify as a New Year Resolution.

Here's what I hope to do:

  1. - Eat in more and eat out less. Eating out is so expensive. When eating out, choose what I eat carefully. It could really matter to my waistline as well as my purse! For example, I will drink mineral water instead because drinks are very expensive when eating at a restaurant

  2. - Go through my finances regularly. Check my bank statements against receipts to make sure there is no fraud. Know my bank balances

  3. - Use coupons and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate when I buy anything. For example, try to negotiate for better terms or extras when purchasing. Time my purchases during sales periods for a better bargain. Oh, there I go again. I just used my "favourite word" "BUY!" :P I shall learn to BUY smart next year

  4. - Buy only things I need. Make a shopping list when I go shopping and stick to it!

  5. - Review my insurance policy which just expired. I found that insurance is a good form of "forced savings" for me since I am not very good at saving. I also heard that you can save on auto insurance

  6. - Use my credit card carefully and make up to date payments. Try to save from paying credit interests

  7. - Buy less toys for the kids. Teach the kids to save too. Teach them about the importance of money and the importance of saving. I think that in any household, savings start with mom. So I shall start with me but I shall teach the kids too in the process

  8. - Spend less during the holidays. I must learn to budget during holidays. That will really help me to save. The year end holidays is almost over and I can see how much I've spent! I could have saved more if I had been more careful about my budget. Hmm... Anyway, we have Chinese New Year just round the corner. It is time to budget for that since we've spent so much during the Christmas holidays

I've been long winded as usual. To sum it up, in 2010, I hope to Save More and Spend Less. I really hope to keep my resolution. What about you?

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What type of mom are you?

Its funny how many types of moms we have these days. In the old days, we have just mothers.

Now, we have FTWM (that translates to Full Time Working Mom in case you didn't know). Then we have SAHM (Stay At Home Moms. Its just a nicer way to call a housewife) and we have the in betweens which is the WAHM (the Work At Home Mom).

So, what type of mom are you?

I am a SAHM... but I really would like to be a CCHM (Calm Cool Hip Mom) or a RREM (Really Relaxed Easy-Going Mom). I don't think there's any RREM moms out there. Its also almost impossible to be a CCHM.

Most of the time I am a CSWM (Cannot Stop Worrying Mom) I'm also good at being a GNIM (Grumpy Naggy Impatient Mom). I strive to be a LCGM (Loving Caring Giving Mom). I hope I can be an EFRM (Enthusiastic Fun Resourceful Mom) . However, quite often I find that I am an IRDM (Irritable Rushed Demanding Mom). I am also the AFDM (Absent-minded Forgetful Disorganised Mom) though I would really like to be the SDIM (Smart Dependable Interesting Mom).

Hmmm..... I guess at the end of the day, I am just a MOM. The title is not important.

Like all mothers, all I want is the best for my children and in striving for the best for my children, I hope that I can find the best in me and give the best of myself.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

What have you done for yourself lately?

Mothers, what have you done for yourself lately?

Mothers have a very important role in the family. They can't break down! Not even when they are sick. They still need to go on. Nurturing, Teaching, Loving and doing all those other ordinary everyday stuff like feeding, bathing, etc or those not so everyday stuff like cleaning up poo and vomit etc.

No, mothers cannot afford to fall sick.

However, in order to look after others, you must look after yourself first. You must take care of your health, your physical as well as mental well being. You just have to. You have to take care of yourself so that you don't feel the pressures of just being a mother.

What have you done for yourself lately? I'm afraid I haven't done anything much for myself lately. I haven't bought anything for myself, spent time just for myself doing things I like etc. When this happens, I sometimes reach "breaking point" and want to yell out to everyone ie the spouse and the kids "Everyone! Give me a break!"

So, before I do that, I better give myself a break first. :) Lets see... what shall I do.... Hmmm..... hmm..... I'm so used to doing things for others that I've forgotten how to give myself a little treat every now and then. It feels so strange to be doing things for myself. Boy oh boy. I really do need a break. lol.

Pssstt... these days with the kids in school, I have got my mornings back to blog and play the piano and just enjoy my own company without interruption or distraction. I guess thats also part of doing things for myself yah.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Helicopter Mom

Sometimes I wonder if I am a "helicopter mom". This is a term used for describing a mom who "hovers" around their children all the time, helping them with this and that, always being there.

Of course I do want to be there for my kids most of the time. However, too much of a good thing sometimes isn't really such a good thing.

I think that by virtue of me being home most of the time. It really isn't easy not being a helicopter mom. I can't help it.

However, I must remember that I must not be there all the time, waiting to catch them when they fall, wiping off their every spill, etc as this is not good for them.

Sometimes you have to fall in order to learn how to get up on your own. Sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to learn how to resolve your own problems. That's life. You can't go around being spoon fed all your life. Spoon feeding is only for 6 month old babies.... and err... some stubborn 6 year olds. Oops! So says the Helicopter Mom who is trying her best not to be a Helicopter Mom.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

32 Winners for the Sweet Family Moments Photo Contest organised by Alliance Bank You:nique Credit Card

On May 27, 2009 I posted details about the Alliance Bank You:nique Credit Card "Sweet Family Moments" photo contest. It’s very exciting to find out that two winners tied for the grand prize.

Altogether 32 lucky winners walked away with exciting prizes. I love collecting mommy and baby photos because this is the very theme of my blog. So I’m going to post a couple of them here to liven up my blog. Here are my favourite mommy and baby pictures…..

A Precious Mummy and Baby Bonding Moment. I wish I had a picture like that.

A smile showing off baby's new teeth. It makes me want to smile too!

Baby in Birthday Suit! He looks so comfy on the bed!

Don't you think they all look fabulous? I think they're lovely. Beautiful family moments captured in that one moment of time.

For contest lovers, do take note that Alliance Bank You:nique Credit Card is organising another contest soon. This time it is a wedding theme. It is called the ‘Perfect Picture Love’ Photo Contest.The Grand prize is a Rm10,000 travel voucher. 2ND prize is RM 3,000 cash reward credited into your You:nique card and 3rd prize is RM 2,000 cash reward credited into You:nique card.

Here's how to participate in 3 easy steps.

  1. Apply for an Alliance Bank You:nique credit card
  2. Log on to to upload your favourite wedding snapshot as your design theme
  3. Fill up your personal details online

That's it! Every approved You:nique credit card application is registered as one entry. You can check out You:nique Picture Card on Facebook for some ideas for your design.

Did you know that the You:nique Credit Card not only allows you to design your own card, you also get to customize your own terms too. This includes Cash rebates up to 2 % for all retail purchases or a Flat finance charge of ONLY 9% p.a. or 2x reward points for ALL local & oversea purchases.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Epilepsy is hard to diagnose

Epilepsy is not easy to diagnose. Sometimes a person does not go into a full fit (its not called that but I am just putting it in my own layman term). For example, a child may just stare into space for seconds. Teachers may think the child is not paying attention or the child may miss out parts of lessons in class as a result and no one even knows that in fact the child has had a seizure.

Epilepsy is also often misunderstood. Some actually think that one is being haunted or being possessed by demons and call for an excorcism whereas medical treatment should have been given.

Sometimes a person has auras which I will call little fits (again its my own layman term). There are all sorts of auras. Mine is a feeling of fear and cold. However others may actually smell strange smells or see flashing lights or more scary still have hacullinations etc depending on which part of the brain is affected.

I had two nocturnal fits (meaning in my sleep) but I was not diagnose as having epilepsy (one fit does not make you an epileptic) until I had 3 fits in a day while I was awake. It became clear than. There is no reason for my seizures. At least the neuros can't seem to find one and I never had this problem when I was a child or when I was younger. Everyone can have fits. The only difference is a person with epilepsy has a lowered threshold for having a seizure. Thats one of the reasons why it is so hard to diagnose.

Now, the question that is always on my mind is, does my girl have epilepsy? One neuro said that there is a 60% chance that she has after listening to some unexplained night incidents she has had.

Its all very confusing and distressing. Furthermore the signs are not clear. Like I said, its very hard to diagnose. My only worry is that if she has epilepsy and it goes undiagnosed and untreated, then there is a danger to her person if she has a seizure at an unappropriate time or place.

  • - She has had two EEGs both of which were normal. However a normal person can have an abnormal EEG and vice versa. One neuro reported it as normal while another neuro said he "saw something there".
  • - She has said that she sometimes feels like she is in a dream. I have read enough to know that what she describes sounds just like the way others have described their aura. However it could also be a sign of anxiety because it usually happens when she is anxious or very excited. On the other hand seizures also usually happens during times of stress. The neuros also did not seem to think much about it.
  • - Sometimes she complains about seeing everything "green" or "very small" which could be signs of an aura, however she could just be an imaginative little girl
  • - She has vomitted in her sleep twice for no reason. However, you can do that even if you have flus or colds or a stomach virus
  • - Some has described a feeling of being sick like vomit rising inside which she describe the other night but she could just really be feeling sick with a cold virus too
  • - Waking up from sleep crying or vomitting may be very common in a child but it could also mean something else so I will continue to record it down

She is a very smart and intelligent girl, always thirsting for knowledge and with a strong desire to learn. She is a joy to teach. She is also a anxious little girl with low self esteem which worries me. I really want to help her in this area but I have not been doing very well so far with my impatience.

We have tried to take her for an MRI (one neuro said "why not have an MRI, there is no harm", the other neuro said "lets wait until there are clearer signs before having an MRI). The MRI was not successful because the girl was too restless. The hospital never called back for another appointment. We have also decided to wait because it was too stressful for everyone including the girl. We will continue to monitor her and will probably go for a third opinion but in the meantime, because the signs are not clear and the neuros cannot diagnose it, we will just have to make sure that she has enough sleep and is stress free. We do not want the kids to visit the hospitals and sit there for hours right now since kids are advised not to be in hospitals now unless it is very urgent and necessary.

Sometimes I worry we may be looking for things that are not there because we are worried about her but at other times I worry that we may overlook things by being too casual and dismissing signs that are there. Its so confusing.

I am especially worried after she has fallen asleep because so far the unexplained incidents have happened about one hour into her sleep. Yet at the same time, I can't allow that to disturb my own rest and sleep because I need my sleep as lack of sleep is a seizure trigger. I remember after I had my waking seizures, I felt like a walking time bomb. For the same reason, I am now worried about her.

God, if you are listening, I would like to write down my daily prayer to you. I pray that my daughter will never have another seizure for the rest of her life and I pray that she will not have epilepsy. God, I pray that my son will not have any seizures and will not have epilepsy as well. I pray that my epilepsy will disappear one day soon as suddenly as it has appeared. And I pray that you will cure my husband of the problems he is having. Thank you God. Thank you.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Vomitting at Night

Its Thursday night. Hubby is away. I left the lights on because I was afraid. Even though quite often we're too busy to even talk to each other apart from the occassional mumbling, his presence is reassuring.

Its 12.30am. I heard the girl clearing her throat, a slight cough and when I called out to the girl to ask if she felt like vomitting she said she already had. There wasn't much vomit. I took her to the bathroom to see if she had anymore vomit. I noted that she was in the presence of mind to walk to the bathroom and wash up.

I changed her, cleaned up the pillows and blankets. She said her throat felt painful. I took a torchlight to check. It looked slightly red on one side. After that for the next half hour, she blew out volumes of mucus. Lots of it. She had no temperature. She said she felt like vomitting. We went to the bathroom a few times with her bending over the toilet bowl. Nothing came out but she said she can feel vomit in her chest but it wouldn't come out.

I told her to rest in bed and brought a pail to put by her bedside just in case. She said her stomach felt hot. She said she was uncomfortable, she couldn't sleep because she was uncomfortable. I held her. Eventually she fell asleep. It was 2.30am.

I let her skip school the next day because she would probably be sent home anyway, the way she was blowing out mucus from her nose. However, the next day, apart from a flushed face, the mucus had cleared.

Its probably nothing but I will record down anything that is even just a little bit unusual to me so this is just for the record.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

7 year old wakes up crying

Yesterday, my 7 year old woke up from her nap crying. She says she doesn't know what is happening when she woke up. It took quite a long while for hubby to calm her down. I was cooking at the time so I didn't see what happened.

Hubby checked her beds to see if there was any sign that she had had a seizure and there was none. So we shall just try to stay calm and watch her over the next few days, making sure she gets enough rest and sleep.

When things like that happen, I do feel a little bit anxious and sort of "derailed" from my normal activities. Everyday I pray that she will never ever have another fit or unexplained incident ever again in her life.

Perhaps she was just disorientated upon waking up. I hope that is what it was.

For now, I shall just record it down here and take note of it. At this point we do not want to make any assumptions.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Going Against the Norm

It isn't easy to be a mother going against the norm....... whatever the "norm" may be.

For example, I sent my kid to preschool at the very "late" age of 6 for my elder and 5 for the younger. They have never attended any playschool, playgroup or nursery before that. That is against the "norm" these days. I had a lot of flak about it.

Even strangers would come up to me and exclaim "You mean she/he hasn't attended kindy?!!!Isn't that a bit late?!!" I thought I would get these kinds of remarks from the new generation mainly but I was surprised when even grandparents whom I didn't know exclaimed in horror when they learned that my kid was still at home with me at the grand old age of 6. ;)

"My grandchild is already in kindergarten. You should be sending your child by now!" they exclaimed horrified.

Normally I just smile when I hear this and I try not to let it bother me, although I must admit that sometimes a tinge of doubt would creep in as I question myself "Am I doing the right thing?"

On the other end of the scale, if you're the sort of mother who sends her child very early to preschool and later on to lots and lots of activities. You may receive a different kind of flak too. People might say "She is so kiasu. She will burn out her kid with so many activities. Kids need time to play and run around, not be driven from one activity to another activity."

To all the mothers who are facing these kinds of pressures or uncalled for remarks from others, be it from family members or friends who are "only trying to help", my advise is to let those unnecessary comments go in one ear and out the other. Try not to let it bother you too much. Be confident that what you are doing is right for you and your child. No one knows it better than you. Your child may thrive from all those activities while another may be stressed out. Some children thrive in preschool, others do not. They may cry it out for months.

Every child and every mother is different. So listen to yourself and listen to your heart and take all the other advises with a pinch of salt, including those that come from renowned parenting gurus and parenting books and articles. Most importantly, listen to your child. And by that I don't mean listen verbally alone. Watch out for any signs of stress or unhappiness in his or her behaviour.

Enjoy your own mothering times and moments. Don't be stressed out by comments from others on how you are doing as a mother. I have always believed that in Parenting it is "To Each His Own" meaning there is no right and wrong in Parenting. You need to find your own equilibirium and what feels right for you, your child and your family unit as a whole.

I shall not be blogging for 10 days to spend some time with my children during their school holidays. Be back soon!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When you were a baby

One of the things the kids love a lot is to hear about the time when they were a baby or little. They love to look at their baby photos and listen to what it was like when they were a baby.

We'd tell them that we used to cuddle them and walk them to sleep and we'd sing the same songs that we used to sing them to sleep.

They really love it. We love it too. We love thinking back about the time when they were small. And they love to hear us talk about it.

I can't believe how fast time flies. Now its 7 years. 7 years since we had our first baby. And there are plenty of wonderful, beautiful memories that we carry with us now.

I hope that we get to make many more wonderful, beautiful memories as they grow. And I wish the same for all parents, new and old. :)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Appreciation for all mothers with a special needs child

I would like to express an appreciation for all mothers with a special needs child. I would like to say a special prayer for them.

I do not have a special needs child but I do have a small taste of how it could be like and it is really not easy.

My girl has had two night incidents which the doctor's suspect as epileptic fits. This makes me extra worried about her. When you are extra worried about a child, this changes the dynamics of your family. You have to be careful not to be overly protective of that child whilst striving to be fair to your other children. That is a tough task. Even trying to be fair under normal circumstances is tough what more when it is a special situation.

Recently, when I went to see my aunt, perhaps due to lack of sleep (because she missed her afternoon nap), or perhaps due to her excitement and anxiety or probably due to all these reasons, she complained about feeling the unreal feeling again, feeling as if she is in a dream. This sort of feelings could be just generalized anxiety or it could be partial seizures. It is not very easy to diagnose.

The neurologist had said that he thought he saw "something there" when looking at her eeg results but that was all he could tell us. He had ordered a MRI but it was unsuccessful. The hospital has not called us again for another date for the MRI and we have decided not to pursue it at this point of time.

However, we must make sure that we take extra care to make sure that she gets enough sleep, no stress and try to make sure that she does not get sick from fevers etc as all these are seizure triggers. All this is very stressful and then there are those who do not know why I worry about fevers etc for my child who go about making senseless comments on my blog. Sigh. Thats one of the things about blogging. People who do not know you or the entire story feels compelled to make strong opinions about your one single blog post. Oh well..... thats the least of my worries.

My worries are for my girl alone. Every day I pray that she will not have another seizure again EVER in her life. And today, I'd like to add all other mothers with a special needs child in my prayer.

I remember when we were waiting to do the MRI, there was a mother sitting on one of the chairs quietly. Later I saw, her child being wheeled out pass us. It was just a baby and she had tubes all over her. I would like to include that mother and that child in my prayer today.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guilt and Impatience

As a mother, the two emotions that I struggle with almost daily is GUILT and IMPATIENCE. Yes, EVERY single day, I struggle with these emotions.

Patience is certainly not one of my virtues. Now that I am a mother, I struggle with not having this virtue. You need patience to deal with children. Lots and lots of it. An overdose of patience is required.

I certainly need patience in my busy, rushed world. I need it BADLY! Worse still, I see my children turning into the Impatient monster that I am. They are beggining to shout and speak impatiently and go HMMMPRH! or let our a BIG SIGH! with hands on hips and all. I tell them that its very rude to speak that way but secretly, I realise that they learned it from ME!

And then the GUILT starts to creep in. Boy oh boy. Yes, the GUILT. Am I doing too much for them? Am I too controlling? Am I teaching them the right thing? I could go on and on. There is a 101 things to be guilty about and more! As a Stay At Home Mother who is at home with the kids 24 hours 7 days a week it is very hard to distance yourself and give your children the space they need to become independant and confident individuals. It is hard not to do too much for them and be too controlling in your own IMPATIENCE and sometimes you find that you lose it and then you feel GUILTY!

Help! I think I need to loosen up a little bit. Otherwise I will be eaten up by the monsters called IMPATIENCE and GUILT!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unsuccessful MRI- Part 4

I had told my girl that she could have her favourite ice-cream. I had told her that she had to go back to try again with injection this time and I had told her that she might have to miss her school trip.

What have I done to my poor girl?

She does not know why she can't have her favourite ice-cream even though she tried two times and she overheard the man say that the second time was better. She probably taught that the MRI was over.

She has never had a phobia about injections and going to the doctor before but now she keeps on saying "Mummy, I don't want injection. Can you ask the doctor whether I can drink something instead?"

She keeps on worrying about whether she can still go for her school trip. And its all my fault.

Before her second attempt, we tried to get her to fall asleep while waiting for her turn. They let her lie on a bed which didn't look very clean to me. There was an oxygen tank or something on it which was removed and we had to dust the dirt off the bed. I saw some blood stains too. Sigh. She tried but she just couldn't sleep.

The whole experience was just very distressing for our whole family. Hubby had taken leave from his work and we had spent days worrying about it and then we spent 4 hours at the hospital for nothing and now we have even more things to worry about and we don't know when we will have another appointment or how and what are its risks etc.

Anyway, for now I don't want to worry about fixing another appointment just yet. I'll just wait for the hospital to call and probably we'll fix it in 3-4 weeks time when we are not so rushed. We always seem to be rushing around all the time. Its so tiring.

I think our main priority now should be working at getting the girl more sleep and less stress. The same goes for me.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unsuccessful MRI- Part 3

It was late evening and they were unable to do any intravaneous or other sedation methods without a doctor or medical officer being present so we would have to reschedule another appointment.

In our desperate attempt to avoid another attempt on another day (and our worries about the risks of other deeper forms of sedation or general anaesthesia being used), we persuaded our girl to try again. We said all the things we should not have said.

We told her that she could have her favourite tropicana ice-cream after the procedure. (even though she had a cough!). We pleaded with her to try so that she won't have to come back another day for an INJECTION! I even told her that if she was not successful they might have to reshedule the MRI on the day of her school trip and she would have to miss it. Isn't that just horrible? Yes, it is but we were desperate.

I had felt so anxious all week. I felt anxiety just before we left and she didn't want to take the oral sedative and then she took it and said she wanted to vomit. And to go through more anxiety and worry again seemed unthinkable at the time.

So she tried again but she was restless. Who wouldn't be? She is only 7 after all. Now, the experience of the MRI depends on each individual. You can either find it very uncomfortable and unpleasant or just slightly uncomfortable. You have to be in a dark tunnel for half hour. You have to lay very still and hear very loud sounds.

They allowed me to be in the room with my girl. I saw that the even put a thing that look like a cage over her face and snap it shut. Its not really that bad actually, its just to prevent movement but in my tired mind, I was worried that she'd be scared by it. I peered over the "cage" and showed her my earphones and told her that its ok, I can hear the very same sounds that she can hear and we can talk about it afterwards. They had given me earphones to block off the sound. She was given ear plugs.

However, the second attempt failed too. By now it was so late, the doc had called to ask if he could go home. We were the last to be driven back to the clinic but no one could reschedule another appointment for us. They were all unclear about when and how? By hospital admission and general anaesthesia or how? In the end, we told them to just call us to fix another day because we were just so tired we wanted to go home.

Both the kids were tired and hungry. And on the way home, finally, she fell asleep but I had to wake both the kids up to have dinner after that. I don't know whether to scream or cry.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Unsuccessful MRI - Part 2

The hospital had asked us to give the oral sedative to her one hour before the MRI. Knowing how long we usually have to wait at hospitals, we gave her the sedative just before we left the house.

By the time we arrived at the hospital, she sounded drowsy, spoke with a slur and wanted to be carried. We registered her name. Then we had to wait for an hour for transportation to another building where the MRI is to be carried out. Then we had to wait another hour for our turn.

In the meantime, we saw no one. No one came to explain anything to us or tell us whether we could be with our girl during the MRI. By this time the girl had become restless and agigated.

Finally, we were called in. Fortunately the two men in attendance were patient. They took one look at the girl and shook their heads. It won't work. They said. She's too restless but we will give it a try.

They tried but the girl kept on coughing. She coughs when she is nervous. She kept on coughing and scratching various parts of her body and face conciously.

The men said that is was not working out. The images were too blur. They said we had to come back for another try with deeper sedation. Deeper sedation carries some risk, they explained.

We were worried. I wanted to try again.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Unsuccessful MRI - Part 1

Ever since the MRI was scheduled over a week ago, I had begun to worry. We were given an oral sedative called chloral hydrate to give to the girl about an hour before the MRI. I worried about a few things mainly about the safety of the sedative as well as whether my girl would be frightened by the procedure.

We were told to give 25ml of the sedative all at once. It seemed like a lot to me so I rang up the pharmacy to double check before giving. We didn't inform the girl about the MRI. We had postponed her piano class which she was looking forward to because she had learned to play her song really well and she "wanted to surprise teacher".

Finally on the day of the MRI, I told her. I tried to make it as lighthearted and casual as possible. I told her that the doctor wanted to take an x-ray picture of her brain. Just like the pictures of mummy's brain that she saw. She was disappointed that she wouldn't have her piano class but she eventually settled down to do her homework without too many questions as would normally be expected from my very inquistive girl.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

More Tests - MRI

Recently when I saw my doctor, I asked him about my girl. He thinks that she most likely had a fit and he would like to do more test. He says that since the technology is available there is no harm in doing an MRI test for a better diagnosis.

I am worried about her doing the MRI. I am worried she will be very frightened by the experience. I have done the MRI before. Basically, we have to lie down and we will be put in a tunnel like thing with lots of loud sounds coming from within. The "tunnel" is small so its scary for someone with claustrophobia for example. We have to lie very still without moving. It can be scary for a young child.

My girl is often afraid of loud sounds, sounds of the toilet flushing, sounds of the tap running down the drain pipes etc. The doctor has given me a syrup to give her that will cause her to be drowsy but I am still afraid.

I am even more afraid of what the MRI will show. Previously mine didn't show anything but I still anguished about it days before having it worrying that it might show a brain tumour or something. So I won't mention this test to her till the day of the test. My poor little darling.

I hate this. I hate this very much. This feeling of unease. This feeling of fear. This feeling of depression. This unsettling feeling that I have. But I cannot do anything about it. I am helpless to do anything because these things are hard to diagnose. The doctor will not treat her yet since she has only had one or two episodes of fits.

So, I can only wait, wait and hope that she does not get any more seizures. Wait and hope that nothing bad will happen. I cannot do anything about the situation but I suppose I can try to take control of my own feelings about something that I have no control over.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Another EEG test

One night last week, my girl gave me another scare. I was woken up by her moans but she didn't respond when I called out to her. I thought I saw her moving/jerking in bed. When I switched on the lights and tried to wake her I saw that her eyes were open but her left eye was twitching. She looked blank and did not respond.

I called the paed neuro the next day and she advised us to bring her in for another EEG test. My heart was so heavy and filled with fear. It still is. I am very sad, scared and worried.

When I told my girl that she would be missing school because she had to go for another EEG her response was "Why do I have to go and see the brain doctor? I don't have a headache." I explained to her that its just a routine check and the doctor will give her a MC for not attending school. She went "Hurray!" and started prancing around. Such innocence. I smiled at her but my heart was very very heavy. I reminded her that they will attach many wires from her head to the computer and she will be asked to blow into a bag (to simulate hyperventilation) and they were going to ask her to look at flashing lights. She asked whether it was going to be the same girl who will ask her to blow into a bag because she liked the girl.

She is only 7. She is a bright and intelligent child, a good girl. My husband and I were worried that if she had to take medication, it would stiffle her individuality.

We had to keep her sleep deprived for the EEG so we let her go to sleep later and woke her up earlier in the morning. During one part of the EEG she had to go to sleep. This time the EEG was more professional than the one we did 2 months ago. During that EEG test there was no one else allowed in the room with her. Fortunately the technician was a lady, otherwise I would have insisted on being there too. This time there were two technicians, a lady and a man and I was allowed to be in the room.

Just when I was wondering how on earth she was going to fall asleep with 2 technicians and her mom staring at her, and just when they had sent hubby to go and buy sedatives and a syringe, she fell asleep. Later on when I asked her how she did it, she said she counted numbers.

The EEG turned out normal. Another EEG done 2 months ago was normal too but the doctor says that normal does not mean that she is not epileptic. She says that she does not want to label her yet but she thinks there is a 60% chance that she is. She says that if there is another episode than she may consider other tests and even if another EEG turns out normal, she may consider medication.

It feels hard to even write this down but writing is a form of therapy for me to get it out of my chest and think things through more subjectively instead of emotionally. However, I must say that writing does not help this time. I still feel disturbed. I do not feel at peace. I am worried about her especially when we go to bed and when she is away from me at school.

I hope that it was just a nightmare that she was experiencing but the doctor does not seem to think so. I guess a normal EEG is the better outcome for now since there is still some hope. However I am worried because in my case after one seizure in my sleep, the doctor said one seizure does not make you an epileptic. After a second seizure in my sleep, the doctor said its ok not to take medication at this point. And then I had 3 seizures in a day while I was awake and had to be hospitalised. I am worried that the same thing will happen to her. So is a normal EEG and non-medication really the better outcome? I don't know. I really don't know.

When it happened to me, I was scared for a while, but I think I can come to terms with it more easily than if it were to happen to any of my kids. That is very very much harder to handle. Afterall, I have done all the things that I wanted to do when I was young without this burden. I am a housewife now so to me its not so crucial but to a young kid who has a whole life to live and look forward to, a kid will face many more pressures, pressures as well as misunderstanding from the people around them.

If there is anyone whose child has to undergo an EEG, please take not that it is a harmless, non invasive test.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to talk to your child about swine flu

Yesterday my girl came home from school and said.....

"Mummy, teacher said if we get sick we will die. She told us about a virus. She asked whether anyone had gone anywhere for the school holidays. She said if we are sick we cannot go anywhere. We must stay at home. We must stay at home for 7 days. Some of my friends went to Australia and America during the school holidays. They played at the playground with other children there. Will they get the germs? Teacher said we must not go to crowded places like supermarket so that we won't get the virus. How come we still went to the supermarket?"

I guess the teacher had been talking to the children about swine flu. I wonder how much my girl understood. I just let her ask her questions and answered her the best that I knew.

I told her that staying at home for 7 days is called home quarantine and it is only a safety precaution to make sure that you don't pass any germs to anyone if you are not feeling well. It does not mean that you will die.

I searched the internet for resources on how to talk to young children about swine flu and found these:

Advice for Parents on Talking to Children About Novel H1N1 Flu (Formerly Swine Flu) Concerns from Centers for Decease Control and Prevention (The article mentions that we should Focus on what your child can do to avoid getting novel H1N1 flu. For example, they should wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (long enough for them to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). I find this suggestion very useful for my 5 year old who usually just brushes his hands briefly over the soap, flush with water and yells "Finished Mummy!")

Talking to Children About Swine Flu (H1N1): A Parent Resource from National Association of School Psychologists

Scary swine flu? Kids can be fearful of 'invisible' illness from (Here, it is mentioned that with young children, we should keep it simple and say something like "Some people have gotten sick with a flu you get from contact with someone who has it. Mom and Dad are going to make sure you're safe. We'll take care of you. " )

Meanwhile here are some other useful resources and links on the H1N1 Flu Pandemic: - the one stop access to U.S. Government H1N1, avian and pandemic flu information.

Questions and Answers on H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and You from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Don't be compacent. Educate yourself and your family about swine flu. The World Health Organization has declared a global H1N1 flu pandemic on 11 June, 2009.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Ladies, do you want "a chubbiness bust?"

Recently I received an advertorial publication. It says Bust Englarging service that gives you a firm and chubbiness bust. ROTFL.

I've heard of big and beautiful bust but not "chubby" breasts before!

In the same publication, my horroscope read as follows:

"On Full Moon, your ruler, Mercury is in Waterman, commit madder at the Fish cusp. You will wonder thinks comes whta you of this day as tomorrow! Get end remarks in meanwhile you can! With new moon, your ruler is retrograade in Fish and square to Jupiter in arc shooter. Above everything, holds your feeling for humor or you will lose your temper. It will the typical "two steps ahead, three steps back", scenario in this cycle. Splendor many and embrace the parabel."


I can't believe anyone could publish such rubbish. Errrrr.... so ladies.... do you want chubbiness in your bust?

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I forgot Mother's Day

I forgot it was Mother's Day on Mother's Day because I was feeling too sick.

I was still having fever but had to go out to do some grocery shopping. We stopped by the bookstore. The kids and hubby who were all sick too selected some books. Then daddy told them to pick a Magazine for mummy because it was Mummy's Day and I replied in a blur "Is that right? I thought it was next week? Are you sure?"

Anyway, I was feeling too sick to care. I just told them to pick anything. They picked a Vogue magazine for me. Now if I hadn't been sick, I would have picked something else like "Good Housekeeping" or the Woman's Weekly or something.

Somehow, I feel that Fashion Magazines like Vogue are a waste of money. They cost quite a lot because of the exchange rate and there's nothing to read. Furthermore, many of the pages are just glossy ads. Theres not much substance or value in the magazine.

However, since hubby was thoughtful enough to remember to ask the kids to pick up something for me, I shall still treasure it. Later on, the boy brought back some craft flowers and heart shape thingy that he had moulded and baked at his kindy. "Its for you mummy. I didn't make it. Teacher did." he said. Hahaha. Its the thought that counts and the honesty and simplicity in which it was given that touches me. The fact that he didn't make it himself did not matter. lol. "I didn't get to make you a card mummy", the girl said sadly. She loves to make cards for people. I must remember to help her make a card for daddy's day next month.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is next month. I think that Mother's Day should really be for those mothers who have a really tough time being a mother. Single Mothers as well as mothers who are also looking after a sick parent, spouse or child. Those are the mothers who really deserve a break and recognition on what a good job they are doing as mothers.

Most mothers, including myself, often complain about how hard it is to be a mother (although we really love to be one), we wished we had more "me time" etc. However compared to those other mothers who have it really tough, our "complaints" seem really petty.

I had a taste of it the other day. On that day, my child suddenly vomitted in her sleep. She had no cough, no stomach pains. The vomitting was sudden, projectile and in her sleep. Vomit was everywhere, on the floor, pillows, blankets, her hair... When I went to wake her up, she looked in a daze. I am not sure whether it was due to sleepiness. She said that she could not see me even though I had switched on all the lights. I quickly cleaned her up and passed her over to my husband for comfort but she complained of a very severe headache. After resting a while she vomitted again.

Now, in normal circumstances, this would not be of that much of a concern. However, the paeditrician advised us to see a child neurologist because of my own condition. I have epilepsy which is under control. Besides, any sudden vomitting and headache plus temporary loss of vision with no other symptoms is a cause for concern and could be the sign of a more serious underlying condition. My child had also mentioned that she "feels like she is dreaming" on a certain number of occassions. We were worried that these may be signs of an aura or seizure.

So we brought her to a child neuro who advised us to do an EEG. The EEG is a procedure which takes about 45 minutes. Preparation time is about 15 minutes that is putting gel and sticking wires all over the head. These wires are attached to a computer to monitor the electrical brain waves. Thats my very layman way of describing it. If you or someone you know ever need to do an EEG, you should consult your doctor if you wish to know more about it. It is a painless procedure but you are required to be in a sleep deprived state and fall asleep during the procedure if you can so that readings can be taken during sleep as well as wakefullness. So the poor girl had to lie all alone in a dark room with little wires stuck all over her head but she took it in her stride. She thought that it was rather amusing when the techinician asked her to blow into an equipment to create hyperventilation or when flashes of light were flashed on and off at her during the procedure.

I was very worried. I cried. I worried. I thought about all the negative things. What if? What if she had a serious condition? What if she had to take medication for it? She is so younng. What if it caused her to be drowsy half the time and not like the active child she is now? What if it broke up our family because husband and I could not take the stress? What if it caused us to become overprotective of her and neglect her brother? What if? Why? I am a little crazy like this, to think so far ahead but illnesses within the family can alter the family dynamics somewhat and you must really be very strong as a family unit to go through it together.

Fortunately the test came out negative and the doctor sent us home. However she mentioned that the tests are not conclusive, they are indicative but not conclusive and we still do not know what happened that night. Still, it is a relief that for now, she is alright.

On that day, we also had to get our maid to do her medical tests. So we went to 5 clinics in all. It was a crazy day. But it reminded me to be thankful. Be thankful for what we have now. Our family's health and wellbeing is so important. Everything else pales in comparison.

It also reminded me that how my complaints about how difficult it is being a mom to two young kids who quarrel all day long and drive me up the wall all day with their pestering and whining and how I wished I had more time for myself etc is nothing, NOTHING at all compared to other bigger things like when a child or a spouse, parent or grandparent has a serious illness or compared to those single mothers who have to handle all the hard moments of parenting without someone by their side or relief. Those mothers are the ones who truly deserve a Mother's Day.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Future of Science for Your Health

Do you want to live longer and healthier? The future of Science and its application for health benefits has made this potentially possible.

I am sure everyone has heard of Embryonic stem cells. However, its use and the way it is obtain can be controversial. Adult stem cells like those found in bone marrow may help to overcome the ethical dilemma, however it requires invasive procedures to obtain them.

Now, menstrual blood is being tapped as a new source of stem cells. It is easy to collect, does not cause any harm or pain and can be collected monthly for years. Perhaps scientists have indeed found the holy grail of stem cells.

Cryo-Cell International is the only company in the world that allows women the exclusive opportunity to preserve their very own menstrual stem cells using C'elle's patent-pending technology and easy to use collection kit.

Menstrual stem cells show great promise in treating breast cancer, diabetes, stroke and more. If you preserve your very own menstrual stem cells now, who knows, it could save you in the future. Why not call 1-866-565-9254 to find out more? At the moment C'elle is offering you an affordable way to protect your future. You can enroll now for only $299 ($400 off the regular price!!! ) using the Promo Code CN400.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The greatest challenge of being a mother

I find that the greatest challenge of being a mother, so far, is the test of patience. Every day my patience is being challenged to its limit.

Now that my girl is 7, she is no longer cute. In fact, on certain days, if I may say this, she can get downright irritating and annoying.

If there is one word I can use to describe my child, that word would be "INQUISITIVE". She is inqusitive, very much so. I guess that is a good thing because it means that she loves to learn but in order to learn, she has to ask questions about anything and everything under the sun. I lose my patience quite often when that happens. I want to pull my hair and scream at her "ENOUGH ALREADY!"

Once she asked me "Mummy, what did you say about what I said about ... oh I don't know already." and she expects me to answer that!

Quite often, I find myself, rolling my eyes at her or shouting at her to stop it. Once, we got so frustrated, we even went to the extent of telling her that "You are limited to only 5 questions a day." (I know thats utterly terrible. Its just that my patience has been stretched to the limit) but of course that does not stop her. She asks more than 5 questions for each issue and then asks again in the next breath or minute.

She also must make sure that I hear her correctly. She would request that I repeat her question EXACTLY the way that she asks it word for word. I know she behaves this way because she is lacking in confidence, wants some attention and wants to learn. But that does not stop me from running out of patience!

Dealing with this day after day really tires me out. I want to be a good listener to her but no matter how much attention I give to her, it does not change her behaviour. I have really run out of ideas and patiences.

So I think patience is the best virtue of a mother and something I need to work on.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to give a Gift of Confidence to your children?

What is the best gift you can give to a child? Why Confidence and Self Esteem of course. It will certainly help them in later life. Sometimes even more than ABCs, education and academics will. I have seen many who are really good but because they are not confident, they have been passed on by those lesser ones who are not that good but look so good because they can really talk and are ever so confident.

I would really like to give this gift of confidence to my children but I don't know how. Yesterday I saw my girl's class teacher and again she commented that my girl has no confidence. She can't even stand straight up when talking, the teacher said but then she didn't offer any other suggestions on how we can work together to help her etc. When I tried to ask her more, she didn't have anything further to say.

I am just so not used to these kind of teachers. Previously in the kindergarten, the teachers were very approachable and it was easy to discuss about the kids and their progress with them but I guess in a kindergarten, this is business whereas in a public school, the teachers don't welcome these kinds of discussions. It merely means more work to them for the same pay. So less talk is better for them. Sigh.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The biggest milestone as a parent so far...

Probably the biggest milestone I encountered in bringing up my "babies" so far is not when they first rolled over, sat up, took their first steps, sprouted their first teeth, first solids, toilet training etc. Those were exciting moments but the biggest moment for me as a mother or parent is when they take their first steps into school.

Not playschool, preschool or kindergarten but "big" school, primary school or whatever it is you choose to call it. This is the time my child grows away from me to experience new things. She has to adjust to an environment away from home, make new friends, deal with peer pressure, the way they do things at school etc.

This poses the biggest challenge to me as a parent so far... How to help my child... How to help my child grow into a warm, confident, kind adult.

Yesterday, my girl's teacher said that my girl is "very no confidence" Now, I am cracking my head on how to help her. How to help her improve her self confidence and self esteem.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jealousy and Unfair Treatment

Now that my kids are older, they have begun to voice out when they think they are being given unfair treatment.

As parents, we try to be as fair to them as we can. We love them equally and we also try to treat them equally. I believe that problems between siblings can arise from unfair treatment from parents whether perceived or real.

Here are some instances when the kids actually "voice" out when they think we are being unfair.

  1. During a recent holiday, I was very tired when my girl came to wake me up. I yawned and went back to sleep. A moment later, her little brother jumped on me and gave me a cheeky smile. I smiled back at him and the girl said "Mummy, why do you act so excited when you see him but when you see me, you don't?"
  2. I am very concerned about how my girl is adjusting in school so I make a lot of effort in talking to her about school. Last night, after I spent more than a few minutes chatting to her about school in bed, her little brother who was beside us suddenly said "Mummy, why you never ask me about my school?"
  3. During the end of last year, I spent a lot of time preparing my girl to be mc for her school concert. I also spent a lot of time at the kindy watching her practise and giving her moral support. Her little brother who had just started kindy this year said "Mummy, can you stay and watch my concert? (He thinks that singing the school song in the mornings during assembly is a concert. lol) You always stay and watch cheh cheh."

In a way, it is good that they voice out their unhappiness, it helps me keep a check on our fairness meter at home. :)

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A new friend

I don't have many friends. Whenever the time for festival comes, I would pout and poke my husband on the ribs whenever his phone beeps with yet another sms message. "Its for you, Mr. Popular." I would say. lol. Thats just sour grapes talking because I don't have any sms. I guess if I were still working it would perhaps be different?

However, I do have a few special friends. I think thats better than having lots of acquaintances. Having one friend in a million is better than having a sea of friends who don't really care.

Anyway, I am very happy to have made a new friend. Have you ever met anyone whom you clicked with just like that. Someone whom you can chat with on just about anything for just about any period of time. Someone whom you feel like you have known for a very long time when in fact you have just met? Its wonderful to have a friend like that.

Well, this is my new friend and I hope that you will help to vote for her blog because by doing so, you will be voting for Epilepsy Awareness and helping many people in the process. Thank you.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

A healthy mom is a happy mom

My new year resolution (by default) is to improve my health further by eating well, sleeping well and exercising daily.

I say "by default" because my new routine of having to get up at 6.30am to get the girl ready for school, gives me a half hour free time spot from the time she goes off to school with daddy to the time I have to get the boy ready for kindy.

I will use that time to exercise daily. I will rotate my exercise to aerobic type (good for the heart), toning type (good for the shape which has gone out of shape. Haha.) and stretching type (good for relaxation which is just as important) so that I won't overwork myself. Sounds good? Yes, it sounds good to me and it will be even better if I can keep it up! lol. I've tried it out for a few days now and it feels great. It feels so good to have done my exercises, showered etc before I start off my day. Its wonderful. It takes a bit of discipline but it feels good to be able to do it.

Good exercise will lead to better sleep too. As for food, I will continue to eat less rice and more vegetables and fruits but I still can't seem to keep myself off those crunchy deep friend stuff. Hmm....

Hopefully, in addition to good health benefits, I will get good shape benefits too! Hahaha. At the end of last year, I was trying so hard to lose 5 pounds but instead I gained 5 pounds! Oh bother! Now, I have 10 pounds to lose! I don't eat very much during the weekdays but during weekends I tend to pig out! I have to stop my weekend bingeing. Ok. Now, I've got me another new resolution. Hehe.

Whats your new year resolution?

Other Posts I wrote today:
First Week of School
Countdown to Chinese New Year

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