Friday, December 24, 2010

How quickly the time flies

My blogs have been sorely neglected. However, I am just taking a ........ forced break. The kids are more important. My job as a mother is more important than blogging. Blogging can wait. The kids can't. When I look back at the photos of the time when the kids are little, I realise how quickly that time has come to pass. If you do not treasure that time there and then, it is gone, lost forever. You will never get to enjoy your little boy and little girl again. Oh you can enjoy them when they are older but enjoying them when they are babies and toddlers and preschoolers is gone.

My boy and girl has passed the baby, toddler and preschooler stage. They are both going to be in Primary school next year. How quickly the time flies. How fast. I see some parents who work so hard to make a better life for their children in the future. I hope they do not become so focussed on that that they forget to enjoy the now, the present.

Looking back, with hindsight, I am glad that I picked up my babies whenever they cry, rock them to sleep, marvelled at their long eyelashes, their soft skin and baby smell. Their dad spends a lot of time with them too. Being silly with them, disciplining them and just loving them every step of the way. Our bond with the children is strong for all the time we spend and give to them. Hopefully, that bond, created from the time when they were babies and our memories of them, will help us go through the challenging teen years and last us a lifetime till when the kids become adults.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Multiple Roles

I have been playing the role of mother and wife in recent years. They became my primary role.

However, now that father is in hospital, I find that I have to juggle my role with more care now. My father needs me now, more than ever and so do my sisters who need my moral support as I need theirs. So now, my role as a daughter and sister has been pushed to the forefront now too. So I have to do a juggling act. Fortunately, since I am a SAHM, I don't have to carry out the role of an employee as well.

It is not easy to do a juggling act. One must be able to switch between roles easily. One must find the time and energy to give of oneself fully when carrying out each role. Each role is as important as the other. You must think of the others even when carrying out the role of one. You cannot carry out just one role and shut all the others out. Each one cries out for your immediate and full attention and love.

Though one may have the capacity to love many, one has only that many hours in a day and other limitations. It is not easy being a woman, especially during times when everyone needs you just as much.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

One to One Time

I think it is important sometimes to spend one to one time with each child we have. Hopefully that will reduce sibling rivalry and make each child feel special and important. Everyone wants a piece of mummy, whether it is a hug or attention. So during one to one time it is important to give all the attention and hugs and child craves for.

This holidays, the girl has an early holiday whereas the boy's holidays will start later since he wants to attend some school holiday program with his kindergarten friends. The boy is not unhappy that his school holidays is starting later. He is delighted to go to school to play with his friends and enjoy the various parties the school has organised.

The girl is happy to have an early start to her school holidays. I am sure she is also looking forward to having some one to one time with mummy. I wonder what we shall do. For starters, today, she wants me to sit and draw and colour a space picture with her. :)

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

What to do?

My girl has been complaining about "dreaming" again and seeing "green green" and headaches. Even the doctor has trouble diagnosing these symptoms. The neurologist can't decide whether they are the auras that come with epilepsy or perhaps they could even be simple partial seizures, or perhaps they are auras associated with migraine or it could even by pyschological. Sigh.

Whatever they are, they are worrying. And the question is What to do? Should the doctor increase her antiseizure medications? I'd hate to see it being increased. I cringe when I think about what all the medication she is taking is doing to her developing kidneys. I am reluctant to increase the dosage. But then is the current dosage doing its job to stop symptoms? Perhaps increasing it would stop all these symptoms. But what if these weren't symptoms but something else. What if we increased it unnecessarily? What then? What if the symptoms do not go away after the increase. What then? Increase some more?

My opinion is to wait until something happens before deciding whether to increase. But of course that is a very hard decision. Waiting for something to happens means waiting for another seizure. But when will it happen? What if it happens in school in front of all her friends. She is already having trouble making friends since she is somewhat shy. The children are still so young. They will not understand her condition and may shy away from being friends with her. I'd hate to see that and what it would do to her already somewhat low self esteem.

What if? What if? What if? I am going mad. And each night whenever she flips this way or that or lets out a loud breath or murmur which she tends to do since she has a perpetual blocked nose and often breathes through the mouth when she sleeps, I literally jump up from my sleep worrying, so afraid I'd see another seizure. I don't know what to do and I don't think the doctor knows either. These things are hard to decide upon even for the doctor because they are unclear, not clean cut crystal clear like if you have a pain you take panadol that kind of thing. What to do?

I am relieved that her exams are over. At least there is no stress for now. One less seizure trigger. So for now, I can concentrate on trying to make sure she gets enough rest and sleep. However, next year she will be in Standard 3 in a Chinese School and we all know that that equates to little sleep and more stress. Sigh. We will cross the bridge when we come to it.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All they want is some tender loving care

My girl is always bombarding me with "How" questions.

"Mummy, I really hate to go to school on Mondays. How?"
"Mummy, the mosquito bit me and my hand is really itchy. How?"
"Mummy, my stomach pain. How?"

Sometimes, after several repetitive "Hows" with no satisfactory answers, she adds

"Can sayang me ah?"

Then it finally dawned on me, that all she wants is some pampering and loving. She does not really want me to give her the answer to her "How". (Because most of the time there is no answer but she pesters persistently even when I tell her I don't know the answer.)

However, finally I realised that all she wants is for me to hug her and tell her, "It is okay. Everyone hates school at some time or another." or hug her and apply some medicine for her stomach or hand or ear or eye or whatever it is that is bothering her at the time. All she wants is a little tender loving care. Ting! Lightbulb moment.

What a dunce I am. I finally got it. All this while I have been so irritated by all the endless, pestering "Hows" and at last I finally got it. I told her about it too (this new revelation of mine) and she smiled and asked "Can sayang me ah?"

"Of course! Hugs are free. They are available anytime." Thats what I told her and she grinned happily.

The boy is different. He does not ask. He is a natural hugger. He just simply comes up to you and gives me his little big bear hug whenever he feels like it, which is often, sometimes strangling me in the process :)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What my mother taught me

My mother died when I was young. However, one lesson which I clearly remember from her is to give the best to others. My mother said that it is not okay to reach out for that delicious looking chicken drumstick or the best foods on the table. One should always let the others have the better parts.

I do not see this happening these days. Quite often when eating out in a group, I sometimes see the parents reaching out and grabbing the best parts for their kids and place it in a platter in front of them. Sometimes the kids can't even finish the portion but nevermind that, the important thing is to reserve the best parts for the kids.

I wonder what these parents are teaching the kids. ...  that it is ok to be selfish and put oneself above others? I know it is just food but then manners as with everything else begins with little things.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

You're Growing Up!

I have not written a poem in a long while. So, here is one dedicated for my little sweetheart, my girl who is now 8. Feel free to copy this poem if you like but a link back would be most appreciated. Thank you. Links to more of my poems can be found here.

For my little sweetie pie

You're Growing Up!

You're growing up sweetheart
It seems like just yesterday when I held you in my arms
And looked at your little face
Now I can't even lift you up for a closer embrace

You're so tall now sweetie
Wasn't it only days ago that you sat up and crawled
Now you're running at the malls
Zigzagging here and there not afraid to fall

You love skipping and singing little one
It makes me happy to see you happy like this
You talk a lot now too compared to your first word "daddy"
We cherish you right from the time you were a baby

You like to choose your food now dearie
That is fine because I know you are growing up
It is a lot better than those days
When you pushed out every food we brought your way

You can do so many things on your own now darling
Read and eat and draw and bathe
When once upon a time we felt anxious during separation
While it took almost a year for your toilet education

My sweetie pie, you have still a long road to travel
But I hope that each step you take
Is filled with happiness, joy and laughter,
And all the love that we can give you from now till forever after

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Most Important Exam Preparation

It is the end of the semester and before you know it the school year will be over. The kids are busy preparing for their tests in school as well as at home. During the weeks leading to the tests, we cut out weekend outings to find time for revision. During weekdays there is no time for any revision, only daily homework.

I find that the most important exam preparation of all, especially for an 8 year old kid (because that is how old my child is), is getting plenty of rest and sleep and good nutrition ..... so that they don't fall ill and they feel relaxed and calm, not tensed, rushed and stressed out.

So our primary goal for the next few weeks is to get plenty of rest and sleep, and not rushing to finish the syllabus. :) The teachers are rushing in school. At home, we must provide the rest from rushing. It is of course easier said than done but I shall try my best.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Smile more, frown less

I realise that here is one other thing I have been practising with my girl. First was hug more, followed by being a better listener and last but not least is to smile more and frown less.

I tend to go around with this big frown on my face. It is not that motherhood is so hard that I have to frown all the time. No, no. It is just that I am a natural frowner if ever there was one. I remember when I was having my wedding photo shots taken, the photographers all sighed in dismay and said "the bride is frowning too much."

Get rid of that frown. We can't photoshop it especially if it is under some fringe. Haha. Well, I have worn that frown to this day.

However, since children are ultra sensitive to our moods and emotions, I have to get rid of that frown. The best way is to replace it with a smile.

So, what is the result of hugging more, listening better and smiling more? Well, I get a girl who hugs back, smiles often and misbehaves less and I can see that she listens more too when I explain why she should not behave in certain ways. She would just smile sheepishly instead of frowning at me, shouting back or stomping away.

I got back everything that I gave out. Give and you shall receive. How true.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

To be a better listener

One of the other things I did with my girl is to be a better listener. I realise that in my rushed day, I often do not listen to her. I look at her with glazed far away eyes, mumble something or brush her aside. That is why she has this constant need for attention. She wants to test to see if I am listening. At least that is my theory anyway. She knows it too, the fact that I am not listening. Quite often she would say "Mummy, are you listening?" or "Mummy, what was I saying" catching me when I tell her something else altogether.

I try to imagine how she feels by imagining how I feel when I am all excited to tell hubby about something, only to get that glazed far away look, an hmm mmm mumble for an answer or a "not now I am busy" answer. That is exactly how she feels when I do not listen.

Now, I try to listen to her better and along with the extra hugs, she is happier and behaving a lot better. Oh, I do not drop everything just to listen to her. I think that would be encouraging her to seek more attention. However, I tell her that sometimes I am busy and cannot give her my full attention. I tell her that she must choose the right time to speak and not barge in whenever she likes. I am teaching her to respect my time and in return, I also allocate time to listen to her fully. When I am available, I tell her "Now, I am free, what was it you wanted to tell me earlier."

Sometimes the kids do not like this. They say, "if you make us wait, we forget what we want to say." I have to tell them that if it is important enough, they won't forget it. They still sulk at this but I have to be firm with them.

It is not easy to listen to kids. They speak everything that comes to mind and that is usually a lot. They would describe a whole lot events in perfect details leading to just one point. Sometimes we tend to tune out after a while. We are still there but no longer there.... and they know it!

You would become a really good listener if you learned to listen to kids especially if you have to do it 24/7!

Listening is an important skill for any relationship. I am going to keep on practising and improving on my listening skills. How about you? Are you listening?

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I am happy that my effort to give more hugs to my little girl has turned around my downhill relationship with her. It also helped that we were both more relaxed during the school holidays.

I realised that my relationship with my girl had been going downhill. Somehow, we just seem to keep on rubbing each other the wrong way. She was rude to me. I shouted at her. We both felt exasperated with each other. We were on a vicious downward spiral.

I was dismayed. I wanted us to have a good mother daughter relationship that will last for years. I knew I had to do something. As usual, doing something means starting with myself. (I believe that as we evolve as a parent, we also evolve as a person and hopefully become better persons overall.) I have tried many times in the pass to change myself, to be more patient with her but I always ended up shouting and she remained rude. We could not break the cycle. However, it was the hugs that did it.

Make love, not war. Give hugs, not shouts. Haha. Right. The second part was made up by me but it worked. She started to give hugs in return and her behaviour changed for the better. I hope we can keep it up.

I also resolve that no matter how rushed her day or mine is, I will do my best to make sure that she is not too pressured by it. In order to this, I have to constantly remind myself that she is still very much a little girl. A little girl who loves to do crafts, sing, read, play, skip and just be happy.

Just the other day, I received this little note from her. On the cover was "For mummy to see. Feeling now: Sad. :( (With a little sad smiley). Now open the letter."

In it she wrote together with the spelling mistakes and all: "Mummy, today I am sad because I don't do homework, just play! just sortbooks, and noting else. I just did that! but, I did colour my dragon and, my playing is colouring your dragon! but at lease lease lease lease lease lease lease lease lease I coloured MY dragon too. but noting else. I haven't pack bag, and practise "ting seah" and haven't let you sign my ting seah. So, today, I give up. I "tui bu" very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very much! So, I have to do homework at night. not like these few days so good. (Heart shape and a sad looking cartoon face).

See how pressured she is? I wrote back. "For sweetie pie to see. Feeling now. Happy! :) Now, open the letter."

"Sweetie pie, Today I am happy! You did homework in school and even copied extra words in your exercise book and teacher praised you too! You are very hardworking, that is why you only have "ting seah" left to practise. It is okay, you can practise on Saturday or Sunday. You have packed your bag! :) That is very very "jin bu" (show improvement). Last time you always leave packing bag to at night. You did your dragon homework too. Although  you played a bit, we can study hard on Saturday and Sunday so we still have time ok? These few days you have been very, very, very good indeed. Keep it up! Don't give up! P.S. I signed your "ting seah" already. (Cartoon of happy mummy and three hearts)

Ever since then till now, she has kept on being good. She packs her school bags in a jiffy in an organised manner (in the way that I had shown her while shouting!). She no longer takes half a day to do it.

Now, that she has turned around, I have a new problem. It is my boy. The sweet little angel has started to behave in a pestering manner. All day it is "Mummy, I accidentally touched this, dropped that, scratched this,..... etc etc etc." every hour of every day.

I guess now that she is over that phase, she has passed the baton to her little brother. Help! Motherhood sure is challenging!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh where has my little girl gone?

Yesterday I was viewing some home videos and I felt really nostalgic looking at my little girl "reading" a book to her little brother who was just learning how to sit. They both looks so so so cute, if I may say so myself. Every mother thinks their child is so so so cute so I am excused aren't I? The girl sounded so incredibly adorable pretending to read while the boy tumbled when he tried to look at the book and he couldn't get up again. So so cute.

They grow up so fast. Now all of a sudden, almost like all at once, my cute little girl is gone, replaced by an impatient sounding (like me), rude, ill mannered girl and she is not even a teenager yet. Oh gosh, what happened along the way? What did I do wrong? What will happen when she is a teenager if she is like that now.

I am constantly working on trying to improve my relationship with  her. Looking at the video only makes me want to work harder. I want my sweet little girl back.

It was easier to work on this during the school holidays when we are both not so rushed. I can feel the peace and the change. During school days, the workload drives us crazy.

What I want to remember from this post is, WHENEVER YOU FEEL LIKE SHOUTING OR SCOLDING YOUR KIDS, HUG THEM INSTEAD. I will work on trying to give my girl more hugs and hope that it will make a difference.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Too close to the problem

Sometimes I feel that being a stay at home mother makes me "too close to the problem". As a stay at home mother I do not feel the guilt of not being there enough for my kids often enough. On the contrary, I am around so much that I see every single detail of what is going on and that makes me nag more.

I am also the teacher at home and boy what a task that is. Nag nag nag. Hurry Up! Nag nag nag. I am solely responsible and in charge of their time management. Nag nag nag. Hurry Up! I must make sure they eat fast, sleep fast etc. Get enough rest and play while making sure they finish up their sometimes ridiculous load of homework. Nag nag nag. Hurry Up!

I don't have the "luxury" of being away from them for a few hours a day (accept during school hours of course) where their homework is guided at a tuition or daycare center. I AM the tuition and daycare centre. I don't have the guilt of being away which makes me want to hug and love them more and make sure every second counts.

Sometimes a working mother spends more quality time with their kids as a result while the stay at home mother has quantity of time but it is spend nagging, nagging, nagging. Shouting rather than loving.

I need to learn to close an eye to, well, to lots of things. I need to learn to be calm and control my responses to them. I need meditation,  yoga, exercise and soothing music. I need, I need, I need. However all this is easier said than done.

Help! I am a monster of a nagging mum. I need a break.... but there is none. I need to change. I need more patience, understanding, more patience yes. I need more patience.  My kids are beggining to shout back at me. They sound like me when they do it. I shout at them out of impatience and now they mirror me and shout back impatiently for other things just like me. It is scary. I do not wish to raise, rude, impudent, ill mannered kids. I have got to watch myself, control myself better but it is so hard and I am so tired.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mom's Diary

I am "not working" but my diary and appointment book is always full. For example, I have to remember the following schedule and all that it entails....

  • Doctor Appointment for Kid No. 2
  • Mid Year Tests for Kid No. 1
  • Math Competition in School for Kid No. 1
  • Dentist Appointment
  • Class photo day for Kid No. 1
  • Spelling Competition in school for Kid No. 2
  • Take Kid No. 2 to barber
  • Class photo day for Kid No. 2
  • Immunization for Kid No. 2
  • Music Theory Exam for Kid No. 1
  • School Holidays for everyone except mommy who is even more busy than ever!
  • Lantern Festival Party in Kid No. 2's school
  • and so on and so forth
With such a tight schedule, I have no time to be bored. I have only 2 kids. I wonder how those with more kids cope. Their dairy must be even more full.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Motherhood is sometimes a tiring job despite its many obvious rewards. Sometimes it does get tiring and the motherhood journey is hard.

Sometimes all we need is a little pat on the back and a small word of praise. "Thank you for a job well done" (even though it is not quite well done). Sometimes all we need is a little encouragement instead of criticism. "It is your job. Just get it done. Why are you complaining. All I hear is complaining. I want results."

Sometimes it is hard to get caught in between. In between the spouse and the kids. In between the children. In between the school and the kids. In between.. in between...

We are also caught in the fine line between discipline and freedom. When you try to discipline sometimes you are told that you are being too harsh. When you try to give some leeway, you are spoiling the kids.

We must support and praise and encourage and discipline but what support praise and encouragement do we get?

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Mothers with children growing up on the blogs

I have been blogging for close to 6 years now. My first blog post was in September 2004 on my first blog. I hadn't even realised it has been that long. This blog was started in 2006. It is all about my personal motherhood journey from pregnancy, to childbirth to newborn, toddlerhood, teething, feeding and toilet training.

Now, before I know it, I am writing about schooling, homework etc. How quickly time flies. It is simply amazing. In becoming a mother and learning to become a mother, I learn about myself and feel myself evolving all the time. That is amazing too.

I have made many blogger friends along the way, many of whom started writing about pregnancy, their newborns who became toddlers and whom are now preschoolers or early graders. What a ride.

I am very happy to have found blogging and for this network of blogger friends. I know that whenever I feel down, all I have to do is reach out on my blog and I know I am not alone. I know that somewhere out there, there is someone who has been there, done that who will tell me it is ok. I know there are others who are going through the same things who will cheer me on and give me the pat on the back I sometimes need as a mother when nobody else will. I know there will be those who will give me words of encouragement and support when I most need it.

To all those who have given me words of encouragement and support, I just want to say, Thank you.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Art of Being Patient when dealing with a dawdler

One of the ways I learn to become "patient" with my dawdler is doing something else in the meantime.

I find that when my girl is being slow at something, instead of standing there shouting at her to move it along, I will go and do something else that needs to be done in the meantime.

I will come back to check on her periodically but it drives me less crazy to know that something else is being done, another task is being carried out from our long list of to dos while waiting for her. This makes me less mad at her and it gives her more time to complete her task too. It makes me nag at her less.

It does not stop her from dilly dallying though. I am still working on that. How to find or give her the motivation to move faster on her own and not from my nagging.

This works for me most of the time because the root of my impatience is the lack of time and the pressures and stress that come from knowing that things have to be completed within a certain time frame.

Can you share with me more ways to stay patient?

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I shall have Patience

This is how I look like most of the day to my daughter. You see, we have this combination of little time, loads of work, dawdling, dreaming, requiring endless attention, seeking constant reassurance, not independant enough, very needy. Throw in worry about medication and her health issue and well, that is what you get. Everyday I get stressed to the max and exasperated beyond control.

I have to make sure that she gets enough sleep, rest and exercise while making sure that she completes her heavy workload of homework at the same time while worrying about the effects of the medication and any recurring seizures. It does not help that she does everything very slow. Going to the toilet for a pee can take 20 minutes. Mealtimes an hour. Bathtime more than half an hour. Doing a page of homework can be an hour. This won't do when you have pages of work. I have to make sure that she completes her work and still get enough time to sleep and rest and exercise. I just don't have enough hours in a day to make all that happen.

And in trying to ensure that it happens, I turn into an impatient monster. Like a fire snotting draggon with porcupine spikes.

It does not help if I talk to her nicely to explain to her why she has to learn to do things faster. It does not help if I yell at her (ok sometimes it helps) but then she is reduced to tears while doing her work, so pitiful, it does not help if I ignore her and leave her alone to manage her own work. Everything gets delayed and we have even less time. I just don't know what to do anymore. I have no solutions. Nothing works. I face this each and every day. It is driving me nuts! Everyday is a rush. And the end result of rush is impatience and finally yelling like in the picture. Not enough time = Rushing = Impatience = Yelling.

Somedays, I tell my husband, I give up! I give up! I don't know what to do. A lot of help that is! Of course, a statement like that only causes more problems and stress. He would tell me I am not trying my best. I think I've tried everything. Or he would say you are only telling me the problems, not the solutions.... and then I may tell him ok then why don't you try to get things done and he would say why don't you go to work then. Aaarrrghhh! Blah blah blah. Ok I don't want to go into that or this post will become even longer.

The point of this post is. I know I cannot have more time. There is little I can do about her schedule. She has minimum schedule from extra curricular activities accept for her piano where her piano teacher is rushing her like mad to complete her piano theory plus her school work of course. No other activities. No tv, no pc games, no dance classes, swimming, other games, extra classes from school etc. So sad for a kid. No time for play.

Just school work and music. I have informed the piano teacher to slow down on the practical part because we cannot manage it but as for school work. There is no way the teachers will slow down the homework just for one child so we cannot change that unless we change school. She is only in Standard Two. I cannot imagine what it will be like when she has to stay back for compulsory classes plus compulsory extra curricular activities in Standard 3 next year but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now we are almost drowning.

So, ok, I cannot change her schedule very much. She is a rather needy, anxious child with low self esteem plus she is a perfectionist which delays her work even further. Everything must be checked and rechecked and erased over and over again to perfection. It just drives me crazy, the amount of time it takes to complete something. I know that losing my patience and yelling at her does not help her.

Some articles about patience in parenting suggest that you should lower your expectations on the child and on yourself. However, I feel there is no room for us to lower expectations. If we were to do that, work does not get completed and the consequence of that is even worse for her. Getting scolded by teachers, fear of school. There is no way around it. We just have to complete the work that is given. We cannot delay it.

So, the only thing I can change is my reactions to the situation. So now, I have a new goal. To cultivate patience in myself. Starting (from yesterday), I shall control my reactions. I shall give myself mental talks "How will this help?" I shall try to turn exasperation into humour. I shall control my emotions. I shall not get out of control. I shall work towards becoming more patient. I did quite well yesterday too. I shall persevere and work towards patience.

Lastly, some patience quotes to help myself along. To me, parenting is a lifetime journey of discovery not only about your child but about yourself. It is about growing and changing yourself for the better all the time.

Patience is the art of caring slowly. - John Ciardi

Our patience will achieve more than our force.- Edmund Burke
To lose patience is to lose the battle.- Mahatma Gandhi
Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.- Barbara Johnson
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.- A Chinese Proverb
Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.- Brian Adams

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

My Boy, My Girl and My Man

My boy is 6. He is an all smiles, little cuddly bear. Oh how he loves to hug and be hugged. He likes to stroke my face and hair lovingly too. His vocabulary is growing each day and now likes to add words like "lovely" and "cozy" into his sentences. He tells me he likes to hug me because it is cozy and he called me "my lovely" while requesting that I call him "my child". lol.

He had been pinching the pimple on my chin for the longest time turning it into a perpetual pimple. It was hard to "wean" him from doing so but finally he stopped. The other day he looked at my face and said "Mummy, your pinch is gone now!" :)

He is a very smiley boy but he can really pout too, crying and hiding under chairs and tables when he is feeling disappointed.

We are currently using a reward system for good behaviour and he loves it. He is so good. He would wake up on his own, brush his teeth, change his clothes, have breakfast, go to the toilet all on his own. He would do his homework, practise his music, eat  his greens, go to bed etc all on his own.... all for the sake of collecting stars! :)

My girl is 8. She is smart, intelligent, inquisitive and very very honest. She is very diligent in everything that she does. For example, she has a good set of teeth because she takes care of them so well. She is the straight type who does not feel comfortable about lying or hiding the truth.

She is very manja as well. Whenever she has any small injury or hurt, she would ask "Mummy, please sayang for me". A small pat or blow is enough to make it all better. :)

She does not like dolls or toys very much and prefers reading, drawing and crafting.  She loves to skip, sing and dance and play word games or finger plays. She also loves attention and longs to be heard.

My man is a wonderful father and husband. He is a family man. To him, family is always first. He knows that by doing so, he may not go that very far at work but to him his priorities are very clear. Sometimes to go very far at work you have to work really hard, log in long hours, do a lot of travelling etc. Occassionally that creates a work family imbalance even though you are in fact working for the sake of your family. The catch is you don't get to spend very much time with the family that you are working very hard for. If you don't spend time with  your children when they are young, that time is gone forevery and you have missed out on the wonderful chance to bond with them.

My man makes sure he has time for us. He takes time off during the kid's birthdays etc. He spends time teaching them whenever he can. He has always been a hands on father, right from that first diaper change. He is a very involved dad. My kids are very lucky to have him as a father.

My man loves it when we do things together. I have climbed up roofs, repaired ceilings, painted walls, cut electrical wires etc all with him. We do a lot of DIY ourselves from plumbing to fixing airconds etc and he loves it if I am there to do it with him. Otherwise, he would pout like my boy. Haha.

He is very simple and eats anything I cook and rarely complains. He is a very positive person and it is he who taught me how to be happy with the little things in life and to have a more positive outlook.

He is a very organised and disciplined person. I think I drive him a bit crazy because I am the opposite of that. :)

Ahh... after yesterday's post and now this. Can you tell that the endorphins have kicked in? Or do  you think it is because my period is late again and my hormones are out of sync? Actually it is very simple. It is important to sometimes think about the good things and qualities of the ones you love and write them down in order to get your perspectives right again. If you look for the positives, you will feel positive and great. If you can only see negatives, there will always be something to be unhappy about. Do this simple exercise when you are unhappy. List down all the happy things and happy thoughts and you will not feel so blue.

I was down for a while. I was worried about my girl. I could not sleep at night from watching her. A few days ago she had some rashes and I was a worried. The doc had said that the medication she prescribed could cause some life threatening rash after about a month of consumming. That was about the time she had the rash and I was worried. I had a bad cough. The doc thought it was pneumonia. I am still having the cough. It is the second month now. I missed a period. The doc said it was a hormonal imbalance. It is late again now. I had arguments with the man because we were both under stress. And nothing seemed right. I lost interest in doing anything. Not even blogging preferring to do mindless stuff instead. Each day was a rush.

I hope that we can get back to some normalcy now.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Resentment Trap

The other day I was reading a letter written by "Distressed Wife" where she wrote about her desperate pain as a SAHM. I can feel and understand her pain. She sounds like she is at the end of her tether now, thinking of ".........divorce and leaving the kids with him." I think she wants to give a loud wake-up call to her man. What she really wants to say is "WHY DON'T YOU PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES AND DO WHAT I DO FOR A CHANGE!" No mother wants to leave her children. The fact that she can even think about it shows her frustration.

I have no good advise for her but I can truly understand her pain and desperation. She has been getting all sorts of advice from "train your kids to do the housework", to "spend couple time with your husband" etc but it is all too easy to say than do.

I think that as a SAHM or housewife, we need to shift our focus (and I am not talking about her, I am referring to myself) to ourselves instead of our spouse. We should think about how we can improve things for ourselves and how we can better take care of ourselves so we can take care of the household and the family instead of focussing on how much he is not doing.

Many times, I do feel the pang of resentment, when I feel that my husband is making an unreasonable request about the way I handle things. Sometimes the request may not even be unreasonable but it is tough to handle and carry out for example.

I too want to shout out, "WHY DON"T YOU DO IT!" I feel resentful, when I rush about handling the kids while he has a warm cuppa and lies in bed watching tv because he needs to go to work the next day. I feel resentful when he asks me to train the kids to go to the toilet in the morning or make sure they get enough sleep and go to bed early and tells me "JUST DO IT. DON'T GIVE EXCUSES." I feel resentful when I am rushing to help one kid with his/her school work and the other with his/her music practise and he tells me "You are being biased. spending too much time on this kid and less time on the other." Hey! I do know what I am doing and I know that I am being fair and I rush around to help both as best I can without favour.

It is all very well when everything is going smoothly. Work, money coming in, everyone healthy, you have the time for holidays, gifts, each other.

However, under stressful conditions, like when your doctor tells you that you have a hormonal imbalance and your kid starts having a seizure and is diagnosed with epilepsy and starts taking medicine, the same medicine that you are taking. And the whole family is sick with coughs and colds for two months and the kids have ear infections and nasal problems etc etc. And you never seem to have time for anything. And you never seem to celebrate your wedding anniversaries or birthdays because there is always something more important or pressing that you have to think about like how your kid will react to anticonvulsant medicines or whether you can still keep your job as the single breadwinner because you have imsomnia and it is affecting you.

And you wanted to buy the kid a birthday cake to bring to school because it so happens they are having a party in school for Teacher's Day but the spouse tells you "No, I have other more important things to worry about." The problem is .... there is always something more important to worry about!!!

Under such conditions, then you have to rely on yourself to not fall into the resentment trap. You have to remember all the goodness in your spouse that you have stopped seeing because you are under stress. You have to remember how to remain a good spouse yourself  because once you give up and stop doing that than your relationship will go down the drain as swift as water.

The girl was hopeful to have the birthday cake because she said when she asked teacher whether she could bring a cake for her birthday, teacher said yes and everyone looked at her and now she is no longer afraid to sing in front of the class because now everyone knows her. A cake with everyone singing to her would surely make her happy but then... no... you have to let it go or have the biggest argument with your spouse over a silly cake. So you tell yourself, nevermind, she is only 8, she won't even remember if she had a cake in school when she grows up.

Yes, you have to learn to let go of things like that. You have to learn to make yourself happy. You have to learn to make your spouse happy. You have to learn to make your children happy. You have to learn to let go of building resentment. You have to learn to take care of yourself so that you can take care of those around you. Sometimes the overated and much suggested, go out shopping with girlfriends, or have date nights with your spouse or take a holiday, have a break, go for a spa whatever just isn't possible. Sure anyone would love it if they could do those things to rejuvenate but it is not always practical or possible. In that case, you have to do a mental shift. Talk to yourself and turn your resentment around. Be happy with yourself in your mind. Do things for yourself at home in your own solitude like crap in your blog for example. :P

Ok enough said. I am writing this silly, long crappy post because I am having a hormonal imbalance. I think I should go and do some exercises now to release some endorphins. And hopefully, I will be myself again soon.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mummy, the Nurse

I am so tired of dispensing medicine. Last week, the girl was away from school for 4 days. This week it is the boy's turn, 4 days and he will miss a school party too. The boy had a cough about 2 months ago and passed it around the house. I am still reeling from the cough. And just when you thought all was well, he catches another virus and started sneezing and coughing again.

He also has a fungal infection inside both ears and spreading to the outside of his ears and face and nose as well. The sister had a fungal infection on her finger which hasn't healed. Each night she also needs a spray for her nose to help her breath better, not to mention her daily medicine to be taken twice a day.

For the past 2 months I have been busy dispensing medicine. Each night is a rush to go to bed early as I scurry around giving medicine orally, spraying, applying, squirting, you name it.

Finally, last night in my hurry, I accidentally poured 4 drops of nose drops into the boys ears. The nose drops were meant to be poured into the nose, 1 drop once a day only for not more than 5 days and mummy, the nurse poured 4 drops of those into his ears! Sigh. I'm really tired.

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Hoping to move on

My girl has been on her medication for two weeks now on a step up basis. She starts term tests today. She has managed to catch up with all the homework and school work she missed. I have spoken to her class teacher who was very kind and understanding. I hope that things will stabilize from here. I hope that she won't get any undesirable side effects from the medication. I also hope that the medication will manage to prevent any seizures.

Sister has been discharged from hospital and is back to normal.

I still have a bad cough but I think it is a bit better now. My blood test, discharge culture test, tumour marker test, hormone test etc etc tests results are out. Aunt Flo came at last after taking the hormone pills. The hormone tests reveal that I have a hormonal imbalance whatever that means. She checked my cysts after my period hoping to see that they are gone but they are larger than ever. 4cm by 3cm for the bigger one on the right ovary she says. This one gives me some pain when I cough if I don't hold in my stomach in a certain manner. However she says there is no need to worry about it for the time being. We have to keep on monitoring the size. Above 5cm then we may need to worry and do something but not for now. Tumour marker test is ok and discharge culture shows there is no infection.

Other tests results are fine. I am a bit low on iron and on the borderline for cholestrol levels. Just diet is my gynae's advice. She says my hepatitis B immunity is good but the lab forgot to do a hepatitis A test. Forgot! How careless. They will redo but still... how careless!

So ok, no nasty surprises from the gynae ... yet, ..... as I am still waiting for results of some tests which the lab accidentally missed out on.

Hopefully, that means, I can chug along back on the rail of life with no more derailment.

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Monday, May 03, 2010


Last Monday, my girl had a grand mal seizure in her sleep. It was the most painful thing to watch helplessly as she trashed about as if struck by a hidden electric energy and became limp afterwards. She was unconcious during the seizure but thankfully, she recovered from it well and quickly.

That dashed whatever little hope we had that her night time unexplained incidents were not minor seizures. I have no more tears, only resignation left. So, we just have to move on from here.... finding the right medications and trying to manage her life within these limitations.

The neuro could not decide whether my girl had temporal lobe epilepsy (tle) or benign rolandic epilepsy (bre). She said that medication or treatment given for tle could actually worsen bre if that was the case. In the end, we started treatment for tle. She is now on medication on a step up basis, ie slowly or gradually introducing the meds to her body system. My poor little girl.

Since she has to take medications twice a day, everyday, we explained to her about her condition, that she has epilepsy just like mummy. Naturally, she does not understand the implications of it all. She asked if it was painful when I fell down. 3 years ago, I had had a seizure right in front of the kids when they were playing. I try to treat it lightly so that she would not get frightened about it. We went to shop for a pill box for her so we won't forget to take the medications. We "argued" about what shape she preferred for the box, whether circular or straight. I let her select the colour she likes etc.

She is excited to take the pill for the first time. She had always taken medications in syrup form before this and was so proud that she managed to swallow her first pill easily. I gave her 3 stars for her effort. We are currently on some reward system for good behaviour. So yes, life goes on. There is no other way. Life has to go on. I watched with a heavy heart as she danced and pranced around the mall but take comfort in the fact that at least she is happy.

I can't sleep very well at night, worrying about every little sound. This is made worse by the fact that the hormone pills I had been taking gave me the worse backache when my menstruation finally came. I have yet to return for a follow up visit on my blood test and other test results. I hope the gynae would not have any nasty surprises for me. I have the worse night cough. The doctor said he suspects that I have pneumonia somewhere in the left lung region and he wants me to go back for a follow up to see if it has cleared after some antibiotics he prescribed which left me with a feeling of nausea all day and all night. Otherwise he would suggest and X-Ray. My sister was hospitalised for severe gastric but she is home now and that is a good thing.

My husband believes I am partly at fault for not managing my kids rest time well. Not enough rest and sleep lowers seizure tresholds for those more prone to having one. We worry about the effects and impact of the medication on my girl. There are so many worries. Even before this, hubby has been having health problems of his own. Even before his problems were resolved, I had problems with my health and then now my girl. So many doctor visits... We are both under stress but instead of coming together, we fall apart.

I want to cry but I can't. I know hubby will say "Now, you don't go and make matters worse by getting yourself so stressed up until you yourself get a seizure of your own."

The instructions for the medicine was to cut it by quarters and start on quarters for 5-7 days and step up slowly. We were confused. It is a controlled released tablet. Can it be cut safely and mantain its properties? When do we step up the medication? Earlier or later? The girl is still complaining of "dreaming" and "seeing green green". She says that when she is "dreaming" it is as if she is in a strange new place even though she is at home or at school. The doctor calls this jamais vu. As for the green lights, it is a visual sensory symptom or hallucination. When will the medication start to take effect? So many questions. Some answered by a simple phone call to the hospital, others, we just have to wait.

The girl has missed school for a week. She has mid year test for two weeks coming up in a weeks time. She is worried about all the missed lessons and homework. She is afraid her friends will laugh at her for being absent for so long. I am worried that all her worries will contribute to her stress level. I will talk to her teacher today.

Do you know there is this inflatable punch balloon toy with weights at the bottom? If you punch it, it gets right up again. That is what I feel like at the moment. I wonder when my air will run out.

So what good can possibly come out of all this? Well, at least my relationship with my girl is improving as I dig deeper into my reserves for the patience and time for my little attention seeker. She took a rough paper, folded it in two and wrote "Mummy's card" at the top and "Only for the time being card" at the bottom. Inside, she wrote "Happy Mother's Day" and drew a flower pot with 3 flowers in it. She wrote "Flowers for good, nice and happy mummy" and a heart shape at the bottom. On each side of the flower pot was a heart shape and a smiling mummy and daughter. She wrote "H/W" (which stands for homework) on one side and "Hold Hands" on the other. She said we are happy holding hands and doing homework together. I think she is happy with me. Gone is the sour pouting face she had been giving her always impatient mummy. If you want your child's attitude to change you have to first look at yourself and change yourself first.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Missed Period, What could be the reason?

I went to see my gynae when my period was late by 2-3 weeks. A home pregnancy test gave a negative result.

The gynae did a scan and another urine test. The urine test was again negative and she did not see any baby in the scan, only 2 cysts one on the right ovary and one on the left. Previously there was only one. Hmm... She didn't think the cysts were anything to worry about.

We did a whole series of test. First I was due for health screening so I did a normal blood test since I was already there. We also did a tumour marker test to check out those cysts. We did a hormone test too to find out what could be the reason for the missed period. She also took samples of the discharge for testing. She didn't think it was an infection. She said in an infection, it would be the opposite, there may be bleeding.

She said she would "challenge" it by prescribing me duphaston, a hormone pill. I was to take this twice a day for 5 days. At the end of 5 days, I should wait for another 5 days and my period should come then. If not, we have to further investigate the cause.

According to the gynae, the possible causes for a sudden missed period (I had been regular all the while) could be pregnancy (to which I tested negative twice), age (after 43 it may happen), stress or even womb cancer (that is one of the symptoms). That sounded scary to me. My mom died of womb cancer. I don't want to end up like her. I don't want to leave my children behind at a young age. I want to see them graduate, get their first job, get married, have children....

She said that the hormone pills may make me dizzy or even angry. As if I wasn't angry enough already. Grunt! There is just so many things to do and so little time to do it.... as always. Our tempers flare up easily.

So now I sit and wait for the late Miss Flo. I will be due to see the gynae again for a follow up visit.

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Missed Period, Negative Pregnancy Test

My period did not come this month. I have always been rather regularly but this month, it did not come. There was just a lot of discharge, either clear or white discharge but no period. I worried that I may be pregnant but a home pregnancy test showed a negative result.

My husband and I had always wanted a 3rd kid but we gave up after our age advanced and for health reasons too so we certainly had not planned it. However we did not use any birth control, not for years, probably due to the fact of our secret longing for a 3rd kid.

So when I thought that I could be pregnant, we had very mixed feelings. It was the wrong timing. Many things raced through my mind. Among them are the fact that if I were pregnant, I would deliver in December. That would mean I would have to miss my boy's first day at big school. I am 44. Our kids are 6 and 8. The age gap for another kid would be too wide. If I had a baby now, the baby would only be 10 when I am 54. What if due to my age, the baby had problems? It would stress up the whole family and not fair to the kids. I was on a diet and had lost 5 pounds, inching very slowly to my target weight. If I were pregnant, that would set me back by 2 years at least. Speaking of which, since I was worried that I might be pregnant, I stopped my diet and regained my 5 pounds easily, too easily.

All these things raced through my mind, but I was also secretly a little bit happy, hoping to have the 3rd kid we had always wanted. So when the pregnancy test kid said "Not pregnant", I stared at it in relief mixed with dismay. The pregnancy test kit is unlike those I used previously. It is a "digital" one. It flashes when taking the reading and you don't have to stare at lines to figure out whether you are pregnant. The results are given in words "pregnant" or "not pregnant". Interesting.

My period still had not come. So what to do now? A visit to the gynae is due naturally.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A delayed visit to the Dentist

We procrastinated and finally made it for our dentist appointment which was supposed to have been at the end of last year!

My girl had another permanent teeth growing behind her milk teeth. This one was the tooth next to the two front teeth. The permanent tooth had fully grown and there was no more space for it to be pushed forward. The dentist said we should have brought her in earlier to have the milk tooth extracted. Now she probably will have to wear braces later on to straighten out the teeth. :(

We learned a lesson here. When the milk teeth grew behind her two front teeth, it was OK not to extract it at the time because eventually the teeth dropped off on its own and the permanent teeth made its way to the front in a developing mouth and jawline. However, now that the two front permanent teeth are firmly in place, there was no space for a third permanent tooth to be pushed forward the way the two front ones were earlier. It is all a bit complicated.

I guess the lesson is don't procrastinate. In case of doubt, always consult the professionals early.

Eventually, my dentist decided not to extract the milk tooth since it no longer makes any difference now. She said she did not want to frighten my girl by the painful procedure, my girl was already scared enough. She said that we can wait till the tooth drop off by itself eventually.

The dentist mentioned that her molars were very rough. She said that in the next visit, she should get them filled up as they will eventually decay. Almost everyone has this problem said the dentist. If it is filled up then it won't decay in future.

My boy was very brave and steady according to the dentist. It was not his first visit to the dentist since he had come to watch his sister on the dentist chair before. However this was his first time on the dentist chair. The dentist said he was very steady and could take instructions very well. He sat very still and "endured" the process with a big frown on his face but he did not move or complain. He had his teeth polished. The dentist said decay was forming on his two front milk teeth.

She said that children should be introduced to the process of going to the dentist gradually and in a very friendly manner. That is why she prefers not to do extractions or anything that will frighten the child during their first visit. The first visit is to familiarise themselves with the environment and process and then to slowly ease into it. She gives them reward stickers and special toothpaste and toothbrushes as gifts. The gifts are probably sponsored by the toothpaste companies but the point is she wants to make their visit fun, enjoyable and not at all scary. When she does the polishing process, she talks to them all the time about the "special" brushes that she is going to use. She takes pictures of their teeth and shows it to them.

She says that if children get introduced to going to the dentist in this manner, eventually when they grow up they will not treat going to the dentist as something fearful but will accept it as just another thing to do like going to the hair salon to get their hair cut.

I like her approach. I hope my kids will eventually treat dentist visits in that manner and will not fear it the way mummy and daddy does. lol.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Motion Sickness Bags

I didn't know there was such a thing as Motion Sickness Bags till I came across an article about them. I know most aircrafts provide a barf bag for passengers but I didn't know you could buy them. I wish I had known about this, especially during the early days of my pregnancy for both babies I had.

I had very bad morning sickness. I wouldn't call it morning sickness. It was more like all day sickness. My morning sickness continued well over my first trimester of pregnancy. It was very tiring. I was working then and travelling quite a lot. I remember pulling up at the roadsides to vomit. I usually carry a plastic bag with me when I drive. Once I even had to vomit at a traffic lights. Thank goodness it was red lights at the time.

I would have loved it very much if someone had bought me a morning sickness bag to keep in my car. I hear it even comes with a sanitizing wipe and an easy to close tab for safe and clean disposal. Perfect! I think this bag would be very useful for my sister too, who has bad motion sickness during travel. She gets motion sickness everytime she travels long distance in a car, boat, airplane, you name it. She usually takes a motion sickness pill but it does not help her very much. Some people are just more prone to motion sickness than others. This bag would be very useful for them.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Talking to your child about sexual abuse

Sexual Abuse. You may think that this is a very difficult topic to discuss with your child. However, it isn't really all that difficult and I think that it is very important to talk to your child about personal safety and their bodies.

If you have a daughter, you may be even more worried about her in this aspect but in this day and age, you should be just as worried about your son.

I believe that inappropriate touching by adults are more common than one realises. Quite often people just don't talk about it at all, unless they open up in a very close sharing. I, personally, have had the very unpleasant experience in childhood. When I spoke to a few relatives and close friends, each could name an unpleasant incident as well. That led me to believe that it is even more common than you realise, it is just not talked or spoken about. It also increases my determinance to talk to my children about it.

This is how I did it. I spoke to them about personal safety in general. Things like not accepting gifts from strangers, what to do when they get lost at the mall etc. At the same time I spoke to them about their bodies.

Since they are still young, about 5 and 7, I used terms and examples that they are familiar with. It is also best to keep it very simple.

"Imagine how you hate to share your toys and how you think that your toys are yours and yours alone? Well, it is that way with your bodies. Your bodies are your private property. "Private" means it belongs to you. No one can touch your body without your permission accept mummy when mummy is bathing you. No one. Even if the person is not a stranger and someone you know.

Remember those signs we see when there is a land with a house and a fence around it? It says "No tresspassing!" Well, that means you cannot go into that land because it is private property. It belongs to someone. It is the same with your bodies. No one can tresspass. It belongs to you. It is YOUR private property.

If any adult tells you they want to touch your body and they will buy you toys and gifts and you should not tell your parents, tell them "NO." and run away. You don't have to say anything more to them. Just say "NO". Even if they don't say anything and just touch, you can push their hand away and run away. Then tell mummy and daddy about it."

Of course the kids had a lot of questions but none of them were embarrassing. At this age, their questions are usually very innocent and more cute than embarrassing.

Later, I heard the boy asking the girl. Cheh Cheh (Elder sister), which part is private? and Cheh Cheh replied. "All the parts that is covered by your clothes." :) (They do know all the terms for all the body parts like penis, vagina, breasts etc so we can use them freely in our discussions with no embarrassment).

I think they got the message and it wasn't that hard at all to talk to them about it.

Next: How and when to talk to your child about sex.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Minor Seizure or Nightmare

Another night incident.... on the 7th day of CNY.

I was woken up by a sound, the girl came to peer down at me from over the bed. I sleep on the floor. I asked her what was wrong but she did not answer me momentarily. She was drooling. I called out to daddy. He came immediately. He took her in his arms and she could speak to him then.

Yet again, we are not sure whether it was a minor seizure or a nightmare.

I read this article about Benign Rolandic Epilepsy and was worried about the similarities in what happened. However, based on my own knowledge and fears plus neurologist visits, perhaps I am looking for a needle in the haystack. Who knows?

All I can do is record it down, and continue to make sure she has little stress, enough rest and sleep and continue to pray for her safety and well being.

Making sure she has enough rest is a daily challenge with her school workload.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Love is...........

5 more days to go ............. to Chinese New Valentine's Day. Double Joy! Double the love! Double the Happiness!

To all the mothers out there, I would like to wish you Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Valentine's Day and leave you with an inspirational movie to remind you what LOVE IS..... (Click on the words "LOVE IS" to view the movie).

Even if you are too busy or you do not usually celebrate Valentine's Day with your spouse (like me), it is good to stop awhile to think about your relationship with your spouse and children and other extended family and why you love them..... and not why you are mad at them. ;)

I hope you enjoy the movie. It is from my favourite site. I like to go there from time to time to get inspired, to get cheered up when I am down. Some of the movies make me cry. It is amazing what shedding a little tears can do. It is good as a stress reliever to release pent up emotions and to move on from unhappiness.

Anyway, mothers who read this blog and mothers who just happen to be passing by....


Myspace Comments, Valentine's Day Comments at

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

What have you done for yourself lately?

Mothers, what have you done for yourself lately?

What do you like to do?

  • I like to read a book or magazine undisturbed
  • I like to blog and write
  • I like to play the piano
  • I like to listen to the music without any other background noise

And today, I am going to get my hair washed and done up. I admit that I haven't done so in almost a year! Oh my goodness! That is terrible. But then getting my hair done is not one of my favourite things to do. It takes too long. I'd rather be browsing around at a bookshop than sitting in a hair salon.

Anyway, the point of this post is, I think it is important for us mothers to take care of ourselves. If we take care of ourselves well, then we will feel happy and well emotionally and physically. We will then be better mothers and wives.

Matyr mothers don't make better mothers. You don't become better mothers by sacrificing your all for your children and family. Save a little love and time for yourself. By being matyr mothers, after a while you will suffer burnout. You will feel restless and feel that something is missing. You may even start to feel resentful towards your spouse or your children. You may feel trapped.

However, remember that the key towards opening that trap door lies in your hands. So do something for yourself today whether its baking, swimming, running, shopping or whatever it is that you like. Find the time for it. No time is no excuse not to do something for yourself. It can even take as little time as an undisturbed shower using some aromatic scenting soaps that you like. That too is considered doing something for yourself.

Today, I am going to the hair salon to do my hair. What about you?

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Pregnancy and Bringing Up Babies

In my mother's time, women used to have extended families living together. It was easy to get information about pregnancy and bringing up babies. You simply relied on your own mother, aunty, mother-in-law, sister, or grandmother. They would be around to advise and help. You don't feel at a loss because you live together and there is usually another experienced female member within the family who is always willing to help out.

However, in my time, I don't have the luxury of being able to depend on relatives to help out. I rely heavily on the internet instead to get the information and network with other new parents.

If you are in the same situation, you can check out Babies Base for the information you need about pregnancy and bringing up your babies or toddlers.

You can network with other parents in the baby and pregnancy forum to ask any questions you have about pregnancy and babies.

If you are a person on the go and prefer quick information, you can also follow Babies Base on Twitter.

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Delayed Dentist Appointment

We were supposed to have gone for a dentist appointment at the end of last year but we have procrastinated. Bleargh.

Everyone needs some dentistry work at home. Hubby's gums are so bad that his teeth are falling out!

The girl's baby teeth is growing behind her permaneant teeth again. Funny, how all her permaneant teeth would sprout out first before her baby teeth drops off.

The boy should have his first proper check up.

As for me, well, I just need a clean-up. I have something like 8-9 crowns. Once, one of it dropped off during an evening cocktail at work! I had to gently remove the tooth, put it in a tissue paper and smile with my lips pursed throughout the evening. Ever since then, I've had nightmares about my teeth falling out every now and then. :)

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Baby Shower Favors

I have many friends expecting babies in the year 2010. It looks like the stork will be very busy indeed this year 2010.

Welcoming a baby is always a very special moment, whether it is the first, second, third or more babies. Some couples choose to make their baby announcements really special by having a baby shower with lovely collectibles as their baby shower favors.

I love attending baby showers and I love receiving those special thoughtful gifts that the host prepares. I always keep them for keepsakes. I personally prefer collectibles rather than edibles because edibles do not last. :)

It is the same for wedding favors. I remember once I received special decorative soaps as a wedding favor years ago. I have kept them till this day even though I have long since lost touch with the couple.

In fact, I can't remember very much about the wedding at all. It was about 15 to 20 years ago. However, etched in my memory is the happy and proud look on the bride and groom's face as they presented me with their wedding favor.

I still treasure the collectible very much. That is why I prefer it to edibles.

What about you? What sort of favors do you prefer?

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Friday, January 08, 2010

MRI of the brain

My girl tells me that she is "dreaming" a few times a day, sometimes more than half a dozen times a day. I asked her what she means by "dreaming". She says she knows she is awake but she feels as if things are unreal, as if it is in a dream. She also complaints of headaches occassionally.

In the night, she sometimes complains of seeing "green clouds" in the dark. Once she said the naughty green clouds must be what is making her "dreaming" during the day.

This recurring "dreamlike state" during wakefullness worries me. With her history and a failed MRI behind us, we scheduled another visit to another neuro on Christmas eve.

The neuro asked us a long list of questions about our family history etc. Naturally she suggested another MRI. She said that my girl's "hallucinations" may suggest that she is either having a temporal lobe seizure or a complicated migraine. She said that the temporal lobe seizure may be from the back area of the brain (Occipital. This is the term she used if I am not mistaken) due to the sudden vomitting in the night previously which suggests it.

She also checked my girl's eyes. We also decided to take her to an optometrist to make sure or rule out the cause of headache caused by straining the eyes.

She suggested an MRI of the brain under general anaesthetics because she realises that my girl has an anxious personality and will not lie still for the procedure. She says the MRI under GA will cost 3 times more than a normal one. That would be around the region of RM3,000.00

We would have to make another appointment to come back to do the MRI. However, we were keen to get it out of the way. Another appointment meant more stress, worry and waiting for us. We asked for an alternative. She suggested a cocktail of 3 sedatives plus valium. It sounded very scary to us. We were worried about the safety.

We persuaded our girl to try to lie still. The technicians were very kind. They agreed to allow our girl to try to do the MRI without sedatives first. The MRI machine at this hospital is slightly different from the previous one. It is more open, less closed up or claustrophobic type.

When my girl lies down on the machine at it slides inside, I can still see her and she can see me as well. There is a mirror for her to look up which is placed in such a position that it reflects my face as I stand at the foot or side of the machine. I am allowed to hold her hand and stroke her legs and speak works of encouragement to her. The technicians also spoke to her encouragingly through a mike which she can hear through the headphones. The room was also not as cold as the previous one.

"You are doing very well. Only 7 minutes more. Now lie very still, don't move at all. Good girl."

At last, she did it. She managed to lie down very still for about 30 minutes listening to the loud droning of the MRI machine while the machine was recording the image of her brain. Lying perfectly still for 30 minutes is indeed a feat for any active, restless and anxious 7 year old. In fact, lying still anywhere and not only in a MRI machine. We did an MRI (to get an image or x-ray of the brain) and a MRA (to get an image of the blood vessels in the brain).

The MRI and MRA was normal. We were relieved. The neuro says at least that ensures that the "hardware" part is all right.

Our appointment was at 9am. After the MRI was done, we waited till after lunch to see the neuro again. The neuro says that even though the MRI is normal, her diagnosis based on what we have described to her is either a complicated migraine, a seizure or fit - Rolandic type benign (or BRE) and some other medical terms which she scribbled on a piece of paper to us but which I can't decipher now. Finally, if all else fails, she says she may send us to a psychologist. None of which sounds very pleasant or pretty to me. Still, I am glad the MRI is normal and we have managed to get it done at last.

The entire visit and procedure cost us about RM2,000.00 It would have cost a lot more if the MRI was done under GA. The doctor visit and procedure took us about half a day. Fortunately the girl was cooperative. She knew the implications of the cost and the time it will mean to all of us. So she tried her best. She really did.

I am happy that the MRI is normal. However since the diagnosis is unclear or there is no apparent diagnosis, we will wait and see. I am still afraid to hear noises in the night worried that my girl may be having another unexplainable incident. I still say my nightly prayers.

"God, please do not let any of my children have seizures or epilepsy. Please keep them safe from any harm, injury or ill health. Please let them have peaceful, restful slumbers and let them wake up fresh and ready for the next day. Thank you, God."

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Mother's New Year Resolution

This is my New Year's Resolution as a mother.

This year I hope to....

  • cuddle more and hit less
  • listen more and scold less
  • be more innovative in getting the kids to do things
  • love more and get angry less
  • spend more time with the kids (they never tire in trying to get me to spend more time with them. I know if I can spend more time with them, it will make them very happy)
  • read more to the kids and nag less
  • play with them more and teach them more as well, not only academically but about life as well

That is what I hope to achieve as a mother this year. I better review this list often especially when I lose it, get angry, annoyed, mad or irritated which is quite often!

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