Friday, 29 January 2016

Our future neighbourhood

We went on an excursion today!

Guess where that bright blue sign is pointing to?

Downtown line!! We changed at Botanic Gardens for the Downtown Line to get to Bukit Panjang. Then we exited the station to find our way to the LRT - we were heading for Pending, two stops away.

I learnt about the new Bukit Panjang Hawker Centre from work and decided to check it out. It is not very big but looks nice, like food court due to movable chairs instead of fixed seating. There's a tiny family corner with big tables for bigger families and low chairs for kiddos.

With a stroller park that is empty...

Mee goreng for me, Indian rojak for us

That was $7.70. Sito had fishball noodles for $2.50 and the portion was not tiny. So the prices there are quite ok.

We took a walk around the neighbourhood - it felt so HDB! It really reminded me of what I grew up with in AMK. As I grew up, however, I grew further away from the heartlands too.

It used to be that everything was centred on the "market" as we called it, referring to the wet market, the hawker centre, the various shops in the area. When I was more able to go places, downtown became much more appealing than the market.

But today, I was reminded of it all again. It still feels close to my heart :) I told Sito I feel glad that our kids will grow up in a more heartlands place than Holland Village.

Shops, seating, playground and a lot of people doing their stuff!

Sito said he grew up like this too but his mood certainly changed for the better when we hit Bukit Panjang Plaza after walking for 15 min hoho! Aircon, it makes all the difference? Or I'm more HDB-gia than him?

Anyway, we love BPP! It has all the necessary shops, including Popular for the kids, Harvey Norman for the Papa and Daiso for the Mama! And we found a foot reflexology shop at $20 for 40 min - deal!

Hopped across the road to check out our new place - one block has reached 20 storeys, one at about 15 and the last at fewer than 10. With 60+ storeys across three blocks, it's more than halfway built. Can't wait to move into our new place - more space, more toilets!

By then we were quite tired and decided to take a cab back. With surcharge, the fare came up to under $14 - not bad. If we couldn't manage the kids on the train when we come back to Mum's place next time, we can just hop on a $2.40 $2.90 $3.20 $3.70!

And now, MY January

Of course, January is mine :)

I think I've always blogged about my birthday but this year, I have been really busy with work so all my free time goes to the kids. And the husband of course though to a lesser extent :p

Anyway, Sito has found a hiding place at home and he refuses to tell me. He got my present in mid December and dished it out about a week later, without me suspecting anything!

Found this on the bed one evening after settling the kids

And on my birthday, I exchanged it for another design :p with Sito's blessings of course!

This colour suits me better. Gonna find a chance to wear it, probably when I'm out without the kids!

Birthday shot!

So, do I look 36?? I can't remember now whether it was my birthday itself or a couple days before that when I thought, gosh, I'm 35, only to catch myself - hello, it's 36!!

It's a sign... This was the first time I remembered my age wrongly - I'm really getting old!!

But I'm not afraid of ageing. I'm afraid of growing staying chubby *.* Still, food is necessary!

Birthday dinner was at Luke's this year!

We ordered one steak to share and they divided it up for us - how convenient! But I had gastric that evening - silly me had a teenager's lunch of junk food when the stomach is obviously nearer middle age - so we had a quick dinner and packed the cake home.

Thanks to Sito for everything! :))

Also celebrated with the rest of the family that Sunday. Lunch was at the National Gallery so we took the chance to walk around. ZY was again more interested in the arts than his brother...

Family shot by Dad - he decided it was done when both kids looked in front. Poor Sito has been relegated! :p

Cheeky boy with handsome Papa

ZY is so much more 有性格 than Mama

Later that afternoon, we sang and had cake - happy mf!

But this month I also hurt my right pinky when I hit in on the edge of a table at a Best Denki roadshown in J8! It was nothing like this but I was so whiny I couldn't stand myself!

Bit of skin *.*

The finger swelled up a little on the second day. Still swollen and a little painful now. But both my kids sayang-ed me when they saw the wound! And when ZY accidentally touched it and I grimaced, he said "ory Mama" - ory for sorry. So cute!

My present from Japan - only Sito will get me a kabab shop haha!!

When I'm stressed, I can even turn the kabab!

Spent a few hours cleaning up things at home. Found my old duffel bag with my badges from school and the high street. Now the cabinets are neater. The toys section is still kind of messy due to irregular shapes but the mess is smaller after I dumped a bag of random toys!

Quite useless but I thought it was fun 10 years ago!

So happy to be on leave today. I got to clean (I like!), I got to stick up LNY decoration (first time so elaborate!), I got to blog (I also like!), and I got to go out walk around during lunch and found cheap $3 Merlion tees for the kids! Keeping them for National Day though haha! I'd bet they won't be $3 by then! Love getting festive stuff!

January with my boys

I finally set my foot down this week and stopped ZK from bringing his toys to the dining table during meal time. I was rather surprised he very quickly put his toys back the first time. Perhaps the previous few days of depriving him of certain toys when he refused to sleep or eat properly - through exile to the top of the fridge - had helped convince him that I was serious.

So Wednesday saw both boys feeding themselves at the dining table, randomly chatting with me who was also having fried rice during interludes of Thomas. Of course ZK would have nothing to do with mixed vegetables and piled everything into ZK's bowl. And of course ZY picked at those same mixed vegetables happily - the more the merrier!

It was a very good feeling because it was so peaceful. N was washing things up in the background, the boys were content with their food and video, and hopefully with me by their side too...

Why didn't I think that was just the fluke it was??

The very next day, I returned home to a noisy ZY who didn't want to eat. Perhaps he didn't like leeks. Ah well, I should feel grateful for having had some peace!

ZY doing some finger-painting before his vaccination

I do well with a brush too!

Looks like a big boy!

I recalled such a shot with ZK so I had one with ZY too ^_^

ZY had quite a bit of fun at the clinic while waiting for his turn

Like ZK at his 18-month shot, ZY fell asleep on the way home... I guess we won't ever know whether the vaccination had caused his febrile fit. He was at the clinic after all, where germs could just land on him...

Big boy can go up and down the school bus by himself!

Brought ZY to the supermarket the Friday after his A&E episode as we were both back early for his mid afternoon antibiotic - he was happy to keep groceries on his little tray :)

Having fun at his first review with the nice GP downstairs

Discovered a big crocodile at his second review!

ZK said he made a house!

I made the play dough some time ago. The salt wasn't all dissolved so you can still see grainy bits. We had dark blue and yellow originally but the kids mixed them up and with some whitish play dough from school... Should probably use my newly acquired red dye soon!

ZY saw this photo on my face and said poo poo :p

Let's all have fun with the iPad!! *roll eyes*

But it was quite fun, really. ZY likes to bring it from its resting place at the bay window to the bed and ask to draw. ZK sometimes draws but mostly, he plays with Mr Pencil.

Came across this idea after researching what to do when people keep giving your child presents - write a thank-you note for each and every present!

My big boy is now drinking from a bottle without a straw :)

And the other boy is getting big too!

And he had such fun picking out his LNY shoes! I put the shoes on and he jumped off to walk around, showing me and the aunties in the shop. Then when the lady brought out another pair in a different colour, I asked him to choose one - black/turquoise or orange/blue. He picked out the brighter orange/blue.

Do I look good?

Meanwhile, ZK was in Chinatown with his grandparents - smile!

One day I should document all of ZK's smiling poses in his check-in/out photos - quite funny :p

Found this on the wall when I was in school this Wednesday for an orientation briefing. H's mum and I had a good laugh!

Papa got me a new toy from Japan!

Sito was in Japan for three days and got each of us - yup, me included! - a TOMY toy. ZK was very excited when he followed Papa out to get the toy but he didn't seem as excited when he opened it *.* We suspect he thought it was a small train with few moving parts, and we fear very much that he has grown accustomed to gifts, big and many.

ZK gamely posed for this shot

The boys are very well loved and get presents all the time. I was doing spring cleaning today and realised that the last time Sito and I got them significant amount of stuff, it was when we stocked up in the US. So after that, they don't get much things from us, their parents - be it clothes and toys and especially toys. Or I should say, we don't get much opportunities to buy them stuff. We love getting them stuff - like that time when we decided to check out Hamleys and got ZK an ambulance. But much as it brings us joy, we realise we have to control ourselves, because they are already getting so many things and we cannot afford to spoil them further. That is sad for us. This latest episode makes us sadder cos he didn't show quite as much enthusiasm when Sito had the chance to get him something. It always, always worries me that my boys will grow up with a sense of entitlement and not knowing how to treasure things. Sigh sigh sigh!

And as I feel sian about not being able to get them things, I decide to give them more of the intangible. I've been very busy at work so I haven't been able to send ZY to bed lately. Hope to start again soon... But for ZK, now the easier one, we read or play on the iPad before bedtime, and then we had a little chat lying on his bed in the dark. I love how he has so many things to say, never mind the circular arguments! I think I'll do a different topic every week. For the past few days, we talked about who he played with in school. Next week, I'll try asking him about what they play in school.

Updated same evening, 10.30 pm

Sito gave ZY his little ambulance this evening, cos the boy was asleep by the time Papa came home yesterday. This less corrupted boy looked more appreciative of the present :)

Car! Car! 谢谢!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Another scary A&E episode

The biggest scares in my life so far have always been related to kids. I hope yesterday's one would be the biggest ever.

ZY came home mid afternoon on Monday due to fever over 38C, probably cos he had a vaccination on Saturday. He was mostly fine on Tuesday though the teacher reported a mild fever in the day. Yesterday, his teacher texted me in the morning about mild fever and said that she would call if it progressed.

Was in a meeting in HQ in the afternoon when I missed two calls - one from Mum and one from an unknown number. Couldn't get Mum but the other was from his other teacher who said that his fever hit 39.3C. I wanted to get N to bring him back first but couldn't reach her. When I eventually got through the phone with Mum, I learnt that they were picking him up already as the school called her.

With things all settled, I carried on with work. I had a FGD at HDB Hub in the evening so I was hot-desking at HQ. I had earlier asked Mum to help until N could bathe both kids and bring ZY to bed. 15 min into the FGD, I got this scary call from N who asked me to go home immediately as ZY went white and Mum was on her way to bring ZY to hospital!

I unceremoniously unplugged my laptop and took off with the blessings of my boss who even offered me a ride if I couldn't get a cab. But I met a kind beng beng uncle who let me have the last taxi. I didn't dare to call Mum in case she was driving. So I called Sito to tell him to go to NUH instead.

As guilt and panic set in, I prayed out loud in the taxi - like I know anything about praying! But I just did it anyway. What if it was not simply the vaccination last Saturday? There was this kid who was coughing... And the high fever... What if it was meningitis?!

And then Sito called. Mum called him from the clinic downstairs cos she didn't bring her phone and didn't remember my number. It wasn't clear what happened. I called Mum but N answered instead. I called the clinic to reach Mum instead and finally understood that ZY had a febrile fit. What a relief!!!

Back when ZK was an infant, I read quite a bit about febrile fits. I know people whose kids had it. I know it looks scary but is harmless. But Mum didn't know. She saw a scary scene where ZY went shaking and stiff and his lips turned green, and she stuck a thumb into his mouth before dashing to the clinic downstairs. She met a kind lady who helped her carry ZY along the way and called for the clinic to open. The clinic didn't have suppositories and could only wipe down while waiting for an ambulance. ZY was unresponsive though the seizure had stopped within five minutes but he eventually started crying in the clinic.

I saw the stretcher with Mum carrying ZY coming out of the ambulance as I approached the A&E. She saw me but was wheeled inside while I registered with the nurse outside. When I finally saw my baby, he looked so tired! My poor baby! He was just lying in Mum's arms while the doc and nurses taped his toe, tapped his everywhere, did their thing... He had pooped so I wiped him down before they could put in a suppository. Then he slept.

The three of us watched over him. Sito had joined us by then, still in his uniform - this was his third day of his first reservist. I was so glad he didn't need to stay in and was on the way home when I called him.

Sleeping in the hospital shirt as his was wet from the sponging at the clinic

Amid the worry and stress and tearful relief, there was a comic moment when an unseen kid in the A&E started shouting, "stop, stop, you're killing me!" Despite it all, Sito and I had a good laugh at that. It was like six months ago when ZK saw ZY having his vaccination and then shouting "nonono!" when he saw the needle approaching his own thigh!

I called home to tell N everything was ok and to stand by in case ZY had to be warded - would need to pack. And I spoke to ZK too, who said that he had to tell me something, which was that ZY was sick and was going to the hospital in an ambulance. He was worried for his didi. Later I found that he thought it was scary to be saved by the ambulance, or something like that. This, after playing with ambulances all the time!

Later, Dad dropped by to pick them up to go home first while I stayed with ZY. The doc listened to his lungs again and said it was a little noisy so she got the X-ray in to check. That woke him up and he wasn't happy. It was his usual bedtime after all. We sang a little and were watching a very helpful show with cats that kept him happy when Sito and Mum came back with a change of clothes and diaper for ZY. I went to have a bite and bought a steamed cake and Milo for ZY who had refused water earlier. But when I got back, he was fast asleep *.*

Sito went back to rest as he has a long day today. Mum and I stayed with ZY and checked periodically if he had peed so that they could check for UTI. No luck. He woke at one point so we gave him the cake and made him drink something. Still, no luck with the pee. It was past midnight when the doc decided that since he couldn't pee, we could just go. She gave us antibiotics since his lungs were still a little noisy although the X-ray was clear. That would help if he had any UTI anyway. She also taught us how to handle any future febrile fits.

ZY fell asleep again by the time we got back. I set him down on his bed, showered and crawled back in bed with him. I read up on antibiotics before I slept - have to wake him to feed him antibiotics tonight, so sian! I wonder why hospitals always give those three-times-a-day type, and in powder form to be mixed with water. It's so hard with kids! Lucky ZY likes the taste. It's difficult to administer antibiotics in school though. See how tomorrow... I may have to take him out after his pm nap to feed him at home.

We woke at 5.30 am or so. ZY was slightly feverish and wanted milk. I gave him more water than usual and let N settle him back to bed while I went to my ZK who came into our bed just as I finished showering last night. He was all alone as Sito was up preparing to go for reservist again. He woke early anyway and I convinced him to have his breakfast in the room so that his noise was more confined and wouldn't wake ZY.

Sito and I planned to have tea at the balcony window in 2009 and never did. Thanks, ZK, for fulfilling the destiny of the bay window!

ZY woke and drifted back to sleep while I was out sending ZK to school. But he eventually woke near 8 am. No more fever. After some oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, we played and read and drew and sang. When he got drowsy, we fed him lunch. He's in his third hour of nap now - he woke at the one-hour mark but I put him down again. So tired, my poor baby...

Me pretending to not know where he is :)

I wish I were there with ZY. I realised I probably couldn't help ZY much - just have to let the seizure run its course while awaiting the ambulance. But at least Mum wouldn't be so scared and wouldn't hurt her thumb, N wouldn't be so scared, I wouldn't be so scared by the lack of information, and Sito could have more rest.

I was having some fleeting thoughts about work - fleeting cos I was too busy to think much about it. But with this episode, I think I need to really think about how I want to spend the kids' childhood - three hours/weekday with kids vs. 10-11 hours/weekday with work, or a more balanced one.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy new year!

Slept at 9 pm last night and woke at 3.50 am to find myself in the new year - woohoo!


I ended 2015 and started 2016 with mirth...

This morning when I woke Sito, he told me that he slept at 10 pm - and this happened before that: He found me digging my nose *.* and asked me if I was awake. I mumbled something like, what makes you think I'm awake?! And I continued to dig my nose for a bit before I carried on sleeping!!! Gosh, my subconscious is strong...

ZY found me in my bed at 6 am today so we went back to his to roll around and sing for almost an hour before heading to the kitchen. Bought me a bit of rest :p I wanted to lie down a bit next to ZK but of course he was starting to wake up.

ZK: It's 天亮!
mf: Happy new year, ZK!
ZK: Ok, time to wake up and have food!

Um, ok, baby...

The itinerary for the day was an early lunch with Mum et al and dinner at Mother's.

ZK tracing; ZY drawing before we left for lunch :)

The dim sum/duck lunch at Kai Garden in Marina Square was quite good! The duck came with corn crisps, to be wrapped in skins of varied colours. But this ZK took them as biscuits *.*

Coz ZY couldn't sit still during lunch *.*

Passed by Pororo Park - very crowded!

Update 2 Jan, 11.53 am

Passed by the market before going to Mother's place. So nostalgic!

ZK offered ZY space but the latter tried to 喧宾夺主!

ZK plays with the standard bag of toys with WaiPo

ZK being cute at the playground downstairs, which isn't very toddler-friendly

ZY tries to climb up

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