Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Time flies

It has been some 8 months since my last post. Sorry for neglecting this blog.

We had a most wonderful Christmas in London with our daughter last year. We ended up touring parts of the UK in place of our original destination Paris, and had absolutely no regrets. We enjoyed the English country. We traveled to Bath, Cotswold, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Stonehenge - and loved every minute of time spent there. Now, I am trying to plan for our year-end vacation.

My oldest has been home since her exams ended towards the end of May, and will be here until she returns in Spetember for the next school year. Its incredibly difficult to get internships in the museums here. Last year, a friend helped put us in touch with the CEO of Heritage Board here and we were told that they would be interested to take her on. But in the end, nothing came out of it. Instead she ended up helping out at one of the museums (for no stipend even to cover her transport!!) for a couple of months. This year, another contact put her in touch with the Director of programmes at one of the museums who responded that she would have a position for her and that someone would be in touch with her. BUT, again, nothing came out of it. Not even an email to say that they are unable to take her. SAD!!!

This year saw my son starting in a new school to do his junior college (high school) years. |School hours are really long especially with Co-curricula activities, with many days ending at 8pm. In fact, for the whole of last week, he left school past 8 every night that I had to ask him when I could have dinner with him!! Teen lives are much busier than adult lives nowadays!!

As for the young one. she's preparing for her Primary School Leaving Examinations this year. This is quite a MAJOR exam here in Singapore as it determines your path based on this one exam that is going to affect your life for the next 6 years. STRESSS!! MAJOR STRESS!!! On the medical front, we are interrupting her pamidronate infusions for a dental surgery. Her small jaw is unable to accomodate all her teeth, and her canines are growing in a position that is affecting the roots of her front teeth. So the dentist says that they have to come out soon. But people on pamidronate infusions cannot have any dental surgery done as there is an effect on their jaw bone. So, infusions will have to stop for some 4-6 months before we can do the extraction.

On the infusion front, we have been told that there is new medication available that would cut her infusion time from a long 5 hours to just an hour!! She will probably start it on her next cycle, after her dental surgery.

My health hasnt been good at all this year. Have had 4 colds/flu since the start of the year, despite having taken the flu jab which each took at least a week for me to recover from. AND I had Hand, foot and mouth disease! I thought it only affected kids BUT no. Adults get it too. And I got it BAD!! Blisters on my hands and feet (none in my mouth so I could eat!! Lucky me!!) The blisters were so painful that walking felt like as if I was walking on glass shards!! And it took me 4 weeks before I thought I was back to "normal". It has been 3 months since I saw my first symptoms and you know what? MY nails are now falling off!! Initially I thought I was suffering from some deficiency when I first noticed beau's lines on my nails. But i have since researched and confirmed with the doctors that it is the result of HFMD. And my nails are falling off now. And it is so painful!!

Well, that's all for now. Please be patient with me, and I hope to update more often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The last 8 months

I have not posted for more than 6 months!!
I have been busy.  With the year almost over, I will just update on what occupied my time since my last post, which kept me from this blog:

May 2015 - A day after my dad's 84th birthday, he suffered a stroke. Being his only child who doesnt hold a regular job, most of the running around fell on my shoulders. Talking to the neuro surgeons, physiotherapists, doctors, hospital employees. It doesn't help going to a public hospital coz you have to time your visits with when the doctors make their rounds. Otherwise they never return calls like they promise to, and it sure doesn't help when its over a weekend too, coz schedules change and you end up waiting longer than you would like to. After discharge, it also became my duty to bring him for his numerous doctors appointments for his various ailments, as well as twice weekly therapy sessions at the rehabilitation centre. My plate was over-flowing, coz all these was on top of my regular busy schedule of ferrying the kids and household errands. It doesn't help too that when my siblings are not at work, they are travelling, which means no one reliefs me of any of the duties.

June 2015 - I managed to take a well-deserved short 3 day break with the rest of the family to Phuket.

Sept 2015 - I made a trip to the UK, dropping my oldest at Uni. Missed the General Elections because of it but nevertheless was kept well updated by my friends on the sentiments on the ground. We spent 6 days in London, 5 of which was spent at only 2 museums, and we did not manage to finish looking at everything in those 2 museums, but She sure enjoyed her time at the museum!!

Sept 2015 - Singapore was covered in HAZE. Yes, we were coughing our lungs out due to some inconsiderate neighbour not wanting to make a firm stand on forest fires, nor accept help (until it was too late) to fight those fires.

Oct 2015 - The start of the O levels for my son. Yes, my son took his O levels this year. I was the absent mum, who did not have the time to bake for him, or take care of his other needs during the run-up to his exams, unlike his older sister last year. But he did not complain. He understood that I did what I could with the time I had. Bless him!

Nov 2015 - Annual review for my youngest's medical condition. This year we saw a marked improvement in her bone density. Praise the Lord!! Encouraged by the results, we have decided to continue the treatment for another 6 months before we take a break for her to prepare for her Primary School Leaving Examination.

Nov 2015 - Terror attacks in Paris. Worst news ever!! Innocent lives lost. Holiday plans de-railed! We have never booked a vacation more than 4 weeks before departure. This year was an exception. We booked for the family to go to London and Paris early. Was so please with myself for being so organised. Air-tickets booked, accommodation booked, trains booked, tours booked. Now all down the drain. The Paris portion that is!! Because of the attacks last week, we have decided to give Paris a miss. Unfortunately, there are no refunds for trains and tours booked, and only a 50% refund for the accommodation. Sigh. Bye, bye $$$!! Now I have to get back to the drawing board and re-book our alternative for Paris.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rest in Peace, Mr Lee

Woke up to the news that a man whom I deeply admire and appreciate, has passed on.

A nation mourns his passing. For all that he has stood for and done for the country, he truly deserves all the accolades given to him by many, near and far.

Funny, how many locals cannot wait to see him go, full of criticisms of his policies and the manner in which he ruled. But I ask, if he hadn't done what he had to do, would Singapore be where it is today? A first world country, admired by many,  from near and afar.

I have many friends from neighbouring countries, lamenting about how well we have done, progressed as compared to the situation in their countries. Like they say, the grass is always greener on the other side, that those on this, do not see it.

Our citizens live in harmony, despite the many different races, and religion. Our economic growth is the envy of many. We have a stable economy, good infrastructure, well educated citizens, and we have one of the highest percentage of home owners.

We can safely say that this was all possible only because of his vision for our country.

Let us take a moment now, to honour his spirit, and join his family in mourning the loss of a truly great man.

Rest in Peace Mr Lee. You will be missed.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The end of another chapter

Another chapter has closed for my oldest, with the end of the local education system for her.

She started in P1 about 13 years ago, with a slightly shaky start. She was identified for learning support by the school in the first few weeks of school - meaning she was found to be weak in her work. Believing in her, we opted out of learning support for fear that her self esteem would have been affected.

The first exam she took in that school, resulted in her being the only student in that cohort to have perfect scores in ALL her exam papers! What a joy, and relief too, it was for us. At the end of P3, she was one of a few selected for the Gifted Education Programme, and we opted to move her to a GE centre.

Over at the new school, my oldest was overwhelmed by the amount of work, but plodded on. She didnt really excel or shine, next to all those brilliant kids in her class. She just managed getting by, but did well enough in her PSLE exams to make it to one of the top girls school here.

At secondary school, with numerous scholars in her class, again she felt inferior to them, but she still worked hard. At the end of Secondary 3 when she had to select her subject combinations, she selected 2 science and 2 humanities paper to "keep her options open" as suggested by me. How she suffered!! She hated her science and math subjects and struggled with them, doing just well enough to get by.

After her 4 years, she moved on to Junior College with the dilemma of what subject combinations to take. We decided to let her go with her passion - meaning taking subjects which she didnt do in Sec 3 & 4, which was actually not recommended by the school. Literature was one such subject and we were wondering if she was going to be disadvantaged by it. But in God we trusted, and allowed her to take those subjects she felt would take her to greater heights.

Schools days were long in JC. She had to put in extra hours, but I could tell she was enjoying herself. Unfortunately, she wasnt fairing too well for Math, her weakest subject, but a subject everyone had to take. We were told that lots of Humanities students tend to not excel in Math, and not to let her slip too much in that subject. At the end of the first year in JC, the teacher even suggested tuition for the short term, just to ensure that the she didnt fall too far behind her cohort. However, she resisted. She wasnt willing to spend her spare time doing something she detested. Despite pleas and explanations on the importance of Math in life, she resisted. She promised that she would work on her math on her own.

We saw a slight improvement in her first exams in JC2 with a C for math. However, when the prelims came along, she scored an E.  I said it wasnt too late to get some help. Again she resisted. I was livid, from the frustration of not being able to convince someone who needed help to get it.

Well, the A level results were released just this week. And, guess what - her grades surpassed our expectations - straight As!!! Wooohooo!!  Praise the Lord from whom all Blessings flow!!

So with that, and her uni offers on hand, off  to the UK she will go to pursue her passion - History!

Friday, February 6, 2015

What my 10 year old feels about her infusion

I came across this whilst I was spring cleaning. Brings a tear to my eye. But I guess that's what she's truly feels about what she has to go thru every 2 months and how she copes with it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015

Another year done and dusted.

Practically everyone I knew who was living overseas came by to Singapore last year.

It all started early in the year with my old school-mate who lives in the Isle of Man, then another classmate who migrated to Sydney was back here for Chinese New Year.

This was followed by a former colleague who lives in London, and was back to celebrate her 50th birthday.

2014 was also the year I met up with a number of blogger friends from Malaysia, Perth and Australia. And my BBFF (Best Blogger Friend Forever) too came back from Spokane for a couple of days to attend to family matters and I was blessed to have been able to meet up with her, despite her very busy schedule.

We also spent copious amounts of time with our local friends over good food and wine.

Last year my oldest completed her A levels.

On the medical front, my littlest started her long term treatment to strengthen her bones. We havent seen much progress despite one year of medical infusions but are praying for the best. On the parental front, both parents and parent-in-laws took turns with their medical ailments which kept me busy with medical appointments. 2014 was also the year I almost lost an organ due to a misdiagnosis!! Thank God, I didnt.

What will 2015 hold for me?

The man of the house will be launching his fund in a couple of days - so wishing him and his partner the best!

My oldest will be venturing overseas to further her studies, but that will be sometime in September.

My son will be doing his O levels, so I guess it will be a year of stress plus lots of nagging.

My youngest will still be continuing her long term medical treatment.

And on the personal front, I am moving to a teaching position in church, away from the administrative work I have been doing for the last 3 years. (I wonder if my Killer look is still effective to keep disruptive children in their place?)

And I am  also praying for everyone to be blessed with good health!!

And hopefully 2015 will have lots of good food and meet-ups too!!

In summary, 2014 will be remembered as the year of Meet-Ups and Good Food for me. What was it for you?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

World Kindness Day

Today is World Kindness Day, and I am using this post to share the kindness that has touched D during this year.

Today also marks the end of another school year!

I do not usually send gifts to teachers at the end of the school year, but this year, I felt the need to. I felt obliged to thank the teachers, for their kindness, especially for helping D out during the year. Well, if you don't recall, she had a very strict and stern teacher who turned out to be one with a heart of gold  - (read She not only helped D out, she arranged for the other teachers to help D out too, on the days when she could not. In addition, she also arranged for D to have a special lift pass (the lift in the school is only for the use of teachers and visitors), which enabled D to use the lift when necessary. Her kindness astounds me!! A Big THANK YOU to Mrs T from the bottom of my heart.

Well, I sent in token gifts to the teachers with a card thanking them, and I received a reply from D's form teacher. She informed me that there were a few classmates who have been helping D out in school as well. This was something new to me, as D has never mentioned it to me at all.

When questioned, D said that a few of the girls helped her out with her bag when they had to bring it along when they were required to move around the school. Not something that happens much but occasionally. These were girls whom I seldom hear D talk about. I asked D if these girls knew about her medical condition, and she replied that she hadn't personally told  these girls at all. She has only shared about her medical condition with a few close friends. And these girls, were not from her Primary 1 class, who knows about her condition as the teacher then had told them about it. These girls are not the biggest girls (in size) in class, but definitely those with the biggest hearts. To these girls a BIG Thank you too!! For your kindness, which surpasses my expectations.

We frequently read about horrible events on social media, but be assured, the world is still full of many people with BIG hearts.

Remember it may be only a small deed for you, but you never know how big it is to the recipient.

Try a little kindness ... and pay it forward!