Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'Tis the season ...

... to be jolly, falalalala lalalala!

7 days to Christmas. Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

I hope you have.

Well, I only started yesterday. I spent 2 hours and managed to buy 4 pressies - would have been 5 if not for the shop not having stocks of one.

It helps if you know what you want to get and where to get them.

I love shopping early in the morning when there isnt much of a crowd. Once it hits lunch hour and the shoppers come in droves,I much prefer to make my way home. Only problem is that many shops only open at 11am, some at 10, so I only have 2 good hours of shopping a day.

I am also one that shops better under pressure ie when I dont have much time left. Makes me less wishy washy. When I shop early I tend to come across other things later which I may feel may make d a better gift. That's me.

Tis is also the season to go on vacations!!

With at least 6 weeks of school vacation for the children, we usually travel at this time of the year.

This year we went to Melbourne, and I managed to get help in planning for my trip from a fellow blogger, Mott.  (http://mottisland.com/). Thanks Mott for helping me plan the meals during my trip. I must say: Melbourne has amazing eats!! The range of restaurants and the quality of the food probably helped it to win "The best city to live in" title.

Wishing all a Blessed Christmas. May it be filled with peace, hope, love, laughter and good food!!




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The first hurdle

For those of you who are following my daughter's medical condition, we have crossed the first hurdle.

She has had her first pamidronate infusion last week and will be doing it every two months.

It went as expected:

* not covered by the insurers as it is congential - such a bummer this is!!

* she had the fever - but thank God it didnt go too high. 8 hours after the procedure she still hadnt had any fever and we were rejoicing until the doc told us that it will only come on after 24 hours. Sure enough, it did. But luckily it hit a peak of 39C and then it came down over a two day period.

* her bones ached for days after.

* no nausea, allergies. Praise the Lord!!

* she is not drinking as much as she should. I now worry when the procedure is done during the school term as there will not be anyone monitoring her fluid intake!


The unexpected were:

* she didnt cry when the  cannula was inserted. So proud of her. Such a brave girl.

* her pulse rate dropped mid-way during the procedure, and they were really concerned about it. They did get it up back to normal when they realised it.

* she lost her appetite for food for a few days. Eating half her usual :(

* one of her tooth fell out  mid-way during the infusion!

* she was in high spirits despite everything!!


The disappointments:

* the insistence of the hospital on my child being wheelchaired around for her kidney and bladder scans. My child is well and capable of walking. We wasted an hour just waiting for the porter to come get her and then wheel her back.

* the late start of the procedure. It didnt start until 7.30pm when she was admitted at 3pm. As the procedure took 4 hours in total, the poor girl was totally tired out at the end of it, as she was not really able to rest despite it being administered intravenously  as she was constantly montiored. Every half  to an hour there was someone coming in to check her for bruising, allegies, blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, etc.

* Not being able to sleep even after the procedure as she was still being constantly monitored. They were taking her temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate all through the night. And even I couldnt sleep as every time they came into the room, they insisted on checking with me whether she had drunk any water and if she had gone to ease herself.

* the error of the pharmacist on duty in the supplements given whilst in the hospital!!

* the long time it takes for them to dispense medications for us to take home with us. 4 hours??? I would have waited a much shorter time had they allowed me to go to the hospital pharmacy to collect it on my own!!

* The huge BILL!!!


What I was happy with about the whole thing

* Prof was more chatty and forthcoming with information as compared to when we were in his clinic. My guess is that he has too many patients to see during his clinic consultation hours and all he wants is to get them out the door!!

* the nurses were really attentive and took good care of my child.

* I was given an orientation of where I was to go for her future visits, which fortunately will not involve a hospital stay!!

This is going to be something we have to do for many years to come!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nothing Is Impossible



D: Is that another impossible level? (as she watches me play a computer game)

Me: Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it!

(D then turns and looks at her butt.)

Me: What are you trying to do?

D: I'm trying to bite my butt and I can't! You lied to me!

Me: @.@ hahahaha!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

D, my fashion police!

D: Isn't the back of your dress too low?

D: Maybe you are wearing it the wrong way around!

Who needs the fashion police when you have a daughter like her!

Monday, November 4, 2013

10, 000 steps a day? With my fitbit

It has been said that we should walk 10,000 steps a day for health, fitness and weight loss.

How far is 10, 000 steps? Based on our average stride of 2.5ft  (76cm) a stride, it works out to approximately 5 miles or 8 km.

Is that possible for a normal person who doesnt include exercise in their daily routine?

I would say: No.

I am not a sedentary person. But neither am I all that active. But I am absent-minded. As a result, I find I am going up and down those steps in my home to retrieve things. I average 12 flights of steps a day. In the first week, I averaged 6300 steps a day. In the second week, a dismal 4800 steps. The number of steps for the 3rd week is not representative as I walked 13 km over 3 days as part of my effort to get more exercise into my routine. (in the first two weeks, I only swam).

My friends with pedometers have posted average readings of 4000 steps a day.

For most people with a desk-bound job, I think it is most difficult to achieve that 10,000 magic number.

In the 3 weeks that I have had my fitbit, I have only managed to exceed that magic number 4 times.

The first was on a day when two of my children had medical/dental appointments, and for both, I took the stairs instead of waiting for the lift, and on that day I had walked half a kilometer to the shops and back. And I took public transport down to town for a bit of shopping plus dinner with my girlfriends. All that just to touch that magic 10,000.

And for the other 3 occasions that I managed it, was when I did a 3- 5 km walk in the morning.

That's how difficult it is to be fit, healthy and get some weight loss!!

So, if you want to lose weight, like my fitbit always flashes me: Burn it, move it, Vamoose!!




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Me and my Fitbit.

I know I am not active. I try to be, but no where near where I would really like to be.

Recently I have seen my friends post their pedometer readings on FB for a record of their "activity" level.

That got me curious as to how active I really was. Then a friend told me about Up by Jawbone.

It monitors your activity level, as well as sleep.

I tried to get it at but was unsuccessful but got it's competitor instead - the Fitbit.

The guy at the shop couldnt advise me on how to use it, but I managed to figure it out from help on-line.

I have had it for slightly more than a week and I got my first fitbit report this week.

I am nowhere near the recommended 10,000 steps a day, but definitely better than my friends' average of 4000+ a day.  I average around 6300 steps a day which works out to approx 4.1km!! My most active day for the week was 9300 steps which unfortunately falls short of the 10,000 I was hoping for.

I also found out that I climbed on average 12 flights of stairs a day. I tell you, this is due to my absentmindedness!! I forget something, and I have to go back up to get it.

Another thing which it monitors is my sleep. I only sleep an average of 6 and a half hours a night. Sad. I used to average 8-9 hours. I need to get in more sleep. But somehow, my body clock automatically wakes me up each day. I reckon it has to do with age.

I tried logging in my food intake, but gave up after the first couple of days coz, by the time I got to logging in my breakfast and lunch, it tells me I have exceeded my recommended calorie intake for the day. And that's even before I have started on dinner!! Guess I have found the reason for my weight gain. I must walk/exercise more, coz I cant cut down my food consumption. I really dont think I eat that much on the average, but the fitbit obviously thinks otherwise.

One good thing about this gadget is that what I will do now is: nearing the end of the day, when I take a look at it and see that I havent walked much during the day, I will just climb a few more flights of stairs - just for the sake of increasing my activity level!!

How active are you??

Monday, October 21, 2013

D goes shopping for clothes with me

D loves to go shopping with me. She loves to go into the changing room with me and give me her comments.

Mum, you can't buy that.

Mum, it's too transparent. You will need a camisole if you are wearing it.

Too tight. 

No sleeves mum! 

Buy the purple!! Buy the pink!!

Not black again!!!

All those comments made another shopper turn around to me and say: looks like you brought your personal shopper with you!!

And with her shopping with me is probably the reason why I have a pink dress in my wardrobe!! Can't imagine how I allowed her to talk me into buying that dress. Can you imagine a 50 year old in a pink dress??!!??

Thursday, October 17, 2013

D and Strangers

Sent D into the cake shop to pick up some cakes whilst I waited in the car outside (there was no parking and summons auntie was inspecting cars right there). 

The waiter offered her a free Choc lollipop and she kept shaking her head and avoiding eye contact!

When I asked her why, when she came out, she said: you told me not to talk or take things from strangers!!

So proud of you sweetie!! You were not tempted by chocolates, and most importantly: You remembered what Mum taught you!! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

D and the Cockroach

There was a cockroach in the bathroom.

I sprayed some insecticide on it, it died and I cleared it with some tissues. 

She was going: Ewwwww, ewwww!

Me: Next time when you become a mummy it would be your turn to clear it. 

D: Don't worry mum. Next time my kids would do it for me! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

D and her observation on Nerds

D came home yesterday and remarked to me:

D: Mum, nerds are bad at PE. (Physical Education)

Me: Really?

D: Yup, those that are really good at their studies can't skip!

(They are having skipping "tests" in school as part of their PE assessment, and a number of them are failing the test!!)

Me: That's probably because they are so busy studying they don't spend much time on exercising.

D: Jie, can't skip right?

(Jie is short for Jie Jie - meaning older sister)


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

D and vacations

Another D'ism moment. 

D: What's the most passionate thing Papa has done for you?

Me: Why?

D: Gold 90 (A local Radio station) has this contest. If you write in, you can win a holiday for two.

Me: And if I win, I go for that holiday with Papa and leave you behind with grandma ?

D: Of course not! You go with me. We can leave Pa behind!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

D and Legoland

D: can we go to legoland?

Hubs: Sure!

D: can we go please, please?

Hubs: yes, after your exams.

D: I want to go before I turn 13!!

(It is another 4+ years before she turns 13!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

D'ism

I have decided to record my D's conversations with us. There has been quite a few which has left us with raised eye-brows (whether because it was witty, sarcastic, or just D'uh!!). I am trying to retrieve as many as possible from my FB page. Maybe one day, she will come back here and have a good laugh about it. Hope you enjoy them too!!


She was helping her Dad with a game, and when she repeated an advise I had given him earlier on how to get a higher score. 

He responded: " Yes mummy, you have obviously been playing too much."

She then retorted: "If i am your mummy, then it was your grandmother who's been playing too much. I am just repeating what she said!"

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Children's Day





Children are God's gifts to us. As parents it is our duty to cherish and love them unconditionally, though at times it can be quite challenging.  They push us, dare us, provoke us, defy us and make us do things we thought we never could. But at the end of the day still we do it, only because they are our own flesh and blood.

Some are lucky, born with a golden spoon in their mouth. Others not so. It is our responsiblitiy as parents to teach them to treat others as they would like others to treat them. With respect. Treat all others as equals.

We should also learn to let go. Let our children learn to stretch their wings and fly, or even soar. To the best of their own individual ability. No matter what age they are, they will still be our kids, kids in our eyes, whom we want to always protect. But by letting them go, try, experience set backs, that is the only way they can learn for themselves. Like an egg, - life ends if the force is from the outside, but if broken from inside, life begins. Great things always begin from inside. (Jim Kwik). So dont be afraid to let your child explore and do great things in their own way.

To all the kids young and old - Happy Children's day!

Dedicated at all the children in the World ~ one of my favourite songs!






Monday, September 30, 2013

How to get rid of cockroaches.

How do you do it in your home?

In my home, if a roach appears, the kids will stand around and scream: There's a roach!!There's a roach!!

And they will stand on the sofa and watch it. If it stops moving, they will still stand around and scream some more. As if the screaming will kill the roach. No active action to kill it. Not even with bug spray!!

I have observed others spray a whole canister of pesticide at the insect.

From what I know, 2 squirts are actually sufficient to kill the roach.

In my home, how much roach spray I use will depend on how  fast moving the roach is and the size of it. The faster and larger it is, the more I will spray.

Another method commonly used in my home, by yours truly most of the time, is to whack the roach with some old newspapers. That's bound to kill it. This method is used if the roach is fast moving and it will disappear into some corners by the time I get around to getting the bug spray.

But if your aim is not as good, or if you have poor hand-eye co-ordination, I would recommend dropping a pile of newspapers or magazines on the roach. This way, you have a bigger margin of error. But you will also end up with a bigger mass of mess that you have to clear coz by dropping those magazines on the roach, coz you will end up with a roach "penyet". (Penyet means flattened in Malay).

There are of course other ways to kill roaches, like buying commercial roach traps, which lure the roaches and then trap them with an adhesive. You just have to buy them and leave them in places where you normally find them.

There are also numerous homemade roach baits which you can make using boric acid, flour and cocoa.

But the best thing to do is to keep the home clean. Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, keep food away, empty trash frequently, fix leaky faucets (roaches are attracted to water) and leave some naphthalene balls around - roaches hate the smell!!

How are roaches killed in your home?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday Best

Do you dress your best on Sunday? Or are you a dress down be as comfortable as you can on Sunday person?

Well, my hubs dresses formerly for work on weekdays, so when weekends come around, he much prefers to dress casually.

As I do not work but am a full time mum, I like to dress comfortably when ferrying the kids and on my errands. So my preferred dress-code on weekdays is bermudas and tees - ideal to brave the heat in this little red dot!

And on weekends, I dress to match my hubs.

One day, I realised that what I wear on weekends is exactly the same as on weekdays!!!

And I have all these nice clothes just hanging in the cupboards.

With middle-age, I have also noticed my waist line expanding. And some of these gorgeous clothes are being out-grown without being worn much - only on special occasions.

So I have decided to do something about my dressing. I have recently decided that I will wear my Sunday best when I go to church every Sunday. That way, my formal clothes will get some air time! And later in the day, I will change to my usual ensemble.

How do you dress on Sundays?


Monday, September 23, 2013

Blogging

Have you noticed that the posts on blogs are becoming less and less frequent.

Yes, I am referring to not only my blog but others too.

I think it's due to all the other social networking sites that abound nowadays - Facebook, instagram, twitter, etc

On those, we get instantaneous feedback / comments, as people seem to be more connected to those pages as opposed to blogger where many come only when they have more time to spare and want to read something.

But I will still continue blogging, tho not as frequently. I will still blog about those issues which I find less easy to share on the social networking sites, those which I ponder long over, those which I want to keep a record of for my kids to read about later in life, those regarding my daughter's medical condition.

So, do keep coming to visit, and please do leave a comment to encourage me to continue posting!

A big thank you to all who continue visiting this blog daily for updates.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fear



We had another doctor's appointment just this week.

The other professor who takes care of my daughter's medical condition is back after her long leave of absence.

Somehow when I speak to her, I feel more comforted about what my daughter has to go through.

It may be her excellent bedside manners. Or maybe because she is more convincing and thorough in the way she explains things to me. Maybe she just just knows how to get her point across to this emotional woman! Or maybe I was just in a better frame of mind. 

I asked her one question. Not only did she address that question, she went beyond. She answered all the other questions I hadnt asked yet. She also went on to answer some questions that didn't even cross my mind. She even painted different what if situations. She did not tell me the right course of action to take.  She told me to go home and think about it. 

But given what she has told me, it seems like I have no choice but to go with their recommendations.

At the end of the day, deep down I know they are recommending the best course of action. But there is still that fear.  Fear of the down-time every two months.  Fear of the pain she has to go through. Fear of any complications that may arise. Fear of the side effects. Fear of the astronomical medical bills. Fear of the unknown. And of course, fear that I took too long to make this decision.

But what is fear?


It looks like its time for me to face it and pray that she will rise. I have to remind myself that: fear has a large shadow but is actually very small. 


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Keeping your belongings safe

Recently there has been a lot of posts on how thieves break into cars to steal items left unattended in parked cars. There have also been numerous posts on how handbags left on the front passenger seat is targeted even whilst the car is being driven. There are also instances where they fake an accident just to get the drivers to stop and then rob them. Most of these have been incidents in Malaysia.

Due to cameras installed in cars, we can see for ourselves how desperate some of these robbers are. Many of these are uploaded on you-tube and on FB as well to warn us.

Tho' Malaysia is a Causeway away from where I live, I fear the possibility of these people coming across and committing those crimes here. As a result, I have become more conscious of the safety of my personal belongings. I no longer put my handbag on the front passenger seat next to me whilst I am driving. Instead I have it wedged between myself and the car door. Not the most comfortable place to have it, but better than be the subject of these robbers, I thought.

I remind the children not to leave any of their "valuables" in full view in a parked car. You can't go wrong being careful with your belongings.

The other day, my other half left his iPad in the car. I chided him for it, as I was concerned that there was the possibility of the car being broken into and it being stolen. You never know how desperate thieves can get, and yes, I am that paranoid.

But his retort to me was: That's an iPad 1. Even if the car is broken into, they would probably NOT want that OLD iPad!!


Monday, August 5, 2013

National day

It's that time of the year when we start feeling more patriotic than at any other time of the year.

We hear more National Day songs. On the radio, on the TV.

Even the kids are singing or humming them.

Some of these tunes are quite catchy.



Some are favourites from when I was in school.



Some are new.

Some are downright AWFUL!!

But do they have to come up with a new song EVERY YEAR??

I feel that they really don't have to.

With the ones that really hit "home", just use it for a few years, before introducing another.



And please, have a competition to choose the best each time you are introducing a new one.

We have lots of talented song writers out there which you may not be aware of.

Please DON'T just commission some one or group to come up with one, and use it!


And this is the song for this year. Let me know if you like it.

Majulah Singapura!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On-line shopping

I am not one that enjoys on-line shopping.

I am the sort that needs to feel, touch, try before buying. Especially if it is clothes.

Just the other day, my husband encouraged me to do some on-line clothes shopping.

Why? Because he found really good men bargains on-line.

He was getting designer brand shirts and trousers at a fraction of the price.

And by fraction, I mean a really small fraction of what we would have to pay had he gone to a brick and mortar shop here.

And based on his past experiences, he is now hooked.

As for me, I have bought a pair of shoes once before on-line.

It came from a brand I had bought from during our trip to the US 2 years ago.

However, when the shoes arrived, they felt a size too small. And to return it, would be too much trouble, so I have been wearing a too-tight pair of supposedly comfortable shoes.

Hence my reluctance to shop on-line.

Well, after much bugging by him I succumbed.

As I am not really large, it was easy to get discounted designer clothes.

In fact many of those on sale were my size.

But to be on the safe side, I bought "relaxed fit" tops.

I thought that would provide me with a bigger margin of error.

No body hugging dresses.

Wish me luck.

If they work out well, then I may be more adventurous and shop more on-line in time to come.

Do you do on-line shopping for clothes or shoes? How was your experience?




Monday, July 22, 2013

Zhi Char

Zhi Char in chinese literally means cooking, stir frying. In the local context, it usually refers to a "Chinese food stall serving a wide variety of a la carte dishes usually with white steamed rice and soups". (Source: www.goodfood.sg)

Some time back, a friend of mine who had migrated was back in Singapore for a business trip. We were meeting her for dinner and she specifically requested for "zhi char" in a coffeeshop. I guess she was missing the experience.

My friends and I cracked our heads on where to go. (When my family eats out, it is either hawker food, fast food or restaurants. We hardly go for zhi char.) Fortunately she came to our rescue and suggested a place she frequented when she was still living here.

We had a scrumptious meal at a reasonable price. (Sorry no photos!).
This is what we had at the zhi char place:
Stir fried chicken in sesame oil and ginger
Steamed garoupa ,
Fried sweet potato leaves with sambal
Liver, kidney and pig stomach soup
Steamed Tou foo with micned meat

When I got home, my MIL asked about the dinner. I told her all about it, and she suggested that we should actually bring the kids one day since I had enjoyed the food.

But actually there is no need too. Why?? Coz these are the food we frequently cook for ourselves at home!

No wonder I had trouble finding a zhi char place to go to!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Full circle

I remember when we were young.

Variety of shops available were not that great.

We did most things ourselves. To get help was expensive, by the standards of those times.

Only the really rich could afford the luxuries.

Even a cake for a birthday was home baked.

Then the country prospered.

We became more developed.

Businesses flourished.

Variety became the spice of life.

Cake shops galore.

Nobody baked their own cakes anymore.

It was easier and sometimes cheaper to buy, than to make your own.

BUT we nowadays, more people are now getting back to basics.

Doing their own stuff. Making their own things,

For the last few birthdays, I have been baking.

For my friend

For my child


Simple cakes coz I am no expert. I am not good at the frosting and cake decorating side of it,

And just last evening, my son baked me my birthday cake!!


GASP! A very good first time attempt!!

I am definitely touched.

Thank you my boy for the thought and effort.

Love it.

And a full circle we have come from home baking to buying, to me baking for them and now they bake for me!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Shapes

The skirt felt really snug. 

So when I was at the club, I stood on the scales in the changing room. 

I couldn't believe the number the arrow went to. 

The stone on my new ring doesnt weigh that much!! 

Taking it off I weighed again. 

Same number. 

So, I walked over to another set of scales, the kind where you move the weights for the arrows to reach an equilibrium.

It, too, said I had gained weight! 

But fortunately not as much as what the other one said. 

So I'm believing it. 

Walking has to resume tomorrow. 

Please bless us with clear skies and beautiful weather. 

I need to get back into shape.

Not the round shape. 

Neither do I want to be a square, apple or pear shaped. 

Hour glass shape please!! 

What shape are you? 

50 = 25 x 2

A new milestone is ahead of me.

When I was young I couldnt imagine being 50. To me it was just waaay too old.

Now that I am at the door of it, it's like "no big deal".

Some call it the new 30 but for me I think it's probably the new 25.

At this age, we dont worry so much about what people think of what we wear, how we look or what we eat. We are not here to impress anyone! We live life the way we want. If they dont like it, too bad!! We know who are real friends are, and we are comfortable the way we are.

We would probably have twice the fun we did at 25!! So, 50 is indeed 25 x 2!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The June Hols

We started the June vacation on a high note.

Full of beans doing lots of exercises. Swimming up to 3-4 times a week during the first week, and even before the holidays started.

This year, we decided to do an activity filled vacation. We chose a Club Med holiday.

We spent time swimming, kayaking, playing badminton, tennis, and even Mahjong!!

It was four days of sun, sand, sea, and fun!!

And then we came home. And mid-way into the 3rd week of the vacation, the haze decided to visit us.

That put a stop to all of our physical activities, especially when the PSI hit the hazardous level, and we could even smell the smokiness of the haze when we were indoors, even with our windows and doors shut. The haze had crept in.

We tried to stay in as much as possible, the air purifiers came out from cold storage. The air-cons worked over-time. So did our lungs.

When the PSI dipped a little out of the hazardous level, but still unhealthy, we were already itching to go out and exercise again.

But on the side of caution, we wrung our hands and sat tight.

Now that we are in the last days of our vacation, that urge to exercise has been lost. Even though the PSi is now ranging between healthy and moderate, the kids are so comfortable at home in their couch-potato position, they dont want to exercise!!

All the benefits of the exercise we have been doing is going to be lost. We have been eating quite a bit too. With numerous birthdays celebrated in June amongst family members, and friends visiting, it has been makan, makan, makan. (Makan is the malay word for eat). Singaporeans favourite past-time.

Well, let's hope that with July will come clear sunny weather, and we manage to get back to our exercise routine.

Go haze, go!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Friendly Gecko

I always thought lizards were afraid of people.

But there is one in my home that seems to think it's our pet.

It gravitates towards humans.

It comes out when we turn the lights on.

Last evening it tried to jump onto my lap.

I am generally not afraid of them ....

... if they keep their distance.

This one was too friendly for my liking.

So I screamed.

So did the little one.

Our knight in shining amour didn't come to our rescue.

He was glued to the computer, downstairs, despite all that screaming (and excitement?) upstairs.

Awhile later, on his way upstairs, when the rest of us were cool and collected downstairs he said:

If I scream, please come to my rescue!!

:P

Friday, June 7, 2013

Nerd or cool?

My daughter sent me a message the other day.

She wanted to know if I could pick her home at a certain time.

I decided I wanted to be funny and cool mum.

I replied with: Potassium.

It shocked her. She laughed non-stop.

Hope she didnt show it to her friends, or they will think I am a nerd!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Exercise, exercise, exercise

That's what we have been trying to do more of.

For D, with the aim of building her bone mass, and for ourselves too!

Exercises are just not the same.

I used to walk a lot. 5 km or more 2 or 3 times a week.

But now it has changed to swimming.

No impact on the knees.

When I first started, I struggled to complete even 4 laps, though in my younger days, I used to do 20 laps almost everyday.

I can feel my stamina improving, coz I have no problem doing 5 continuous laps now.

And every visit, I try to do 10 laps, at a slow pace.

But this morning, a friend, whom I used to walk with, called for me to walk, and so I did.

We did our usual 5 km walk.

And at the end of the walk, I felt different.

I had no problem finishing the 5 km even though I haven't walked that distance for a long time, more than 6 months. I guess the stamina I built from swimming played a part.

I perspired, and it felt good. We never perspire when we swim.

But my legs are beginning to ache a little. Standing up after squatting takes a little effort.

Not sure if walking is a bad exercise due to the effects on my legs. But I like that sweating out bit!

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Scare

It's a horrible scare when you go for your mammogram, and the radiographer calls you in again, and then again to re-do it. Each time with a different mammo plate, and taking more shots than the first.

It's even worse when another radiographer comes in to help and she asks: Does the spot show up??

And then the nightmare begins as you have recently witnessed the battle of a family member's fight with breast cancer, and the wounds are still fresh.

BUT after 5 agonising days of praying, sleepless nights, all's well. *Sigh of relief*

Don't you wish they were more careful with their words.

Or even making an excuse for calling you back in?

No doubt cancer is very common nowadays. And breast cancer is one of the "better" cancers to get as the rate of recovery is higher than all other cancers when detected early. Nobody should have to experience what I did the past 5 days.

Praise the Lord!!



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

World Gourmet Summit

The World Gourmet Summit is in full swing right at the moment.

I was privileged enough to have won two tickets to their Gastronomic Jam Session last Saturday.

It was a day of cooking demos by numerous chefs interspersed with food, and more food!!



Awesome stuff, except that I was a little disappointed.

Why? Because having attended their previous cooking sessions, I found that the new format didnt help people like me.

Many years ago when I attended their cooking sessions by these Guests chefs, we were given copies of the recipes of the dishes they demonstrated. In addition, we were given taste portions of what was cooked to taste. This time, however, no recipes were given out nor tasting portions of the dishes recommended. Some of the people attending simply helped themselves to the dishes cooked by the chefs. But with more than a 100 people at the session, there was no way everyone could get a taste of the food! :(

I also found it disappointing that a copy of the day's programme wasn't distributed to all attendees. I saw that some people had it, but I wasn't sure if they had printed it themselves or was it given to them. It could have been a case of mine being complimentary tickets that I didn't receive it as I wasn't given a "bag" at the door which many others did!

Maybe the organisers should realise that its the little things that make the difference between a good and a great experience at such events.



Apart from that I had a good time. The DJs from Gold 90 FM who Emceed were entertaining. There was free flow of drinks (coffee, tea, ice cream, juice, chocolates, desserts) and lots of food!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Blasts

My heart goes out to all affected by the Boston blasts.

Every time some thing like this happens, it brings me back to 26 Febraury 1993, when the terrorists tried to bring down the twin towers but were unsuccessful, and of course to 11 September 2001 when thousands perished without reason.

I remember that day in 1993 very clearly. I was living in New York at that time, in Battery PArk City, a stone throw away from the World Trade Center in NY City.

Whilst living there, I will occasionally walk over to the World Trade Center for lunch. I would usually grab a hot dog or some sushi from the shops there and spend some time browsing thru the shops to kill time before heading home. Just rubbing shoulders with the corporate crowd made me feel a part of the vibrant city. I wanted to do the same that fateful day.

It was a cold morning and I had decided to do some ironing and had the television on. I was about to get dressed and head towards the WTC when something on TV caught my attention. I decided to stay on and watch it. At about 12, looking out my window I noticed there were snow flurries, and then decided against going out, as I hated the cold. As I was about to prepare a simple lunch for myself, I heard what I thought was thunder. Thinking that it was rather unusual to hear thunder when it was going to snow, I dismissed it. Not long after, a phone call came through. It was my husband calling to make sure that I had not gone out for lunch (as he had already heard the news of the bombing and was concerned as he knew that the WTC was my favourite hang out place).

6 people died and about 1000 were injured in that bombing. It was done using a truck laid with explosives and driven into the parking garage of the WTC. The blast from the homemade 1,500-pound urea-nitrate bomb blew a hole five stories deep and half-a-football field wide.

Every time I hear of news of terrorists attacks, it send a chill down my spine. I could have been a victim. It makes me reflect on why I am put here on this earth, and why I am still here, and how I can do my part to make the world a better place.

For those who perished, may their soul rest in peace and may their families find some closure and comfort.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The humble mash at L'Atelier Singapour de Joel Robuchon



I have heard so much about it from my friends who were privileged enough to dine at his restaurant here or afar.

I had drooled whilst listening to them describe how silky smooth it tasted.

How it could be easily be mistaken for ice-cream.

Some likened it to tau huay - a local bean curd dessert that simply slides down the throat.

So when I read a review that they were having a lunch promo at the restaurant which cost $49 for a 3 course set, I proposed to the husband about making a trip to check them out.

I have heard about how you could only order sets at dinners and the degustation menu costs a whopping $530!!

Other sets ranged from $160 to $320. I always thought that it was an exorbitant price to pay for a dinner.

Anyway, we jumped at the opportunity to dine at this restaurant ... and I had to have the mash, at a fraction of the high prices.

Well, I ended up with the $68 menu as I thought the $49 set seemed a little boring (with an amuse bouche, a choice of appetizer, the rotisserie of the day and the dessert of the day). With the $68 menu, I was allowed an appetizer, 2 mains of my choice and a choice of dessert with the amuse bouche

The amuse bouche was a foie gras custard with truffle and parmesan foam. I thought the combination of flavours was unusual, but definitely a winning combination.

I had the quiche to start. It wasnt a normal quiche. The egg was custard-like on a bacon base which was truly divine in taste!!

For the mains I chose a shrimp with noodles which was quite ordinary, but my little D enjoyed it, especially when the noodles were deep fried to a crisp.

For my second main, I chose the roasted quail with stuffed foie gras. The serving was minute, but the taste was awesome! The quail was tender and perfectly cooked. (This dish had a $17 surcharge added)

And then the humble mash was served.


This is the dish that won Joel Robuchon his Michelin stars.

I have heard about how it takes a ratio of 1 lb of butter to 2 lbs of potatoes to make this divine silky mash.

It didnt taste as buttery as I expected it to be. But it was, oh! so good!! And it was a good thing my son hates mash. I ate his as well.

So the question is: Was the restaurant worth the hype?

Well, I would pay that $68 for a set meal. But not the $160 or $530 for dinner. It was good but not that awesome!!

Now, I will try to re-create that awesome mash at home!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

R.I.P. Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's former prime minister, died on Monday 9 April 2013 at age 87 following a stroke.

There's been lots of updates on FB, twitter on it.

On twitter, there was a particular hashtag, #nowthatchersdead, has caused confusion as to exactly who died! Full story here.

We were watching the news on the Iron Lady's death on TV when the little one commented: Hmmm, 1925 to 2013. So mum, was she older or are you older?

Then the older one responded: Mum, of course, DUH!! Wuahahahaha!!!

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Matter of Perspective

How do you view the events that you face everyday?

Especially the obstacles that come your way? Good, bad, or maybe some view it as something that will make you stronger when you come out of it.

Especially true for me.

When we are shown a glass, we are asked: Is it half full or half empty. But have we considered:



So we really have to try to look at things from a different light.

I used to think that my hubs was spoiling the kids every time he indulged them. I used to feel that children need not be indulged. They can learn to appreciate the finer things in life when they are much older, when they can afford it themselves.

However, after a friend shared with us why he did it, I am all for it.

Here goes: He sent his daughter to the UK for her undergraduate studies. He accompanied her in. Indulged her with a stay in a castle. Dinner at the best restaurants. Drank the best wines, ate the best foods!

Why? Because he's not going to be there watching over her. And when many eligible young men come wooing her, she's had the best of everything. Been there, done that! She's not going to be so easily swept off her feet. She will not be so easily wowed and she will still be level headed enough to assess the guy on his merits.

Great thinking, not?? With a daughter of dating age, that's the defence mechanism I am going to take. We are not indulging her, but buffering her up against any Tom, Dick or Harry!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Novelty has worn off

When my kids were younger, hubs and I never went out on our own much. Most things were done with the kids, or if that was not a possibility, his mum or a responsible adult would be around to keep an eye on them. They were never left alone on their own until some 2 years ago.

It happened at a time when due to an emergency, MIL couldnt be with the kids (she had to go overseas) and we couldnt find anyone to watch over them. As we had already committed to attend an event, we couldnt back out at the last minute. We also felt that they were old enough to keep an eye on each other, and we were only a phone call away.

That one evening out emboldened the kids so much that subsequently, they were like: Go ahead Mum, go ahead Papa, we can take care of ourselves!! (READ: We can play all we want without you bugging us to go to bed, or hit the books, or get off the computer!)

As a result, hubs and I have been more things by ourselves lately: dinners, movies, spa treatments, supper, shows, walks, etc. This I feel is very important in building a marriage. It keeps that spark alive!

We have also been going out with our own friends more. Of course kids are not included for these gatherings.

Last week, when hubs and I went out, they were like: NOT AGAIN!! Why are you guys going out so much without us nowadays?

Well, it looks like that novelty of staying home alone has worn off. And it feels good to be wanted in their lives again!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hot, hot, hot!

The weather here has been unpredictably hot.

It has been hot, hot, hot and getting even hotter. And the humidity makes it worse.

The hottest weather ever recorded in Singapore is 36C.

And I believe we may be breaking that record soon. We have been hitting 34C or near 35C for the past few days.

Last year, the United States had its warmest year on record and my Australian friends have also been facing super record high temperatures. It is so hot that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has added new colours to their weather map to reflect the rising temperatures: pink and purple will now cover temperatures over 50C — should it climb that high.

So remember to hydrate and keep cool ~ don't end up like pop corn.

I will end up being stronger!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April fool

A fellow blogger's child commented that April fool is so last season. That means not many will make the effort to pull pranks on others. The new in thing is Halloween. More and more are observing it in recent times with dress ups and trick-or treating.

Anyway today is still April fools day.

I was at the hospital for D's 6 monthly review. She did her bone mineral density(BMD) test just two weeks ago and we got the results today.

It's funny how time makes us forget. Previously I would be fretting in the run-up to her medical appointments. However, as the past few appointments were non-events, it must have made me let my guard down.

Well, there was absolutely no anxiety in the run up to today's appointment. I had expected a result that showed that everything was within range, as it had been for the past 3 annual BMD tests. You could say that I was sub-consciously optimistic. Furthermore, the hubs was on leave and was going for the appointment with me.

Well, as we walked into Prof's room, there was the usual formalities ~ greetings, handshakes, and the usual question of whether D has had any falls and how she was doing in school. Then he pulled out the results of her recent scan.

Hip scan - within range but at borderline and below the level of the last scan.
Spine - as above
Full body - below the acceptable range.

Then he dropped the bombshell - that she should start on her pamidronate infusions! That would mean she would have to spend 4 hour visits every 2 months for these intravenous infusions. He then went on to talk about whether to do it as an inpatient (meaning a check in to the hospital for the day) or as out patient, and the claim-ability from medisave for the different scenarios. And he mentioned that the side effect of the treatment would be a high fever, but only for the first time. Fevers of up to 40C was common with flu-like symptoms. Did I have any questions?

I was dumbstruck. My head was swirling. The infusions were not painful he said. Only the setting up of the cannula (drip thru the vein on the hand) would hurt. I thought that was an understatement. I remember my son being straight jacketed for that procedure when he had to be put on the drip during his hospital stay because they couldn't risk him struggling when they were doing it, and they locked me out of the room coz they knew it would hurt the mum too much to see them perform that procedure. And can you imagine my baby having to go thru that every other month for a whole year?

Prof must have seen me squirm, or felt my apprehension. He then decided to go gentle on me. He then said that if I wanted to wait and to do a re-scan in 6 months, he was willing to consider it.

All that happened within a span of about 5 minutes. But that 5 minutes was 5 minutes too long for me!

In fact, I was waiting for Prof to say: "April fool!! Gotcha!"

BUT unfortunately he didn't. It seemed like a bad april's fool joke gone wrong, but it isn't. I am still trying to awake from this nightmare.

Naturally, I wanted to wait. I was glad hubs was with me coz I was numb from what he told me.

I really never thought that she would have to go on pamidronate infusions. Especially since we have been told that she probably has the mildest form of OI.

Anyway, I re-googled pamidronate infusions to refresh my memory on what I read previously. Some studies have shown that it can cause kidney failure. The patient needs to drink lots to prevent the kidney problems. He didn't mention that at all to me. That's another area of concern for me as D doesn't drink much especially when she's in school. (Read: fear of the school toilet!!)

The infusions also cause bone pains, as well as depletion of calcium in the body. Something which I really don't understand. Usually weak and brittle bones are caused by lack of calcium. We are trying to strengthen the bones, but the process of doing it results in there being less calcium? This lay person just can't make sense of it. Anyway, I still have time to read up and find out more. Or to present my questions at the next visit.

Meanwhile the worrying begins again. Have to again constantly remind her about the need to be extra careful and to prevent falls. Any falls could result in fractures!! The paranoia is upon all of us AGAIN! Sigh. Tell me what can I do to shield my baby from that pain? Where can I take her to escape all these? Can time heal my baby?

Meanwhile, the poor girl seems oblivious to it all. Still happy-go-lucky, not understanding most of what transpired during the review today. Ignorance is bliss. Maybe I should go stick my head in the sand! :'(

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dress code

Cant believe we are already in the last week of March and I havent done a single post here. My apologies to all who have been checking in.

Well, this month was marked by many school activities and assessments, and lots of good food due to Restaurant week here.

I have another good meal up this week. We have been invited to a dinner which will involve a gastronomic experience cooked by Chef Shannon Bennett. However, this is the dress code for the dinner:



I'm stumped on what to wear.

You see, the last time I was invited to a dinner by these same hosts some 6 weeks ago, the dress code was smart casuals.

Then I had no problem. I was a little more formal than smart casual, as I wore a little black dress. Hubs always says: It's better to over dress than under dress. At that dinner, they were many ladies in cocktail dresses and 6 inch heels, and many men were in dinner jackets. I felt under-dressed tho' I over-dressed. I couldnt understand why the other guests were so over-dressed for a smart-casual dress code! I would have happily gone in smart looking jeans!! (and stuck out like a sore thumb, which I am glad I didnt!!)

Now, with this glitz and glamour dress code, I can't imagine what the other ladies will be coming in. I know I will definitely be under-dressed.

Glitz and glamour as defined on the world wide web :

Tons of make-up, false eyelashes, sparkly, fancy clothes, hairpieces, a walking-talking Barbie doll.
(Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100617025646AAUba9I)

Ostentatious showiness; flashiness
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/glitz)

An air of compelling charm, romance, and excitement, especially when delusively alluring
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/glamour)

I am not the sort that wears full make-up, and I dont even know how to put on false eyelashes. I have nothing really alluring in my wardrobe, and I am a fussy dresser and and I really doubt if I will be able to find something in 2 days!! Yikes!!

Any ideas?? I cant possibly go in that same LBD!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A kitchen is ...





... where women gather to talk, cook and eat,

... where women show their love to the family,

... where lovely smells permeates,

... where some of us go to de-stress,

... a place where wonderful food is dished out

... the heart and soul of a home.


For those who love cooking, it's where all the action is.

When I was young, it was my Mum's domain.

We were allowed in, BUT don't you mess it up or you will be banished forever!!

As a result of that, I rarely ventured into the kitchen to experiment, if I had a choice.

When I lived in New York, my kitchen was mine and mine alone. I spent many hours there churning out food that added to my husband's waistline. He put on a whopping 30 pounds in that span of one year.

Nowadays, I am tempted by my friends' posts of their lovely creations from their kitchens. Much as I want to try them out, I hardly do. Not as much as I would love to. Why? Because of my experience from young. As I live with my in-laws, I try not to intrude into MIL's domain. She loves to cook and always has something on the stove, boiling, steaming, braising ... for dinner. The stove is usually lit. I venture in to cook or bake just like a guest chef does ... only when invited.

Sad, isnt it? How I wish sometimes I had a kitchen to call my own.

This princess is waiting for a castle to call her own.

What's a kitchen to you?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Your favourite Child

Do you have a favourite?

Most parents will say "no".

We try not to have favourites. We try to be fair to all and treat each the same.

That's what I say and try to do too.

But, to be honest: we do love each differently.

My oldest is special to me because she was my first born. She's what you would call a "good girl". Doesnt give me problems. Does her work when she has to, diligent, level headed.

My second, being the only boy is also special in his own way. He is independent, street smart, and oh! so kind when it comes to younger children. He takes very good care of them especially his younger sister.

My youngest is my most precious. Being the youngest, I know she will be my last baby, so she has a special place in my heart. Coupled with her medical problems, we tend to be more careful with her. Also, with her being the youngest, she tends to get picked on by the other two. With the big difference in age, she always on the losing end, be it in games, arguments, etc. I know how she feels coz I went thru all that as a kid, being the youngest in the family. So I tend to help her out a little more. Of course, because of this, the other 2 will complain that I love her more than I do them. WE know that is not true. I love them all. The same.

Like all kids, they always complain that the others are treated "more special" compared to them.

But that's only what they perceive.

We give the necessary attention to the one who needs it most at that particular time. Like when one has a problem or a need, we tend to give it the attention it needs at that time. Of course, to the "problemless" child, we are ignoring them.

So does this create the "problem child" effect? - ie where they act up just to get our attention?

Probably does. But with limited resources such as time, and money, I guess it cant be helped.

I know a friend who regularly has private dates with each child separately just to give them that one-to-one time. Wonderful isnt it??

Unfortunately, that doesnt seem possible for me with 3 kids and a super tight schedule. In fact, I hardly even have time for myself. And that creates the "problem parent" in me. I get grumpy. I feel unloved. I get impatient. I need my ME TIME!!

So do you have a favourite child? I do.

Mine is probably ...

...

...

...

...

...

... ME!! Have a great day!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

To eat or not to eat

With Chinese New Year many of us tend to over-eat.

But lucky for me, I did not. In fact, I hardly snacked this CNY.

I have yet to have any kueh baulu (Very similar to madeleines in taste), love letters (or kueh kapit as it is known in Malaysia), and lots of other traditional goodies that normally appear during CNY.

Why? Because I am a afraid of putting on weight.

But did you notice that the less you eat, the more weight you gain?

When I was younger, I used to eat like "nobody's business", and yet I couldnt put on weight. In fact I was underweight then. My cousins on the other hand, ate very little, and were fat!! I probably ate 3 times what they did. Then I couldnt understand why the weight gain simply refused to materialise. I thought how unfortunate I was. How I used to wish then that I was fatter.

Now the tide has changed. I eat very little and still the waistline keeps increasing. For someone who has been underweight most of my life, I never thought I would see the day where I would wear clothes sized Large. *Cringe*

It's probably the slowing of my metabolic rate with age.

How I wish it wasn't. I wish I could go back to the days of eating and eating and yet remain slim. Some of us just can never be satisfied.

Well, I'm off to satisfy that hunger of mine, and indulge in those goodies I have yet to eat. And hopefully, the more I eat, the skinnier I will get!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Today marks the start of a new year in the Chinese calendar.

This year is the year of the Snake.




Wishing one and all A Blessed and Prosperous Lunar New Year!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Are you a scary mum?

My youngest was telling me about her friends who like me. They think I am friendly and fun.

But she said: If they were me, they wouldn't like you, coz you are a scary mum!

"How am I scary?" I asked her.

She replied: You shout, you scream and you scold me.

She went on to add : The best Mums are always are our friends mums. They are always nice to us.

"But of course!" I said, "We cant go around scolding other people's children, can we?"

I think there are some Mums that are always so loving and patient with their children. I know of a few. But I was surprised one day when one of my friends who I thought fell into that category posted on her facebook page: My daughter thinks I am scary!!

Never would I have imagined it. She's one of the sweetest, most patient mum I have met. And yet her daughter thinks she is scary. SCARY isn't it?

So are you a scary mum? Go ask your kids. Chances are they will say "Yes". If they say "no", give them a big. big hug, coz they are the most sensitive kids and they just don't want to hurt your feelings. Haha!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kudos to Some teachers!!

Yes, we should give credit when credit is due.

To the wonderful teachers my daughter has this year, I thank them!!

It started in December. Due to my daughter's medical problems, I usually touch base with her form teacher and the year's level custodian before the start of the new year.

When I called the school in December, I was told to leave my name and number. I wasnt expecting a call from the level custodian at all but she called me back within an hour of me leaving a message for her teacher to call me back. She told me she would brief her teachers accordingly. She also gave me the form teacher's name and email address.


As I was busy that day, I did not get around to messaging the form teacher until much later that day. And within an hour of my email message to her, she responded. She also added that the level custodian had already briefed her on my daughter's case.

How efficient can they be??

On the first day of school, I went in with my daughter. We went in early, as first days are usually chaotic affairs in all schools. We were there before 7 and we went straight to her classroom. And, we saw a lady just about to leave her classroom.

It was her form teacher personally checking that everything in the class was in order before the children came in!!

We dont see that happening very often. Many a times, teachers leave it to the school support staff to take care of all these matters. But here was one doing it herself!! And before 7am!!

On the first day of school, she gave each child a letter to bring home to their parents. This letter introduced herself as well as the other teachers. She laid out her expectations from the children and specifically stated the manner in which we were to help the children. In it she too gave us her contact details, including her personal mobile phone number, for us to contact her as and when required or if we have any queries.

This, I must say, is very brave of her, for I know of parents who abuse this information. They would be calling the teachers non-stop over trivial matters. For that I truly salute her, and I hope the parents of the children in my daughter's class would not abuse this privilege.

This teacher was on compassionate leave last week, and during that period, she never failed to update the class blog despite her absence from school.

Just this morning, my daughter informed me of something which I would require her form teacher's assistance. I sent her an email at 6am. She responded at 6.44am promising to attend to it!!

Amazing, isnt she??

We absolutely need teachers like this!! Totally Dedicated!!