Monday, 29 January 2018

My junior chefs

My junior chefs
28 Jan 2018 Sunday
Lucas 7.5 yo
Luis 5 yo

I want to capture this day before I forget it. 

So I was lying on my bed and it was around half past six. I was having a headache. The boys have woken up from their nap. Luis was playing in the living room and Lucas came in to lie down with me. I asked him if he was hungry, he said yes, I said what shall we eat and that I have a headache. I jokingly asked if he can make dinner. Then he said “Okay. Tell me one thing I can use.” I said “salad”, because thats what we have been eating for our Sunday dinners. And off he went. 

The following conversation took place:

Lucas (talking from the kitchen): Luis, I’m going to make dinner. Do you want to help me? I will cut the pomegranate and you can squeeze the orange juice (into the salad, like what he did last week).”

Luis: I’m still playing. 

Lucas: Ok you come when you are done, ok? But remember to wash your hands first because... (can’t hear the rest from the room).

I was a proud mama. Lucas is a caring boy who takes care of others. All those cooking sessions I did with them prepared them well to be independent. Of course there’s still a long way to go. 

Apart from Lucas, Luis is quite the chef too. That afternoon he made movie snacks for us. Yoghurt with frozen fruits. He was so professional, I was not allowed to add more yoghurt or do anything extra to what he was preparing. 


Starting their dinner preparation. Lucas loves pomegranate. 


The dinner. Luis loves sweet potato. He added the sweet potato left over from lunch, which he cut with his fork. 


Luis preparing our movie snack immediately after coming back from Tien Hsia, cutting banana with his fork. 


Our afternoon movie snack. By the way, we watched Monsters vs Aliens. 



Sunday, 28 January 2018

Balestier road

One day our family was driving along Balestier Road and suddenly I felt a wave of sadness. It was really weird and I was wondering why. So I looked around and then I saw it. We passed by the animal hospital which we used to bring Bobby once every two days. 

How amazing, that my emotions were associated with Balestier Road at such a subconscious and deep level. It has been two years since Bobby passed away. Thinking back, those last few months of Bobby’s life were really tough. He had seizures and his subcut sessions were so painful that he sometimes howl. 

On one occasion, I brought Bobby to the Boon Lay Place vet for his subcut where he’s injected with liquid, somewhat like kidney dialysis. At the vet he had a seizure and the vet advised me to bring him to the animal hospital. I was alone and afraid he would have a seizure in the car so I requested for one of their nurses to follow me. That was the first time that we brought him to this animal hospital on Balestier Road. He had to stay there and I was crying buckets when the nurse at the reception desk asked what was the limit we want to incur if Bobby requires emergency treatment. I called my husband and he said we will pay whatever was required. What made it worse was that I had to fly to Europe for a business trip that night. At night we went to visit Bobby before I flew. Thereafter my husband visited Bobby the next two days and sent me updates of his recovery. 

That was one of the painfully memorable times. After that we often brought Bobby there for his subcut because they were fast, the nurses were helpful and they open 24 hours. Which was really important for us during that time partly because my mother was also hospitalised and my husband and I had to juggle so many things. 

When I had my realisation and I told my husband, he confided that he also thought of Bobby a while back and teared. Bobby was an important part of our lives. We adored him loads but guiltily less when the children came along. But he was always there and we see him in many of our photos and videos :)

You are the best, my dearest ‘mi mi’.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

妈,生日快乐

I still miss you, though I do not think of you as much. Hope you are happy wherever you are. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

2015, the worst year of my life

I was quite kuku, i.e. silly, non-savvy, dumb, you name it. When the blogger app on my phone did not work anymore I stopped writing for a long time. I didn't even think that I could download another app. Now that I finally came around I can put down my thoughts again. 

Yeah it's another down post, next one will be happier I promise. 
2015 is by far the worst year of my life, I have never experienced depression for such a long time before. It has not been easy to document this, thinking back on it was painful. But now that time has passed, some wounds have healed.

When year 2015 started, I was hyped. I was ready to perform. My manager then asked me to head up another section on top of my current role. I was apprehensive but I decided to do it to challenge myself. 

However in early Feb my mom was hospitalised. This time it was unlike other times. Things moved so fast. While in hospital she almost died two times. I made daily trips to the hospital. Specifically three trips a day. Morning before work, during lunch and after work. 
And work was not smooth sailing. In my current section I had two resignations and I had to recruit new people. I consciously told myself that my focus was my mother and it didn't matter if I did not perform that year. 

The second 'almost died' time, mother went into a coma and could not wake up. I sort of guessed the end was coming because she was groggy and responded less and less over the past two days. But I still cried so hard when the doctor told me that she is likely to pass very soon. So hard that my head ached. And my heart ached. It was already not an unfamiliar feeling by that time. I didn't know that heart ache can be literal. 
But things turned around the day after she was given the death sentence. She woke up. 
However not all the way around. Mother went home but was not fully well and went back to hospital three weeks later. It was too much and mother passed away in May. 

While I was glad that her suffering was short, this did not take away my sadness. For a long time I woke up crying everyday. Meanwhile Bobby was not well too. He had a few seizures and was getting weaker. But I was not ready to put him down. 

Eventually Bobby also passed away in September. I was still so heartbroken about my mother that I could not feel the full force of sadness for Bobby. 

In between I had a new staff whom I did not confirm her probation. What was complicated was that she was pregnant. When I told her I could not confirm her she was apologetic that she did not perform. I said I will help to get her maternity benefits. But my HR was the worst ever. In short things turned nasty and HR was the doubleheaded snake. My manager didn't understand and asked me why I didn't reach out. I couldn't tell him. I would have lost. 

I started to think what I want out of life. I reached my mid-career crisis earlier than should have been. I struggled big time, this was a topic that took three months to think about. I tried to look outside for another job, any job. Even considered quitting without a job first but that was too risky. At the end I decided to ask to step down and that was the best decision I've made in a long time. 

Looking back, I've come a long way since 2015. Learn from the pain, appreciate the people who love you and whom you love. Relax, take things easy. Forgive. Be happy. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kidzania Sunday

I was still on a quest to bond with the boys. The awfully expensive Kidzania tickets were expiring in a few weeks' time. It was a Sunday right after the March school holidays. All factors were in favour of bringing the kids to Kidzania. So we left the house at 8.15am on Sunday. 

I like to pat myself on the shoulder because the day I chose was so good that according to my friend who brought her daughter there with us, it was not crowded at all. The boys had a lot of fun.

Lucas. He smiled and laughed. The unrestricted without any worries type. How I have missed that. He hasn't been so happy in a long time. 

Luis. He was less comfortable and the poor boy was tired by 12pm. But he enjoyed too. Luis was so cute he made me want to keep on hugging and carrying him. 

But what touched me most was Lucas. I just want him to be a happy boy. On Monday he was very tired in the morning. But the happiness lasted. He held my hand on the way while walking to school. The last few weeks he sometimes didn't want to do that. Parenting needs effort. Today a parent said that being down for too long leads to depression. I can't let Lucas be that. I'm so glad that I brought them to Kidzania. And I will spend more quality time with my boys. 

Some things can't be taught

I was on my way home when I heard a loud grandpa voice, "要不要去金文泰吃了才回?". He was asking his grandson if they should have dinner outside before going home. The young man, probably of secondary school age, told in a soft embarrassed voice "不要紧”. Never mind. Because it was soft and the grandpa's hearing was not good, the same two liners repeated two more times. 

I guess that the young man brought his grandpa to the doctor's and they were on the way home. It reminded me of the times that I brought my mother to see the doctor. Because she had a whole list of chronic diseases she had many trips to the hospital each month. My siblings and I split the appointments among us. 

When I was younger in university or when I first started out to work, each time I brought my mother we made a nice trip out of it. After the visit we would go for a nice meal or shop at the supermarket. My mother enjoyed it. When I got older I started to be grumpy. I showed my black face to my mother at times and also was unresponsive to my mother. Especially when she got into the car and kept on complaining about things. When I don't respond she could feel my grumpy mood and didn't talk as much. 

You hear many times that we should cherish our parents. But it doesn't sink in. If I can bring my mother again, I'll do whatever it takes to make her happy. I won't show her my black face. I'll take the whole day off to spend with her. 

But some things can't be taught. Unfortunately. Some things can be learnt only when you feel the pain. You can't reverse the clock. I looked at the grandpa and young man, who has whipped out his smart phone. The grandpa took out a $5 note and tapped on his grandson's shoulder. The grandson lifted his head from his phone but ignored the grandpa and went back to his phone. Grandpa put the money back into his wallet and looked away. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A weekday in 2017

A weekday in 2017 
March 22nd, Wednesday

Lucas is in Primary One, Luis is in N2, husband is still in his same job since 10 years ago and I'm on my second month probation in my new company. 

Morning
Sometimes Lucas wakes up at 6.30am probably due to hearing our helper Jona in the kitchen. Then he will come to our bed and lie there for 10min. Today he didn't, maybe because he has been sleeping late at 10-10.30pm. My phone alarm went off at 6.30am and I slept till 6.40am. Went to Lucas' room and woke him up. 
He's not the lazing type. He wakes up in a few seconds and stands up to go eat breakfast. He had two slices of bread with honey and then asked for a third. 
I had a slice of bread with honey and a cup of newly bought detox tea. 
Usually I would have tried to skip breakfast for weight loss reasons but Lucas asked me to eat breakfast with him so we've been having breakfast in semi darkness (he doesn't like the lights on!) for weeks now. 

Then I go get ready and he goes get ready with Jona's help. This part, he's slow. 
Uttered, scolded, shouted a few "hurry up". This is usual ritual. He went into a bad mood I went into a bad mood. This is unfortunately usual too. 

7.15am - we left the house. Walked to school. At the gate I usually say "bye bye Lucas" and he will say "bye bye". I wonder why it's so hard to add "mummy" at the end. 

I then walked to the MRT station. Super crowded. Sometimes I need to wait for a train or two before I could get in. Reached office around 8.10am. 

Afternoon
Is not much to write about. Except on this day I called home and asked Lucas if he wanted to go jogging with me in the evening. These days I sometimes get guilty because I always scold him. I'm becoming like my mother. One of my childhood memories about my mother is that she scolded me everyday. 

Evening
It's important to keep your promises. While on the train at 6plus, Lucas called to ask where I was. And that Luis also wanted to go. Lucas will scoot and Luis will jog. 

Reached home and the boys wanted to show me a funny segment on Moana, which they played on the Apple TV in our room. I laid down and was so tired. Regretted promising to jog but you know, it's important to keep your promises. 

Off we go to the canal. 
 
Oh yeah he changed his mind from jogging to riding his balance bike. 

Turned left and halfway before we reached the end Luis wanted to go back. He said he was perspiring. So Lucas and I brought him back and then Luis asked "Mummy can you come back quickly?". I said it will take a while because Lucas and I are going to jog. 
Then Lucas said "let's just go two rounds (he meant to the end and back) because Luis wants us to come back quickly." Good brother. 

After reaching the end I was wasted. It's no fun jogging after a boy on scooter. It's sprinting. But Lucas is good company, he will go forward and then he will turn back or slow down to wait for me. 
When we reached the end the Gain City building had lights and he wanted to take a video for Luis. Then we turned left instead of going back the way we came. I wanted to bring him back another route just for fun. 

I think he liked it because it was like an adventure. We went straight then we reached the junction I asked if we should go straight or turn left. He looked around and identified a mini mart near our house so we turned left. Then we came upon a coffee shop. Asked him if he wanted to sit at the coffee shop and have a drink. He said he wanted to buy a cold drink back and drink with Luis. I said we will buy one after, from the mini mart next door because it's cheaper. 
He chose a white grape drink because daddy bought it for him once and it was nice. I ordered a sour plum drink. Then he decided not to drink his so he can bring it home and share with Luis. 
So he drank mine. 
 

After finishing the drink we headed back. Again we reached a junction and this time I was also unsure. We went straight. It was more like a guess. Saw a camera mounted on a lamp post and he asked why it's round and does it only capture the ground. Explained to him the round shape allows the camera to capture the view all around. 
Oh yeah it was the right way. 
Reached home finally. He shared his drink with Luis. 
 
 I looked through his bag and found that he had Chinese homework which he didn't know about. 
Did homework. 
 

By this time it's 9.30pm. I was ready to take a slow shower and rest. But Lucas wanted me to let him sleep. Scolded some but he won't budge. So I showered and then let him sleep. He was so tired he fell asleep fast. And then I'm guilty again for scolding him. 

I need to stop the scolding. Build some bonding. And pay more attention to Luis. Do better, mommy.