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Down With Dengue

Yes I am one of the suay ones. It was a Monday and as usual I did my morning exercises at 5am+ and proceeded to prepare breakfast. Kor Kor had to go to school earlier that day and everything went well though we had to rush a little. 

But by noon I was totally flat. Couldn’t finish my lunch. Soon I texted Hubby to ask him to come home earlier. That was the start of my five days in bed. I had zero appetite and was puking even when I had not eaten anything. I was feeling terribly achy but not sure whether it was due to the morning exercise or the illness. Bad, bad headache and fever that hovered around 40 deg C despite taking Panadol every four hours. Was also shivering with cold even with a jacket and blanket and no aircon. 

The next day the diarrhoea started. In the afternoon Hubby brought me to the GP and a quick blood test confirmed it was dengue. No surprise actually, as my neighbourhood had more than 20 cases by then. (It’s up to 40 now!!)
Was given medicine for the symptoms but they didn’t really help much. The only improvement was my fever went down to around 38.

Day 5. I still had not eaten much for the past five days. The puking had stopped, thankfully. But the lack of appetite made me feel very weak and I could barely walk. Hubby decided to bring me to Changi General Hospital A&E.

After a blood test and checkup, the doctor decided to admit me as there were signs of liver inflammation (caused by the dengue). Once I was put on a drip, my fever went away! 

The next day was a Saturday. Hubby brought the kids to visit me in the morning and again in the afternoon. But by evening, I was soooooo bored. Actually there wasn’t much the doctors could do other than monitor my platelets level and liver condition… And my platelets were on the rise by then and I had numerous bags of drip inside me so I was feeling much better. The diarrhoea had stopped and though my appetite wasn’t completely back, I ate a lot for lunch cos the fish porridge was yummy! (Sadly, dinner was much anticipated but not tasty enough to recall my iffy appetite.) So I requested to be discharged when the consultant came in the morning. He said I would have to sign an agreement to discharged against advice. OK, as long as I could go home! 

We reached home on Sunday afternoon. I still felt sooooo weak for the next few days, and I really felt dismayed that perhaps I would never feel strong again… Managed to do some housework but could not do much or for long… But the house was really too dirty!! Forced myself to wash the toilets the next day haha. 

Very thankful to Hubby and parents-in-law for taking care of the children when I was sick. He stayed home most of the time and when he had to go to work for a few hours, he sent the kids over to his parents. Frankly speaking, I did zero for the kids for the five days I was sick at home, lying in bed feverish all the time…

After I came back from hospital, Hubby brought me out for yummy food everyday. We had Korean ginseng chicken soup two days in a row! Appetite was not 100% yet but at least I was able to make myself eat. By the second Friday, I felt fully recovered, yay! (But still, 12 days of being sick……. Boooooo)

One good thing from my dengue though…. I lost almost 4kg that week… At first I thought it was water loss or whatever and surely I would gain back the weight from the second week’s bingeing, I mean, recuperation. But I only gained back 2kg, so hey, suddenly I hit my target weight of 50kg haha! Really…… I worked so hard to lose 2kg…. running… dieting…. And I ended up losing more kgs just by doing nothing in fewer days….. That’s life…. Oh well.

Now, I am just very thankful for being and feeling healthy and strong!! 

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Perth Day One To Three

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Taking the midnight flight….

It is a 3.5-hour drive to our accomodation for the first three days, and Hubby is our only driver, so we take a break at the biggest free entry playground in Australia!

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Apple Fun Park at Donnybrook. It’s a big lovely playground, but so sunny at 9am!

Our home for the next three days is Pemberton Farm Chalets. We choose the four-bedroom chalet as there are seven of us including my parents-in-law. It is spacious and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen. But there is only one bathroom.

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It is actually brighter than it looks in the photo

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The kids spend most of their time drawing and reading at the dining table since we don’t switch on the tv anyway.

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Our 8-seater : )

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The farm has animals of course but it is not a working farm, so there are not that many animals.

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There is supposed to be a feeding session in the morning, but we didn’t see anyone around when we came out at the stated time. Can feed the animals on our own anytime though.

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The chalets shown here are the 2-bedroom ones, right in front of the pasture. Our chalet is more secluded, a few minutes’ stroll away.

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On Day 2, we visited the Gloucester Tree.

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The Cascades. Nice place but not spectacular…

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Lunch at Hidden River Estate Winery

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Many sheep outside the winery

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The Ngs πŸ˜€

We have a very leisurely itinerary, so it’s a good thing the farm has quite a few things to entertain the kids.

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Day 3 We took the Pemberton Tram through the forest

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Lunch at Lavender and Berry Farm. We choose to dine outdoors to enjoy the scenery while the kids play.

Hmmm, does our trip sound a bit boring so far? Sigh…. ya, indeed it is not very exciting. Anyway I shall do up the posts for the remaining days before I pen down some of my thoughts on the trip.

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October Travels

I seem to be saying this very often… Urmm, I am back (again)! So, my previous post was on 29 Sep, I was still ignorant of what was going to happen the very next day…. Hubby suddenly agreed to let the kids and me go to Jakarta to visit my friend! My friend has been staying in Jakarta for the past one year plus, as her husband is working there. And coincidentally her two daughters were having a two-week school break starting from the day which I was flying over… which was just three days later!

Best is, we ended up in Jakarta for two weeks! My friend had already made some plans for the school holidays, so we tagged along. Flew over with Hubby on the same day, and stayed on for six more days after Hubby returned to Singapore.

Flew on the same day as Hubby, but he was on his company-sponsored SQ as he was also going over for work. So it's just me and the kids on Jetstar!

Flew on the same day as Hubby, but he was on his company-sponsored SQ as he was also going over for work. So it’s just me and the kids on Jetstar!

Came back to Singapore on 17 October…. and on 22 October, we flew off again, this time to Perth with my parents-in-law, a trip we booked two months ago. After ten days in Perth, it’s back to Singapore to prepare for Kor Kor’s sixth birthday party. It was just a simple celebration with family, but still, it’s additional work on top of the daily chores to care for the three kids. Now you know why this blog was soooo quiet. What I am busy with nowadays a day after Kor Kor’s birthday – doing up some photo collages of the Perth trip for my parents-in-law, and my favourite hobby of decluttering and home improvement, heehee. I shall also do up some posts on the Jakarta and Perth trips, hopefully soon! : )

 

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The Haze

I think the haze has been a problem for quite a few years, but the first time I felt affected by it was in June 2013. Other than hitting a record high PSI on 21 June, the problem was magnified for me because I had a 2-month-old baby at home then! Fortunately the haze went away and we did not suffer any obvious effects.

Unfortunately the haze is back with a vengeance this September. Initially, I felt very relaxed and nonchalant about it. As in, I still opened all the windows up to PSI of 150, though I did cut down on outdoor activities (which we usually do A LOT of). 

Then, as I started seeing more and more posts on FB of scarily high PSI and started checking other air quality websites in addition to NEA, I became more worried. This worry was followed by confusion – so many sources, which should I trust? 

The more I read (online articles, government health advisories, friends’ FB posts), the more I think that people are being too alarmist. Whenever someone posts a frighteningly high PSI, guess what, it’s usually the highest number one can find…. sometimes it’s the 3-hourly, sometimes the 24-hourly, sometimes the PSI itself, sometimes the PM2.5 index, sometimes Singapore as a whole, sometimes regional.

……………….

Finally I decide to follow NEA’s guidelines. Now I only refer to NEA’s numbers. And I use PSI of 100 and PM2.5 of 40 as cut-off. Above 100, close all windows, switch on air purifier (we only have one for my 145sqm!).

Below 100 and PM2.5 less than 40, we chiong downstairs to the playground. 

How about masks? We did not have any chance to wear masks as we only went out when the air was good, though I had some N95 at home. But after being stuck at home the whole day yesterday, with the house becoming a furnace by mid-afternoon due to lack of ventilation, I decided to bring the kids to an indoor playground this morning. Though we were only outside at the void deck for less than five minutes (waiting for our taxi), I could feel the choking effect. 

 

Where are you, taxi???

 
[Disclaimer: I think most of the discomfort I felt, such as increased heart rate and breathing difficulties, were due to anxiety as I imagined the harmful effects on my children.]

Realized that the masks did not fit well. The boys’ N95 were a bit loose. Meimei could only wear paper masks….. AHHHHHHHH……!!

Immediately after alighting at our destination, we dashed to the nearest pharmacy to buy more masks. I remembered reading about a new AIR+ Smart Mask from some blogs. Actually I didn’t read properly as I thought my kids wouldn’t really have to wear masks anyway, just stay at home the whole day. Now I know, even if it’s to go downstairs to take a cab or Daddy’s car, I also want them to be wearing mask. 

  
According to the size chart on the box, size S is too big for my boys. The website states that it is designed for users ‘as young as 7 years old’. But I bought a box to try, and it does fit both Kor Kor (almost 6, skinny face) and Didi (4+, chubby face) quite well! Yay! 

[Not a sponsored post ok]

However, even though the boys tried on the masks in an aircon place, they still felt rather uncomfortable. I think the ventilator will help greatly to ease their discomfort! But it is now out of stocks, boo hoo.

Meimei completely refuses to even try it on >.<

  
I have also been cooking white fungus soup and Chinese pear soup very often. These are desserts and the kids eat at least one serving a day. Didi and Meimei love the snow fungus! For dinner soup, I have been cooking lotus root more often, and also other cooling soups like old cucumber and watercress. Click on the links for the recipes.

Lastly, Mummies, don’t forget to take care of your complexion! Use more cleansing and purifying and antioxidant masks ok!

Stay healthy and pretty! 

2

Holiday At Redang!

A couple of weeks ago, we made a trip to the Malaysian island of Redang. I suggested this place after reading this blog post.

We booked our coach tickets with Konsortium as recommended by SAys! Happy Mums, and were prepared for the ten-hour journey. Really on the dot, coach departed from Golden Mile at 9.30pm, and dropped us off at the jetty at Terengganu at 7.30am.

The problem was, the ferry transferring us to the Redang Kalong Resort would only leave at 10.30am! There was nobody else around except the souvenir stalls owners, so at first we were not even sure whether we were waiting at the right place. (There were quite a few jetties in the area serving different resorts.)

 

Only one shed for all the passengers… It was very sunny and hot

  

But got souvenir stalls selling interesting cute stuff!

  

Our jetty, which turned out to be NOT beside the shed where we waited

 
 

Refugees…..

  

Finally onboard!


 We knew that this resort was meant more for divers, so we were prepared for it to be basic and simple. We had a seaview quad room, nothing to shout about, it’s similar to the other divers’ resorts I have been to.(yes, I am an Advanced Diver! But no more chance to go diving since kids.)

[Actually, I have an issue with the resort’s claim of “5-star sleeping experience at 1-star price“….. I didn’t feel there was anything 5-star at all.)

 

Where we arrived at the resort

  

Simple beach, quite a long stretch


My favorite part about our 3-night stay here, is that as our room is so close to the beach and the resort is so small, it was very safe to let the kids leave the room and hang out downstairs on their own. (Just for a short while of course, eg when they had finished changing their clothes and I was changing. Not like we adults took a nap in the room and let the kids run loose ok :P)

Sometimes they searched for and stalked the chickens roaming around, sometimes they hung out at the hammocks and sun loungers.

 

My beach boy : )

  

The beach is right in front, but there’s a 1-meter drop


 

Hanging out with cousin in front of the seaview triple rooms

The package includes four meals a day and twice-daily snorkeling. The food was satisfactory and filling. We only went for two snorkeling trips as we preferred to take it easy especially with kids. We spent the whole day outdoors, hardly stepping into our room after stepping out for breakfast around 7.30am. (The kids changed clothes at the balcony outside the room :P)
 

Happy water babies!

 

We brought along a life vest for Meimei and snorkeling sets for the boys. But the resort’s life jacket is actually small enough for her. They also provide snorkeling sets small enough for my skinny 5-year-old and a bit meaty 4-year-old. Need not bring along our own equipment after all! 

They are so brave! Some apprehension at first, then all 3 like bobbing up and down on the sea (except when seawater got into their eyes oops)

This girl is too cool for words….. the small one heehee

Actually, Kor Kor is the only one who really snorkels lah

All in all, it is a relaxing family trip where we get to spend time with my siblings (we played majong every night!) and the cousins get to play together. My kids clocked 33 hours outdoor time over the three days! 

I like that we did not have to waste time waiting or traveling around once we reached the resort. Nothing much to do, not much choices, also means we make do with simple pleasures. But honestly, I would not choose the same place in hindsight. While the 10-hour coach ride was manageable, I couldn’t stand the 3 hours just standing around doing nothing while waiting for our ferry transfer. At least we were comfortable in the coach, with proper seats and aircon. Would I recommend this resort? Only if you manage to find a coach which arrives at the jetty closer to 10am!

1

Didi’s 4th Birthday Party

My kids get to have birthday parties only when they hit four years old, because they are too young to remember anyway before that, so why waste my efforts πŸ˜›

Before this, we celebrated Kor Kor’s 4th and 5th birthdays at home, with all the grandparents, aunts and uncles (3姑姑、3ε§‘δΈˆγ€θˆ…θˆ…γ€θˆ…ζ―γ€ι˜Ώε§¨). Very simple, just cooked some finger food and bought roast meat etc and had a family gathering. 

But a few months ago, we attended a birthday party held at Botanic Gardens and I was inspired! (Thanks, S!)

Didn’t plan to have a themed party at first…. Brought Didi to a party ware shop to choose some fancy paper plates and he chose Ironman and it sorta snowballed from there πŸ˜…

(By the way, the party packs at such shops are really a waste of money. Expensive and impractical. I excuse myself since it’s my first time, but in future I shall source for the goodie bag stuff myself!)

 

Internet is amazing. Can spot Didi’s face??

 
 

We went 2 hours in advance to ‘chope’ ‘this table! Sand playground right next to us : )


Brought some finger food, sandwiches and drinks. And a lot of sand toys for the cousins to share!

 

See the superheroes masks?? Ironman’s party will surely include his fellow Superheroes! Great buys from neighbourhood shop! And Super Kitty for Meimei and 2 other girls πŸ˜…


Birthday boy and brother running amok even before the guests arrive.

 

Our vast party space : )


I don’t like 3D inedible cakes… and Didi is happy enough with his cake!

 

Cutting cake at sunset

It was quite challenging to prepare food which could be transported around and to lug all the things there. And no guarantee we could get this table nearest the playground. And didn’t know whether the weather would be good especially as it had been raining in the afternoons recently. Luckily the weather was perfect! Even at 3pm it was not hot at all : )

But it also meant that we could easily change the venue to our house if it rained. Very near and no worries about wasted payment. The best part is when I saw all the cousins running around on the beautiful grass, chasing one another with the water guns and superhero weapons. I didn’t manage to capture it on camera, but the sunset in the background over the reservoir was gorgeous too. Hurray to outdoor time with loved ones! 

  

Most importantly, Happy Birthday, Baobei!

 

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Happiest Mothers’ Day!

I have been a mother for 5.5 years, which means this is my 5th Mothers’ Day, and it has never been so great! 

How did I spend the day? Well, basically doing nothing! It’s the first time I have got so much sleep in a day since I became a mother, other than when I was really sick. Hubby took over all the housework.. he gave them breakfast, bought lunch and dinner, washed all the dishes, mopped up any spills, wiped the dining table, settled their disputes, attended to their requests/demands, and changed Meimei’s diaper! (The girl pooped 3x today… Poor Daddy!)

This morning I only finally got out of bed at 10.30am. Then slowly washed up in the toilet. Hee hee. I sent Hubby this link two days ago, guess he got the hint! By the way, I think breakfast in bed for special occasions, when it involves young children, must be one of the worst ideas on earth. Maybe it’s a ploy by daddies to find a ‘nice’ way to wake the mummy up. No, thanks. 

Did some simple baking with the boys, cos I had promised them long ago but somehow we had been out of the house for the past few Sundays. Other than that, I just lounged about mostly on the sofa and dozed whenever I felt sleepy. Great life!!

Also got a treat at my favorite steamboat JPot and Ellenborough Market Cafe over the past two days.. durian pengat!! And KOI bubble tea and Scoopz durian ice cream which Hubby specially went to buy a few days ago. Last year he gave me a ang pau, none this year, but I guess can’t ask for too much la πŸ˜›

(By the way, Dear, belated is ok, I don’t mind at all.)

Why is it so different from the previous years? One thing is, I had a very small baby and was breastfeeding him/her for three of the previous Mothers’ Day. In addition, I tried to go about the day like an usual day, planning outings etc as per normal. 

But this year I was careful to protect my special day. After all, I can only expect such leisurely privileges on two days a year! (Looking forward to my birthday in Oct!) If we were to go out, I would not have the chance to rest and might have ended up as tired as usual. My hubby would not have the chance to demonstrate his childcare skills as much either πŸ˜›

An unexpected gain from today – I think my hubby has realized he is really able to cope with the 3 kids even if I were really not at home the whole day. Not that I will be going out without them la… But just in case.. Maybe when one of my good friends get married and ask me to be jie mei? At least I have no worries about saying yes!