Changes ahead

It's time to move on

Hao Re said goodbye to his teachers and friends on the 30th July 2010. He will be starting a new school on the 2nd August. Not sure how would Hao Re adapt to the change, after all, he has been attending the same school from 2 months old till now. He recognised the route from home to school very well, remember every single turning :-) Hope the transition would not be a harsh one for him. We have been prepping him with the upcoming change, and he seems to accept it pretty well. He visited the school with us and he seemed to be happy with the new school (but really can't tell until he starts). I am sad because I cannot chat with the teachers anymore, who I see as good friends, who I respect, who I have learnt a lot from, who have witnessed Hao Re's growing up, from a little tiny baby to a young boy now who is almost 70% of my height (ya, ya, I know I am short, but he is growing up fast!), and who love and care for Hao Re. Well, never mind. Like everything else in our life, we just have to move on, don't we?

Coincidentally, hubby will be changing to a new job in August also. So daddy will be on standby mode for Hao Re for his first week at the new school, in case he needs more adjustment for the new teachers/friends/environment. I will be taking 1 day off on Monday, to send him to school on his first day and then can go dating with hubby (we haven't been going out without the kids for a very long time already!).

And also we will be spending the coming weekend in KL to celebrate Xi Yu's 1st birthday (she is turning 1 year old in 3 weeks, it's a early celebration as we want to make use of the National Day long weekend). So that's something we are looking forward to, to meeting our dear families and friends at KL. Surely Hao Re and Xi Yu will be very happy to see them all, and be the stars of the crowd! And me and hubby hope to get a few hours of kids free time so that we can go for a spa or something. Win-win situation :-)
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Sibling is the closest person to you, genetically at least, in the entire universe!

The love of siblings 兄妹情

When they wake up in the morning, they lie down beside each other and drink the first bottle of milk.

Before going out, the gorgor request to have the same hair style as meimei, he said "我要coconut头". He loves to hug meimei, but most often, he use a little more strength than should be or doesn't hold her at the right place, e.g., sometime wrap around her neck, and make meimei uncomfortable. Meimei cries to complain. His love for meimei is growing and growing.

At night, they sit on the sofa, chilling out by watching their favourite movie (for now) - "Toy Story", holding hands.

When they grow older, they will play, quarrel and fight with each other, but it's all fun! They have someone to accompany them, everyday, everywhere!

When they start schooling, they go to school together, study together, do homework together, getting nervous for the many exams together.

When they become teenagers, they share about their life and secrets more than they share with parents. More so if they are a pair of sisters. But brother and sister can be very close too.

When they start work and learn to take responsibilities of themselves, they share their happiness and worries with each other.

When they have their own family, they support each other and the next generations can become good companies.

When the parents, finally, leave them, they have each other to fall back on. They have someone to discuss things on. They have a shoulder to cry on.

To have 1 sibling is good. More siblings is great! If we can afford it financially, if we can manage the kids without getting any external help (by that I mean a live-in domestic helper), I (we) am sure want to have more children....... and that's only doable/possible before I hit the big 4 in a few years time. One or two more will be great. If not, having these 2 lovely children are sufficient to make me happy for the rest of my life.
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2nd anniversary.......24th July 2010

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Our family blog

So fast! I have been a blogger for a full 2 years already. I still enjoy blogging and I think it's the best way to note down the growing up of our dear darlings. And this blog should continue to be the main platform of communication with our families and friends.

I am trying to post less photos and updates on FB (but hard to resist as posting on FB is so much more convenient, for a short update).

I upload our monthly photos on Multiply, so come visit if you want to view more photos of us (but for Multiply, you need to sign up for an account and ask to be my contact though).

And we printed out photos on a monthly basis (selected about 100 best photos each month).

And we printed out our blog on a yearly basis.

So now you know where's all my free time gone to :-)

But I enjoy doing it as all the time spent with the kids is very, very precious, and I wanna note it down as much as possible. I hope I can have the time and energy (I should have since the kids are growing up and theoretically needing lesser time of me, no?) to continue this for at least a few more years, if not longer.

And I hope you continue to enjoy reading our stories.
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POCC - Power Over Cervical Cancer

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If you don't protect yourself, nobody will!

I came to know about the POCC website from the Nuffnang blog. POCC is promoting awareness amongst females in Singapore about the cervical cancer, which I think is a great move. I have pledged my support to POCC. You, male or female, should, and please, take the pledge too, and do spread this to all the women you care about. Spread the words on cervical cancer that screening test (pap smear test) is available for the early detection (and hence higher chance for curing) and HPV vaccine is available and hence protection against cervical cancer is possible!

For cervical cancer, as with most of cancers, early detection is very important. With the advancement in the medical technology and discovery, early detection means one is very likely to be cured, to be freed from cancer after early intervention/treatment. Pap smear test, which screens for abnormal cells from the samples obtained from the cervix lining, is widely available in Singapore. The test is recommended for any female who has had sex before. And it's recommended to do it every annually or as per your doctor recommendation. It is not a painful process (though could cause a little bit of discomfort) and it's done within minutes. Do not wait any longer, go for a pap smear test now if you haven't done so. Subsidised screening is available at various polyclinics.

Cervical cancer is unique for, that, obviously, it only affects females (as with prostate cancer only affects males). But do you know that it was a male scientist, Professor Ian Frazer, an ex-Glasgower, now Australian, who had successfully developed the vaccine against HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer. And he was awarded the Australian of the Year 2006 because of this. I attended one of his very first talks about the HPV vaccine in Sydney in 2006, right after the drug companies announced the availability of the vaccines. Throughout my research career in the past few years, listening to his talk was probably one of the most exciting hour for the 2 years I spent in Sydney. How often would you get the chance to hear from a great scientist who has developed an effective vaccine that can actually cure a disease? Though most scientists are working very hard on cancers or other diseases so to finding a cure to the diseases, it's not easy and it takes years and years, to bring the research finding to the next level and eventually cure a cancer/disease. They have worked on this for more than year. He is a great guy. With half a million of women diagnosed with cervical cancer every year worldwide, the vaccine can save many of us, Ian Frazer is sure an hero! (during the talk, I also learned that his co-inventor, Dr Jian Zhou, originally from China, died unexpectedly during one of his visits to China, before the vaccine was brought to the market, he could have been co-awarded as Australian of the Year, too, how sad!)

In Singapore, the vaccine is recommended for females aged 10 to 25 years old only. So parents out there, remember to arrange for your girls to receive this vaccine. And the vaccines are are most effective in protecting against infection by the selected HPV types if given before first sexual exposure (a woman is at higher risk of cervical cancer after her first sexual exposure because HPV and genital warts are usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected with HPV). This vaccine doesn't give 100% protection against cervical cancer as there are many types of HPV virus and this particular vaccine only works against those major types, which known to cause about 90% of cervical cancer.

If you haven't done a pap smear test, arrange for one soon, don't wait!

If you have done a pap smear test before, remember to go for your next one when you receive the reminder from the clinic, and don't just throw the reminder sheet into the rubbish bin!

If you can still benefit from the vaccine, go for 1 now. If not, tell your families and friends about the vaccine.

Early detection and prevention is the cure to most cancers, cervical included!

Power Over Cervical Cancer is a campaign that aims to make Singapore the country with the lowest incidence of Cervical Cancer and they need your help to spread the word.

Pledge your support for this cause and protect those you care about by telling them about Cervical Cancer. Together, we have POWER Over Cervical Cancer. Click the button below to begin!

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Xi Yu is 11 months tomorrow

Our lovely little girl

As the old people say - as long as you eat (and drink) well, sleep well, and poo well, most likely than not, you would be at the pink of health!

That applies to Xi Yu.

She eats very well, her intake includes 3 milk feeds, 2 big bowls of solid and fruits. Each milk feed is 210ml, and I think she should be able to finish up more milk, would probably increase the amount the 240ml these few days (luckily going to switch to Stage 3 formula milk soon, the formula is so expensive nowadays). She makes me busier during weekends by rejecting the cereal. But I am not giving up hope, I should try again this week :-)

She drinks very well. She has no problem with plain water. She is drinking probably at least 500ml of water a day.

She sleeps well. Now she takes shorter morning and afternoon naps, probably added up to 2-4 hours of nap compared to 4-6 hours previously. Good news for me, I think because of the shorter nap, she sleeps better at night :-) She goes to bed at about 9pm. Sleep through till 6am (very puncture), ask for her milk, continue to sleep till 7am. So totalling of 11-13 hours per day. Pretty good numbers.

Like her brother, she has no problem with bowel movement. Poo between 1-4 times a day, and never had hard poo. Before I became a mum, I have never thought that so much time have to be spent on the poo-poo pee-pee businesses, and funnily, I don't feel their stool is discarding, only sometimes clean too much of their buttock (imagine Hao Re poos 4x and Xi Yu poos 4x for a particular day) :-P

Continue to stand and cruise. Let go of her hands a few times to stand unassisted, but still hasn't mastered the skill. Not willing to walk unassisted either. Never mind, dear, just do it when you are ready, no rush, take your time :-)

Communicate better. We kind of able to understand why she cries, why she becomes cranky, why she wails, etc. And when she is happy, she is really happy.

It's fun to watch her. She is really, really, really a dear darling (ya, I know, because everyone says she takes after me, so in a way, I am praising myself also, kekeke!).

Ww will be celebrating her 1st birthday with our dear families and friends at KL on the 8th August 2010 (Sunday). Yeah, so looking forward to this short getaway and to meet our families and friends. I think both Hao Re and Xi Yu would be very happy too!

(Note: If you haven't received an invitation from me, and would like to come and meet my 2 little darlings, do drop me an e-mail and I will let you know the detail)

For now, do enjoy some videos and photos of Xi Yu:

MUST WATCH VIDEO - Funniest video of July 2010 - Xi Yu had a mad laugh!

Laugh, laugh, laugh!!! from TJ Kam on Vimeo.

Though Xi Yu has not mastered the skill to put the alphabets into the right slots, she is all very talented to pull the alphabets out and make a mess of it!

Our little "de-sorter" from TJ Kam on Vimeo.

See how Xi Yu likes to disturb/bully/want to play with her gorgor. Out of the so many building blocks on the floor, she decided that she must have those played by gorgor and nothing else!

Brother and sister with Megablocks from TJ Kam on Vimeo.

Lastly, see how these 2 little ones touch our hearts - the gorgor volunteers to sit at the rear, as he claimed that he wants to accompany meimei. For those who is thinking to stop at 1 child - think again, and believe me, it's worth all the effort (or sacrifices, some said) to give your child a (or more) sibling(s). Do it if you can!!!
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Wonderful kids make wonderful weekend!

简单的幸福 :-)

Saturday was a very, very rare day when we didn't go anywhere, as in didn't step in to the car at all (except the husband). Spent a good morning playing with them at home and got thier lunch ready before hubby went out to attend to something urgent for a few hours.

I told myself not to be stress about it and took it really really easy - if they refused to sleep, then don't sleep; if they refused to eat, then don't eat; if they want to cry, then cry.......

But it ended up that everything was so smooth, much better than I have expected, almost perfect! Fed Xi Yu her sweet potato + pork porridge and let her took her nap before hubby stepped out of the house. Then fed Hao Re his soupy lunch and played with him for a while. When I was putting him to nap, Xi Yu woke up. Luckily I have mentally prepared for this and I was very cool when Hao Re said he didn't want to nap. So let them played together. I offered to play a DVD for Hao Re, and I suddenly thought of the boring Chinese DVD “人之初”(it's a pretty good learning DVD though). Hao Re was excitedly repeating after the words (he can memorise a few lines already) for the first few minutes as he hasn't been watching this DVD for a few months. Then it's total quiet from him, so I knew what happened. He fell asleep at around 2pm:-)
I spent the next 2 hours playing with Xi Yu. I think she enjoyed the full attention from me very much, which was rarely happened since she was born, poor thing. Then I managed to make her to take her afternoon nap at 4pm.

The good thing about Hao Re is that as long as he wanted to take nap, he usually napped for 2-3 hours, and sometimes longer. Today he napped for 3 hours. So I have about 1 hour of ME time, which I didn't do anything except stoning on the sofa. Hao Re woke up at 5pm, and right after he woke up, Xi Yu woke up too. Luckily the husband also arrived home shortly after.

I promised Hao Re we would go to the park to play blowing bubbles. But it was a wet day, so we didn't make it to the park, but we brought them to the empty lot in front of our block and we have absolute great time. So much laughter from Hao Re, chasing the bubbles and all.

Went home and I quickly get the dinners ready. Xi Yu had her soupy porridge + egg + pork. Hao Re had his chicken chop with rice. While we had the soup and the chicken chop. After dinner, we went down to get some fruits from the supermarket, and 1x mao shan wang durian from the market also. Put the kids to bed and we enjoyed the durian ourselves, peacefully :-)

Sunday morning we planned to go to the Orchard Road for an exhibition. But we were too early. So at the last minute, we detoured to the Jacobs Ballas Children Garden. The last time we were there was way back in March 2009, 16 months ago, though it was a good outing, but Hao Re couldn't talk yet at that time and it really made us feel that Hao Re has grown so much! Coincidently, Xi Yu was napping when we arrived and she continued to nap, exactly like her gorgor during his first visit to the garden :-)

How much fun Hao Re has had? See this photo:

Hao Re recognizes animals very well and he was doing pretty well with the plants too!  Xi Yu joined in the fun when she woke up from her nap.

Before we can have enough fun nor walked around the garden, it started to drizzle. Too bad, didn't want them to get wet so we made our way to the entrance. Though there was no rain but we didn't get back in to the garden, as the kids were having as much fun with the colouring and playing with each other.

Hao Re has shown his love to his little sister even more these few days. He would kiss her face, her hands, stroke her hair, say he loves meimei, give meimei biscuit/puff to eat (he knew what he couldn't feed meimei, if he is unsure, he will ask us). These photos are just priceless and it really melts our hearts!

Feeding meimei water. Meimei posing for baba.

AND THIS - can you not sense his love towards Xi Yu :-)

I accompanied Hao Re for his colouring activity while hubby busy taking photos of Xi Yu.

Spent a few hours at Orchard Road after that and went home after lunch. The rest of the day has just gone passed, as usual. Just the normal play, eat, sleep.

While I was thinking I was so lucky to be freed at 9pm after putting Xi Yu to bed, this little woke up after 15 minutes, before I finished up the chores. And she refused to sleep again! So I just let her comtinued to cruise and play in the living room, but I didn't entertain her so to let her it's not okay to refuse sleep and come out to play. Just right before I wanted to put her to bed again, at about 10.30pm, I saw that she was like chewing on something. So hubby force opened her mouth and retrieve a small black piece of something. On a closer look, to our horror, it looked like the bottom part of a small insect!!! Wonder how it tastes like..... no, no, joke aside, I have to warn her nanny to look out for sign of diarrhea tomorrow :-( And before I brought her into the bedroom, I smelt that she had pooed. When I changed her, she cried bucket, and we found out that she had nappy rash, probably becasue she only pooed a little, so the smell was not strong enough to alert us. Poor thing, hope the Densitin works wonder on her........

And I only reclaimed my ME time at 11.30pm, still, not too bad eh :-)

It's 5 more days to the next weekend! Have a good week ahead one, everyone! Good night!!!
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World Cup

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2010 vs 2006

When I was driving home one day last week, I suddenly thought of the World Cup as there would be a exciting match that night (can't remember which match and not that I was watching). What I was thinking was that there were so many differences in our life this latest World Cup 2010, and the previous World Cup in year 2006.

2006 - we watched almost all matched together
2010 - I didn't get to watch even one match, while hubby managed to catch a few

2006 - it's all free!
2010 - we have to pay for quite a bit to watch world cup at home (Uniquely Singapore!)

2006 - we lived in Australia
2010 - we live in Singapore

2006 - we were still living like a nomad, renting places here and there
2010 - we have own a place that we call home

2006 - it's just us
2010 - we have 2 lovely kids!

2006 - no iPhone
2010 - we each own an iPhone (and having a iPhone means 365/24/7 online access, and that's a big thing!)

Life is never the same again (in a good way) when one started a family. I am wondering what's waiting for us 4 years down the road...... maybe this:

...... have 2 more kids (no, I am just joking!)
...... move back to Malaysia (ya, fat hope!)
...... no need to work and become a stay-at-home-mum (again, fat hope, but it may be possible)
...... watch every match of the World Cup (it's possible if we don't produce 2 more kids :-))
...... get a bigger house (or our dream house!)

Yes, yes, I am just dreaming :-)
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About bus lane and ERP

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I had wanted to write about this for the longest time ever.

I saw bus lanes in a few other countries too, it's not uncommon. What uncommon is you might get a penalty for using the bus lane, even when there is no bus (and no sight of any bus within the 1km distance) using it. In other countries (well, at least in the countries that I have been to), the people are educated about the bus lane system and the road users will make way for the buses when they see one, but no one gets a summon ticket for using the bus lane (afterall, it's part of the road, and all the road users pay road tax, don't they?).

But the ERP (stands for Electronic Road Pricing) is not common in other countries. It claimed that by setting up the ERP gantries around the city centre, it helps to reduce private cars entering the city, thus it has less traffic and hence more efficient for those who are willing to pay for the ERP, and for the public transport, i.e., the buses.

Yes, I understand why the LTA wants to implement this. And yes, I agree that the bus lane system and the ERP gantries help to control the traffic flow to or in the city centre, to a certain extend.

What I don't understand is when LTA implements bus lane and ERP gantries at the outskirts of the island, far away from the city centre, and for my case, it's at the far west side of the island. I totally don't understand this. In the city centre, take Orchard Road for example, those bus lanes are almost occupied by buses ALL THE TIME, and hence you can tell the traffic is very heavy and so you need to set aside a lane just for the buses and make those who wants to drive in to the city centre pay a little bit extra (ERP), so to make public transport more efficient.

But why at the rural part of the island? At this area, you hardly see any buses using the bus lane. All the cars and vans and even motorcycles have to squeeze in the 2 remaining lanes, and the traffic is always bad during the rush hours especially in the morning, while the outer lane aka the bus lane is totally EMPTY for at least the few minutes when you are stuck in the traffic. Then finally O.N.E. bus passes by. Then another few minutes has passed, and another bus passes by. To make it worse, you have to pay for the ERP, even though that's the only one most direct way you can use to go to work and you have no other choices.

Why all road users have to give up the outer lane to the very few buses?
Why do we still have to be pay for ERP that we live and work at rural area?
Does the LTA think those who drives to work don't have to be at work on time?
Do they think those who drives to work don't need to be at home early or don't have family matters to attend to in the evening?
Do they think all (private) car owners are all selfish people and hence should be punished for?

I get the message that they are telling the road users that "well, too bad, you either go to work very early or be late for work, otherwise, pay for it and stuck in the traffic jam, because you are not our VIP, only those who take buses are VIP. Yes, we make you pay road tax, because we want to improve the roads for our VIP, not for you, you private car owners are just plain stupid, don't you get it!"

I checked the LTA website a few years ago. They said by implementing bus lane at the outskirts area help the buses to arrive at the destination faster by like 10% or something. Fine. So for the buses to arrive at the destinations earlier by a few minutes, all the car owners have to be spent about 30 minutes more (that is if you are lucky, or longer on the bad days) on the road. How clever is the system, let's give LTA a big round of applause!

I used to curse it everyday when the bus lane and then the ERP first implemented at our area, or rather, on a stretch of road that we have to pass by everyday when driving to work. Really, I cursed and nagged everyday until my hubby was sick about it. Now we are used to it. Besides, there is nothing we can do about it, or can we? Oh yes, sure there is something we can do - use the bus lane when there is no bus!
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Xi Yu stood unassisted and walked 3 small steps!

Growing up fast!

Yes, as of last night, I saw her stood unassisted for close to one minute and she also attempted to walk a few small steps. I won't consider this as walking yet, but it's very near, anytime from now, probably another 1-2 weeks!

As I shared before, Xi Yu is a funny little baby in terms of how she learned to move around, she didn't follow the "normal" progress, whereby she cruised before pulled herself to stand, and cruised before she crawled on all fours, and she didn't want to let go of her hand to stand/walk freely even though she has been cruising for a long time.

5 months - Sitting without support
6 months + - Standing with support
7 months - Creeping (moving by dragging whole body on the floor)
8 months - Cruising
8 months + - Pulling himself to stand
10 months - Crawling (on all fours)
10 months 3 weeks - Standing freely
10 months 3 weeks - Walking (almost)

This is Hao Re's, and is more of the "normal" progess, whereby he crawled then cruise then walked:

5 months - Sitting without support
6 months - Creeping (moving by dragging whole body on the floor)
7 months - Pulling himself to stand
7 months 1 week - Crawling (on all fours)
7 months 2 weeks - Cruising
8 months 2+ weeks - Standing freely
10 months 3 days - Walking

Well, now you can see how each baby is different, even though they have very similar genetics make up :-)

Besides this, she has learnt to (thanks to her nanny for her effort):

- waves goodbye
- claps her hand (loud enough to make some noise)
- gives a "high 5"
- uses her hand to cover her mouth and makes the "wawawa" sound
- plays with toys pretty appropriately, knows which toy make sound, which doesn't
- flips the pages of a book.
- fight with her Hao Re gorgor and Isaac gorgor (at nanny) for toys (actually she wants to play with them)

That's what I can remember now. She is growing very, very well!
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Toy Story

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Hao Re is still on Toy Story craze!

He asks us to play the Toy Story 1 DVD for him every now and then.
He has books of Toy Story 3, which he asks me to read for him, and he reads after me.
He has 2 stickers books of Toy Story 3.
He has 1 colouring book of Toy Story 3.
He has a Buzz Lightyear model and some other little toys.
All thanks to the parents who are so supporting :-)

As a results.....

...... he recognises almost all toys in Toy Story and able to name them correctly.
...... he knows who are the good toys and who are bad toys.
...... he remembers the story in the movie and knows what's happening next.
...... he learns to sing the song in the movie.
...... he talks about the toys a lot.
...... he has a great time spent with the parents and his meimei when we watch DVD together, play the toys together, do the stickers and colouring together, and read the books together.

This happened last night:

Me: 皓日, 你喜欢 slinker 吗?
(I said the name of the dog wrongly, unintentionally)
Hao Re looked at me, and he said in a very serious tone:
HR: 妈妈, 它不是 slinker, 它叫 slinky dog, OK!

And his most famous quote of course has to be "To infinity and beyond!" And he pronouces this very accurately!

I call this learning through play :-)
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Unwelcome feedback to my blog

Hit me hard on the face!

Yes, I know, whoever I am talking about, is/are very likely going to read this blog. But I started this blog with the purpose of noting down the growing up of my kids, and not to make someone happy or unhappy. It's all from my heart.

It's all started with this blog, about Hao Re being sick and I was asked to fetch him home. While I have totally let go of it, ending it with writing it down in this post, I was very surprised to find out it's not over yet, for the childcare centre.

One of the teachers asked me if she can have a 30 minutes meet up with me on Friday. To be very honest, I didn't link it to this incident at all, when hubby asked me what the meeting was about, I told him that it could be that they wanted to introduce some phonics or other enrichment class to Hao Re or something. Really, I have never thought that they wanted to bring it out and talked about it again.

What's even more shocking to me was that they printed out a few of my posts and some photos, and kinda questioned and blamed me on writing some negative notes about this childcare centre, with the above post being one. I have never ever thought that someone would print out my blog and use that against me, never! Hubby said I should be more careful in the future, if not, I might end up with receiving a lawyer letter one day!

I mentioned the name of the childcare centre (which I have removed it totally now, if any of you can still tell which centre my son is going to, please kindly let me know which post, and I will amend it immediately), so they said whenever I said some negative things about the school or the teachers, it's not good for them, that if might affect their image and reputation. I have actually e-mailed the principle some time back to tell her about my blog and that I used their name in some of the posts, and offered to amend my posts accordingly if that concerned them. Obviously, at that time (well, actually most of the time), I only said good thing about this school, which again, it comes from my heart, and I wasn't trying to sweet talk. All my families and friends know how happy I am/was with this school, and they all think I am lucky to find a school that suits my expectation. I was very puzzled that why they didn't ask me to remove thier name right back, but to only ask me now? Maybe they think I am such a good parent who would only write about good things and not bad things?

Anyway, I didn't get to say what I wanted to say when I met up with the two teachers on Friday. Firstly, it was very unexpected that this was going to be the purpose for the meeting. Secondly, I tear easily if I have to say something to protect myself and that's the last thing that I wanted to do. Thirdly, Hao Re was waiting for me to go home to look for daddy and meimei, and I tried very hard to keep my cool and still able showed him a happy face.

They explained the whole incident to me again, with more details, and explained what's their rules with sick kids, etc etc. I have already told them and agreed on that very day that it's all because of miscommunication. But they talked about it again and again, and what's most ricidulous was that the teacher said I owed that an apology, too! I was like, what? I didn't apologize. I told her frankly that I don't think I was any wrong for that particular incident, so I won't apologize, not at all. If anything, that would be that I have used their name in my blog, which I now do think it's not a very wise idea, as I won't know what I am going to write about them. So with that, I promised to amend all the relevant posts, and I did it on Friday night itself.

And I think they had gone a step too far when they advised me that which food I shouldn't give to Hao Re, when I shouldn't bring Hao Re for an outing, that I have to give Hao Re more medicine to make sure he recovers faster when he is sick. What made me most upset was that she said Hao Re is THE KID who falls sick VERY OFTEN, and possibly passing the bugs to other kids and teachers too. Right from my memory, I knew he didn't fall sick that much since he turned one. When I came home and checked my records, Hao Re had only visited Dr Keoy (the only doctor he goes to) 3-4 times since he turned one, and he is now 30 months. Would you say a young toddler who falls sick 3-4 times in 18 months should be considered a kid who falls sick very often? It certainly it's a big no to me. She said they can show me the health record of Hao Re. And I would love to see that. I don't believe I can be so ignorant that I didn't know when Hao Re was ill.

And they said once my kid is ill, he should be given antibiotics, be it a virus or a bacteria infection, so that he can recover faster, and not to spread the bugs to other kids. I couldn't believe what I heard. Okay, maybe we have very different view when it comes to medication, but shouldn't they also respect how the parent want to handle their kids for their better health. I know it's a childcare centre and that's exactly the fact! How to stop the bugs from spreading in a confined environment? If you ask me, the answer is impossible! The virus has already started to spread BEFORE the child showing symptoms of illness, fever included. Yes, I agree, sending a sick kid to the childcare centre is irresponsible and should be avoided. But there is no guideline for the parents to follow except that a child who is running a fever would not be accepted to the class for the day. There is no mentioning of cough or runny nose, etc. Why the parents get the blame when we have not been informed about the guidelines? Beside, we always bring Hao Re to his peadiatrician, and the doctor didn't give medical leave, isn't that mean the child is okay to attend school? Yes, I know, it's irresponsible but I won't believe if they are going to tell me I am the only parents who sends a kid who has cough and runny nose to school. We definitely won't do that if we have a choice, and we definitely won't send Hao Re to school when he was running a high fever or given mc to stay home.

I have written e-mails to the principle, similar to what I have mentioned above. I don't know how things would turn out to be. But I would soon know.

I am also surprised that except on Friday evening, I didn't get too agitated about this whole thing. I am surprised that I can be so calm, not like the usual me. Hubby asked me a few times what we should do now, I didn't give him an answer. I never wanted things to become like this. As I said, I have very good relationship with some of the teachers, and I do really really respect them and thank them for taking good care of Hao Re, and I do like this school for several reasons. Probably I can stay so calm because I think of Hao Re, as I wouldn't want to put in my personal feeling when dealing with this. As long as Hao Re is happy to go to the school, I have an answer of what to do next. But would he able to tell me, his real feeling about the school?
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Happy weekend!

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Nothing special this weekend, really. But it's a great weekend for us.

Saturday was spent mostly at home because of the weather. Was planning to bring the kids to the West Coast Park, but it rained for a few hours in the afternoon so that was not possible. Ended we went to IMM for dinner and for Hao Re to release his energy at the playground for almost an hour.

Sunday was spent at JB, leaving home about 9am and only came home about about 6pm! Was there to run some errands and then it's the usual shopping and eating at the Jusco. Hao Re got a story book and two sticker/activities books of Toy Story 3. It's still his favourite for now, and he learns quite a few things out of this.

What made the happy weekend? Simply for the fact that Hao Re has been such a good boy! He didn't throw any tantrum and didn't even wail a little bit. The whole weekend he was in very good mood, smiling and laughing all weekends, which really melts my heart, my happy boy is back! Think somehow he has gone through another round of growing phase, learnt a few new things, and moving on to the next phase. And he has been eating very well these two days, which made me very, very happy.

Xi Yu has also been a very good girl, too! She loves the porridge that I cooked. Despite that it's very simple porridge and I knew that it didn't taste fantastic, she ate the porridge so happily, with mouth opened wide and finished quite a big bowl. She played with the brother excited for one moment, and the next moment she cried because her big brother was a little too rough :-P And she took naps well and slept very well at night. Been very active moving around, crawling and cruising, and been babbling really a lot, baba, mama, mum mum, buug (when she picks up the Buzz Lightyear toy), and some other random sounds too.

See if I can manage to stay to watch the World Cup final, and then it's another 5 days till the next weekend!
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Growing up - just another phase

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Hao Re is now 2.5 years old

He is tall and thin, now, all the baby fat had totally gone. He is just like his daddy, thin and tall, and eh-hem, handsome :-)

He is a happy and healthy little guy.

He has his own way of thinking and wants to do things his own way.

He whines, he cries, he throws tantrums.

He is bored at times when we cannot give him enough attention or to play with him.

He can play independantly for a long period of time, but he still prefers to play with us whenever possible.

He still likes music and movement (singing and dancing).

He likes the zoo and the animals. He calls himself "Gibbon" (he would say, I am Gibbon Kam Hao Re!)

He loves his meimei but yet they fight.

He shows no interest in books recently. And he is not so interested in all those "good" activities like colouring, puzzle, etc, anymore. He wants to be like a monkey, climb/jump up and down.

He has been throwing temper tantrum qutie often recently. It gets on our nerves, especially when we are tired after work. We started to raise our voice more and spank him a few times with our hands. Me and hubby think that  is because we haven't spent enough time with him recently and haven't been given him enough attention, so he is acting up to get our attention. He laughs even when he gets a scolding from us, only cries when he senses we are really angry. All this making me feels really bad.

There was one day after he calmed down after another episode of tantrum, I lied down on the bed with him and had a conversation with him.

Me: 皓皓, 你为什么坏蛋?
HR:  皓皓不开心.
Me: 你为什么不开心?
HR: .........
Me: 你要做什么才会开心?
HR: 我要做妹妹!

His answer shocked me, and I confirmed that he really doens't have enough attention from us. Being a parent is not easy. Being a parent of two kids are even more challenging. I have been pretty bad temper with the kids lately. This I have to change first before I can do anything good for the kids. I will try, try to do whatever necessary adjustment needed so that I can give more time and attention to both of them.

This is the very critical timing for Hao Re to learn things. He shouldn't learn all the bad things from us (shouting, scolding, spanking, etc). Really have to try harder to be an example for him, and to do more things with him.

Dear Hao Hao, we loves you so much, you know that right? Please pardon us if we have ignored your feeling. Please give us some time and we will make it up for you, ok!
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A lazy Saturday

I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got out of the bed, sat down in the living room and looked at the clock, it was 9.20am! Couldn't believe my luck and my eyes, so I asked hubby, he answered the same timing as I saw. Wow, since how many months ago that I had the chance to sleep pass 7-8am? It's rainy morning so making all of us wanted to sleep in. And a big hug to hubby who has been taking care of Xi Yu these few nights and they sleep in a different room. So even Xi Yu still woke up for her 7am morning feed, that didn't affect me (I kept our door closed :-))

Made some very simple breakfast for the family. Then we went down to do some groceries shopping.

Today marked the first day I cooked porridge for Xi Yu. Not that I suddenly became such a hard working mum, but it's because Xi Yu refused cereal, so I either let her fill her tummy with formula milk all day or I gonna cook something for her (I still have frozen puree, but don't think that can fill her tummy now). Her nanny has been cooking all the yummy food for her, and she has been very well fed. Took her weight today, and Xi Yu weighs EXACTLY 10kg today!

Ended up me and hubby also taking the same porridge for lunch (pork + sweet corn + peanut, but took out peanuts for Xi Yu's portion). Hao Re is still rejecting food. He hasn't been drinking any formula milk and hasn't taken a proper meal from Monday till today, either at home or at school. It's very difficult to get him interested in the food again. He has been surviving on a little of fresh milk, some baby baby biscuits that I bought for Xi Yu, some chocolates, and that's about it. And guess how much he lost? A whole ONE KG! I am so heart pain. It will take ages for him to build up that 1kg again. He has his peak at about 20 months when he weighed 15.2kg, but now at 30months (tomorrow will be exactly 30 months), Hao Re only weighs 13.6kg. Not only this week, but he has been not so keen on food for a few months already, but at least he still ate properly at school (teachers and peer pressure). Now it's worse. Just hope he reaches another grow spurt soon, and to quickly catch up on food and weight. Today he ate 1 apple, a few spoon full of ABC pasta, some fresh milk, about 4OZ of formula milk, and that's almost about everything. Xi Yu ate a lot more than him!

It's grey and rainy almost the whole day. We only went out for a short while to get durians from 717 Highland Centre. The durian season is back! I was so happy when Hao Re told me he wanted to eat durian (he does like durian), but ended up he only took a few bites. It's Xi Yu who was so excited about the durians, just let her lick on the durians she was already all high and kept wanting for more! Ops, aren't we still recovering from our illness (I just ate a few seeds lah, but it's proven heaty to me this time, whereas I don't usually have any respond to durian, luckily we bought the mangosteen also, hope that has balanced up the heaty/cold).

Really quiet Saturday. The main challenge was with Hao Re who refused to take nap. He was very tired but refused to take nap and hence he was very cranky. At the end, he only fell asleep on the car ride back home, slept for a short 30minutes or son. His tantrum is kinda not too bad, still manageable, but sometimes he really gets on our nerves. What he did was he would keep repeating "mama/baba's naugthy, I don't want, I don't want.......", he can repeat this for up to 30 minutes, and didn't want to talk to us despite all effort. We figured the best way would be just let him be, and at some points he would stop that and come to talk to us or resume his activity again. I should record it down one day then you know what I mean.

Germany sure won Argentina (it's 3-0 as of now), so nothing much to do now. Probably heading to bed soon. Good night.
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Being sick and stay home

Me and Hao Re

Finally it's my turn to fall sick! I actually don't mind being sick as being sick means a break from work and the routine :-) But being sick and have to take care of a sick kid is no joke.

Hao Re is recovering from his illness. Think it's a very nasty virus that got him sick for so many days and he is recovering slowly, while in the past, he recovered very fast, sometimes even without medication. I caught the bugs from him, I think. Started to feel ill on Tuesday afternoon. Dragged myself to work on Wednesday as I stupidly remembered the date of the audit wrongly. Struggled to attend the schedule meetings and I knew most likely I won't be able to make it to work on Thursday.

I was having high fever at 39C for almost 24 hours, plus a severe sore throat, cough, runny nose, a bit of muscle ache, all those typical symptoms of a flu, a nasty one. Now I understand why Hao Re refused food and drink on Monday because the throat was really very painful even just drink water. I was given a medication certificate to rest for 2 days at home.

While I thought I earned myself these 2 "free" day to rest and relax at home, and can do some housekeeping work, all these had gone when I received a call from Hao Re's teacher on Thursday afternoon.

We sent Hao Re to his childcare as usual from Tuesday onwards, as his PD didn't ask us to keep him at home and his fever has gone on Tuesday morning and his cough has been a lot better. We knew (and the teacher observed) that he didn't have appetite and that's okay with us, as long as he still has enough reserve in his tummy, it's okay not to eat as usual for a few days.

Thursday 1st July was the day he was promoted to the Nursery 1 class, but the school has been helping him to adapt to the transition since a month back, so I thought there should be nothing to take note of. Until the phone call. I only managed to fall asleep for a short 10 minutes or so after rolling and turning on the bed for more than half and hour and then the phone rang. His new teacher said Hao Re has diarrhea (which he only pooped 2x of watery poo, and he has been doing the same for the past 2 days), and HIGH fever when it's only 37.6C. She told me I have to fetch Hao Re home immediately while it's raining bloody heavily, and despite I told her I am very sick myself and I will contact my hubby for him to come back earlier. I told her I really couldn't do anything now. She then called my hubby right after putting down the phone, and what's more was that she called my number! She asked how come both numbers go to you, I said no I only have 1 number, and she read out both numbers, turned out both are the same (my) number! And to add to that, Hao Re was taking nap when she called, and he usually take 2-3 hours of nap, so how urgent could that be? I was totally upset and felt bad, she made me felt as if I am a bad mum who doesn't care about her son and wanted to dump a sick son at school. I was truly very upset. I was lying on the bed wanting to catch some rest/sleep, but I couldn't. I just kept thinking about the phone conversation, and my tear just came down (think I was emotional because I was really not feeling well). So upset till I forgot to have my lunch. Then I called hubby and told him about all this and told him I want to transfer Hao Re to another childcare. Hubby said I don't have to be so emotional, but he would support whatever I want to do.

I picked up the phone and told them I would come pick up Hao Re as soon as the rain stopped. I arrived at the school at about 3.30pm, when Hao Re was still napping. I went to the Infant Class to talk to the teachers there, whom I was quite close to, with the relationship built when Hao Re was there for 16 months. Then the principle and other teachers, including the teacher who called me knew about an upset mummy. They explained she didn't mean it, etc and they apologized, and that was simply because of miscommunication. I didn't say much and didn't want to argue, I was glad that I was able to stay calm and just had some casual chat with them afterwards. But I swear she meant for me to pick up Hao Re a.s.a.p.

Went home with Hao Re when he woke up at 4+pm. He was very happy at home and show no sign of sickness, except coughing. One good thing about Hao Re was he loves to drink medicine. So feeding him medicine has always been a breeze. He would willingly and automatically sit on the chair and wait for the medicine to be fed, either through spoon or syringe. Funny guy ya :-)

So Friday my "free" day was no longer a free day. Luckily my high fever has subsided, still having mild fever, but at least I felt "nromal", if not, I really don't know how I was going to care for Hao Re. Hao Re was perfectly okay, totally no "diarrhea" and no "fever" as what the teacher claimed. I was too tired and lazy to do much with him. We took a 4 hours nap together (it's a raining day so it's very nice to sleep in), and we both woke up happy. Hubby arrived home soon after we woke up. We went to pick up Xi Yu from nanny and went to have dinner.

I am still thinking of switching him to another school. This issue was one of the factors. There are a few other factors as well. I will keep looking and will act if something suitable arises.

Meanwhile, hope me and Hao Re will be fully recovered after the weekend. Think this weekend is going to be a quiet one.

Ops, the clock is 1.17am, I really shouldn't be here but in the bed instead, shouldn't I :-) Good night!
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