Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hippo Tours

DH was working half day yesterday (Saturday) and is working again today. However, he knew that I've been going through a rough patch with some personal problems lately so when I asked him if we could go out yesterday evening to bring Osh Osh somewhere nice, he agreed without any hesitation. :)

We decided to take the Hippo Tour which is a boat ride down the Singapore River. We took the train to get there and arrived just in time to buy the tickets for the 8pm ride. The whole boat tour lasted half an hour. There was a very nice gentle night breeze and it was very relaxing. The only downside was that the tour guide's microphone was a bit too loud so I had a sight headache after it ended.

Osh Osh had no complaints! He was so happy! On the way home, he kept kissing me and was just smiling and laughing all the way. Nice to see him so happy. I'm also grateful to DH that he took the time and effort to spend the evening with us even though he was really tired after work and had to wake up early this morning to go to work again.

Here's some of the scenery shots taken.

This is the Hippo Tours sticker which was our ticket to get on board the boat.

The Fullerton Hotel in all its glory.

The Singapore Flyer (it's like the London Eye and you sit in one of its capsules which turns around a full circle for half an hour which gives you a bird's eye view of Singapore).

The Esplanade (Singapore's concert hall).

The Merlion (one of the icons of Singapore - half lion, half fish)

One of the shopping malls near the jetty, all lit up with decorations for the coming mooncake festival.

All in all, it was a memorable evening and Osh Osh went to bed with a smile on his face.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A day at the hair salon

Well, not actually a day but it sure felt like it!

My hair length is just touching the shoulder now so it's at an "irritating" stage as in if I just leave it as it is, it is quite messy and the ends keep curling out. If I tie it up with a scrunchie, it makes me look like a school girl with a little bunny tail!

So, I decided to get it permed, coloured and treated! :) All in all, that took almost 4 hours. I did this after work with DH's agreement (of course!) to look after Osh Osh yesterday evening. When I reached home, he was already asleep and DH looked pretty tired! Poor thing!

The last time I permed my hair was almost 10 years ago. Now I can remember why! I just can't stand spending so much time sitting in the hair salon inhaling all the chemical smells of perming solution and hair dye.

However, I must say that the end result is pretty good. I look different and it's timely I changed my look too. DH and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary next week. He bought me a wedding band to replace the old one I have. Reason being my fingers have grown too fat and the old ring is too tight now. :( It's really sweet of DH to choose another similar ring for me and had it engraved with "With Love, followed by our wedding anniversary date". I'm so touched and over the moon, of course. It's moments like these when you feel nice being a woman.

Since we're on the topic of mush and lovey dovey stuff, I had bought some Forever Friends coin pouches as token gifts for Osh Osh's teachers for the coming Teachers' Day celebration. Osh Osh kept asking me to keep one for him. He wants to give it to one of his little girl friends at school for her birthday in Oct. Awww...ain't that sweet? :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stutter and stammer

I am worried.

Osh Osh has been stammering for the past few months and it doesn't seem to be going away. He's just turned 3 in July.

He has trouble getting the first word out, for example, when he wants to say "You want to eat chicken?", he'll repeat the word "You" several times and looks like he has difficulty getting it out but when he gets the word "You" out, the rest of his sentence is fine.

He stutters not only when he's excited but even when he is calm.

We have taken him to see his doctor in July for his annual check-up and brought up this issue of stammer. He said we're not to reprimand him or correct him but just to be patient and encourage him to sing more songs.

I must admit that I do correct him and slow him down to say the first words of his sentences correctly. For example, when he stutters with "La... La... La... Later", I'll just look at him and say "Later". I read articles which I've researched online that doing this as in correcting him, will lower his self esteem and make him more aware of his stutter. Sigh. Part of me finds it very difficult to just let him be.

Any advice or words of comfort for this very worried Mummy?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Maternal love

A few months ago, I bought the Planet Earth DVD set because I had watched some excerpts of it on tv and thought it was amazing! It's an 11 part documentary produced by BBC and has some of the most breath-taking shots I've ever seen on nature and wildlife.

(Here's the link for more details- The photo of the DVD cover below is taken from and the photos of the whales and panda are from the Planet Earth website - the link above by Discovery Channel)

This morning, we watched "Shallow Seas" with Osh Osh. One of the touching moments in it was of this Humpback Whale and her baby. Her baby is completely vulnerable for the first year of his life even though he is already 3 metres long at a few weeks old. The mother Humpback Whale stays with her young in shallow sea where there are no predators (and also no food!) and nurses him. He takes 500 litres of milk per day!

The mother whale also helps pushes her baby to the surface every now and again when he is tired in order for him to take in air. She does all this for 5 months until he is strong enough to swim with her to the deep ocean for food. All this time, she is starving for the sake of her young!

Likewise, another episode "Mountains" showed this Giant Panda and her young. She too spent a good few months in a small cave, hidden away from the outside world with her baby. The mother panda also starves as she is unable to leave her young to look for food for herself.

We also know of the journey that the mothers of the Emperor Penguins make over hundreds of miles to look for food for their young during the harsh winter. (Everyone who's watched The March of the Penguins or Happy Feet would know this) A lot of them don't make it back alive.

This maternal love that some animals have for their young made me think of how we human mothers care for ours. Yes, we say we make sacrifices and we love our children very much. However, I'm struck by how selfish I can be at times, complaining to DH about how tired I am looking after Osh Osh, how frustrated I get at Osh Osh when he misbehaves, how I hate all those sleepless nights when he's not well and the list goes on.

Recently, the government has proposed many incentives for the people in this country to have more children as our birthrate are dropping. These incentives include tax rebates, subsidies, longer maternity leave and leave to be taken by parent of babies and young children.

I'm wondering if all these incentives will prompt the nation to have more children. Are we so selfish and self-centred that we will only think of procreation when there is some monetary value to it? I am not disputing that having a child and ensuring that the child has a good life does not involve money. I'm not that naive. However, is this really the solution to our nation's childless woes?

The images of the starving Mother Panda and the patient Humpback Whale are etched in my mind. Are we humans really better living beings?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Only 40?

DH forwarded me an email about the various kindness and graciousness campaigns that have been going in our country (see post "Do we care enough to care?" of 11 August) and I thought this is funny and yet so sad at the same time.

This is a different campaign from the one I last blogged about. This graciousness campaign started over a decade ago! Now, here comes the funny sad part:

Only 40 people have pledged their support to the cause of making our society more gracious and to display simple courtesy to each other!

Ony 40 people in the last 10 years!

Unless there has been a massive abduction of the people in this country by aliens, I'm certain that there are more than 40 people in this nation!!!

Power play

From the title, I wish I was going to write about the power play I had with Osh Osh when I make him eat his carrots and leafy greens. Unfortunately, it's not.

It's about power play in the big bad world called corporate politics!

As you know from my post below ("Bad Mummy" feeling), our new big boss is in town for a visit. On Wednesday, my manager ("VC") came to talk to me just as I was packing up to rush to pick up Osh Osh from school.

VC told me that there is a meeting (the meeting was yesterday morning) where I am to sit in and convince the new big boss why I am to stay in my current manager's department. It turned out that there is this other manager ("CM") who is looking for capable people to be in his team.

What's so bad about moving to the other department, you ask? Well, I won't be getting any pay increase and secondly, I am still expected to do the same work I am doing now plus take on the new role's responsibilities as well. Yup, doing 2 people's work for the price of one!

It's a power play between VC and CM to impress the boss as each of them wants to show our new big boss that they have a dynamic department that is capable to meet the company's vision. I also know that my manager, VC does not like CM!

Anyway, I told the new big boss my role and how much value I have added to VC's team. It's out of my hands now. My fate will only be decided after end of Sept as that's when the "powers that be" will decide how the reorganization of the company will pan out.
Call me simplistic and naive - all I want is to be left alone to do my work so that I can go home to my family! Is that too much to ask for?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Bad Mummy" feeling

I have to work late today. Well, actually, it's not work but rather a dinner. My manager's new big boss is in town so she wants all of us to attend a dinner that's specially held to welcome this new big boss from the mothership (fondly coined by another manager of another department - meaning our head office).

I try very hard not to work late as I want to always be there for Osh Osh in the evenings. Unfortunately, once in a while, such commitments cannot be avoided. My manager is very keen to see her whole department as team players and being united although more often than not, it's just a front. Therefore, I would be "blacklisted" if I don't attend tonight's function.

I told Osh Osh that I will be working late and he kept saying, "Mummy, I go work with you". We took the train to his school today as DH decided not to drive today. When DH got off the train with him (I would then continue my journey in the train to the office), Osh Osh started to cry and reached out for me. As DH carried Osh Osh away into the sea of people rushing to get on board the train, I could just see Osh Osh's head above DH's shoulder and he was still crying.

Now, you know why today's post is titled "Bad Mummy" feeling. I really feel like one now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little Big Dreams

I was watching a documentary on tv tonight titled Little Big Dreams. Osh Osh had just finished watching his Winnie the Pooh DVD. I decided to channel-surf to see if there was any interesting Olympics highlights on. There were none but instead there was this documentary filmed in China following the lives of 4 young children who have been sent to a boarding school to train as gymnasts.

Their parents sent these children there with the hope that their son or daughter will be the next Olympic champion. All their hopes are on this elusive dream but the brutal truth is that only a few will ever make it that far.

The documentary showed that the coaches were very harsh on the kids. One of their methods of encouragement is to cane them if they fail to do the right moves or land steadily on both feet after they complete their dismount off the vaults. The kids, who are eager to please their parents and the coaches, start these rigorous relentless training at the age of 3.

One of the coaches who were interviewed said that they are not torturing the children. It's just that they need to be tough on them in order to make these children Olympic champions.

Three scenes got to me and made me cry.

The first was when a mother had to leave her 5 year old daughter after a 2 day visit at the school. She would not see her daughter again until another 6 months. The girl was very brave and started to walk away from the mother in the courtyard. Then she turned back and saw her mother still standing there. She couldn't compose herself anymore and ran towards her mother, asking her to take her home. The mother made her walk back to the school. She had to, because they had spent a lot of money to put her there and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The second scene was when this 9 year old boy, who hasn't been doing very well in his training and was often scolded and beaten by his coach, had a reunion with his parents about 2 weeks before the provincial gymnastics championship. He didn't want to go back to the school but again, his parents could not let him quit. One of the teachers carried him away from his family, kicking and screaming!

The third scene which really moved me was about another 9 year old boy in the school. They filmed him in his dormitory. He was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said, "A professor". The second question was whether he enjoyed gymnastics. He looked very sad and kept quiet for what might have seemed like an eternity. Then he said softly, "No" and it looked as though he tried very hard not to cry.

I know all parents want what is best for their child but would you actually put your child through this, for the sake of an Olympic gold medal?

You can guess my answer, as I gave Osh Osh more hugs and kisses tonight before he slept.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Splash splash

We took Osh Osh to the public swmming pool near our place early this morning. He has been asking us to take him there since he watched Michael Phelps on tv on Monday. I guess he was inspired! :)

We woke up early around 645am, had a quick breakfast (Osh Osh drank a big bottle of milk- his usual "day starter") and off we went. It took us only 10 minutes to walk to the pool but when we got there, it was still closed. The public pool only opened at 8am. Osh Osh was quite impatient as he really wanted to get into the pool immediately.

Soon the wait was over and off we went! :) He doesn't know how to swim yet but the kiddie pool is quite shallow. We were with him at all times but we gave him the freedom to splash around and do whatever he wanted. He kept saying he's a crocodile and most of the time, he was lying flat on his chest, moving his arms and legs about. (Yes, the water is that shallow!) A few times, he played with the soft rubber ball which we brought with us by biting it in his mouth while lying flat on his front. Made me think of him as a little seal pup! :) Quite cute but then again, I'm biased.

All in all, it's a nice Saturday. My father in law dropped by and we all went out for lunch. Then he took Osh Osh for a short walk so that DH can have some time to study and I can have some "me" time online.

Oh, I hear the doorbell. They're back. I've got to go back to being a Mummy again! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Fever, Part 2

I came across this cake in a bakery shop near my office yesterday. I saw it from afar and was attracted to it.

It's shaped after the Olympic stadium in Beijing (bird nest style). The sales assistant told me it's a light sponge fruit cake and she gave me a $8 discount. So, needless to say, I couldn't resist.

Looks yummy, right? Tastes yummy too! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When we lack sleep...

When we lack sleep, we:

1) are easily irritable;

2) are prone to angry outbursts;

3) blame ourselves, others, events, or anything we can think of for the way we feel;

4) are so drained that we cannot think straight;

5) feel that our lives are so messed up that nothing seems to be going right;

6) give our problems more weight than we would normally do;

7) feel helpless, hopeless and lost; and

8) wonder how we will ever be able to cope.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do we care enough to care?

I read in the papers today that a charitable organization is running a nationwide campaign to promote kindness and graciousness amongst the people in this country. It's a 5 month long campaign and its slogan is, "If we could care for strangers, caring wouldn't be strange."

People here are generally not very gracious to strangers. I can count the number of times when someone gave up his/her seat for me in buses and trains when I was pregnant. Believe me, that number does not exceed the number of players in a soccer team!

Most of the time, people just close their eyes or look away or pretend to be doing something else when a pregnant lady or elderly or disabled person boards the bus or train.

I don't know why it is so difficult for people here to care for others. Maybe everyone here is just so tired and drained from working so hard, maybe everyone here is inherently apathetic or maybe that's just how they have been brought up.

My intention of writing this is not to run a psychological analysis on the social graces of the people here but rather to share a glimmer of hope that maybe they will start to care. Maybe I'm in an idealistic mood at the moment or some might say naive but one would like to hope that we still care enough to care.

In all my 5 years of living in this country, one of my pet peeves are the reckless cyclists. In general, they think they own the pedestrian pathway (there are no designated lanes for cyclists here) so those who walk on 2 legs (or 4 for that matter) share the pathways with people on 2 wheels.

"Give way to you?? NEVER!"

I have experienced being almost knocked into by cyclists, even when I was carrying Osh Osh (be it that he was in my belly or in my arms!) on numerous occasions. I've also lost count of the number of times I've heard these loud annoying bicycle bells warning me to get out of their way or else, I'm to suffer their "wrath". These cyclists always seemed to be in a rush to get to their destinations.

One question which I often ask DH is why can't they cycle on the grass? DH's normal reply is because they don't want their bicycle wheels to get dirty!

Let me get back to the point of this post and why I said there is a glimmer of hope for me.
Last night, while having an evening stroll with DH and Osh Osh, I heard that oh-so-familiar bicycle bell. I was walking beside DH and DH was holding Osh Osh's hand. Almost on "auto pilot" mode, I just took a step back and started to walk behind DH and Osh Osh to give way to the cyclist.

To my surprise (or rather shock as this has never happened before to me in this country), the middle aged cyclist said, "Thank you". I almost fainted!
Dare I say that there is still hope that we care enough to care?

Olympic fever!

The Olympics game have started!

Osh Osh and I watched the Opening Ceremony on Friday night and I made the mistake of telling him that the Olympic mascots will be out. He kept asking me when Kung Fu Panda was going to make an appearance. I felt so bad! He went to bed at 930pm without catching a glimpse of any pandas.

For those of you who watched the Opening Ceremony, it was a dazzling display of lights, colours, precision and passion! However, what touched me the most and what stuck to my mind wasn't the "big bang" and "wow" stuff but this young boy who walked alongside Yao Ming, the flag bearer for the China team.

This boy was one of the survivors of the Sichuan Earthquake and the reason why he was chosen to march with all the China athletes was because he saved the lives of 2 of his classmates at the earthquake site. When I heard that, I was deeply moved.

To me, he was the biggest star of that night.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mummy's little helper

I was cooking lunch this morning (just simple chicken and mushroom pasta) and Osh Osh was watching tv in the living room. I suppose he was bored and lonely (DH was upstairs working on the computer) as he came to look for me in the kitchen after half an hour later. He also asked me to turn off the tv.

I wasn't free to play with him as I haven't finished cooking yet. However, he just looked like he needed company. So, I asked him if he wanted to help Mummy wash the floor. He said ok. I gave him a small rag and a container of soapy water. He soaked the rag in the water and started to wet the floor. Then he went to take his little toy brush and scrubbed the floor.

Then, he asked me if he could wash the walls, the fridge and the cupboard doors. He was so happy when I said it's ok. He was cheerfully cleaning everywhere - he even wiped the oven door! :)

I'm so pleased! Thanks to him, I have a clean kitchen (I mopped the floor again after he left as it was still quite soapy and slippery but left everything else as it is because Osh Osh did such a thorough job)! Not to mention, I also have a very happy son! :)

Friday, August 8, 2008


Today's the last day of work for a colleague of mine. She joined the company about a year after me. We got along well with each other almost from the word go.

She's leaving for a better job elsewhere. As I'm not in the office today, we said our goodbyes yesterday. I said I'll miss her and she said we'll meet up one of these weekends as we live relatively close to each other (about 1/2 hour's drive by car).

I know we both mean it when we say we'll try to keep in touch. However, I am consciously telling myself not to set my hopes up too high. Somehow, from my personal experiences, the friendships I form at work do not seem to last when either one of us has left the company. I suppose it's because the common bond we have is our work issues and our coffee break chats at the pantry.

When we move on to a new workplace, we lose that common bond. She will have new colleagues and face new challenges.

I'm not writing her off completely. There may be a chance that this friendship might withstand the change. I've made some good friends at work whom I am still in touch with now although we've each gone our separate ways. We definitely do not see each other as often as when we were working together and some of them have even moved away.
However, thank God for the power of the internet. Without it, I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with them, view their family photos and videos and sometimes, even chat with them online!

It's definitely not the same as being in the same office together but it just means that our friendships have adapted to the change and developed a new way to sustain themselves.

I'm dedicating this post to her. May she find personal and professional fulfilment in her new workplace. Oh, the reason why I have roses in this post is because she loves roses and has several outfits with roses on them. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All wet!

What an evening! We got drenched twice in a row!

The first time was when I went to pick up Osh Osh from his school. It was raining so heavily with strong winds that holding on to the umbrella upright was a big feat on its own. We waited for DH to arrive at the school with the car.

DH had to step out of the car without an umbrella because we kept them underneath the backseat beyond his reach so whoosh! He got wet too! Note to self: Find a more convenient place to store the umbrellas in the car. Things are always clearer on hindsight. :P

Second drenching episode was after dinner. We had gone out for dinner after the rain stopped. We had brought umbrellas with us (one adult size and one small one for Osh Osh) although we didn't expect it to rain again so soon.

Boy, were we wrong! It rained even heavier this time. The place where we had dinner was within walking distance from our home. It usually takes us about 10 minutes to walk home. That's fine for a dry day but you can imagine how much longer it felt when it was pouring cats and dogs!

DH carried Osh Osh in one hand and carried the adult size umbrella in the other. I had to use Osh Osh's smaller umbrella. Needless to say, it did not offer much protection from the rain. The only part of me that was dry was my hair! I was walking behind DH so Osh Osh could see how wet I was.

He started laughing at me and saying how wet I was, how wet Daddy was and that he was only a little wet. His laughing was contagious so we both ended up laughing too. Soon, all of us actually enjoyed being drenched in the rain and we arrived home feeling pleased and happy!

What an unexpected way to end the night! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Have you ever wondered how volatile children are?

Osh Osh went through so many high and low moods all within a span of a few hours - from the moment we got home to his bedtime, he was up and down and up and down and well, you get the picture.

Firstly, he was happily talking to us in the car about things he saw on the road. Then, when we parked and got out of the car, he started to say that he was tired and refused to walk so I had to carry him. Otherwise, all 3 of us will not get anywhere near home and that would have been disastrous considering how tired and hungry DH and I both were.

Then, he was happy again once home. Today was a bit odd. He wanted to take out all his baby toys from the toybox which he had not touched in probably over a year. So there he was on his own in the living room, reliving his "babyhood".

Next was bathtime and he fussed and cried again when DH bathed him. After that, he came over to our room to look for me and told me what parts of the body you need to wash when you bathe. He said his teacher taught him that he needs to wash his hair, his stomach, his knees and his legs. He was laughing when he said that.

Dinner time was a completely different story. Today he was particularly agitated and didn't want to eat his dinner. We had to put him in a corner as he fussed so much. He cried and cried so we couldn't even start a proper time out until he was quiet. DH and I carried on with our dinner but halfway through, I lost my appetite.

Osh Osh eventually completed his time out of 3 minutes about 20 minutes later. When I brought him back to the dining table, he started eating again. Definitely a bit slower than usual but he was eating. He started being chatty again, talking about his art work at school and his soldier toys.

I could go on and on but writing about this is really making me tired. It's like reliving it again! I was already worn out when I went through it the first time so a rehash of this is really not doing me any good.

The end result of today is that Osh Osh went to bed happy, despite the many ups and downs he had today. He drifted off to sleep peacefully with a little red bear key chain on his index finger (he likes to hold something as he sleeps and the item can vary from day to day) and believe me, he wouldn't have remembered most of the episodes that he had this evening when he wakes up tomorrow morning.

The thing is we as adults experience volatility in our own moods too. All the time, all day every day. However, I guess as adults, we're better at masking it, supressing it, denying it, justifying it, (the list goes on) whereas for kids, it all just comes out as and when it happens.

Now, my question is...which is the better approach? Are we adults better at coping with our moods or is it better to react honestly to our moods like children do? Children, for most of the time, do not carry any emotional baggage whereas to find an adult without any emotional baggage, one would be put to the task as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Rewind and fast forward

I'm sure all of you had days when you wished you could turn back the clock and do some things differently. I'm also pretty certain there are some days when you wished you could just speed things up and get to the moment that you've been eagerly anticipating.

Well, today's one of those days for me. I wished I could rewind what happened early this morning when we were getting Osh Osh ready for school. Mondays are always hard for him especially after a nice weekend with us. I wished I could rewind the time when I lost my temper at him for fussing in the morning. I wished I could rewind the time and take back some of the harsh things I said to him. I wish I could rewind the time and not be so cold towards him this morning.

Likewise, I wish I could have fast forwarded today's day at work and finished clearing all the things in my inbox faster. I wish I could have fast forwarded through my meetings and have a breather to relax even if it's just for 5 minutes. I wish I could have fast forwarded my journey home so that I could be with DH and Osh Osh sooner.

Finally, I wish that time could have stood still or moved in slow mode this evening so that all 3 of us could have a longer family time together. Osh Osh was very well behaved this evening and both DH and I were quite relaxed despite being really tired after work.

However, we all know that we cannot manipulate time in this manner so we just have to keep reminding ourselves to live in the present moment and not take things for granted.

Right now, I'm going to log off and spend some time talking to DH before calling it a night. Good night.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Secret revealed!

I'm finally going to share why I chose to be called Busybugz. I believe my closest friends don't know this either so the cat's (or rather the bug! You'll soon know why - read on!) out of the bag!
These are Busybugz(s)!

They are the Busybugz Pop Up Books illustrated by Bill Bolton and edited by Sue Harris. If you want to find out more about the books, here's their official website link.

Here's what some of the pages look like:

They were my son's favourite pop up books when he was first introduced to pop up books at 6 months old. I came across them by chance in a bookshop one fine day and loved how colourful and vibrant the pictures are. The stories are told in sentences that rhyme. Even I felt cheerful and rejuvenated when I read them to Osh Osh. :) Needless to say, he loved them. He still looks at them once in a while now but I think his passions are now directed towards construction toys and race cars...sigh, they grow up so fast.

And no, in case you are wondering, Bill Bolton and his publishers did not pay me any money to advertise his books. :P I'm going through one of those nostalgic moments a mother often goes through when she sits and ponders about how fast her child has grown up. The Busybugz books hold many fond memories for me.

For example, when Osh Osh first started turning over by himself with his belly faced down, he would get so excited and tried hard to crawl towards his Busybugz books. So I would put the Busybugz books at a distance from where he was and he would crawl all the way until he reached them!

I remember being so proud of him because one time, with the Busybugz book as his only source of motivation ( I don't think he cared too much about his Mummy cheering and waving him on!), he crawled all the way from one end of the living room to the other! To me, I cheered as though he won the Olympics Gold Medal! :)

Mums, huh? ;)