Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gifts and goodies!

DH is home! :) I took half day leave off work today to be at the airport to meet him. My very excited father in law (FIL) was there too. When I saw DH walking towards the arrival gate, I told my FIL that there he is. However, FIL was probably too filled with emotion to spot him until DH was face to face with him!

It was so good to give DH a nice long hug after 8 long days of being apart. DH looked very tired and worn out because it was a very long flight. Flying economy class in a dry stuffy aeroplane with limited leg room is not much fun! The important thing is that he's home and catching up on sleep, as I type this.

DH didn't have any time during his stay to do any shopping as he was busy studying. However, he managed to buy things for us at the airport just before he left for home. He bought his parents a nice jar of strawberry jam and tea. He bought me a lovely box of chocolates! I was very surprised at the size of it (it's a really big red box, if you can't estimate its size from the photo below) and he managed to pack it into his little carry on bag! It was very thoughtful of DH as this is my favourite type of chocolate.

He bought Osh Osh a model aeroplane. It's just the right size for Osh Osh to hold and play with. When I went to pick up Osh Osh from school, I had brought the aeroplane with me. I told Osh Osh that this is a gift from Daddy. He said, "No, Daddy not back". I said, "Yes, Daddy's home and he's sleeping". I then went on to tell him that as soon as he gets home, he should go and say hello to Daddy and thank him for the gift but I told him he must say it quietly. Osh Osh looked at me and asked, "Not loudly?" I said no and he proceeded to whisper "Hello, Daddy". "Softly like this?" he asked keenly. I said yes and couldn't help and smile as he looked so serious and cute at the same time.

True to his word, as soon as we were home, he quickly took off his shoes and while I was still at the entrance, he was already on his way to our bedroom. By the time I got to the room, Daddy was awake and Osh Osh was asking, "You buy aeroplane?" I noticed that he was speaking very softly to DH. He then climbed onto the bed and hugged and kissed DH after which he climbed down and proceeded to leave the room, to let DH rest. I thought that was very mature and considerate of Osh Osh.

Coincidentally, the model aeroplane wasn't the only gift Osh Osh received today. The teachers at his school (about 8 of them) each gave him a gift for the Children's Day celebration (Children's Day is tomorrow but the party's today as the school is closed tomorrow). I was just as amazed and delighted as Osh Osh was, with all the gifts he received from the teachers - pencils, pencil cases, sharpeners, colour pencils, a portable fan (with soft rubber blades so it's harmless), eraser, a book and lots of sweets!

I told Osh Osh that he is so blessed to receive so many presents today. He said he's a very good boy. He is, indeed, a very good boy! :)

The purpose of my post is not to glorify material goods. It's just to share what these gifts mean for us. The gifts are just gestures of the love that is in our lives. I'm sure DH was very happy to see the expression on my face when he presented the big box of chocolates to me. Likewise, it was a very special moment for me to see how Osh Osh's face beamed when he saw the model aeroplane. It was also such a nice warm feeling when Osh Osh and I opened the presents together. I'm sure DH felt the same when he eventually joined us while Osh Osh was describing his goodies loudly. We shared his delight when he first put the pencils into the sharpener. We were just as curious as he was when he asked us what sweets he had received. We excitedly helped him keep all his goodies into his pencil cases.

Simple things...but oh, so meaningful! It's moments like these that I am so grateful for.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blowing "trouble bubbles" away

After my post on disappointment yesterday, I received a few concerned email messages from friends asking me how I am and if I needed a listening ear. A very good friend of mine who is on her way overseas to start a new life, sent me an email at 12 midnight, during her transit at one of the airports, just to encourage me. I am so touched!

I also received a long distance phone call from an old friend whom I've not heard in a while and a card from another friend, with a very encouraging note, arrived in the post today.

I believe this is God's way of telling me that I'm not alone and that there are so many good people out there who genuinely care for me.

Friends, you know who you are...thank you. I am truly blessed! :)

Today's post is about bubbles! I took Osh Osh to the small neighbourhood park to blow some bubbles this evening. He's been asking for it earlier today. He can blow bubbles very well by himself but he likes it when I blow the bubbles too. This is because I can blow more bubbles than he does. He will chase after these bubbles just to grab them with both hands and run back to me saying proudly, "I catch the bubbles...so many bubbles!"

As I watch him run happily after these bubbles, I have mixed feelings. I am happy that he is so happy and so innocent and pure in so many ways. At the same time, as much as I want these moments to fill my heart with joy in its entirety, I still feel saddened by my own personal problems.

Then a thought came to me. If only my problems were like these bubbles! They will burst when I grab them just like what Osh Osh does. Either that or I can let these trouble bubbles float away higher and higher until they burst by themselves or they vanish into oblivion. Sigh, if only life was this simple.

The reality is, as you and I both know, is that life is never this simple. I managed to speak to DH earlier today just as he was getting ready to leave his accommodation to head to the course centre. He said just leave my problems aside for now and we'll talk more when he is back.

There is no point in me going round and round in circles in my own thoughts trying to think myself out of this when I can't, at least not at this moment.

So for now, I'm letting my trouble bubbles float away...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Coping with disappointment

We all face disappointments in life. Some deal with it better than others and some just fall apart. I'm usually the latter, unfortunately.

I just experienced something very disappointing an hour ago. It's happened to me before and I didn't cope with it that well then. This time round,well, although I'm feeling very low about it, I'm keeping myself busy and trying my best not to dwell on negative thoughts. Easier said than done. I'm sure when it's quiet later after Osh Osh is asleep, I'll probably be in bed, crying.

(I chose this photo as it's cute and yet so aptly describes how I'm feeling now)

I sent a text message to DH about this but after doing so, I felt bad. I shouldn't have done so as it might affect his concentration in his revision course today. Hopefully, he will remain focussed.

God, I'm relying on your strength to cope...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Conversation with Daddy

I finally managed to speak to DH today. I called him during his lunch break when it was night time over here. Osh Osh was getting ready for bed. I switched on the speaker phone to enable Osh Osh to talk to his Daddy.
He was quite shy. First he said, "Hello Daddy" with a big smile. Then he looked at me and shrugged and said "Don't know what to say".
Then after some coaxing, he said "How are you, Daddy?", followed by "I love you" and a very quick "Bye Bye" and he dashed to bed! :) I just had to laugh.
It's good to hear DH's voice but it was quite noisy with people talking in the background. I also didn't want to keep DH on the line for too long as he too needed to eat his lunch. 
It's time for me to go to bed now as I'm really tired and haven't been sleeping well since DH left. Hopefully, I will sleep better tonight...good night, folks!

Feeling lonely

It's not the same without DH around. We haven't been able to talk on the phone due to the time difference between here and where he's at. When I'm awake, he's sleeping and vice versa. However, we have been sending each other text messages so I know he is ok. His revision course is quite intensive as they are whole day sessions going on for a week, weekends included.

Osh Osh doesn't seem to miss him as much. That's a good thing, I guess, because it means he's happy. He does ask about where Daddy is and what he's doing. He will also occasionally include references to Daddy is his daily chatter like "Daddy, Mummy and me go sit car" or "Daddy, Mummy and me read book", '...cook food" etc so that's sweet of him.

Work has been quieter this week which is good. I've not been sleeping well. I guess it does feel odd not having DH sleep beside me.

I'm trying hard not to count the days as that just makes things harder!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's still very hard to say...

...Goodbye to DH.

It's not that we've not been separated before. The early years of our relationship was a long distance one, with him at one end of the globe and me on the other. One would think that I would have gotten the hang of it by now and saying goodbye to him would be a piece of cake.

I wonder how the wives of busy travelling husbands do it? How they keep up a brave front and hold the fort all by themselves? I really admire their strength and perseverence.

Seeing him board the bus to the airport reminded me of the first time we parted as a couple. I was at the train station waiting for my train after we had said goodbye to each other. As I sat there waiting, my mobile indicated that I had received a text message. It read, "Look behind you".

I turned and there he was, at a bus stop behind the train station. Of course, we were separated by the road, filled with heavy traffic so there was no way we could shout anything to each other. I remembered how happy and sad I felt at the same time.

Guess what? I still feel the same way about DH now. Despite the many trials we went through (and are still going through) as a couple, I can honestly say that I love him just as much, if not more, than the first time I fell in love with him.

8 days isn't too long a period, is it? He'll be home soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A very fast flight

Today's definitely a good day! Well, it was definitely more restful and peaceful than this entire week.

I was checking my work email on and off throughout today and I only received 4 email messages (as opposed to the hundreds I received daily over the week) so it IS a definite improvement! :)

DH had to work today but I took Osh Osh to his workplace so we could all have lunch together. It was quite nice and I thank God for the special short moments that He allows for us to be together as a family.

So, what's this about a very fast flight? Well, while Osh Osh was napping, I was helping DH sort out his packing for his trip tomorrow. When Osh Osh woke up, he saw the bags on the floor and DH's belongings on the bed, he asked us about it.

I told him that Daddy's going away to school for 8 days in a blue jet. Osh Osh loves "blue jet" which is a guest character in one of his Little Einstein DVDs. He seemed satisfied with the answer and happily played by himself until we finished packing.

Later in the evening, I was keeping Osh Osh busy so that DH can study. DH was probably studying for over an hour until he became saturated. When Osh Osh saw him in the hall, he asked his Daddy, "Come back already? Come back in blue jet?" :)

Thought that was cute! :)

How I wish DH could really leave for his course and come home so quickly!

Friday, September 19, 2008

An extremely difficult week

As everyone knows by now (because it is such an "in your face" thing with it being splashed over the newspapers, tv, conversations with your family and friends), we are in very uncertain times now with the state of the US and world economy.

The Lehman Brothers incident affected me directly. When I went in to work on Monday, it was chaos. The company I work for is not an investment bank but we have direct business dealings with Lehman and other big investment banks. The atmosphere at work is one of fear and panic as we do not want to suffer any losses or rather we're scrambling about to see how much we can salvage. When things are this tense and strained, everyone is prone to finger pointing and blame. Some of it fell on me earlier in the week although I tried my best to defend myself. DH told me not to take it personally as my bosses are also all under a lot of stress.

It is just such a difficult environment to work in now. No one knew when we dealt with Lehman in 2007 that they would be subjected to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy this year!

The finger pointing and blame has stopped for now. I'm just waiting to see which one will be next? My next question is when will this end? And what damages will everyone suffer, from the company perspective and individuals as well?

How adversely has this affected me?

Well, I had to go to see a doctor yesterday. I've still not fully recovered from my flu and it's over 2 weeks now. So she put me on another round of antibiotics and asked me to go home and rest, to which I replied, I can't due to work.

Friends at work has been panicking as well as some of them have suffered personal losses due to direct investments in Lehman owned funds. One friend's husband has been so traumatised by this that he wanted to withdraw all his money from the bank and keep it at home! She stopped him, of course! However, they both lost a significant sum of money. I believe a lot of other people worldwide share their fate and misery as well.

As I have regular updates on the news in my work email inbox and also internal discussions on how we think things may pan out, it's understandable how paranoid I am at this stage. DH is much calmer and has decided to sit put and just ride this out i.e. keep our money and investments where they are. I am so fearful that we will lose everything! That's how paranoid I am.

Emotionally, I am a wreck, and I take it out on DH and Osh Osh. I lost my temper at Osh Osh earlier in the week because he kicked a fuss and refused to brush his teeth as we changed his toothpaste and he didn't like it. DH said I went overboard with my reaction.

DH will be going overseas on Sunday night for more than a week for his exam preparatory course. If circumstances were normal, I would spend more time with him now. However, due to my bosses's demands, I find myself working at night because there is just so much to do and so little time.

As a result, I really feel stretched and drained. So, overall my question to God is when will this end? Will I still like myself as in the person I've become, when it ends?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A little bucket of joy

I missed blogging! :) The past few days have been manic at work and I'm still not fully recovered yet! The worst of the flu is over but I have a nagging stubborn cough which makes my throat sore. Sigh.

Anyway, on to my musings about a little bucket of joy. A few days ago, DH brought home a small empty bucket of M&Ms. His colleague had bought it as a treat for everyone at his workplace. The empty bucket was left in the office pantry. DH saw that the bright yellow bucket was very cheerful and just the right size for Osh Osh, so he took it before it was thrown away.

When Osh Osh saw the little yellow bucket, his face lit up with a big grin. He asked, "What's this?", still smiling away. I told him it was a bucket. He said, "Not a basket?". I said, "No". I told him he can do whatever he wants with it.
Osh Osh then happily went around collecting some of his toys (ping pong balls that my father in law gave him, small plastic toy trains, pink balloons and some orange blocks) and put them in his little yellow bucket. Not to worry, we have made it very clear to Osh Osh not to ever put the ping pong balls in his mouth and he understands how dangerous it is to do so. Of course, we still watch him whenever he plays with them.

He could think of so many uses for his bucket. One moment, it's a toy carrier. The next, it is a dump truck. He also used the lid as a food platter (the food being all his little toys) after he had "cooked" them in the little bucket.

To us, it's just an empty bucket but to Osh Osh, it is anything his mind imagines it to be. It's also heartwarming for me to see that he can be so happy with such a simple object and that he doesn't need expensive toys to keep him happy. I pray that he will never lose his appreciation for the simple joys of life and that both DH and I can learn that from him too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He kept his word!

Yup, Osh Osh did take 2 table spoon of cod liver oil last night, after we read him his bedtime books. He scrunched up his face when he took it and said, "Not nice" but he kept his word. Now, we're back to a single spoon routine tonight.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My source of support

Being ill (this dreaded flu bug just refuses to go away!), I struggle to stay positive and not dwell in self pity. I have this tendency to feel like the world is against me when I'm really ill - don't ask me why!

Osh Osh has been a good source of support and laughter for me. Over the past few days, whenever he asked me to play some active games with him, I'll have to refuse him and tell him that I'm not well. His reply will be, "Mummy, go eat a lot, a lot of medicine. Then you get well." I would tell him that I've taken my meds and he will look at me, smile and say, "Ok" after which he will go play by himself. :)

On Sunday evening, my father in law dropped by to lend a helping hand as DH was working his shift duties and couldn’t come home. Osh Osh didn't want him to leave and kept asking him to stay and play even though it was already past 8pm. My father in law just mentioned in passing that he needs to go home to take his medicine (for diabetes). Much to his surprise, Osh Osh stopped playing with him and just said, "Go go, go home". I explained to him that Osh Osh knows it's very important to take medicine and therefore he was more than willing to let my father in law go home. Needless to say, my father in law was impressed with Osh Osh's thoughtfulness.

Last night, I was playing some songs from the Barney website (I still don't understand why this purple dinosaur has so much appeal to tots and preschoolers - personally, I can’t stand it!) and Osh Osh was tapping his drumsticks (he has a little drum set) on me, happily declaring, "Mummy, I drum you". I just had to laugh!

He wanted to sleep with his drumsticks next to his pillow but I told him that it's dangerous and they might poke him in the eye while he's asleep. He refused to give them up. Then I told him that if he takes his orange (his orange flavoured cod liver oil which he doesn't like but we try to make him take a spoonful every night), he can sleep with the drumsticks. I asked this as a test just to see how strong his will is and how much he loves the drumsticks - whether he will take the dreaded "orange" just so he can keep the drumsticks beside him. Can you guess what happened?

Without any hesitation, he willingly gave up his drumsticks and asked me to put them away! :) Goes to show how much he "loves" his orange.

Daddy then came into the room and said he can forego his orange but will have to take 2 spoonfuls tonight, to which Osh Osh nodded in silence. We'll have to see how that pans out tonight.

Anyway, I was laughing and laughing (while coughing and coughing) as I thought it was so cute that he would give up his drumsticks so easily when moments before, he clung to them with all his might. Makes me wonder if he will give his Mummy up just so he doesn't need to take his orange ever again!

There you have it, my pillar of strength in the form of a cute huggable (and very decisive) package. ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Happy Day

Today's our 5th wedding anniversary. I was still feeling under the weather when I woke up this morning but decided to be positive about things.

First, we took Osh Osh to see the doctor about his speech at 9am. He kept saying he didn't want to go to the hospital as they have sharp needles there. I don't remember him ever being afraid of going to the hospital so this was quite odd.

Anyway, we managed to bring him there without too much of a fuss. However, he was quite shy with the doctor and didn't speak much despite her efforts in trying to converse with him. She brought out nice picture books, sang to him, asked him questions and told stories but he only spoke a word or so each time.

So, she said we're to reschedule for a follow-up assessment in another clinic which has a more conducive environment for children. The clinic will give us a call later in the week. Overall, she said it's a good prognosis and Osh Osh will most likely grow out of this stammering phase. Let's pray that it is so.

After we finished at the hospital, we took Osh Osh to my inlaws' place so that my father in law can babysit him for a few hours while we went for our anniversary lunch. My father in law surprised me with a small bouquet of carnations and a present. It was very thoughtful of him. We had no problems leaving Osh Osh with him as Osh Osh loves playing with all the toys they have for him! He was so preoccupied with the toys that he didn't even say goodbye to us!

DH had made reservations for lunch at the Town Restaurant at Fullerton Hotel. It was a real treat for us as we seldom have time to do such things i.e. go on a date to a fancy restaurant, due to time constraints and busy schedules.

DH also bought me a bouquet of roses (see below) on Friday. I was too sick to pick up Osh Osh from his school so DH brought him home. I heard our front door open and Osh Osh's voice saying, "I want to give flowers to Mummy". My heart melted as I saw Osh Osh walk in, grinning from ear to ear, carrying the bouquet to give to me. Bless him! :)

Back to our lunch. DH had called them up earlier to request for a special setting for the table. It was so nice to see another rose arrangement on the table and yes, the bread was yummy too!

I thought that since we rarely do this, I better take photos of the food before we tuck in as momentos! :)

The appetizer - tempura soft shell crab.

My main course - John Dory (seared cod with caramelized apple).

DH's main course - Fish Maw soup - he said he wanted something light.

My favourite - the dessert. It's a miniature set of 5 different desserts (top, clockwise - creme brulee, pear pudding, chocolate mud pie, New York cheese cake and tiramisu. In the centre, a small helping of vanilla ice cream) - yummy!

We had coffee after that. It was a very nice and relaxing lunch, just to sit down and talk without any distractions and stress.
We've come a long way. DH said the 5 years of marriage hasn't been easy for both of us and he said things will get better soon. I believe him. :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

It's finally gotten to me!

The Flu bug,that is!

I wasn't feeling well since last week with a slight sore throat that just wouldn't go away. It became worse on Wednesday but I still went to work. Yesterday, I felt really ill at work but still worked a full day. By the time I got home in the evening, I wasn't much use to anyone.

This morning, I was woken up by Osh Osh coming into our room (DH was sleeping in the guest bedroom as he didn't want the alarm to disturb me - he has to go to work early). Osh Osh asked me to take off his diaper as it was wet. Then he didn't want to go back to his room and I was too tired to get out of bed so I asked him to bring his pillow over and join me in our bed.

He slept with me until his Daddy said it was time to go. Osh Osh initially didn't want to go to school and wanted to stay with me. He said, "I'm not well. I want to stay at home and sleep with Mummy". However, with some coaxing and prompting, he was ready to go.
Before he left with DH, he gave me his Spiderman soft toy and a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine (both his favourite things to take to bed nowadays) and asked me to hold them so that I would feel better.

I'm nowhere near 100% my normal self yet but at that moment, I really wanted to feel better for him! He's a sweetie!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One of those days!

I had a bad start to the morning today. Osh Osh had a bad night with a blocked nose and cough. As a result, both DH and I didn't sleep well as we had to keep going over to his room to check on him and to make him more comfortable. To make matters worse, I am still recovering from a bad sore throat myself and I had a bad day at work yesterday.

So, when I woke up this morning, I was as grumpy as a mama bear who had just discovered that all her honey was stolen! I took it out on DH and Osh Osh. Of course, I feel very very guilty and remorseful about it now but at the heat of the moment, I lost my temper at both of them. Sigh.

When we dropped off Osh Osh at school today, it was a tearful goodbye as his favourite chair was taken by another child. Somehow, he was more emotional about it today - I guess it's a spillover effect from my loss of temper at him this morning. I was already feeling very drained even though it was only 730am. DH was very nice. He drove me to work (dropped me off one station before my office) and arrived late for work himself, just so that I don't have to brave the brunt of the rushover crowd.

I hope to make amends to both of them this evening!