Friday, November 28, 2008

Something's got to give

I just came out of Osh Osh's room. Sat there for a while, watching him sleep. I had to hold back my tears.

It's been a stressful 2 days for me. Work has been particularly demanding and my superiors have been doubting my judgment calls which makes it a very difficult environment to work in.

Osh Osh's school is closed for 2 days due to their annual spring cleaning so he's at home with me while I try to do my work. I asked my inlaws to come over and help but it didn't turn out well. They try to help and have good intentions but Osh Osh has been very clingy to me these past 2 days.

For example, this morning as I was typing on my notebook, the phone rang and someone from work wanted to discuss something with me. Then Osh Osh came over to the dining table where I was seated and kept asking me to play with him. My inlaws were trying their best to tend to him but he raised his voice and kept asking for me. It was so frustrating and my colleague could hear all the commotion that was going on. So, finally, I had to hang up and scolded Osh Osh for behaving so badly. Argh, I am so frustrated and drained.

I just feel so overwhelmed and stretched! It's as though I'm going to collapse under this heavy load of juggling work and family. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Expectations of me at work have increased because everyone is expected to deliver more given the current economic crisis and also company reorganization. As a result of my work stress, I'm short tempered with Osh Osh, DH and my inlaws. Everyone just seems so miserable now.

Something's got to it my job or my family? If I give up my job, does it mean I'm giving up "my life", the life I have other than being DH's wife and Osh Osh's Mummy? If I "give up" my family, I would hate myself for it. How do I decide?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Busy Bumblebee

I've been busy as a bee today…a bumblebee to be exact!

What's the story? Well, Osh Osh has a list of the toys he wants for Christmas. Yes, a list at his age! As you know, he loves Ben 10. One of his favourite Ben 10 alien is Four Arms (a big red guy with yes, you guessed it…4 arms!) and he wants the action figurine of it. He also wants Power Rangers. I don't know why and I don't like them.

He doesn't watch them on tv so he may have picked it up from his friends at school or maybe he saw some adverts on the toys on tv, in between his Ben 10 programme. He has also asked for a caterpillar toy (I guess that must have stemmed from The Very Hungry Caterpillar play) but we're not getting him that. On top of all that, he's been asking for the entire Transformers toys collection!

Last night, we spoke to him and told him that we can't buy all of the toys he wants as they are very expensive. Daddy and Mummy don't have so much money to buy so many toys. We need money for food! ;) We proposed to buy just one Transformers toy for him and that's Bumblebee because it's cute, Osh Osh likes it and so does DH! He thought about it and said ok. He also said that if we can't find the Bumblebee toy, we don't have to buy him anything! That really moved me, considering the length of his Christmas list (which he formulated last month) and how persistent he's been in asking for them. To move from that to this i.e. being happy if we can't buy him anything for Christmas made me go, "Wow!"

So, today during my lunch time, I went to Toys R Us which is in the mall near my office. Unfortunately, this particular Toys R Us outlet ran out of the Bumblebee toy. I asked one of the customer care consultants to call up the outlets and guess what?? They all ran out of the Bumblebee toy!!! They told me it’s one of their best sellers and they don't know if they will be able to replenish their stock in time for Christmas.

I panicked! DH and I had seen it in a small toy shop over the weekend but we didn't buy it as we thought we could get it easily at any other toy shop including the one near our home. We also didn't want to get it as Osh Osh was with us and we didn't want him to see it. As DH and I are really busy during weekdays and he's got to work this weekend (and I have to attend a parents teachers meeting on Saturday), I decided to rush to that toy shop (about 1/2 hour journey by train from my work place) to buy Bumblebee. I was feeling stressed, tired and hungry as I haven't had time for lunch but I just wanted to get it. Osh Osh has been so good and well behaved lately that I feel I owe it to him to get that toy for him.

When I arrived at the shop, I quickly went to the display area of the Transformers toys. At first, I couldn't see the Bumblebee toy! I felt so disappointed. Then I went behind the display and there was a stack of boxes and Bumblebee was sitting right on top of that stack! Hooray! It was also the last one left so I grabbed it! I got carried away and bought Prowl too (another Transformers robot which can turn into a motorcycle which Osh Osh likes too) as that was also the last item left. I've not decided if we will give Prowl to him for Christmas or whether we will save it for another special occasion.
I took the train back, had a very quick lunch (about 10mins) and rushed back to work. Luckily, my workload today is not that heavy and I can breathe a little. Whew!

I can't help but think how my antics today somehow resembled Arnold Schwarzenegger's crazy Dad character, albeit I was less crazy!, in an old Christmas movie titled Jingle All The Way in 1996. Here's the link on the movie.

The things parents do for their kids!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Capterpillar and Christmas Tree

This weekend is an eventful one. Yesterday, we took Osh Osh to his very first children's play, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites. It's a puppet show by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Canada. The puppets are painted in bright colours and against the "black" light, they glow in the dark. Very colourful and entertaining and all the kids who were there loved it. You could hear the squeals of laughter and excitement in the entire theatre hall.

There were 3 stories, The Little Cloud (about a little cloud wandering off on its own and having some fun transforming itself to different objects), The Mixed-Up Chameleon (a chameleon with an identity crisis, not believing that it can be happy with its true self - I can relate to that!) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (this caterpillar can really eat!).

Osh Osh was excited and kept asking where is the Caterpillar. That's the only character he really interested in although he did laugh when he saw the chameleon. The whole play lasted about 45 minutes and Osh Osh was tired 2/3 through the play. To him, the Caterpillar was a no show! He felt that the Caterpillar had stood him up! He started to cry. I comforted him and kept saying the Caterpillar will be out soon. He sobbed into my chest as I carried him on my lap.

When the Caterpillar finally showed up, Osh Osh was still crying. I guess he was so overwhelmed with emotions: the long wait for his much anticipated character, the fact that he was also hungry and the dark theatre. All these factors contributed to his mixed up and uncontrollable emotions.

However, it didn't take him long to be his happy self again. He watched keenly as the Caterpillar ate through lots of fruits and food. Each time the Caterpillar finished eating something, it would kick away the remnants of the food with its tail end. Very funny!

Towards the end of the play when the puppeteers came out to explain how they manipulated the puppets to make those moves, Osh Osh was already walking about, exploring his surroundings. I'm glad we went, despite the short crying spell. Overall, I think it was a good experience for him and for us.

Here are some momento shots:

Today, we put up the Christmas tree together. Osh Osh was asking about his Christmas tree every time he saw one in the shops. So, I couldn't put it off any longer. This year, I must admit, this tree is all "him". I assembled the tree but he coordinated and put the decorations up by himself. What he couldn't do (either because it was too high or too awkward for him), he asked me or his Daddy to help him. He was so thrilled when he saw the end result of his tree. I'm very proud of his efforts too. What do you think?

I told him that this Christmas tree was put up by us as a family and he happily repeated that statement. It's indeed a warm feeling; akin the ones you get when you watch one of those soppy Christmas movies on Christmas eve in the comfort of your home.

Right now, my little man is playing on my bed with his army soldiers and dinosaurs (I think they are preparing for war) while Mummy has some time to herself on the computer. Bless his heart! ;)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mummy's blown away!

Today is a big day for all of us! Osh Osh is performing on stage for the first time in his life. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, he was very secretive about what he will be doing even until last night. I was anxious, nervous and excited for him. I kept thinking to myself, "Will he get stage fright? Will he cry? Will he fall down?", etc...yes, this Mummy is a professional worrier!

So, yes, I know you're all dying to hear how it went. It was AWESOME! He is really a star performer!

I was blown away. DH was there with my inlaws too and I think they were all very moved. I was already crying even before he came on stage. One of the teachers had put together a powerpoint presentation of photos of the kids in the school and when I saw Osh Osh's happy and mischievous face on the large screen, I just cried! Sob Sob Sob...I am such a softie!

For the first performance, Osh Osh had to perform a happy dance with his classmates and the theme is National Day so they came out in really nice traditional costumes. He was wearing a white long sleeved Chinese top with matching trousers and had bells tied around his wrists for the added musical touch.

We were blessed as we had front row seats and it was a great view. Osh Osh saw us but he kept so composed. He smiled and carried on with the routine. We could see that he put so much of his heart and soul into the dance steps. I thought he was so mature and disciplined! That was the first moment Mummy was blown away.

The second performance was even more amazing. The kids played Chinese drums so they each had a little drum to themselves. Again, it was a Chinese outfit but this time, it was gold (now, I don't have to buy Osh Osh any more new clothes for Chinese New Year next year!). Osh Osh was really into it. He was doing all the right moves. He knew exactly when to drum, when to wave his drumsticks into the air, when to tap his drumsticks together for the beat and when to turn around and jump. I am so amazed. Yes, I was blown away again!

The grand finale was about 20 minutes later when all the other classes had finished their respective performances. Osh Osh came out on stage with everyone else and just swayed to the music. The older kids sang but he didn't. He looked so happy.

Finally, the teachers made all of them sit down on stage and came the roll call. The parents are to come to the front of the stage to collect their child when their child's name is called. When it came to Osh Osh's name being called, he ran down the stage stairs and jumped straight into my arms. I was so filled with pride and a certain type of feeling that I can't quite describe. "Mummy" feeling, I guess.

All of us lavished him with praises and hugs and kisses. He performed so well, beyond my wildest expectations! I am so impressed and he has shown me a different side of him. I should have never underestimated him. He's grown up so much. There goes that "Mummy" feeling again...where are my tissues???

By the way, my star performer is having a much deserved nap now. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The "heal all ills" bath

What is the cure for all ills? I believe I have found the secret! A nice long hot relaxing soak in the bath tub!

I know what you're thinking...I've lost my marbles. How can a bath cure all ills? Bear with me as I explain.

I had a very tough 2 days.

Work: I've been cooped up in a meeting room all of Monday and today with an entourage of high level top management team from London. It's been extremely "brain-draining" on all of us who participated as they demanded so much out of us.

Osh Osh: The specialist doctor on children's speech told us that Osh Osh requires fortnightly therapy. Her prognosis was good but we still have to go through the motions.

Relationships: I've had a horrible quarrel with my inlaws tonight. You can sum it up as expectations not met. I've not spent much time with DH as I was home late last night due to an obligatory work dinner and tonight, he's on shift duties and won't be home.

After my inlaws left and I settled down, I spent some quality time with Osh Osh, assuring him that Mummy may have gone bonkers but she still loves him very much.

After he was sound asleep, I ran the hot water into the tub, together with seaweed bath salts. I applied tea tree facial mask on my face and a hair mask for my hair (to improve his its shine and softness). Then I played one of my favourite Norah Jones CD. When I soaked in the tub for 20 minutes, all my tension, worries, guilt and frustration melted away. I didn't want to get out but the water had turned cold and I was starting to resemble an old prune!

I now feel relaxed, rejuvenated and at peace, ready for a good night's sleep. That's why my belief in a nice bath being THE cure of all ills remains ever so strong! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Making amends

We went grocery shopping this morning. DH wanted me to cook some noodle soup for lunch and I wanted to have breakfast outside for a change. Osh Osh didn't want to go out as he rather stay home to play with his toys and watch tv but of course, we couldn't let him stay home alone.

Anyway, off we went. DH bought a nice breakfast meal for Osh Osh in return for his word that he will behave well when we go to the supermarket. It tends to be quite crowded during weekends, as expected, as that's the time everyone has time to do their groceries.

DH brought Osh Osh around the supermarket while I quickly went around the aisles getting the ingredients I needed. By the time, we regrouped at the check-out counter, DH was angry and scolding Osh Osh. It appeared that Osh Osh was kicking up a fuss, asking DH to buy him some corn chips but DH refused as they were the spicy ones, meant for adults. Still, Osh Osh refused to listen and gave DH a hard time. The supermarket was crowded and noisy so you can guess that didn't help calm DH down.

DH wanted to give Osh Osh a severe punishment but I didn't think it was that serious. Osh Osh was already looking very remorseful and sad. Anyway, we agreed no tv for the entire morning.

When we got home, I realised that I had forgotten to buy the most important ingredient of all...the noodles!!! DH agreed to go out to buy them. He also needed the walk, just to get some air after what had happened.

While DH was out, I talked to Osh Osh and asked him to make amends to his Daddy by doing something nice. I suggested colouring something for his Daddy. I had printed out some of his favourite Ben 10 characters from the internet. Osh Osh eagerly agreed.

Osh Osh had only started holding the pencil correctly last week. Prior to that, he was holding it with a tight fist as if he was going to "stir" the paper with the pencil. I know that a lot of kids, his age or younger, already know how to draw and colour well but I'm just glad he's ready now and he's enjoying colouring.

Here's the end results:

Four Arms is actually red and black in colour but Osh Osh wanted some variety. He tried very hard to colour within the lines and I think he did well.

XLR8 (pronounced as Accelerate) is actually blue and black but I like the purple touch (my favourite colour but no persuasion from Mummy) Osh Osh has good taste! ;).

DH had calmed down when he came home with the noodles. I can see he really liked Osh Osh's colourings and DH gave Osh Osh significant praises. It's been almost 3 hours since the incident. Osh Osh spent the rest of the morning playing by himself while DH studied and I cooked.

I guess the "making amends" idea worked as both Daddy and Son are now watching tv together! :) Mummy's happy too as she's finally having some "me" time blogging. I think I deserve a pat on the back...well done, Mummy. :) Ha ha

Friday, November 14, 2008

A much needed reprieve

A much needed reprieve just doesn't seem to be coming for me! I hate not having time to do my own things which includes blogging. Now, it seems at best, I am only able to blog once a week, on Fridays when I work from home. Sigh.

Some updates on what's been happening with us:

DH: He's still on the mend from his flu (and I think I caught it from him too as have been sniffling a lot over the past few days). He's been studying whenever he can to keep up the momentum. He's also put forward the paper work for his deferment of his national service enlistment in order for him to be able to resit the exams in April 09. Praying for a good outcome of his application to defer.

Osh Osh: We took him to his first speech therapy session on Wednesday. He was quite relaxed and happy. He didn't want to leave the clinic when it was time for us to go as they had so many toys there which he couldn't get enough of. However, I was quite surprised and upset when the speech therapist told us that Osh Osh has to attend fortnightly therapy sessions. I thought he had improved a lot in his speech and stammered less since we last saw the doctor in early September. We have another follow up appointment on Monday to see the doctor and will see what she has to say then.

Osh Osh has also been practising for his year end concert (next Friday - Nov 21) and yesterday, they had a full dress rehearsal at the concert venue. We dropped him off at school and he and his friends along with his teachers took the school bus there. When we picked him up, we were very curious as Osh Osh has not revealed to us what he and his friends will be doing for the concert. All the teachers will tell us is that it's a song and dance. I find it quite amusing that Osh Osh is so tight lipped about the whole thing. You would have thought he would eagerly want to show us his dance steps, singing his song repeatedly but nope, we couldn't pry anything out of him!

Now onto me! As I'm also feeling under the weather, I've not had any time to myself lately. Most of my 'free' time after work is spent on chores and Osh Osh. After Osh Osh goes to sleep, I sleep too as I am too tired to do anything else. DH and I haven't been had much time to sit down and talk. Our conversations are often rushed through dinner, in between chores and a few words before we sleep. I really don't want this to carry on as we're not reconnecting. It is definitely not good for the marriage in the long run. He's not working this weekend so I plan to carve out some time with just him alone.

Work wise, I've been busy attending internal workshops and meetings all focussed around the reorganization of the company and control issues. It's quite draining especially when the same things are being drummed into us again and again. The management wants each of us to sing the same tune as them so I guess an overkill of repeated information would do just the trick.

There are 2 job openings within the company that I wanted to try for. These positions would be a move up for me. However, my manager did not support my intention to apply (in the company, if you want to move internally, you would need your manager's approval first) and there were valid reasons for her decision. So, I am disappointed and feeling somewhat trapped now. I've been sitting in my current role for almost 2 years and it doesn't give me any more fulfilment.

DH said I need some time off just to relax and think things through, to chart my course for next year. So, we have planned a short break to go back to visit my parents in December. We'll let them take care of Osh Osh for a few days while DH and I find a peaceful beach resort to escape to! Praying it will do both of us good. Oh...December just seems so far away now...I can't wait to exchange the noise of heavy traffic, crowded trains and food courts, demanding work environment to the sounds of the ocean, lazy mornings and walks on the beach...

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's ok, Mummy, it's ok

I can't stay angry at Osh Osh for long. I'm not writing this because he made me angry recently. It's just that while I was doing my work today, I heard his voice in my head and it made me smile. A sense of contentment filled me.

So, what did I hear? Well, it relates back to something he did a month or two ago. I was tired after a long day at work. I wanted to get dinner ready and Osh Osh was playing with his toys on the coffee table. There were toys everywhere and not an empty place to put his plate of dinner down. I was fed up and impatient. One of those evenings when it would only just take one more thing to trigger an explosion in me.

I know not keeping his toys is not a major crime but I wasn't in the right frame of mind. I told him sternly to keep his toys and I can remember feeling tension creeping all over me.

Osh Osh looked up at me from where he was seated. He smiled and said, "It's ok, Mummy, it's ok". At that point of time, I didn't get what he meant. He repeated himself and then went back to play happily.

I can't remember exactly what happened next but I calmed down and realised that it's not the end of the world that he didn't want to keep his toys yet.

What a nice reminder to me. My 3 year old son has taught me a valuable lesson in life. No matter what happens in life, it's ok to just carry on playing...we don't have to allow stress to get the better of us.

That's why every now and again (like today) when I hear his voice saying, "It's ok, Mummy, it's ok", life just seems sweeter and I am able to smile.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Perception :

1. the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

2 the process of perceiving.

3 a way of understanding or interpreting something.

4 intuitive understanding and insight.

I extracted the above defintion from the Oxford Dictionary.

Why am I emphasizing this word? Due to a series of communications and meetings at work, I've been perceived in a way that has been negative and possibly detrimental to my appraisal at the year end.

The upper management has taken the view that I am not keen or proactive enough when it comes to my work. They feel that I should be carving out my personal time at home to make calls to my counterparts in other time zones in order to expedite matters.

That is their perception.

I believe I work hard. I put in the extra hours. I'm efficient and I act quickly, promptly and decisively.

However, I've not been one to promote myself in public. I'm one of those who do the work quietly and resolve matters on my own without making a big fuss of things.

So, what do I do now? I've been feeling low and demoralized by these comments and feedback as I have been working so hard for the past few months, fire fighting issues for the company in relation to what's been happening in the world economy. Colleagues have suggested that I have a face to face session with my manager and inform her that I don't think her perceptions and those of her superiors are right.

I'd better start thinking about writing a fabulous advertorial to start "selling" me the right way??

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Adventures with friends

This is a light hearted post which I believe is the preferred mode. Osh Osh is really into role playing and story telling lately. He has 3 very good friends now and they are: Alex the Lion (from Madagascar), a little robot he calls Transformer and Spiderman.

I got Alex from MacDonalds yesterday. They are giving away these Madagascar toys as part of the Happy Meal to promote the sequel to Madagascar. I didn't buy a Happy Meal but happened to buy breakfast at MacD and I asked the cashier to give me the toy because my son would like to have one. She was reluctant at first but I kept smiling and it worked! :)

Osh Osh is into Transformers too (the cartoon series) and the little robot was a freebie that came with a toothpaste which my inlaws brought over a few months ago. He wasn't that keen on it then but since his interest in Transformers grew, the little robot is now one of his best friends.

Spiderman is an old toy from last year. Osh Osh has always been a big fan of Spiderman and this toy is one of his all-time favourites.

Every chance Osh Osh has, he will play with his 3 friends. He makes me hold either 1 or 2 of them and he'll hold Alex (his favourite for now as Alex is the newest edition to the family). Alex will ask Transformer and Spiderman questions and I, ahem, I mean Transformer and Spiderman will reply.

The 3 friends will have adventures together. They visit each other at their homes (different locations in the living room, selected by Osh Osh and these homes match the colour of his friends, eg yellow surroundings for Alex, blue for Transformer and red for Spiderman), have dinner together, travel together, help each other out (eg. Transformer is often heavy and clumsy so Spiderman has to carry him to places) and fight and make up (they love giving each other hugs).

These 3 friends are quick to forgive each other. They are considerate as they often ask what the others want to do. My favourite "adventure" is when Osh Osh takes a book, makes them all sit in front of the book and he "reads" or rather narrates the story of the book through his own interpretation of the pictures.

Believe me, Osh Osh tells me exactly what to do and say when I role play his friends for him. If I miss a line or do something wrongly, he gets very upset...what do you think? Does he have the making of a movie director? A mother can hope...