Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Of course, the school has been very nice and not setting any sort of deadline, but I have a personal deadline of this Friday, I'm not sure if I can make it.
I spoke with the previous layout person who somehow managed to put the newsletter together (beautifully!) between chemotherapy treatments. Hmmm.. And I thought I my hands were full.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Besides, cutting my finger on the first day and burning my finger on the second, so far so good. Well, right now, I still don't have the overall pictures on cooking. Like, time, amounts, flavors, intensity of the heat, what kind of sequencing that it requires?, etc. But, I believe I will familiar myself on that, hopefully, pretty soon. After that, I think then I can follow recipes more closely. The only recipe I am using right now is "better ingredients, better food [pizza]" by Papa Johns. It works. It can gloss over a lot of my in-experience on cooking. And Mom is gracious enough to finish her portions of my cooking and has never complained.
On our 36th wedding anniversary, Mom said it was more practical to buy this pot of shrubs than to buy a dozen of gorgeous roses. I did just that and it turns into a pot of lovely flowers. Just look.
That evening, we went to a restaurant to have dinner together around 5:30 PM. It was pretty early for dinner. Anyway, there was a couple sitting right next to us and celebrating their anniversary too. They have married for, oh just 53 years. Time really flies.
Vince is teaching me about becoming more social and not to take things too seriously when it comes to hanging out with other folks. I watch him on the playground and I see him fearlessly go up to kids and say hi and then try and corral them into playing with him. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and either way is OK with him. He's teaching me that you just have to try and hang out with people, you never know who will be your next friend.
Edda is teaching me that everyday that I am alive and well is a gift. She is teaching me that no one can predict the future - so each day you need to do what you think is important and good.
My two children are teaching me that I must not take for granted the people that are around me - they are what make my world interesting and meaningful. I have made an effort this week to make dates - going to the zoo, hanging out and having coffee, having a playdate - with people I've known and people I'm getting to know and people I don't know very well at all. You never know who is going to be your next friend or if a friend that you've known for a long time will move far away sometime soon and you won't be able to see them for a long time. I'm trying not to procrastinate or be too busy (or too lazy) for these things.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Too bad, I'm thinking about sending a reply - after all she seemed cool and was kinda cute - but seems like too much a business thing, and it's a bit shady for me to cross that line.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tonight, Jeremy's company had a party at our condo. Four of Jeremy's coworkers live where we live and one of them decided to have a catered party and invite 30 coworkers over to the function room. At the beginning of the party, Edda was starving and was screaming her head off, so she and Jeremy retreated to our apt while Vince worked the room.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I was looking at the map last night to find out where I was suppose to drive to and I was so confused - the address seemed to take up the whole end of the street. Could this one house actually occupy a whole street-end-worth of land? I mentioned it to Jeremy and I was so excited, I have actually never been to a landed house before - that is, a house that is sitting on it's own land with lawn all around it. (Our apt is about 1100 sq. ft. and there are a bazillion units in our condo complex which takes up a city block - typical singapore living arrangement.) So a house is very rare indeed. Imagine my surprise when I drove up and saw this:
Beautiful old colonial house with verandahs and everything! You just need to sit back under the ceiling fans and drink your gin and tonics.
Lovely place and lovely party. Exploring the grounds, meeting the dogs, face painting and jumping on trampoline.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Tonight we had a lamb roast. Donald was the chef as he was the one who put the premarinated meat into the oven. (a hint for you dad! roasts are easy!) Edda for some reason has taken a liking to meat - I don't know what happened, but I'll take it! Vince, of course, is still our carb boy - plain noodles and rice supplemented with large glasses of milk/juice and carrots.
I started the Icarus Shawl. It's going well - slowly but surely. I should join some sort of KAL. Hmmmm..
Sunday, August 20, 2006
We brought our headphones with us and Edda spent the whole 90 minutes at dim sum happily eating her oranges and listening to Abba. Dancing Queen rules! I was really impressed.
We ran back home to meet Gowri, our sitter, at 12:30 pm and then the big kids took off to the MacRitchie Resevoir Treetop Walk. We walked about 5 km in the rainforest, the highlight being this suspension bridge through the canopy of the rainforest. It was very hot but we did manage OK. We did sweat a lot - Jeremy took off his shirt because he needed to use it to wipe off his sweat - but it meant exposing his pale-white office worker skin to the blazing sun. We did have sunscreen, so his tender skin was well protected.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Following the example of another family who has a daughter with Rett, we are bringing music along for Edda. Jeremy's setting up her stroller with a portable sound system and also Edda's going to have her own iPod and headphones. It really allows her to regulate herself in unfamiliar environments.
Vince has his first swim lesson today. It went just fine - much better than last year when he refused to go to the deep pool and was freaked out by the teacher speaking in Chinese to some of her students.
We went out to eat fish head curry and we found a nice playground at the local mall.
Edda loved it.
Friday, August 18, 2006
This has been a week punctuated with friends and family and bits of lost sleep. Donald's friend Choon is in town and I'm living vicariously through them to experience the night life of Singapore.
We are all daytime creatures, unknowing of dinners out and what happens in the dark in Singapore. The kids are in bed by 8, so we hang out at home. This week, Donald's been out at night, so when he comes home the next day, I ask what it was like and I remember what it was like for me to go out at night.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
This is the shawl I've been invited to knit with my SP, she provided the pattern and the yarn and also the motivation! It's a beautiful thing, so wonderful and I am so overwhelmed by it. I'll have to go rummaging for some needles and then I'll take a deep breath and start.
I have been a bit down recently. Looking into the uncertain future and feeling melancholy - nothing too serious. Here's Edda and Ranjit - her speech therapist who comes to our house, she's one of the most upbeat, encouraging and cheerful person. Actually, most of the people I've met who work with special needs kids are irrationally optimistic.
It's been raining and Vince loves the puddles, it makes walking to the mall a bit wetter and slower.
Monday, August 14, 2006
I told Mom I only complained about her cooking twice for all these years. Hope she will not complain too much. She didn't.
As a matter of fact, she saw I was very busy tonight and offered to wash the dishes. It was awful nice of her. BTW, I cut myself. She even didn't know.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Saturday, August 12, 2006
We went back last weekend to Washington DC and surprised to find three melons hung there. Ms. Ling already took three. There are four additional ones there. Not bad for remote green thumbs.
The bitter melons are from our apartment patio in Aiken, SC. Not bad at all too.
At the counter, the lady didn't even question why I was checking in so early. I showed her all the things I wanted to take with me, my wallet, my passport, a 7 page document I wanted to review and a pen to write comments on this document. She gives me a clear plastic bag and points me to security. Another very long line despite that it was moving faster that usual because no one had all the carry-ons to deal with. I make it through security and then they take my pen away - so much for trying to do anything work related on my 15+ hour crusade of trying to get back home.
The best thing that was in the suitcase was this fabulous remote control car that Vince loves! It drives really well and fast too.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 9, 2006
Donald left today for Malaysia, he'll be back soon.
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
I got some of my own "alone time" at Edda's school today - I hid out in an unused speech therapy room. I knit for the first time in a while.
I finished a sock for Vince a while ago, my first attempt at short row toes and heels, it's working out OK, but I wish I had a local SnB to hang with, I think I'm doing something a bit wrong and I want someone to eyeball what I'm doing. But I have no pals around - so trial and error..
And finally we went to the Night Safari! And even though it was past everyone's bedtime, no one cried or flipped out! And we had ice cream too.
Monday, August 7, 2006
Sunday, August 6, 2006
We showed him the wonders of our neighborhood - the sand park (which has lots of sand). Vince finds friends. Edda eats sand and drives a firetruck.
For lunch we went to a hawker center filled with a million people selling a million things and got into the longest lines figuring that everyone else knew what was good.
Jeremy showed off his fruit prep skills. He's enamored by the fruit lady at his work, he's trying to be as skillful as she is with a knife. This spiral cut allows you to cut off all the spines without losing a lot of the fruity goodness. (God, Jeremy looks a lot like Vince in this picture.)
Saturday, August 5, 2006
Friday, August 4, 2006
We went to the Discovery Center on a small bus and we go to the army camp to see different kinds of armies and buildings. Won't you see the Discovery Center with me? You like me and I like you. And something new is happening tomorrow. And I like to go upside-down. Won't you come and see me upside-down.
Thursday, August 3, 2006
It was kind of a bummer visit with this neurologist. I was not surprised with the news, I was just surprised with her bed side manner. We had been to this neurologist before and I was impressed with her style and her eagerness to help. Perhaps she was just having a bad day (a fight with her husband, an upset stomach, sick kid) , or maybe she just felt bad delivering this news because there was basically nothing for her to do about it.
I was most upset about her phrase "buying time". That all we can do is just prolong the time that Edda has before her brain turns into mush. Hey, Edda is learning stuff every day and she's learning to climb up stairs and she's learning to make choices in what she eats and does. Her brain is making these connections through the massive electrical storm going on inside her head. It's a tough thing, but she's doing it her own way.
Anyways, life is terminal. We are all buying time until our brains turn to mush.
Wednesday, August 2, 2006
It puts me on edge. I'm hauling kids around and I'm cranky. I snipe at Vince when he dawdles getting in and out of the car. Edda has been in a two-week long screaming-her-head-off-for-no-apparent-reason phase. It's really hard to keep yourself together with a two year old screaming into your ear.
Anyways, a therapist was at our house and I took Vince to the local McDonald's so we could split some fries. (yummy!) Vince was running all over the place. I finally sat him down in front of his fries and I was enjoying my first relaxing moment of the day. It lasted about 2 seconds.
There were 3 girls (maybe 13 years old) sitting across from us and they were having a grand ol' time. They were pelting French fries at each other. Now I'm no party pooper. A few thrown fries are OK. But then it kept going on and on and on. Fries were flying everywhere. It was getting into a baby's pram, it was threatening schoolbooks, it was making a huge pile on the floor. The McDonald's was crowded. No one was making them stop, everyone was annoyed.
I finally yelled at them to stop. The kids stopped promptly and then picked up their bags and left. I would have never done it in the US. I'm sure US teenagers would have flipped me the bird and yelled some obscenity.
I used to think that I would never yell at my kids in a public place. Today I've sunk to a new low. I've yelled at other people's kids in public place. Sheeze. Never say never.
Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Now that I've been on them for a while, I feel very even keeled on most days - capable of making prudent decisions for my family and even enjoying myself in the process. Woo hoo! Thank goodness someone invented SSRIs! Yeah for science!
Anyways, I go to a psychatrist in Singapore to get my prescription and I saw him for the first time a few months ago and I didn't have either kid with me and I mumbled something about Edda being developmentally delayed, but I don't think he really heard me. I didn't have Edda's Rett diagnosis at the time. Anyhow, he sized me up as a directionless housewife whose husband travels a lot and the kids/cleaning/cooking are being taken care of by household help and gave me a few months of pills.
When my pills were starting to run out, I went to see him again. Here's how the conversation went:
Psychiatrist: So you are looking good!
Me: Thanks! I feel good too.
P: So are you interested in doing some volunteer work? I can put you in touch with some organizations?
M: (thinking, huh? but always optimistic that I can squeeze some volunteer work into my schedule) Umm. Sure, are there any you recommend?
(insert 5 minute talk about volunteering in Singapore)
P: So are you sleeping well?
M: Well, I would be sleeping better if I didn't have any kids.
P: (looking at his records) Your kids are 4 and 2, they should be sleeping well by now.
M: Oh, my daughter has Rett Syndrome, so she doesn't sleep that well.
P: (blink, blink) Oh, that's very rare.
M: Well, not in my house.
P: With the hands (he flaps his hands) and the autism?
P: I'm a child psycologist and I've only seen one other case, you know it's a life long affliction?
M: (!!) Yes, I know! Why do you think I need antidepressants?!?
P: How many pills do you need?
He told me to forget about the volunteering.