Tuesday, 24 February 2009

To a non-gambler

They say that marriage is a gamble. Poor gamblers lose in this game.

I wanted to agree with it, but then again, what in life isn't?

Even childbirth is a gamble. People die from it. I almost lost my life about 9 years ago due to excessive bleeding.

Academically wise, it's also a gamble, just that it's low-risk. If you study hard, and try to spot the right questions and study for them, it's just a matter of getting good and average results.

Child-raising isn't a gamble though. If you invest time and effort into it, you'll reap a harvest in time to come.

But marriage is high-risk. He put on a show for me for a year plus and I was duped $17k, with yeast infections, tons of housework and a baby thrown in.

I didn't even know what time he came home last night, or rather, this morning. I went to bed at 1.40 am and he still wasn't in sight. I called him a dozen times and it wasn't picked up. Doesn't that sound like he was bedding someone else? That sets me pondering over the marriage vow. Pastor Jimmy said that he isn't faithful to his vow. How true is that! He vowed to cherish and protect me, in sickness and in health. But during my confinement, he was resentful that I couldn't, or in his opinion, I refused, to do housework or touch water. He is even incapable of taking care of me at my weakest in my healthy state. What hope can I harbour if I ever fall ill and cannot work again? He'll probably let me starve to death if I'm bedridden.

He said that he wants to divorce me next month after getting his pay. I told my sisters and close friends. One said,"Congrat!" Another one said,"Great!" The other two said,"Let him do it. You just leave him."

Has he ever wondered what makes others say all these instead of trying to stop us from divorcing? Has he ever wondered why the whole world asked me to abort the baby the moment they heard about it?

No. It's 'their fault'. "How can anyone ever suggest an abortion?!!"

Dear sir, they suggested it for my interest. They forsee that you'll dump the baby to me. And they are right. He's progressively dumping the baby to me now. He wanted me to stop pumping milk just so that he doesn't need to wash up the pump. He refused to buy lemons to do a weekly (no, it's been at least 2 months since it was last lemon-washed) clean-up of the steriliser. As a result, the steriliser has some stubborn brown stains on the heating plate. So the milk bottles, teats and pump accessories are constantly sterilised in a dirty steriliser. Now he doesn't even wash up the milk bottles. After feeding the baby, he just leaves them there to wait for me to wash it up. He doesn't even think there's a need to brush the bottle interiors, and my hands are still numbed from pumping the milk, touching the water makes them worse, so the bottles have old milk stains in them.

Despite having a weak constitution and pumping sessions leave my hands and feet numbed, and my kneecaps cold and painful, I still want to express the milk for the baby. I tell myself that it's only up till she's 6 months, and it's only a few more weeks to go. She vomits formula milk out, and formula milk gives her hard stools. My heart aches whenever I see her pushing her stools out. And I want her to receive antibodies from me. It's not about being noble. It's just natural that a mother wants the best for her baby. It's maternal instinct. On a selfish note, it's also because I don't want to feel guilty that I'm not giving her breastmilk. It torments me.

An accident

Coco just called to say that her left thumb has been cut by a rusty scissors. I thought she'd want me to go down to her school to pick her up as usual, but she said she's calling just to let me know. The wound's been treated by the school. They are probably worried that it might developed into tetanus.

Poor Coco! I haven't got time for her since Baby has arrived. I missed her Chinese Topical Test yesterday although it was recorded in her school diary. I'm such a lousy mother.


After making several calls over a few days to different departments and a 'faulty token', as advised by the helpdesk, I'm asked to submit a hard copy of the document for AD. So that means I only need to make one trip down. Hallelujah ... perhaps I should pop a champagn to celebrate ...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Inefficient intranet

Sigh, my company called me again to ask me to return to my workplace to do the Annual Declaration. To be exact, I have to make the trip twice ie. one to get the password and another to do the AD online via the intranet. And I'm going back to work next Friday, for goodness' sake!

I really hate the intranet thing! It inconveniences us and doesn't make a lot of sense. It's supposed to protect the whole company from being hacked into or system disrupted, but in exchange for that protection, we've to be tied to our company-given malfunctioned laptops 24/7 to do some simple online tasks. It's totally inefficient and ineffective.


I can't sleep.

I think it's stress. Quite a few things on my mind. I think about divorce issues, about whether and when I should, or can, do a Masters. I'm really quite keen to do it. It's my dream to go teach at NIE eventually, provided they don't think I'm too old for them.

Baby hit her 4th month last Sunday. We took her to shave her head at the nearby shopping centre. She looks so cute. Coco and I call her 'boh tak'.

She's wearing size L for her diapers and is comfortable in her 20-month-old cousin's t-shirt. She's outgrown all her 'newborn to 3 months' baby shirts!

Monday, 9 February 2009


William got this for the baby:
She looked like she really enjoyed it when we put her in. She loves hitting at the orange rattler which gives off a chime when hit.

And now I know why it's called a 'bouncer'. It really bounces lightly when pressure is applied on the top edge. Baby enjoys it immensely. She gets really quiet when I 'bounce' it. And there's this cute vibration mode where the bouncer vibrates lightly to calm the baby.

Love this purchase!

Oh, it comes with a cute name 'Flutterbye Dreams Flutter & Chime' Bouncer.

Going back to work dream

I had a dream about going back to work this morning.

I dreamt that I waited for a bus at Tampines where my alma mater is, and in the dream, I lived in one of the flats there.

Many buses came and went.

All of a sudden, I realised I didn't know where my company was located!

Then my bus came. It didn't stop. I ran after it. Just before I boarded the bus, I realised I didn't have my shoes on!

I decided not to go to work barefooted and would call in sick for the day.

Then I woke up and was glad that it wasn't real.

I wonder if the dream is a hint at my reluctance to return to work.

Chest-heaving problem

Coco got a tongue-lashing from me this morning.

I'd asked her to use her respiratory products at least 3 times within a span of 15 minutes and she hadn't. When I checked with her for the 3rd time, she said she couldn't find it. I was mad with her,"How could you not know where it is when you'd used it last night?!!"

She thought for a second and looked at me,"It's on the bed."

She went there to get them. They were not there.

She went to her room to find them. They were not there.

I got impatient. The schoolbus would arrive anytime and we were still searching ardously for her stuff which should have been used and kept at a designated place.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps she'd bluffed me about using them last night. I went to my bag to search for them and true enough, they were there. She hadn't used them last night when she told me she had!

I exploded,"You lied to me! You didn't use them at all last night!"

I don't know what's wrong with children nowadays. Instructions have to be given 3 to 4 times before they start to listen. And I don't know what's wrong with the way I bring Coco up. She wasn't like that before she went to school. Now she lies to me on the smallest thing, and she actually believes her own lies. She thought she'd used the products when she hadn't, just because she lied to me that she had.

No amount of pep talks seem to work on her.

I've educated - ok, nagged - at her on how her respiratory stuff are vital for her life. They are literally her life-savers. She has to use them twice a day faithfully. If she doesn't, her lungs are going to be spoiled and she won't be able to eat ice-cream or cold stuff even when she becomes an adult. She won't be able to do strenuous exercises or camp or hike either because she wouldn't have strong or healthy lungs.

I got the polyclinic doctor who sees her regularly to monitor her condition to talk to her about using them faithfully on her own.

She doesn't seem to get it.

What else can I do?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

On how to deal with scam calls

I got this off a teacher's blog on how to handle a telemarketer's call.

It's very amusing. It's about how the one who's called scaring the daylight out of the telemarketer.

I thought you really need to have a powerful and extremely fluent command of a language before you can do that though.

The blogger himself is a funny fellow. This is how he handled the 'chinese women scam who tell you that you have won 1st/2nd/3rd (delete whichever not applicable) prize and you are to collect it':

Me: Harlow ( in my most bored tone)

Lady: (in a chipmunky excited voice) hello, is that mr ng wei kwang?

Me: Yes speaking

Lady: Mr Ng, I am calling regarding the survey you did the last time.

Me: Huh?

Lady: Mr Ng, you have won 3rd prize! they are calling out your number here at the genting convention centre. Where are you?

Me: I am here! I am here! I am walking to the podium now.

Lady : (silence)

Me: Yes Yes YEs I have won! I am walking over now, did you see me, I am waving to you, yes, me in the blue polo shirt I am coming over now, wait wait wait

Dead tone on the other side.


I was at Lot 1 last Sunday and Coco wanted to have Delifrance breads. I took out the $10 voucher my company gave me for my birthday in November last year and wanted to use it. Before I did, something in me sounded a warning bell and I asked the counter staff if the voucher can still be used.

Sure enough, the voucher was expired.

No date, no stamp.

The staff told me that their vouchers are valid for a year starting from the date of purchase so my voucher would have been bought in 2007.


Good Mothers Bad Mothers

Back in Malaysia last week, I was warming up the breastmilk when my cousin's wife saw it and she told me how 'stupid' a mother she had been. She said that she warmed up her milk and gave it to her baby without checking the temperature. As it turned out, the milk wasn't sufficiently warmed and her baby suffered inflammation of intestines. She only knew it after he passed out black stool and they took him to a doctor.

During those 2 days, I'd observed that she's a meticulous and loving mother. She was a typical, classic loving and gentle mother to her child. I'd commented,"You look like a typical mother." and she quickly retorted,"No. I make the worst mother on the face of this earth."

It set me thinking about how I used to blame myself for everything that's turned out not-so-good on Coco. It also dawned on me on how good mothers are usually the ones who feel guilty while the lousy ones don't feel a thing towards their own children, much less feel bad.

We feel guilty about not being able to breastfeed our babies, or stopping breastfeeding, since there are mothers who breastfeed for 2 or 3 years. We feel guilty about not being there for our children when we have to work full-time to earn money to support them. We feel guilty when our children suffer setbacks. We feel guilty when our children get the hereditary asthma which comes with eczema.

How about the bad mothers?

A Japanese mother left her 6-year-old with a few tens to look after her twin babies for more than 10 days while she went gallivanting with her boyfriend and gave the lousy excuse that she was sick of taking care of children and wanted to get away from all this. When one of the twins died of starvation, covered with faeces and vomit, while the other suffered from dehydration, she put the blame on the poor 6-year-old son. The son actually said,"My mother says I'm responsible ..."

A British mother allowed her 17-month-old toddler to be tortured to death by her boyfriend while she msned on her computer. She allowed the child to starve. He had to rush to pick up breadcrumbs left by other kids to 'fill' his stomach. When that's not enough, he ate the soil in the garden.

Another Caucasian mother (I didn't read the details as it's too cruel) joined her boyfriend in beating her 2-year-old toddler to death just because the little girl forgot to say 'please' and 'thank you' to the boyfriend. The toddler had reached out to the mother and said,"I love you." to try to stop the beating. But they didn't bother.

What about all these lousy mothers?

They really deserve to die and burn in hell. Instead of protecting their children, they joined hands with their cruel boyfriends to torture and murder their own flesh and blood.

It may be a loser's mentality, but I try not to feel guilty towards Coco on many counts although I'm doing it not-so-well, like the times when she goes to school without breakfast. I think about these mothers and tell myself that there're worse mothers out there and it's not as if I deliberately deprive her of her breakfasts.

I try very hard to give her whatever I can afford. I don't force her to do things that she hates. I try to coach her in her studies despite my impatience. I try very hard to suppress my 'tsk's when she doesn't know how to answer a question.

It was inconceivable for me whenever I read those sob-sob stories about how mothers had to prostitute themselves for the sake of their children. Subconsciously, I felt that these women actually don't mind being prostitutes and children's livelihood is merely a glorified excuse. After all, they could work as blue-collar workers (if they are not very educated) and take up 2 or 3 jobs if they really want.

Now that I'm a mother, I can understand these women's mentality and what goes through their mind. I can do anything for my babies as long as they don't end up like me. I want to give them a good life. By 'a good life', it means not scraping at the bottom of the barrel. It means to enjoy good, quality material things, to have a future with hope, to be able to realise their dreams and that's the least a parent could do for his or her children.

Good mothers don't deserve to make to feel less than they are. They don't deserve to feel bad or guilty after all that they have done. Good mothers deserve a break.


It was a mad rush this morning.

I'd woken up when the alarm clock beeped at 5 a.m. but I went back to steal a wink too many. It was 5.32 a.m. when I opened my eyes again! The schoolbus comes at 5.35 a.m.

Amazingly, Coco managed to put on her school uniform and shoes and socks within these few minutes and rushed down to catch the schoolbus. Thankfully, the bus driver called William to check if Coco is going to school and that gave us another minute's grace for the preps.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Some studio pics

Really tempted to get a DSLR to take my own pics of the kids. Look at what difference a camera makes:

I'd given Coco the choice of taking individual pics or combined pics with Baby but the good-natured and loving girl insisted on taking pics with Baby. The reason I got her to choose was because taking individual pics would chalk up another $25.

My beloved

Here's a pic of the pretty girl with hair tied in a high ponytail by her good friend Tian Tian ...

Baby's stuff review and CNY

I'm so glad I bought the Fisher Price Rainforest cot mobile. The baby is entertained for 18 minutes when I need to do my own things for a while. Of course I don't expect her to be mesmerised by the mobile all the time. Sometimes she wants people to be around her to appreciate the mobile together with her. It's amazing!

Using the word 'appreciate' is not an overstatement. She coos and squeals as the mobile rotates. She looks at the creatures on the mobile intently and is totally interested in them.

The swing is also a worthy purchase. She loves the swing. She actually smiles at me when I put her in the swing even before it starts going about its action. When she's tired, and even when she's not, the swing lulls her to sleep with its motion.
Sleeping in her pink netted bouncer ...
I totally love this picture I took after one of her baths!I took her back to Malaysia for Chinese New Year.

This is the siblings' pic:

I placed her side by side with my cousin's precious son:

"Who's this??? Why in the world are we put together?"

Precious son's father,"Come, take a picture together!"
"Hai ya! This is so irritating!"

Baby with a glum look ...

"Lemme outta here!!! WAAAAA .... ...!!!"

Baby,"I didn't even say anything about you outraging my modesty."

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Economic crisis worries

Honestly, I haven't really experienced the effects of the economic crisis yet, except that my year-end bonus suffered quite a bit.

I'm still buying things off the internet. I bought off 3 pettiskirts ie. for Coco, Baby and my cousin's daughter as a gift, which I really think would delight her when she sees it.

Now I'm eyeing a Fisher Price bouncer.

The phrase "Enjoy your baby" is so true - when you still enjoy an income while taking care of the baby though.

I'm quite worried for my brother though. He's not been able to secure a job despite going for interviews. I think it's because he's too much of an introvert. Employers don't seem to delight in introverts for some reason. I guess employers do want all-talk-and-no-action people rather than work-hard-till-I-die people because the former would bootlick and say all the good stuff they want to hear while the latter don't know the art of flattery.

Aftermath of confinement

In another 4 weeks and I'll be back in school.

To update on my ailment, I no longer have backache (hallelujah!). However, my hands still experience numbness from touching water during confinement; my kneecaps are painful from coldness and my feet hurt when they touch the floor if I don't keep exercising them.

I' m trying as much as possible not to touch water. If need be, I use water that's boiled and cooled mixed with hot water.

I hope that by the time I go to school, all these ailments will go away. They must go away.