Archive for March, 2011

Went to catch this with Joanne and Jo Claire.  I thought this show was pretty good!  The set was very innovative, the props adorable, and the narrator was good.  The only criticism I have is that the other puppeteers could have been more expressive.  They just looked like they were moving puppets around the stage rather than being part of the cast.  Don’t think the kids noticed though.

Our version of the book had rabbits which ostracised the poor Ugly Duckling, but the show didn’t though, and Asher kept asking me where the rabbits were.  Tried the truth (that this version doesn’t have it), but eventually had to use the Mummy-tale method…”the rabbits are shy and so are hiding backstage”.  He accepted that.  I wonder if such things count as lies?  I wonder whether Mary ever had to use such devices with Jesus…though I’m sure being perfect he would have known anyway and not asked about the rabbits in the first place.

Hanging out after the show

Read Full Post »

A Speedy Recovery

We’re home!  Ellery was discharged on Sunday afternoon.  The doctors were surprised at how quickly his condition worsened from the first A&E visit to the next where his chest scan went from clear, to showing an infection.  But the doctors were also surprised at how quickly Ellery was recovering. 

Praise God!  And thanks for your prayers :)

The doctors suspect that what happened was, Ellery caught a cough, then possibly coughed when drinking milk resulting in the milk going down the wrong pipe and entering the lungs.  An infection in the top right lobe of the lung, where his was, is usually the outcome of swollowing milk into the lungs.  That would explain why his condition deteriorated so quickly.

But by the middle of the second day, Ellery didn’t need to wear the oxygen mask anymore because the oxygen saturation in his blood was above 95%, the safe level.  It was hovering around 90% when he was first admitted.  Then by the evening he could be taken off the drip.  One more day of nebulizers and suctioning away of mucous, and he was deemed well enough to return home.

And it seems he knows what home is.  When we got back he suddenly became very happy and smiled and smiled and smiled!  It was as if he knew his hospital stay was over and he was home :)

One downside of the episode is that my milk supply seems to have dwindled.  He hardly drank, if at all.  Yes, I could possibly have tried to express more, but a combination of factors made it quite difficult.  Hmm…hoping it’ll get better soon! 

The other downside is…he’s rejecting the bottle now!!!  Since he fell ill I stopped giving him a bottle cos…well…so poor thing…he couldn’t even drink from me properly!  And then here we are almost two weeks later and he’s turning his nose up at the bottle :(  Hope this isn’t permanent!

Read Full Post »

A Turn For The Worse

*WARNING:  If you are afraid of stories involving blood, skip this post*

Last Friday we saw the GP (our pedi was closed), he just gave paracetamol for the fever.  Said to come back if it doesn’t get better in 2 days.  Then on Sunday night Ellery’s fever rocketed to 39.7 after sponging.  He vomited as well after a coughing fit.  That was 330am, so we went to NUH A&E.  The scan ruled out a chest infection and the blood test was clear.  They said to have follow up check up with our pedi in 1 week.  But after last night’s multiple coughing episodes, we decided to see the pedi in advance of the appointment.  It was the first time I saw our pedi look grave.  He noticed instantly that Ellery was lethergic, and after a quick examination said he had a chest infection.  He wrote me a referral to go to NUH A&E.  Said probably need to be warded for 3-5 days, don’t wait, go now.

I did drop by home (it’s on the way to the hospital) to pick up a bag of stuff, including my breastpump which I desperately needed since Ellery wasn’t drinking.  I could already feel the tenderness from the accumulating milk.  I didn’t want to get mastitis in the process!

Was shuffled into isolation cos he had a fever plus a cough.  As per routine they took a scan and a blood test.  But oh man…the doc couldn’t find his vein and pricked and pricked his little hand so many times!!

They said they were going to extract the blood using a plug to allow for a drip later.  Then Doc #1 inserted and reinserted no less than 7 times on the right hand, and another 3 times on the left hand before she got it into the vein!  Then she squeezed and squeezed so hard because she didn’t quite get it perfectly done, so had to squeeze extra hard to get the blood out.  So…because it wasn’t done properly they had to pull the plug out…and do it again!!!

Thankfully Doc #2 came along and did it, and she was much more experienced.  She ended up putting the plug on his right foot.  Poked him once, adjusted once and the blood came out.

Then…they found that the potassiam levels in Ellery’s blood was higher than normal.  Doc #2 said it could be because Doc #1 squeezed so hard to get the blood sample out it could have burst the blood cells releasing potassiam into the sample.  So Doc #2 said we should redo the blood test to see whether the potassiam is really higher than average or whether it was cos of the way the blood was collected.  Ok.

So Doc #1 comes back to take blood for the retest.  She says, “this one is not so painful, it’s not inserting the plug, just pricking the skin and getting some blood”.  So she pricks, then squeezes…then drops the testtube!  So the precious blood spilt onto the bed!!  Her hand had blood, the tube had blood.  And she had to squeeze more blood from Ellery since the blood she had collected was gone!!! 


Doc #2 came along and said that she was extracting the blood the wrong way!  To confirm whether the potassiam level was indeed high they needed to extract the insertion way (like for the putting in the plug).  So, they had to get a needle and poke him again!  Then there were no less than 5 docs/nurses searching his wrists and ankles for a good spot to poke.  And if you’ve seen how they do it, it’s by pressing the palm against the inside of the wrist…and by pressing the foot inwards.  Not comfortable at all.  And they were doing it all at the same time on Ellery!  And they had a hard time cos his hands were starting to swell from all the poking.  I mean…there were so many tiny tunnels in this hands!

Doc #2 then asked whether it was too difficult for Doc #1.  Then Doc #3 came and did it.  And did it properly.  As she finished collecting the necessary quantity for the retest, she asked whether there were any other blood tests that needed to be done, and the answer was no.  In the end the potassiam level was normal, i.e., the initial high content was due to the Doc #1’s handling.  Sigh.

Then we got moved to our ward.  And I find out the diagnosis is actually pneumonia!  The chest scan showed the upper right lobe was infected.  It developed so fast!  The previous scan was clear! 

Anyway, we get to the ward and the ward’s docs come to see him.  After discussing Ellery’s medical history and the development of the illness, they conclude that they need to do a blood culture, meaning, more blood needs to be taken.  Again!  This is all in the same day mind you.  And all within a span of 5 hours. 

So the whole process of bending and pressing his wrists and ankles started again, and then the poking by Doc #4. 

So that was the end of the bloody affair.

Then there was the suctioning of the mucous.  In goes the tube down the nostrils.  First the right, then the left.  A couple of hours later, in it goes again.  Down the throat, down the throat, down the left nostril, down the right, down the throat again!  Poor Ellery!!!  He turned completely red from the choking sensation!  He hand one of those cries that are soooo bad that no sound comes out!


But I know it’s good for him so I’m not going to get too emotional about it.

So he’s warded.  Which means I’m warded too.  3 days minimum.  So…poor Asher too.  Suddenly no Mummy around.  Thankfully Por Por and Gong Gong can take him. 

There is one thing I’m really thankful for though.  That Ellery, at 3 months, will probably not remember this episode at all.  I think it’d have been a lot tougher if it was Asher at 2.5 yrs. 

I’m thankful.

Now Ellery’s finally sleeping.  One tube for the drip attached to this right foot.  One wire attached to his left big toe to monitor heart rate and oxygen content in the blood.  And an oxygen mask strapped to his head (he was found to have low oxygen levels due to the lungs struggling to cope with the infection).

Please keep praying for Ellery’s complete and speedy recovery!  I covet your prayers!


Read Full Post »


My poor baby is ill.  Ellery caught a potent bug from Jon and he’s been having a fever since Friday evening.  Until yesterday it hovered above 39 degrees, at one point going as high as 39.7 degrees (and maybe higher since I took the temperature after sponging him).  Thankfully it’s now around the 38 range.

But he has a terrible cough, largely due to the phlegm I think.  He doesn’t quite know how to cough it out yet.  He can have a loud, hacking cough for several minutes non-stop, and it’s very heart-wrenching to see and hear.  Already for an adult such a coughing fit would be so tiring, what more for a little infant.  After each coughing episode he’s so exhausted he falls asleep soon after.

He hasn’t been drinking much milk, and whatever he does get in often comes up again all over the floor.  And his stuffy nose, plus phlegm in the throat interferes with his nursing.

His cry, usually strong, is weak and quiet.  Sometimes we can hardly hear him, like he’s losing his voice.

He looks so sad and uncomfortable when he’s awake.

We’ve seen the doc and we’ve got the fever meds (they say there’s no need to medicate the cough), so just praying he’ll recover soon.  I know it’s a strong bug because Jon’s had it for the past 2 weeks and is still not fully recovered.

Something I’ve learnt from the doc though, that perhaps all of you already knew.  I always thought that a high fever can cause brain damage, that’s what I’ve been told since I was young.  But apparently that’s not true.  The body naturally keeps its temperature below the damaging level.  That’s a relief to know, and wish I knew earlier!

Now I’m hoping that Asher doesn’t re-catch the bug (since he passed it to Jon), and that I don’t fall ill too.

I miss Ellery’s smile.  Can’t wait for him to be well again!

We noticed that he likes to have someone hold his right hand when he’s ill.  When he starts or cries he calms down much more easily that way.

Read Full Post »

Talking to God

Reading a book about some children asking Jesus questions they always wanted to know answers about.

Me: “So, Asher, if you could ask Jesus a question about anything, what would you ask him about?”

Asher: (seriously) “About Bob the Builder”

Me:  (trying not to laugh) “Really??  What about Bob the Builder do you want to know?”

Asher: “Whether really a busy builder”

Me: (trying to be encouraging). “Ok, that’s interesting!  What else would you want to know if you could ask Jesus anything?”

Asher: “Whether Wendy really a busy builder also”

Read Full Post »

Brought Ellery with me to check out the Singapore Biennale 2011 exhibition at SAM and SAM @ 8Q.  Some of the work was just ok for me, but Secret Affair was interesting and Factum thoroughly fascinating.


Secret Affair by Roslisham Ismail was an installation exhibit with several fully-functioning refrigerators.  Each refrigerator was stocked by a ‘typical’ Singaporean family (unspecified).  Ismail followed the families as they went shopping, and whatever they bought was placed in the fridge.  Proof for me was a bunch of browning bananas in one of the fridges.  I wonder if they’ll leave it there for the entire duration of the Biennale.  Anyway, it was like a social commentary of sorts.  The kind of places we buy our groceries from, the types of groceries we buy, reflect our lifestyle, socio-economic background and personalities.

It’s interesting that you can tell so much from the contents of a fridge.  Easily, you could discern which were stocked by the more well-to-do families (shopping at Hubers, buying a $52 cut of beef), and the less-well-off (lots of canned food and ‘brandless’, family-sized bottles of juices).  There were the healthy eaters (veggies and fruits a plenty) and the less so (soft drinks, no veggie).  Then there were the OCD (every container inside and on top of the fridge meticulously labelled with the digital print stickers), the less so (chicken all neatly packed in boxes in the freezer), and the anything goes (just toss it in).

But actually, we already knew all that right?  It just appeals to the kapo in you to take a sneak peak into people’s fridges.

The one that I really enjoyed was Candice Breitz’s Factum. She conducted in depth interviews with 7 pairs of identical twins and a set of triplets, with each set of interviews touching on topics close to the hearts of her interviewees – about their parents, views on politics, views on healthy living, sports, eating disorders, etc.  She made each set dress identically as well, and each set of interviews was displayed on separate side-by-side screens.  Her editing made it clear how similar in manner and speech the twins/triplets could be, but also how their views on issues can be so divergent at times.

My favourite two interviews were with the elderly Misericordia twins and the Kang twins.  Pauline and Mary Misericordia talked about their parents and how they felt their father treated their mother – and their views were completely different.  They also discussed what it was like to be of Italian descent in Canada and how there was no pride in that heritage when they were children.  They shared the same regret, though, that they did not learn to speak Italian and have lost that chance to connect with that part of their roots.

Hannah and Laurie Kang talked about their struggle with eating disorders and how it adversely affected their relationship.  It’s something that is now a taboo subject between them.  I wondered whether what they said to Breitz they had ever actually said to each other before.

And that was the part that I think was amazing, that Breitz managed to get them to open up so much and tell everything so plainly.  It was like they were spilling their hearts out.   But not every interview was so emotional.  I think those two appealed to me most because the emotions conveyed were so raw, especially for the Kang twins.

The set of interviews with the Tang triplets (all models) was amusing because it you can see the dynamics between the sisters – the more dominant and judgmental one, the more rebellious one, the more watch-from-the-sides one.  And the interview with the Jacob brothers was also amusing because they were discussing how important clothes and dressing was.  People who thought clothes were frivolous are “misguided”.  For twins, it’s an important was to exert your individual identity.  Seems obvious, but still interesting.

If I hadn’t had Ellery with me I might have spent longer just listening to all their stories.  But he was getting antsy, so I headed off to meet Jon for dinner……which sucked.  We went to try The Mexican at the Kopitiam near SMU.  It was featured in Real Deal For a Good Deal. In the show, Jade Seah made the food sound so good, and since I love mexican food, thought we could try it.  But, oh man.  Maybe they made hers extra special, but ours was terrible.  We ordered a beef burrito, chicken quesadillas, and beef tacos.   And the prize for Worst Burrito Ever goes to them!  The rice was dry and stuck together.  Even if it wasn’t pre-prepared and then heated up (which I’m not sure) it certainly seemed like it was!  The refried beans were just wrong, and it was mushed and dried up with the crusty rice.  And where was the beef?  The tacos completely lacked oomph.  It looked okay, but once we tasted it, we just knew it could be so much better.  Quesidillas were the best of the lot.  But I guess, how can toasted cheese go too badly wrong?

Suffice to say we won’t be going back there.

Read Full Post »

Gingerbread Man

The day started with toast.  (Ginger)bread man shaped toast.  I was hoping that Asher would then munch on them in the car.  Instead, he liked them so much he just held onto them.

Then there was a bit of panic as I discovered the carpark at Alliance Francaise was no longer around, and I worried a little about getting to the show on time.  Thankfully Balmoral Plaza wasn’t too far away.  So Asher and I ran, ran, as fast as we could, to the theatre.   Ellery had to stay back since infants weren’t allowed in.

We met the cousins there – Del, Anya, Sharon & Aidan.  Del and Anya were all prepared for the show with gingerbread man earrings (for Del), gingerbread man soft toy (for Anya), and a tub of gingerbread man connecting toys :)

The show itself was just okay for me.  I thought they dwelled much too long on the making of the gingerbread man, the old man and old woman’s supposed desire for children seemed a bit too mature for the audience (and a stretch to me anyway), and it at points was just a bit too corny for my liking.  But I guess someone has to teach kids what corny is in the first place.  And, I guess kids like corny, even if they are watching something made of ginger.  It also seemed to me like they forced out a moral for the story – to follow the rules – just cos it’s a children’s programme.


Asher enjoyed it :)  So what can I say.

Read Full Post »

Jeans & Co.

I didn’t intend to dress them the same.  I chose Asher’s outfit, then chose Ellery’s outfit on the basis that he was going to outgrow them soon, then realised they kind of matched.  So for fun put the red socks on Ellery to match Asher’s red shoes :)

Don’t they look quite similar here?

He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

Read Full Post »

House to House

Our long awaited playdate finally materialised after several weekends of clashing schedules.  In the end Jane, Kaizer and Titus came over to our place in the evening on a weekday.  Was good to catch up with Jane while the boys played.  Plus, adult conversations when children are around is quite rare.  Often when there are kids around people just want to talk about children, and then they might be left with the impression that people with kids only talk about kids.  But actually, we are more than capable of, and often want to talk about other things!!

Dinner worked out well, and I’m happy all the boys found something to eat :)  Looking forward to the next date!

Read Full Post »

Anya had a bubble filled birthday, thanks to a very enthusiastic bubble blowing machine!  Asher was delighted to see that Thomas, James and Percy were also invited to the party and I had to pry him away from their company quite often so that others could spend time with them as well.  He also thoroughly enjoyed cutting (wooden) fruit and veggies for the party.  Had it been a real knife he would have cut his hand terribly cos he kept on holding it by the blade.   And we also started to ‘grow’ genetically modified produce – half lemon half pear, half mushroom half carrot.   Del gave us very strange looks ;)

Ellery slept throughout cos I put him in the sling.  So it was tote one, play with the other :)

All in all it was good fun!  Anya’s birthday cake was a clever gathering of little Hello Kitty cakes into the shape of an ‘A’.  Asher and I happily munched on our square of cake at the grandparents house later, leaving just a teeny bit for Jon ;)

The cousins (minus one).  Just look at how many kids there are now!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »