Friday, June 29, 2012

Home is where the heart is ...

We were all playing and having fun on the floor in the living hall last night after dinner. Ryan was his usual super active self, jumping and kicking. Chenya was equally delighted and was eager to join in the kicking and jumping. All she could manage now is super fast crawl between me and mommy and laughed cheekily as Ryan chased our poor Zoewe (toy poodle) around the house with his toy machine gun.

Ryan pointed his machine gun at me and pulled the trigger, shooting off a trail of imaginary bullets. I fell back onto the floor, wriggled a little and played `dead'. Chenya crawled super fast over and start attacking my nipple (oucccchhhhh!)..... 

Zoewe hopped over immediately and grab the opportunity to start licking my nose and face.....

I looked up at my wife and said ...."Dear, does it matter whether we are in Beijing or KL? We could doing this in Beijing as well."

As long as we are together, living in KL or Beijing does not really matters. Suddenly, relocating to Beijing is not so fearful after all (oh yes, besides being all excited about living in a foreign country and facing a whole new set of adventures, there is also apprehension and worries, being away from my homeland where I have lived comfortably all these years, venturing into the unknown).....

Home is truly where the heart is ....and my heart is with my lovely wife, my two lively super active children and one very very adorable toy poodle ....

Beijing, ready or not, here we come .....!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The start of another Great Learning Experience

We just got back over the weekend from our one week scouting trip at Beijing. It was a tiring yet exciting and eye opening trip for the both of us and it certainly was a great learning experience for us.

For the uninitiated, we will be relocating to Beijing very likely in October this year for at least 2 years. For someone like me (well into my forties and well on the way to fifty) who have grown up with my roots well entrenched here in Malaysia, this is definitely going to be challenging. Of all the countries that I have visited so far, China is one of the country I least favoured. After having been to Kunming for a business golf trip and another one to Shenzhen on a holiday, where I was totally unimpressed, visiting China is clearly not one of the top destination I would consider, let alone living there.

We have been toying with the idea of relocating to another country for quite some time now but have not really work on it. Anyway, of all the countries in the world, China has never even come up in our list of countries we want to stay in. So, when my wife was offered this exciting and challenging role in Beijing, China, it certainly caught us by surprise.

But we took it with good faith, and thanks to some very sound advice from some of our friends who have moved from country to country for work purposes, we braced ourselves for the journey ahead, with an attitude that nothing is impossible and nothing is bad if taken positively and at the end of the day, our stay in Beijing would be another GREAT LEARNING experience for the whole family.

With that, our process to relocate was set in motion with our first visit to this HUGE city.

Well, Beijing is certainly a culture shock to us and, the first few days, I must say was exceptionally difficult for me at least to get used to.

Starting off with the negative, Beijing is definitely a polluted city with a perpetual haze the entire week we were there and talking to the locals confirmed that these happened rather often. Air filters are strongly recommended.

The sight of people sitting by the side of a busy street in the city center with their shirt half rolled up, revealing their belly can be rather shocking. Of course, then there is this local practice of the need to perpetually spit anywhere they find it convenient, which is ANYWHERE. On the humour side, we were visiting a bookstore and they have this little corner when visitors are encouraged to write something about Beijing in six words. This one caught my attention, "You spitted, I dodged, You missed!"

For a banana like me, framing up words to form a sentence to get around is a real challenge, especially since I hardly need to use my very limited vocabulary back here in Malaysia. I think that the two words I am so used to hearing and using during my trip there this round was "什麼?" (What?)

If you think that driving in KL is horrific, wait till you got onto the roads in Beijing. They are all right hand drive which is already something different from us but it is not which side of the road you should be driving that scares you, it is the attitude and the manner of which they drive. Basically, it seemed that everyone has the right of way and everyone is right at some point. So, it is all about how daring and stubborn you are on the road. It is certainly nerve wracking even for a seasoned driver like me.....

And the locals seemed to have this need to gamble. You can literally see people gambling by the road side almost anytime anywhere. While on a apartment scouting trip, I could see a couple of cars, vans or lorries parked by the roadside and a group of four or five people sitting there, playing cards, men and women alike. Simply unbelievable. When I was at Temple of Heaven, a popular tourist site, there was this walkway packed with locals gambling!

The local crowd, both man and woman, young and old, happily gambling away at the Temple of Heaven, Beijing.

The standard of living in Beijing is certainly exorbitant, not only to the locals but all the more so for foreigners like ourselves. Anything imported is unbelievably EXPENSIVE! An advice to those thinking about relocating to Beijing, negotiate and re-negotiate your package.

A decent 2 rooms apartment among the affluent locals or foreigners starts anything from RMB12000 (RM6000!) and a 3 rooms apartment could easily sets you back anything between RMB15000 to RMB22000 (RM7500 to RM11000). Unlike in Malaysia, where your apartment would already comes with full facilities such as the gym and swimming pool, these facilities are normally offered by a privately owned club where membership fees alone sets up back another RM3000 to RM5000 a year.

Our biggest challenge would be stuff related to our children. Sourcing for Pedisure mild powder in Beijing was certainly challenging. Of all the supermarkets and stores we went to, we only found one that have Pedisure and the price for their small can is the price of the big one we are getting here! A box of Kellog cornflakes is close to RM20 and Kraft cheese single pack is RM25!

Children education here is expensive for foreigners unlike the locals. Of the all the pre-schools that we visited, the cheapest and the least impressive is still RMB80,000 (RM40,000) a year or RM3300 a month excluding transportation and lunch. The more decent international ones that we were interested in cost between RMB140,000 to RMB160,000 annually (RM70,000 to RM80,000) or RM5800 to RM6700 a month, and that is only for children between 4 and 5.

But after spending an entire week in Beijing, are there anything positive about staying here? Well, there certainly is.

Beijingers are a friendly lot (if you can understand them or get them to understand you). We have made a number of friends during our week there. 

Although imported stuff are normally expensive (with the exception of beer), there are several very popular online stores that offers good quality stuff at reasonable prices with free delivery, trusted by both the affluent locals and expats alike.

Taxis are easily available and not exactly expensive. Cars are definitely much more affordable here. You don't see many local cars like the Cherry in Beijing. Beijing is packed with VW, BMWs and Mercs. Even Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans are a minority. A brand new 2.4 litre VW Passat Turbo is only around RM140K while a brand new Merc C class apparently cost a little more than RM150K. Fuel however are expensive at RM4 per litre.

Food is not unreasonably expensive and plenty of variety as in KL. The only advice of course is not to be overly adventurous while attempting street side delights.

Being a metropolitan city with an increasing influx of foreigners working and staying in Beijing, the government has done exceptionally well in making sure that the foreigners are well taken care of. There are two special, well equipped clinics set up to cater mostly for foreigners. The SOS clinic for example even have a 24 hour call center that one could call anytime and to ask for anything if assistance is required. For us, that is another one of our top priority need that we have to address, not so much for ourselves but more so, for both Ryan and Chenya when we are there.

Beijing offers a great diversity of attractions from lavish shopping malls offering the best and most expensive there is to historically rich relics and structures that will greatly enhance one's understanding of a proud civilization. 

There are certainly some mega rich citizens in Beijing but majority are still average income earners like ourselves trying to make a decent living.

After one week there, as we got ourselves more familiarized with this new city of which we will soon call HOME, we began to feel more at ease and comfortable dealing with the changes, preparing ourselves for our next trip in August where we would have to decide on the school and hopefully a reasonably priced and decent home.

After all, we are taking this as our NEXT GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE that will greatly enhance our knowledge and experience in life and widen our perspective on how we look at other cultures, appreciate them and at the same time, appreciate what we have been having here in Malaysia.

Friday, June 15, 2012

She knows when I am angry ...

Yupe..This little girl is just 10 months old but she knows who are the ones who she can bully and who are the ones that would say 'NO' and meant it.....

By now, she knows fully well that both her grandmothers are probably the best people to bully in the world. Why? Because both the grandmothers will give her almost anything she wants. Not only that, both grandmothers just could not tolerate her `pitiful' look whenever she is left alone in the `cage' while kakak (maid) has to get some work done, and would not hesitate to pick her up at an instance and let her climb either all over the floor or all over the sofa....

Besides grandmas, mommy is also a pretty good person to bully. Mommy is one who would definitely carry her and play with her every moment she can spare and mommy is the one who would allow her to sleep on her chest and most of the time, sleeps on the big master bed.

Daddy...oh yes...Daddy also can bullied. Although daddy don't carry this little girl a lot but daddy has a higher tolerance limit for this little girl as compared to Ryan, the brother.

However, of all the people above, daddy seemed to be the only one who can put her into the `cage' and when she would not make a lot of fuss but happily goes about playing with her toys inside the `cage', smiling cheekily and waiting for her next victim whom she can bullied to `rescue' her....

This morning, we were driving her to get her passport done. Since it was a very short distance away, mommy was carrying her instead of tying her down on her car seat. Incidentally, it also seemed that only daddy can tied her down most of the time without her making a scene.

And while we were on the way, she was wriggling and was eager to climb down from her mommy's lap onto the floor in the car. And she did and she was smiling cheekily until .....

.....daddy gave her a stern look and said "OOOOOOiiiiiiiii.......!"

She was stunned for a while, gave daddy that stunned look, looked again at mommy and immediately frantically wanted to climb back to mommy's lap....

When she got there, she gave daddy one last look and quietly sat on mommy's lap until we reached our destination.....

She knows when not to mess with daddy and when to climb on daddy's head.....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Practicing to eat ALONE!

There are people who can be alone and there are people who just cannot be alone. My wife and I are of the complete opposite and maybe that is why we could compliment each other...The saying "Opposite attracts" seemed to hold so true...I am what she is not and she is what I am not (Thank God!)

From a young age, I have learnt to enjoy being alone. I enjoy the peace and freedom I possessed when I am alone, being able to eat when I eat, where I eat, what I eat, where I go, when I go and do what I do, how I do it and when I do it.

I am so used to having a drink alone and having my meals alone. In fact, there are times that I really enjoy it.

Now, please don't get me wrong. It is not that I don't enjoy the company of my better half. In fact, having her is the best thing that had happened to me. Like the old favourite song in Sound of Music, "Somwhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something GOOD!" But there are times when being alone, allows me to explore things more freely. One example of course, was when I go on a photography trip.

My wife on the other hand is the complete opposite. She is not used to be alone very much. She needs company as much as she could. I guessed the only time she could be left alone and pretty happy at that was when she go on a shopping spree, especially when she goes to those Factory Outlets in US. As far as she could remember, she has never really taken a meal alone. She admitted that if she is alone, she rather not eat. She would not walk down to the cafetaria for example and have her meal if she is alone.

But situation sometimes forces one to start adapting and she is trying....

She will be going to Beijing first to start on her new role and we will be following a couple of months later after I have settled the things that needed to be settled back here in Malaysia. And, while she is there during the first few months, she would have no choice but to EAT ALONE!

It is a terrifying idea to her. And to get herself prepared for that, she ACTUALLY went down from her office in KLCC a couple of days ago and attempted to have lunch ALL BY HERSELF!

And she said that this is probably her second time in her entire life so far! Bravo dear! So proud of you!

And she said that it was a harrowing experience because she said that she felt like a fool, all alone eating her lunch. But she is trying and I am so proud of you.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Before you say "YES DARLING..."

None meant to be prejudicial but when women look at extremely cute, lovely and cuddly babies, they have this tendency to turn to the other half, namely the husbands and pop this question, "Dear/Darling/Low Kong, let's have one/one more lor?"

And my dear male counterparts, I would strongly suggest that you consider the following before you say "Yes darling ...." and start your production process.....

For one, babies are always cute and lovely and cuddly when they don't belong to you. They always seemed to be so cheeky and their smile oh so adorable, their cheeks so chubby that you just could not resist but to give it yet another pinch (and if you are one of those that actually does this, please don't, because in all your excitement and `geramness', your pinch can actually be rather painful for that poor little baby who probably has endured `n' amount of pinches before yours. So, please do not add to their poor agony).

And when they sleep, they look like angels from above, calm and serene, a perfect display of innocence and tranquility .....

Well, I hate to burst your bubble people, but that is just the perks of being a proud father. There is the DARK side as well.....

Unless, you are going to be one of those daddies that believe that nurturing, feeding, bathing and taking care of babies is the duty of the `yellow face woman' (old Cantonese slang for our current Home Minister/wife), you better be prepared for THE biggest upset and change of your happy go lucky life style.

If your Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays were spent at your common drinking holes with your so called drinking `kakies' (buddies), I would suggest that you start stocking up your beer at home because, the only drinking hole that you would be at, would be home for quite a while.

If your Saturdays or Sundays were spent teeing off at one of those exclusive golf courses, followed by lunch and downing more cold cold beer with your golfing buddies, I would suggest that you buy back a putting practice set and start sharpening your putting skills because that would probably be the only time you can lay your hands on a golf club.

Why? Because bringing up a baby is a FULL TIME job! There is no BREAK! There is no HOLIDAY! It is a 24x7 responsibility. And it is not just the mommy's job and duty. It is ours too. If you want to be part of his/her growing up, then be prepared to prepare the bottles, learn to change nappies and diapers, carrying her to sleep in your arms, give her a bath and feed her.

Parenthood is not all fun. Be prepared for sleepless nights when they are not feeling well and are running a fever. Be prepared to wake up countless times to take their temperature and soak them down. And still drag yourself to work like a zombie the next morning and probably face your boss who could not care less.

Be prepared to give up your favourite sports channel and perpetually watch reruns of Disney Club House, Handy Manny and Bananas in Pyjamas.

Forget about going to the cinema to watch your blockbusters. Buy a DVD home and watch at home instead (if you can get to watch the TV in the first place) and oh yes, forget about blasting it and enjoy that expensive sense around sound system that you have proudly invested in. You could wake up the kids and you would not want to do that, believe me, once they have slept!

Yupe. Those are just some of the changes and upsets that these little angels will bring.

These are the issues that you would not have to deal with when you are cuddling and playing with someone else baby.

But, if you are prepared to face the onslaught of the changes in your lifestyle, then be prepared to be rewarded with the BEST thing that a man could experience .....

Be prepared to watch in excitement, the first time she imitates your facial expressions, the first time she turns over, the first time she crawl (backwards to start with), the first time she stood up wobbling, the first few steps she took, the first word that she utters (and you will be arguing feverishly with your wife that it is Daddy!) and her first teeth to name a few....

Be prepared to enjoy the warmth of her fragile body resting against your chest, hear her snooze, breath and inhale her sweet baby sense and feel her little tiny finger tightly grabbing yours.

Be prepared to see her smiling cheekily at you when she wakes you up bright and early on a Sunday morning, and her head nudging against yours to get you to get up to bring her for a walk at the park ....

This, my friend, is fatherhood.

I regretted that I did not participate in the growing up of my first two children in my first marriage that broke up. I was too busy (or so I thought) to stop and watch.

God was gracious to give me a second chance, a second chance to understand, learn and to enjoy what fatherhood and parenting is all about.

This much I have learnt so far ....parenthood is about losing a part of your old self, giving it voluntarily and in so doing, built a small part of yourself, hopefully, the best part, into the lives of the one you and your partner has brought into the world in love, the one who gives you another new HOPE and PURPOSE in life ......

Happy Fathers Day to all and looking forward to many more to come .....

Here is a tribute to my own dad whom I do not have the opportunity to know deeply. He passed away in an accident while travelling back for vacation from an oversea job posting. I only know him to be a strict disciplinarian who drinks a fair bit. But I know that he loved me and did all he could do to make sure that we all have a good (if not the best life) that he could afford. Interestingly, the best time we had together as family was when we were the poorest but enjoying the simplest thing in life .....Happy Fathers Day, Dad!

Me and my parents....

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

He DEFINITELY has my genes!

We were having fun the other night at home, fooling around with both Ryan and Chenya. We have bought this drawing board for Ryan like ages ago and all he ever does before was drawings lines after lines after lines. When he was not drawing, he will be jumping on it! (slap head)

Often times, he would ask us to draw him some pictures like sharks, dinosaurs, aeroplanes, rockets and guns of course, plenty of guns! Of late, he has been putting his toy guns one after another on the drawing board and traced the outline of each.

Well, out of the blue, he said "Daddy, I want to draw you!"

"Errrrrr......ok. I said" not expecting much.

He bent down his head and was busy on the drawing board for a minute or so and then presto!....presenting his masterpiece !

I was totally taken aback. This piece was entirely his! I did not help at all. It was first without the spectacles. So, I tested him and said, "How come no spectacles ?"

"Ohh....ok..." he replied and went back to the drawing board and added the two circles around my eyes and joined them up. Simply amazing!

I quickly grab my camera and took this shot. Then I tested him further.....

"Draw mommy also lar ..."

"Ok!" he replied. He cleared the drawing board and proceeded to draw his dear mommy.

"Please remember the long hair ya..." I reminded him...

"Ok..." he quiped.

One minute later, he presented his next mouth jaw dropping master piece ....!

His version of mommy....totally awesome for a four years old child.

I am not sure if I could draw this when I was his age and I have the artistic gene in me from a young age. Not sure when I started drawing but I know I have been drawing Ultraman comics when I was in standard four or five and selling them for 50 sen to my classmate. Considering that it was over 10 pages thick with colours and took me like 2 weeks to complete one, I think I definitely have under priced it.

Well, I am glad that he is demonstrating such skill set at this age. Reuben, my eldest son seemed to have the same interest in art and is currently pursuing his degree in Multimedia Design in Christchurch. His ultimate interest is in Computer Animation, and dreaming of being part of another Transformer movie!

They both DEFINITELY have my genes and BETTER than I am! This is JUST SO COOL!

Monday, June 11, 2012

If We Hold On Together ....

Ryan woke me up at 3am this morning for his milk. As I made his milk and just as I feared, Chenya started to stir in her baby cot. 10 minutes after making Ryan's milk and while I was just about to get comfortable under my blanket, Chenya stood up in her baby cot and look at me with her ever pitiful sleepy eyes and pouting `oooooooing' lips...Now, how can I resist from picking her up ...? sigh.....

She saw her `kor kor' (brother) having his milk and now she wanted hers. With her in my arms, I warmed up a bottle of breast milk for her, went back to my bed, cuddle her in my arms and gave her the bottle. She took it without hesitation and before too long, she has not only finished her milk but was also sweetly sleeping in my arms.

I looked across the bed and I saw the most `peaceful' Ryan with his backside up and facing me....and mommy clutching her pillow sound asleep.

The date is 11th June 2012. 5 years ago, my wife and I would be resting in Saujana Resort after our wedding dinner and flying off to Las Vegas and Los Angeles for our honeymoon.

Waking up or rather been woken up in the wee hours of the morning and in the stillness of the hour, always without fail, sets my mind churning, bringing back memories of yesteryear. And the thought that came flooding back was the theme song we have chosen for our wedding, which so brilliantly described our journey before our wedding and so positively re-enforce our vows ...."IF WE HOLD ON TOGETHER ..." (Diana Ross)

Don't lose your way
With each passing day
You've come so far
Don't throw it away
Live believing
Dreams are for weaving
Wonders are waiting to start
Live your story
Faith, hope and glory
Hold to the truth in your heart

If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I

Souls in the wind
Must learn how to bend
Seek out a star
Hold on to the end
Valley, mountain
There is a fountain
Washes our tears all away
Words are swaying
Somebody is praying
Please let us come home to stay

If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
Where clouds roll by
For you and I

When we are out there in the dark
We'll dream about the sun
In the dark we'll feel the light
Warm our hearts, everyone

If we hold on together
I know our dreams will never die
Dreams see us through to forever
As high as souls can fly
The clouds roll by
For you and I

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why God did not give us a crystal ball...

It's 11:04am. It was also a Saturday exactly FIVE years ago. And what was I doing at this time five years ago?


Oh yes. Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. I just can not believe that we have been married for only five years. Please don't get me wrong here. It is not that these five years have been difficult to get through. Far from that, with her by my side, these five years have flew past just like that and it is as if I have known her all my life.

Just last night, as I was sitting with her on the floor, entertaining Chenya as she was crawling all over the place, with Ryan being his super hyper active self, jumping and shouting and with Zoewe, our ever jovial toy poodle wanting equal attention by constantly bringing her little yellow rubber duckie for us to play with her, I asked her, that if God is to give us a crystal ball, would she have ever thought that life 5 years later would be as such.

She said, "No. I can not imagine that I would be brave enough to bear children ...but this is what I have always wanted it to be."

I guessed that is the reason why GOD would never give us a crystal ball. Without never really knowing what the future beholds, therein lays the need for fragile humans like us to continue to have HOPE and above all FAITH. Hope that as long as we work on our life, our issues, our relationships, we would be able to achieve what we would aspire to be. FAITH that there is someone up in the heavens (no matter what your religion might be) who is constantly looking out for us, guiding us and admonishing us to the right path. Many at times, our life might not turn out exactly what we hope for but if we sit back, look back and start counting our blessings, then we would not have it any other way.

Sure, if we have a crystal ball, many of us would love to see ourselves having a happy and loving family, a high flying career and above all, filthy rich. And when we do not see that in that crystal ball, we could so disappointed, disillusioned and probably give up all hope to even try to make something out of our lives.

I have received the best blessing five years ago ! My soul mate and my life long partner who have seen through thick and thin these five years, and believe me, we went through some pretty rough patches especially when it came to my career. I have learnt to look beyond and learnt to treasure what I have with whatever time I have.

Now, let's see what we have done in the last five years...emmmm..
  • Five years ago, the renovation of the current house was just completed for the wedding. The LCD TVs were all just delivered the night before the wedding. Some of the furniture were not even in. Five years later, we are running out of space, thanks to the all the toys and kiddie's stuff that we have bought over the last couple of years. 
  • Five years ago, this house have only two occupants. Today, we have two super hyper active co-owners, Ryan who have just turned 4 and Chenya who is 10 months old, and not to forget, our very first `daughter', the ever jovial and loving Zoewe.
  • Five years ago, we have no maids and only a part time helper who came in twice a week to help clean the house. Five years on, we have already changed three maids!
  • We always wanted to travel together. 5 years forward, we have been Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Club Med Cherating, Club Med Bali, Club Med Bintan, Seoul, Jeju Island and Amsterdam. 
  • Five years ago, I can hardly cooked an egg. I can never imagine me cooking or have anything remotely to do with the kitchen. But God do work in mysterious ways. With two confinement recipe books during Ryan's arrival, I started cooking and have learnt not only to enjoy it but takes great pride in making sure that the food looks as good as it taste. Today I have gone beyond frying an egg or the occasional fried rice. My wife has always been my biggest fan!
  • Five years ago, I do not have any particular passion or hobby. My wife bought me a Nikon d90 as my birthday gift and she brings back to me, a passion that I have long forgotten! Today, I see people, places, scenes and food from a different angle and to forget, tonnes of pictures of all my angels at home ...
The list goes on and if I were to really list them all down, this post would probably go on forever.

Our theme song for our wedding was "IF WE HOLD ON TOGETHER" by Diana Ross. And till today, that lyrics still meant a lot to both of us.

We have chosen "OUR JOURNEY" as the tag line for our wedding. We have come a long way, going through some rather bumpy rides before walking down the aisle. And I believe that our wedding is but just another milestone and our journey has a long long way to go...and as long as we are at it, it is imperative that we must know and learnt how to enjoy the journey together ....

So what is next...?

Definitely no more little Ryan's or Chenya's. Two is definitely enough and a handful. No more another Zoewe either. Having her is all we need and I do not believe that I could ever find another one to replace her. Travelling? Oh yes, of course....Club Med Maldives, Atlanta, San Francisco and Beijing in the pipeline....

Oh yes, and the next biggest milestone in our journey .....we will be relocating to Beijing, China from October this year for at least 2 years! Now, how could we ever imagine that 5 years ago when we said "I DO"...

Life is looking good and it is good because GOD has blessed it so and above all, life is good because I have been blessed with all that I already need and want .....So, why would I need a crystal ball to see what is installed for me in the next 5 years.

I believe that is the reason why GOD did not give us a crystal ball. HE does not want to spoil our fun finding out and living life as it should be lived ...with HOPE, LOVE and FAITH...

Happy Anniversary my dearest...looking forward to many more to come ..

Signing off with some of our wedding pictures five years ago, and thanks for visiting and reading ...

Getting ready for the big day ......
The gate keepers that I have go through ......
The victims ....from having the wear bananas, female bra and panties, eating fear factor styled crickets with wasabi accompanied with carlsberg mixed with God knows what and the best of all, the bride groom having to kiss all his `brothers' heard me right..I kissed ALL of them !
Finally ......

Our little ballerinas dancing to the tune of "If we hold on together ..."
Our relatives, friends and guests at our dinner at Saujana Resort ....

Friday, June 8, 2012

I feel what you felt ....

There were days when I could hardly find anything to write about for this blog. Today, for one reason or another, I had several things I would really want to blog about. So I guess, I better get started else I forget. Old man here and memory fading ....

When Ryan first came down with HFMD and I had to take care of him, for the first couple of days, he was showing so much pain in his mouth from the blisters he is having and he was also very very lethargic. Everytime, he squirmed and his face got all distorted due to the excruciating pain that he has from his blisters, I would tell him that it's alright and all he need is to drink more water.

He would dutifully sip from his water bottle and the ice water would give him some form of relief for just a while. Little do I fully understand or appreciate what he was actually going through ....TILL....I have HFMD myself!

Yupe. I caught it from him after spending 3 days with him and now I can fully comprehend what he has gone through and what little Chenya must be going through too, since she too has also caught the virus about the same time I did.

For those fortunate not to experience it, let me share with you the various stages of `suffering'. Hopefully, that will help us understand what our children might be going through if they should unfortunately contracted this very rapidly spreading virus.

The first sign I had was the lethargic feeling on the first day. The feeling that something is just not right but you could not just put a finger to it. Somehow, there is just this feeling of uneasiness.

On the second day, I began to feel dryness in my throat. This is the same feeling that you would feel if you are going to get a sore throat. I was just tired. Towards the end of the day, the sore throat has worsened. By this time, some part of my inner cheek and tongue were getting sore. Swallowing saliva almost felt like swallowing a hundreds pieces of sharp broken glass, cutting and slicing through firstly, the the tip of your tongue. The pain then transferred to the back of the tongue and both the inner cheeks. At this point in time, my natural reaction is not to swallow and that would mean spitting out the saliva. With little choice, you would tell yourself to swallow that saliva and immediately, you would feel that excruciating pain at the back of your throat, travelling down the esophagus.

If you ever have one blister or ulcer in your mouth or your tongue, well try imagining having dozens of them everywhere.

Don't even thing of swallowing anything remotely solid because that will surely bring a tear to your eyes, no matter how manly you are.

The blisters are not the only thing you have to contend with. On the second day, as the blisters developed, I felt so cold and was literally shivering. The chills were as if you are running a high fever. In  my case, I have none but Chenya had it rather bad.

And finally, the rashes on hands and feet. Mine came only this morning and this is third day when the blisters in my mouth and throat started showing. I don't have that many rashes on my hands and feet unlike Chenya, who is almost covered with it. The rashes are not really that itchy but if you applied pressure on them, they can become painful. So, a simple task such as opening the cap of my water bottle can be tricky. And since some of the rashes are on the sole of my feet, walking bare footed in the house can also be an unpleasant experience.

The paediatrician told us that the third day would be the day when the disease is at it's worse. Well, both Chenya and I are at the third day now. The throat, mouth and tongue is definitely most sore today and I have seen more rashes on my hand and feet than yesterday. And whatever, I am going through, little Chenya is going through it as well. The only difference is I'm 49 and she is ONLY 10 months old. Now I can truly appreciate and understand the trauma she must be going through and yet through it all, she is one brave tough cookie ... definitely much tougher than this `toufu' daddy.

Well, we definitely hope the worst is over. Ryan is almost fine now and is already his usual super hyper active self.

This week has definitely became longer and longer since all three of us has confined to home.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Good bye milk bottle ??

Something positive just might just turned out from this HFMD episode after all.

Ryan has been stuck to all his four Chico milk bottles for his daily dose of milk (nen nen). We have been faithfully bringing his bottle out wherever we go with him. If we are out for long, his bag will be stuffed with at least 4 such bottles.

So far, our attempts to get him to stop using these bottles have not been very successful.

However, with his mouth full of blisters and probably painful to suck from the bottle and yet at the same time, he is getting hungry, he has resorted to drink from his normal drinking bottle with a straw.

Hopefully, after this episode is over, we could say farewell and good riddance to those bottles who have served us well over the last couple of years ....

An update on his HFMD status, he is definitely getting better. Although there are still blisters in his mouth, the lesser pain he has definitely suggests that he is getting better. Anyway, he is `almost' his hyper active self, monkeying around the house and beginning to get into my nerves as I am trying frantically to separate him from contacting Chenya....

He has not really had any fever since this started. Probably because we gave him paracetamol when we detected his temperature touching 37.4 or 37.5. He has not shown new rashes on his hands and legs and the old seemed to be fading somewhat...

Hoping that this episode will end soon and crossing all my fingers and toes that the next does not start with Chenya. According to the paed, if Chenya is exposed and infected, she should start showing symptoms anytime from now till the end of the week. Wish me luck.....

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Quarantined ! HFM !

Yupe. The dreaded has finally caught up with Ryan. He came down with Hand Foot Mouth (HFM) disease over the weekend. 

On Friday evening, when I brought him back from his daycare, his daycare taker has already warned me to watch out for HFM as they detected some blisters in his mouth. He was his normal self on Friday and Saturday but he was already complaining about his throat being sore.

At 2am on Sunday morning, my wife asked me to check his mouth again because he was warm. I tested his temperature and it around 37.2 to 37.4. I can already see some red rashes in his hands and legs. I fear for the worst.

He had a rather restless night. Early on Sunday morning, I search the internet for a paediatrician who would be opened on Sunday. Found one in SS22 and we bought him there. Arrived there at 10:30am and the clinic was packed and crowded. We were told that there would be a long wait of at least an hour.

OK. We went to have a our brunch and came back an hour later and there were still over 10 patients ahead of us. We waited another hour before the doctor could see Ryan.

And she confirmed our worst nightmare, that Ryan has indeed contracted the HFM disease and would need to be quarantined for the next week. Since HFM is contagious, we were advised to watch out for Chenya since she had been exposed to Ryan. With a 3 to 7 days incubation period, we were told to watch out for any fever from Chenya around Tuesday or Wednesday.....

With him quarantined at home, I will be quarantined as well to look after him as it would be impossible for the maid to handle both children if we want to avoid Chenya from being infected. Right now, I only hope that Ryan recovered soon and Chenya is spare from the pain and the agony....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Girlie ! Girlie !

Chenya is almost like a tomboy at this stage. She is more active and curious than Ryan at his age. As I have mentioned before, she is constantly on the move, climbing everything that she can hang on to....

So, mommy afraid that she would turn out to be more tomboyish, started to teach her to act more feminine like.

So, now every time, mommy said "Chenya, girlie, girlie..." ..

.... this is how she would act and pose .....

But don't be easily fooled that she is all feminine and gentle .....

She can easily turned into this as well .....

This is definitely not a lady that you want to fool around with .......hahahahaha

Have a good weekend dear friends and readers....and TQ for dropping by ....

More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!