Chubby Anecdotes | Singapore Parenting and Kids' Art Blog

Friday, August 8, 2014

Pregnant and overwhlemed with guilt and uncertainty

It's a quiet night, the kids are sound asleep. I am restless, pregnant and still spotting at week 16 (why, o why?)

I started bleeding somewhere in week 12. Although there was light spotting before, but I thought those were normal probably due to implantation. I had some spotting when I was pregnant with Renee, and so I wasn't too worried about it. It was a heavy flow at week 12 (and then again at week 15) that got me frightened, very frightened. It was right after my OSCAR scan at Novena Medical Center. The lady helping me with the scan was rather rough, shaking my belly beyond my comfort as I watched Peanut jerked within me. She told me she was tickling him (a little), and that he was very active. She was trying to get Peanut to move into a position that was favourable for the scan. My previous experience with OSCAR scan at Thomson Medical Centre during my pregnancy with Chubby was a much better experience, I was advised to walk around until Chubby moved to the correct position, instead of being shaken repeatedly. Ironically, near the end of the scan she was trying to get Peanut to be in a relax position but her continuous shaking (or tickling) seemed to agitate him more. I had a bad feeling but trusted in professionals, after all, they should know better, right? This was Thomson Diagnostic Ultrasound Centre @Square 2 (for goodness sake), I would think that they know their business.

The trip home from the clinic was a traumatic one - I bled in the train and stained the seat. It wasn't spotting, it was heavy flow and I could feel warm blood gushing out of me. I called my Gynae's clinic and was advised to head to the hospital, which I later went to KKH. I was diagnosed with "Threaten Miscarriage" - a term that was really meaningless to me. They neither knew the cause of the bleeding nor where is the bleeding coming from (which part of the womb). I was given a an injection and prescribed hormones pills (twice daily for 2 weeks) to support my pregnancy. My Gynae check-up was in a couple of days and the diagnosis was the same. His best advise was for me to rest in bed. Something I couldn't afford much of. I checked with him if the "trauma" during the OSCAR scan had anything to do with the bleeding and was told that it was an unlikely cause.

My Gynae's reply offered me little assurance, I am overwhelmed with a mix of guilt and uncertainty. Was it the OSCAR scan? But he (the gynae) said it was unlikely. Could it be those blood cots formed in the beginning of the pregnancy? Was it the fall I sustained at about week 9? WHY AM I STILL BLEEDING NOW AT Week 16?!

I really want to snap out of this. This guilt-trip is affecting my sleep (which I am already quite deprived of). How can I get out of this? I hope I have a shut down button somewhere so that I can rest when I need to and not let these precious opportunities to recuperate slip away unproductively soaking my pillow and pulling my hair out. 

My little peanut, please be well, the doctor say we will know more about your health at week 20 after the second OSCAR scan. This time, I will call and request for another Sonographer, just to be safe. I am shelving these emotions here now, because they are not helping us. Be assured that mommy will do all I can to protect you. I am so so sorry that we started on a bad foot, but let's finish this on a good note, together. I am looking forward to receiving you in my arms.

I love you, you must know that.

Linking up with:
www.ajugglingmom.com




Monday, August 4, 2014

StarWater Ionizer - Healthy recipes using alkaline water

Have you heard of ionized water or (alkaline water for the matter)?
It was a couple of years ago when I first got acquainted with water ionizer that can turn water alkaline for various purposes. A friend of mine had got a new water ionizer from a Japanese company then, and was sharing with me the wonders of it.

Wanting the best for my family and myself, I was tempted to get one myself. Frankly, I would have purchased a unit home without much thinking if not for the price tag - it costs 3 to 5k *swallows hard*.

Since it cost this much, I thought it made sense to find out more before committing to a 12 months installment. But somehow, amidst my busy schedule, the item was shelved somewhere at the back of my mind and then forgotten along the way until I receive an invitation from OMY.sg to attend a cooking demonstration by Chef Anna of Anna Cooking Arts, using the ionized water.

Here are the yummy and healthy dishes demonstrated at the session I attended.
From left to right, they are Iced Honey Peppermint Lemon Cooler, Black Sesame Seed Rice, Herbal Chicken Soup (四神鸡汤) and Korean Pear Salad. My favourite that was 四神鸡汤. I am a soup junkie, so 四神鸡汤 wasn't new to me, but the version Chef Anna made was better than the one I had at home. 

If you are interested in the recipes, they are included at the end of this post. These alkaline water is one of the ingredients for all the dishes. But if you do not have a water ionizer, normal water should be sufficient as a substitute (I believe) for normal cooking at home. 

Now what is the difference between our normal tap water and ionized water? Check out the PH colours charted out for the water and beverages below.



With reference to the PH chart below, the colours indicate the PH of the liquids from acidic (orange) to alkaline (purple). The first 2 glasses from the right, the one in purple (strongly alkaline) was ionizer water and the one in blue (weakly alkaline) was our normal tap water. The other beverages used in the test were isotonic drink, soft drink and bottled drinking water - all were acidic. 
Image taken from www.carlagoldenwellness.com
Why is alkaline water better for us?
Here's an extract from Star Water website which sums it up:
Alkaline Antioxidant Water (AIW) gives you an abundance of anti-oxidants to reduce cells damages and helps to restore your pH balance in your body.
It also contains an abundance of ionic minerals, such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium that are essential for cellular functions. The Water is high in oxygen and is a powerful solvent to neutralize uric acids, cholesterol and acidic toxic wastes and flushes them out from the body. It hydrates your body many times more than any water and also helps to restore your body pH balance while giving you more energy!
The below extract from StarWater's brochure explains the benefits of ionized water.

Extracted from StarWater brochure
If you are keen to find out more about alkaline water, here's a page on StarWater's website which you may find helpful: http://www.starwater.sg/alkaline-water

During the session, I was introduced to Star5 water ionizer. Check out the pretty and chic design!
Photo credit: StarWater
This little machine is may not be big in size, but it is big in benefits. 

The Star5 is able to produce 7 types of water from Acidic to Alkaline for various usage at home.
Orange: Acidic water - Ideal for cleaning. If you intend to cut down on detergents, acidic water is a good alternative for cleaning kitchen counter tops, cutting boards and utensils.

Yellow: Beauty water - ideal for showers and facial cleansing. The human body is alkaline by design, our skin however is acidic therefore mild acidic water is ideal for showers and facial cleansing. Acidic water removes oil and dirt from the face easily, reducing the need for cleansing products. Using acidic water when you shower reduces dryness, itching and discomfort that eczema can cause.

Green: For babies and people on medication

Level 1: For beginners - Suitable for new drinkers of alkaline water or those with sensitive stomachs.

Level 2:  For Daily consumption - Replenishes water in our body, reduces oxidation process and maintains a balanced pH level in our body.

Level 3: For coffee and tea - Removes the bitter aftertaste in coffee and tea and enhances the taste and aroma.

Level 4:  For cooking - Enhances the natural taste of ingredients, thus reducing the need for flavourings.

More information available in the brochure here: http://www.starwater.sg/images/broucher/SW%20Brochure%20EN%2020140620lr.pdf


************* Recipes *************

Herbal Chicken Soup (四神鸡汤) - 4pax
INGREDIENTS                                   QTY
Herbal Mix (四神料)                           1 pkt
American Ginseng (西洋参)                 10g
Red Dates (红枣)                                 12 pcs
Mushroom (香菇)                                 8 pcs
Sliced Ginger (姜片)                             6 pcs
Chicken Thigh (鸡腿)                         600g
Alkaline Ionized Water (电子离子水)   2500ml

SEASONING (调味料)
Mushroom Powder (香菇粉)                1 pinch
Sea Salt (海盐)                                     1 tsp
Rice Wine (米酒)                                  
Sesame Oil (麻油)                                

4 HERBAL MIX - 四神料(Available in most Chinese Medicine Halls)
Lotus Seeds, Poria, Chinese Yam, Pearl Barley [200g]/Job's Tears, Euryale Seeds

METHOD

  1. Soak to soften Mushroom. Wash and drain dry. Cut up Chicken Thighs into pieces. Wash American Ginseng, Red Dates and Herbal Mix ingredients. 香菇用水泡軟后洗淨.鸡腿折块. 西洋参,四神料,红枣洗净.
  2. Heat up some Sesame Oil in a work and fry the Sliced Ginger. Add [1] and Alkaline Ionized Water to simmer for an hour. 用麻油小火炒香姜片,加入[1]材料,水炖煮1个小时.
  3. Add the remaining seasoning (Mushroom Powder, Sea Salt, Rice Wine) in. 加入调味料即可.

Korean Pear Salad (雪梨沙拉)
INGREDIENTS                                 QTY
Korean Pear (雪梨)                             1
Red Dates (红枣)                                 2 pcs
Mixed Salad (沙拉综合菜)                  50g
Wolfberry (枸杞子)                              1 tbsp

SALAD DRESSING (沙拉酱) 
Yuzu Salad Dressing (柚子沙拉酱)                
Lemon Juice (柠檬汁)                                    
Korean Yuzu Honey (韩国柚子蜜)                                         

METHOD
  1. Wash and remove skin from Korean Pear, slice them into strips. Remove seeds from Red Dates and slice them into strips. Soak and strain dry wolfberries. 雪梨洗净,去皮切幼条状[400g]. 将红枣去子切条. 最后将枸杞子泡软,隔干.
  2. Plate up [1] and drizzle salad dressing on top. 将[1]端在盘中,洒上沙拉酱即可.

Black Sesame Seed Rice (黑芝麻糙米饭)
INGREDIENTS                                   QTY
Organic Rice (有机糙米)                     200g
Alkaline Ionized Water (红枣)              300ml
Toasted Salted Black Sesame Seeds (沙拉综合菜)
                       
METHOD
  1. Wash and soak rice for 4 hours, strain dry. 
  2. Plate up [1] and drizzle salad dressing on top. 将[1]端在盘中,洒上沙拉酱即可.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bleeding during pregnancy - week 14 and 5 days

It's half past 5am now and I am wide awake. O the peacefulness of the wee hours when the kids are all asleep. The gentle snoring beside comforts my troubled soul. How I adore my chubby little boy.

It's a pity I can't seem to go back to sleep cos I know full well that I am so going to pay for this when the kids are awake. It's Sunday! No work for me today but I'm not expecting much rest. My helper is on leave today so I'd better be prepared. After an incident last Sunday, now i look towards Sundays with much fears.
I was out with hubby and kids last Sunday, doing our usual grocery shopping at JB. We usually plan outings on Sundays cos with the kids out, it means less cleaning at home.

Last Sunday wasn't a regular Sunday. I usually have 1 or 2 face painting gigs to attend to. My gigs are usually no longer than 2 hours so I still have time with the kids. But it wasn't just unusual that business has been bad lately, something else happened - I was bleeding excessively and suddenly. The flow came when I was helping Chubby with his diaper change. It caught me totally unguarded. We were in a restaurant and our food had yet to arrive!

The flow came with cramps which wasn't helping the situation - 3 hungry kids and 2 helpless adults in a foreign land. We fed the the kids, stuffed some food down our throats and rushed to the causeway.  Thank God, the jam was manageable, we were expecting worse situation as it was eve of Hari Raya. Sam hurried home and left the kids with out helper (she was home by then) before sending me to KKH.

It was our second time there is 3 weeks. I was bleeding (but not as heavy as this round) at about week 12 and was hurried to KKH too. I was given injection and hormone pills then.

The doctor examined me and I couldn't be happier to hear the baby's heartbeat. The diagnosis - no active bleeding at that point, baby's heartbeat found (pew), cause of bleeding unknown (puzzling). All in all, it was known as "threaten miscarriage" same diagnosis as the other time. No injection needed this round, I was prescribed with 3 doses of hormone pills daily for 2 weeks and given 3 days MC. 

The 3 days MC wasn't utilized. I work from home most of the time which was manageable and the following day is a public holiday. But there was a meeting scheduled on Tuesday which was rather important. Not wanting to miss it, as it would impact the project timeline, I went anyway but went home after the meeting.

After what happened last Sunday, no outings were planned for today. We will try as much as possible to stay in. And I shall try (again) to get some sleep now before the kids wake up.

Wish me well  :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Peanut - A new chapter

I've got news to share - I am expecting!

For those of you who know me personally, this should be quite a surprise (in a good way, I hope).

It took me a while to summon enough courage to break the news to many. Ya know, I am not so sure what sort of reactions to expect from people around. When I was expecting baby no. 1 and 2, most of my friends and family were very excited. By the time Chubby came along, most of the excitement had faded, apart from congratulatory, I was also presented with questioning glances (How are you going to provide for so many kids?) and some interesting suggestions (some on birth control. lolx). Most of them meant well, many laughed with me, a couple pissed me off (bad), but only a few people saw my struggles.

Frankly, 3 kids and working isn't a breeze for me. Though I do not often exhibit my fatigue, I am in no way a super mom. Just a regular one living a day at a time. So if u ask me, having another child isn't the plan, not in a couple of years.

So, I'd say I need to be insane to have another child now (and I still think so). But well, some people are worth going crazy for. And a new life, a child, my child, is definitely worth it.

What's ahead? I am not all too sure but I am full of expectations - expecting more sleepless nights, more work, a messier house, a new baby and a lot, a lot  more love and joy.

Here's an ultrasound image of my new baby.

Peanut at week 09. I am 15 weeks pregnant now.

Affectionately known as Peanut at home. We have yet to find out the gender to choose a better name, so "Baby Peanut" it will be, for now :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

宝贝学华语 - Learning Chinese "Under The Sea" at KidStartNow


I've never signed my little potato up for any Chinese enrichment class. Frankly, I doubted she would enjoy them and I wasn't too keen to set her up for failure at her tender age. So when we received an invitation from KidStartNow for Renee to attend their ocean themed Chinese Enrichment holiday Camp, it took me a while to decide if we should go ahead.

Perhaps I haven't been diligent enough to expose my kids to the Chinese language -  we screen Chinese cartoons on weekends and sing a few mandarin kids song occasionally, but these are about all. Most of the time we are just trying to catch up with school work and 听写. It's little wonder why Renee had little interest in Chinese.

In an attempt to help Renee enjoy our mother tongue (and after learning that it is a play-base programme - not a textbook and classroom set up), I decided to let her try it out. Afterall it's just 2 hours for 4 days, right?
On our way to KidStartNow for Chinese Enrichment Camp.
She retained the same enthusiasm throughout the 4-day programme and looked forward to every lesson. 
Ready? Get set? Action!
Interactions in class before lesson time.
Now you see me...
Now you see me not.
Funny little caps which the children wore in during lesson time. I especially liked the crab one. Cute right?
Learning good habits through story-telling and sing along.
Besides teaching kids the lyrics to the song, the teacher also encourage the kids to brush their teeth.
To make the session more lively, the kids played p
retend with tooth brushes.
Digital rewards system *how cool!*
The children are given coins for participation in class and good behaviour. The accumulated coins can then be used to exchange for stickers and other rewards.
My Little Rabbit has got x28 points! Wow!
CCTV at the parents waiting area. 
The 4 day programme turned out to be a blast! Renee enjoyed her classes and looked forward to them. It seemed like 4 days ain't enough for her :) She especially enjoyed the interactions in class and I enjoyed their play-pretends from the TV screen at the waiting area.

Thank you KidStartNow for having Renee at their holiday camp. It was a good experience for both Renee and I. I also took the opportunity to explore the newly opened  CT Hub, which the KidStartNow is located in.  
Happy with her balloons at the last day of the holiday camp!

You can find our more about the holiday camp Renee attended here:
http://www.kidstartnow.com/special-offers/holiday-camp

More information on KidStartNow is available on their website and Facebook Page here: 

Disclaimer: Rene attended 4-days holiday camp at KidStartNow for free, for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 


Friday, July 25, 2014

22 July 2014 | School Bag Raid

Found 7 storybooks in Shanice's school bag, of which, 5 are from the Rainbow Magic series - 2 of them are from NLB and the others from her school library.

No wonder her bag's getting heavier these days. Now, I secretly hope she hasn't been reading during lessons. But, who hasn't sandwiched a storybook between school text right?

Here's what I'll never say out loud: "I know what you've been doing. Please don't overdo it." Meanwhile, to reduce damage, I'll limit her to just 2 storybooks per day for school.

Linking up with:

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Giveaway] Singapore Parenting Congress 2014 - "Connecting with Digital Teens and Tweens"

Singapore Parenting Congress 2014 is here!
Taken from http://www.familiesforlife.sg/activities.html
Jointly organised by Mediacorp and Families for Life, the sold-out event for the past 9 years *gosh, my eldest kid wasn't even born 9 years ago*  will be returning on 2 & 3 August 2014. 

The theme this year is “Connecting with Digital Teens and Tweens”, a topic very close to the hearts of many parents in this digital age we live in.  This event provides an excellent opportunity for parenting experts as well as parents to come together and share insights! 

Check out the programme schedule here: 
Taken from http://www.familiesforlife.sg/activities.html
Date: 2 & 3 August 2014
Venue: Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Level 3

Tickets (per session): $18/ticket or $24/ couple (GST inclusive, Coffee and tea are served at breaks)

More details of the event can be found here:  http://www.familiesforlife.sg/activities.html.

We have 4 sets of tickets up for grab!
(Thank you, Families for Life for sponsoring them):

English session (3 pairs of tickets to be won)
3 August, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Mandarin session (1 pair of tickets to be won)
2 August, 2.30pm – 5.30pm

Winners may collect the tickets on the event day. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway