Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weekend wonderings: New year, new hopes

Lantana, photographed at the entrance to Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve

The new year sorta crept in on us.  Or at least it feels that way.  While others are all ready and geared up to face a brand new year with their resolutions penned... I seem to be spending the first week of 2011 finishing up stuff that I didn't complete in 2010, like scrap assignments, more spring cleaning, and of course, that dissertation.  So I'm going to "start" 2011 a week later, and use this week to clear up those things I've mentioned, while taking time to set goals.  Simple Mom had this list of questions to think through, which I though was pretty good for working through at the beginning of each year, so I'm going to use that. :)  Me and my sup have planned for the dissertation to be submitted for examination on the 10th (i.e., next Mon), so I'm working towards that and really looking forward to be done!

Anyway, we spent the new year pretty quietly.  New year's eve was spent having dinner with our DG at one of our DG mate's place, but we had to leave early for Junior J's bedtime.  The boy had fun playing with the rest and even tried out the rocking "goat" (it was those antique versions of a rocking horse)... however, he started coughing halfway through and we had to give him ventolin at home to make him more comfy.

New year's day was spent at home, just hanging out (while I also tried to squeeze in some time to write that dissertation).  One new development we discovered was that the little boy can now push the 4 carriages of his train together, and move it up and down the bridge and through the tunnel, and he is no longer so interested in taking apart the tracks (which he used to do, while saying "Uhoh!").

There was no regular church service on Sunday, so we met up with little S and her parents at Sungei Buloh for a morning walk.  Thankfully it was cloudy, and the kids got to see quite a few animals/insects... lots of egrets and plovers foraging, as well as these:

The first insect spotted: a katydid, resting on the side of the railing of the bridge. :)

Along the way in, we met Mr Monitor, who brazenly ignored us, even though we approached him pretty closely

We spotted tree-climbing crabs too, lots of mud lobster mounds, as well as this giant mudskipper... :)

We did get some bites even with after slathering on the repellant, but I think the kids had fun...

Then we headed for lunch at Marsiling Lane, and had bak kut teh (you know the Klang version, which is not the usual peppery type but the herbal type?  We love it!).  There was an egret walking around outside the coffeeshop, which got the two kids pretty excited!  

Hubby and I brought Junior J to Thomson Plaza at night for some grocery shopping, and had dinner over at Jonker's Nonya Cafe (the Nonya food is pretty good, and way cheaper than those Nonya restuarants).  I had the assam laksa, and hubby let the boy try some of the soup, and we let the boy take a few small sips of the chendol (the laksa was pretty decent for Singapore standards, but the chendol wasn't fantastic, so save the calories for the Melaka version).  Turned out to be a bad move, as we think the laksa might have triggered off another wheezing "attack" for the boy (according to hubby, the Chinese believe there is something inside the soup that worsens asthma, but I think he forgot at that point in time).  

He started coughing much later after dinner, and it got so bad he started wheezing. :(  So it was ventolin syrup for him, but that didn't seem to clear up the wheeze so we had to bring him to KKH A&E late that night.  The boy ended up having to use an inhaler, but attached to a spacer (this chamber that you puff the meds into) as he was younger... Poor fellow was crying and pretty scared, but in between would echo us and tremulously say "good boy!" It broke my heart to see him that way. :(  We tried to give him the other meds as well, and he tried eating it, but it tasted so bad that he gagged and threw up.  We were stuck in the A&E til past midnight, so the boy really went bonkers at the end, but he fell asleep in the car on the way home.

The chronic cough and wheezing attacks have really impacted us in many ways, since many things seem to trigger off his cough: the dog, dust, perhaps the consumption of some foods.  We've had to make many lifestyle changes: We either thrown/sold our carpets, we're vacuuming more frequently, we vacuum the mattresses and the sofa, we're currently spring-cleaning to clear the house of unnecessary stuff.  We've cleared away many of the boy's soft toys, and are intending to give away more of them, and are now getting the boy more wooden toys instead.  My parents are now taking care of Nicky, and my in-laws will be coming down during CNY and will be adopting the doggy, since we really want the dog to go to a good home.  We consciously try to avoid places that trigger off his cough (places with furniture fumes, like Ikea, some apparel shops that are dusty like the Levi's store, any stores selling soft toys).  

I guess I'm not complaining (even though I do miss the dog), since some of these changes are for the better (a cleaner home is always welcome I guess!), and I know this is minor, compared to other parents who have children that are battling sicknesses that are way more severe and serious.  That being said, my heart still does ache every time I see the boy wheezing or in discomfort.  Hopefully it will pass when he grows older and his airways grow bigger, then perhaps we can bring Nicky home again.  So far, the boy does ask and peer under the bed to look for Nicky, but I don't think he's that attached to the dog yet, so its good.      

Ok, enough rambling... here's to 2011.  Many changes, many hopes.  A year when I'll be done with my studies (YAY!) and can focus on other things... This is late, but happy new year everyone!  God bless!

PS: Crate Paper featured my photo tray among other projects, in their first post for 2011... Yay! :)


  1. Happy New Year!
    Congrats on your tray being featured! Woohoo! ;)

  2. God gracious, sorry to hear your boy was unwell! Hope he has recovered to his usual self by now, I'm not sure whether the laksa trigger the attack but I would rather think the cendol is the culprit, my kids can't take icy cold stuff too(not even a few sips).

    Keep well and all the best to you and your little sweetheart!

    p/s: You are a great photographer Jus!

  3. Blessed new year! Hang in there Mummy! God will continue to watch over J for you as he grows. With many many things to smile about even amidst the difficult times. Congrats on the feature! :)

  4. Poor boy! Hope he gets over this phase as soon as possible. Have you taken him for an allergy check?Btw, I've heard/read that vacuum cleaners actually blow out a lot of dust as well so it is not advisable to use them if people in the house are allergic to dust. We don't vacuum when Bubbles is in the house. Not sure if such a move will help for you!

  5. Awesome pics! Those were really close-ups!! =D

  6. Happy New Year Justina! U are really doing fantastically well with your scrapbooking layouts, they are all so beautiful!

    Hope Jude is doing better with his allergies. I am sure he will eventually grow out of it, in the meantime, do continue trusting the Lord for good health and healing for him.

  7. Happy New Year to you! I'm sure i'll start my 2011 much later than yours... by looking at my backlogged posts...

    anyway, have you try TCM on Junior J? hy had pretty bad asthma until we found a TCM doctor who is very 'click' (縁)to her.

    it is minor but it is a long journey of battle with kid's asthma. hy is very sensitive towards every year end as the weather turns cooler. we are still battling, but at least she is not fully rely on puffing (nor TCM).

  8. I hope Baby J is better these days! And that your dissetation is finally done!!

  9. see u sooon in NIE! and congrats on the tray featured on crate paper! i hope your boy will slowly get over those allergies! take care!!!

  10. Happy New Year! Hope the boy's lungs gets stronger as he gets older. I would be inclined to take him for an allergy test as well, Ally's came back with surprising results.

  11. Thanks for all the well wishes... :)

    PC: Little boy is on some meds now as prescribed by the PD and seems to be much improved, so we will monitor... thanks for the recommendations, we might try TCM if it gets worse!

    Corsage: Thanks for the recommendations re. vacuuming! Checked with the hubby, who said that our current new vacuum cleaner has no filter and thus will not blow out dust (and then it was tech mumbo jumbo after that)... so its ok... but thanks anyway!



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