Thursday, December 27, 2007

Did I miss Christmas??

As you can no doubt imagine, I've been a bit preoccupied lately.

I've been stressing about the move - however must say I am now a lot happier about it; stressing about telling the kids; stressing about CHA; ... in general, just stressing!!

My body was starting to protest and I succumbed to a cold that had been hanging around home. I'm not sure why/how things started to improve, but they did. I think it just helps some time to surrender to the reality of a situation, admit there is no point holding on to the past or future dreams, and pray for strength and guidance to get through it!

So Christmas came and went with little fanfare this year. Christmas eve was nice, as we went to church and I made sausage rolls from scratch. I don't know what it is with sausage rolls - it's definately not a traditional Christmas food, but it has always been a tradition in my (parents) family. It felt good to make something that made me feel closer to "home".

Oh, on the "homefront" we told our families about our impending move. My dad ended up sobbing uncontrollably on the phone. I had to ring back a little later to make sure he was able to tell mum the news.

We told the kids on boxing day. MrT was fine. He just wanted to know if he could play footy at his new school. MsA, as expected, didn't take the news quite so well. All was OK though when she found out that we might be able to get a dog in our new home.

Giftwise, we were more conservative this year, as we knew we would spend big on our holiday. I probably received the most!! A new digicam for use on our US trip and $USD for personal spending (ie not for the kids or for work). WooHoo!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

always the same: always changing!

How many times have I started a post with a comment along the lines of "how quickly things change"?

Yep, you guessed it. Major changes afoot. I think I just need to accept that the world keeps turning, presenting new situations all the time. There is no such thing as "being still".

Our news: we are moving back to Australia.
Let's just say that I was unprepared for this situation. I have finally (after 5 solid days) stopped crying.

The whole situation firmly put me back in the traditional expat family role of "trailing spouse". For the first few days I was constantly defiant and opposed every issue related to repatriating. All I could think of was that DH was thinking only of himself, he hadn't considered how it would impact the family. I saw nothing positive in making the move in the timeframe and conditions that work demanded.

Today I seemed to have turned a corner. I'm able to see positive aspects. I'm not as terrified as I was about how hard this will be for the kids. We have decided we will tell the kids at Christmas. It's going to be hard, as we don't have a definite schedule yet, and that will worry MsA. I've already broached the subject with MrT and he was fine.

I think I'm the one who is making a big deal out of it, and will have the toughest time!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's a rainy, grey day. Yay!

Today the weather is dismal. It's been overcast and grey all day. I don't like having the lights on during the day (a frugal/penny-pinching quirk of mine), but today it has been necessary.
The rain didn't start until about 10am, and it seems to have set in. It looks like I won't get to the library to return our books after all (oh no, a fine! the penny pincher in me is really getting a workout today!).

I'm so loving the bad weather though. It's the kind of day that you just want to snuggle up in bed with a hot chocolate and read a trashy novel. We don't get days like this in Singapore. When it rains it is usually a tropical downpour. It clears quickly, the sun comes out, the humidity rises, and that's that. Today it is like early winter gentle showers in southern Australia.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want it to stay like this for a week or more (as has happened the last few years we have gone back to Oz for long school break). Just for now it is perfect. It was cool enough to indulge in a hot chocolate. I've had such a draining few weeks that this weather suits my mood perfectly ... and as strange as it sounds, seeing the mood/weather match is actually making me feel more positive and energetic. I'm ready to take on the world again!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

soooo tired

I'm tired. I'm doing the single parent thing again as DH is off on yet another work trip. They seem to be more frequent and for longer periods than previously. While it's frustrating that he does the disappearing act so often it doesn't get annoying until the trip extends beyond 1 week.

I think I've worked it out now:

* overnight trips - no impact. No different to working late, band practice/gig etc

* 2-4 nights - laid back, treat the kids to junk food, make no plans

* 5-9 nights - fall behind in housework. Start to feel tired.

* 10 nights - resentment sets in. How dare he leave me to look after everything? Didn't have kids to be single parent etc. Start to yell at kids.

* 11-13 nights - Body starts to show signs of stress, get sick etc

* 14+ nights - autopilot. Somehow things get done. Not entirely sure of passing of time. Occasional "second winds" only to crash and burn quickly.

Thankfully we have only had a couple of 2+wks trips. Usually I've had plenty of warning of them and can try and conserve energy to get through it. The last couple of trips though have been extended while he has been away. That's hard to deal with.

This trip has been 13 nights. He comes home tomorrow night. Yay! As if on cue I can feel that I'm succombing to some bug. Yesterday and today I have been absolutley dead on my feet, sore throat, all achy etc. Time to OD on vitamins! Time to sleep!!

Monday, October 22, 2007


How quick moods can change.

Gotta love DH.

I spoke with him this afternoon about my concerns regarding the biz, budget blowout etc.

Talk about a pep talk!

He really lifted me up and affirmed what I was doing which made me feel great.


Negative bank balance, negative physical space, negative head space.

Get the idea?

Just finished a FFC meeting where we nutted out our budget for CHA ... scary. Budget has pretty much doubled what we initially thought it would be. All those incidentals like electricity, floor coverings etc that you (or at least I) would think would be included in the cost of a booth at a large convention hall add up. I'm not sure how I will explain this to DH as I beg and grovel for more money to finance this whole exploit. I'm feeling the pressure to return to "real work" ie one that has regular income so as to fund this biz. I don't want to do that, but I know our family budget is facing a squeeze as it is. I don't want to bail from FFC either, so I'm not sure what to do ... maybe I can become minority partner instead of equal partner ... I think it's that or I'll have to seriously consider terminating our arrangement all together.

The squeeze is on in terms of floorspace at home too. DH started "cleaning up" which involved taking things out of the wardrobe and piling them in the storeroom. That would not normally be a bad thing except that the storeroom will any day become home to a pallet load of cardstock. We had talked about finding warehouse space but decided against it as it would be yet another "regular outgoing" without having seen ANY incoming, regular or not!

All this is putting me in a pretty black mood. I had been very excited as we had finally decided to make CHA into a family trip, but now I don't know if we can afford it. The alternative would be to fly either one of our parents over to babysit while Dean works. Oh, and of course our lease expires at that time too, and with the market the way it is we expect a HEFTY increase.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Right brain - Left brain

Clockwise or anti clockwise? Creative or logical?
For explanation see this article

Hmmm ... graphic seems to have uploaded with a fault. Hope you can see the effect.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Learning as I go ...

It was 8mths ago that Kristy asked me to join her at Far Flung Craft

I guess she wisely caught me at a weak moment, only hours after the birth of MrM. Perhaps the endorphins were still surging, so that I accepted her business proposal without proper consideration :) However that being said, we took a long time to get things going, and joining her in the biz didn't seem a big deal, particually I think because I didn't have a real sense of the what lay ahead fo us. FFC was Kristy's baby and she has had dreams for its expansion for years, I just felt like I was on for the ride!

That was until money had been invested and deadlines started approaching. I'm paying attention on this ride now - and even offering my own navigation tips. For the longest time I felt very much the backseat passenger, because I had no idea what the vision for the company was, or have any ideas how to take steps to achieve it. I'm edging closer to the front seat now.

I have learnt so much, and learn with each task I do. I had absolutely no business experience, no retail or sales experience, no industry experience. Makes you wonder why she asked me to join her!

I am finding my way around Photoshop, and am becoming frustrated that I don't have the technical skills to do the fine adjustments that I want (however also happy that I'm in this situation as it means I am coming up with clear creative designs - my muse is back!) I am thinking about things like budget, advertising, marketing, customer relations, packaging, shipping, pricing, product development ...all for the first time in my life.
It's overwhelming at times, and I know I'm not going to become a millionaire from this. I don't even know how long this partnership will last (who knows when/where one of us might move on). However long this journey lasts, and however many ups and downs we encounter, I'm glad that I'm along for the ride.

I have no idea where the "ride" analogy came from, but I thought I should stick with it all the way through!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A rolling stone

...gathers no moss.

Things have been BUSY!
September has come and gone (phew, my birthday glossed over. Too much other stuff happening to worry about that!)

On the home front, it took DH MUCH longer than anticipated to get his new passport which caused a few issues for him at work. Once it finally arrived he was out of the country straight away, and after extending his trip he is now on his way home. Yay! I've been going stir crazy as the kids have been home on holidays and have taken great joy in pushing mummy's buttons and trying to kill each other.

The big kids have completed the first term at school and we have had teacher meetings with each. Same old story for MsA: attention, task completion, immaturity. MrT had an excellent meeting. No areas of concern, and in fact exceeding expecations in a number of areas.

Baby M is now 8mths old. He still doesn't have any teeth, much to my surprise. It seems like he has been teething forever. You can see the tooth buds and he chews like crazy, but still not out yet. He is crawling though - and getting into so much mischief. He loves all DH's electrical gear ... cables are so much fun to play with. There will be some major "babyproofing" going on when DH gets home.

On the work front .... BUSY ....learning so much. will post later with details.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's this?

It's DH's passport - after a trip to .... the washing machine!

Poor man. He has had a rough week. The much awaited work retreat was a total disaster for him, with him being recalled to Singapore after the first night to fix up stuff in the Singapore office. He may as well have been in Vietnam for all we saw of him the next few days.

Anyway, sleep deprivation does funny things to you. Apparently it causes you to find and use obscure pockets in your clothes, and not empty your pockets when you finally get to throw them in the washer.

The cost of this oversight? $350, plus no travel for at least two weeks. Somehow I don't think that will mean we will see more of DH at home though ... he will be practically living at the office 24-7 until this gets sorted out.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Ramping It Up!!

Let's get busy!
Heaps of things happening and doing my best to keep up with it all.

Firstly, kids are back at school, which should theoretically free up some time, but it hasn't. MrM is missing not having the kids around and we are struggling with naps and general routine. Hopefully that won't take long to sort itself it.

I hope so anyway, as I will need time to do normal household stuff as our live in maid will be leaving us in a couple of weeks to get married. I'm sure I'll groan about doing the work, but I am looking forward to doing it "my way".

Kristy and I are working hard on FFC stuff. Two meetings this week, probably the same next week. We have gotten past the "pie in the sky" dreaming and are really getting stuff done as deadlines approach.

I've also decided that if I want to be productive with my crafting I have to maintain a regular habit. It surprised me that while I've been getting lots of ideas for projects I haven't been able to complete them. This has mainly been due to lack of skill. Things I used to know how to do I have forgotten, or techniques that I could master on first attempt just aren't working any more.

Once things are settled into as much of a predictable routine as possible I am going to try and establish a daily (only 15min) crafting time. I used to think that such a small time wasn't worth it, as I would be unlikely to finish a project in that time. Now I realise I need to create a habit - not worry about outcome.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


What a few weeks it has been. Got back from Oz, and pretty much straight after packed the kids up to defrost on the beach in Phuket. It wasn't quite the relax and recharge long weekend we were hoping for. MrM didn't adjust to the heat and humidity well and was grumpy beyond belief. Add to that an annoying rash which first appeared the morning we left (and has made several reappearances since - Dr seems unconcerned: "insect bite reactions") and a cold thanks to artic a/c in the hotel, and MrM was only ready to enjoy our trip on the day we left.
*He was introduced to both the sand (loved it) and waves (hated it) at the beach, and the kiddy pool (LOVED IT!!!)

Anyway, the big kids are back at school this week. Hoping that means I get back to "normal" routine soon. Hmmm .... not that we had a routine .... but I will soon have to, as our live in helper is leaving us in a couple of weeks. She is off to Italy to help her sister who is due to give birth to her 2nd set of twins. She is going back to The Philippines first and might be getting married ... IF her fiancee can get time off work (from UK).

I surprised myself by having a crafty weekend. Lots of great ideas and enthusiasm to make a last ditch effort to make something that might be included in Kristy's book. Alas, dissapointment quickly set in. I have realised that regular crafting time is necessary to hone techniques. My attempt at image transfer was a dismal failure and brought a quick halt to proceedings. Evidently I don't handle failure well! It didn't work the first time, so I wasn't prepared to persevere. Hmmm, might need to work on that ... not a trait I want to pass onto the kids!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I'm baack!!

Yay! How nice it was to sleep in my own bed last night. 5 1/2 wks is a long time to be away from home. I didn't miss the computer at all. Shock, horror. The kids on the other hand couldn't wait to turn it on this morning.

Nothing major to report on my time in Oz. It is important to me to spend time with my parents ... especially as more health concerns develop with each passing year. Goodbyes are always hard.

Didn't get any crafting done - not that I honestly thought I would. I was happy to make it up to a stamp/scrap store a couple of hours away where I was able to pick up some yummy Tim Holtz and Paper Artsy images. Hope it won't take too long to get them inky.

Things are happening over at Far Flung Craft. Can't wait to catch up with Kristy and find up where we stand. I think a print run is not far off - so maybe a trip to Taiwan. I feel bad that Kristy has been left to do all the FFC stuff herself while she has been busy with her *real* job and deadlines for her book (this woman just does it all!). I'll be trying to pull my weight from now on!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Take a deep breath, you will survive

... I said to myself as I realised the repercussions of my brash decision not to bring the laptop on our trip to Australia.

The kids have been fighting over the computer lately, and seem unable to come up with ideas of what to do if not on the computer. My fears have been confirmed - my kids are addicted to the computer. I have been scolding DH for allowing the kids so much time on the computer when I have been away, and even allowing them to each use a computer at the same time (rather than share time or take turns on mine).

I had planned on taking the laptop, and was happy to go without interent access. I was going to use the time constructively to develop my Photoshop skills, organise the millions of photos we have filed badly on the harddrive, and play around with my potential business stationery (but more on that later - DH surprises me again!).

Now I've decided to go cold turkey and we will all break ties from the computer. I said I was doing it for the kids sake -to give them the opportunity to rediscover imaginery play and old fashioned games - but I now realise I have as much of a habit to break too.

Wish me luck!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gracious, giving children

I am in humble awe of my children.
We live in a commercial society, where advertising and peer pressure can create kids (and adults) who want - and get- the latest gadget/accessory/toy/clothes/anything.

As parents, we have tried not to give in to this hype, and have endeavoured to raise our kids knowing that "things" are not the most important things in life. We have been blessed with a relatively high disposable income, and at times it is a struggle to keep purchases in check, however generally speaking we are happy that our kids are not the kind that ask for everything. The tantrum and whining voice in the middle of the toy store is never anything we have had to deal with.

Today my kids willingly went through their bookcase, cupboards, and toybox in search of items that they could donate to a charity clearance sale our neighbours are hosting. Proceeds will go to oxfam.

My kids have pulled together 6 large bags to donate. I initially sat with them and explained what donating would mean, but everything that went in the bags went in by their own hand.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Woo Hoo .... I'm a winner!

I left a comment on the talented Julie Van Oosten's blog and won a selection of her yet to be released new products.
The really funny thing is she is based in Perth, Western Australia and I was there at the time my name was drawn. If I had found out a little earlier I could have personally picked my prize up.

I had a great w'end in Perth, catching up with an old stamping buddy. It was a last minute trip, and I'm so glad I did it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More Mother's Day goodies

Just stumbled across Lisa Vollrath's website again, and yet another download available

Feeling loved

Last Sunday was Mothers Day, and I was spoilt!

I think DH's recent travels reaffirmed how special "family time" is.
(He was not impressed that he was alone, in another country, for his b'day)

I love that he took the time to come up with creative ways to present gifts to me.
I love how he used "old" family photos as well as brand new ones.
I love that he made me breakfast - including the best ever Hot Chocolate.
Oh, and the new phone aint bad either :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My quest to scrapbook

I think all my "poo-pooing" scrapbooking in years past has come back to bite me on the @ss. With DH away for work and my laptop acting up I decided to spend my "internet hours" crafting. Not only did I want to make a mother's day card, but my pal Kristy inspired me with the projects/subjects she needed for her upcoming Asian scrapbooking book.

For the first time ever, complete layouts came together in my mind. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about layouts.

First problem: I don't have any 12x12 paper, and I was definately planning that size
Second problem: Rather than use original photos I wanted to print off copies - but could I find them on DH's computer???
Third problem: The LSS was shut on ... National Scrapbooking Day!!! Can you believe it??? (When I went down there again y'day they didn't have what I wanted anyway, so will have to make the trip into the big store later this week)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The never ending birthday

Ms A is 8 today. It's amazing to look at what a sincere, caring, beautiful, and fun loving girl she has become. Love you lots, my one and only gorgeous girl!

MsA hasn't had a proper party for at least 3 yrs, so we thought we would go all out this year. We started early with a surprise trip to Fullerton Hotel on Friday night for the chocolate buffet. Mmm... yum! Highlights: hot chocolate bar with at least 8 different types of choc to choose/mix and match; the bread and butter pudding; some kind of mousse/pudding; and of course the choc fountain.

On Saturday we had her official birthday party at the ice skating rink. There were 17 kids in all (I didn't expect everyone to come since it was a 4 day long weekend), and they all seemed to have fun. I, on the otherhand was in a foul mood as not only did the ice rink fail in every aspect of customer service, I didn't get any b'day cake as DH threw the last piece out as he helped to clean up. :(

I was very proud of MsA. She received heaps of presents. She unwrapped them all, but didn't protest when we told her she could only open one new gift a day. She also sat down with Daddy and printed off photos of each of her guests to send with a personal thankyou note.

Today - the official bday - has been a pretty low key affair. We went into Orchard Rd and had brunch at Swenson's before watching a Maori cultural performance. Daddy was going to take the kids to the movies this afternoon, but being a public holiday, the cinemas were packed so he gave it a pass.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The illusion of security...

Hmmm ... how quickly things change.

Just when I thought DH was happy with the changes at work, he gets a call from China about a job he applied for about the same time things were coming to a head in his office. Suffice it to say he has had phone interview, interview at local office, and is due to fly to China in 2 wks (when he returns from Oz biz trip)for final interview.

I'm trying to be supportive, as I understand it's a great opportunity for him. It's hard to be too excited as not only am I unimpressed with the location of the job, I'm also unimpressed with the amount of travel this position is said to entail: 30-50%.

I don't want to be, in effect, a single mum. I don't care about the huge $$ he may earn. I'd rather have a happy family. We are happy in Singapore now. Would we be happy in China? Time will tell I guess.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A manager who finally gets to manage!

Yay! I'm so happy for my DH.

Things have been really tough for him at work for the longest time. He often talks about leaving his job, but as we want to stay in Singapore and our visas are linked to his employment that is not as easy as it sounds. Anyway, there has been a major shake up at his office, with the boss being sacked due to performance issues (personally and as a business unit). There was uncertainty about who would take over, but finally a new external appointment was made.

In the 10 days he has been on board he has reviewed staffing and has reassigned people. DH, who had been working alone (as they were never able to replace the staff that left last year) has immediate approval to hire 3 staff, and is waiting from approval from head office to hire another 3.

DH has had the title of manager for ages, but never really got to use it. He is pretty impressed that the new boss thinks he can handle a team of 7. He is also impressed that apparently people are now recognising that he has been doing the work of 4 (or more). Hopefully we will see more of him at home now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The beginning of an empire???

Wow, how fast things change.
I have been offered the opportunity essentially to create my own OT empire.
Who'da thunk it??
I was initially dumbfounded, now I think it's laughable ... it's just so *NOT* me. But I still have to work out how to get out of it ...

I've been hounded by a former teacher from GSS who has set up her own school and wanted me to consult. I went in as they were setting up, as a gesture of good will at 38wks preg to give them some advise, and agreed that we would talk about me joining them part time in August to supervise the therapist they had already recruited.

Sounded simple enough.

Anyway, met with them at their request last week - thought it was just a "meet the baby" thing, only to be given a sob story about being unable to commence OT services and have them beg me to come in for a couple of hours a week straight away to at least do initial screening and support the teachers. Being the softie I am, I said yes, on the proviso that MrM could come too. They agreed.

I ended up registering a new business name the next day, and sent a proposal to the school outlining scope of services and fees. The principal got back to me over the weekend with a proposal of her own. She offered to create a partnership to bankroll my business, provide space and admin support in return for access to therapy services for all their kids. I don't know if she has suggested this as a way of minimising what she would have to pay me - cos although I'm a soft touch and obviously can't say no, I have no problem charging market rate for my services!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lisa's at it again!

Gosh, you gotta be quick around here! I went to visit Lisa Vollrath's site in order to download the last of her St Pat's inspired images as I've been away from a computer for 10 days (and for once, not missing it!), but they had been taken down. Never fear, in their place is the Great Easter Download (starting April 1). Take a look!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Go Irish!

St Patty's Day is coming up (although the parade has already occurred in Singapore, why???).

Lisa Vollrath is at it again, offering free image downloads, this time with a distinctly green feel. Take a look!!

I do get inspired when I see her mixed media work.

I think I will print these ones out straight away, as it is not like I have time to fiddle around with the printer when the urge strikes to create something at the moment.

MrM has provided the perfect creative challenge: art in 5mins!
It's not like he naps long enough for me to create for any longer.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time to get crafty??

My hiatus from crafting may soon be coming to an end.
It's not like I have heaps of time or energy for creative pursuits, but there could be some "environmental changes" in the next month or so that will make it easier.

I am considering taking the plunge and joining my bud in her craft business. She has major plans for expansion, but no time to implement them (being an international lawyer can be a drag!). We went through her business plan yesterday and I'm tempted to give her a provisional green light to look at incorporating her existing business, however I better wait til DH returns from KL and get his feedback.

I'm (jokingly) wondering whether MsA had a hand in the scheming and planning in getting me involved in this opportunity as one of the big plans is exhibiting at CHA next winter (Feb). I know I won't want to leave MrM (or the other kids) for the week the trip will take, so it may end up being a family trip. The downside is that may impact on our plans to go home for Christmas. The upside (for MsA and MrT anyway) is that the show is in Anaheim - the home of DisneyLand!!


As you can imagine, time online is limited now by the demands of baby. Generally things have been going well. I'm surprised by how quickly I recovered: no excessive tiredness, no baby blues etc. Thanks to necessity I guess - I had two other kids to keep me busy.

Some key happenings over the last 3 weeks:

- MrT's b'day party at home. It rained again - 2nd year his bday bbq has been washed out.
- My "confinement experience" - Vani, the postnatal therapist came for a week to give massages, use jamu (herbs), and abdominal binding to help me get my girlish figure back (ha!)
- the struggle in getting MrM's photo so we could submit citizenship and passport applications. (++ hard to get baby photo with mouth closed, eyes open, hands down, head straight, looking straight ahead)
- 2 more job offers!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Birth Story

Matthew Ryan arrived at 1.53am on Wednesday 14th, Valentine's Day.

So much for our "golden piggy" CNY baby. MrM surprised us by coming only 3 days late - not the anticipated 10+ days.

Relatively easy natural delivery. Had been having Braxton Hicks contractions fairly regularly all day (and all week!), not sure when real labour started. Ended up going to the hospital about 10pm, thinking this may well be the real thing, but would not have been surprised to have been sent home. Dr came in and examined me - 3cm and fully effaced. Said it looks like the start of active labour, so keep moving, and nurses would check on me again in 4hrs. With that comment I thought that meant I was in for a long night of labouring.

By midnight I had hopped in the tub for pain relief and my resolve for no pain relief was weakening. When the midwife popped in about 12.45 I asked about timeframe for epidural, knowing that sometimes it can take an hour or more for the anesthetist to administer it. Midwife asked me to get out of the tub so she could examine me and see how fast things were progressing. She seemed suprised that I was 6cm, and said she didn't think there would be time, as she started preparing the room or delivery, and I started sucking on the air/gas like there was no tomorrow!

My waters broke on the table about 1.30 and shortly after I felt the urge to push. Check: 8-9cm. I remember looking up at the clock at 1.39 when the midwife said the dr was on the way. I couldn't believe it when she asked me to lay straight (legs down) so as to reduce the urge to push. It felt like she said "cross your legs and wait for the dr". Thankfully dr wasn't far away. As soon as he walked in he said "push with the next contraction if you want to". DH said afterwards that he was taken by surprise at how quickly the whole thing happened. It felt like it only took 3 or 4 pushes and out he came!

He had the roundest head!!!

That was the one feature that I focussed on. My beautiful boy was put straight on my chest, DH was able to cut the cord when it stopped pulsing, and we stayed there for over half an hour. I was given the opportunity to put him on the breast, which he took to straight away. DH took a few photos and everytime the flash went there was a huge startle and a look of major panic in his eyes.

When it was time to go up to the ward I was asked if I a wheelchair was OK. I said it wasn't needed, as I was happy to walk up. Little did I realise that she meant can you manage getting ito a wheelchair, or would you prefer to be transported up on the bed!

At about 3.30am we decided to ring Oz for early (6.30) wake up calls to our families to tell them the news. DH went home shortly after, but I was too excited to sleep. I ended up sending sms to everyone at 5am with birth announcement. I was embarassed that I must have woken a few people up, as I got immediate replies ... people really shouldn't sleep with their phones!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My Valentine

No chocs, romantic dinner, gifts of sexy lingerie, jewellery, or eddy bears for me this year. And am I complaining - NO.

I had the best Valentine's Day ever. The birth of my third child!

More details to follow ...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The time is now ... EDD

Surprise! My EDD is today, but still no sign of baby. Had Dr appointment on Thursday, and while there was good news that baby had stayed in head down position (I was certain he had turned again), he was still high in my tummy, with Dr suggesting at least another 7-10 days wait. I had a busy day on Friday, and I think all the walking helped the baby drop lower, but still not engaged.

Looks like it will be A CNY baby after all.

To think I was concerned that baby would come on the 18th (MrT's b'day), but apparently he has given up all talk of a b'day party because he is excited about the baby arriving on his b'day as HIS b'day present! Now what do I do if baby comes earlier/later??? DH is supposed to be in charge of b'day present this year (as I expect to be preoccupied!!), but he hasn't done anything yet. Hope he gets organised!

On homefront news. Dad had a review at the cardiologist on Friday. Dad seemed pretty blase about the whole thing. Apparently he will have to go to the city for an angiogram and some other testing. Mum happened to mention in passing that she will be seeing a surgeon too about getting her gallbladder removed. It's times like these I hate being half a world away from my family. To top it all off mum is trying to talk me out of flying in for a quick visit with the baby, cos she thinks it's too far and too much for us to handle. I just want to see my parents!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Quiet on the homefront

No baby news! Tend to be having lots of baby movements early evening, followed by lots of "tightenings". Last night had about 3-4 hrs of regular Braxton Hicks contractions, including back pain (ie back labour - hope the baby isn't posterior like MsA). Only mentioned it once to DH, because although they were painful, the ontractions weren't getting more intense or more frequent. I'm wondering if they were simply painful because of the ECV done earlier, which made my abdomen generally tender.

Oh, on the work front I politely declined the offers at this time, however suggested that if they were willing to wait a few months they could approach me again. I've already had a response saying they are happy to wait cos they really want me on board!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Turn me, baby

Well, I was in for a surprise today at the Drs. This baby has been in breech position forever, but I was so confident that he had turned since my last Drs visit, I hardly paid attention to his explanation of what would have to be done if he hadn't turned when I was to see him again.

I should have. Baby hadn't turned. So Dr proceeded to perform ECV (External Cephalic Version). With him grunting, his knuckles cracking, and me wincing as he had his thumbs jammed into my tummy, he concluded by saying that the baby had turned and that would have been classed an "easy version". I would have hate to have seen a "difficult" one.

I was sent upstairs to the labour ward to be put on monitoring for 20mins. Dr popped in during that time as he had a lady labouring, and asked me to stay longer as the baby wasn't as active as he should be. Got given the all clear after 30 mins, but told to watch out for signs of labour or less movements from baby.

An anxious night ahead, me thinks. I don't know if it related to the procedure, but I now have a splitting headache (headaches and high BP were an issue late in preg with MsA), and a generally sore tummy and pubic area. Hope baby has his usual active period this evening, cos he is still very quiet. Thought he would have protested being moved from his evidently comfortable breech position!

In Demand!!

I'm flattered, dumbfounded, overwhelmed, surprised, honoured ....

Get the picture??

For the first time in my life I am a "wanted woman"!

I have had job offers coming at me left and right. It's amazing having people ring you out of the blue, stroke your ego, and sweet talk you all in an attempt to get you to work for them.

I do take pride in my work, and I do think I am competent at what I do. I don't think I warrant the accolades that some potential employers are heaping on me though.

I'd also like to take this information and rub it in the face of a couple of people at a former workplace who made comments that I had no bargaining power when it came to jobseeking and they could pay me under market rate because no one else would employ me (TIP: watch who you cc emails to, especially if you are replying to a message!)

I just wish timimg could have been better.

I really don't know if/when/how much I will work after the baby comes (next week?!).

All my potential "suitors" know my situation and are bending over backwards to say how flexible they will be and are happy to wait for me to start when I'm ready - provided I can give a commitment to them now that I WILL come on board.

What to do???

DH is telling me that if I am in demand now, I should still be in demand in 3-6mths when I will be more settled and can make more realistic decisions about what a want workwise.

I hope he is right.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Gong Xi! Gong Xi!

Last night we all went to a wedding of a colleague of mine from work.

It was the first Chinese wedding I had been to. The evening started off poorly - DH was late leaving work, so he got his taxi to pick us up and go onto the venue, and had no chance to change or freshen up. Apparently the taxi driver was in a foul mood and resented having the extra pickup (you think he would be happier about having a larger fare!). The taxi gave us the runaround and took us to the wrong destination. I was so angry. The invitation specified meal to be served at 7.30 and requested everyone be punctual. I guess I shouldn't have worried. Proceedings didn't start until 8.30.

As usual the kids were centre of attention. Mr T was a bit tired and grumpy as he had a cold, but quickly perked up when familiar faces from school came and said hello to him. He apparently stole the show with the bride's father during the "table toasts" (I was outside talking to a friend).

Ms A showed she is definitely soaking up info at school. She was aghast when sharks fin soup was served and was a real little conservationist, refusing to eat it. She did her best to read the chinese menu and was saying "xie xie" at every opportunity.

I don't know what all the fuss is about. I've heard so many things about the different practises at Chinese weddings, but there really was little that was that unusual. Yes, there is lots of food. Yes, there are costume changes for the bride. There are also tables full of people having a good time, bestowing blessings on the happy couple. The strangest thing about a Chinese wedding dinner is that here in Singapore at least it happens well after the "official" wedding/licensure (?) at ROM.

I guess you have to save up to party!!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

hmmm .... nesting or moaning???

Well, I guess I'm entitled to be a pain to live with at the moment. I am 38 wks pregnant afterall.
After having a pretty emotionally stable pregnancy (from my perspective anyway - and DH has been nice enough not to dispute it) I ended up in tears this morning all because I couldn't get a document to print properly and then I couldn't trim a photo properly. I stormed off to the shower and left DH to sort it out. Felt much better after the shower, but couldn't help but notice that DH had cut out the wrong photos. See, you don't have to be pregnant to make mistakes!

My bud Kristy (from Far Flung Craft) would be surprised/relieved/gloating if she saw me now. I am seriously looking through old photo albums (the "toxic" magnetic page ones) with the view of redoing them in more archivally safe "scrapbook" style albums. I cringe even as I write "scrapbook" cos I said I would never do scrapbooking. I'm trying to make it sound more like journalling or creating artist albums - but given that I am going to have to buy some definate scrapbooking products I know Kristy won't let me get away with it!

The reason for my new found interest in looking through photo albums that have happily sat in a box for the 4yrs we have been in Singapore, plus probably many more years before that is purely nesting. These boxes have just been sitting against the wall in our bedroom for years, and now need to be moved to accommodate baby stuff.

So today I plan to head off to Spotlight to buy some elastic to use to adapt sheets into fitted cot sheets (our cot is way smaller than the cot sheets we already have). I will also walk down the dreaded scrapbooking aisle to buy some acid neutralising/archival spray for some newspaper clippings, photo corners, and maybe a "proper" album with page protectors. I will NOT venture into the scrapbooking store in the same shopping centre. I do have an image to maintain :)

Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

What the ?????

I can't believe it!!! Just saw an ad on TV that a Dark Side of the Moon concert with Roger Waters is touring Asia. held my breathe for dates in Singapore - none forthcoming.

Thought that's OK, I'll splurge and go to HK to watch it ... hang on .... its in 4wks .... can't be, I'm having a baby in 3wks.

I had always joked that if ever Pink Floyd reformed I would be at the concert no matter what - even if I was due to give birth. Never did I think that situation would actually arise!!! Somehow I don't that my OB/GYN would agree to schedule an elective c-section early just so I could go see a concert ....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sick and tired...

Thankfully not both at once.

I am tired. DH is sick. Of course a man who is sick is likely to make me frustrated - why can't "sick" men either:

  1. suck it up and get on with it
  2. go to the doctor and actually FOLLOW instructions (ie take medication when indicated, and FINISH IT)

I am 37wks pregnant and can't sleep due to the growing discomfort. DH does not need to give me practice in childcare in advance! He could always be proactive and look after his health!

(Should I mention that this is probably his 3rd or 4th visit to the doctor since Xmas??? Do you think maybe a review of lifestyle and stress is in order?)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I just spent a fun morning at home with a lady I have met only once before.

She was to have been my maternity leave locum, but decided that not only did she not have the skills to do the job, she was not happy with the arrangement/offer made by her/my employer. I must say that I was impressed by her decision, as I know I have felt at various times that I have been taken advantage of by my employer and my value not really considered. She has been strongly encouraging me not to be limited by my current situation, to think outside the box and show my "power" by demanding improved employment conditions with either the same or different employers. She has also made the idea of setting a private practice up seem much less daunting.

Lots to think about.

Anyway, I just spent the morning with her in what I would call a mentoring session. She doesn't have much experience with paeds, and was particularly concerned about her assessment skills. We spent some time going through the non-standardised observational assessment battery she has developed. It looks like she has the assessment part under control, but lacks confidence in the interpretation and treatment planning side of things. We talked about lots of therapy ideas that she could use in both clinic settings and in setting up home programmes.

It was useful for me too.

I should probably look at setting up a similar kind of arrangement for my professional development. Despite what she and many of the teachers at GSS think I don't have all the answers, and am NOT an expert in current treatment protocols or research. I just had a great weekend learning about SAMONAS, an auditory intervention programme, but I feel no where near ready to confidently prescribe this protocol. I would love to have supervision in using it for a while, and someone to challenge my clinical reasoning and encourage me to look at outcome measures more than I do.

Awaiting the transformation

When he sets his mind on it ....

I have an Apple notebook.

Hmmm, it's funny how DH can sometimes see things through without any reminders, and other times it is like pulling teeth! DH was obviously very motivated to look for a computer solution, as less than 24hrs after raising the topic he came home with a laptop. I'm not entirely sure what the situation is - if it's a trial or anything.

I'm continuing to use my PC though, as surprise, surprise, the Mac can't quite remember how to connect to our home network, despite DH setting it up last night.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on DH to follow up on some more "trivial" matters he agreed to attend to last year: the money man, the A/C man, speaking to the landlord re possible water in the ceiling etc ....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Technologically challenged

Well, I can't work it out. I borrowed a book from the library, specifically focussing on publishing a blogger blog, as I was finding going back and forth with the online help frustrating, and I still can't get my blog to do what I want. I think the main problem is lack of a good graphics/photo editing program. I am reluctant to download any of the freebie/trial ones from the web as last time I did that (when I started the blog aeons ago) driver incompatibilities or something kept on causing my laptop to crash.

There is a chance that I will be farewelling my loyal laptop soon. It is old (in terms of computer lifespans), slow, heavy ... and never available to me as the kids have become tec heads.

Even MrT at not quite 5yrs is capable of using the internet. He very proudly showed me how he could type the web address that was listed on the packaging from one of his Christmas toys into the browser. He can't read yet, but he definately knows "open", "exit", "next", "play". Amazing!!

Anyway, DH has been hinting heavily that he would like to make the switch to Mac platform. He tries to justify it by saying it would help the kids who are using Macs at school. He tries to appease me by telling me how Windows works on it, so I don't have to learn a new OS, that much of the kids PC software is somehow compatible too, and that we can have a mixed network at home with both PC and Mac with no problem.

I'm not sure I believe the "no problem" scenario. But the big plus is that he is trying to line up a "no cost" to us solution. Can't fault that! With baby expenses, me not working, upcoming travel, and some uncertainty with DH's work that is an important factor.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Feeling appreciated

Yesterday I popped into work to see how things were going with the locum (there were initial concerns!). I was taken back by how warmly I was greeted by everyone. I don't thinkI have ever felt so much that I was part of a "team" as I do at GSS - even though I work part time, and am not employed by GSS. GSS do not see me as a contractor to them, I am one of them, and it is great!

It was quite funny that as soon as the teachers had said hello I was bombarded with questions/updates etc regarding the kids in their classes. I spoke to the principal afterwards and she said the teachers must really miss the support that I was able to give when I was there. The principal has been quite innovative and solved the locum problem by employing a husband/wife team to provide joint therapy. There were concerns that individually neither of them had sufficient skills/confidence etc, but working together it looks like they will make a powerful team. They spent a lot of time over the holidays reorganising the therapy room, and it looks great! I wish them well.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Back to school - the end of an era

Today was the last day of the school holidays. Both kids are back to school tomorrow. Neither of them are overly excited, although they are looking forward to seeing friends again. They quickly got into the habit of doing nothing, so while they complained about being bored from time to time (often!) they evidently became very comfortable with the lack of structure and demands placed on them. Hope that doesn't cause any problems when they go back.

We were going to go out and have a celebratory treat this afternoon to mark the end of the hols, but the kids got tied up with playdates. We might do something tomorrow to mark the first day back at school instead.

I was actually feeling a little frustrated that we didn't go out. Yet another thing on my "to do during the holidays" list that didn't happen. If I think about it in reference to my last post though, I realise that the actions don't matter so much ... we had fun together, which was more important.

Sudden realisation: this was my last holidays having just the two kids at home. Next time around there will be another. I really need to find as much 1 on 1 time with the kids as I can!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

My Intentions ...

I'm not foolish enough to say "my resolutions", but here is what I hope/plan the future will be:

  • opening my eyes to see the beauty around me. Even in the mundane elements of life.
  • setting time aside each week for "me time", where I indulge in my own selfish pleasures, be it a bubble bath, a secret icecream, reading a trashy novel in bed, or journalling.
  • setting aside time each week to connect with my DH one on one - and not just to deal with "business" eg family/family/work issues.
  • appreciating my kids for who they are, and indulging THEIR individual pleasures.

That's it. Of course I'd like to add things like exercise more, do more (any!) stamping, etc but I really want to focus on attitudes not just actions.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What a difference a year makes!

A new year, a new energy.

After an absence of 1 whole year from blogging, lots of work, lots of personal frustrations and NO time spent on creative ventures, it's time to try again.

I need to relearn (well, learn for the first time) the intricacies of blogging.

Perhaps I will look at making my previous entries private in the future, as I aired some negative stuff - which may have been exactly what I needed, but was probably not fair for the others mentioned. Then again, I may leave it, 'cos we all have ups and downs!