Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've done it again!

The Army Half Marathon that is!
A race that I almost didn't start. The training which I hardly got into. With knees that caused me to doubt if I should even do it. All the odds were against me going to the start line. With the hubs and helper away, who was going to sort out the kids? What if I couldn't play tennis for a long time to come because of my knees? V and I already had discussed the week before, and somehow instead of egging each other on, we were almost on the brink of giving up, even before we even started! I'm so glad we got there in the end... never mind that I went with the intention of walking as soon as my knees started to complain... never mind that I was prepared to clock a worse time than last year given the lack of training especially in the last 2 weeks without any help at home...never mind the I didn't get much sleep the night before. (D woke at 3am, and I couldn't get back to sleep)
BUT I DID IT! In 2:37.30. 9 minutes faster than last year. At a faster pace as well. runpix.com says I ran the first 11km at 7.6kph, and the next 10 km at 8.6kph! Wow! I surprised myself! I felt good throughout the run. Knees started to ache at about 9km, but I knew that was not going to stop me. I wanted to get to the 15-16km mark, and then decide what to do after that. When I got there, I felt better than ever, and just kept going! It helped that the route this year was much more enjoyable, taking us past Marina Bay sands, and again along the F1 track. The end was also much less demoralising, as there were no u-turns after the Nicoll Highway as they did last year, and no bottle-necks where the 21 and 10 km runners met.
Post-run, I had some knee swelling, and pain in my feet, but today, the day after, I have no post-race effects to speak of, other than mild muscle soreness! The knees feel great!
After the race yesterday, the adrenaline high took me through the whole day, even managing to take the 3 kids to watch Sesame Street live on stage in the afternoon.

I finally hit the sack at 930pm with the kids, feeling thankful that the Lord took me through the race, and the day, full of energy, preserving my body, and teaching me that in any race we will never see the finish line if we give up even before the race has begun...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Several months later...

This blog has been really quiet for a while huh?! My life has been so busy this last few months, revolving around the children and an increasing workload. Whilst an increasing workload means I'm earning more, it also means that I'm spending a lot less time with the children. As a result of this, I'm starting to see some changes in behavioural patterns in the girls, especially K1. It's a real struggle now. I'm pretty sure it's because I'm spending less time at home with her. I still make it a point to send, and pick her up from school, however, after I drop her home, I have to zip off to work, and often do not return home till 6-7pm about 2-3 days a week. K2 on the other hand go to school 3 days a week, and only for 3 hours each time. So I have more time one-on-one with her. K1 had been acting up, especially at meal times, being more difficult, and not wanting to play her role of the eldest sister anymore... sometimes even commenting,"how come I don't get to spend time with you." It breaks my heart, and makes my wonder if earning that bit more money is really worth it.

I'm so glad that we've been able to have a family holiday. the first one this year. A driving trip up to KL, and Fraser's, then back to Melaka for 1 night. It was a trip which exceeded our expectations. Firstly, the 2 hotels we stayed in KL and Melaka were both excellent ones, with a fantastic room and pool, in great locations in each city. The KL stay was great for the food, shopping and walks in places we had never discovered before. Melaka was rediscovered as a great holiday destination now with the new hotel which is not too expensive, walking distance to the malls and eating places. The new mega mall was HUGE! We only managed to shop in 2 shops spending way too much money, and they were both FOS shops! We didn't even have time to go to the other mall across the road... oh well... saved some money there...:) Fraser's was as usual the best place for family time bonding with my parents, brother and sis-in-law, godpa and aunt, as well as for the cousins! All this made even better by the delicious food served out at each meal... The kids were so happy just to be on holiday... it's the simple pleasures...

So... this post has been sitting as a draft for about 3 months now... waiting to get posted... here, I have completed it... now for the photos!

My big girl all on her own
some national garden in KL
KLCC park
In front of the twin towers
simple pleasures... eating ice lollies by the river in Meleka

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A 3 year old and 11 months old and other reflections...

It's about time I did a new post I think.
Jodie has been gone for about a month now, and the family is now starting to get used to being without a dog. Initially, the house felt so empty despite having 3 kids to fill the space and add to the noise pollution. It's just how Jodie used to be around, yet be unnoticed, the way she would greet us at the door, then go off to her corner, or snuggle up to us when we sat on the floor. The squeak of her ball occasionally, then her persistence in wanting you to play 'fetch' with her... all these little things are just taken for granted, and dearly missed when it's not around. We used to think twice about leaving food on low tables for fear of Jodie grabbing at them, it still is instinctive to think twice, then realise that she's not around anymore... We also realised that we started to get more mynahs in our kitchen, leaving their droppings, stealing food from the bins, and even picking food out of the pots on the stove! I kept wondering why it was less so in the 2 months since we moved in... then the realisation hit me, when I deduced that Jodie must have been keeping the birds away! Either by chasing them, or that they knew that a dog was around here, and never tried to get too close! These are things we just take for granted, and don't appreciate about others, whether 4 or 2-legged, until they are gone...
Anyway, K and I were toying with the idea of getting another dog immediately. We went to SPCA, the pet farm, and some pet shops looking for a replacement. A month on, we have gotten used to not having a dog to take on our walks, not needing to clean up after her, not needing to think about whether she needs to go out to do her business etc... I have decided that we'll wait till the kids are older before we venture into getting another pet... the thought of training a puppy all over again is just a bit too daunting for me now.

Well, this year has been rather eventful thus far... K2 had her 3rd birthday, and baby D turns 11 months today!
The day before her birthday, I made a cake and brought to school for her to celebrate with her friends in school. The next day, we had a simple day out with all the kids. Both daddy and I took the day off work, and brought her to the playground in the morning. She was allowed to do and eat anything she wanted for the day! After getting K1 from school, we had lunch at Macs, and then headed off to Sentosa for the afternoon. K2 requested to go to Underwater world, so that's where we headed. We had a great time, and she especially enjoyed the dolphin and fur seals show at the new dolphin lagoon. After which, we went to the beach, and played on the sand till it was time to go home for dinner. All the grandparents were at home waiting for the birthday girl for dinner, and to have her birthday cake! Hopefully she'll remember this day for a while.
Mr D is 11 months old today... so here this mummy has to start cracking her head to think of how to celebrate his 1st birthday. Traditionally, the other 2 girls had a party with cousins at their 1st birthday... so I guess it'll have to be so too... must be fair right?
D has been practicing his walking with the push-walker for about 1 month now and has started standing for a few seconds on his own... so I anticipate his first steps soon... He is such a bundle of joy to be with. He has such a pleasant disposition, crying only when he's hungry or tired. He has smiles for everyone most of the time... just makes me smile....

I'll leave you with these pics... and more on FB

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We will remember you...

Our first baby, Jodie, left us at about 4.20am this morning. It'll be a night we'll remember for a long time.
I apologise that my first post of the year is starting on such a dismal note... this has been the mood in the house for the last 2 weeks since we first noticed that she was looking lethargic, and very weak. It came to a point 2 weeks ago when she was limping so badly, we had to take her to the vet, and admit her. She was anaemic, and found to have the tick-borne bacteria ehrlichia in her blood. After the first night hospitalised, the vet decided she needed a blood transfusion. Thanks to Buddy, his blood matched hers, and a transfusion was done. This gave Jodie 1 more good week, before we noticed that she started to weaken again. At the next blood test, her blood cells had reduced to lower-than-ever levels. Dr H concluded that she might have had the infection for a long time, since we had noticed some of the symptoms about a year ago, but was not picked up at the visits then. She thought that the chronic infection had destroyed the bone marrow, and thus Jodie was not producing her own blood cells. We could have done more blood transfusions, but that would just prolong her poor health... so we took the last option, which was to let her live the rest of her days as she pleased.
Jodie's health deteriorated at such a rapid speed. Within 1 day, she was weak, unable to walk, and just struggling... We knew last night would be her last. We decided to spend the night as a family beside her, staying up with her as much as possible.
At 3am, Jodie started taking long, laboured breaths. K decided that it was time to put her down, as he didn't want to see her suffer longer. We drove to the 24hr animal clinic. Along the way, with the windows down, Jodie wanted to feel the wind blowing in her face. The sight of her with the wind blowing her ears, was so heartwarming! She looked so happy again, it even seemed like her breathing had calmed down slightly. She even looked like she was flying! (if only I could have taken a pic of her) When we got to the clinic, we felt that she still had a few hours to go, and wanted to spend the rest of the time with her, so we brought her home again. She seemed to insist on being left alone, as she kept walking to the corner away from us, but we just wanted to be near her, and watch her. Eventually, she took her last walk into the house, went to sniff at K1, daddy K carried her to K2, and then laid her down on her bed in the house. She struggled slightly, let out a low-pitched moan, and breathed her last...
We cried over her body, mourning her loss, but were really happy that she went peacefully, on her own.
Many things we'll remember about Jodie...
we'll remember her sad eyes and endearing look at the window of the pet shop that stole our hearts, only to realise that she was a good actress when we brought her home. Super hyper, playful, yet very loving. The time spent toilet training, obedience training; the frustrations and moments of anger when she messed the house, the sofa, scratched or bit any of us, or showed her jealousy and lack of attention when the children arrived; her irritating barking every time someone said 'bye' and wanted to leave the house (apparently she didn't like people to leave). She left token memorabilia on the hands of some of the guests at our house. We will miss the beach swims, the long runs and walks, the ball games... We will miss having to constantly watch out for the little scavenger under the table, waiting to pounce on our unattended food. We will miss the cuddles we shared in bed; she was our little foot warmer and electric blanket all rolled into a furry bear-like perfect companion.
K1 put it very aptly: The house will not be the same again, right?

Rest in peace, Jodie, we love you...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

That time of the year...

Yes! It's the most wonderful time of the year... My favourite... you can smell and feel the magic of christmas all around. More people smiling, especially shop owners, more walking with that spring in their step... lights abound, trees aglow, the holiday mood is starting to be felt! yippee! it's the 1st of December.
Wow, time has really flown by. This year more so than others, perhaps? The last months have been very eventful for me. Little D is now 8 months old, he has sprung his first tooth, and his second is just cutting through. He is now crawling properly, and loves to stand. He'll pull himself up to stand as soon as he grabs on to something he can pull on. Believe it or not, the first 'word' he says constantly now is "che che che" wonder what that refers to. Occasionally you can decipher a "da da", but so far nothing starting with 'm'. He's been such a joy to watch, to see him develop through his milestones. I've kinda forgotten what it was like with the girls. Perhaps him being the last, I'm treasuring this much more. His temperament so far seems to be of a gentle nature, especially when you watch him play next to his rough and tough sisters... I pray that this will continue to nurture, and stay with him. He has also sort of weaned himself off the breast, only drinking at night. He lost interest in drinking directly, and would only drink the EBM. That has made my supply deplete on top of my laziness in expressing milk. I feel a little sad, knowing that this will be the last one I'll breastfeed, but at the same time, I feel quite 'liberated' to know that life can go on! Having said that, I actually feel that I'm also losing my 'link-line' to D. I've been so busy with work and entertaining the older 2, and I really think he is much neglected, always being left behind. I must make a greater effort not to allow a good helper to be my excuse to leaving him at home all the time :P

with the god-sisters

The last weekend was the point at which half a year of practices culminated when we sang at the centenary celebration service of the Diocese of Singapore, which is the anglican church in Singapore. 5 months ago, the singer volunteers met for the first time at SJSM as total strangers from different parishes, not knowing what to expect. Some not knowing much about music, or even how to pitch, but all just coming with a heart to serve and to worship the Lord. Through the patient instruction and several sectional practices, everyone got better each time. The age range was vast from 5-50 I think, but we all managed to forge new friendships, and new links across the various congregations we come from, but still within the body of Christ. It was an unforgettable experience, especially at the rehearsal and service it self when all the parts were put together over the weekend. All Glory to God. It was a spectacular sight! The band, and the singers alone would have been just plain... it was in combining with the dancers that made it all so much more colourful! The energy that came from having a hall filled with 10,000 people was even more breathtaking! I feel truly honoured to be able to serve as part of the team for the service to gather so many people together to worship the Lord. I don't think I'll ever experience anything like this again.

Next up for the last month of this year will be the practices for the SYC concert on the 13th of December. A few months ago, they were looking for some alumni to boost up the voices for a piece which will be sung with a band, and they asked me. Something which I've been wanting to do... to sing in a choir again... I thought this will fill up this yearning for awhile :) I'm really looking forward to the full day practices. Brings me back in time...

Well, since the school holidays have started a week ago, my running has taken a back seat. With 3 kids in the house, it's almost impossible for me to get my run in without feeling guilty, and wanting to come home straight away. So as long as I maintain my weight for now, I'll have to wait till I can get more me-time to further advance my weight loss regime...sigh...:(

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 down... 7 to go!

Yes... that's the progress of my weight loss programme! Woots!

I'm now very motivated to carry on now that I'm seeing the results. However, I think I'll still need to slow down my running programme, do more weights/toning classes to enhance the weight loss, and also to save my knees. I've decided not to train for any more long races for now, till i get my knee figured out. Tennis at the moment is also not great for the knees... sigh. Really starting to feel the effects of being over 30, and the effects of 5 years of childbearing :( Body feels to have aged about 10 years between the 3 kids. Time to get my body back in shape, hopefully my body will feel as youthful as people say I look... *blush*

Anyway, we're 5 days away from the grand move! It feels like such a long process, but we're all so excited about it. The progress of the reno has been rather satisfactory, we're pretty pleased with it.
Still the mixed feelings I have about leaving our first home still exists... I will miss it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The next step...

So we're 1 and a half weeks into getting the keys to our new place! We are so excited about it. Having spent 5k+ at the OM warehouse sale, getting furniture at ridiculously low prices (display pieces of course), sussing out countless number of places that sell outdoor furniture at obscene prices, working out how much it'll cost us to do minor reno works etc etc... the workers have finally started work on the house! We are so pleased with it... oh wait... not after having had an almost heartbreaking first day looking at the living room area, and realising that the L-shaped sofa we bought might not fit right where we wanted it... seeing the actual condition of the house sans furniture and cover-ups... wow... we really thought that there would be so much to do! This being a rather old house (circa 1970s) there's probably several problems hidden under layers of paint. Problems that we would not encounter in buying a new house, or even an apartment. Nevertheless, we're pretty glad that we can get the problems straightened out, to do the things we want with the house within our budget.

Now, we have to start packing up our current house! It'll still be another month before we can officially move in, but i think packing a little at a time is better than having to do it all at a go.

Little D is also growing up fast. He just passed his 6th month this past week, and I think he is ahead of his milestones. He is starting to crawl on his belly, reach for everything within reach, communicating with sounds, and eating his solids like a good little man. He has learned that he'd rather be carried when he eats, but when I insist that he sits to be fed, he just bawls, but at the same time swallows all the food fed to him! Initially I thought he didn't like the food, and was just eating cos he was too hungry... but now I know that he just wants to be carried.... spoilt from the word go!!!
At his check up yesterday, he weighed in at 7.6kg, and 64cm. Still short and fat by weight-height ratio standards! oh well... he'll be my gentle giant... maybe he'll make a good rugby player :)

Dylan n my new niece Lindsay