The great realization

Yesterday was somewhat special. It was the year – end concert for the twins’ school. All of us were terribly excited about it because they might be five years old but it was their first time on stage! (Remember how often they used to suffer from hfmd? They “happened to” contract it around last year’s event and we had to give it a miss)

While other mothers were quietly wiping away their tears of pride when seeing their little ones perform on stage, I was struggling to contain the gush of emotions when the biggest realization of the day hit me hard.

I FUCKING NEED A NEW CAMERA.

Yes, we do not have a single decent video or photo of the boys on the stage because the camera was such a piece of crap.

Should have just focused on enjoying the whole performance instead of struggling with the camera (it was a lost cause anyway. . )

image

Anyways, here’s ending with a totally irrelevant photo of my shoes. Happy Sunday!

生日快乐

生日快乐,爸爸!
今年我们果然多了个白白胖胖的女宝宝。
你如果看到了一定很开心 🙂

going natural :)

how it began

it all started when i got pregnant last september. suddenly, everything that contained some sort of artificial fragrance disagreed with me. these include shampoo, conditioner, shower foam, laundry detergent, laundry softener, floor cleaner and even my skincare products, which unfortunately contained tons of fragrance as i switched to cheap korean products when i stopped working X’D

that was when i stopped caring about personal hygiene started to explore what i could use to keep myself clean X’D

dr bronner’s soap

the first product i tried was the famous Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps (i bought mine from this seller in Qoo10 – not affiliated to her in anyway, but i think it’s the cheapest Dr. Bronner’s in SG). i started using the soap as a body wash, face wash, and shampoo. obviously, i preferred staw-like hair to puking in the shower, but it was surprisingly great as a facial and body wash though!

after consulting the internet, i even started to use it on my laundry and this helped to prevent me from puking when putting on my clothes :’D

skincare

somewhere in my first trimester, a close friend introduced me to eu yan sang skincare (you can order the products online and have them delivered to your doorstep! and no, this is not an affiliated link, just sharing because why would you want to carry your own birds nest, chicken essence, facial cleansers etc when someone can deliver them to you?)

according to friends who were also using this brand of skincare, there is almost no scent. but my sharp and sensitive nose picked up quite a distinct scent back then. fortunately my stomach did not react to the scent and so i continue to use this brand till this day 😀

i have tried the birds nest series, the ginseng eye cream and facial foam. the products are gentle and great for my dehydrated skin without causing any greasiness and blackouts! WIN!

oh and all the skincare products are free from parabens, fragrance and SLS!

essential oils

around my first trimester, i was falling sick every week and also really sick of having the twins fall sick ALL THE TIME, so i finally decided to try the increasing popular Thieves blend from Young Living (an MLM company). it took my friend almost a year to convince me to buy my first bottle because i am always skeptical when it comes to MLMs.

but then, the products really worked (!!!) and i started buying more and more. in the 11 months of using various essential oils, junpig has contracted HFMD just once (and recovered in like 1 day). although both of them developed a mysterious 40-degree fever sometime during my third trimester but that cleared up in 3 days (it used to take a week for them to recover from such mysterious high fevers). also, fat X was the only one who came down with different bugs each month while the kids and I continue to be well protected by the oils!

the most awesome thing is.. while applying the oils for the twins, i somehow benefited from the oils because i stopped falling sick for the rest of my pregnancy! in fact, the only time i had to see a GP was like two months ago when i had mastitis while trying to stop breastfeeding!

so yeah.. moral of the story is –> before you condemn something, do give it a try!

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my 5 favourite oils throughout my pregnancy (L to R):

Joy – great as a mood-lifter. i can’t describe the shitty emotions i was going through during and after the pregnancy. but this *really* helped. especially during massive crying episodes. Joy! Oh, Joy!
Lavender – rubbed on soles before bed, this helped me fall asleep more easily even after my 100th visit to the loo at night!
Valor – this is super for back pain! (i was one of the unfortunate ones to suffer from tailbone pain during this pregnancy. it was a pain like no other.)
Gentle Baby – i started using Gentle Baby for my backaches when Valor went oos. it helped a little but the soothing scent is the real reason why i love it so much that i bought a backup bottle (in case it goes oos. as Young Living gains popularity, many of the oils also go oos pretty fast :P)
Peppermint – a drop under the tongue is all it takes to stop the giddiness and vomiting urge! in fact, i HAD to bring this to work everyday in my last trimester!

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most useful oils for my kids (L to R):

Purification – I mainly diffuse this oil to purify the air (when fat X is sick and i do not want the twins to catch the virus from him) and to keep mozzies away!
Thieves – there are many uses for thieves but i mainly rub it onto the soles for the twins at bed time. i also made a simple spray and spray it all over the twins’ clothes and bedsheets (the sheets they bring to school) to prevent them from catching weird viruses while in school.
Breathe Again – great for congested airways and i really like the smell XD
RC – i diffuse RC and also apply it on the twins’ chests and backs to help manage night time coughs.
Lavender – not pictured here. Lavender is AWESOME as a first-aid oil, anti-histamine, and relaxing oil. i have used it on wounds and scrapes on the knees, wounds inside the mouth (when one falls flat on the face, one inevitably ends up with some cuts inside the mouth), allergic conjunctivities. i also drip a drop onto baby summer’s bedsheet every night to make her sleep better (i may jinx myself by typing it out but IT REALLY WORKS! *keeps fingers crossed in case i jinx myself*)

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lastly, i would like you guys to meet my new friend:

Deep Relief – i was diagnosed with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis about a month ago and thought that it would get better after i went back to work. the pain did not improve and got worse. i have been using PanAway for about a week but it didn’t help much. when my order of Deep Relief arrived yesterday i started using it immediately. while the pain is not eliminated completely, it does provide some relief from the pain! Also, roller cap FTW!
i am praying that the inflammation quickly goes away 🙁

no-poo

since i felt nauseated whenever i was in the shower, i skipped using conditioner altogether throughout my pregnancy. meanwhile i was also reading up on no-poo. while i was keen to try it out, i wasn’t so keen to be seen in public during the “transition period” where your hair and scalp simply goes crazy until some balance is established.

i then decided that my maternity leave provided the best opportunity for me to experiment with no-poo!

i was already using dr bronner’s as a shampoo somewhere in my pregnancy and while i was glad i could still wash my hair without choking on the smell of the shampoo, i wasn’t really happy with hair that feels and look like straw. i continued to use it despite all the problems it was giving me (dry hair, oily and itchy scalp). but the last straw came when i realized that i had DANDRUFF.

then i tried the baking soda and vinegar rinse for a while. didn’t like it and was on the verge of switching back to commercial shampoos when i chanced upon SHAMPOO BARS while shopping on iherb!! I buy a fuckload of stuff from iherb nowadays. (Use the code ZNQ770  to get $10 off your first purchase and also help me earn some credits for my next purchase! 😛

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(although this isn’t exactly no-poo) i have been using these babies for about a month now and i think this is it :’D

the soap lathers really well and smells mild but pleasant (the fragrance does not linger on your hair after rinsing off). hair feels squeaky when wet (in hokkien i would describe it as siab siab) but dries soft and clean. since my hair does not tangle i don’t use any conditioner at all.

i bought Damaged Hair Formula, Virgin Coconut and Argan Oil, and Old-Fashioned Bar Shampoo and i’m still at my first bar. Since I’ve gotten used to the squeaky feeling it’s actually my perfect solution now 😉

what i can’t give up

nail polish.

nail polish.

nail polish.

i love painting my nails and i love looking at my painted nails XD

i also love to just pull out one of my nail polish drawers and admire.. hee hee..

P/S: i discovered wordpress app, installed it on my phone, completed this blog post, published it, edited it, and then ACCIDENTALLY DELETED IT (how stupid can i get?). the app makes it so convenient to blog from my phone (who has time to sit in front of a computer nowadays?) but the RTE sucks TuT

夫妻交谈

cj: babu, you come.. i show you my c-sect wound. see what you’ve done to my body.
fat X: *innocent* huh? but i didn’t do that to you mah.. it was the surgeon who gave you that wound..

生日快乐

生日快乐,爸爸!

你又老了一岁喔。。

今年又添了多一个外孙,不知道明年会不会有个小外孙女呢?

。。。

天天都在想你。。

what’s up? my dress size, of course!

running

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so i’ve packed a few pounds this year and i now weigh as much as i did when i was three months pregnant (with twins, OMG). since i can’t give up eating so many times a day (I’D RATHER DIE THAN BE HUNGRY), i thought i could at least stop or slow down my weight gain with some exercise X’D

after my first run, my running shoes gave me a BIG SMILE (see pic above). some of you may not know, i am now an unemployed mother of two, the thought of buying new shoes did not occur to me, even though these shoes are older than my kids and the sole probably fell off because they felt neglected, unloved in the shoe cabinet.

i glued the sole back and prayed for the best.

and next time i ran in these goddamned shoes again? THEY SMILED AT ME AGAIN.

alright, i should get me some new shoes after all >m<

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i LOVE my new running shoes~ they’re light as air but provides good cushioning support. an old lady with creaking knees like me should always ensure that her shoes provide sufficient support as her knees might not be able to support her body weight if she continues her sedentary lifestyle.

i have worn the shoes ONCE. yes, i know i am not the most motivated runner you know of, heh.. *hangs head in shame*

sewing

nothing interesting. i made two dresses from FEMALE Summer Edition 2013 (reviewed here).

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this looks like a hospital gown. i lengthened the bodice but forgot to shorten the skirt so it ends at around my knees X’D

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i like this better although i forgot to lengthen the bodice.. luckily i am flat-chested enough for the waistband to hover somewhere near my natural waist -__-

if i make this again, i may need to make it bigger too.. i think it looks nicer if it’s really loose and baggy >m<

wirework

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wire rings made using craft wire, glass beads (left), swarvoski crystals (middle), and glass beads (right). i used gauge 24 craft wire because i didn’t want to exert too much energy on bending the wires.. you know, nowadays i’m not too fond of calloused fingers and ruined nails.

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and when i’m not making things, i’m reading. i’ve completed 3 books in the last week — Still Bleeding (very interesting concept and i keep getting goosebumps while reading the book… i really wish the author had provided more explanation for how the “secret organization” functioned!), Never Knowing (second book by Chevy Stevens. i like her first book better), Millie’s Fling (i like Jill Mansell for her sense of humour. this is a no-stress romance story but there are too many annoying characters inside for me to enjoy the whole book. i really like the main characters though :D)

i guess i am trying to squeeze more out of my remaining months of freedom. it’s hard to imagine that in a few months’ time, i’ll be spending 60% of my waking hours “chained” to a desk and the other 5-10% on the public transport, 20-25% with the kids and maybe 5-10% to myself (pee-ing, poo-ing, bathing).

so.. cheers to being a slacker!

Tokyo 2013

woo lala ~ we just came back from a one-week holiday in Tokyo :’D

temperatures in tokyo soared to like 37degrees in the week before we went so i was praying everyday for good weather and who knows? MY PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED.

when we walked out of the airport building, we actually felt a cool breeze so i glanced around to look for the temperature display and it was a freaking 26 degrees *dances*

the night temperatures hovered around 21-23 degrees and we actually felt cold when the winds blew at us ^_^;;

based on our experience from the previous trip, i knew that we wouldn’t be able to shop with the boys around, so my aunt helped to get new Mickey/Minnie t-shirts for us (mini men and me)!

tokyo disneyland

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the boys wore their new Mickey Mouse t-shirts to TDL on the second day. mupig looked particularly pissed off while junpig looked disappointed as both of them were too tall and heavy for the stroller.

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that is some awesome expression from mr junpig.

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mr junpig in the driver seat in the Grand Circuit Raceway

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mr junpig and mama in the teacup at Alice’s Tea Party

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green tea crushed ice with red beans and mochi. super yummy dessert!

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the boys did not want to eat any of those; they preferred to say “MOCHI!” repeatedly and laugh like it’s the funniest joke in the whole world.

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the castle looked really pretty when it was lighted up!

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mr junpig holding his pilot pass for the Star Jets ride. he would soon be reduced to a terrified boy when the plane started flying. he was so scared that he forbade me to raise the control lever and our plane remained at the lowest position throughout the ride X’D

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tb and mupig were sitting on the floor below the Star Jets ride while they waited for junpig and me. soon, people started to place their mats around us and we realized that it was the perfect viewing spot for the Night Parade! so we stayed on to watch the parade :’D

i didn’t take any photos of the parade because 1) i’ve watched it a few times and it didn’t excite me anymore and 2) i’d rather enjoy the whole parade than struggle with the camera and end up with blurry night shots X’D

anyways, the boys were so fascinated by the parade and waved shyly at EVERY performer. as they were seated in the first row, most of the main performers also waved at them and made eye contact with them 🙂

Tokyo Teleport

not wanting to go back to indoor attractions like Shinagawa AquariumSanrio Puroland  or Ghibli Museum,  we decided to try out LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

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here’s a photo of the twins wearing the pants which i made.

 

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i LOVE tokyo teleport! this is the view that greeted me when we came up from Exit B. to get to DECKS, the easier way is to exit from Exit A and cross over using the overhead bridge.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

i didn’t take many pictures inside LEGOLAND but it was fun!

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the MINILAND attraction is so lovely i think i spent a good 30 minutes inside there admiring all the intricate details! the MINILAND features miniatures of buildings, ferris wheel, bridges etc as well as moving vehicles like cars, trucks, ships, and an airship! the most awesome thing is that when night falls, the room darkens and all the buildings light up! mini fireworks are set in the night sky!

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this is a miniature of the DECKS mall which LEGOLAND is located in.

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mini rainbow bridge lights up like the real thing when night falls!

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mini fireworks

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besides miniatures, there are many different lego structures scattered throughout the center, such as this scooter bike.

the other attractions include 4D Cinema, Merlin’s Apprentice, and Kingdom Quest.

the Kingdom Quest is a fun ride where we ended up holding two guns each as our kids were too scared by the sound effects and darkness. the ride ended with a camera flash that caught all of us off-guard. see the photo below for proof.

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besides LEGOLAND, there are two other attractions located in DECKS mall — Madam Tussauds Museum, and Tokyo Trick Art Museum.

Tokyo Trick Art Museum

i was really excited to discover the Trick Art Museum because i had seen photos from my colleague’s trip to the Trick Art Museum in Korea.

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of course, it wasn’t easy posing for and taking proper photos with the twin pigs around. but we did manage to take a few photos :’D

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where is the cat leading us?

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tb and me fighting off evil ninjas

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junpig suddenly grew taller in this room!

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i was almost gobbled up by evil monsters from the edo era. here is a picture of me escaping from the lantern monster

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while holding on to a fish, the hungry penguins suddenly flew out from the window!

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sorry i couldn’t resist poking this woman in the butt. what an odd butt she has!

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shhh… don’t tell tb that i’ve fallen for this giraffe

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dangerous creatures lurked in every corner and i had to save my child from the hungry dinosaur

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after running away from the dinosaur i proceeded to kick a shark who lost its way and ended up in Tokyo

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finally, the evil vampire caught up with us and trapped us in his inverted glass >m<

Palette Town

on the other side (the side with the ferris wheel) of the Tokyo Teleport station lies Palette Town. it is basically a big cluster of buildings that include a giant mall (Venus Fort), Toyota Mega Web, Odaiba Daikanransha (大観覧車). we only covered about 10 percent of the whole place X’D

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the boys totally lost themselves in the games arcade.

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this is a view of the ferris wheel in the late afternoon. did i mention that i LOVE this place? there is SO MUCH open space here!

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the clouds were lovely on the day we went

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lovely place.. even the sky looked lovely X’D

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this is a view of the buildings from the Ferris wheel.. i love this town, it really looks like some futuristic town in a manga!!

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we discovered this cute game machine inside one of the game centres. it consists of a large miniature town with two train stations.

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each player controls a train that moves around the town, picking up passengers at the designated stations.

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a video camera is fixed to each train so each train “driver” can see where the train is going and prepare to stop the train when approaching a station.

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the boys never get tired of trains and buses :’D

Odaiba Takoyaki Museum

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the odaiba takoyaki museum is located at Level 4 of Seaside Mall. i only managed to take one picture because we were busy slapping the boys’ hands away from everything. the takoyaki museum, as the name implies, sells takoyaki and takoyaki-related omiyage. there were a couple of stalls selling different types of takoyaki. it was difficult to choose a stall because everyone was claiming that their takoyaki was the best ^^;

Daiba Itchome

台場一丁目商店街 is located next to the takoyaki museum. there are all sorts of cool stuff from the past, like old gadgets, an old truck, old idol posters, and a game arcade full of old game machines!

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one of the window displays in the attraction.

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anyone remembers this game (TETRIS)?

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a surprise find for us was this statue of liberty at one of the exits. i think the Rainbow Bridge is behind it.

one-day tour

we booked a one-day trip with Hato Bus.

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the skies were clear in the morning and we were able to get a good view of Mt Fuji *嬉しい*

Narusawa Ice Cave

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first stop, the narusawa ice cave. the narusawa ice cave is an interesting place which stays cold even during summer. although the tour around the ice cave is not very long, there are low ceilings, slippery paths, and steep steps inside the cave. the ceiling height is only 90cm in certain parts of the cave.

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a simple image depicting how ancient people excavated ice from the cave and transported it back to the city.

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although it was summer, the cave was ice-cold and ice blocks inside the cave did not melt. how nice if i could have this cave at my void deck..

Fuji View Hotel

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2nd stop, Fuji View Hotel. we enjoyed a buffet lunch at fuji view hotel. after the lunch, we went to the viewing gallery located at level 6. on a clear day, one would be able to get a clear view of Mt Fuji. unfortunately, when we were there, mt fuji decided to hide behind some fluffy clouds TuT

Mt Fuji Gogome

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3rd stop, Mt Fuji 5th station. this is a view of the clouds surrounding us at Mt Fuji gogome (5th station). we didn’t do much there, just walking around taking silly photos of each other not saying “CHEESE” but saying “KIMCHI” because of the Korean Wave (Hallyu) X’D

hahaha.. yeah i know we’re super lame..

Fruit Picking

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4th stop, fruit farm. our final stop was at a fruit farm where we were given 40 minutes to pluck plump peaches from the trees and eat them on the spot!

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on the way out, i saw these lovely bunches of grapes waiting to be harvested <3

phew.. this blog post took me more than 3 hours to write but i’m glad i have properly documented my second family trip because we totally enjoyed ourselves this time!

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ACCESS INFORMATION:

Shinagawa Aquarium – alight at Oimachi station (take the RINKAI line from Shinjuku station) and take the free shuttle bus to the aquarium
Sanrio Puroland – 5-10 minutes walk from Tama Center station
Ghibli Museum – 15-20 minutes walk from Mitaka station. the museum is situated within the Inokashita Park, a lovely place to stroll in during the colder months
LEGOLAND Discovery Center – 5-10 minutes walk from Tokyo Teleport station (take the RINKAI line from Shinjuku station). LEGOLAND Discovery Center is located within DECKS Mall. 

hazy skies

bloody indonesians have done it again.

we have been putting up with their selfish act for more than a decade.

the earliest episode i remember was during 1997, when i was still studying at Hwa Chong Junior College (now Hwa Chong Institute). it was also the worst episode if i remember correctly. at that time, a few of us had a shock when we came out of our classrooms located at the “left wing” of the main building, because the “right wing” looked like it was engulfed in some misty, hazy smoke. The two “wings” were less than 50 metres apart

( ̄□ ̄;)

PSI reading at that time was like 200-ish?

this year, the haze was so bad that the PSI reading was “record-breaking” for three consecutive days from the reading of 321 on Wednesday (19 June) night to 401 on Friday (21 June) afternoon.

check out how eeriely empty the road looked on Friday afternoon.

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this picture below shows the view from my window on 20 June (PSI 300-ish?)

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on 22 June, the PSI reading dropped to below 100, and the view from my window became so..

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on 22 June, for the first time in more than a week, Singaporeans were able to catch a glimpse of the blue sky..

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this May be the shittiest month ever!

yes, when i say shitty you better believe me.

in early May, we admitted mupig for his MRI.

a few days after his discharge, my fil, who was experiencing weakness on the right side of his body for more than a week, finally agreed to have a check at the hospital. his MRI scared the shit out of the doctors at a certain hospital and they had to transfer him to another hospital for treatment. his brain was bleeding so badly that a pool of blood had accumulated on the left of the skull and was compressing on his left brain. in tb’s words, it was like mupig’s MRI scan but the fluid was actually blood. scary shit.

so he was hospitalised for more than a week. thankfully, he regained his strength very quickly after the surgery and did not require any physiotherapy.

with mupig back in school, i thought i could live it up like a regular woman and finally start going for facials. so i happily booked my first facial in more than a year and totally enjoyed the session. on my way home, the GP’s clinic called me. dai ji dua diao liao.

my mum’s blood test report showed very bad liver inflammation and i was instructed to bring her to a hospital ASAP.

so i ended up at the hospital again. TuT

although the doctor discharged my mum after a 5-day stay in the hospital, they still couldn’t find the cause of her inflammation. she will probably take weeks or months to recover from this but at least she appears alert and well and is responding well to mahjong therapy*.

i am going to believe in the theory of 1-2-3 stop! when bad things happen, they stop at 3.

so this is the end of my “hospital month”.

*mahjong therapy: it is believed to have helped with my mum’s condition because daily blood tests at the hospital showed no improvement even after medication. however, after a few sessions of mahjong post-hospitalization, her blood readings have been consistently improving. mahjong therapy ftw!

 

my week in pictures

omfgz you mean another week has passed?!

music

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bevlyn khoo‘s latest album came in the mail! i love it!! 这是一张用心制作,而且没有什么商业味道的专辑。the best thing is, it includes one of my favourite songs (来信) written by her more than ten years ago!

nails

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i wrote down the list of nail polish that i wanted to get for myself as a birthday treat. but obviously i cannot wait till august to get them so these babies arrived a few months early X’D

home

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i also organized my nail polish as it was getting increasingly frustrating to search into the paper boxes i thrifted.

the plastic drawers were purchased, dividers were DIY-ed using packing material from mini men’s pyjamas, labels were printed out on A4 paper, cut out and secured to each bottle cap using trusty old scotch tape. yes, you have a right to be disgusted at me. i am unemployed and i don’t cook or do housework, that’s why i have time to do all these 😛

obviously i did these when mupig was napping lah..

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my shoe cabinet also looked like shit.. so i had to do something about it as well..

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replaced the mess with a stack of plastic drawers. plastic drawers are fast becoming my BFF :’D

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finally applied the stickers from my lovely sis-in-law to the pink wall in the boys’ bedroom! i think the monkeys and pirates theme totally match my monkey kids and i also have a lion’s mane :’D

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i made dinner for the family because i thought i should try to be a bit more virtuous maybe once a week (or a month?)?

the boys savoured my aesthetically-challenged dinner and that made me happy :’)

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i just lost my appetite looking at this picture..

mini men

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besides aspiring to be a bus driver, forklift operator, my kids also aspire to be barbers.. :’D

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this week, i went through mupig’s homework with him and guided him on this assignment. he chose to draw mummy too!! 我好开心!但是有一个人很伤心。。

anyway his “mummy” has two eyes, some hair, and a big mouth. i would say it bears some resemblance to me.. especially the big-small eyes.. HAHA!