Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Squint, You Said?

"Squint (strabismus) is the term used for the condition when the eyes are misaligned and not looking at the same thing."

When Jakey was younger, we would have friends commenting that his eyes were not focusing on the same direction, at times. He has no problems looking at things in the distance but we did notice that he would stare intently at things at a close range, especially his trains.

At first we thought that it was just the wider than usual childhood bridge (common in kids) that is causing his eyes to work a lil harder at focusing on close ups. This is commonly known as the false squint.

But it wasn't a worry for us as he was still playing fine and just being a happy healthy boy, in general. And most times, his eyes were looking pretty normal.

So we just let it be and thought it would self correct when he is older.

However, lately, he's been playing bubbles with my dad in the evening and my dad was commenting that he had trouble catching a single bubble. He had no issues blowing it but he could not focus on one. Kayden, on the other hand, had no problems with it.

That kinda got me a lil worried and so I made an appointment with the Singapore National Eye Clinic to get his eyes checked.

We waited two weeks for it and this morning we rocked up for our appointment, with a fairly relaxed demeanour. Afterall, the kid had always been fine.

They ran a series of tests to check his vision and alignment. But being a lil young at 2 and a half, he was not being the best patient they had. In fact, he was so distracted by everything around, that he wasn't cooperating in some tests.

This is the part that kinda pissed me off.

We made an appointment to see the senior pediatric opthamologist. So during the consultation, the lil one was rather impatient with her and just didn't follow her instructions. HOWEVER, unlike the pediatricians that the boys see, this lady was hardly making an effort to connect with him as a young patient.

In fact, she immediately recommended that he got sedated.

Not before the poor thing had to endure three rounds of stinging eye drops to dilate his pupils. By this stage, he was completely freaked out.

We had no choice but to sedate him so that we can get the consultation over and done with.

After he was in a drugged out stage, a lady checked his refraction and found that he has longsightedness.

Then we waited for that senior pediatric opthamologist and a consultant to check his vision and if there is a need for glasses to correct the squint.

They concluded that the kid had to wear glasses for the long term with 500 degrees to his left eye and 600 to his right. After giving me a very brief explanation (1st, Glasses, if it doesn't work, they'll put him in more powerful lenses. And if not, then surgery) and a strong recommendation to buy their frames, both of them hurriedly left the room for lunch. (?)

Which really annoyed me because I wanted to know if there were other ways we can correct this squinting problem. And what are our options? Can we treat this holistically? Will the glasses stunt the development of his eyes?

Nope. No chance to ask.

Or to even react to the news that my child has really poor vision, according to them.

I was expecting better pediatric treatment from them. Bad enough they were not being really friendly to my child. They didn't even bother to explain the entire situation.

We left the hospital feeling rather disgruntled. We feel that glasses would stunt the growth of his eyes and cause it to be overly reliant on the lenses. What we worry is, he would not be given a chance for his own eyes to correct itself.

Darien and I are now going to seek a second opinion at either KK or Mount Elizabeth and see if both the diagnosis are similar. We are also reading up a whole lot of medical and holistic information about correcting his squint. If need be, we might have to go back to Melbourne to seek treatment.

Poor baby. I wished he didn't have to worry about his eyes. But like I told the husband, he's happy and healthy in most ways and there can be worse things a child can have. We just have to slowly work out the best solution for him.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Today we said goodbye to my second cousin who took his life earlier on in the week.

I was preparing the kids for school when I got the news from my sister and had to take a moment to absorb. Mummy and I then hurried down to my uncle's house to see how they were doing.

Cousin M was the loner in the family. He was a good twenty years older than me and lived a life mostly isolated in his own thoughts. Highly intelligent (he qualified to be a fighter pilot) and possessing a lot of pride, he wasn't the easiest person to have a conversation with. Only my late grandma was his only confidante and I think her passing had a strong impact on him

I usually just acknowledge him when I see him and go abouts my merry way.

He was known to have a fiery temper and more so being really sensitive to people's comments. Knowing his nature, most of his family tends to keep out of his way.

According to my cousin who lived with him, Cousin M had obvious signs of depression and schizophrenia. He was peculiar in his living habits and would do his thing whilst keeping out of my other cousin's way.

He had planned his suicide for a long time. On the day that they were informed of his death, the police told his immediate family about the notes he left for both the police and the hotel that he was in. Subsequently, they found notes in his room stating his last wishes about his funeral and even money that he saved for it.

He had packed up his belongings and labelled what he would like to do with them. And when he finally committed his final act, he did it in all certainty that he would not have a chance to survive at all.

Needless to say, the entire extended family is deeply shocked and saddened by his death.

My aunts and uncles were the most affected especially when they are the ones to see him grow up. All of them lamented his decision and what could've been.

Maybe it was his biased upbringing that led his final decision. Maybe it was the fact that his issues were obviously ignored by his immediate family, pushing it aside as it his "character". Maybe it was the enbloc of the flat that he was living in that cornered him into giving up his life. Maybe it was the combination of all things involved.

But we will never know.

All we know is he is an individual that no one had a chance to intimately know because he never allowed anyone into his heart.

Rest in peace, Kor.

I hope you are happy with your decision and I wished that life was kinder to you. I pray that God will keep the hearts of your family in His hands as they heal.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Day at Wessex

One of the things I worried about moving the kids back to SG is the lack of outdoor activities that we can indulge them in.

But it was a needless worry.

We found a pretty safe haven in Wessex Estate.

Pietrasanta is an Italian joint down at Portsdown Road. It offers really simple well cooked Italian fare that I sorely miss since we moved back.

Sunday was a perfect day for a casual brunch so we drove down to Wessex (and got really lost somewhere down the PIE track. =S)

We ate and hung out at the courtyard of the restaurant (which has a swing set on site). Brought the kids to the old raggedy swing across the road. Whee!

It was something we haven't done in a while.

Wessex is a charming lil estate. Lush green foliage everywhere. A cool old milk bar named COLBAR in the neighborhood. Colonial houses are scattered every where.  

It's just beautiful!

I think we will be back soon.

Finding a Space

"I'd like to make an offer on the house. This is what I can pay, minus the work on the place, and a rental car to drive off a cliff when this all turns out to have been a terrible mistake."
Frances (Diane Lane)
Under the Tuscan Sun

The location is perfect.

The decor is exactly what we wanted.

The kids love it. 

We love it. 

It's just us. 

Our kind of home.

But I don't know if we will ever get to live in it. Life always always have its funny cruel twists.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gym Tag Team

Eeps! Eating all that hawker food has been shocking on the waistlines! =(

Darien and I are both in serious work out mode now simply because we cannot let this trend go on. We could end up in the morbidly obese section soon if we don't hit the gym ASAP.

Usually, there is someone to look after the kids whilst we work out but cause this week is school holidays, we have had the kids on our hands full time.

So the only way to do is, one parent gym it and the other babysits, then we swap. =)

It's a good format. We get personal time and the kids are happy to have solo parental attention.

I foresee skinny times ahead! Fingers crossed, that is.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday in Pix

Sundays are best spent discovering lil nooks in SG.

It's refreshing to chance on these new joints, that never existed, prior to me leaving for Melbourne.

T'was relaxing just to let the day run by its own agenda and not rush for anything in particular.

Just spending time with my three favorite boys.

No better way to spend the day.

Eggs Benedict @ Canopy

Bunalun @ Chip Bee Garden

Jakey and his yummy french vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Couple Meme

♥ How long have you been together? We've been hanging out for almost 7 years and married for 4 next month. =)

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating? Eeps! A month? And we moved in together quite soon after as well...

♥ Who asked who out? I think he did. We were tempting each other on MSN about sticky date pudding and he asked if I wanted to go out for some, the day after.

♥ Whose siblings do you see the most? Both sides, really. We currently live with mine and he works with his sister.

♥ Do you have any children together? Yes. Two lil cheeky boys.

♥ What about pets? One. Rustie... who's adopted my sister as his caretaker now.

♥ Did you go to the same school? Yes. We met whilst doing a project in Uni.

♥ Who is the most sensitive? I am, once in a while... but he cries during Oprah. So... I guess we are evens.

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? Local food here in SG and heaps of Japanese or Cafes when we were living in Melbourne.

♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Hmm... New Zealand I'd supposed. We covered almost the entire South Island in 2 weeks.

♥ Who has the craziest exes? None of us, really. Oh wait. He did have one! She was really upset that he dated me shortly after.

♥ Who has the worst temper? When I get mad, I simmer till he apologizes. He, pretty much, just gets angry with himself. =)

♥ Who does the cooking? Mostly me, because I like sauce in my food and I have more time on my hands. Hubby can survive on a carnivore diet of steak (with no sauce) and steamed vegs. BUT he makes a mean chicken rice and grills a steak to perfection. That said, throw him in a kitchen and he will survive anyday.

♥ Who is more social? Oh! Darien, for sure. He can talk to strangers till the cows come home. Half the time, I'm waiting for him to be done talking.

♥ Who is the neat freak? We're both not. But mostly me, I guess. I've been known to pull my entire wardrobe out to reorganize it. BUT he's pedantic abt the cleanliness of the toilet and the kitchen

♥ Who is the most stubborn? We both have varying degrees and over different things.

♥ Who hogs the bed? The kids. They somehow wiggle their lil bums into the bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!

♥ Who wakes up earlier? Darien does. He's up early so that he can have his brekkie before work.

♥ Where was your first date? The Lygon Street Festival. He offered to buy me this ridiculously yummy biscuits but I refused. AND I can never find it again. =( Argh... this should've happened on our third date. =)

♥ Who has the bigger family? Me! I've got one more sibling than him

♥ How long did it take to get serious? A couple of months, I think.

♥ Who does the laundry? Me! He's banned from washing the clothes because he soaked a couple of dark colored clothes with the light ones and the colors mixed.

♥ Who's better with the computer? Darien is. He's great with the computer! Builds them. Fixes them. (He can't believe I have a degree in IT)

♥ Who drives when you are together? Darien, mostly when we are together. But I'm the chief driver for the kids, when he is tired, and when we go out for drinks.

♥ Who picks where you go to dinner? Me? Apparently I am more picky and he's happy to go with my choices.

♥ Who is the first one to admit when they're wrong? Eeps! Darien? I live in denial.

♥ Who wears the pants in the relationship? Haha. Darien does. I am the main influencer and I make most of the daily small decisions.

I dream of coffee...


When Bruce and Mandy came to Melbourne for a short visit last year, he was often busy taking pictures of his cafe latte.

I used to laugh at him when he did that, because a cuppa good cheap coffee was not an odd sight or commodity back then.

From the handpulled expresso at Commercial Bakery to the really creamy latte at Carlton Expresso, we really enjoyed our lil daily caffeine fix.

But times have changed and now that I'm living in SG, I realized that I shouldn't be mocking my dear old buddy.

Cause a good cup of latte is quite far and rare these days. 

Well,at least, till the husband fixes the Rancilio that we lugged back from Melbourne!! (And he better do it fast!! ) =)

Then our coffee times begin...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What Kind of Ugly?

Friday night's birthday shenanigans went really well.

Convincing the husband that it was going to be an evening of movies and simple dinner, we left the house in a jiffy after blowing out the candles with the boys. 'Twas a really cute moment when the kid started singing the Birthday song and going Eep Eep Hurray!

So off we went on our way to Mortons but somehow we had to settle for dinner @ the Bar at Morton's instead because we didn't have enough time before the "show".

We had a couple of their really yummy steak sandwiches and a mortini each. Relaxed a lil before driving off to the location where I've gathered all of his closest friends from both his Chinese High and Melbourne days.

It took a week to organize the surprise gathering and I was really happy that most of the guys could make it! Cause we've been away for so many years, I thought this would be a great way to celebrate his first birthday back home.

I drove past Vivocity where we were meant to catch "Watchmen" in Gold Class and by then Mr Tan had his radar switched on! He knew that something was up. He kept trying to suss out where we were going! And by the time I turned into Keppel Island, he almost knew what I was up to!

We ended up at Prive where 13 of our friends have gathered at the waterfront bar to surprise Mr Birthday Boy!! =)

He was mightily pleased to see everyone and the night kicked off with a lovely round of drinks and conversations. It was the perfect venue for a really chilled out night! Good thing the weather held up.

The boys

Next thing we knew we were on the way to Zouk and as more alcohol was consumed, the conversation steered towards old flames and past conquests. Somehow, or another, it ended up with a topic about screwing a really ugly gal.

A: You will not believe how ugly she was.
B: What kind of ugly?

*rofl* I almost wanted to roll on the floor and die laughing...

Ah well, we trotted home @ 5 in the morn and spent the rest of the following day and a bit recovering from our lil midnight jaunt which was a whole lot of fun!

Happy Birthday Hunni!

Monday, March 09, 2009

A Valentine's Treat

The Tans '09

Joan was running a Valentine's Day Promo and I'd thought we'll grab the opportunity to take some family pics for 2009.

It was a pretty quick shoot at her place and we got to meet her adorable lil Clare, who was being Mommy's lil assistant for the day. The boys were too distracted by their trains to concentrate on the shoot so Joan had to bribe them with raisins. =) Only Mommys know what to do in situations like these.

Here's another of my favorite pic of the day.

PS: No luck uploading the rest cause I haven't got the software to downsize the file. =( Stay tuned for more.

Probably the heaviest weights he's ever lifted. =)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Why Guess Who's Getting Older?

Ze Husband is officially getting OLD!!

Tomorrow he will embark on his 32nd year of life and what a grand old life he has thus far!!

I've got a few surprises up my sleeve so we'll see how the day pans out!!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Told you so!

Before we had kids, I promised myself that I was never going to be an embarrassing mommy. 

When the kids were young, we had to do certain things in exaggerated movements to get them to imitate us. EG: march instead of walk, talk slower so that they can catch up on their speech.

However, as they get older and start turning into lil people, all these lil efforts are slowly fading into the background because they are fully aware of their environment and they are morphing, pretty much, into us.

So just the other day, I was walking with my three year old to his school and then subconsciously I started to "march".

Just about 4 steps in, he went "Don't do that Mom! Stop it"

I just about laughed my head off when he said that. 

He was embarrassed!! 

So just for the heck of it, I did it for a few more steps before laughing it off with him. 

I swear he was so worried that I would be carrying on that charade all the way to his class! 

=) Ahhh the things we said we would never become when we are older.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cookyn' and Eatyn'

Amanda checking that Darien is doing his job right!

This weekend is tops, as far as the other ones go since we moved back to SG.

Merv a la the Chef

First up, was a cooking class that I signed up for early February with Amanda and Mervyn. The menu was interesting and learning new cooking techniques is right up there with shopping, for me at least!

The girls

Tilden sharing his mint!
Gab Exchange

I thoroughly enjoyed the class and meeting new peeps in the LJ loop was just the icing on the cake. And it was lovely meeting the guys in real life. They are a really great bunch of peeps and we had a lot of fun that night!

The chef explaining the rules of carpaccio to Darien

Gathering for a demonstration

Merv and Amanda were ever the consummate hosts. The alcohol just kept flowing and the lesson was really easy to follow. Both Darien and I learnt new things that we never realized existed before! We had a pretty good time chitchatting with the rest of the guys and learning and best of all, eating the really yummy food that was freshly prepared!

Tuna Carpaccio

Mentaiko Angel Hair Pasta

I really loved the mentaiko angel hair pasta and the Hokkaido scallops that were prepared both ways. This is the first time I've had scallops seared at home that taste absolutely gobsmacking succulent!

We definitely learnt a lot from Merv. He reminds me of Bill Granger from Sydney who makes well presented and delicious food that is truly simple to make. All you need is a lil bit of inspiration!

We closed off the night with grilled pineapple soaked in sake with mint infused Mascarpone. Yumz.

This is a totally new thing for us to do but we definitely see ourselves doing this again.

Thanks for having us again, guys!
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