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This June

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The last week of school is usually a little more hectic. There are some school holidays because of the preparation for parent-teacher meetings, and then for the parent-teacher meeting it self. Everyone is kinda on a holiday mood, but this year I had no direction absolutely. No idea where I was going to be taking the kids to, nor what I was going to do with them.

I was dreading the school hols. I was still in a funk, and given certain circumstances, I was exhausted. Torn between wanting to cater for the knowledge thirsty Oliver, to a chillax Quentin, to a little shadow/tag-a-long Sarah who just has to sit in the stroller wherever we went. I was absolutely dreading it. But winging it was probably the best thing we did ever.

We had some play dates, we went for outings at Gardens By the Bay, for media events, for a Biodiversity exhibition, a Singapore Police Heritage Centre tour. We took our time, and sweltered in the heat. Some times, Daddy Ting took days off and we went to Pulau Ubin, Singapore Zoological Gardens and he took them to a playground at Sembawang Park whilst I was at a meeting. Some days the grandparents took them out, for a play, for a cycle in the park, for meals. Last week, a cousin took the boys out to Sentosa and a swim.

It ended up being a super packed June holidays and time couldn’t have flown any faster. And it ended up being one of the best June holidays I have had with the kids. There were many firsts for all of us and I am so so glad we did all of it together.

It was heartwarming to watch the two boys entertain themselves on the long train rides. Sometimes Quentin would pack an activity book along and do it on the ride, Oliver would bring a book along. Sarah would be happy snacking, or if she got bored, the boys would take turns to entertain her in their nonsensical way.

The three would gamely pose for photos, and if I needed help, the boys would be ready to give me a hand. It was awesome to see them enjoying themselves and just fooling around outdoors.

The time spent with them made me appreciate them a lot more for each of their idiosyncrasies. It made me appreciate the time the boys were ready to help when I needed it. It made me appreciate that time spent with each of them is precious and that they will remember it. It reminded me that each of them are different and I need to spend some one on one time with them whenever possible.

It reminded me that they will grow up quickly. I can only hope that we are still as close as we are now when they grow up.

Category: Kids, Outdoor, Special

Review: 3M Safety Film with Jestac

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Thanks to the team at Jestac, I was offered an opportunity to redo the safety films for the shower screens in both the ensuite toilet and common toilet in my home. Thanks so much Jestac!
The shower screens in both toilets are not the easiest to deal with. The common toilet was small and there were 4 panels of glass to work with, and has 2 overlapping glass panels where they slide open. With the ensuite toilet, there was a narrow gap between the glass panel and countertop. Mr Chen and Raju definitely had their work cut out for them.

Master Room ensuite, narrow gap between countertop & glass panel

The tiny space to work with for the common toilet!

What appeared to be a seemingly simple job (at least to me!) took about 2.5 hours. The duo had to strip the previous safety film, clean the glass before applying the new sheet of safety film on the glass panels. So the job sequence was like:
– remove existing film;
– spray soapy water on the glass, and clean;
– spray film with water for it to adhere onto the glass;
– stick film on glass, slide film to adjust and fit;
– spray on film again, and use a fabric wrapped taping knife to smooth out any bubbles and to prevent any scratches; and
– trim the excess film off the edges.

smoothening out the film with a taping knife

assessing how to slide the film into the thin gap

What I liked about how they went about the job:
– They tidied the silicon edges by trimming (my glass had fraying, uneven silicon finishes where they fitted into their frames) before they even started so that the glass would fit nicely without any bumps;
– They used a penknife blade to clean the glass, making sure that it would scrape any dirt or residue from the previous safety film. The previous contractor used a taping knife to scrape off. I personally felt the penknife blade would do a better job haha;
– No bubbles in any of the glass! So so happy with that.
– One of the knobs of the glass panels couldn’t come off, making it harder for Mr Chen to trim around the edges (btw, they do it freehand). But the ultimate result was done really really well, compared to the square the previous contractor did;
– they redid one of the glass panels in the ensuite when there was a speck of dirt under the film. I was worried about them having enough film, but they did! And they cut a fresh piece out to fit it on the glass.
– Most of the edges were trimmed really smoothly! There were some uneven edges but it was all corrected after we told Mr Chen.

trying hard to remove the stubborn knob for one of the shower screens

Jestac’s freehand cutting vs…..

previous contractor’s ‘wonderful’ freehand. WTH, they cut a SQUARE around the knob okay. 

small space meant..sitting on toilet bowl haha

What I didn’t like about the job:
– Most of the edges of the films were trimmed smoothly, however there were some inconsistencies where the film was trimmed shorter for the film that was redid for a 2nd time;
– There is a pipe running through the ensuite shower screen panel, and they didn’t cut out the shape of the pipe enough to fit, so the film was not flushed against but slightly away from the frame;

film not flushed with frame in Master Room ensuite

the pipe in question

Overall, I am fairly satisfied with the job, given what I felt was difficulties in doing the job (Mr Chen had to sit on the toilet bowl at one point to adhere the film). I was a little disappointed with the 2nd sheet of film for the ensuite glass panel but I did suspect it was due to the lack of time. They did complete the rest of the panels with no further issues (ie no short trim, edges nicely trimmed, smooth and no bubbling).
Post job, we were given instructions to not wet the films for 2 weeks so that they would set properly. It wasn’t much of an issue as the films were stuck on the exterior of the shower area so no water would be splashed on it. Mr Chen did explain that consistent splashing of water on the films over time will affect the durability of it.
It’s been almost a week and we are pretty happy there’s no bubbling so far!
Category: Daily

grieving

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writing has always been cathartic for me. it’s been a while since I actually used this blog as a outlet.

I had to write an eulogy for my grandma. It was the hardest thing I ever had to write. It started off easy, I had an idea for the direction of the eulogy. Memories came flooding and the words just flowed. Then I burst into tears, at the realisation that she would really be gone after I read out my eulogy for her.

It’s been a long while since I have had to grieve for a closed one. The last one being my maternal grandfather and even then, I wasn’t close to him cos he wasn’t always around.

This time round, she was someone who had been a big part of my life and she had also gotten to know my kids, well, some of my kids depending on where her memory failed. She definitely remembered Oliver, the rest, probably a little hazy.

It all started on 25th March when she first got admitted for UTI. A week’s staycation, then home for a week, and then back in the hospital for another 2 weeks, home for 2 weeks, and then she left us on 5th May in her home.

There were moments of quiet when I visited her at the hospital and when she was awake enough, she would see me and then smile. I would hold her hand and she would then pat me on the face if I was close enough and made a funny face at her. Those pats, seemed like pats of assurance and her comforting me. It was easy to think that she was already 96 and that she had led a good life. But it was hard to let go.

Listening to the doctor explain her CT scans (thank God I didn’t forget my neuropsych) was painful. Hearing the doctor say that Mama probably had dementia for the past 10 years was a revelation. None of us would have known. She acknowledged us when we visited, never had tantrums (something I would have thought dementia patients would do). Then again, we had no reason to suspect she had dementia, given that we rarely carried a conversation with her cos she was hard of hearing. She was just quietly sitting in her wheelchair and watching us, smiling when she caught us looking at her.

There were tears a plenty. It was a loss after all. The first thought that came to mind as I stood in her room, ‘have fun with Kong Kong, don’t nag him too much.’ Her husband passed away 27 years ago. I wouldn’t be sure I could survive that long without Donald..haha.

Do I have any regrets? Fortunately, no. At least I felt that I spent enough time possible with her since she got admitted. I couldn’t bring the kids along, but it bought me a lot of time with her, coaxing her to drink, to try to eat, make movements and taking a lot of photos with her. I got to celebrate her birthday with her, with a balloon and a slice of cake.

But it doesn’t make the loss any lesser. Oliver wasn’t super tactful when he caught me crying (‘what now..?’roll eyes* haha dammit you brat), and Quentin would come over and stroke my arm when he saw me crying. Sarah would of course whinge when she saw me crying in Donald’s arms (‘MAMA!!’) and tried to pull us apart. The crying took a few days; I..just wasn’t ready to say bye yet. And Donald encouraged it, haha I think he rather knows how I am feeling than to hide it in.

And then you get the random Quentin quirks:

Quentin: mummy, is it cos Chor Chor eat alot that’s why she die?
Me: no..she is very old that’s why she died.
Quentin: *sees me spooning macaroni into my bowl* mummy, i don’t want you to eat. You cannot eat.
Me: why?
Quentin: because if you eat alot, you will grow old fast and then you will die. I love you and I don’t want you to die.
Me: *😞* oh Quentin, I still have many years to go..and I need to eat some food so I don’t fall sick too. Okay, how about I eat a little each day so I don’t grow old too fast?
Quentin: *perks up a little* okay! Just a little every day ok? So you dun grow so fast. Only I can grow so fast.
Me: Quentin, I will try n live as long as possible for you. Mummy wants to watch you grow up too.

Then we had a chat about him growing up, how one day he may become a daddy, travel on his own, cook for us and grow old.

It obviously set off the waterworks that afternoon.

I didn’t really like what I was feeling to be honest, the crying coupled with swinging hormones wasn’t a good combo. I kept reading the eulogy I wrote as it had a lot of memories of her and me. I thought if I kept reading it, I would not forget about her. I would end up in tears each time I read it. I was afraid that if I accepted that she was gone, the memories I had of her would somehow vanish, like she wasn’t a part of my life. That her gone, would be a new norm. It took many talks with the hubby before I came to a compromise/understanding. He reminded me that the memories were here to stay, regardless of her gone or not.

She was there in the many photos I have together with her. And they won’t disappear.

It took awhile. But I read the eulogy for the last time, I had another good cry. And then I said a quiet bye. Bye Mama. 

The days are better, but there are moments when I get reminded about something and the tears start welling. Heck, just even watching a video about a girl and her grandma trigger the tears. Poor Donald came in to find his wife sobbing away at her desk and he had to stand there comforting me till I could stop crying.

So super thankful for Donald who was a champ and handled the three kids whilst I attended the wake. He took over once I was done putting Sarah down for a nap. And he put all 3 to bed for a couple of nights! It gave me more time to spend with family and my late grandma. Thankful for the help from my mil who cooked for the kids so that they don’t have to eat junk food nor do I have to worry about meals.

I still miss you terribly. But I do know that you are in a better place, so I will seek comfort in that you are in the arms of my Heavenly Father. 

Category: Special