Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's 3rd Birthday

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Crucible

Battle scars

I have a very high tolerance for pain. It is no stranger to me to continue functioning while enduring severe pain. However, I can never stand itch. I'm the kind who would purposely scratch a mosquito bite till it bleeds so that it becomes painful rather than itchy.

So, it was a special kind of hell for me when I started having puritus (extreme itch) all over my body 6 weeks ago. It began with my calves, then my thighs, followed by my arms. It spread to my face so that even my eyelids, ears and scalp were unbearably tingling with the overwhelming urge to be scratched. I tried not to give in to the instinct, just like I advised my daughter with eczema all these years. However, I kept waking up subconsciously clawing all over my body the moment I fell asleep. Needless to say, I tore through my skin and stained my bedsheets with my blood.

I hardly slept at night and my days were pure torture because my homemaking work is mostly very physical and sweaty. Each drop of perspiration stung my irritated skin like a needle piercing me. The sunlight was like fire to me and the unprecedented heat wave of March increased the itch manifold. Even the wind felt like sandpaper. Cooking is no longer enjoyable because the oil fumes and the heat totally exacerbate my condition.

My children, being young and immature, could not extend much sympathy towards me regarding my condition, especially when I still forced myself to be functional and continued caring for them as well as I could. But the number of breakdowns in front of them I had over the past month rivalled the number I had in a normal year. It was so painful for me to see the fear in their eyes when they witnessed the wretchedness of their suffering mother. 

As much as my wonderful and self-sacrificing husband bent over backwards to help me through it, this valley of darkness was mine alone. Only God was with me in the middle of the night when I cried out to Him in agony and sheer exhaustion. Multiple trips to the doctor and all sorts of medication did not work. Friends rallied in prayer and I simply collapsed helpless before the Lord in a mess of tears, snot and shredded skin day in, day out. I hardly stepped out of the house apart from buying groceries. I wailed to Him all alone. God was the only One who stood between me and dangerous suicidal thoughts.

As I study the book of Revelations this year with BSF, I am comforted by the promise of the victor's crown at the end. The precious intimacy of the new name on the white stone known only to me, given by my Saviour. Though I am of little strength, God would not burden me with more and exhorts me only to hold on to what I already have. That I could do. I clung on to my Lord who has already forgiven me all the hurt I caused in my loved ones while I lashed out in frustration in my suffering. God did not promise to remove us from trials and tribulation but He promised His presence. It was His love and mercy at work even during the times when I turned my anger and yelling towards Him. He simply lifted me up from my miry clay.

Through a divine appointment, I went to see a doctor who is a fellow believer and he gave me a different type of medication.. I took his advice and changed the laundry detergent. After doing countless loads of laundry with a new organic washing powder, my condition improved by 80%. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! For the first time in a long while, I could sleep through the night. The dark clouds of sleep deprivation slowly parted. The fog of depression has lifted. There is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though I am not yet fully recovered, I am grateful to Jesus for being with me through it all. I had never felt more alone and misunderstood before. Even when I was incapacitated in my pregnancies, people still somewhat understood my misery. But this? Those experienced with eczema kept telling me that my condition is not really serious because the itch did not come with visible rashes. No one could tell the extent of my suffering because I didn't look as bad as I feel. My family doctor actually said there was nothing he could do for me. Even my own mother asked me not to visit her because she thought I had the measles! 

As I trust God to eventually heal me completely, I will rest in Him. Even if I do not recover 100%, I will still praise my Lord! Amen.
   

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Girls' Dresses

As the girls grow taller, they wear longer dresses. Their wardrobe used to be divided between the top and the bottom halves but the dresses are going way beyond the boundaries. In fact, I had to start folding the longest ones over their hangers. There were also many articles of clothing that were outgrown by Jaide or garments which neither of them desire to wear for whatever reason. 

I figured I have had enough and it was time for a revamp. I decluttered the unwanted pieces, took out the middle bar and divided the wardrobe between left and right halves. I hung the dresses but folded the skirts, pants and other accessories to be placed at the bottom instead. Now, that's better!

As I peruse many handiwork, I am struck by the epiphany of that one marvellously satisfying thought: How have my girls grown!

BEFORE

AFTER

Friday, March 18, 2016

March Holiday Outing

Jaide: "The world is my oyster!!!"

This holiday, we decided to try something different. Joshua and I divided and conquered!!! Bwahahaha... :P

Since there's a 2.5 years of age difference between the older two and the younger two, some places that are good for no. 3 and no. 4 would be too boring for the no. 1 and no. 2 while the little ones will find it hard to fully appreciate places where the big brother and sister are interested in.

Joshua brought the big boy and girl to Jurong Bird Park while I took Jaide and Joram to Kiddy Fun, an indoor playground safe and suitable for little kiddos.

Drawn to their fav
colour as usual
*chuckle*

Having fun together

A wefie before we left

It was sooo tough to take a combined shot because the two of them were bouncing from one installation to the next. They were hardly at one place for more than a few seconds! LOL After we left, we went to Giant to get some toys as mementos of the trip since the older kids will be buying their souvenirs from the park's gift shop. Just to be fair, you know? Then, we had ice-cream for tea break at the Treehouse Cafe to their great delight. When they adjourned to the play area at the cafe to play with toys, that was when I finally had the time to eat the first meal of the day! *famished*

Yay! Rollercoaster ride!

Easy to tell which is whose. Haha...

Meanwhile at the park, the big kiddos were having a field day exploring the different portions of the place. Joshua became a tour guide facing their inquisitive minds and a barrage of questions. They went to the penguin and owl enclosures, the dome about all sorts of bird eggs and the eldest even had the chance to feed a bird some water. *nice* They brought back little bird plushies for keepsake. So glad they enjoyed the trip!





   

Friday, February 19, 2016

Diaper-free in a jiffy


This scoreboard has been out for months. I had explained the sticker system: one crystal per dry diaper at night. 20 in a row will mean Jaide is ready to say bye-bye to diapers forever. It was a long battle to get her to be diaper-free during the day back then, but that experience taught me that even if she were perfectly capable of accomplishing a task, she must WANT to do it too. There is no point rushing her cos her high D personality means she's ready when she decides she's ready.

Imagine my surprise when she suddenly presented to me a dry diaper one morning less than a month ago and she's been a roll since then. Tonight will be the first night she'll go without her diaper for bedtime but I'm sure she'll do just fine. Still, I've shifted the mattress protector from Jayna's mattress to hers, just in case. *wink*

Monday, January 25, 2016

长长久九


Nine years... Just one year short of a decade. It sure feels like we've been married forever. 

I simply cannot imagine managing a household with four children apart from Joshua's tireless support and love. He may not be the most romantic of husbands but he is extremely dedicated to the family and helps out whenever he can. It is also remarkable that he releases me to serve in the worship ministry and takes care of the four kids for me when I'm on duty. This is something I never thought possible...

It was such a hilarious situation when I accidentally saw his handphone reminder to get the snowflake pendant I really love. He had intended to purchase that as a surprise anniversary gift. If my husband were a better liar, he could have gotten away with me being none the wiser but his embarrassed expression and response gave him away! ROFL After all, his honesty is one of the many reasons why I choose him as my husband. *beam* In the end, I got the pendant in advance. Hee...


He has always refrained from getting his favourite bak kwa for himself due to the cost. So I bought that as a gift for him on the actual day. Two days later, he got me a belated bouquet of flowers as he did not have time to do so on the actual day. Such is the life of busy parents. We even had to postpone our celebration by two weeks due to family and ministry commitments.



All along, I've been the one to plan celebrations because I'm good at it. However, after the exertion of moving house last year, I asked my husband to be the one to plan our anniversary celebration. It was lovely that he brought us back to the place where I first had an inkling of his interest in me. *wink wink* This is especially so since the place will be demolished in half a year's time. 

It so happened that I was actually craving for Fish & Co just the day before. Talk about coincidence!

It started to pour right after we entered the restaurant and we could enjoy each other's company while surrounded by rivulets of rain water cascading down the glass walls. Dreamy...




Knowing that I love cats, my generous and loving husband chose to spend the afternoon at a place which interests only me: a cat cafe. I was so delighted to have the opportunity to feed the cats! I totally love the kitty charm Joshua got for me there too. *swoon* 

I'm looking forward to many more years with the love of my life! (especially after the kids have flown the nest :P)






Monday, January 4, 2016

Joram's First Day of School


This year marks the beginning of a new "era" of homemaking when I finally can have a 2.5 hours slot during which ALL 4 of my children will be in school. Apart from the pregnancies, I have never had any time to myself during the day to peacefully and leisurely complete my chores without multitasking. As Joram, my littlest kid, enters nursery 1, I look forward to easier days. 

Joram has been so looking forward to going to school for the past few months. He started saying he wanted to go to school with her sisters whenever I was was sending them up the school bus. Today, he was absolutely delighted wearing his school uniform for the first time. He did very well the entire time at school and cooperated with the teachers perfectly. He only started tearing when the teachers asked him to keep the toys while he was playing with his favourite toy trains so that they could move on to the next program. He'll just have to get used to having only small pockets of time for toy-playing while at school.

I'm so proud of my obedient youngest boy! *beam*

No school bus today
so took a cab to school

Waiting for school
to start...

Putting his water bottle
onto the correct tray

And now his bag

Eating lunch

Drinking water

Lesson time!!!

Toy-playing session

Got a new school bag!

Going home on the public bus
 

Last post about Jayna

As Jayna enters P1, it is also time for her to graduate from my blog. From now on, I will be left with only the two younger children every school morning. No longer will I enjoy the company of my best helper who had been taking complete charge of the breakfast table for the past half a year. 

Even though I will miss her precious assistance, I am still very glad for her to reach a new stage of growth and development. Jaide will also need to eventually level up in her capacity and maturity and she can only learn to do so if the older two are not around to rely upon. 

May she adjust well to her new school and I look forward to seeing her excel academically as she has both the aptitude and the attitude for it. I pray that she'll find good friends of positive influence to her and that she'll enjoy herself thoroughly. 

Now, I am half-way done with my blogging journey. I have 4 more years to go. *wistful*