Friday, January 07, 2011

A new year, a new wish

I know that I have been neglecting this blog and it's really because I have a) not much to write about and b) not much time to write. And so I think it is time for me to bid you farewell. I started this blog to share my ride as a mum, juggling 3 kids (no, not literally juggling them all in mid air although at times the ride was tough it felt like it was), work and running a household.

My baby is now 8 years old and is now in primary 3. She was a slow-starter and I had many sleepless nights worrying about her but she's showing signs of catching up and hopefully she'll be able to shine as brightly as I know she could.

My son turned 11 last year and will be sitting for the all-important PSLE papers this year. He knows how important this year will be but he inherited the husband's mischievious trait to be too consumed with the stress of studying.

My eldest is turning 16. Sixteen. Sheesh. Learning quickly about relationship, responsibility and possibly heartache in the process. I'm so glad I'm not a teenager anymore. She'll be sitting for a couple of her O level papers this year and the rest next year. I had sleepness nights worrying about her, too. She joined our family just before entering primary 1. And at primary 1 she wasn't able to recognise the alphabets, let alone read. And she didn't speak English. I think about how far she's come and I give thanks to the Almighty for giving her - and my other kids - resilience.

At the right time, as I promised when I first started this blog, I will let my kids read my blog - they don't know of its existence right now. And I hope they will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

And with that, dear readers, I want to thank you for staying with me on this ride. And I wish for you peace, happiness and success for 2011 and may you and yours be blessed with many more years ahead.

xx Dramamama

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If I was being totally honest...

...I would say that I am getting bored and maybe even frustrated with my job. I find that I am busy but with things that I am describing as "mundane" and "boring". I am starting to feel like I am working in a sausage factory...endless amounts of the same ol' same ol'. And even though the job market is picking up and I am getting many calls, I haven't been able to nail any of the ones that I was interested in. Mostly, I've been told my experience is too "senior" for the role.

So I was bummed out for a couple of weeks. The husband said I need to start either making my current job more exciting or be patient for "the" job that might interest me. Good advice, I must say.

So I turned to The One for some solace as I just wanted to feel less "stuck" and more "happy". All in quote marks because I have a feeling that these are my perceptions which are projecting as reality to me and I really need divine intervention to show me the way. And He never fails me.

A couple of days later, I started sketching in my head, what I would do to make my current role more interesting. I had some ideas and thoughts but didn't quite have the courage to present it to my direct boss. I was bound by my own fears; what if she said this is the job, take it or leave it. Or if she said something worse like, you're fired!? So while I had some ideas, I wasn't sure how I was going to express them without seeming like I didn't want my job anymore.

However, the opportunity presented itself in one of my weekly calls with her (my boss is based outside of Singapore). We were talking about 2011 plans and I started presenting the ideas I had in my head slightly differently. The new stuff I wanted to do, I related it back to how it would help the business. After 20+ years of communications experience, I was slapping my forehead for forgetting this really simple and basic rule of communications - tell them what's in it for them. Sigh. She was thankfully, very happy to hear my ideas and we discussed what the next steps are.

So in the end, I have stopped looking for greener pastures. I am instead focusing on how I am making what I have better -for me and the business I work for.

Alhamdulillah :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A breakthrough

My family and I are touchy-feely people. We like to give each other hugs and kisses and we say "I love you" to each other all the time. I say "I love you" to all three kids on different occasions and usually I get the two younger ones reciprocating by saying "I love you too, mummy moo." Farah usually says "Oh OK," as a reply. I never pushed the issue, never asked her why she doesn't reply the way I think (or rather, hope) she would reply. I used to get annoyed and even irritated that she is stingy with her expressions of love and affection to the people who love her dearly. But I also know I have to be patient and when she's ready, she will. And last night, before I drove off to the airport to catch a plane to Sydney, she was ready.

The husband was away too and I told her I depend on her to make sure the two kiddies do not drive the helper round the bend and stress Atok and Nenek too much with their antics. She said OK. I hugged and kissed her and said "Love you, Kak." I thought I heard her mumble something but she looked away and moved off before I could ask her.

Tonight I called the kids from Sydney. Everything sounds like they are under control. So I ended my chats with each child with a "I love you and see you tomorrow". And tonight, I was rewarded with a "Love you too, mummy." Loud and clear. From Farah. The daughter I have had to try harder to win over. Alhamdulillah :')

Monday, October 18, 2010


There's been so much news from the US on bullying recently that caused these bullied kids to take their own life. It's scary how evil some kids could be.

Until recently, Sara was a target for a bully in her class. I didn't think much about Sara's complaining of a certain classmate who took liberties with deciding when they were friends and when they're not. Usually that classmate decision is based on who will do what for her. Interestingly, that classmate was then given some responsibilities which included writing down names of misbehaving students and reporting them to their teacher. And as it turns out, the days when Sara (and others in the class) who were deemed as not being her friend, these kids get reported to the discipline teacher as being "naughty" and "misbehaved".

It reached to a point where Sara started crying her eyes out about going to school. In the beginning, the husband and I thought she was just finding an excuse not to go to school because she had forgotten a homework or whatever. She's never actually told us why she'd refuse to go to school on some days. We also started noticing that she was asking for extra pocket money and when not given, made it a point to make sure she brought a sandwich to school.

So, this mother finally sat up and took notice when, in one of her crying fits refusing to go to school, Sara finally told me about this particular girl in her class who have been rotating between telling other classmates to ostracise Sara when she refused to do something bully girl wanted, to reporting Sara for something she didn't do to getting her lunch money taken away from her.

It was intervention time and I brought her to school and asked to see the class teacher. The teacher was so surprised to hear about the reasons that have led to the crying fits and promised to keep a closer eye on the two girls (yeah, the bully's a girl) and will also inform the bully's mum - who just happened to be a teacher in the same school who - guess what - is the discipline teacher.

Things seemed to improved for Sara after the chat I had with her class teacher. Sara is keeping her distance from the bully and apparently, other kids have now also come up to the class teacher to tell her the terror that reigned.

And if you thought the story ended there...guess again. While the bullying in school has stopped, it continued on facebook. OK, disclaimer - Sara has a facebook account but mostly to indulge in some harmless game and I do monitor her page closely. She only has access to it on school holidays.

So, getting back to the story, the bully starting leaving hate messages on Sara's facebook wall, such as "I hate you" etc. Because I wanted to empower Sara to learn to fight this bully directly, I've asked Sara to report back to the teacher and then remove this girl from her friend list. So it looks like that worked.

I still don't know how and why a kid could behave the way Sara's class bully behaved. It would be interesting to find out.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mammo schwammo

The beauty of coming reaally close to 40, I'm experiencing, is being subjected to various health examinations such as the mammogram. After a routine check up my gynae said I needed to go for my first mammogram. Since I would save $200 by going to a public instead of private clinic, the choice is a no-brainer. Fast forward to three months later, I made an appointment at a public clinic and was told to set aside 3-4 hours for this test. Right. I took half-day leave from work to ensure I have enough time.

I was pleasantly surprised that I was attended to right at the time of my appointment. And that was basically the best bit of my appointment - they saw me on time (and actually I stayed for less than hour which left me plenty of time to roam around aimlessly). The rest of the time I spent at the diagnostics clinic, I felt like my two girlfriends - Boob Right and Boob Left - were tortured and treated like pieces of meat. I was made to contort into positions that tested the flexibility of my limbs (thank you, yoga) and was asked if I could turn and twist my head a full 180 degrees. I had to turn my body to one side while ensuring my by-now separate pieces of flesh are left on a tray, manhandled and contorted by a radiologist who is very apologetic about it all. And I had to do a re-take because take # 5 couldn't be used. Joy.

I think the folks at GE need to relook at the design of their sonograph equipment. Honestly folks, why would you expect the patients to contort their bodies and bodily parts to suit the design of your machines? You should design your machines to suit the patients lah. And we are talking about 40 year old ladies here who might not be all nimble and patient. And while most of us have gone through child labour, it doesn't mean we would want to subject ourselves to the same pain in a different part of our body. *glare*

Boob Left and Boob Right are slowly getting over the manhandling but man, this experience has left a lasting impression on them and I. Jeez, I am turning into a grumpy old lady.