My Little Climbing Room (with giveaway!)

November 18, 2017
We got invited to one of the newest climbing "playground" in town - My Little Climbing Room last month.

Nestled in a quiet residential neighbourhood at Kovan, which I may add upfront isn't the most accessible location. However, after our visit, I feel it is worth the travel, and is fantastic workout for the kids.

Initially, we were apprehensive about visiting because J has only recently regained his strength and we didn't want him to feel upset or inferior if he wasn't able to complete the challenges.

1 year after Juvenile Dermatomyositis

November 13, 2017
We have crossed the "1st year anniversary" from the time we got J's diagnosis.

He has had Juvenile Dermatomyositis  (JDM) for over a year now, and at this point, we cannot be more thankful for him to have come this far of absolutely showing no signs of his illness. And earlier this month,  we marked the last day he needs to take any prednisone (steroids)

His illness is still active, and we are working hard to help him reach remission. In the meantime, we are also seizing every opportunity to let him enjoy his childhood as we were told even after remission, the odds of it relapsing is 60%.

The events leading up to his diagnosis can be found here. 

I recalled when I wrote that post, I was still overwhelmed with emotions. We didn't know who to listen to and what kind of monster we were facing. Whatever we could find on Dr. Google pointed to this being a battle for years. For some kids, it is a lifetime.

But, we are super super grateful of his pediatrician and his first pediatric rheumatologist (Rheumy, in short) for first diagnosing the the illness and getting him to start treatment immediately. For them, encouraging us to get an appointment with the head rheumy at KKH who is a superb doctor I must say.

We also super love his teachers for welcoming him back when he is at his weakest and worked with us to help him literally get back on his feet. Without all-round encouragement, I don't think our road to recovery will be this smooth.

This is going to be an ultra long post, but do bear with us as I think it is worth us documenting how we got to this point, and it will be helpful for us to revisit should JDM come knocking again.

October 2017 

At diagnosis, he had to go out with caps and lots of sunblock because he is now photo-sensitive. He wasn't able to sit upright without back support.  

The skin issues that came with the illness, and apparently, it is on this side of his body that he is unable to retain fat, otherwise known as lipodystrophy. 

When at home, he lies around more often than anything. 

November 2016 

We started physio exercises, and we had to encourage him to sit up and move towards us (plus plenty other exercises). 

Despite his pain, he often tries to be happy too. 

We finally got an appointment with Dr Tash at KKH, and we had to immediately admit J for his first monthly pulses of high-dose steroids. We were told these were going to be monthly staycations of 3 days each month, and we were uncertain how many months this was going to take. If high dose steroids doesn't make him better, IVIG would be on the cards (thank God, we never needed it). 

On top of monthly pulses of steroids, he has to also be on oral steroids of 40mg (20ml) a day, and this is like ultra high dose, and weekly Methotrexate jabs. 

One of the biggest side effect of such high dosage of steroids is putting on weight, FAST! 

December 2016 

We saw a teeny weeny bit of improvement as J wanted to head outdoors. Thank goodness for steroids, but he is starting to show weight gain. 

We cannot imagine the pain he went through when he was made to carry out his physiotherapy exercises. 

I remembered this development. He came into the bedroom and told me...."Mummy..look! I can sit down on the floor on my own." It certainly felt like we are experiencing J's many firsts all over again. 

January 2017

With his steroids dosage at an all time high, which is also the very reason that allowed him to regain strength, his appetite also grew. He ate like there was no tomorrow, and we had to have something for him to much almost every hour. 

The steroids also made him moody all the time. Managing his emotions was one thing we had to deal with also almost every day. I really missed his jovial-ness a lot. 

This was when J was at his heaviest and also when we realised he also has lipodystrophy, which is parts of his body being unable to store fats and it is obvious from this picture that his right side is significantly smaller as a result. 

But, he continues to be cheeky when he feels like it. 

February 2017

In February, he managed to climb up the slide in our estate, something we haven't seen for some time. I was afraid his legs will give way, but he reassured me he can do it, and the comfort of seeing him slowly getting his "monkey" instincts back is indescribable. We are quietly praying that this streak of good luck will go on. 

March 2017

J has always wanted to go to Legoland across the causeway, and wanting it to be an encouragement for him, we made that trip. He managed to walk for almost 4 hours, without the stroller. We can tell he's exhausted, but he pushed on. Then I wondered where does all that determination in a 4 year old came from. As adults, we sometimes don't even persevere in the face of adversity. 

From not being able to get out bed, not being able to sit up without support right down to not being to pull down his pants to pee to wrestling with his Papa like he used to makes my heart sing. I think he hasn't laughed like that for many months, and we cannot ask for a better road to recovery than this. 

May 2017

J turned 5! And he was able to take part in his School's sports day! And did extremely well because his team won!

July 2017

He managed to complete the obstacle course at Waka Waka (Polliwogs). That smile on his face... we really want to just say "Take that JDM!"

 J is even able to get onto skate and try his first hand at ice-skating which he wanted to try since he turned 4. 

November 2017

This is him today. He is able to run, jump, hop, climb and be like any kid. 

We are absolutely blessed that our JDM journey haven't been the most arduous. We know many more kids out there are fighting a way harder battle, and without the constant sharing and encouragement from the caregivers at this closed group of JDM caregivers (mostly from the US) I am in, I would feel so alone because no matter how I searched and asked, I wasn't able to find someone in Singapore willing to talk about the illness.

Having come this far, we are still fervently praying that he will slowly outgrow JDM. We are told the relapse possibility is at 60%. Certainly on the high side, but we are remaining vigilant that this boy will come up stronger.

Dealing with the illness is one thing. Dealing with needing to juggle being a mom, daughter, employee and wife was extra hard.

Hence, once again, thanks to all our friends and family for standing by us  and providing the support we needed. 

[Phuket Travel] Novotel Resort Surin

July 15, 2017
With J's condition heading in the right direction, we wanted to take on a holiday to celebrate his birthday (which was 2 months ago! LOL!)

J learns by experience, hence we prefer to take him on trips versus buying him gifts. We stopped the travelling for a while, and were more than happy we made this holiday happen sooner than we had expected. 

This was my 4th trip to Phuket, and I wanted to stay at a beach other than Patong, away from the sometimes rowdy crowd. 

By now, you guys probably can tell, I prefer a little bit more peace and quiet when it comes to holiday accomodation choice. 

3 reasons why making terrariums can teach your kid a thing or two

April 22, 2017
Did you know that terrariums are really costly?

I love terrariums and I love how they can make me happy just by looking at them,  but I can never figure out why they are always so expensive. (Oh! And, I am really bad at keeping them alive, which is probably not best discussed on this post)

That said, when Masons Home Decor offered me a DIY Terrarium Kit, I thought why not. Maybe, I can start making my own going forward, just in time for our new home (if it happens this year!). is through this activity, I realised why terrariums cost so much, and rightly so and that's because making them is an art which requires a good deal of patience and precision!

This boy, in his excitement to start poured the coloured pebbles in before the soil and mixed them all up. So we ended up with no pebbles after that! LOL!

J and I had good fun working on the pack and here's 3 reasons why we will not hesitate to do this again although it's a huge big mess!

1) Making terrariums is a great family activity

J and I worked on the terrariums on a Saturday morning and that took us close to 2 hours to complete. We had to split our tasks where I helped to place the plants in the glass bowls while J shovelled in the soil. Then it was back to me tidy them up while he placed in the decorations. Such great team work!

2) It stimulates your (and the kid's)  creativity

Trying to fit these fragile plants into such a small space and making sure they end up looking pretty not only requires patience, but also a creative mind.

3) It trains the kid to be responsible

When we got the kit, J's teachers have also asked for us to give J a small plant as they were teaching the kids how to care for living things. So, with the terrariums which we put together on our own, J has been put in charge of making sure they are watered daily. He took to his task very well!

We definitely had fun working of these terrariums and we really thank Masons Home Decor for sending them our way.

If you are up for working on one of these, DIY Terrarium Kits can be purchased online from Masons, and they also have kits that's catered for kids as well.

Not to worry if you haven't got green fingers like me, they also have a whole range of plants, whether terrariums or much simpler potted plants, you should be able to find something that will add a bit more life to any living or even work space.

Interestingly, Masons also carry a range of home decoration products that will spruce up your homes. So do hop over to Masons to see what they can offer.

The good new here is, all readers can use the quote below when you purchase anything and get a 15% off.

4 reasons to have a staycation at Pan Pacific Singapore

April 15, 2017
Orchard may be the shopping belt of sunny Singapore, but if I get to choose a staycation in town, I will steer towards choosing the City Hall or Suntec area because of the family fun options at there.

We did just that in February for a quick weekend recharge, and after going through prices and monitoring them over a couple of weeks, I picked Pan Pacific at the Marina Bay area, and after just one night there, I am convinced Pan Pacific could be nicely placed for a family staycation, just to spend quality time with one another.

Keeping it real after birth

March 20, 2017

There's a saying around pregnancy and childbirth where I believe many mothers can agree to, and that is, pregnancy is usually the easiest part. The hard part comes around needing to cope with the new baby and other responsibilities

Whitening Skincare with Hue Floresta (with giveaway)

March 03, 2017
I have naturally dark and dull looking skin and it often gets worse when I do not get sufficient rest. 

Hence, I am always on the look out for products that will help brighten up my complexion because in my job, I need to 见人。Such are woes of a full time working mum. 

I recently got to try White-a-fair by HueFloresta. 

Claimed to contain no bleaching or whitening agents, it is all natural, made with  soy yoghurt derivatives and pearl that fixes the root of the problem that causes skin discoloration and pigmentation.

The White-a-fair range consist of 7 different products.

Here's the products for daily use that include cleanser, treatment essence (which is really like a toner) and day protection cream with an SPF of 30. 

5 ways we keep our perfectly imperfect marriage alive

February 26, 2017

This year's valentine's day marks the 15th year we have been a couple (of which 10 are as husband and wife).

We aren't always the happy couple, and we sometimes say the meanest things to each other. We don't see eye to eye on many things and we definitely have our fair share of horror stories of wanting to end it there and then.

February is the new January

February 03, 2017
Hello! I cannot believe how January has flown past us. 

Whoosh... ! Just like that.

2016. I am glad you are leaving.

December 28, 2016

If I had to rate how 2016 was from a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is absolutely horrible, and 5 is perfect, I think I will barely make it to 1.

No sugar coating at all, it was a biatch (if you all will just indulge my language on my family kinda blog).

[Taiwan Family Holidays] FunCar 放假 Minsu in Tainan.

December 02, 2016
We were in Tainan last December. yes, almost a year ago and I am still trying to complete all my posts on that trip. 

I think this will be the second last post of the December 2015 trip as I cover one more interesting minsu we stayed at in Tainan. Well, as this was so long ago,  I am just going to do a photo spam! So beware of a really long photo posts. :)

"Wah!! This is too cool! Just my type of fun"

P.S Look at the really cute vintage cars in the background. No wonder the name "FunCar". However, what goes on updates in the 2nd and 3rd floors is even more amazing!" 

(c) Meeningfully. Powered by Blogger.