April 20th, 2017

It’s 10:50, the moon is high and the stars are twinkling in the Grey black sky. My eyes should be heavy with sleep, but the sandman has yet to find me. My brain is working overtime, but yet I don’t get paid.

Today I received messages from 2 friends. One was from a friend who had read one of my Diary blog posts (not including yesterdays because I hadn’t posted yet). She was honestly concerned for me and wanted to bolster my spirits, remind me that she is always there for me. That she thought it was cool that I was “owning all the highs and lows”. I appreciated her message immensely since sometimes being far away from close friends and family can feel a little alienating. And well my posts were a lot about the “lows” of this journey up to this point.

The other friend was replying to a birthday message I’d sent her and asked me a most thought provoking question in return. She asked me to tell her something new and enjoyable that i had discovered this week. Her question caused me to pause. I don’t think she had read my posts but it really got me to look at the last 2 weeks and see what was hiding in the recesses of my mind, something caught in the spider web of activity that has been happening.

Her question made me realize that when I am writing I am documenting thoughts of our challenges but somewhat neglecting the amazing things unfolding before me. What came to mind was a mix of “things” that were good. The journey’s tapestry was being woven with a fabric comprised of so much positivity as well. Both messages I’d received reminded me of that; indirectly.

I’ve shared some of my inner most feelings about this move. Many can be seen as challenges, difficulties. If any of you know me, I’d like to think you’d agree that I take these times in full bull fashion, head on! I am a Taurus (yes, eye rolls acceptable) so makes good sense that I am determined and bullish (no, not stubborn). But with these challenges are also moments and memories of smiles, laughs, amazement, astonishment at so much.

Today though I want to share the ‘Glad Game’. These are the things I shared with my friend. Note she only asked for 1 thing and I provided a barrage of gladness for her consideration.

  • The most impressive is how well Chloe is adapting to her new life. She still wears pants and long sleeved tops but her new wardrobe (thankfully) now includes shorts and t-shirts. Massive applause acceptable. Don’t fret however, her back bubble, bunny ears and various other “accessories” (i.e. a serious winter toque from Canada, different one from the one in this photo) have made an appearance as well.
  • She taught herself (without actually practising) how to use chopsticks. Just picked them up, told us to watch and BAM!
  • This morning I mentioned that her pull ups have been fairly dry lately. I asked her why, thinking it was dehydration. Her reply, “I’m practising!” Huh!!!!? Ummm for what? “To wear underwear at night time!” She is growing up so quickly and quietly mastering skills. It is like she is blossoming.
  • There is a part of her that is more open to new things, such as sushi! And she likes it!!!
  • Another amazing thing here. The food! I love it ♡
  • The train system is incredible, the cleanliness, and how courteous people are.

Really I am not a facebook fraud after all, those smiles were and are real. It is important to me that I share all sides of the journey; good and bad, easy and challenging, fun and boring, lonely and overwhelmed at the lack of privacy (primarily when I am trying to use the toilet. Parents, you know what I’m referring to).

So, the short and sweet, and much is sweet, I am enjoying myself. And this is fun, I like it.

“Everything always works out. Always!”

Rachelle C Foo

That’s it for the positivity for the day. I need to rest so when tomorrow arrives I have fresh eyes to view the world from and find new and exciting things to take my breath away.

Jet pack outfitsuperhero testing the fountain waterWhy not wear a toque, it's only 35c

April 19th, 2017

It seems I may be a tad focused on the challenges we face. And as much as I’d like to be honest about this experience, I realize I need to document a bit more about the actual fun. Not simply saying, “there have been moments of fun”. Because exploring has been fun! Tiring AND fun.

This city has so much to see and do. Almost like a clean Vegas. And those who know me well know I LOVE VEGAS!!!!!!

What have we seen with our wondrous eyes, felt with our gentle touch and where have the soles of our feet taken us in this city of awesomeness? We’ve been all over! Well not everywhere but a few places.

Our first day here we went to Toa Payoh, the community right next door. On our walk over we weaved through the concrete overpass instead of climbing the stairs – this is what happens when you walk with a pram holding our precious cargo. Got to the other side and saw a nature park where turtle’s swim freely, gracefully, until they see you then they dive for cover.

We were on our way to find the bank and stopped for breakfast, traditional Asian style breakfast noodles, curry puffs (which ended up being too spicy for the little mouths) and coffee for us older kids. It was a taste sensation. Not because it was culinary genius, but because it was authentic, it represents a part of Asia in which I am not familiar with. But I will become familiar, intimately.

We learned our first lesson of cultural correctness. Children should be wearing shoes! We’re from the beach, they were fortunate we had clothes on other than buggy smugglers, rashies and a bikini! Ha! Could you imagine if we wore that!? Climate wise it makes good sense though.

Our feet have travelled on crooked sidewalks, jumped the gap in the train platform, through the paved pathways in the Bay of Gardens and many other spots. We have been to malls, parks, new neighbourhoods and always with a keen eye to experience what the locals provide to us.

This city has a plethora of activities for us to experience. Our plan is to take this opportunity and engage with the culture, the environment, the people. It is expansive and rich in diversity. The world of Singapore is here for our enjoyment. And enjoy we shall.

April 18th, 2017

We got it! We got the condo we put an offer in on. No, we didn’t buy it, we are lowly renters – wink wink. This place is like being on permanent vacation. A staycation of sorts. It has 7 different pools, multiple outdoor exercise equipment stations (Chantal & Philip), a karaoke cafe (mom and Emily), a coffee cafe (Mike), nail spa and hair salon (Riley), 2 tennis courts (Zelma and Yeap), 1 basketball court, a running track (Derek and Helen) & an RV racing track. Oh and we must remember the bamboo maze which is where Chloe stated she wanted to live.

Take notice family, we seriously took you ALL into consideration when choosing a place to call HOME. So come visit well BEFORE we move from here!!!!

We viewed 10 units in the complex in multiple building blocks and decided this unit was for us. Maybe it was the 9 month old baby that sealed the deal (1 time she was slumbering peacefully, the other time she was full of smiles), or the friendly nature of the parents who made the place feel so welcome. It felt like walking into OUR home as soon as the front door parted for our entry.

The view isn’t like the one on the 29th floor, but how could a view on the lowly 15th floor be as good. We will still see the sun kiss the day goodbye and the moon welcome the starry night sky. We will sit on our balcony and enjoy noodles with a myriad of side options and maybe a glass of wine on occasion. This is how I see it all enfolding.

Reality…our night will likely look more like this.

Nicholas stop throwing food on the floor if you don’t like it. Put it on your plate.

Chloe, keep your butt in your chair and stop trying to have fighting games with your pasta.

Phew, dinner over!

Kidlets will run around to burn off engery, but in the house instead of in the bamboo maze where maybe I could loose them for even 10 minutes of peace?!

Back to the bedtime routine….

Nicholas, stop peeing in the bathtub and trying to eat the bubbles. Oh wait, is he taking a poo??? Shit!!!!! (seriously, this DOES happen!)

Chloe, you need to wash your hair or I’ll have to chop it off! It looks like all the birds from the jungle up north have taken up residence in YOUR hair! Seriously!

Phew, bathtime over!

Kids will get pj’s on and of course this will be very easy.

Nicholas, get your naked butt back here! You need a nappy/diaper on before you pee on the floor – seems to be a recurring theme with him, pee. Maybe we need therapy? ??

Chloe, No, I don’t know where you most wintery pj’s are. We live on the equator wear shorts! And No, it isn’t cold in here! Sesh, seriously, who’s kid is she anyway, she’s crazy!

Phew, pj’s on and no mess on the floor and winter Roots pj’s still in the drawer (note to self, pack them in the back of the drawer and bring only to Canada! Or New Zealand).

Read book quietly and calmly

Nicholas to stop eating the pages, this isn’t desert!

Chloe all babies eat books, your brother is still learning all the same lessons you had to learn hence why half the age appropriate books for him are missing pages..

Phew, book(s) done

Time for bed now my beautiful babies.

Oh I love my babies so much when they are snuggled into bed, ready for me to sing them to lala land. Let sleep cover their eyes and peaceful dreams of everything sweet occupy their minds.

Slowly, quietly, creep out the door. Ssshhh! I said quiet!!!!!

Now for adult time, wine, relax, some good conversation. All sounds so civilized.

Just nee to sit on couch for a quiet moment before indulging in our exotic dinner and $100 Singapore bottle of wine (which is likely imported from Australia somewhere).

ZZZZzzzzzzzzz….WHAT WAS THAT!!!!

Eyes jolt open….was I just sleeping? The pool of drool in the corner of my mouth tells me it was definitely sleep and the snoring was definitely what just woke me….? So how was my adult time tonight? Great, I did nothing! Why? Right, I’m a parent and the evening was exhausting! But I loved it. How do I know I’m not tricking myself with delusional talk? Because I’m not drunk, they’ve only been asleep an hour and I’m already talking and laughing about them and their crazy antics. Don’t deny it, you do it too

Sat 15th April

So up till today I thought the most challenging element of moving overseas was; where to buy groceries, how to decipher one brand from another, how to save money on anything & everything, where to live, which school.

What I have come to realize is most challenging is navigating a new medical system. Your heart plummets when you see your baby not feeling well and knowing you need a Doctor. But you don’t know where to find the Doctor, which Doctor is “good” and even how to go about booking an appointment. Now forget the fact that today is a Saturday, that has only added another layer of complexity to the situation.

What I have discovered is that Doctors here only work till 1pm on Sat in newer clinics – which apparently is the case where we live. I’m not sure if there is a walk-in type Centre in Singapore – I don’t know yet anyway.

As a parent you may take to Google to find the answers but of course you are faced with an abundance of irrelevant info and you need to wade through the sites to find something, anyone, who can help.

It feels very overwhelming and downright scary because this is YOUR child. You want to get it “right’ because health is all we have in life to live. An unwell child is heartbreaking enough then add this unknown, I can finally say I’ve found what “Culture Shock” is to me! No more worrying about finding my beloved toothpaste brand (which is Crest by the way), or favourite coffee to satisfy my heart….a healthy child is all I need.

Those other things still hold an element of cultural unknown, but they are surmountable. They will hang on a low rung of the ladder from here on in.