Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maggots at Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Chances are if you found maggots chowing down on a wound, you'd make a beeline to the closest hospital.

But, it might surprise you to find the little buggers may be just what the doctor ordered.

Can u imagine...the next time when u go to the hospital, the doctor might actually put maggots on your wound!

MAGGOT 'microsurgeons' will be put to work at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) from next month, making it the first hospital here to use the larvae to treat its patients' festering wounds.

According to the newspapers, Maggots will be sandwiched between two pieces of gauze or other type of dressing and they are left in a wound for up to 48 hours.

The 2mm-long maggots 'treat as they eat' - they gobble up dead tissue and produce infection-fighting secretions.

With the therapy, patients who would otherwise take eight months to recover could get better in two weeks or less. The treatment is also cheaper than conventional surgery, with studies in Britain pegging savings of about 80 per cent off the medical bill.
Anyone wants dinner after reading this article?
P.S. - if u think that the image above is gross, just do a search for an image of a maggot on the internet. U will defintely be grossed out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Watching TV & Dim Sum Dollies

Guess what Nicole is doing?

She is in her favorite position - Watching TV.
She is becoming a real addict, and we are trying to cut down on her TV time. Even when she goes out to the kitchen to eat her dinner. She will leave instructions before she goes.
She tells daddy, "Daddy, don't turn off the TV, I am watching!"

Her favorite cartoon character Dora is found on the local channel. As she normally watches Cable, she does not understand the concept of advertisements (Cable TV does not have any ads).

As a result, when the advertisement comes on, she will stare at her mummy and say, "Mummy, I want to watch my TV! Where's my TV?" Mummy will then surf ALL the channels, asking, "Dora, where are you?" And hope against all hopes, that the ads would finish their run quickly, so that Dora comes back on!
On Monday, we also caught 'Dim Sum Dollies". It was at the Esplanade and it cost us $80/person.

It was quite funny, but my friends tell me that the earlier productions were better. Anyway, we had no basis for comparison, as this was our 1st viewing of the series.

I liked the segment about the 'Men in White" where references were made to our modern founding father. They even had a repertoire of National Day Songs. It was quite enjoyable waving the Singapore flag :) It stirred within us a patriotism, unknown in the month of February (National Day is in August).

If u like musicals or dramas, u should catch it too! Check out the promotion videos below.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ps. Ulf Ekman preaches at City Harvest

Pst Ulf Ekman was in town this week, and he preached in all our services in Jurong West and at the Singapore Expo.

During the Sun 10am service, he preached about how Peter stepped out of the boat and at the word of Jesus walked on water.

At God's word, Peter stepped out and experienced a miracle!

In the same way, if we want to experience a greater breakthrough in 2008, we have got to overcome our fears and step out in faith!

Stepping out happens in small ways. Coming for an overnight prayer meeting from 11pm to 5am, can be the extraordinary step! It is all about stepping out from our comfort zones!

We have got to be courageous to continue to grow in God. Following Jesus is always anti-culture and it is never a popular decision. But as we step out into the deep, we will realize that it is the best decision that we can ever make!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Faith and Expectations

Do u know that Denmark has been rated by a survey as the Happiest Country in the World?

According to video that I watched on the American Program '60 minutes', America ranks 23th, with countries Canada and Costa Rica beating it!

What's the secret behind a country with a population of 5.5 million people?

According to the program, it could be because the people have low expectations! After all, this is the country where we get the story about 'The Little Mermaid', where we are educated about unrequited love.

Personally, I would not advocate that! Being a person of faith, I believe in having a dream and a Vision. Just like what the Bible says, I believe that without a vision, man will perish! In fact, I believe that words and actions have a profound effect on students!

According to a study done by a Harvard Psychologist called Robert Rosenthal done in the 1960s, we see the relevance of expectations.

In his study, he found out that when teachers expect the students to do well, they do. Conversely, the reverse is true as well.

Talking point
The psychologist just took 20 ordinary students and labelled some 'intelligent' (Ok, he may have lied to the the teachers) and told the teachers that they showed 'unusual potential for intellectual growth'.

True enough, all the students labelled as 'intelligent' showed significantly better results compared to their peers who did not receive this special recognition. (Hint-So better not let your friends call u stupid!)

Further findings showed that if teachers expect the children to succeed, they will behave in ways to reinforce their expectations.

For instance, if a student considered to be bright is unable to answer a question posed, the teacher is more likely to support him, help him think about the problem and eventually arrive at the correct answer.

In contrast, if a teacher were to pose a question to a child whom he perceives as having no potential, and the latter is unable to answer it, the teacher is more likely to move on to another student.

Prof Rosenthal said , a teacher must check his own presumptions. And if he does not believe in a student's capacity to learn, he has no business being that student's teacher. Wow! Strong words indeed.

How does this relate to the Happiness Country in the World Study?

Towards the end of the program, they interviewed a few Danish Youths. Even though surprised with the study (About them being the Happiest nation), they gave a few pointers as to why they ended up on top:

  1. They were happy to stay in Denmark, as the country offered them a comfortable life. The undergraduate remarked that money was not everything in life! This is in stark contrast to the 'Amercian Dream' where u must be a millionaire to be a success!
  2. Find a job that u are passionate about!
  3. They believe in having high hopes, but not getting too disappointed when it does not come to pass.

That's a great point! We must continue to dream and dream BIG! But, we also allow know that DREAMS don't come free! They will cost us something, and that there will be many trials along the way.

If we can manage our expectations and realise that we may face some difficulties along the way, we will be able to stay in this race & be in it for the LONG RUN!

2 tim 6:6

Now Godliness godliness with contentment is great gain

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Resident Pâtissier

pâtissier - chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, and other baked goods

Mummy's blogging again...

Recently, Nicole was down with a stomach virus. Thus, she had to stay home alone with mummy instead of going to school. We spent the entire day playing, reading and resting. By early evening, it was clear the virus was just a passing one, and the little girl was back to her usual frisky self.

That was when she started asking and declaring, "Mummy, can we bake cookies?", "Mummy, I like cookies!", "Mummy, where are the cookies?". To appease her (and me!), we got daddy to buy our favourite Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix as he made his way back from work.

This resulted in one of the most crispy, melt in your mouth cookies I've ever had! (Really!) Our little pâtissier did a lot more than our previous cookie experiment. This time, she poured in the mix, stirred in the butter, beat the egg, shaped the cookies, and of course posed for the camera!

Perhaps, just perhaps, it's time to consider baking cookies from scratch now! Nic's culinary skills are matching up to good ol' Betty!

Confession: Yes, it was ME who cut that fringe... I got carried away snipping, and it just got a little shorter than what was intended!

Monday, February 18, 2008

4d Ultrasound

Recently, we went to to the doctor's for our monthly checkup on the progress of the baby.

We went early but unfortunately, the clinic was really crowded.

Instead of the normal 15 minutes wait, we waited for about an hour, before we could go in and see the doctor.

Entering the doctor's room, we began to make light conversation with the doc. From small talk about CNY, we began to talk about the Doctor's New 4D scan machine.

It seemed to really strike a chord with the doc, and he got very excited about it. He immediately asked us whether we had a 4D scan done yet. We said 'No' and he told us that he was free and he would do one for us there and then.

Well, that's the picture above. That's Nadine and she is resting on the plactenta. When I saw it, I joked with the nurse, "Who do u think she looks like?"

Anyway, prior to this visit to the clinic, the doctor has been telling us about his new 4d machine and how he was giving free trials to his patients.

As this is our 3rd baby, and the 3rd time we are using him, we thought that we were catching him at a 'good time' and he was going to be generous towards us.

To cut the long story short, we were charged $80 dollars for the shot. Frankly, I wanted to give him back the photo. Not that I am not excited to see the baby, but this is baby no. 3 - pre-sightings of the baby are not very high on my agenda!

Well, the next time I go to the clinic, I will definitely ask for a quotation 1st!

Aiya...But beyond that...I think the photo is 4d nice! & so I pasted the picture in my valentime's dedication to Jiahui. Hey! Must maximise the 4d photo! :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Obama uses the Caring System

If u have been keeping up with the Presidential Campaign in the U.S, I am sure that u would have heard about Barack Obama. He is a Democrat, while people like Mike Huckabee are Republicans.

What makes his campaign interesting to me is this: The Obama campaign is the first in decades-maybe in history-to be carried on the backs of the young.

The youth in America has traditionally been disinterested in politics. In fact, politicans have deemed the youth (those under 35) as hard to mobilize and bored with politics.

How does Obama get his votes? He uses the caring system.

Obama purposefully targets the youth. After his rallies in towns across the state, he meets backstage with student leaders from the area. This is a privilege most candidates reserve for locals VIPs and fund raisers.

What is that? That is personal touch at its best! He gets to know the people!

Candidates like Clinton and Obama have also added this personal touch by calling potential voters as well.

Besides this, Obama speaks the language of the youth. He uses technology effectively by using platforms such as 'facebook' and speaks about change!

Studies have shown the effectiveness of these 21st century tools. It has been seen that voters are more likely to go to the polls if they are asked face to face by someone they trust. This proves that personal canvassing is more effective than direct mail or phone calls from strangers.

People vote when they know how much u care!

As we employ our connect group system, let's realise that people vote with their feet & influence is determined by relationships.

Before I go, check out this video. to find out more about the man.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

To my Wife

This Valentine's Day, I just wanted to say a BIG Thank You to that special someone in my life!

Sometimes I may not say it enough, but I thank God for such a wonderful women like u.

Thank you for your love and for living with my idiosyncrasies. It has not been easy, and that's why u mean so much to me!

Thank you for encouraging me to live and refining every dream.

Thank u for helping me reach my highs and holding I face my lows...

Thank u for who u are to me...U are the best thing that ever happened to me!

That cheerful smile...that special glint in your there a need for words - isn't it overrated!

Thank you Jiahui, u are my gal, and the best mummy for my boy and girls!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lucky Numbers and 4-D

It's been a really busy Chinese New Year, and I have been counting my angpows..

Besides giving away money during this season, I also came across an interesting article in the papers on Sunday.

Many of our seniors are really getting into "lucky fishies!". Costing just $3/fish, these species of fish called 'mollies' have numbers tattoed on their bodies. With numbers from 1 to 9, a lucky punter catches his/her fish, and they will head off to their local "4-D" or local sweepstake store to bet on their lucky combinations. This bet brings the saying "Nian Nian You Yu" to a new level!
During the meeting with Dr. A.R Bernard, he said that the higher the level of creativity, the higher the society has become. For example, the Egyptians with their pyramids, display a very advanced society for ancient times.

Well, I hope that these aunties are showing that the Singaporean Society is advancing! Actually, the mollies also also imported from Thailiand, so I not very sure, who is at the end of the food chain! :)

As Chinese New Year is always associated with luck, here are also some other interesting ways for us to get more 'lucky' during this season.

1. According to chinese superstition and what i observed on the highway, if u scribble down the license plate of a car involved in an accident, the plate number is supposed to be really lucky. Isn't that really ironic! A lucky Accident!

2. Death anniversaries of people in the news also make for great 4-D inspiration. Most recently, when Suharto died on Jan 27, the combination 2701 was the second prize in Jan 30's draw.

Before I go, here's a video of a really excited Nicole during this Chinese New Year! She is dancing to a praise song, after eating her 'Steamboat Dinner'. Check out the video at the end, where she gives a cute bow as well.

Sorry, but I have not learned to rotate the video yet, so please tilt your head to the side.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nathan's 1st Bdae!

Nathan just turned 1 on the 6th of February 2008!

We decided not to have a BIG party this year, but instead to have one next year: as he is too young to understand what's happening.

As his bdae was on the night of the reunion dinner, and as all his uncles and aunties were around, we decided to buy him a cake for the occasion.
Nic really enjoyed herself at the family gathering. She had her cake and played "hide and seek" together and "catch" with her cousins as well.

Here's a picture of Nathan, Nic and with her 2 cousins Tia and Mia.

She still does not understand the concept of "cousin", as she still refers to them as her friends. Till today, she still asks daddy "Where is Tia? Where is my Friend?"

Before I go, Here's wishing our Little Nathan:
A BIG Happy Birthday!

Mummy & Daddy Love u very much!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Chinese New Year Traditions

Chinese New Year is just round the corner!

Offices are winding down and everyone is getting into the "Gong Xi Fa Cai" mood.

The Drama in church today, played on the importance of family values, and it was really quite sad, when the 2 elderly parents felt lonely and neglected when the kids did not come home for the traditional reunion dinner.

I guess it reminded us, that we really need to make time for our parents and relatives this CNY!

This is espicially so, when Singapore is getting more westernised. Today, many people fly off for a short holiday, instead of going home for the holidays. Values have changed!

The significance of chinese customs have also changed. The Straits Times just did a survey on young people to find out how much they knew about CNY traditions.

Here are some questions (maybe you should test yourself as well):

1. Why must the amount of cash in the hongbao be even-numbered? (83 out of 100 youths got it wrong)

Ans - There's a chinese saying that "good things come in pairs"

2. Why must you stay up on the eve of Chinese New Year? (51 out of 100 youths got it wrong)

Ans - It is believed that the later children stay up on the eve of CNY, the longer their parents will live.

3. Why do we wear red-coloured clothes on CNY? (69 out of 100 got it wrong)

Ans - According to a legend, there is a monster called Nian. Because the monster fears red, it became a tradition for the Chinese to wear red to frighten it away.

4. Why are mandarin organes exchanged during CNY? (81 out of 100 got it wrong)

Ans - The mandarin word for mandarin oranges is Ju, which sounds like ji, meaning good luck. Another version is that oranges are called kam in cantonese, which sounds like the Cantonese word for gold.

Hope u did better than me in the test.

In hindsight, I believe that the most important thing this season, is to really spend time with your family. So, Instead of heading off to the shopping mall, let's be prepared to spend lots of time at home, fellowshipping with our relatives and eating our New Year Goodies!

Be rest assured, I will be with my family and enjoying my favorite pineapple tarts. Before I go, I just want to take this chance, and wish u Gong Hee Fa Cai!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Baby School - Do i need to send my baby?

Many parents are opting to send their children to school from as young as 2 months to 18 months.

In school a teacher will flash white A4-size cards that bear simple words - "play", "shoes" and "run" - while reading aloud. The school and the parents who send there children there, believe one is never too young to learn.

How much does it cost?
Fees range in Singapore from $1000 to $1,400 a month. Out of 20 infant schools interviewed by the press, almost all are full, and many have children on the waiting list. Talk about hot!

According to the parents, they are paying the fees due to anxiety about the Singapore Education system. As the school syallabus is getting touger, many parents feel that they have to prepare their children for formal school earlier than in the past.

What do the experts think?
An educational psychologist says that children are not ready for a "group setting" until they are 5 or 6. "Babies and toddlers are naturally self-centered. At such a young age, they cannot socialise yet." Hence, the children would be better off staying at home and enjoying undivided attention from their parents.

Where do I stand?
I have succumbed to peer pressure and the "kia-su" syndrome. I sent Nic for enrichment class when she was 1 year old. School was 2 hours a week at Novena. I felt that it was a waste of time, as she does not remember anything today.

I sent her to school from mon to fri when she was 2 years old. I believe that school works better at this age, as the number of days she goes, does make a difference. If it is only once a week, don't waste your time!

At the end of the day, I believe that balance is the key. Furthermore, nothing beats personal time with your baby! All they want is someone with them, as they explore this new world!

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