Category Archives: Health

Healthy children, happier days

There was a direct correlation between both factors. Having both children illness-free meant that we could spend our weekends out and about, and hence, lesser time to prepare scheduled blog posts.

Both Z and X generally enjoyed good health, especially more so for Z.  X was still very robust compared to average but Z was way more robust.  Furthermore, Z loved herbal tonic soups and supplements. I hoped X would adopt his brother’s appreciation for such tonics.  X definitely shared the same preference for junk food as he attempted to snatch Z’s gummies with such a firm and decisive grip a few days ago.

I had never been a firm believer of Chinese tonics till my first pregnancy.  I developed such strong immunity back then that I did not fall sick for a record period of 18 months.  During the second pregnancy, I took my health for granted and skipped for the last trimester, I fell sick.

It was not like we did not take supplements or balanced diets.  These Chinese herbs were so effective.  I started off being a total noob but there were 3 types of must-know Chinese herbs to save our lives literally.  To me, prevention was always better than cure.  Good health always meant as easier parenting time.

‘Yang Shen’ – this had cooling properties and was great for days when you felt an onset of fever/sore throat coming up.  We always bring this out for travelling.  How on earth do you think we could hop off for long, winter holidays with Z?  It was not that Z would not fall sick but we minimized the down time.  I also had other tricks like packing our own water but that would be another blog post altogether.
How to use: Wash and put a few slices into a glass, add very hot water (cannot use boiling as it would kill off some properties and if it was not hot enough, it could not draw the flavour).  Drink when the water had cooled and repeat the process till the herb had become tasteless.  The last step was more for maximizing the investment, else it was quite wasteful!

‘Pao Sheng’ (American ginseng) – this was for boosting immunity and honestly worked better than all western supplements put together.
How to use: Same as yang shen.

‘Dan shen’ – I usually confused this with pao sheng but if I did not remember wrongly, this was to combat fatigue.  I reckoned this as pretty true because when I used to take this every alternate day during my first pregnancy, I could stay up till 1am to do my post-graduate assignments.
How to use: You would have to boil this for 15min, ideally with dried longans and red dates.  The additional ingredients were to boost the taste and provided some additional functions.

The massive world of Chinese herbs was probably too much for an average person to understand but the above 3 worked like miracles in the arena of prevention.  In my 1st pregnancy, I alternated between ‘pao sheng’ and ‘dang shen’ daily.  Post pregnancy, it was supposed to be on a weekly basis.  Well, penning this down was a good reminder to get the groove started.  In terms of concentration, it was up to our own personal preferences.  For young children, it would be best to dilute.  On exact details, do consult your nearest medicinal hall such as Hock Hua, ZTP, Eu Yan Sang…

When I first started buying these Chinese herbs, I had been overwhelmed.  Over time, I learnt what cordyceps, dried huai shan, yu zhu, gan cao, bei qi, bei xin etc were.  While I used them every once in a while, the above 3 ‘shengs’ were any mom’s best bets.

Running shoes

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Isn’t it annoying that our metabolism and even collagen reproduction rate drops as we get older?

I have two pair of track shoes. One for outdoor use and one for indoor use, so that I don’t have an excuse on why I can’t squeeze out time to exercise.

I miss the younger days when polishing one tub of ice cream means nothing to the weighing scale and the waistline.

Back to school

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It had been a while since we headed out as a whole family in the morning.

Dear X, we wished you good health and please stopped putting every object in your mouth and absorbing all the viruses and germs!

His school was so sweet to email us (him) a get well soon note and his teachers expressed that they had missed him.

Meanwhile, I was glad to be relieved of the driving duties and to be able to take my morning snooze in the back seat.

Playing apart

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It had been a week.

Both boys had been forced to play apart for the past week. This was Z playing peekaboo with X at a safety distance enforced by us.

Initially, Z had been distraught that we refused to let him go near X. He was such a sweet and loving brother. On our end, we really missed outsourcing the babysitting duties to Z. I missed the times when I would cook dinner and Mr H would pack both boys’ bags, Z and X would play together.

I was also tired of the no-hug-no-kiss rule. Z included.

Z had been a daddy’s boy while X’d been closer to me. That was probably why we fell sick together and had to be separated. Z and I became a tag team while Mr H and X were a tag team. Z wanted Mr H to play cars with him while X wanted me to carry him. It was quite a funny situation.

Z had been rather emotional about the change and even whined in a bid to get more attention. It took him a while to understand the situation, so much so that he would ask me if X had touched any toys and if it was safe to venture ahead.

Meanwhile, X had showed visible signs of mental development. He could pay attention to our conversations and laugh or frown as deemed fit. When asked about pushing a certain red toy car under the sofa, X shook his head. Z proclaimed, it was X! X frowned at Z and shook his head vehemently. Only when Mr H added on that he witnessed the act did X turned around in avoidance. It looked like we would have a “it wasn’t me!” stint soon.

X also chuckled and giggled more these days when he knew he had been up to no good – like tugging at my stuffs and getting a “nooooo” reaction from me.

Coming to an end yet?

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We were very lucky that X had suffered a mild strain of hfmd and it did not hamper his eating and drinking. In fact, he looked so cheerful that I forgot he had hfmd at times!

We thought he preferred the packet baby purée food because the texture was smoother. He cleared the entire stock and had to eat the frozen baby food which I had cooked. It was definitely chunkier in texture (his original preference) and richer in flavor. Mr H said that X looked pleasantly surprised and as though he had missed mummy’s cooking, he slurped up his dinner rather heartily.

It might be too early to celebrate but I hoped the pd could clear him of hfmd tomorrow and that none of us had contracted hfmd yet. It was such a bummer to stay at home the past weekend though Z and I went out for dinner.

In fact, I had so much idle time at home over the weekend that I wrote more than a week’s worth of scheduled blog posts! Given that my track record had been to complete a 25-page essay in 12 hours, it really was not hard to write that many blog posts over my free time.

In addition, I also had idle time during milk expressing sessions.

I would pray very hard that this weekend would be sunny and all 4 of us could go out together.

Fruits & Figurerobics

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The weekly supply of fruits which the 4 of us had to polish and I had to peel. Kiwis were in season so it meant they were really sweet once ripe. Baby X polished one kiwi by himself earlier, a clear indication of how nice the kiwi was.

We were indeed blessed that one set of parents load us with lots of Vitamin C and the other set load us with Omega.

I’d finally recovered from the dreadful stomach flu and flu. I was craving for a run but by the time dinner was cooked, served and consumed, it was rather late and Mr H was concerned. Thankfully, figurerobics was back on YouTube, so I got my 30min exercise fix.

Another 3 days till Baby X’s clearance for hfmd. In the interim, Z and X could only play peekaboo at 5 meters apart.

Get well soon, X!

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Baby X received a get-well-soon hamper this evening.

It definitely cheered our home bound Friday evening. Z eyed the hamper with interest. More specifically, the balloon.

“When X recovered, I will take the big balloon and I give him the smaller one, ok?” Very wise and calculated planning on Z’s end. Not too bad for a 46-month old.