At the beginning of the year, it seemed like 2022 was off to a great start.
The eldest embarked on her secondary school journey and got accustomed to taking the public bus on her own. The sister was settling down well in Primary 4 while the newly minted Primary 1 boy was happy to go to school, make new friends and adapt to his new environment.
When they were in school, I had hours of one-on-one time with the baby which gave us plenty of time to bond while I tried my best to keep up with chores too. The house seemed so much quieter as compared to the December holidays and it took me a while to get used to it. I had to set numerous alarms for each day, wake up before the sun rose and do what mums do best, like packing snack boxes, waking the kids, ironing their uniforms and so on. Still, there was a sense of accomplishment as each day passed and we soon got used to the new routine.
Everything went well for the first two weeks until…… we started falling sick one by one. Yup, you probably know the story by now (read here) and the gist of it is the kids all tested positive for Covid in January and we were one of the first households to have so many +ve cases – not that it is a good thing – before the cases skyrocketed and this trend became rampant. Yup, even the 10-month-old baby succumbed to the virus and it wrenched my heart seeing him unwell and in pain.
In this post of “Happiness is…”, it’s about riding out the storm and overcoming a rough start. No storm lasts forever so when the going gets tough, we just have to grit our teeth, hang in there and persevere. Before we know it, we will see the brilliant sky and iridescent rainbow appear right before our eyes again and be proud that we made it through.
So if you are going through what we went through and am finding the ordeal tough, hang in there, okay? 你行, 你能, 你可以!
New bags for the new school year! Thanks to Ergoworks, the kids have new ergonomic school bags to bring to school. I always believe it’s worthwhile to invest in a good quality bag that supports the spine and lasts through the years so we are very thankful and happy for these backpacks.
The weekend before the first day of school, the hubby and I had a quibble – yes, we still do from time to time, don’t you? – and I decided to head out for some fresh air with the younger ones. A spontaneous decision led us to the indoor playground since we haven’t been to one in ages and they were ecstatic to get to play!
While we were going down slides, throwing balls, riding cars and jumping on trampolines, the hubby had a one-on-one dinner date with the big girl. It might be good for us to split up sometimes and have some private time with each kid, right? Anyway, we were fine afterwards because eventually, love triumphs over everything. Till the next bicker, I guess, haha.
The first to fall sick was actually the baby, who came down with a fever and cough. We didn’t suspect it was Covid at that time and I didn’t think of doing an ART test for a baby so young, so I just tried to make him comfortable, gave him some Panadol when the fever spiked and breastfed him around the clock.
Was he whiny? Yes, he was and he was fussy too, making it hard for me to do anything else except carry him all day long. This was a photo of me trying to go for a quick toilet break but he wouldn’t even let me go away for a few seconds. Haha. So I had to do everything with him on my lap or hugging my leg, assuring him that Mama was there with him and would never leave him.
Subsequently, Asher told us on a Saturday night that he didn’t feel well and was giddy. So we told him to go to bed early and he did. It was only in the middle of the night that I realised he was running a temperature too and that was also the first time I encountered a seizure from any of the kids. It was a little alarming and traumatising, but I knew I had to keep calm so as to help him get over it. Thanks to friends who shared previously, I l knew not to panic and to roll him to his side and wait for it to be over.
It was hard because his cries woke the baby who was beside me and while I was trying to hold onto Asher as he convulsed, the baby was crawling over me, bawling and screaming at the same time. The hubby was at work and the girls were in their room so I was left alone to handle it. Thankfully, the seizure stopped in a few minutes. We made a visit to the hospital the next day to get him checked and will be doing some follow up consultations in March, so hopefully everything will be well.
Back at home, Ariel started to feel unwell too so we did the ART tests for everyone. Lo and behold, three out of four of them tested positive and within a day, the fourth kid got the virus too. So potent, I know! So we stayed home for the next few days to recuperate and it was just me vs the kids day in day out. Thankfully, other than fever, cough and sore throat, they seemed fine otherwise and took turns to battle with the virus in the course of a week.
The only medication we had was Panadol and over-the-counter cough syrup but they sufficed to aid in recovery. For Angel, she recovered fast since she is fully vaxxed and took merely four days to go from positive to negative. The rest took more time though so it was a short week that felt way longer in many ways.
My back has been aching due to the midnight feeds, household chores and baby lifting. I guess the the whole Covid ordeal made it worse. Haha. Hoping to find time to do some yoga to make myself feel better but it’s hard when you have a clingy baby. 心有余而力不足. Oh well, life goes on and I will be stronger!
Frankly speaking, the home recovery period didn’t feel dreadful or as horrid as some might imagine it to be. Firstly, I think it was a good thing for the kids to get sick at around the same time so we can recuperate and move on together. Secondly, it’s supposed to make them stronger and more immune – though not invincible, I know – after this, right?
Thirdly, we had each other for company so how bad can that be? Anyway, they were still hyper and energetic most of the time when they were not in bed. So we made it a point to spend time together and make the most of this stay-home period. We played games, watched movie, danced and even had a water play session in the comfort of our balcony. It was a prelude and inspiration for Ansel’s first birthday which I will share about in another post.
We also had a picnic at home and it’s something we always enjoy. So I hope we can still do this from time to time, learn to slow down our pace of life and cherish this privilege of being able to stay home with one another. Being able to spend time with these kids, watch them grow up, hear their stories and let them know I am here every step of the way is what motivates me to be a stay-at-home mum.
When things got better and everyone was cleared of the virus, it was nice to get a breath of fresh air and to finally be ‘released’. Haha. The boys were the first to test negative so I brought them to the playground, for my grocery run and for a mini photoshoot to showcase the new apparel they received. Asher said “Thank you thank you for letting me play!” and it was a reminder that kids need only very simple things to be happy, including our love and presence
Life resumed and we went back to our normal routines, including school, enrichment classes, dining out, weekend exploration when everyone was fully recovered. Phew. It was a relief seeing that all the kids felt well again because as mums, all we want is for our kids to be healthy, happy and safe, right?
I have to give thanks to these kids for always participating in photoshoots for my odd jobs here and there, even if it means having to lie on a grass patch which was poking them and making then uncomfortable. Haha. I always wonder if the income or sponsored product justifies the effort and if you realise, I’ve been taking less jobs in 2022 so that I can focus more on the kids. 有些东西是值得的，有些却不是。错过孩子的成长过程，以后就不能再重来了。
We were lucky that everyone got well before Chinese New Year so we could still have reunion lunch, dinner and gatherings with the extended family. The kids celebrated in school with their friends and wore traditional costumes too. CNY, to me, means family time and it feels so much different this year because for the first time in 39 years, Popo is not around to celebrate with me and we can’t visit her, hug her or give her oranges like what we always did. 婆婆，我对你有说不尽的思念，只能让你永远住在我心里。新年快乐，婆婆。
So that marks the first month of 2022 for us and even if things didn’t go smoothly all the time, I am looking forward to more good things and happy moments ahead of us. Positivity is very important in order to lead a happy life. May this year of the Tiger be a truly awesome year for all of you too. Stay smiling, everyone!
Till the next post! 祝大家虎年行大运, Huat ah!