Category Archives: Faith

Blessed Birthday to Me

Diary of a SAHM – Day 451

Happy Birthday from Google

Today is my Birthday – a good time to do some reflecting and goal setting. Looking back over the past 30 years (ops.. did I just reveal my age?!), I have been to various places, met countless wonderful people and experienced many ups and downs in life – and for all that, I am thankful~

So now, at 31, I am a stay-at-home mother with a two-year-old son. Is that where I have envisioned myself to be? Hmm… not really. I’d love to have a successful and fulfilling career but things didn’t work out for me in the school. For years I struggled, but in the end, I caved in and chose the easy way out – I quit my job! Till today, I get emotional from time to time about the fact that I do not have a career, especially when I see my peers and juniors soaring in theirs. So yeah, that’s my greatest regret and failure.

On a brighter note, I’m beginning to enjoy being a full-time SAHM and see it as a PRIVILEGE instead. As a SAHM, I am spared from work-related stress. I get to spend more quality time with Joshayne, playing with him and teaching him about the world. It is such a joy to share his a-ha moments when he discovers something new or masters a new skill. It feels great to be the one who understands him the most – knowing his likes and dislikes, being able to interpret his utterances and anticipate or predict his very next move. Secondly, it is a joy to be able to cook for my family and to keep the house in order. Weird as it may sound, I actually enjoy doing household chores. I find great satisfaction in that. All things considered, I think I would still take this path if I were to choose again. I am blessed to have a supportive husband who allows me this privilege and for that I am thankful.

I remember a conversation I once had with Jo, a close friend of mine, when we were only seventeen or eighteen.  I told him then that my ambition was to be a housewife with a PhD. So I guess, I’m halfway to achieving my dream.

So where am I now and where am I headed to?

In my first 30 years, I fell in love with Kiate, got married and gave birth to Joshayne. In my next 30 years, I hope to walk hand in hand with Kiate as we grow old together and to create many more beautiful memories as a family. In my next 3o years, I want to see Joshayne growing up in the knowledge and grace of Christ.

In my first 30 years, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in TESL and a master’s degree in Measurement and Evaluation. In my next 30 years, I want to pursue and earn a PhD!

In my first 30 years, I was a student, then a teacher and then a wife and mother. In my next 30 years, I want to be a better wife and mother. And one day, if I can have my own career, I want to be a professional consultant and to have my own education centre.

In my first 30 years, I found my faith in Christ; I’ve had mountain-top experiences and also stumbled through the valley of darkness. In my next 30 years, I pray that I can grow stronger and be more mature in my Christian faith. I pray that I can have a more personal relationship with God so that I can serve Him more effectively and be a testimony of His goodness and faithfulness.

In my first 30 years, I have been to Singapore, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, New Zealand and Australia. In my next 30 years, I wish to tour Europe and visit Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Maldives, Greece, …. in fact it would be awesome if I can travel to ALL the countries in the world.

As for short-term goals (in no particular order)…

  • I want to take good care of my family  – provide decent meals, keep the house clean and presentable, etc.
  • Study and document Joshayne’s development, especially his language development.
  • Take up relevant online courses.
  • Improve my Chinese language proficiency, especially in reading and Chinese vocabulary (so that I can teach Joshayne).
  • Read and write@blog for personal and professional development.
  • Try my best to contribute financially by giving tuition, taking up editing jobs etc.
  • Design at least one photobook per year for Joshayne.
  • To invest into the lives of others as much as possible.

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” May God’s grace and mercy be upon me. I surrender my next 30 years unto the Lord; may He direct my steps~

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Four Years Ago, I said “I Do”…

Diary of a SAHM – Day 103

Dear Hubby,
Today’s our 4th wedding anniversary. It has been an awesome journey so far. THANK YOU for loving me the way you do. Thank you for being so supportive, understanding, thoughtful, selfless, kind, patient and generous. I’m SORRY if I’ve hurt your feelings unintentionally, said any unkind words or acted selfishly. Please forgive me. I LOVE YOU, hubby. You’re the BEST!

In these four years, we’ve been through thick and thin together….

  • 6months of long-distance relationship (separated by the South China Sea)
  • visited 3 countries (S’pore, Indonesia and Taiwan) together
  • moved from the East to the West, from the South to the North
  • made it through 1 year of visits to the chiropractor
  • seen me through my Masters
  • shared countless meals
  • bought our first house
  • welcomed our first born into the world
  • …..

Look forward to many more years of doing life with you.

Love you dearly,
Cheryl

 

Let’s take a walk down memory lane…
*Bridal Photos
*Bits and Pieces of Our Wedding
*Our Wedding Vows

“Hubby… erh… there’s a snake in our living room!!”

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A snake slithered its way into our living room yesterday and became the “highlight” of an otherwise uneventful, lazy Sunday afternoon. I heard ‘strange noises’ coming from the living room and upon investigation, I discovered a meter-long snake on the wall, near the switches. Its tail must have got caught in the table fan, which was on full blast, and hence the ‘strange noises.’  I immediately alerted Kiate. Since we had no idea how to get rid of the snake, we decided to call the fire department. Help soon arrived!! Bravo to the fire department for their prompt response and assistance in removing the “unwelcome visitor”.

Thank God for His protection over baby Joshayne, who was napping in the living room at that time. I dare not imagine what could have happened if we had not discovered the slithery reptile.

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Virus Attack!!!

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Last Saturday (16th Nov 2013), baby Joshayne was admitted to Bagan Specialist Centre (BSC) after running a high-fever for 3 days. He was diagnosed with “roseola infantum” or in layman’s term, “fake measles” (假麻, jiǎ má).

“Roseola infantum is a viral illness in young kids, most commonly affecting those between 6 months and 2 years old. It is usually marked by several days of high fever, followed by a distinctive rash just as the fever breaks.”
Source:
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/roseola.html

It wasn’t life-threatening, but being first-time parents, Kiate and I couldn’t help but be worried when li’l Joshayne had persistent high-fever, and now, rashes all over his body. At this point of writing, Joshayne still has rashes all over his body (especially his face, limbs and back) but they are gradually fading away. The fever is gone too. Praise the Lord!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our family members and friends for their concern and support, as well as prayers. A special thanks to Dr Dineshchandra from Bagan Specialist Centre for diagnosing Joshayne’s illness and putting our worries to rest. We would also like to extend our sincerest apology to our colleagues who had to take over our duties during our absence. Thank you for your understanding. Above all, praise be unto the Lord for His grace and mercy over us~

Here’s a chronology of what we went through:-

Wed, 13th Nov 2013
Night: Slight fever – decided to monitor first. We went to bed after feeding him around midnight.

Thurs, 14th Nov 2013
Around 1am, I took his temperature and was shocked to get a reading of 39°C. I woke Kiate up and we decided to bring Joshayne to the emergency unit of Seberang Jaya Hospital. Gave him a quick sponging  and applied a KoolFever pad on his forehead just before we headed out.

By the time we arrived at the hospital, it was after 2am. We were relieved that there weren’t too many people. We filled in the registration form and waited for our number to be called. Soon it was our turn. A nurse took Joshayne’s temperature and surprisingly it had dropped to 37.5°C. We informed the doctor that Joshayne had just recovered from cough and flu recently. The babysitter also mentioned that he didn’t have much of an appetite lately. As I was down with cough and flu, the doctor said that it was very likely that Joshayne had caught the bug from me. Aiks.

The doctor told us to continue monitoring his temp and to come back in two to three days’ time if the fever persisted. He prescribed paracetamol syrup, cough syrup and multi-vitamin. We left the hospital slightly after 3am, reached home by 4am, and spent another one hour or so giving (or rather, trying our best to give) him the medicine (paracetamol syrup only) and getting him to sleep. In the end, I only managed to get one hour of shut-eye as I had to be in school by 7.30am for SPM invigilation. The paper for that day was none other than History Paper 3, a THREE-hour open book test! It was a miracle indeed that I did not sleep through it.

Kiate stayed home that morning to take care of baby Joshayne while I was in school. Baby’s temperature fluctuated, but generally it was rather high. Kiate tried to give him paracetamol syrup, but li’l Joshayne had decided that he didn’t quite like taking medicine after all. That afternoon, we had to give him paracetamol suppository to bring down the fever. After lunch, we all konked out due to exhaustion. Late in the afternoon, Joshayne’s fever spiked again to 39°C. Without second thought, we rushed to Dr Teh, a nearby child specialist. Dr Teh gave him diclofenac and it effectively brought down the fever. Joshayne started sweating soon after and returned to his normal active self. Dr Teh also prescribed antibiotic for him because he noticed that his throat was inflamed.

Initially, I was reluctant to give him the antibiotic as he was barely 7 months old then. However, I finally relented because I was more concerned about his high-fever. If the fever was a symptom, then we would have to treat the root cause, right? And so we started him on the antibiotic.

Friday, 15th Nov 2013
Baby Joshayne was still slightly feverish so we continued giving him paracetamol syrup/suppository as prescribed by the doctor. I couldn’t take leave from work as it was the last day of school   (I had to close register and settle some admin stuff before the school closed for the long year-end holiday). So, with a heavy heart, I dropped Joshayne off at the babysitter’s place on my way to school. Given a choice, I would have stayed home to take care of him myself. Anyway, I updated Joshayne’s babysitter on his condition and told her to closely monitor his temperature. 

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Saturday, 16th Nov 2013

Kiate had to go to work so I was alone with baby at home. That morning, he seemed fine to me – active and feeding well. I thought he was recovering. However, I was shocked when I took his temperature at around 10am – it had risen to 39°C again! I quickly administered diclofenac (suppository). Around 10-15 minutes later, Joshayne decided to poo-poo and out came the partly dissolved suppository.

Our JB church friends dropped by to visit around that time. We were supposed to meet up for breakfast that morning but we had to change plan at the last minute due to Joshayne’s condition. Instead of meeting outside, they came over to visit us at home and even “dabao-ed” food for us. Unlike the usual ‘chit-chat over a cup of tea’ visit, we spent most of our time together trying to give Joshayne his dose of antibiotic for that morning. As his fever did not subside, we also tried to administer paracetamol suppository but all to no avail. I was at my wits’ end and I had no other choice but to call Kiate to come home. It was around 12.30pm then.

I updated Kiate on Joshayne’s condition and we both decided that the best thing to do would be to bring Joshayne to a private hospital. Initially we planned to go over to Penang island, but decided against it when we saw the massive jam (due to Penang Bridge Marathon the next day). So upon a friend’s recommendation, we went to Bagan Specialist Centre in Butterworth instead.

After a “long and torturous” wait (i.e. 1 to 2 hrs), it was finally our turn to see the child specialist, Dr Dinesh. Surprisingly, Joshayne’s fever had subsided. Nevertheless, Joshayne was admitted for observation and scheduled for a blood test the next day. And this marked Joshayne’s first hospital stay!

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Joshayne’s fever was brought under control, albeit with the ‘help’ of ibuprofen syrup at 6-hour intervals. I learnt from the nurses how to give medicine using an oral syringe in three simple steps – i. let the baby lie down, ii. squirt the medicine between the tongue and the side of the mouth (try to get it done as quickly as possible), and finally, iii. comfort the baby. I nursed Joshayne after giving him the medicine because it helped to calm him down.

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Hospital view + food

That night, all three of us stayed at the hospital. With the fever gone, we began to relax and even joked that we were on our ‘first’ vacation with baby – staying at a ‘hotel’ with a view + room service etc.

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Sunday, 17th Nov 2013
Dr Dinesh came to check on baby at 8.30am. Joshayne gave him the ‘serious’ look and refused to respond to the doctor’s attempts to amuse him.  I suppose Joshayne is the “日久深情” type; it takes him a while to warm up to ‘new’ people.

Later, after the doctor had completed his morning round, he came back to take Joshayne’s blood sample to be tested. Joshayne cried so pitifully that my heart almost broke.

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Don’t be alarmed by the above pictures – Joshayne didn’t break his arm. It was the standard procedure here to leave the branula in place just in case the baby had to be put on IV drip or antibiotic later on.

Since Joshayne’s temp had stabilized and there was nothing else to be done at the hospital, we requested to go back and rest at home. The doctor gave the green light but we were required to come back the next morning.

Monday, 18th Nov 2013

We woke up rejuvenated after a good night’s sleep but we were shocked to discover rashes all over Joshayne’s body, especially on his face and behind his ears. We assumed that his condition had taken a turn for the worse. We hastily packed for an extended hospital stay and headed out.

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When Dr Dinesh saw Joshayne’s rashes, he said matter-of-factly, “It’s ‘roseola infantum’ – just as I’ve thought. You can go home today.” The doctor explained that it was a viral infection and that the rashes would go away in a few days’ time. We needed not do anything about it. I told my family about the diagnosis, and later learnt from my sister that my nephew, Dylan, was diagnosed with roseola too earlier this year. He also had similar symptoms – persistent high-fever followed by rashes.

While waiting to be discharged, we read up online about the illness and were greatly reassured that Joshayne would be fine. Apparently, it was quite common and definitely not life-threatening. For more info on ‘roseola infantum’, you may refer to the following  web pages (which I found very informative):-
http://www.babycenter.com/0_roseola_1441606.bc

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/roseola-topic-overview

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 And here’s the bill for our two-day “vacation” :-

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P/S We’re so glad that Joshayne’s insured!

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Friday, 22nd Nov 2013 – Follow-up checkup IMG_51832013-11-22 10.50.51IMG_51852013-11-22 10.23.15

When Yong Xin Came to Visit…

Yong Xin, my ex-student from SMK Methodist Sibu, came to stay with me during her semester break (20th-30th June 2013). This was her first time visiting Penang. Unfortunately, she had to spend a good part of her semester break cooped up at home with me and baby Joshayne. Poor thing. It was a good thing though that she did make good use of her time here to read. If I’m not mistaken, she finished reading 3 books and started reading the fourth in 10 days… wow!

During her stay, she also helped me to keep an eye on baby Joshayne and played with him when I was busy cooking and doing other household chores.  Truly thank God for sending her to keep me company and for that extra pair of helping hands~

Here are some snapshots of our time together…

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Lunch at Old Town, JUSCO Bandar Perda
22nd June 2013, Saturday

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Sunday Service at Grace Church Bukit Mertajam
23rd June 2013, Sunday

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Dinner at Domino’s and Shopping at TESCO Alma
28th June 2013, Friday

Mummy’s weight = 39.7kg
Mummy + Baby = 45.5kg
Baby’s weight = 45.5kg – 39.7kg = 5.8kg

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Lunch and window shopping at Queensbay Mall
30th June 2013, Sunday

** Dear Yong Xin, I’m really glad that you came to visit.. and thus ‘tasted’ the fruits of your prayers. Thanks for standing with me in prayer throughout my pregnancy and also when Kiate and I were hunting for a home. Be assured, my prayer warrior, that God has answered your prayers. May God bless you abundantly~

And he shall be called…

JOSHAYNE DANIEL LIM (林勇轩)

4.26 Hello World.. Baby Joshayne Daniel Lim

Jo- means “He will enlarge” or
“may Jehovah add”; and
-s
hayne  means “God is gracious”.
May God’s grace be upon him
all the days of his life.

Daniel means “God is my judge”.
We named him after Daniel in the bible.
We pray that he’d grow up to be like Daniel…

“…without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand…” (1:4)

“..spoke…with wisdom and tact.” (2:14)

“…they could find no corruption in him (Daniel), because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” (6:4)

“Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God…” (6:10)

“…trusted in his God” (6:23)

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Baby Joshayne’s First Church Service

Joshayne’s First Sunday Service
26th May 2013 @ Grace Church Bukit Mertajam

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All the way from Klang they came…

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Uncle Michael and family drove all the way from Klang to BM to see baby Joshayne (24-25 May 2013). Thanks for making the trip.. and thanks for the baby gift set and tonic. We’re so blessed!

4-in-1 Celebration

Joshayne’s Full-Moon Celebration cum Baby Dedication, My Birthday, Kiate’s Birthday and House Dedication
24th May 2013 @ Home

Makan-makan the Malaysian way…
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*Special thanks to our cell group members for helping to prepare food etc.

Praise & worship… let us sing unto the Lord~
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House Dedication~
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“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15

Baby Dedication
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Thank you Lord for this precious gift. Grant us wisdom, patience and love to bring this child up in the way of the Lord. May he grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Happy Birthday to Daddy and Mummy~
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Sharing of Testimonies… all praise and glory unto Him!
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Time to fellowship with our family in Christ~_DSC2217_DSC2403_DSC2367_DSC2294

Handmade card by Aunty Esther~
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The Birth Story

Both my sisters gave birth before their expected delivery dates (EDD), so I naturally expected to welcome my li’l one into the world before my EDD as well, i.e. before 2nd May 2013. My initial plan was to work till the day I deliver so that I could spend more time with my newborn before going back to school. However, I was feeling lethargic towards the end of the 38th week. So when I started feeling contractions that Tuesday morning (23.4.2013 – 38wk6d), I began to toy with the idea of bringing forward my maternity leave. I texted my Principal and was relieved when she gave an affirmative answer. Honestly, I somewhat dreaded going to school that day because I had 7 teaching periods plus 2 periods of Gerko! Crazy, right?!

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The next thing I did was to call and ask  my mum whether she would like to come over earlier since I’d be on leave from that day onward. I was hoping to bring her around Penang – knowing very well that we would both be subjected to “house arrest” during my confinement period. She responded positively to my suggestion. In fact, she said she could come over the very next day. So I logged on to AirAsia website and promptly bought her a new flight ticket. Praise the Lord the ticket was relatively cheap despite the fact that it was a last minute booking.

I spent the next few hours settling my school stuff – printing name lists, sorting out worksheets etc. for the substitute teacher who would be taking over my duties. Around noon, my contractions became increasingly more frequent. As I wasn’t in pain, I seriously had no idea whether they were the real thing or just Braxton Hicks. To be on the safe side, my hubby and I decided to go to the hospital anyway. We thought that it would be a great opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with the hospital procedures.

We left the house around 1pm. We didn’t go straight to the hospital though. Firstly, we dropped by my school to change the date for my maternity leave, update my class register and also hand over my duties. Then we went to Domino’s for lunch. While waiting for our pizza to be served, I experienced more intense contractions at fifteen- and then ten-minute intervals. “Could this be it?!” I wondered. I managed to finish one slice of pizza in between contractions.

From Domino’s, we drove straight to Bukit Mertajam Hospital. We tried to find a parking space within the hospital compound but to no avail. Finally, Kiate dropped me off outside the maternity ward and parked the car outside. It was around 3.30pm then. I made my way into the building and got myself registered. The nurse told me to lie down and proceeded with the physical examination. She looked puzzled after checking my dilation. She called for another more senior nurse to double check. And then another! I began to worry then – “What’s the problem? Will there be complications?” I searched the nurses’ expressions for clues. It turned out that I was already 4cm dilated. Under normal circumstances, the expectant mother would be in great pain. Thus, the nurses were confused because I was still so relaxed.

I was immediately wheeled into the labour room. I didn’t even get to update Kiate. Imagine his reaction when he was informed by the nurse that I was about to deliver! He had to wait outside the labour room until I entered the active labour stage. Poor thing! He was clueless about what he was supposed to do as it all happened so suddenly. He did the smartest thing though – he texted our pastors, family and cell group members, as well as close friends to ask them to keep us in prayer.

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When a doctor finally came to check on me, I was already 6cm dilated. Kiate was allowed to enter the labour room after the doctor had burst my water bag. Kiate stayed by my side, holding my hand and giving me moral support, until the baby was born. He was very brave indeed. You did a great job, hubby!

In the following hour, the contraction pains intensified. A team of nurses monitored my progress. Finally, when I was ready to push, Senior Nurse Zaleha came to deliver my baby. A doctor was on standby and a group of young trainee nurses were there to observe the whole process. It didn’t bother me at all, though. They were there to cheer me on~

Praise the Lord for answered prayers – it was a safe and easy delivery for me. The pain was bearable. Kiate and I welcomed our li’l one into the world at 5.53pm – a healthy baby boy, 2.82kg, 49cm. And thus began a new chapter in our married life and assumed the role of a father and a mother to a newborn. All glory and praise unto God~

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P/S Hubby, thanks for the roses. It was very sweet of you~