Monday, August 30, 2010

House Matters Settled

After months of deliberation, I have finally settled the transfer of ownership regarding my house. More than $36k gone from my least not for now until they have officially completed the transfer on the housing board side. The officer came to my house with the documents and then my mum and I signed all the documents and I actually prepared the cheque already for the admin fees which was written by my boss after I gave her the money. But then he didn't want to collect the cheque because he was not authorised and asked me to come down to the HDB branch office instead. Im like..eurgh..go down again?! I also saw this opportunity to not pay..hee..but no matter what, I know they will come and chase after me for the money. Plus, I was holding on to a cheque and it wasn't even written by me so yah..better get it done quickly. But when I came down there to make the payment, apparently they could not find the documents and proceeded to question me who was the officer and how did he look like blah blah blah..I gave the description coz I didn't know the name. Long story short, I just gave the cheque, they gave me the receipt and then anything, they will call me to clarify. If they said that I did not have to pay and just take from my CPF Im fine lah..heh. By the way, I think that should be the way. They can deduct the admin fees from my CPF since they are going to take the money from there anyway.
Whatever the outcome, at least my family still have a roof over our head. I still manage to take up a loan with HDB instead of the bank and from October onwards, they will deduct $87 from my central provident fund. At least they didn't deduct all or I don't know what to say. Regarding the paperwork,I got no choice but to pay the rather hefty admin fees and also the outstanding amount to Town Council. So my savings are not in a good state for the last two months though Im still not penniless. Yet. Yes I keep telling myself that as a form of comfort. And uhm..I actually resorted to borrowing from a relative of mine to cover part of the money which totalled to $400. My mum also helped to contribute a bit though she was not happy I asked my aunt if I could borrow $100. Well, that aunt of mine, I helped her when she asked to borrow money and if she didn't want to lend me, then just say so need to tell my mother. What the f.
Currently, Im still owing my friend but I think I would be able to clear it by end of least most of it anyway, when my brother will receive his maintenance fees. So meanwhile, have to cut down on savings though at this moment, it's at the wrong time because Hari raya is around the corner "S

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting Help

As my savings are dwindling, I try not to think about it but just do what I can do instead of harping on something that I can't do. But as much as I try to cut down on spending, some things are just inevitable like I just have to spend money on them because I am after all the sole breadwinner of the family. But I do try my best to save money as well whether it's just a dollar or two dollars per day. Whatever it takes to keep to a minimum amount of savings that will last for awhile.

Well, my mum went for her first medical check up yesterday post op and actually the appointment was supposed to be in September. But because she was worried about the slight discharge from her surgical wound, she wanted to go to the doctor earlier. Besides, the polyclinic doctor and the nurses who dressed her wounds after taking out the staples, insisted that she went to the A&E just in case. In  my head I was thinking, oh my gosh, that would set me back like what...$90?! And it's not even inclusive of the transport fares which Im pretty sure we will take cabs to and fro.

In the end, I decided to just give a try and call the hospital to try to fix an early appointment. Luckily I managed to get one after explaining my situation. The medical bills only came up to $28 which was only the doctor's fees as she did not have to go through blood tests or collect medication. Even then I asked if the social worker had passed to them the memo to say that my mum is currently on medifund which will allow us to pay only 50% off the medical bills. Unfortunately, they didn't receive and I didn't feel like calling the social worker department again to say that they still didn't receive any memo. But luckily they didn't charge me yet and just gave me the bill to give to the department and let them settle it.

I know that I should do something about my family situation like get help from various organizations but I dunno. It's like too much paperwork. Plus my family isn't in such dire situations like not having a proper stable job or living in a rental house. But I will keep that in mind. I suppose if I can have someone to accompany me asking these organizations for help, it will also make things easier for me too.

It's true what the security guard says. If we don't ask for help, they won't know that we are in need of help. I think the only close thing that I need help in is paying the utilities bill. I have a lot of problem in which every month, my household racks up about $300 of utilities bill which I am struggling to pay along with the outstanding amount.

But like I said, I suppose I can try getting help. At times it's not easy to cope and as much as I can, I try to live within my means and save up whenever I can so that I don't fall into a situation where I am absolutely penniless until my next pay comes in.

Meanwhile I just hope and pray for an easier life for me and my family.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baking Spree

Okay I admit I have been on a baking spree despite running low on savings but the thing is, if you have a packet of flour and a packet of sugar all ready with just some other ingredients that don't cost much, like why not eh? Something like, buy one time and can make many later. That's basically how many people make quite a lot of money from baking too on top of charging quite a lot :S

And that is why.....I am on a mission of baking. While I have other things in mind that I want to bake, I think I will settle with the oreo cheesecake as my last attempt. But I do not know for how long because chocolate chip cookies are mandatory for Hari Raya.

My ultimate favourite will definitely be bread pudding and I made a few already although in my last attempt, I didn't bake long enough so  the base was a little bit soggy. *sigh* Oh time :D

Let the pics do the talking!!

Glorious Brownie

Brownie in Cut Slices

Chocolate Covered Cornflakes

Oreo Cheesecake

Sweetcorn Cake

Sweetcorn Cake..nice...I actually modified the recipe such as replacing the four cups (!) of coconut milk with just a small packet of low fat milk. I didn't put much flour as asked for but just like half a cup. At first I was rather apprehensive but it turned out better than expected (phewh..).

So the sweetcorn cake..or in Malay means..Kek Jagung like my second favourite :D

yay for baking spree!

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Cleaning Lady to the Rescue

My house is filthy. Okay maybe not sooo much now coz we actually paid a cleaning lady to help us do general cleaning like moping, wiping, vacuuming and sweeping. You can't depend on me for doing housework coz we don't click but I do little stuffs like do the laundry, clear the rubbish and maintain the cleanliness of my room the table top where we use to eat our food. Oh, and vacuuming and it's my absolute 'favourite'.

Okay the thing is, my mum isn't in good health to do thorough cleaning and Im out working most of the time and when I reach home, I really want to zonk out.

At first I was quite apprehensive about asking another person to clean the house but I've mentioned before that it doesn't really make sense to me to pay someone to do it. But seeing my mum's condition and seeing how our house has been in such a bad state for the longest time ever, I think it's high time we pay a one time fee and get it over and done with. At this point of time too, I don't want to go against my mum's wishes because I just want her to get better and it won't help if she keeps worrying about how filthy our house is.

Well I would say that she did a good basic cleaning job and was very nice about it even though she had a quite a task ahead of her. Infact, she even did it within time and I got for her cold drinks while she sat down to relax for awhile. She politely refused but I insisted she did because it wasn't an easy job. I wouldn't even last an hour of cleaning :S

Speaking of which,I did my fair share of cleaning too. I threw out a lot of junks from two rooms namely the master bedroom and my father's room. They were mostly my father's old possessions and while I was clearing them, I came across his passport and his work pass that had his pictures on it. I admit I didn't dare see his picture for a very long time because it would bring back painful memories especially the last few months when he was terminally ill.

But I had to hold my emotions together because I needed to clear the junks away asap before the cleaning lady came. 

So there I was cleaning even his bathroom of which his toilet was leaking a bit of water. It didn't flood the toilet but there was a musty smell because it had not been used for more than a year. If not for the face mask which I at first refused to wear, I think I would have fainted. I managed to throw away all his old clothes hung behind the door except for one because of one stupid lizard which hid behind one of the last piece of clothing..hrmph.

In all, our house is a little bit cleaner including the master bedroom and my father's old room which I actually do go in because my wardrobe is inside there. It's not dusty anymore and the floors have been moped clean. But my mum said that she didn't do a thorough job. Anyway, it was her first visit and that our house had not been cleaned for the longest time ever so I thought it was good enough. She even said that she was willing to come back to clean again including the windows this time at half the price because we don't have to go through the agent.

That seems like a bargain. She is nice after all and my mum enjoys talking to her after she is done with her cleaning even though she did complain that she didn't really clean properly. Oh well. At least something to lessen her burden a bit, right?

I think next time maybe I will ask her to clean my room instead, but only if I manage to clear most of the junks away or else, it won't make much difference :S But I have been a good girl. I m currently sitting at the table where my laptop is and the table is clean and mess free..well..almost..heh. At least I tried right?

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mum Back Home Now

My mum's back home now....she just suddenly decide to come back home even though I already told her earlier that HDB has sent the documents over to Woodlands for the paper work come this Friday. She was fine with that at first until I dunno what my aunt said at night, she just made a decision on the whim to wanna go back home with me. She said my aunt kept harping on the fact that my brother misses her even though uhm..he didn't say he did. He's actually fine with my mum staying over at my aunt's house. I just brought him along with me yesterday because I just want company and also because he doesn't have to go to school the next day. My mum also said she had enough of my aunt long windedness whenever she talks to her. Then the drama she had with her family the night before gave my mum such a big headache with my aunt's antics.
I don't mind she comes back although I just told her that on Friday, she has to make her way to my aunt's house again for the paperwork and then she was okay with it as long as she got out of there asap..haha.
Anyway, this whole episode with my mum being away from home for quite a long time (almost a month, maybe?) made it possible for me and my brother to look after ourselves. Of course the bulk of the housework and other responsibilities still goes to me and it has been quite an eye opener as I have been relying too much on my mum for almost everything. It might have given her additional stress which is not good for her health wise. But it's not that I don't want to do. My mum likes things to be done in a proper way which means basically in her own terms. She doesn't trust me in doing simple housework such as laundry except for vacuuming because that's pretty difficult for her since it's heavy.
I think my mum was so enthusiastic about going back home that she could practically walk on her own along the rather long corridor towards the lift lobby without any hand holding support. She was quite fast too :S Then this morning she called to say that she made the milo drink herself. That's like the first household chore she did after the surgery but she told me not to tell my aunt that since my aunt would expect me to do it for her and it would cause her a bit of a panic. Well, she insisted she wanted to do it because she said she could do it already. OK fine..and I was rushing to work too. She's pretty independent so I wasn't that worried.

Basically she's back to bossing around although she does that over the phone too whenever she calls me..heh. At this point of time, I just hope she gets better from her surgery wounds.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not Angry and Frustated Anymore

I admit that I have been upset for the last few days when my mum decided to stay at my aunt's place and kept pressurizing me to get housecleaning service for my house before she comes back home. I guess I was frustrated at the fact that she won't come until I get someone to clean my house and I was like...since when does the cleanliness of the house has to do with her getting better? All she needs is a good rest to recover quickly but all she does is to think about when can the house be cleaned whenever I explain that they are not able to get a cleaner down the last few days because their schedule is already packed. 

So I was angry and frustrated and I felt also that I was not able to take care of her. But then this brother of mine die die wanted to make pretzels in the middle of the night when I told him that he can make on a freaking Saturday which was just the next day. So that's TWO people who had annoyed me. 

It was difficult but in the end, I realized that I would rather focus on doing other things to distract me while she's away from home. Guess what I did? I cleaned out the junks in my room. Well, I have a lot of junks accumulated over the years though they are not that recent because I realize I can only keep so much in my small bedroom. Although I could have easily done this if my mum is at home also, the thing is that she can be very fussy especially if I wipe any dusty areas for fear that I don't wash my hands properly and that instead of cleaning it properly, I spread the dirt around. Then whenever I throw out the junks, she is always afraid that I will throw out important things without checking. Because when I throw them out, I seriously throw them out. No 'if's' and no 'but's'...well, almost.

Then I also did my laundry and if she's around, Im sure she will keep checking and rechecking by asking me numerous times if I have washed them properly and added enough detergent. There's always something for her to nitpick on.

But ultimately, I should be thankful that a relative of mine volunteered to take care of my mum during her recovery period from surgery. She also bothers to cook extra rice for us and fry omelet for me and my brother to eat at night before fasting commences the next day. The thing is, at a time when people are getting more and more selfish, there are people out there who are still willing to lend a helping hand as an act of goodwill without asking for any return in kind.

Then again also, I know deep down my mum misses being back at home too. Like come on, as messy as your bedroom can be, or as dirty as your house can be, there's always this thing called 'home' where you just feel at ease without feeling you're intruding in someone else's privacy. Her current state of health does cause her some worries back home especially if I am out working and she's alone.

I still want her back home but I can't force her to come home. Only she knows when she's ready so I choose not to be angry and frustrated anymore and just pray for her recovery. 

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Discharged but not at Home

My mum has been discharged already and she is resting at my aunt's house for awhile. Actually she did come back home for like ten minutes and then she made noise coz she thought the house was messy what with the clothes still strewn on the floor and on the sofa. Her long dress which was on the sofa was still there. Ok there were like two or three of them.

Fine, I know I have been blogging about keeping the house clean including cooking and doing the laundry but I can't do everything. I go to the hospital on  a daily basis and then come back home quite late and if my aunt comes later, I will return even much later because she will go for dinner and talk and talk and talk. Oh, not forgetting that I also have to do the grocery shopping on some days or my brother has nothing to eat.

I often say that my mum will listen to my aunt more than she listens to me because I dunno..her words are more comforting?! She took her suggestion to hire the service of a maid-on-the-go. Basically get an ad hoc service of a housecleaner who will clean your house for a minimum of four hours. Actually Im totally against the idea because number one, need to pay for such service. And number two, is it really necessary? I know my house is in a rather out of control state in terms of the mess because my mum isn't that strong anymore to do serious housecleaning and I am working from morning till night. Then again, she is sick and the last thing I want is to go against her wishes especially when she has already been brainwashed by my aunt and I can't do anything about it anymore.

I actually took two and half days off to look after her at home after she has been discharged. But I am currently rotting away at home and then wishing I was at work and not because I like working. It's such a waste for my leave because in the end, my mum decided to go over to my aunt's house. Once this housecleaning service is confirmed (why aren't they calling me by now?) then I will  see whether I will go back to work tomorrow.

It's not that I am trying to be selfish like use my annual leaves to go shopping or whatever although that is such a fine idea. It's for my family because they're not exactly in the best of health and also to do other errands like going down to HDB or whatever official appointments.

I guess it's alright la..I know the future dates already but I don't know if there will be more along the way. Hopefully not.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mums Coming Home

Mum is likely to come back tomorrow from hospital. I don't know how they first I said that I will be able to take a few days off to take care of her at home for about a week. And then, they suggested sending her to AMK community hospital for therapy so that she can regain back her strength after the operation. And then now, they kinda argued saying they didn't say they want to send her there but I said I wanted to coz of my difficulty of taking leaves. What the I was just being up frank lah that sure, the case manager didn't say she wanted to send her there but someone else obviously told her that. Why don't you just say that since they saw my mum capable of walking herself, though with some support, and able to get up and down slowly from bed, in other words she is rather independent, they don't want to send her there instead of citing my 'difficulty' of taking leave in order to take care of her. And also because the daily charges at that community hospital is rather high going at $130 per day and the waiting list is rather long. Don't say it's because I had difficulty taking leaves because it can be arranged. Sigh, blame it on the others.
Then, they said why I agreed for them to send her to AMK hospital at first and I said that well, at first she didn't seem capable enough and had so much difficulty but with each passing day, she got better. So now my final decision is to bring her back to my house. She asked if I have any other relative who can bring her back for at least a week and take care of her and I said I have but I would rather she come back home. The daily commute from work to hospital or from home to hospital is taking a toll on me and not forgetting when I come back home, I have to do the laundry and some simple house keeping. And oh, cooking for the monster at home too. I know Im contradicting myself but it's rather fun and in between, I can also play facebook. In the morning, I have to wake up a bit early and I am amazed at how many things I can do with a bit of time on my hands. Yes, that includes facebooking and watching short drama clips on youtube..heh. Im horrible.
Now my mum wants me to hire someone to help clean the house in case we have visitors. I hate to fork out money for something I can do though not very well...heh. Im pretty uptight with money because I would rather use the money to feed my family and buy groceries. But what can I do...
That aside, my mum's lab test results show that it's clear so she doesn't need any further follow ups like chemotherapy. Thank goodness. But my mum said that they will go for a second meeting and I don't know what sort of meeting is that. I hope it's nothing critical.
Tonight, I will do a final clean up at home like vacuuming and see if I can clean my room a bit too. Yes, and do laundry too :S
Hope everything will work out fine the next few days.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Wake Up Call

My mum is getting better but she cannot move too much after the surgery because her wounds are still healing. I still don't know the results of the tumour like what is it and if it is cancerous.Yesterday, I got a call from the social worker and she asked some questions, and then based on my answers, she said that I qualify for 100% medifund which means that my mum's outpatient bills such as seeing the doctors and medicine will be free. That's good news. So tomorrow I have to come early to the hospital at 11am to do the application form and submit the relevant documents. Since my medisave is still enough (hopefully, I don't know how much is the surgery :S) to cover for her inpatient treatment at the hospital, they won't render assistance for it. Actually, I was hoping they can assist but it's okay. Anyway, since my medisave has been used, then I just have to take extra care of myself so that I can spend the next few years rebuilding back my medisave for future hospital bills incurred coz basically I don't have insurance so that is my only source of funds. My mum can also make use of it.

By the way, I have got a bit used to waking up early in the morning to iron, do the laundry, prepare breakfast and then hanging the laundry in no particular order. Of course there were some blunders like I didn't know my brother's underwear has all been worn so he had to wear yesterday's one. Then, forgetting to dry my brother's socks and had to dry it infront of the fan which only let it to being half dry instead. Oh, I also forgot to keep the remaining food on the table in the fridge such as the soya bean milk. But these are all learning points and I learn to multi task. Heck, I even arrived early to work yesterday despite having to run errand where I had to drop by the self paying machine to pay for my utilities bill.

Money wise, well it's not so bad except for transport coz as I go to the hospital daily after work. But Im trying to cope and we did get money from well wishers namely my mum and my father's relatives so we also use that to get by. I would say they're pretty generous and I am thankful for it. And at one point, I didn't eat much coz I was trying to save money and I ended up feeling very faint by the time I reached the hospital in the late evening and was this close to fainting. Luckily I ended up at the waiting area on time before I mustered enough energy to get myself a cup of milo.

I really hope my mum will get better with each passing day even though she's not that mobile yet. I will pray for her like how I prayed for her successful operations. Dear God, thank you for taking care of our family and please continue to look after us.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

After the Operation

An update about  my mum...the operation was successful and as told by the doctor, it went better than expected. I am thankful for that because the doctor did talk about their concerns regarding complications that might arise like if the tumour affects the small intestine as well and the only way to be certain about that is when they open up and take a look at it. But based on what they had seen, they said once they removed the tumour, she just required stitching and there is no need for the stoma bag so subsequently, she can pass motion as per normal. When I came to visit, she was still in a state of drowsiness although she can respond without talking. I was nervous like hell coz the doctor didn't call to update and I messaged my friend who then persuaded me to call the mainline and get connected to the ward. So I did as told and then finally found out that she was out of the operating theatre and would return to the ward soon.
As per this morning, she was able to talk already based on the answers given by her regarding the nurse's concern about who would be able to take care of her for at least a week after her discharge. Then, after investigating on the family background, she asked since I am the sole breadwinner, do I require the social service assistance? I mean of course I want at least I can cope with the medical bills come afterwards such as getting free medication. That is like my next biggest concern even prior to her admission but what can be done, she was already sick. Although she didn't promise if I am able to get, but at least they tried and I hope they can get for me.
For now, I've been trying to be like a superwoman doing the laundry, ironing, cooking :S and it's not so easy. How I wish my brother isn't a fussy eater although he does gobble down what I instant noodles, heh. Yesterday, I made scramble eggs with hotdogs for him. I have to make sure I budget my money well although I did some boo boos in the decision making. Well, I couldn't resist a coconut milk free laksa instead of buying proper food for my brother instead. But I did make up for it by making the scrambled eggs which my brother ate with his wholemeal bread.
So tiring but what to do, I just have to bear with the situation for awhile.


Monday, August 02, 2010

Anticipating News on Surgery

Heart is in so much dilemma...a whole lot of it. I just hope my mum is well and there are no complications during her surgery. It's supposed to end anytime now but I haven't heard from the doctors yet. I just hope that when they call, it's good news. All surgeries come with risks, whether it's minimal or otherwise. I've been praying to God asking for His help and I hope he can hear me. Please get my mum through this difficult period.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Update Regarding My Mum

As you know, my mum is in hospital. Though she's not exactly in critical stage coz she has been calling me every now and then regarding the household and other matters mainly concerning my brother :S, I still worry for her. Apparently, there is growth at the right side of her large intestine and it has to be removed or otherwise, it will block the flow in her intestine and she will no longer be able to pass motion. And then, she will start vomitting her food out because the food particles are not able to flow properly. That will be the most critical stage already and the doctors don't want that to happen.

So the operation involves removing the affected part of the intestine and then reattaching it with a good part of the intestine. It sounds like a rather simple procedure but the problem now is that they worry that the growth affects the smaller intestine as well and that may complicate things. Worst comes to worst, she may need to wear a bag in the tummy although the doctor assures that since it is going to be inside, she won't feel it. However, okay actually that isn't the worst of the worst. WORST OF ALL, if there is blockage because they are not able to remove the tumour totally as it has also grown into the smaller intestine, she may have to wear a bag outside of her stomach and honestly, nobody wants that because it really reduces the quality of living because it is very troublesome. 

I hope there isn't any complications. She asked us to trust them in their work but you know, they are not miracle workers. I can only hope and pray that everything will be alright. If my mum is no longer running a fever, she will go for the operation tomorrow. 

This whole hospital experience is very scary and I used to remember going there the last time like some visit to a playground but once I have grown up and gone through the worst such as mind numbing moments where I had to make critical decisions and seeing how critically ill my father was, the last thing I want is to be associated with a hospital be it as a visitor or a patient. When I see other people making noise or talk loudly like some kind of family vacation, they don't know what they are in it for. But of course, I don't blame them since maybe they're not exactly in bad situations like visiting a patient in critical condition or that the patient is getting better so there is little cause for worry.

My mum is doing fine and she has been making friends with everyone like what's new. But she dislikes the scanning she has to go through and the numerous injections. But that's part and parcel of staying in the hospital. The nurses probably didn't have anything to do if not for the numerous checks and injections. While some did their duties like they were forced to, some did it with care and concern over the patients to the extent of feeding the patient if they were bedridden and unable to feed themselves. One of them even sang to my mum coz my mum said she likes this one particular singer from Philippines.

I hope everything will run smoothly with no hiccups whatsoever. I really dread the 'bag' coz nobody wants something hanging out of the stomach though that will only be in the most extreme case. It makes you rethink about your life and be thankful for not being in such dire situations.

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Long Weekend, A Little Rambling & My Lack of Gratitude

The day I discover IG filters It's almost mid week to August..argh. I am in the midst of a long weekend, which sadly will come to ...