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HFMD (Hand Foot Mouth Disease) Aftermath

HFMD (Hand Foot Mouth Disease) Aftermath

HFMD, the dreaded infectious disease that’s every parent’s nightmare! Some of my friends went through numerous times of HFMD in the household. It’s strange that we never had this when we were young. 

Anyway, if you have young children, this is something you’d never want to get. The symptoms are high fever, followed days later by red spots, which eventually turn into blisters on the soles of the feet and palms. They may appear in various degrees of seriousness and some children may even get rashes on thighs and arms. At the same time, red spots or rashes appear around the mouth and ulcers in mouth and throat. Just think of the most terrible sore throats you’ve ever had. That’s it!!

The first time it appeared in our household was in the first year of 宝贝口水妹’s nursery. Her symptoms were pretty mild, I assume. Because she was eating like nobody’s business when she had it. Maybe just a little wincing when she swallowed her food. But, it sure was infectious. She managed to spread it to the adults. YES! Adults can get it too!!! And when adults get it, it’s 10 times more painful than the child’s!! It may also be that we are more articulate (kao Peh) about it! Besides, I was pregnant at that time. It was sheer torture!

We recently had a bout of HFMD. This time it happened to 小小宝贝. We didn’t even bring him to the doctor although we quarantined him at home for a week til he’s fully recovered. His symptoms were relatively mild too. Besides the fact that he had the blisters on his palms and feet, he was behaving as normally as a little boy should – wreaking havoc at home (at the despair of his grandmother who’s his caregiver). 

It’s only recently that I discovered this… 

Just a week back, I read on Facebook that one of my friend’s daughter’s nails have fallen off due to HFMD. 😱 Yes, there’s a particular strain of HFMD that causes this. When it happens, it causes the nails to stop growing. When the body has cleared itself of the disease, the nails started to grow again. So the nails crack due to this. His isn’t too serious. It’s more obvious on his thumb, but if you look carefully, there’s a slight crack on every single nail. 

It looks really painful (I’ve had bruised nails detaching themselves from the nail beds before. Owww!). In actual fact, there’s no pain at all. I think Mommy is more anxious (gan Cheong) about it than he is. 

It is happening now, which is about 8-10 weeks after his HFMD. So if your child’s nails are falling off after HFMD, don’t freak out!!! Take a deep breath. It’s all OK! 😊

My Little Budding Artist

My Little Budding Artist

Whilst it is pleasant to see the masterpieces she churns out in art class under instructions (like where to draw a square, triangle etc so that they finally look like a giraffe), I love to see the ones she draws from her own imagination.


A fine drawing, using Pointillism. Well fat dots then… As big as her fingers. Hehe. On the top right corner dangles a purplish pink spider, complete with a smiley face. She’s quite adapt with smileys now. On the left is a massive, sticky spider web. “That’s the spider’s home where he catches his food.” Hmm… Not bad, she has been paying attention in school.


I was working on my computer in the study room while she occupied herself with drawing. When I turned my chair around, she was concentrating on adding the fine details, to the drawing on the bottom corner of my white board. It was pretty amusing to see her look of concentration.

There were so much details that I thought I should record it before I forget what they were…


This is a …. Ta da..!!! Laundry basket!!


A laundry line to hang clothes. The story seems quite congruent so far.


Her little brother. I don’t understand what he’s doing there… Maybe she wants to make him do her laundry in future….


That’s a bed.


I kind of thought that it looks like the Sydney Opera House. But it’s not. Apparently none of her friends has been to Sydney yet. She knows about the Eiffel Tower though. The picture shows…. Pieces of clothing!!!!



I love my short get-together time before bed with 宝贝. She’ll lie on her bed and recount her activities in the day to me.

宝贝: Mama, it’s your birthday today but papa didn’t buy you flowers. (With a very serious frown)
Me : *sigh*
宝贝: (she sat up on bed and patted my head gently) Never mind, never mind. Tomorrow I’ll draw many flowers for you. Ok? (Big eyed empathetic look)
Me : That’s real sweet of you!
宝贝 : But I don’t know how to draw flowers!! (Thinking hard, brows furrowed) Fish ok?? I know how to draw fish!
Me : (*bo he hair ma Ho! in this case, it’s bo huay, he ma Ho!) Erm fish?
宝贝 : (sensing my hesitation) I’ll draw many many fishes!! And a pond! And a duck!! Ok ok?!
Me : ok! (How can I reject her sincere offer?!) <3 <3

*bo he hair ma Ho = hokkien dialect. Literal translation : no fish, prawn works as well.

Card Play – UNO

Card Play – UNO

This post should have preceded the chess play post.

We taught her how to play UNO just before our Gold Coast Trip in Aug last year, before her 3rd birthday. The game box stated that it’s suitable for ages 7 and above. But since this game has been around for decades (I remember playing it when I was a wee kid and I’m not young), they probably should have revised the age recommendation as children are becoming smarter these days!!

We taught her that because we ran out of games to play with her. Haha! Ok ok, it’s actually to train her matching skills for colours and numbers. We were not expecting her to know how to use the special cards like reverse, draw 2, skip, wild, draw 4. But she picked it up easily like a fish in water and actually understood when to deal them out.

She started off holding the cards in one hand and she had to pick them up one by one to see them. Now she’s able to fan them out nicely – see! Improve fine motor skills!! She’s also able to deal the cards out to everyone, 7 for each player by counting out loud.

The only thing she needs to be trained is to develop a poker face when she plays. It’s so obviously written on her face when she receives special cards. It’s pretty amusing to see her giggle to herself when she gets good cards. No hurry for her to lose her childish innocence. There are enough years for her to ease into the masked society, hopefully, not too disillusioned along the way.


*Contemplating which card to throw out. Hmmm….


*The evil laugh just before dealing a draw 4 card.


*Watching Godma Eds closely to make sure that she’s dealing the cards properly.


*A snapshot during the game.


*A snapshot of the 4 players @ sakae sushi at Changi Airport. You simply must have self taken photos at an all girls’ outing. No girly outing is complete without this!!!

Chess Play

Chess Play

Ever since we introduced Uno to 宝贝 during the Gold Coast Trip, she’s been playing it regularly. We started playing it with her so that she could learn colour and number matching. However, she’s far exceeded our expectations by trouncing us regularly with her draw 2, reverse, skip, draw 4 cards. Believe me, when she dealt the special cards, she actually did it with a relish and evil laugh.

I decided to introduce her to the world of chess. I wanted to start off with checkers, but I wasn’t unable to dig it out of our disorganized boxes (many were unpacked since we moved in…. 1.5 years back…).

While browsing in a bookshop, I came across a set of animal chess, which cost a very affordable $3.90. Huh?! Now still have such cheap games arh! Mai tu Liao! Buy lor!!

She was on her best behavior that day. So I rewarded her with a present – the animal chess set.


It was easy enough to match the pieces to the pictures on the mat. What wasn’t so simple was to explain the rules to a 3 year old!

1. The ranking of the animals by size. The bigger one can “eat” the ones that are smaller than it. The only exception is the mouse – it can kill the mighty elephant (by climbing into its truck n tickle it to death :p).

2. The pieces can only move one step at a time, to the adjacent square.

3. The Mouse is the only piece that has the ability to move into the water areas.

4. The Lion and Tiger pieces can leap across the banks of the river, unless the Mouse is in the river, in the line of the leap.

5. If a piece ends up in the opponent’s trap, no matter how large it is, even the smallest piece can gobble it up.

6. The game ends when you move your piece into the opponent’s den.

6 simple rules. But oh so difficult to get it across to her. I decided to just play and teach along the way. I ate up so many of her pieces that she started looking like this.


So I sacrificed some pieces to retain her interest in the game. She won in the end. Although she wasn’t able to remember all the rules, but at least she’s remembered the ranking of the animals and she was very tickled that the mouse could eat up the huge elephant. She liked having her mouse swim in the river too.

Not too bad for the 1st time. There’s still a chance that she may turn out to become an expert animal chess player. We fell off our seats when she defeated us in UNO, even when we didn’t intentionally lose to her.

But for now, she remains as an animal chess noob. I must eat up her pieces while I still can. :p

How 2 Words Can Hurt A Little One

How 2 Words Can Hurt A Little One

I was waiting for the cashier to gift wrap my purchase when a little boy tiptoed and put a little toy car and a $10 note on the counter. He should be about 5 years old.

While waiting, his mother asked him,”how much change are you supposed to get back?”

He replied, “$5”.

A sharp, curt retort, “NO! WRONG!”

His little face looked crestfallen, he looked down and shifted his weight to his other foot.

I must never to do this to my children.