Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Sorry, Sick Week

Well, I'm glad to say that this week is over with. It was full of fevers, exhaustion, boredom and worry.

Poor little Terryn started getting sick last Friday (so a week and a half ago). On Saturday he had a fever. He wasn't acting like his normal, cheerful self and wanted to sleep a lot. On Sunday he still had a fever so I kept him home from church and let him sleep. He didn't have much of an appetite either. That night his fever got up to 104°F. I started freaking out, but luckily I had some fever reducer which brought his fever down a couple degrees. He slept that night alright, but I think he had fever dreams because he would wake up screaming and then go back to sleep.

I took him to the doctor's the next day. He still had a fever and he just didn't feel well. They said they thought it was a virus or infection and prescribed him some antibiotic, but said that if his fever persisted into the next afternoon to bring him back. The doctor said if that was the case they'd do some blood work to see if it was something like Dengue Fever. Scary!

Luckily, Terryn improved slightly the next day. He still wasn't eating well, but his fever was down and he was acting more playful. By the next day his fever was completely gone, he was more cheerful, but he had a rash over his whole body. I figured he was probably having a reaction to the medicine which he only had one more dose to take. The day after that, the rash was gone, his countenance was improved, he was eating better and he seemed back to normal.

During the time he was sick, Terryn was sleeping a lot. He was taking 2, 3, sometimes 4 naps a day. That left me with a lot of down time that I wasn't used to. I think I was a bit sick myself, but mostly I just felt really tired. I got pretty bored and was sick of watching movies. I managed to watch the entire "Legend of the Seeker" series... seasons 1 & 2. That was a little too much TV time for me.

Thankfully by the end of the week Terryn was fine. I was feeling better too. I'm just so thankful that he's healthy again because he gave me quite the scare with the exceedingly high fever. He had the fever for about 4-5 days. I love Terryn so much and worried myself sick over him. I also want to express my love and gratitude for everyone's prayers and encouragement when they found out Terr-bear was sick. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Red Clogs Along Five-Foot Way

Tuesday was our last day in Singapore. Terryn and I took one last tour in the morning. Our flights left at about 8:00pm so we had plenty of time to catch a few more sights of the city. We got to our meeting point a little early so we crossed the street to this interesting plaza with a fountain. I took Terryn out of the stroller so he could run around a little. I feel bad for the little guy because he's in the stroller most of the day while I'm sight-seeing. It's too difficult or dangerous to have him running around the city.
Here he is posing again. He kind of looks like he's plotting something doesn't it?
Terryn liked watching the water and placing leaves in the drain.
He also enjoyed watching the fish swim around in the pond on the other side of the plaza. He got to run around trees and play chase with mommy for about 15 minutes.
The we came over to the "Man on a Bench" sculpture. Here's Terryn asking him what he's reading.
Then Terryn decided to adjust his glasses for him and then he finally smiled for me. People walking by thought Terryn was funny.

Then we went on our tour. It was called, "Red Clogs on the Five Foot Way." It was a walk of Chinatown. The red clogs refer to the shoes that people were seen wearing here a lot. They believe that these shoes were influenced by the Dutch since the Dutch occupied Singapore before the British. The clogs were modified from the Dutch version to be more like sandals and were painted red. The "five foot way" refers to building that were built here. When Sir Raffles came to Singapore, he ordered that the building have a five foot eave in front of all the shop houses. It was a place where there could be a walkway in between buildings that was shaded or could be used as more selling space. It provided refuge from the heat and the rain. This space is the five foot way because it was measured by taking five steps.
We visited a Taoist Temple on our tour. Our tour guide told us that many Taoist Temples can be identified by the dragons and sun on the roof.
In the entry way of the temple you can see angels flying up to heaven on the underside of the roof.
These are statues of people during the Harvest Festival.
I liked the statues. I thought they were cute.

We walked around many different places in Chinatown. Our tour guides showed us where the old well used to be and some different Chinese shops. She stopped by a medicine shop and we tested a floral tea and some goji berries.
Here's a shot of one of the streets in Chinatown.

We also went into an open market in Chinatown. They sell anything from food, clothes, and souvenirs. On the bottom floor they sell all sorts of food items.
These frogs are not being sold as pets. Yes, they are for cooking. Yum yum little frogs.

We went through a little more of Chinatown and were shown where they hand make fresh noodles and visited a store where they sell items to take with you into the afterlife.

After the tour Terryn and I were going to see the real Merlion statues, but I decided I wanted to take it easy. We had lunch and then went back to Little India (one of my favorite places) and I bought a Punjabi suit and some bindis. After that Terryn and I went back to the hotel so we could meet Sean, eat dinner and go to the airport.

We had a really great time in Singapore and I wish I could have had more time to explore. Hopefully we'll be able to visit again.

Visit to the Singapore Flyer

Monday night I made us all go out to the Singapore flyer. It would be our last night in Singapore and I wanted to take advantage of it.

We decided to take the MRT train instead of walking the whole way there. Who knows how long it would have taken to get there walking? Plus we had the stroller with us and sometimes it's difficult to get somewhere with the stroller because you have to climb stairs to go over the pedestrian overpasses.
This was the view of the city from the MRT pedestrian overpass. Beautiful isn't it?
Here's a pic of me with the flyer in the background, also taken from the MRT overpass.
After we got off the train, it was a short walk to the flyer grounds. We decided not to take a ride on the flyer because it was pretty expensive, like S$30 per person. No thanks... I can imagine what it was like and I'm sure it was pretty cool.
They had a water fountain nearby with a small waterfall/channel that fed the fountain. We let Terryn burn off some energy running around there and collecting and placing leaves down the waterfall. He was so funny. I kept trying to take his picture, but he was running around too fast and I didn't want to use the flash.
Finally I just turned the flash on and asked Terryn if mommy could take his picture. This was the pose he came up with. Hahahaha.
Here you can see more of the plaza and the water fountain area.
We decided to get some gelato at the place nearby. We got coconut, chocolate and passion fruit. It was delicious. We all shared out of the same cup. I think Terryn and Sean have just about the same expression on their faces here. Hahahaha. Terryn has a little chocolate Hitler mustache going on.
While we were in Singapore, they had the Youth Olympic Games going on. Behind us you can see the Olympic flame and the city skyline. The structure behind us is the big stadium they created for the opening ceremony (I think). They've renamed this park Olympic Park.
This picture was taken in the same spot as the group shot previous. This is the Marina Bay Resort and the Helix Pedestrian Bridge. The lights on the bridge changes colors.
Here's another view of the city skyline and the Olympic flame.
We walked a little ways down the bridge and there are photo stops spaced out along the way. Here's Terryn posing with the Olympic Mascots, Lyo & Merly.
And finally a pic of me with the Singapore city skyline.

I'm really glad that we went out to see the Flyer and the Helix bridge. As you can see from the pictures, the views were incredible. At this point of our outing Terryn was pretty tired, so it was time to head back. I have to say it was a great last night in Singapore being with my family, seeing the sights and sharing gelato.

The Time of Empire Tour

On Monday Terryn and I took another tour of the city. This tour focused mainly on telling the story of Singapore from when it was in British control. The first sight we saw was St. Andrew's Cathedral. The original building burned down because it was struck by lightning, but this one was re-designed and re-built. Apparently lightning strikes are fairly common here in Singapore and there have been numerous stories of people getting hit by lightning.
Here's a few snapshots of Terryn and I in front of the church. I believe this is a Church of England church, but I don't really remember.
The stained glass windows were pretty and they have a bit of history in them too.
There are three coats of arms in this stained glass window that represent three important people from Singapore's history.
Here's another view of St. Andrew's.

Our tour guide took us to see the new Supreme Court building. We had to surrender our cameras because it's illegal to take pictures inside of government buildings here. We took the long trek up to the 8th floor and went out onto the dais. The view was amazing. I so wish I could have taken some pictures. :( Sad, but I'm thankful I could see the view. There below, you could see the Singapore River and the conserved Boat Quay area. It's where the old warehouses used to be. The buildings are still there, but they are now restaurants or shops. These two and three story buildings are now surrounded by huge skyscrapers. It was quite the sight.

Another point of interest was an Armenian Orthodox Christian church. I found out that officially, Armenia was the first Christian country. When there were Armenians that moved to Singapore they built a small church for their community. Now in Singapore there are only about 5 Armenian living here.
This picture shows some of the headstones from the old Armenian cemetery. There are no bodies buried here. The people had their family members moved back to Armenia, but left the headstones. These headstones serve as a reminder of those who were here long ago.
Along the way to the next sight I saw this cool building. I don't know what it is, but I liked the pagoda/ modern style of it.

Next we visited another church that had been deconsecrated. It is still used for weddings and events, but not for church services. I couldn't get a good picture of it. Then our final stop was the Raffles Hotel. Singapore is really interesting because over the years they have done a lot of land reclamation, meaning that there is an awfully lot of land in Singapore with buildings on it now that used to be part of the ocean. The Raffles Hotel was a good example of this. It used to be a beach front property. Now it is surrounded by tech malls and skyscrapers.
After the tour we walked around a little but and had lunch. Then we went back to the hotel. I pushed Terryn's stroller inside our room and went to unload my bag, when I turned around I saw Terryn sucking his toes!
What a silly kid! I wonder where he gets that from? It reminds me of some baby pictures of a girl I know. Hmmmm...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Singapore Sunday

So we went to church with our friends today. We had to take the subway and it was pretty easy to find the building. We met with an ex-pat ward. I have to admit it was really nice to meet with a ward that speaks English AND has nursery. Our branch is seriously lacking a nursery and Terryn misses that time to play with other kids.

Terryn had a great time in nursery. He had plenty of toys, kids and snacks to occupy him for the two hours he was there.
I made sure that we got pictures with Eddie, Peachy and Brooke before we left.
Their daughter was so cute. She seemed pretty easy going like Terryn and they hit it off pretty well.
Terryn even put his moves on her by kissing her good-bye. They were cute. We wished we could have spend more time with all of them, but with Sean's schedule and Terryn's bedtime, it was a little hard to manage. We hope that we can visit again or that Eddie, Peachy and Brooke can come visit us.

Singapore MRT

So yesterday we ventured onto the Singapore MRT or railway system. It wasn't Terryn's first time on a subway, but he really has a blast on it. He loved walking onto the train and holding onto the bars and handles. He was so cute. He'd stand there and brace himself for the start or stop. Sometimes he'd plead for daddy to pick him up so he could hold onto the higher handles.
Sometimes Sean would try to give me a heart attack by having Terryn grab two handles and then letting him hang there.
Sean would catch him when he let go, but it freaked me out everytime. There were other passengers that were like, "I can't believe he's doing that."
Terryn loved it though and kept signing "again" over and over.

Singapore's transit system is fantastic. I wish I'd used it earlier in the week. It would have saved me some time and money. It's pretty easy to get a stroller on and off the train versus using a taxi where I have to collapse the stroller, etc.

We took the train to visit one of Sean's old college roomates. We all went out to dinner and then hang out at their place. We were going to go on a night safari, but then it started raining so we decided against it. We had a nice time visiting though. They have a 13 month old daughter who was pretty cute and Terryn enjoyed playing with her. It was a pretty nice evening.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Botanical Gardens & the China Town Red Light District

Yesterday Terryn and I ventured out the Singapore Botanical Gardens. We caught a cab and entered the gardens. We were greeted by numerous fountains and many different types of trees and flowering bushes.As we ventured further into the gardens we saw many other mommies with strollers, people taking their morning jogs and we also saw a group of people doing a sort of “fan dance”.
Terryn enjoyed watching the people flip their fans open and then close them with their graceful movements.
The part of the gardens I was most interested in was the Orchid Garden.
I love orchids and in Asia they are so abundant. The garden was beautiful. There were many fountains and statues. I loved the crane statue which was the very first thing you saw as you entered the orchid garden.
They have a bunch of photo spots that they’ve set up with benches or whatever for you to take advantage of.
I had to keep asking people to take our picture since it was just Terryn and I there.
Terryn has become quite the little photo poser.
He keeps wanting me to take his picture, which is quite refreshing. Usually it’s like pulling teeth to get him to look at the camera.
At one of the photo spots I was letting Terryn climb up on the rock benches and some people walked by and thought he was adorable. A small crowd gathered and they took turns getting their picture with Terryn. Of course Terryn was eating up all the attention. He kept doing these cute little poses for them, like squatting down a little with his hands on his knees. I should have taken a picture of it because it was hilarious.
After they were finished he waved bye-bye and they all thought that was adorable too.
They day was a pretty hot one and the sun was pretty bright. The garden was gorgeous and we were surrounded with the gentle fragrance of the orchids.
There were so many different types of orchids that I’m going to have to bore you with pictures of a few of them.
The landscaping was amazing too. They put the orchids in all sorts of different places.
Some were attached to trees. Others were on their own in special gardens.
This particular orchid is a hybrid and named after Margret Thatcher. I like it because it’s pretty funky looking. The Singaporean Botanical Society (or whatever it’s called) often names new hybrids after important people as a way of fostering peace and strengthening relationships among different countries.
Some of the orchids are in mist gardens that soften the rain that comes down.
I imagine that the flowers can be pretty fragile and the hard rain that they get here would destroy them.
I think at this point in the gardens, Terryn was asleep. I'd been having him walk or run around and he got so hot that he kept telling me he wanted to get in the stroller. It was probably only about 15 minutes later that he was out cold.
It was in the Mist House, I think, that I noticed he was sleeping which was just as well. There were many orchids within close proximity of a small walking path. I would have hated for Terryn to reach out and pull the flowers off. There were so many different colors and varieties of orchids in the garden. I loved it.
There was a section called the "Cool House" which did not dissappoint. It was aptly named since it was A LOT cooler in there than outside. In the Cool House there were carnivorous orchids. These particular orchids are called the pitcher orchid and they release an enzyme that attracts insects. Once the insect enters the flower, they cannot escape because the inner walls are too slippery. The fluid in the bottom of the “pitcher” is what digests the insect.
I believe this orchid is also a carnivorous orchid that targets ants mostly.

The Cool House was basically the last section of the Orchid Garden I visited. As I left the Orchid garden, Terryn woke up. I decided it was about time for lunch so we took the scenic route to the exit. On the way out we passes Symphony Lake where Terryn got excited at seeing fish, birds and turtles.
Terryn squealed out in delight, especially for the birds, and yelled, "Buh Buh!" I think he was trying to say, "Bird."

I had read an article about a restaurant close to the gardens called "The White Rabbit". It was located in an old converted church.
It was quite beautiful inside and had really interesting decorations. The food was pretty good and exceptionally expensive. I only ordered something small that I thought Terryn might also enjoy. Luckily he did eat a little bit of it and he ate a bunch of the bread they served.
One of the waiters was nice enough to take a few pictures of us. The picture doesn't really do the place any justice, but the window behind us was a very brilliant blue.
The side windows were quite interesting too. On the other side of the restaurant, there was a walking path under an archway of creeping vines called "The Rabbit Hole".
As we were waiting for the taxi to take us back to the hotel, Terryn was insistant that I take his picture. Here he is reveling in the moment since I gave in to his request. What a cute, spoiled boy.
After Sean got back from his training we went on a tour called, "The Secrets of the Red Lantern." The tour we took was of the Singaporean Chinatown and gave the history of vices in the colonial times.
Right now Chinatown is in the middle of The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. Its a time when it is beliveed that playful, mischiveous spirits run rampant in the city. When weird things happen during this time it is blamed on the spirits.

The tour we took mostly focused on the history of prostitution, but also touched on the history of Chinese medicine, the Indians in the Chinatown area, the slave trade and how the river played a role in the development of colonial Singapore.
Here's Sean and Terryn posing in front on a Hindu temple. The Indians built this temple here because it was close to the water, even though the "Indian" section of the city was further away.

Our tour guide told us that Singapore used to be refered to as "Sin- galore" because the opium trade, flesh trade and gambling were rampant in the city. She told us the sad history of how men out-numbered women about 15-1 and many women were tricked into coming to Singapore to become prostitutes. They basically became sex-slaves with no escape.
Interestingly enough, prostitution is still legal in Singapore within certain areas. They have rules and regulations they have to follow, but slowly the brothels are dissappearing or moving to other areas. On our tour we passed by a few brothels. There were even a few hookers standing outside. It's something you wouldn't even notice unless you were looking for it or someone told you. Brothels are simply indicated by the number of the building being in red lettering. The prostitutes are not allowed to solicit.

Our tour was interesting and thankfully Terryn feel asleep half way through it because he was getting whiny. Our tour ended at a store involved in the flesh trade. It was a BBQ Pork Store. Hahahaha. We got to see how they cure the meat in their charcoal oven and got to sample it. It was good. Overall, the tour was pretty cool and it was interesting to hear some of the tragic stories from Singapore's past and to view Chinatown.