The San Francisco Symphony Kids’ Site

In the course of helping Hubby-jr with occupational therapy (OT), I found this gem of a website. It is  The San Francisco Symphony Kids’ Site! (SFS Kids for short)

This fabulous website introduces children to music – I’m talking tempo, pitch, rhythm… music notes… and even orchestra instruments – and in a simple yet very colourful and fun manner! Musically-clueless me learnt a thing or two too! Yes, yes, I’m pretty pathetic when it comes to music notes and symphony related music stuff.

Go check it out especially if you are like me, a non-tiger mom (who by the way I do not despise. The tiger mom that is, I do not despise her.)

P/S: I hope to start blogging a little more frequently. I seem to be suffering some sort of writing-withdrawal. There’s an increasing urge to write… and succumb I must!

What’s the magic word?

“Can I have some cake daddy?” asked my now almost 5 Little Missy.

As I’m still trying to inculcate my children with a habit of adding “please” into any requests, I looked at her and said, “What’s the magic word?”

She then looked at her daddy earnestly and said, “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo.” :-)

(For those of you who didn’t get it, “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo” are the magic words Cinderella’s fairy godmother used to turn a pumpkin into a carriage, mice into horses, horses into horsemen and Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful gown. It’s from the old Disney Cinderella animated movie and my kids had just watched it at their grandparents’ over Chinese New Year. They loved it. Click here to watch Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo in action.)

Blessed Christmas!

Sleeping Beauty

One fine day, a day just like any other day, I tucked my normal  (spunky and bossy) little girl in for her afternoon nap. I gave her a big hug, a big kiss, said, “I love you, good-nap,” and closed her room door. An hour and half later, I opened the door quietly to take a peek only to discover…

My 4-year old had turned into a princess! :-)

How precious is this? My very own Sleeping Beauty. I hope she lives happily ever after.

An Unfashionably Long Overdued Update

I had such lofty ambitions for this blog (note: had – past tense). It was going to contain lots of information about occupational therapy, a little more about speech therapy and some information about hearing loss.

That was wa..aaay back in 2010. Er… wait a minute, it is still 2010, I mean waaa…ay back in April 2010. It is incredible how fast the months fly by and yet somehow it feels like a millenium has passed. I guess that’s how it is when the going gets a little tough. Yup it has been tough and not too long ago I came to the realisation that I was suffering burnout. I discovered that when my friend posted this as her Facebook status.

BURNOUT (Definition @Merriam Webster): a) exhaustion of physical or emotional strength usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration

I was caught up in a whirlwind of trying so hard to help Hubby-jr “catch up” in school.

As a result of his delay in his language abilities (i.e. processing and expressing information in English) and his sensory processing issues, Hubby-jr had problems coping with school work. Not only was some of the things taught in class hard for him to fully grasp, it was difficult for him to pay sufficient attention in class to begin with. He was not able to filter out background noise or movement and focus as “normal” kids are able to do so. This is beyond the usual kids are easily distracted type of thing.

So, I have been helping him with his school work at home (read: tuition teacher) which has NOT been easy. There were many times I felt like I was teaching him everything from scratch. I felt like I was as good as homeschooling him with the added pressure to help him keep up AND I had to contend with lousy leftover time after school in the afternoon when Hubby-jr would rather do his own thing at home! Why didn’t I just pull him out and homeschool him? For one, he was happy in school. Seriously. Despite everything he enjoyed school. Two, I couldn’t hack it, I would be more nuts than I already am.

Besides helping Hubby-jr with his school work, I was also pushing hard in the area of occupational and speech therapy, trying to do as much as we could at home in hope of helping him “normalise” as quickly as possible. Ambitious right? I was just so driven. I just wanted him to reach a point where he could cope on his own with minimal help from me.

Needless to say, ALL of it wore me down. There were days where I could see sparks of hope and there were days I saw a never-ending tunnel. It was (is?) an emotional roller coaster. Honestly I thought I was pacing myself pretty okay, slowing down when I needed to and taking occasional breaks. And maybe I was. But I was burnout. Most of my free time was spent on mindless activities such as TV and retail therapy. I couldn’t write much and most of the time I didn’t even want to try writing.

The good news is the tide is finally changing. ALL my our (hubby’s, hubby-jr’s and my) hardwork is paying off. There has been significant improvement in school — his teacher reported he is now much more attentive and participative in class. He speaks much more fluently and confidently. AND… drumroll… the latest… just this week news… he has progressed to group occupational therapy every fortnight instead of his weekly single sessions previously. Needless to say, we are elated with the progress!

The journey filled with therapies (language and occupational) is not yet over for us. Hubby-jr still requires a fair bit of help with his school work albeit a teeny weeny bit less… but the latest good news has given my spirits a much needed uplift. :-)

I hope to write a little more often but I’m afraid I can’t promise my intentions however sincere will come to fruition (I have learnt my lesson and not take on more than I can handle!)

No Tray No Play

I’ve always disliked my kids playing with Playdoh. Hmm… that didn’t quite come out right. Let me start again.

I like Playdoh and I like my kids playing with it (cos it’s really fun). What I dislike is the clean up after. It leaves behind ridiculously-tedious-clean-up messes that’s a tad too stressful for domestically-challenged moms like me. Meshed spots of playdough on the table, on the floor and on the playdoh accessories. Aargh!

(That explained some of the unopened playdoh gifts we’ve received over the years, to be more specific, since Hubby-jr was 1 and he’s 7 this year eeps…)

Yes, I have allowed them to play with it at home before, at times, but those times were highly dependent on me feeling “up-to-it” which suffice to say was rather, rather rare.

But my kids (like almost every other kid) love playing playdoh. So their love for it coupled with the unopened boxes of playdoh sets in their cupboard added to my already surmounting heap of motherhood guilt. Everytime they spotted the boxes and requested to play and I said “no,” I could just feel that 1 guilt point adding up. Yet even that couldn’t move me to succumb. That clean-up-after mess was a very real deterrent.

Well that was before. Now, I’ve finally let the playdough loose. Nope, I’ve not seen the light and think that I should be the perfect mom and deal with the after-mess with loving kindness. Instead I found a solution to prevent significantly minimise the after-playing-with-playdough mess! (Beam, pat myself on the back.)

The solution? I use two red trays which I bought for SGD3.90 a piece (I think) at IKEA and enforce the rule that all handling of playdough MUST be kept within the tray area. It works wonderfully. The cleaning up after is negligible. I’ve opened ALL playdough collections we’ve acquired and they were such a handy keep-the-kids-occupied tool during the last month-long holidays in June when we were frequently rained in,  AND… it has eliminated one of my motherhood-guilt contributors. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

Hubby-jr's playing with the dentist set and yes, that's green playdough teeth!

As much as I wished it was so, this brilliant idea did not come to me while I was folding laundry, rather it was inspired by this post at one of my favourite websites – Ohdeedoh. Are you inspired too?

Why Do Stay Home Moms Have No Time?

A friend shared an article on Facebook and I had to, HAD to post it here. All stay home moms (especially those with kids 5 and below and no domestic helper) will be screaming, “YES! YES! YES!!!” After reading it. And if you are not a stay home mom or a mom with young kids you should read it too. It’ll help you get us moms a little better as it fabulously captured a day (more like everyday) in a life of a mom.

Without further ado, please click here.

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