I Can Do It!

To Love.To Serve.To Lift


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Focus on ONE

YEA!! My new file!

Li-Ann finally joins the ranks of the YSG (Young Speaker’s Guild) students in our chapter IMPACT forCE when we began our chapter year in July. She is really really excited to attend chapter meetings, often asking me about it throughout the week and reminding me tirelessly on the morning when she wakes up. She would pack her file into her bag 24 hours before chapter meeting. And you know what’s the best part? She picks out her clothes 3 days ahead of time!!! Praise be to God for her positive attitude!!

I am very happy for her to join students of her age because that will encourage her and motivate her to learn. She has been very eager during portfolio and speech coaching sessions and made every effort to participate. What amazed me was that she willingly presented a short Self-Introduction for coaching during the small group session!!! I saw it from the corner of my eye while coaching in another part of the room. Will she fare well? I am not sure. But I am encouraged by her enthusiasm. How do I help her, especially with all the written assignments in her file? I am still trying to figure that out. There are many uncertainties and I can already anticipate the fears and anxieties that follow. However, I hang onto ONE CERTAINTY that comforts me:

And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 (KJV)

And my ONE SHEPHERD will show me the way:

God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction. Psalm 23:1-3 (MSG)

After beginning with that first speech, I decided to get her involved in ONE THING to prepare her file – putting reinforcement rings ONE at a time. She was excited and very focused!! I could tell coz as I instructed her what to do, she was trying to figure out what she would prefer too. We did about 20 pages till she called it quits 😉 We had lots of practice working those fingers (occupational therapy) and problem solve together. EXCELLENT EFFORT!!

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Mom Needs My Help

I believe in roping in the children to help in our daily living. One of it is meal preparation. They all begin with cutting the vegetables.

Li-Ann was eager to chip in when she saw what her older siblings were doing. Previously, she would chip in with a butter or paring knife. Recently, I ‘graduated’ her to a bigger and lighter ceramic knife. Continue reading


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RDA Flag Day I – A Family Project

I have wondered for a long time whether I should get all of us involved in a Flag Day. I wanted the children to experience the hard work required in raising funds. So after discussing with CM, I signed up for RDA’s Flag Day on 28 January 2012. Li-Ann has been blessed by opportunities to ride at the Riding For Disabled Association (RDA) and has benefited a great deal from this form of therapy. I thought this would be a wonderful way to give back to RDA.

After the whole event, I found out that I was the only one who had previous experiences with such an activity during my school days! So it was a family project afterall.

While some might shun anyone carrying a tin like a plague, I realised that Singaporeans can be generous when they know where their money is going to. That meant non-stop talking and relentless persuading.

Here are our thoughts (I interviewed them)…

CM: The children can do it. They can participate in a flag day. They just need to build up their confidence. I see their confidence grow during the day. They got better and better and more confident so I’m very proud of them. (How about daddy? What did you learn?) I learn that it’s not so easy to sell flags. There are some kind people who’ll donate and I thank God for them. (John asked – When you were young, did you sell flags?) No.

Apple: The Flag Day was fun for everybody because it was a family thing that we can do together. I think the children really tried their best and they know how it is like to raise funds for a non-profit organisation. It requires a lot of perseverance and also coming up with resourceful ways to persuade people to give.

Li-Ann: I think that…ermmm…flag day…eermmm….want to help special needs children. (What did you do?) I go and…eermm…go and…I don’t know…(What did you ask the people to do?) To put the sticker…(To donate some money right?) Ya…

Rebecca: I think flag day is very tiring but it is also a good experience. (What did you learn?) I learn that you have to be patient, have eye contact and be friendly.

Rebecca drew a pretty picture about the flag day.

John: I learn that even though flag day is tiring, I must persevere even if people say ‘no’.

John came up with an interesting comic strip for flag day.


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I Want to Fold the Socks

As we were folding clothes one day, Li-Ann told me, when she saw me about to fold her socks,”Mama, I want to fold the socks.” I wasn’t taking her seriously coz it’s not easy for even the older ones to master this well (note emphasis). I left the pair of socks for her, reminding myself to give her a chance to try her hand at it.

I took another pair of her socks, showed her what to do step-by-step and gave her verbal instructions at the same time. She imitated pretty well and managed to turn one part of the sock up to encase the other part. Just to make sure she knew exactly what I taught her, I got her to try on another pair of her socks. And she tried her best, with a little help.

Fantastic!!! That’s another piece of clothing she can fold! Another achievement! Another encouragement for mommy Apple!


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My Pororo

Now that Li-Ann can use the fork and spoon together when she eats on a plate, I decided to teach her how to use the chopsticks. I used to have a pair of training chopsticks I bought for John from Guardian but it’s not working too well so I gave it away and so had hunt for a new one.

I must say that there are so MANY out there now and they are EXPENSIVE!! I found out it’s probably because of copyright issues as characters like ‘Hello Kitty’ and ‘Mickey Mouse’ etc are used. After a LONG search, I found a reasonably priced one at one of the shops in International Plaza – a place we never go but I decided to shop there for a change. I bought 2 pairs at $18.90. One is for stage 1 and the other for stage 2. So both the girls are using it now. Rebecca can have more practice to refine her skills a little while LA enjoys her Pororo chopsticks – quite a tongue twister but LA can say it!! She talks to Pororo and helps it pick up the food. So funny…Thankfully, there’s no copyright so this set is not expensive. I also found out that Carrefour at Suntec sells them. The prices are good. If you are thinking of getting only one pair, it is sold at $10.90. Do check if it’s for left or right-handers. Some cartoon characters may not have a model for left-handers.

A friend shared that this online website sells the chopsticks at only $8!! Do check it out Milagro Trading Store

Eating with my Pororo

Our 'equipment'

Hey! Don't eat my Pororo!!


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Kor Kor Stole a Chinese New Year Cookie!

“Mama, kor kor stole a Chinese New Year cookie!” Li-Ann yelled out as she ran to me. Before I could say anything, John came in and told me that it was Li-Ann who took a cookie. For all stay-at-home moms, this is probably a familiar scenario we have to handle frequently. After verifying with John that he really didn’t do it and with Rebecca who witnessed the incident, I decided to talk to Li-Ann.

I took her to my room  for a private investigation.

“Li-Ann, look at Mama. Did you take the cookie?” I asked very calmly, looking at her straight in the eye.

“No I didn’t. It was kor kor.” she asserted but quickly continued, “Look! Mama,” Li-Ann opened her mouth and showed me what was on her tongue. I saw some pieces of food. They could be the leftovers from the cookie. The ‘thief’ just owned up!

“Li-Ann, are you hungry? You took the cookie right?” I asked her again, looking straight at her big, round and innocent eyes, trying extremely hard to contain my laughter, but I was not very successful. She saw me shook somewhat with muffled laughs and felt rather embarrassed. She blinked her eyes a few times and smiled sheepishly. Composing myself, I asked with a Mama’s authority, “What do you do if you want a cookie?”

“Ask Mama,” she answered in a small voice after thinking for a while.

“How do you ask?” I prompted her to think further the way she ought to communicate.

“May I have a cookie?” she said quietly.

“That’s right. Please ask Mama. If you have taken the cookie, please don’t say that kor kor took it. That is telling a lie and it is wrong. Don’t do it again. Please say ‘sorry’ to kor kor. I’m sorry lunch is late and you are hungry. Let’s go get lunch now.” I walked her to the kitchen to get lunch ready, after she apologised to John.

You know, whenever something goes missing in the house, I would usually question John and Rebecca. Now that Li-Ann is growing up, she does take things without asking or telling any one of us. This was the first time she tried to ‘steal’ food behind my back. One reason was probably because the Chinese New Year goodies were placed visibly on the table during this festive season. While it was wrong to steal, I’m happy that she was aware of what hunger was and knew that she had to eat something. It’s so good that she can tell us now. This is yet another evidence of her cognitive development. I remember reminding myself to keep to a schedule when Li-Ann was a less than 1 year old as she might not cry unless she was terribly hungry, like after 5 hours from her last milk feed. I thank God for her growth and development.