My younger rascal is rather chatty and a bit on the vain side. At the age of 5, he has this perception that he is the cutest kid in town. Leveraging on his so called cuteness, he will put on the Bambi look whenever he does wrong to get away with murder. He proudly proclaimed that teachers will not get angry with him because he is ‘sooooo cute’. On top of that, he had this bad habit of sucking his thumb, just like a new born which we were unable to break.
One fine day on a car ride, I issued a threat in a spurt of anger: “If you keep sucking on your thumb, you will turn out ugly when you grow up and will no longer be handsome anymore!” For a split second he hesitated, and was taken aback on this possibility. He recovered very quickly as he processed this piece of information and challenged me with his own threat. “Just you wait and see Mommy, I will grow up looking handsome!” He turned to gave me a hard look and continue to pop his thumb into his mouth, enjoying it.
It was one of those “called my bluff” moments and I burst out laughing on hearing his declaration. What sheer confidence! He is so adamant that he will definitely grow up handsome.
Understanding My Child
While it was a hilarious exchange, the conversation made me realized something about the children of this generation who are nurtured under the right environment.
Children possess great confident and are not afraid to speak up to their own belief.
They have developed the ability to think fast on their feet.
Logic is ingrained in their cognitive thinking process.
Children place much importance on physical appearance.
Well, we will have to wait and see what happens in years to come. Will my little rascal turn out to be good looking?
I love technology! Within 24 hours of discovering that I have caught the Bell Palsy virus, I googled any information I can find online about it.
Like an impatient millennium, I needed to know how I can get well fast and completely. What are my chances for full recovery and how long it will take?
My Experience with Bell Palsy
I came to know about Bell Palsy 8 years ago when my mom caught the virus during a holiday in Java, Indonesia. The symptoms were almost stroke like. You will notice facial paralysis on one side of your face, this would include dropping of your eyelid, cheeks and mouth. You would have problems controlling your facial muscles and simple actions like opening your eyes or drinking will be a problem as the facial muscles is damaged by inflammation.
I was informed that before such these symptoms surface, one might experience intense headache at the back of your head and facial discomfort – sort of like a numbing sensation.
The factual and comprehensive details can be found at the following website:
To treat Bell Palsy, doctors normally prescribed vitamin B-12 and other B complex. The common medication prescribed would be Corticosteroids. What I was told by my neurologist was that treatment needed to be administered within the first 36 hours.
MY TREATMENT PLAN FOR BELL PALSY
Step 1: Get loads of vitamin B, especially B12 and consume it immediately! Get treatment started within the first instant or within 24 hours.
Step 2: Get an appointment with the neurologist to understand the level of seriousness and get your dose of medication. Ensure to administer of western medical within 36 hours of getting the Bell Palsy virus.
Step 3: Concurrently seek Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment. This should be done within the first 24-36 hours. Go for acupuncture, for me, it is a MUST to revive the damaged nerve on top of western medication. While I understand western medication can treat the swelling of the nerves, acupuncture would be the crucial treatment to ensure complete recovery.
Step 4: Include massage and place a warm towel to the affected area 2-3 times a day
Step 5: Eye ball exercise, 20 clockwise and 20 anti-clockwise directions. I had to do eye ball rotation exercises to strengthen back the affected muscle area.
Step 6: Most important, LOTS OF REST and healthy food. And NO STRESS!!!
Note: Suggested Vitamins to consume include Vitman B1, B6, B9 and most importantly B12. I was told by both the neurologist and the Chinese physician that treatment within the 72 golden hour is crucial to fast recovery. Beyond that, your chances of full recovery will be slimmer.
I was very lucky that the Hospital I seek treatment at provided a whole range of services (Raffles Hopsital) and it was a one stop shop for me. I have to admit that I paid premium prices at this privately run hospital.
I developed Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) after being medicated for Bell Palsy. With the additional complication, it can be frustrating to find doctors and coordinate treatment. Fortunately, it was a breeze for me as all services are under one room.
There was much synergy and the western doctors were also very encouraging on referring me to a TCM physician.
I was lucky that they referred me to the physician that specialist with healing stroke patients. The FireNeedle Acupuncture method used around my eye was effective. While Central Serous Retinopathy took about 3-4 months to fully recover, the acupuncture helped the improved the nerve around my eye in less than a month. I saw the TCM physician twice a week for almost a month before I could feel the pain from the heat of the needle. The gradual return of the feeling around my eye tells me much about the condition of my damaged nerves. Mostly importantly, I took almost a month off work to rest and chill out, not wanting to think or worried about work.
Stress affects your immunity and thus enable virus to attack you body. Thus it is important not to overwork (which was what happened to me) and have sufficient rest to recover. It’s a fight for both the mind and body. Positivity and rest is the first step to recovery.
Excuse me for my long absence and my apologies for those following me. It has been an eventful 2016 for me. Lots had happened, with some incidents leaving permanent damage physically and some emotionally. I managed to pull through 2016 with GOD’s saving grace, the love of my husband, sons and support of family members. I was provided a chance to rethink my priorities, and questioned myself on what is important to me.
I can’t feel my face!
It started in the morning during late May 2016. I went in to work feeling unwell. Within 5 minutes after I stepped into the office, my right eye was dropping to a close and I can’t control my eyelid to open it up. My right cheek started to feel strange too, there seems to be a numbing sensation that was enough to set me panicking.
The immediate thought I had was “Am I going to suffer a stroke?”
I left work without any hesitation and admitted myself into A&E. I was kept in the observation ward and was treated as a priority case. For the next 4 hours the doctor run loads of blood test, went for an X-ray and MRI to rule out stroked. Fortunately, and probably unfortunately, they detected a virus infection from my blood test results that explained the symptoms. They confirmed it was Bell Palsy.
“What is Bell’s palsy?
Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face. Damage to the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face causes that side of your face to droop . The nerve damage may also affect your sense of taste and how you make tears and saliva. This condition comes on suddenly, often overnight, and usually gets better on its own within a few weeks.
Bell’s palsy is not the result of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). While stroke and TIA can cause facial paralysis, there is no link between Bell’s palsy and either of these conditions. But sudden weakness that occurs on one side of your face should be checked by a doctor right away to rule out these more serious causes.”
It definitely was a great sign of relief for me. I was familiar with Bell Palsy as my mom had this condition 7 years back. I knew what needed to be done to get myself treated. The race is against time
Things never go the way you plan.
Things went on fine for a couple of days after treatment. Then I started having problem with my vision. My right vision started to blur and I could hardly see at night. I was referred to an eye specialist immediately by my neurologist. Test results showed that there is a water growth in the middle of my eye that causing the obstruction of my vision, they termed it Central serous retinopathy (CSR). Apparently, I do not take well to steroid and it was the side effect the medication to cure Bell Palsy.
A photographic scan below illustrate how the water can impact my visual and the gradual move of the water downwards. The cross section photos showed the gap caused by the water affecting my vision. The gap finally closed up after 3 months and we ruled out the need for laser surgery to rid the water.
L & L – Love and Lessons
The journey to recovery from Bell Palsy was both weary in body and spirit for me. What I have learnt from this experience was that ultimately, it was family that cared and worried about you the most. My oldest rascal was extremely concerned when he saw my face paralysis. He asked me almost every day when I will get better. He was also unusually quiet when he went about his daily activities. He hushed his younger brother a lot, telling him that mommy needs to rest when he gets too playful. I was very touched by his actions and more so when he told me quietly one day, “Mommy, I pray everyday to GOD for your eyes to recover 100%”.
This sentence alone has provided me the strength and will to get well. I am grateful that my family will always be there for me. My aged Dad that was helping me to care for my boys so that I can get sufficient rest. I am grateful that Jesus is always watching over me. The combination of both prayers and family love is good enough medication as any doctor’s prescription.
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
I came back from work one evening and found the boys all dressed up as superheroes.
It just dawns on me that the boys are growing up so quickly and they are in the phase of role-playing their favorite superheroes.
Although I could not figure out who they are trying to mimic with the costume, I was extremely impressed with how creative they can get with the items they found around the house to put their act together.
Equally proud of their work, they strike up a pose and I was in time to take the perfect picture.
Kids are Creative
My Dad who was supervising them that evening mentioned that my older son Ethan had helped dress up his younger brother.
He came back from school with his art project, a decorated trash bag for a cape with cut out face mask and decided Elijah has to have a costume too to make a team. He managed to dig out a party mask he gotten from a birthday party and used a peg to hold Elijah’s blanket together as a cape. Very ingenious.
As for the poses, I have no idea where they learnt from. It does bring the seriousness and authority of a superhero.
Trying the save the world for the next hour do tired out the young super heroes. And I must say superheroes need a break too, along with sidekick “Teddy”.
This was really lovely team work and sibling bonding. Many years down the road, they will reminisce about these photos and laugh about it.
Superhero Play and Child Development
As a busy working mum with limited time to play with them, I do appreciate my boys using their own imagination and creativity to have fun role-playing. This is the precious age where they can let their imagination run wild and make up stories and situation. This is the type of childhood, I would like for them to remember and room to let them explore.
“There are many benefits to the whole child during superhero play. Children develop physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally during this type of play. It can include R&T [rough and tumble] play, and usually involves significant chasing as well. Also, superhero play often involves much negotiation between children.”
Pei-San Brown, one of the founders of the Children’s Institute for Learning and Development (CHILD)Source: Early Childhood news
One thing I am glad is that they have chosen superheroes as role models instead of villains. That will be of great concern to me.
“ROLE PLAY IS A GREAT TOOL FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT”
Mask and Capes
For samples template of face mask and capes which your kids would like, you can find them at this particular link on Hubpages.
sibling rivalry[noun]: competition between siblings especially for the attention, affection, and approval of their parents.
I did not give much thought when the boys started to fight over little things like wanting to hold only my right hand. Shoving each other over sitting on my right. Wanting to be the first to be bath and dressed by me. I was so overwhelmed handling their fights that it did not dawn on me that the sibling’s rivalry has begun.
Being a modern working mom, I constantly reminded myself to devote whatever precious time I have to the both of them. Fair and firm in answering their demands right down to the choice of gifts purchased. Apparently, this was not sufficient.
Things started to get competitive when they demanded the “ME” time.
Ethan: “You have to love ME more than Elijah!”.
Elijah:”You don’t love ME. I want you to sleep beside ME”
After a few days of unreasonable demand, I learned.
When the competition starts again (usually around bedtime), I went “Ethan! who do you love more? Dad or Me? Same? NO! I want you to love ME more!” That stops all demands and brought a smile to Ethan’s face. He finally got the message.
And to Elijah, I repeated his exact words lying beside him, “You don’t love me, you didn’t hug me!” Hearing the same tone and accusation from me, he went “Ya! I love you and gave me a big hug” No further accusation from him after 3 rounds of mimicking him.
Being inexperience, I sorted out their daily fights base on instinct and whatever creative ideas I can think of.
Fight 1: Since Ethan is left handed and Elijah is right, I had them gave me the other hand to hold on to. They were comfortable with this arrangement as their dominant hand were free and they do not feel constraint in any way. One fight down.
Fight 2: As for bath fights? I had them both in the bath at the same time and suggested that they soap each other and have bubbles fun. It turns out to be more fun this way and actually cultivate responsibility and bonding between brothers.
Fight 3: Fighting over who gets to consume their vitamin first, I prepared a choice of two – cod liver oil and immunped – and had them take turns being first to consume one of the two vitamins. Thus, they are both first. Not the most ideal solution but the boys seems to buy the reasoning. Teaching them to look at things from a different perceptive.
notes for parents: Ethan’s immune system has always been weaker than the average kids and his Pediatrician has recommended ‘immunped‘ on top of the traditional ‘Scotts Cod Liver Oil’ to help with the cold he is always catching. For him, it works wonders.
I came across a post by, ‘it’s always Autumn‘on Pinterest and used her free templates of felt monsters. Wah-la!!! Success! Not only was it easy to use, the option to mix and match is endless. I was not confident of my crafting skills and decided to try out one as a sample when I was found out by Ethan. He wanted spiky hair monster with only a button for the eye and the combination was absolutely adorable. Elijah was immediately fascinated by it and wanted it for himself when he saw the finished product. At 4 years old, he did not understand that his felt monster was work-in-progress. All he felt was being forgotten by mommy “How about me? Why I don’t have one?“ The sadness he expressed tugged at my heartstrings and I had to repeatedly assure him that I am working on it.
It did not register initially and he was all up in arms snatching his brother’s felt monster “It’s MINE!!!”and Ethan would respond in the same manner. I had to convince Ethan to lend it to Elijah for a moment to cool him down before reasoning with him. Fortunately, for me Ethan was cooperative.
Once Elijah had calmed down, I showed him the variety of felt monster patterns and allowed him to choose the one he likes. He was delighted and made the decision on the colour of the felt to the buttons for the eyes. He also asked for ‘sharp teeth’ and a heart for his monster. All ended well and each has their own personal monster to play with.
I thus realised that to follow your mother instinct and use of creative play are of great help. At tense moments, it brings smiles and laughter when at a deadlock in an argument you are having with the kids. Many times, it also helped them realise how unreasonable they have been when you mimic them. It saves a lot of energy trying to explain or even the urge to disciple them.
Every day is never dull living up to the challenging Ethan and Elijah throw at me.
I have been contemplating about writing and felt inspired when I saw my friend’s blog. As a working mother of two active and mischief boys, I made sure that I find time to plan my boys’ birthday party, which is also the biggest event in our household every year. This helps when their birthdays are just two days apart and do they have common friends at pre-school.
As the boys get older, they started to form their own opinion on matters and this goes without saying on the theme of the party. Having gone through two fun theme parties with their event planner mommy, they began to develop certain expectation. It made me want to share my thoughts on motherhood. There goes……….establish certain expectation. Ethan, who was turning 6 and Elijah 3, has different ideas. Each insisted on their own likes, “Big Hero 6” for Ethan and “Cars” for Elijah which escalated to shouting matches. Not a good start, fortunately, mommy have some tricks up her sleeves.
Instead of insisting on my way (which was very tempting), I thought that this was a good opportunity for them to pick up some negotiating skills.
“The results of teaching children to negotiate conflict can be profound. Children begin to learn that others have needs and wants, which are important. They also learn to identify their own needs in situations, how to be assertive and respectful, and to communicate effectively. As well, when negotiating conflict respectfully, children learn to cope with uncomfortable situations in a direct and open manner, where appropriate boundaries can be set, and everyone’s needs are considered. ” ~ Maximize Your Talent
I made the message very clear to the boys that they have to decision and agree on one common theme else there will be no party. Each tried to muscle into having their own way for a start and progress to throwing suggestions to entice each other when they did not make any headway. It was fun to hear their conversation and how they point out to each other how attractive their choice was. I did give a little push and suggested the latest craze “Starwars” and they both immediately jumped into it.
Planning the Party
Now that the theme has been decided, the boys were thrilled to work with me on the cake design and food they wanted to have. They also insisted on engaging a magician for entertainment. Right down to their attire, they got it figured on what they would be wearing, types of decor and colours for the balloons. Daddy was equally happy with their choice of theme and contributed to the party ware. Finally, a chance for his inner child to enjoy the occasion.
Working on the party
More times than ever as parents, we want the party to be perfect and tend to forget what the real joy is. The wake-up call came to me when we were putting the goodie bags together. I stepped away for a moment to come back and found that Ethan had paste dthe Starwars printout lopsided onto the goodie bag. I reprimanded him for his lack of patience to wait for me to guide him. He was very upset and reminded me firmly “But Mommy, it is my birthday and why can’t I do it the way I want to?” For a moment, I was dumbfounded and realised my folly.
As adults, we are too focus on the end results and many times missed out on what matter most. Ethan taught me on that day what matter most was his feelings and the moments we shared preparing for the party. I was able to see his joy being involved in the preparation work. His excitement in contributing to the little details like tying the ribbons onto the bag and ensuring all bags are packed for his friends. Begin younger doesn’t make Elijah think otherwise. While his motor skills are not as refined as Ethan, he was proud to be part of it in some way. He made the effort to line up the bottled water in order with his name and his bother’s on display.
“ENJOY THE MOMENT AND NOT JUST FOCUS ON THE END GOAL.”