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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dealing with my Daughter's Fine Motor Issues

My daughter was ...different. I don't know how else to put it but there was something different about her. I helped raise my sister from the time I was 16. I was pretty involved in the early lives of my 4 nephews. I am a psychologist. I know when something is different.

I have been very watchful since she was 1. She had obsessive tendencies, would sometimes not reply. Was always intently focused on most things and struggled with her fine motor skills. I was sure she had asperger's I talked to my husband and close relatives about it. We promised to keep on observing.

Truth be told. I was scared for a while. I didn't bring her to a developmental pediatrician right away because I wasn't ready for a possible diagnosis. When she turned 3, I realized it was time to have her checked. I realized that if something was off with her, it would be better if I knew right away so I can try to train her properly. I went from fear to acceptance. I told myself, who better to raise a child with asperger's than me? I studied for this, I'm trained for this.

All that hoopla was for nothing. She didn't have asperger's. What she does have is poor fine-motor skill which the OT attributed to weak muscles. This resulted in delay in writing, inability to color within the lines, delay in using spoon and fork on her own. Here's how we dealt with this issue:

1. I didn't tell my daughter. -- this is not an excuse for her not to do something. She is expected to do everything her classmates are expected to do even if it takes her longer. We did offer some support like pencil holders, and special scissors during the first few months.
2. Weekly OT therapy -- I was blessed to find an awesome therapist in Marikina who was amazing in dealing with Andrea and was very innovative in coming up with fun activities for her to do. She also came up with exercises for Andrea to do at home.
3. I talked to the teachers -- I told them this (verbatim) "Teacher, Andrea has some problems with her fine motor skills so we're working with an OT regarding this. But please, let her do everything her classmates are doing." What's the point of this? I want the teachers to understand that when Andrea's uninterested in an activity or is listless it doesn't mean she's means she's struggling and might need more motivation and support.
4. I called her Occupational Therapy sessions "Writing School" -- once again to remove any associations with her being not well enough to do something.
5. Introducing more avenues for her to practice her fine-motor skills like cooking, folding paper, using clothespins, finger painting, playing with clay, etc.
6. Daily writing exercise immediately after breakfast. - to be sure that she's not tired

These things together helped so much, Andrea is now able to do a lot more things than before. More than the things she is able to do, what I value more is her confidence in herself. She now believes and understands that she can do things on her own and she just needs to keep trying. Her confidence lessens her frustrations and makes her more interested to try new things.

We are still working on further strengthening her hands and arms but we are so excited by how much she has grown in the past 18 months!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hardware Change

My husband and I LOVE LOVE LOVE working outside the home. We sit in a coffee shop, a resto or anywhere else together for 3-5 hours and work. I admit, I do disturb him every once in a while but generally we just sit in silence and work.

The things is, my GIANT, Sony Vaio is crazy big, crazy heavy AND....its battery is dying. So I told Ruy that my target is to get myself a powerful netbook before the year ends. You see, I have to drag this huge Sony laptop all over school and add my giant textbooks to the mix and I'm left with sore arms and legs and with the way I need to have the laptop with me at various locations....a netbook is definitely the way to go.

Last Saturday, Ruy started asking me about the model I like...the color...where I got it....etc. And by the end of the day, I got this!

Looking forward to this baby's debut when Ruy and I get the chance to work outside our home again. Yiheee

Thursday, February 2, 2012

5 Words

My friend L posted this question yesterday "In 5 words, describe your husband".

It was such an interesting question and it was definitely not easy. How can you capture, the essence of one individual in just 5 words? How can I communicate who my husband is without stories, and details....just 5 words.

I eventually came up with these 5: Driven, Loved, Loving, Awesome, Committed

  1. Driven for me pertains to how he keeps trying to do better, to be better. It's not about being better than others, it's about being the best him. 
  2. Loved cause, he's adored by so many. Me and Andrea included. I think being loved talks about his character as much as the other words do.
  3. Loving pertains to how dedicated he is to me, to my daughter, to his family.
  4. Awesome....well that's self-explanatory isn't it? ;p
  5. Committed is for his faithfulness and loyalty. 

This was such an interesting exercise that I decided to ask my husband how he would like to be described. His list only had one thin in common with mine as he said he wants to be called: "Nice, Good, God-fearing, Loving...." and I forgot the last one. Yaiks.

10 Simple Things

If I had a hundred every time I hear a guy complain about how hard it is to please a woman....I would probably have enough money buy myself an Hermes. No joke.

I would always tell my's hard to please an UNHAPPY woman, if your woman is happy pleasing her would be simple. 

I would say, that I'm a pretty happy person....which is why it takes very little for Ruy to give me pleasure (not that kind you dirty minded Gorgeous Moms...oh yeah, you know who you are). I think, Ruy doesn't realize how happy the small things he does make me. Here are the things which I particularly like:

  1. When he invites me to join him as we work together somewhere....(this is what happens when workaholics get married) 
  2. Talking
  3. When he plays with Andrea
  4. Talking
  5. When he puts his hand on my back
  6. Talking
  7. When he shuts the computer and puts the iPhone down for us to talk.
  8. Talking
  9. When he invites me to go somewhere (even if it's in Mc. Do) just to hang-out
  10. Talking 
Fine, I cheated, those aren't really 10 things....but talking is SO important to me that it basically trumps every other thing on the list. What about you? What simple thing does your partner do to make you happy?

Tea-d Off

I am obsessed with tea at this moment. This started when a friend gifted us with the yummiest organic tea. I decided I wanted to learn how to brew tea properly. A few tries and I had the perfect tea concoction (which much to the chagrin of everyone, I refuse to share with anyone, not even with Ruy). My brewed tea is restaurant quality....I kid you not. My husband can drink obscene amounts of my concoction.

I love re-inventing my concoctions, I now have 5 varieties of my brewed tea and I am looking for more ways to re-invent them. I often find my inspiration from the newly sprouting Tea Houses in and around the metro.

I found my inspiration today in Starbucks. I decided to try something different by ordering my Basic Black Tea with a shot of Almond Syrup.  It resulted in a tea which seemed richer and more decadent but nowhere near as fattening as your normal latte.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Letting My Hair Down

I have been out of the rat race corporate world for almost 3 years and so having to spend 16 hours in corporate attire, complete with severely pulled back hair, held together with bobby pins and a fully made-up face was as close to torture as I've gotten lately. I love training and I love the fact that I get to earn doing something I love without having to spend 12 hours in the office like I used to...but the outfit, of dear God the outfit.

In order to celebrate my freedom from the balls and chains of corporate aesthetics I decided to let my hair down today....literally and figuratively.

Pardon the severely dazed look. Having an hour of sleep can do that to you. Why did I have only an hour of sleep?

Freelance training + MA Studies (I had a report) + Volunteer Work

+ Motherhood + Facebook Addiction = No Sleep

That's my formula for not getting any sleep. How do I counter this? I put on a tank top, my comfiest cardi, my softest jeans and comfy flats.  Rub off any trace of make-up on my face, put my hair down and cuddle with my baby.

There are times when I miss the fast-paced life of being a corporate hotshot but nothing and I mean NOTHING, beats the unlimited access to cuddles being a SAHM has.