Friday, September 30, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections of 2010

I got a reminder to reflect upon what I've learned in 2010... Good thing because I've got only 45 minutes left before it's 2011!

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What to start?  It's been a crazy eventful year to say the least.  I started off the year trying to run a new business... leading to switching places with DH (him staying at home, and me going to "work" for a month).  That didn't work out (but I learned a lot, which have led me to other great and wonderful things) so I went searching to work for someone else.  I got told by a recruitment firm/ temporary job agency that my competition would always win for any work because I hadn't been making money for over 4 years (wow! that's long, but seriously this is the most rigorous and challenging unpaid job that's helped me grow).  I got incredibly ill with some kind of lung infection for over a month or so... even took really expensive and horrible tasting antibiotics that didn't even help me... somehow ended up being a full time mother again :)

In the course of the year, I got to read some very interesting and valuable books on beliefs, the mind, spirituality, the brain, diet and nutrition, NLP (neurolinguistic programming) and other personal development topics.  How blessed am I!  I count and reflect on the things I'm grateful for every day.  It's a practice that I started when I was very young and just continued.  It wasn't until this year how important and life-saving this practice is.  An example would be from the movie The Secret.  DH and I watched this together and thorough knew that we had attracted it into our lives.  If you haven't seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

We discontinued ABA therapy with Little R, which lifted so many mental aches and financial burden.  We decided to move to Ottawa.  DH suffered over a month with also some sort of lung infection that significantly inhibited his breathing.  Yet he managed to repaint the whole house among other heavy "touch-ups" in order to sell the house.  We were going to move to Ottawa because we believed that there would be better services and opportunities for Little R.  During the course of trying to acquaint ourselves with services for autism, DH hooked up with a parent support group in Ottawa on the Internet.  It was through one parent on this group that DH because interested in the Son-Rise Program (a program that I had previously been introduced to, and was very keen on trying - but we hadn't abandoned the ABA at the time).  Small steps led to a higher altitude.

The house didn't end up selling because of an issue in the roof insulation.  It was a huge disappointment, but now as we have even higher altitude, we understand what a blessing it was.  We've since learned to really appreciate the area in which we live.  We've altered the rooms in our house so many times that my friends swear that something is always different! 

As for the kids, they practically got to go to Toronto to visit Withrow Park (and Mommy got to eat excellent raw food from Good Food Conspiracy) and their grandparents every weekend.  We got to play in the leaves during the Fall.  Life has been really good!  Why?  Because we see it as so. 

Little S and Little R have grown a lot physically and have gained many self-help skills.  Recently in the last week, Little R has taken on the role of a typical big brother and has started using wrestling moves on his little sister.  Little S is not frightened, however.  She still bosses him around telling him to "back up", "get down", "come here", "eat this", "shhh - quiet!" and the list goes on.  She's even started calling him by name in the last week, and now she won't even refer to him as "GaoGao" nor to herself as "MoiMoi" - she's learned that English speakers refer to each other by first names not titles.

Little S loves birthdays!  So this is one thing DH and I have taken on as a mission for 2011:  be more festive and celebrate more.  Yay!  This will also aid us in helping Little R with is Son-Rise Program (SRP). 

Little R loves licking the freezer and refrigerator, eat apples until they're half eaten, riding on this sister's tricycle (which, by the way, Little S just started doing yesterday!), banging doors - it's will be great when I can provide him with a safe "Yes" room, so that I can also keep the rest of my house safe and unbroken and perhaps even unlicked.

What is the most important thing I've learned this year that will impact my thoughts in 2011?  That my beliefs determine how I behave.  Knowing this, I enter 2011 with thoughts of hope, love, happiness and health.  I believe that 2011 will be a year of incredible growth.  Every day I wake up happy because I am grateful for the air that I can breathe, the strength that enables me to move my body to enjoy the innocent and cheerful vibrations of my children.  If you count all the things you're grateful for, you'll find more and more goodness in your life.

May you all be happy and healthy - "Live long and prosper." (Spock)


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Back from Option Institute

Hi, Everyone!

I'm back safe and sound from my wonderful trip of 5 days to Sheffield Massachusetts.  I spent 5 days with no cooking, no washing up of pee or poo, no dishes and no computer/Internet.  It was an awesome experience to meet so many parents, siblings and grandparents of children with autism/special needs.  There was such a unison of understanding and support.  I wish to return there again as well as have DH go to experience the magic.

Here's a 10  minute video I made to give you my overall impressions.  If you have questions, please do add them to the comment box or email me, and I'll try to answer them either in a new video or reply in text. 

Here's a few photos for your enjoyment:

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. 
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Going to see Son-Rise

Hi, Everyone

Long time no post about what's going on here... ah, life has a way of living on you. Hehehe. I love my life! It's been great in the last few months, and I can only hope and expect that it will get better.

I'm going away in a few days to the Option Institute ( for the Start-Up program. Can I tell you how excited I am about this? I haven't travelled in SO long, that so many things have changed... can I bring my stainless water bottle on the flight? What is this e-ticket? 24 hour check-in on the Internet? I'm really looking forward to this adventure.

I've met up with another mom participant of this program, and we're going to meet in person on Sunday. She's as excited as I am. We'll have lots to talk about on the drive to the Institute. We're very hopefully that what we'll learn will greatly affect how we're helping our children (her with her Little L and me with my Little R). I also think that it will just encourage me to be a more optimal parent. I'm sure that I'll be able to apply the same knowledge to Little S.

Speaking of Little S, here's what she's been up to:
-going to school and LOVING it Monday to Friday
-telling her brother off (he has learn to cover his ears and to close the door on her)
-drawing/writing with clear focus (she's learning cursive writing at school)
-no longer saying "moke" for milk, but actually saying "mailk"
-loves choosing her own clothes in the morning (rather, forcefully denying other clothes she does not want to wear)
-still cries a lot, but I'm teaching her ways of asking for things such as this evening she said forcefully "give me the apple sauce!" I told her, "this is how we ask for more: 'may I have some more applesauce, please?'" With that, she toned down and repeated my phrase and nodded. We do this in other languages too, and it's very interesting to hear the tone become gentle.
-sings a lot in Mandarin, French and English
-seems to have a leadership demeanor (she told an older girl at school to go back into the classroom)
-loves reading books, and if it's not in the language she's expecting she angrily waves her hand in a "stop" gesture
-has an amazingly focused memory (if she tells you she wants something, you could distract her all you want, she'll come back to it)

Little R:
-saying fewer words than 6 months ago, but seems to be improving with his receptive language skills in both English and my language (now, I focus more on speaking to him in English in the playroom)
-looks at me with meaning (for example, he wants something, or he's sharing that something is funny)
-can put on his rain boots without any help
-opens the car door and sits in his booster seat all by himself
-likes going into the driver's seat and "driving" - avoids me by going between his seat and the driver's seat
-likes kicking off his footwear to stand on our front of the house support beams
-will close the door behind him when he needs to have a bowel movement
-squeezes out toothpaste, pumps too much soap, eats hand lotion... etc.
-climbs up on a chair that he pushes to the stove area to cook, find food, and eat/lick the freezer and refrigerator
-climbs on furniture
-screeches and screams in public (freaks some people out) sometimes, also runs off and tries to climb the portable stairs
-learning how to use scissors with help from an adult

I feel that we're connecting, and that he trusts me more and more every day. He's comfortable with me. Now, I need to take it to the next level: how do I use his motivation to help him learn? I'll have lots more to tell once I come back from my 5 day training course in Sheffield Massachusetts. It will be part school and part retreat for me, a place to calm my mind, spirit and body.

Little R and Little S wish lists

Happy Holiday Greetings, dear family and dear friends!

It's again that time of year when you see Christmas trees, reindeer (I saw a car dressed up as a reindeer already) and shoppers every where. In the midst of all this joyous chaos, remember to take the time to relax and be with yourself!

Many of you have asked what our little elves (Little S and Little R) would like for Christmas this year. Again with every year, we hope for wholesome health and happiness. We also wish this for all of you.

As for material gifts, they are not necessary, but we appreciate your thoughtfulness. So, here is a list that I've compiled for this year:

Little S:
  1. Dr. Seuss books ( you could ask me to email you a list of books she already has)
  2. Chinese, French and Spanish books
  3. Chinese abacus or Japanese Soroban
  4. musical instruments (already has small xylophone, maracas, sticks (ridged and straight), triangle, tambourine, recorder, harmonica, bells, and train whistle.
  5. Chinese, French and Spanish DVDs/music CDs.
  6. Signing Time videos Series TWO, vol. 9-13

Little R:

  1. Books with human photographs or drawn. Also photo books of animals, houses, insects, buildings, vehicles, food, etc. No books with batteries, please.
  2. Socks (currently size 1 boys/child shoes) and underwear (currently wears Joe Fresh size 8 - but he's growing fast!)
  3. Contribution toward his Son-rise fund ( or
  4. Therapy putty (or silly putty)
  5. Wide slippers (currently wears size 1 boys/kids shoes)
  6. Cars (Disney movie) lunch bag
  7. Cars (Disney movie) Thermos food jar
Thank you so much for kind and generous gifts from the heart. We wish you all a very warm and cheerful holiday season!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The seasons are changing...

The seasons are changing on the Island of Chez Shaker Family. Little R is no longer receiving ABA - so now, we are blessed to have his cheerful happy laughter chasing us for biting his belly! :) We've also taken him out of after school care. I've enjoyed every moment of the time with him and Little S - I've also endured the aches and pains of them jumping on and away from me.

Little S speaks a LOT now. She can add the word "too" after a sentence. She uses "please" and "thank you" as well as "no thank you!" frequently. She has a very strong will. For some reason, she puts up the feistiest cries and elongations of the body (you know what I mean when you try to pick up a toddler and the toddler stretches to make carrying a most difficult task).

I think Little S has actually been the BEST "therapy" for Little R. They love each other. Little S would boss him around saying "No, Goagoa, no!" or "Goagoa, hol-d my hand, Goagoa." It's really quite funny how she makes "hold" into a two syllable word. Of course when Little R gets too much of her, watch that swipe! He's a really strong little guy. We teach him to be gentle, and he's learning.

Many changes in place. The house must be kept tidy and clean at all times - Mommy - that's me - hardly has time for herself and the computer to do any "work". But keeping my family well fed, dressed, cleaned and sheltered is top priority.

DH and I have started working with Little R. I really love the basis of our program based on the Son-Rise Program.

Alas, must go to bed now. Sweet slumber, here I come.