Friday, June 21, 2013

Our Picture Perfect (Not) Moments :)

When you have small children, please keep in mind, NOTHING IS SIMPLE and your best friend is to always PREPARE..PREPARE..PREPARE especially when you're planning for a family photo shoot

This is my second experience doing a  family photo shoot. The first was 3 years ago, when Ryan was around 5 months. We did all the necessary preparations and this is how I prepared for my family photo shoot with my children:
1. Choose a theme colour (coming up with outfits that matches, but not too matchy-matchy is not an easy task)
2. Select the best time (morning, after feed, but not during nap time and too late in the afternoon)
3. Bring "distractors" -i.e. a favourite toy/props to coaxed his attention
4. Check out the location beforehand and tentatively think of some "pose plans" -i.e. how, where, outfit changes etc
5. Hope and pray for the best......

The only problem with the first shoot was because Ryan was so tiny, we only managed to get very minimal poses from him. (Duh!! What was I expecting from a 5 months old who was barely crawling at the time, huh??) So this time around I waited for the twins to be a bit older instead.

Verdict : I got the "action" that I wanted alright. The twins was running, twirling, going from one end to another and getting a nice shot from them was almost impossible. I think we took a gabijillion photos from the shoot, but the only workable ones that I got to choose for editing was around 45. Thank god I can find 10 pretty pics from the lot. I'm a bit sad though that the photographer did not manage to capture a nice pic of the siblings together.

Ryan was the "poser champ" he was posing like nobody business (inherited trait from the mother :p and since he is older and he understood the whole concept of a photoshoot), Ranya is "learning", she showed some interest in posing and was very cooperative when we tried to dress her up in different props and costume. Iman... was seriously testing MY iman on that day (pun intended) I tell you, this little girl put up her "bored-est" face, if there is such word and refused to be posed (inherited trait from the dad haha). You put her in a pose, and 3 seconds later she's running to another direction and of course her twin will follow *sigh* I look forward to taking photos with them during raya *NOT!!!* 

Anyway, I don't think I'll be planning for another photo shoot in the near future or I will at least wait until the girls can understand my directions and can react well to threats (hahaha). Enjoy some of the pics and have a good weekend everyone.

Look at Iman's face thinking of her exit strategy :p
Mummy and daughters
My fave pic of my boys.. too cute..
My lil fairy and my mini bookworm
He told the "uncle" he wanted to pose like this :p

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Clone City....

The twins had their 1 1/2 year medical check up with our favorite pediatrician last week. He was asking a series of questions about the twins developments and milestones. I know the drill very well since I've done all this with Ryan but the challenge is now to remember details for TWO babies instead of one. I'm kinda ashamed to admit that though I know roughly when who said and did what, I didn't really keep a close track of the twins milestone as I did with Ryan :p

I think most parents who had more than one child have been through this. First child developments would usually be recorded and memorized to a T. You'll get overly excited over practically everything they do/say: first words, first food, first smile blah blah blah.... I even have a binder full of gorgeously decorated scrapbook of Ryan's pictures lying somewhere in my living room. My plans for the twins scrapbook didn't go pass the second page (at least for the moment) and I do feel bad for them. Oh well at least I have IG to document their "childhood journey". 

I can envisioned sometime in the future where the girls would be pulling out photo albums filled with abang pictures and a smaller collection of albums for them (the same happened to me when I was 10 and made a comparison between the 15 pictures albums of my sister and a meager 3 under my name. I was convinced my parents didn't love me as much then.. but I know better now, the love me more... hahaha)

Speaking of milestones, people are usually suprised to find out that my girls who may look identical does not share the same traits and temperaments. To tell you the truth I don't really understand why. I mean yes they were conceived around the same time and share the same womb but technically they're still two different individuals. It is a bit unrealistic to expect that just because Iman likes salmon, Ranya would love them too, right? 

The one thing that bugs me though is the comparing, the whole "kenapa adik can do this" "why kakak is a faster runner" etc. Why must compare ahh? I don't even compare the twins development with Ryan. As long as everything is normal and on track, everyone can do what they want :p It would be really nice is everyone is allowed to thrive  and grow as individuals rather than having to adhere to the whole 'herd mentality. One more thing just because Iman is 2 minutes older, please don't expect her to be better behave and "know better". 

The next time someone ask me this question, I would just provide my answer in the sweetest manner but ladle with sarcasm "they're twins not clones" (my 15 year old self, would have added the "duh" at the end of the sentence but my 30 year old self would "try" to smile)

Anyway let me share with you a funny conversation I had with Ryan who is 42 months young today :)
Ryan was insisting on something so I told him "Ryan sabar boleh.. sabar tu separuh dari Iman tau"
Ryan's answer? "mummy ni Ryan laaa bukan Iman" 
Hahaha  *speechless*

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Help Needed!!! (Updated)

Salam and good day...

As we all know Ramadhan is fast approaching and what better way to prepare for the holy month than to sponsor other families in need? Maybe instead of buying 10 bottles of kuih and 5 pasang of baju kurung for ourself, we can set aside one portion to help a fellow muslim (or for non-muslim: a fellow human being) Good deeds will come back to you in sha Allah :)

The Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.” [At-Tirmidhi, authenticated by Al-Albani.]

Feed a Family Campaign by CAREFUGEES

Feed a Family : Viva Palestina

Donate cooking oil (in 2kg containers) to the above address.
So let's do whatever we can to help. Even if you don't have the financial means, help spread the cause to your family and friends :) Sharing is caring people *peace yo*

Monday, June 10, 2013

The one on intelligibility and intelligence...

Ryan is pelat….

At 3.5 years old the so called problem is still considered “cute” and I know kids love to babble incoherent words and at this age one should not expect 100% intelligibility but I can see several raised “red flags” in his speech patterns. When he pronounces several words, some consonants seems to be missing, i.e. instead of saying “elephant” he says “ephant” or “Ryan nak pergi toilet” would sound like “Ayen nak peyi toiyet” 

I struggle to find the source of the problem. He seems to be hearing just fine, he managed to take instruction both in English and Malay and he responds and reacts to our questions (albeit being incoherent sometimes) I monitored his speech patterns and we tried to help him in other ways too. We intensified play activities at home and minimize tv and his bottle usage. I started teaching him phonics and we did see several improvements within the 6 months since he started school.

What I did next was to discuss his progress with his teachers. His class teacher assured me that Ryan behaves well in school, interacts with his peers and managed to follow instruction while doing class activities. He seems to have friends (haha) and we even have little kids screaming his name in recognition when we go out to the mall or play gym wanting to play with him (an indication that he’s pleasant to be with I guess?) Despite his speech being a bit limited, he’s able to complete his school “Fun English at Home” activities by memorizing 5 new words weekly. What was even more interesting was that Ryan was one of the few who manages to recite each words from cover to cover successfully. 

But I still see red flags… I can’t decide whether I was being overly cautious or plain paranoid. Some family members and more “experienced parents” assured me it was normal and he will be over it before he starts school, quoting “si ABC” but since I’m related to ABC and having help tutor the said kid when I was younger I also know for a fact that he hated “reading subjects” and even cried when I tried to teach him simple things. I know the problem was due to the lack of understanding due to early communication issues. So how now brown cow, do I want to risk this on Ryan? 

I arranged for an appointment with a speech therapist at Baby & Be.yond Clinic, Bangsar for an evaluation. After the evaluation, the therapist confirmed my suspicion of Ryan having a phonological problem (the fancier words for pelat ;p) She proposed that Ryan attend weekly speech therapy to assist him deal with the problem. The difficulty with her proposition was that her clinics are only opened on Wednesdays and in Bangsar.I wanted to help my son badly but at that time the odds was against us and having to wait for several more months “hoping” for an opened slot on Saturdays is not really an option. 

I believe that when there is a will, Allah will help find you a way and upon further research I managed to find another speech center in Section 13, Shah Alam. Ryan had his second evaluation with the new doctor last Friday, he had to undergo both “speech evaluation test” and “occupational therapy assessment” which looks looks at Ryan’s physical, mental and psychological abilities. Alhamdullilah, he cleared his OT assessment with flying colors. 

Doctor did admit that Ryan is a bit of a curious case. He seems to have acquired all of his expected milestones but something is hindering his speech development. The doctor commanded us for seeking help at a very early stage and my answer to that was simple. “Being in denial won’t help Ryan”. I believe that Allah also made it all a bit easier for Lan and I when a slot for the heavily in demand Saturday classes cleared up because the kids parents is going to further his studies in Harvard :p

We attended his first class last Saturday, Ryan was receptive for the first 15 minutes and got overly excited and his attention waned after that. Doctor gave several instructions and exercise for us to repeat at home. Trust me having to tutor my 3 year old who admittedly has an attention span of a gnat severely tested my patience. Thank god Lan is very helpful and being the non-verbal parent (i.e not the family nag ;p ) Ryan is more receptive to him in several situations. We’re also scheduling for a hearing test to double check his hearing.We have also weaned Ryan of the bottle entirely to help his jaw reflex. Other than a few tantrums and him coaxing a new Hulk action figure from us, he has been bottle free for 3 days. See that is one silver lining.

Writing this down is not easy but I think people need to be more Phonological Aware, that is why I’m sharing. Nobody likes to admit that their child is not perfect and living with the feeling that you’re screwing up their life somehow. But I’m done thinking of what “others” might think and any thoughtless comments towards Ryan limitations are a reflection on them not our family. Ryan’s intelligibility is not a reflection of his intelligence. I believe that and it is up to me to help Ryan understand and hold his hands through the process. 

I believe that this is test from Allah because he knows our family can handle this minor obstacle. In sha Allah, if we managed to go through this successfully Ryan would be a “stronger  and even smarter boy” and our family we’ll be even happier than we are now. God works in the most mysterious way. You just have to believe :)

Have an awesome week ahead everyone…