Sunday, February 27, 2011

After 6 days of fever and we are off to HK!

YES! Reese is clear of fever and diarrhea (antibiotics). This morning he woke up fresh (still a little weak) and asked, "Can we go to Hong Kong today?"

The past 6 days were really tiring, filled with uncertainty and drama. On Monday late afternoon, he had a slight temperature and we thought ok... it's only Monday, slight fever and should recover in a few days. After all, we will only travel on Sunday.

Tuesday first thing in the morning took him to pediatrician and got fever medicine and antibiotic (traveling else will wait after 3 days then only prescribe). So for 3 days fever came and went and on the third day (Thursday).... it got worse. Went to pediatrician again and got a second antibiotic together with a reference letter in case there is a need to go for blood test. Gosh, we were racing against time to get him well before the trip!

Friday came and fever went out of control! Was at it's peak 40.2 degrees. SMS pediatrician and was told to go ER and get the fever down and do a blood test. Then the drama at ER. We were quite sure that the trip was going to be canceled.

Saturday came and it was quite good, fever was gone but Reese started to have loose stool and then diarrhea. So we went to the pediatrician again to get some medication for that and also probiotics.

Ah! Maybe we can go after all and packed our bags and told ourselves that if this morning he is fine then we will go. We hate to disappoint him as this trip was planned especially for him and he was really looking forward to it! Family and friends have been praying hard. God is good! Amen!

So fever for six days and it cost us Rm600+ in medical fees!

Friday, February 25, 2011

First ER Experience

This morning, Reese's fever shoot up to 39.8 degrees and upon consultation with his pediatrician, we were asked to go to the ER and get a blood test as well. So we went to Pantai Hospital, Bangsar.

Reese was definitely not feeling too well, and the moment he saw me turning into the hospital, he started to whine and asked to go home. He didn't want to go to the hospital. I was alone with him and felt a little worried whether I can handle him, nonetheless I went ahead and took him to the ER together with a reference letter from our pediatrician. After 5 to 10 minutes, we went in and was told that they are going to bring the fever down first because it was 40.2 degrees. So the nurse inserted a suppository and didn't do a good job because my boy shouted "It's painful!".

Next, blood test. Not a good thing. Didn't know exactly what to expect but knew it was going to be ugly. First, they put a blanket and got my boy to lie down (kinda force). At this moment, my boy is already crying, scared and confused. Then immediately they wrapped him up only exposing the hand that they were going to insert an IV needle. Everything happened very quickly. Hardly anytime for my son to fight back. Once he was wrapped, immediately 1 nurse pin herself on Reese's body, one went for his exposed arm and I was left to handle his legs. The medical officer immediately went to work on the IV needle and getting blood samples. 2 little tubes in total. My boy was screaming and shouting and struggling to get free. The whole ER room was about to be brought down by Reese's voice... I was fighting back tears. It was tough. Everything was done in less than 15 minutes I think.

Then it was the waiting time. Took him for an ice-cream treat and my aunt came to check on him. After almost 2 hours, we were called into the ER room and met the medical officer. Reese was cleared. He has viral fever. Some strong virus infection. Just need to let it run it's course. Nothing can be done but to control his fever. Got the green light to go home but if by tomorrow fever still high and not controllable, he will have to be admitted. My parents came to visit him at the hospital too... :)

We are still hoping for a small miracle that he will be completely recovered by tomorrow night so that we can still go to Hong Kong on Sunday afternoon.

At the ER Room:

Enjoying his lollipop before the blood test

After the blood test and was smiling because he got to eat BR chocolate ice-cream. Here posing with his grandaunt who came to be with us for a while.

Waiting for the blood test result and telling/showing his ipod to a nurse about HK Disneyland, what kind of parade they have and bla..bla..bla...

Yippie! He can go home... taking the IV needle out

Totally exhausted while traveling home

High Fever and Traveling Sunday!

Reese is down with high fever since Monday evening. Temperature was between 38 - 39.8 degrees. Took him to the Pediatrician on Tuesday morning and he was prescribe with 1 antibiotic, yesterday fever was constantly high and went to the pediatrician again in the evening. He was prescribe another antibiotic and was given a Voren suppository. This is the first time he was given that and the doctor put quite a bit of KY jelly on the pill and up it went into his butt. Reese whine a few second and he was ok.... hehehe... when he tried to walk... he walked in a funny way... hahaha...

His fever was gone by 9.30pm and he was sweating profusely. Had to monitor him throughout the night. This morning around 5am the fever came back and immediately I gave him fever medication. He is ok now, we pray that the fever will not come back. As a precaution, doctor wants us to take him for a swap for H1N1 this afternoon if the fever still persist... gosh...

We are traveling to Hong Kong this Sunday. We hope Reese will be ok to travel. He was sooooo looking forward to his holiday and going to Disneyland.... poor baby... we really hope he will be ok. The past few days was like racing against time....
If we have to cancel the trip, it will be a big disappointment for Reese and money down the drain for us. Both air tickets and hotel room already paid for. Mmmmm....

Pray for us!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Temper Tantrums, Whining, Screaming, Shouting, Rudeness....

My dear son has always been manageable and considered a good boy at least to all of us in the family. Now that he is four, gggrrr! It's getting difficult. It reminds me of his terrible two phase. Daily shouting and scolding. It was a difficult time but it passed. Now.... it is all happening again...

He whines at the slightest thing. Not only does he whine, he will throw super tantrums with crying, screaming, shouting, jumping up and down... can bring down the house! He will verbally tell you how unhappy/upset/angry/mad (Reese words) he is. He is very vocal.

Things that will trigger his extreme anger:

1. Remove or move his toy formation.
2. Refuse his request for certain things.
3. If he is doing something, he sometimes get upset if someone comes over and watch him (except me and hubby)

He is also getting rude. Well, I believe he is not doing it intentionally. He is at a stage where he expresses himself very well and is using whatever vocabulary he knows to do so and yet does not know what rudeness is. He also likes to imitate the way we talk to him. So naturally, we get agitated when he 'command' us to do things with the same tone we use on him :)

Reese: Please! Give that to me! I want it. It's mine.
Mum: No!
Reese: I want it. Understand?? I say I want it. Do you understand? Give it to me!

Sounded rude right?

Funny thing is, we told him to add 'please' to his sentences when he ask for things but still it sounded rude! It's the tone... The same tone we use on him...hahaha...

When we go out, most of the time, he doesn't greet anyone even family members. He is friendly but just doesn't like greeting anyone. Family members find that rude. To me, it's pointless to FORCE a 4 year old to greet someone when he doesn't understand the need to do so. Usually I will remind him to greet just so not to offend anyone. Does your child behave like that?

He hates to be disturbed when he is working on something. Be it drawing or building blocks. He gets upset when he is not in the mood and will tell you to go away. When he wants to work alone, he really meant it.

Reese is also a drama king. Yes! He can act pretty well especially when he is upset. Even if he can't really cry.... he will force out the tears. Sometimes it is so funny that I really can't help it but laugh.

So.... does your child behave like that? I really don't know what to do.... *sigh*

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Learning English the Next Step...

Since Reese can read well and also write, I have moved a level up with his Language Arts. Now the focus is on spelling activities (Based on Phonics/Word Family), Sentence patterns and construction and comprehension. Activities range from word scramble, simple sentence construction, filling in the blanks, answering simple comprehension questions and word search. All these activities require him to do some writing. Reese prefers Language Arts to Math.

Books we are using: Write and Learn Word Family Practice Pages (E-book by Scholastic) and First Grade Comprehension and Reading Skills (E-book by Scholastic)

Word scramble and word search (He is very very good at it!)

Learning spelling through word family


Grade One LA seems easy for him. Soon I will do creative writing with him. Give him a little more challenge! As for his reading, he is reading the Beginners Bible, 1 chapter a day. We have 1 chapter more to go before completing The Boxcar Children read-aloud sessions. I am enjoying the book too (Brings back memories of my time reading The Secret Seven, The Hardy Boys and other adventure stories) .

Critical Thinking Skills

Besides academic stuff, I also supplement Reese with other types of worksheets to sharpen his critical thinking skills. I bought a few books on analogies for him to work on and also basic skill books.

Thinking skills and problem solving are highly regarded in many curriculum development. It is important to teach children how to think and learn. If children are to become successful problem solvers, they need to become good critical thinkers at the same time. Critical thinking activities should be considered indispensable to the education of every child.

Analogies and Critical Thinking Activities

Analogies explore word—and therefore concept—relationships. Implicit in making analogies are numerous critical thinking skills. It is for these reasons that analogies appear on so many standardized tests.

Teaching analogies offers important and concrete benefits to students.Working with analogies

✤ expands students’ vocabulary.
✤ enables students to look at words in new ways.
✤ helps students understand relationships between words and ideas.
✤ reinforces students’ ability to make comparisons.
✤ increases reading comprehension.
✤ develops reasoning skills.
✤ prepares students for standardized tests.

Books we are using : First Time Analogies (Grade K-2), Analogies for Beginners (Grade 1-3), Critical Thinking Activities (Math Grades K-3) and Analogies Grade 2-3 (E-book by Scholastic)

Basic Skills

He does dot-to-dots (alphabets, counting in 2, 5, 10 etc.. ), mazes, word search

Books we are using: First Grade Basic Skills and Second Grade Basic Skills (Both are E-Books by Scholastic)

These activities are inserted in between Math and English worksheets. Reese enjoys them very much. Especially mazes.

My other article on nurturing critical thinking at home.

Review History Syllabus in Malaysia Petition

Dear parents,

If your child(ren) is/are studying in a government/private school following the Malaysian Education System, please take sometime to learn about what your child(ren) is/are learning in his/their history subject. Over the years our history has been manipulated to a state where it is no longer the total truth. What our child(ren) is/are learning in history is very much a joke!

The petition calling for review of our school history syllabus and textbooks is already online in 3 languages - English, BM & Mandarin.

The main concerns underlying the petition are that the textbooks:

(a) are filled with many historical errors and half truths;

(b) fail to reflect fairly on the contribution of all communities in the development of the nation;

(c) are written from a narrow world perspective instead of a equipping students with a balanced global perspective;

(d) are strongly biased towards certain religious civilization and belief to the point of being religious propaganda.

Please could you lend your support to the cause and sign online? Appreciate if you could alert those within your professional, family and social network to do likewise?

** I grew up not knowing anything much about world history! I felt so ashamed. All these years spent learning so called Malaysian history (conveniently left out many events and subjects) and a certain religious civilization. I remembered we only had 1 year of so called world history but that too was mostly about a certain religious civilization. I do not mean to offend anyone but our current history subject needs a major revamp!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bye-bye Diapers!

About 3 weeks ago, I had insomnia. So I decided to wake Reese up around 2am to urinate. I did it for two nights and also told him that we were going to do so for a while so that he can sleep without diapers at night soon. He was very co-operative. No whining at all. After the second night he told me that he wanted to learn to urinate in the middle of the night on his own!

After 2 nights of insomnia, I was sleeping well again and thus did not wake Reese up to urinate. Hehehe... but surprisingly since then, he did not wet his diapers except once two days ago. Yesterday I happened to walk into a pharmacy and saw some incontinence bed underlay padding. RM13.60 for 10 sheets (30"x30"). So I bought it and yesterday night, we put two sheets under the mattress cover. It's perfect. Can't feel any difference after putting the bed sheet. These sheets are disposable, thin, waterproof, soft and soundless. It's wonderful.

Finally we can stop buying diapers completely!

Friday, February 04, 2011

A Frustating Start in our Homeschooling Journey...

We started homeschooling with Sonlight as our main program since last week. When I first studied the Instructors Guide, I thought it was pretty straight forward! Read the designated books and explain some concepts and some Q&A sessions. Oh boy, when I started, I tried to follow exactly what was in the schedule and then realized that I can't because my boy may not be in the mood for it or simply not interested in a certain topic or wanted more than what we were suppose to study for the day! I also realized that a lot of thought and planning has to be put in besides reading and following the guide! I had to google up additional materials for some hands on experience to make the lessons more interesting. Need to plan, print, arrange and colour ( I do not have a colour printer!). Wow! It's overwhelming.

I am so used to spontaneous teaching and learning with Reese and never really plan much ahead but this year I want to make it a little more structured and thus more work for me. With Sonlight's program... there are alot of things to cover. So really cannot be lazy. :)

After a couple of days of trying to cover everything in the daily schedule... I gave up. We were either behind or way ahead of schedule for certain subjects. It kinda frustrates me but later on I realized that it was only a guide. I do not need to follow the schedule so rigidly. So instead of following the daily schedule, I just make sure at the end of a week, I cover everything that was planned for the week.

At least now it's more manageable and we are both beginning to get into a routine and enjoy our daily lessons. It's fun doing lessons on the couch or while having breakfast or on the bed. Even when out shopping I can show Reese some of the things we are learning! Today at IKEA, I took him to the carpet section and shown him cow hide, goat skin and sheep skin! (We are learning about 'The First Clothes'). My only complain is that I have to do alot more work but it's all worth it. Reese is learning so much the past week and surprisingly he can even apply some of the things to our daily life. One example is that he is beginning to use the word 'queer' in his sentences (Learned the word from The Boxcar Children). He even tried to build a brook and fireplace while playing.

Decorating the castle (Sonlight packaging box)

Castle nicely decorated with stars and snowflakes

Clothes line (The Boxcar Children)

Our new homeschooling corner

Part of our living room used as the homeschooling corner (Existing bookshelf in the playroom is full and we had to buy extra shelves to accommodate his books and toys!) So now he has a playroom for playing and this homeschooling corner for schooling and more playing)