Saturday, February 27, 2010


Harith passed me a book tonight while I waited for Jonathan to fall asleep.


The first chapter "YOU'RE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK"

I read and was uplifted.  Something I truly needed to wake me up.

With all that has been going on with Jonathan, I guess I kinda lost it.

My confidence .. my hope .. my trust .. in the Lord.

When things gets worse, that's where better things are to come.

I want to be a prisoner of hope.  Not a prisoner of fear and worry.

I want to have my confidence in the Lord .. who will see me through despite ...

Hebrews 10:35
35Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

I'm closer than I think.  The end of Jonathan's bad health issue is drawing near.  Greater things are coming and the enemy is trying to stop that.

In the meantime, I will keep building my faith ... my hope ... my confidence ... and the reward is near and will be great ...

And the Lord is never too far away \o/

Friday, February 26, 2010


Despite what's been going on with school and health.  I love the quiet moments when Jonathan is doing his own thing.

These pictures were taken using soft snap function (shoot subject with soft background).

He started smiling when I started singing "I like to teach Kai Ming to sing" :)

This saturday, the chingay parade will be passing by our street.  They were setting up the lights and stage by the street tonight (again using soft snap function)

And in the meantime, I've got an order to make birthday cards for a group of bible-study members.  This is the first for Christine's birthday in March.  Excuse the lighting:

A 6" x 6" card.  I used bazzil cardstock and had a patterned paper over it.  Printed her name and pasted the floral strip (that I can't remember from which brand and too lazy to check the package..haha).  The patterned paper is flappy...not sealed down to the bazzil cardstock.

Here's the inside.  My friend needed space for her cell group members to write so I put in a white paper.  Verse is taken from Birthverse (a "scripture verse for your birthday" site, where you click your birthdate and a suitable verse will be shown.  But of course not all verses are suitable for birthday

I should be doing all 8 cards.  But I'm sometimes a last minute person.  So I may do the cards a month before the birthday draws near ... or ... then again ... maybe go ahead and finish all at one go.  Will see :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My friends left me notes on my previous post.

May:  Do you know exactly what it is that makes him throw up? could it be the journey in the cab? After a feed? Or the sun? or the stimulation?

Hi May.  I don't think it's taxi ride.  He takes them fine.  Jonathan did say it's the chair he's sitting in school that he's not comfortable in.  But I think it's more of his sitting posture.  I would have to check with his OT about this.  But like you said, it could be something else.

His PT saw him last week and felt something was not right when his hands and feet were pale.  He suggested I seek help because he's also puzzled why Jonathan is turning pale.  Sometimes, while at home, if he's not lying or sitting at the right position, his hands and feet do turn pale but the don't last long.

Harith (hubby) was telling me not to make him upset again.  Otherwise the secretion and phlegm will build up and that would probably be another cause for conern.  Last night he coughed out a whole chunk of thick phlegm, which I'm glad he did but that didn't stop him from throwing up.

Rachel:  Oh Serene ... I feel for you. Can you get someone to come and give J his therapy at your home rather than having to go somewhere?  Hugs from me.

Hi Rachel,  thanks for your suggestion.  Unfortunately, therapy at home is very costly.  Physical therapy alone is SGD80 per half hour and only once a week.  So that makes it difficult.  But I'm thinking of other sources too and will be checking out some outhouse therapy that might have a subsidized rate.


We mothers all know what it's like to stay up.  I'm just quite drained from staying up late till 5 this morning.  While others around me were fast asleep, I'm sure there are other mothers out there who have children with special needs staying up as well.  I even finished a novel that I started on Monday evening.  That's how I kept myself awake.  That's a record for finishing a novel within 2 days...haha!

If it's an illness by nature, I'm not baffled.  It's because the episodes happen only after we return from school ... that baffles me more.

Thanks ladies for your concern and encouragement!  I appreciate that :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Jonathan did not go to school today.

Today, I told him to just go for therapy but he kept looking at me with eyes that said "please".

He started the verge of crying.  We explained.  He understoold.

I asked him many questions.  The final answer was ...

"He didn't want to go to school and come home feeling sick and throwing up again."

and I understood where he was coming from.

Not to push him means he's missing out on therapy.

To push him means to force him to go through it again.

I decided on the latter and that was a mistake.  He got upset and right early this afternoon, he started showing signs and started retching.

He's asleep now after medication that's why I could sneak a post.

I'm tired of seeing him like this.  Was it stress that caused him to fall sick today?


I don't want to go through this week after week cos both of us end up terribly tired.  But more so I hate to see him fall sick.

It may seem that I'm letting him off the hook just because he cried.  But to have him tell me that he doesn't want to throw up after coming back from school, I totally take his word.

I don't know what to do and I'm totally at a lost.  But all I want is for Jonathan to be healthy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I can only smile that today Jonathan went to my mum's to 拜年.  My mum was very happy to see him and the afternoon while we were there, she kept watching over him.  My mum, the protector :)

Was also glad my eldest brother Larry, his wife Mary, my sister Leanne and her husband Gus were there too.  It was a nice fellowship.

We stayed for a couple of hours.

Thank you Lord for a good afternoon out for Jonathan.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Ever since I was a young girl celebrating CNY with my parents, they always buy new bedsheets to start of the new year.  So growing up, I will witness my mum buying new sheets and she and my dad will change the bedsheets on CNY eve after reunion dinner.  So I've picked up the "habit" from them.  I don't know why CNY but I guess traditions are hard to let go.

Usually we will make the decision.  But this year, we let Jonathan choose :)  I thot it was a rather good choice :)

CNY eve was easy going.  We prep Jonathan for his trip to my mother-in-law's for reunion dinner.  But instead, my sister-in-law, who's helping with the cooking preparation decided to have it at her house.  Which was good ... why?  They have internet broadband there to entertain Jonathan!  LOL!

The food was good.  We had home-made bak wan (meatball) soup with bamboo shoot


Roy (Harith's nephew) made masala chicken and we brought black sauce chicken.  And there were other food on the table too.
But before we had our dinner, we had lo-hay with a Christian theme.  If you want to know what lo-hay means, click HERE.  And this is what was left of the vegetable salad:
With wine (of course I don't drink!!) and drinks all around, we treated ourselves to kueh lapis later for dessert.
Then while sitting around chatting, I discovered that our nephew is a talented artist and he's only 15!  Here's a peek:


Now I know what we will be getting him for Christmas this year!  haha! And I've asked him to draw a caricature of me!

We had a good reunion dinner and the next day, being 1st day of CNY we went to our mother-in-law's to 拜年 (bai nian).  The Chinese New Year celebrations are marked by visits to kin, relatives and friends, a practice known as "new-year visits" (Chinese: 拜年pinyin: bài nián).

But before that, we stayed home in the morning while Harith was at church.  While looking out the window from my kitchen, I saw this:

Usually the traffic is light.  But when there is not enough parking space at the parking lots during festive seasons, visitors will park their cars downstairs.  The white mercedes taxi actually parked at the lot meant for drivers with disabilities.  Now ...  as a taxi driver, you surely know the rules about this illegal parking?  Well...maybe he has a handicap sticker by his windscreen so that will allow him to park there for half hour.  then again, when all of the passengers got out of the car, they were walkin.

I don't know how long he parked there.  But when I looked down after half an hour, another car took it's place.

Oh well...there's really nothing much we can do.  After's the holidays.

And ... we were supposed to visit my mum's this evening.  But Jonathan became unwell suddenly.  But thank God he was feeling much better after his milk feed and when I felt he was good after half hour, I let him stay home with Harith and went to my mum's.  Exchanged ang pows and had good food and, again, I enjoyed the wonderful fellowship.  My eldest sis' popiah!  (Click HERE about popiah)

I'm thankful to God for giving Jonathan instant recovery.  Tonight, Harith and I had the popiah for supper.  Then ... I couldn't resist having a few pieces (of course I shared with Harith!!) of these bestest kuih bangkit!  They simply melt in your mouth once you pop one in!  We got them from Home's Favourites.  These kuih bangkit and Mrs Wee's pineapplets are the best!!!



So these kuih bangkit ended our 2nd day of CNY.  But we still have unfinished business.  I want to bring Jonathan to my mum's to 拜年 (bai nian). She was looking forward to see Jonathan.

Thanks to family and friends for their love gifts (for Jonathan's birthday) and ang pows for him too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Harith, Jonathan and I want to wish all our friends and readers of our blog a Happy Lunar New Year!
God bless you abundantly and may you continue to have great wealth and health!
Enjoy the long holiday!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010


I didn't think I will make time for this.  But I just couldn't help it :)  With Jonathan fully recovered, I had some time to spare and took out all my red patterned papers that I bought 3 years back.  What's good about scrapbook patterned papers is that they don't turn color because they are acid free.  So these papers are still good.

This year, unlike the previous hong paos that I made HERE, I decided to stick to just one design layout with the word "fu" in different places.  Saves time!

I have a "fu" 福 punch bought a few years back and decided to use it.  Punched the word out on the actual paper.  Then cover the "hole" with a piece of pink paper from the inside.  then punch the same "fu" on a dark gold paper and paste over the actual word on the pattern paper...(get the drift?  haha)'s the closeup


This particular packet was done with DCWV glitter paper that my sister Sally gave me (see earlier POST).

The only problem I have with glitter paper is sticking them together!  Even double sided tape doesn't hold very well on the glittery part!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

SIGH ....

Jonathan started whiny when I told him he had to go to school today.

Let him listened to some praise songs to calm him down.  Talked to him about school and compromised with him.  All the time he was quite ok with occasional pouting lips.

Changing him was alright until I had to put him on the buggy.  He started crying.  I forced him to go.

Harith helped me.  His heart aches to see Jonathan like this.  But I had to be the main force.

Jonathan cried while still on the buggy right, up till when we were waiting for the taxi.  The journey there was alright.  His throat had secretion and phlegm from the crying.  But he was lighthearted.

Met his classmates and teacher...finally.  He seemed to be fine until I transferred him to the special chair.  He had speech therapy ( a new therapists) and also physiotherapy.

I requested to leave early because since it was Jonathan's first day at school, I didn't want to tire him too much.

But by 3pm, he started showing signs of discomfort.   Towards evening, he started retching.

Do I need to let him go through this to know that this is the main reason why he just refused to go to school?

He told me he doesn't want to go because of the current buggy and the special chair in school that he is using. It's true...both do give him discomfort because he is not sitting properly.  With the buggy he is still able to be adjusted properly.  But with the special chair in school, it's a total discomfort.  I've been trying to highlight this issue to the OT since last year.

He's not going to school on thursday.  I cannot afford to have him fall ill especially during chinese new year.

Lord...I really need help.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Somehow, deep down, I wish tomorrow never comes.

Not because I don't want Jonathan to go to school.

But more so I hate the struggles and us being tired after that.

Lord ... make it work tomorrow.

Then I'm reminded that I should not worry about tomorrow :)


My sister Sally gave me this from Die Cut With A View


And this is the only simple card I made for a friend.  No other CNY cards this year.  Not even handmade "hong baos" red packets.  I did some last year {HERE} but this year ... I'm just not up to it.

Used the 福 craft punch on the glitter cardstock.  Then punched the same word on a dark gold thin paper.  Scalloped punch out the shape and pasted the gold paper directly over the chinese word on the cardstock to make it stand out.

And it looks like this year's CNY will also be a simple affair for us.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Jonathan turns 13 today.  Officially a teen.  ThirTEEN.  Wow.

He didn't want anything.  So Harith put some money in the red packet and gave it to him at 12 midnight last night and said a meaningful prayer over him.

So another has come.  What has he achieved?  Physically taller and stronger.  Wanting us to meet more of his demands.  Able to explain himself {even though it's multiple choice of questions and answers}.

He's more responsive to people around him.  Greeting family and friends on his own without being told to do so.

I want to thank family and friends who called/sms/emailed to wish him today.  His cousins called him on the phone and sang happy birthday and he was amused, even though he didn't burst out laughing haha.  Thanks Rachel, Rebekah and Reuben :)

Today, after his music class, Harith bought him a cute tiny hazelnut cake and we set the camera on timer and took the following pictures:

Well..I had to test the timer first :)

Then try the zoom to get the best shot.

Happy boy was pleasantly surprised to see the cake and us singing the birthday song.  His smile is always priceless!



Harith holding Jonathan's hand and cutting the cake ... how to balance?  haha

Me trying to superimpose by holding the cake right in front of the camera ...didn't work..haha!

Time to tuck into the delicious cake ... and it was really nice.

Me giving Jonathan a few pieces of the cake and water to wash it down.

Jonathan said celebrating his birthday at home was good enough.  He didn't need to go out.  Cute :)

We love you Jonathan!


The actual video presention of Nick's song. the big screens were by the sides of the whole ballroom so my sister couldn't catch it in her video clip.

No voice in this song. Can only record it after chinese new year.

Copyright. Serene Bie Ho


It's funny why I didn't think of a title for this song when I wrote it.  My sister wanted a song for her son, Nicholas, at his wedding.  I guess I can call it "A SONG FROM A MOTHER AT HER SON'S WEDDING" or "A MOTHER & SON SONG" or "A DEDICATION TO NICHOLAS FROM HIS MUMMY".  These titles are just too long.  I'll just leave it blank ;)

I actually did a video presentation using the song.  You can watch it HERE.

Before writing ... My ta jie (Nick's mum) gave me a gist of what she wanted in a song.  I penned it and she approved it.

You know ... songs like these will always strike a chord in everyone's heart.  I was trying hard not to cry.  In all my years, I've sung for 4 of my brother and sisters' weddings and for other church members as well.  I don't know when I can do that for my own son.

Nick gave me a rose plucked from a bouquet after the song.  haha.  But I'm glad that through this song, the bond between mother and son grew stronger that same night.

Thanks ta jie ... for letting me help you pen the words of these song.

My er jie {2nd sister} caught my singing at the dinner on video.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I told him he has to go school today.

The signs started showing around 10am.  He began to whine.  Then pouted his lips.

Towards 11.30am, no amount of youtube, wheel of fortune, or music could distract him.

I promised him his favourite music after he comes back.

It didn't work.  Alot of pep talk, alot of use.

The bawling started.  For more than half hour he kept crying.  Secretion and phlegm built up.

Even when we carry him to the buggy, he will refuse to sit.  Straighten his body, lock it in and now matter how much we push, he just wouldn't bend his body.  We cannot afford to snap his bones.  Finally after about 5 minutes, we give up.  My back hurts tremendously.

He sounded to be choking on his secretion.  Harith picked him up and finally managed to talk him to stop.

He told Harith he'll go back on Thursday.  Hopefully he keeps his word.

He's been like that even with family events or going out to get grocery.

Times like these, I feel it's my fault to have let him stay home for the last half year.

Tired :(

Monday, February 01, 2010


My er jie Arina and her daughter Lizzy are going home tonight.  So we dropped by my mum's place this morning to spend some time with them and also bought a cake to celebrate Lizzy's 14th birthday that falls on 7th Feb.

Then my other sister, Sally, put Jonathan next to Lizzy cos his birthday is on 6th Feb.  Jonathan will turn 13 this year.  They are one year and one day apart (and I know Sharmaine's daughter, Megan's birthday is also the same as Jonathan)
And of course, birthdays cannot be without presents.  We gave Lizzy a Grade One book on viola cos she's going to start lessons on that (apart from violin and trumpet instruments that she already knows how to play) and Jonathan had red packets, one of which was presented by Lizzy.

My brother has 2 new kittens at home.  He got them from our cousin whose cats had a litter of kittens.  Today was our first time meeting them and they are just adorable.  Named Mercy and Favor, they are mixed breed and I think their mother is a persian cat, but they take after their "daddy".  More of their pictures at my facebook

We were surprised that Jonathan didn't cringe at the sight of them.  Probably cos they were small.  My sisters placed each one on his lap and he was game enough to touch them and hold them.



Now...see how tight he held on to this kitten haha, pushing the kitten down by the neck!  haha


But I must say the kittens were very well behave on Jonathan's lap. My friend, a cat lover, said that sometimes the animals can sense the elderly and people with special needs and they will be very calm.  I guess that's good pet therapy.

My brother was game enough to bring Harith to my cousin's to pick another kitten if Jonathan wanted a cat.  But our prince said he didn't want one at home and only will go visit mama then he can play with the kittens.  haha