Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yearender 2012: Breaking Free

This is the 12th year eversince my yearender chronicles started. Every year, I find that there is always an overriding theme for the year that is about to pass.

I deliberately skipped 2011 Yearender. It was so devoid of any great, memorable event that I can remember and I realized that the year just passed by like a blur, mostly highlighted by useless tears. When 2012 heralded itself, I promised to take back control and not allow myself to live another life like that ever.

This was evident in my February 2012 blog "Something Has Changed” http://metamorphosis-armie.blogspot.sg/2012/02/something-has-changed.html  I’d like to think that whatever negative stronghold that eclipsed my soul in 2011, was suddenly lifted and I was able to break free in 2012!  One of those defining moments in ones' life.

Masterplan. I also started renewing my 2012 To Do List and I realized that I am now ending the year striking off almost each and every one of them! I am ready for my next list!

Run for Your Life. I finally found the guts to move my ass and actually give running a try! I completed three running events (P&G Olympic Day, Shape Run and 100 Plus Passion Run) and one walkathon (POSB Family Walk) in 2012. I am now preparing for my 2013 events list.

Seeing Asia. As planned, we were able to complete three trips this year – Phuket in April, HongKong Disneyland in June for Kevin’s birthday and Bali in October for Kyla’s birthday. Our last minute plan to see Legoland Malaysia was brought to a halt due to Kyla’s injury, but there are still lots of places in SG to explore! We are happy for our children – young as they are, they are able to have this opportunity to travel and see the world and get a glimpse of a different culture. Our 2013 Travel Masterplan is all set!

New Horizons for Alvin. My husband started sinking his teeth into Stock Trading earlier this year and we are glad that he seemed to have found a worthwhile endeavor that he can pursue regardless of his location. This is proving to be something he is deeply interested in and he will be able to continue this even while working from home.

Leaps and Bounds. Kevin has made significant progress in 2012 when it comes to his speech and independent life skills. He no longer maintains his daily cue cards by now, having internalized his daily personal routine. He is now almost a young man, much taller and heavier than me. We started buying him pre-teen stuff like his own hair gel, deodorant, facial cleaner and toner, and even perfume which he liked. Through the devped’s encouragement, we bought an IPAD for him which have educational programs and games for special needs children. He also liked Fruit Ninja as well! He is now better in able to express his needs and wants. He still maintains his special closeness with sister Kyla which is endearing to watch.

Shining. Now a tween, Kyla continues to gravitate towards the defining the kind of young lady she would be. Not a girly girl. Not a shrinking violet. But someone confident in her own skin and proud of her unique talents. She is good at French Drama and she ended snagging the lead Marie in their school year end drama presentation Ou Est Mon Chen. She started taking Taekwondo classes this year and her instructors always praise her agility and focus. Her friendly and caring ways did not go unnoticed, she has many friends in our community and I’m amazed that even the parents know her and greet her fondly. She joined her first Church Camp experience with her friend and this gave them a great experience of meeting new friends and looking after themselves for 1.5 days. She continue to like reading books and also loved painting and all sort of knick knack crafts. She also started having interest in running with a total of three events this year including the prestigious Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012 Kids Dash. She has grown more confident and with her feet still grounded into her heritage.

Kyla’s First Holy Communion. Last November 4th, Kyla received the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Chuch after successfully completing her catechism class and demonstrating readiness to receive Christ. It was not an easy feat. Unlike me who grew up and attended an all girls Catholic school where First Holy Communion is part of the second graders Christian living or religious education, from where we live, the First Holy Communion is a privilege to be earned and not an automatic bestowal that comes with a certain age. She has shown dedication in attending and participating in her Catechism classes such that when the once a year window of schedule was open, the Catechist agreed that she is ready for Holy Communion.

Farewell Dear Kimby. Our Kimby passed away after a complicated birth at my parents' hometown in Rizal, shortly before her 4th birthday and before we were planning to visit her. We regret that we were not able to be with her in her last moments and that she died, not only of birth complications but also of heartbreak, having been faraway from us. I wrote an article for her in my blog to commemorate the times she had with our family http://metamorphosis-armie.blogspot.sg/2012/09/til-we-meet-again-kimby.html. My father created a tomb for her where she was buried beside our backyard nipa hut which was her favorite hang out.

Define Bravery. Kyla met an accident at Christmas day while playing rollerblades. She had a bad fall and broke her left wrist bone. We rushed her to the hospital and doctors attempted to “pull” the misaligned bone and realign the broken section and allow natural bone regeneration, before attempting surgery. Shocking as it was, what amazed all of us including the doctors was her calmness throughout the ordeal. She did not cry or rage into hysterics (which, understandably, a child may have done). She had shown bravery and even asked to explain to her what will we be done. Later, in her usual talkative self, she told me “Mom, they are going to put me to sleep and then they are going to pull my bones so that I can get well.” I cringed internally but had to be brave for her too. She have to get used to wearing a cast and a sling until full recovery and she is taking her accident with optimism too – she even said “At least it’s not my right hand (that got injured), I can still write at school!"

Balance. On the personal front, I am happy to have gotten balance back in my life. There are many ways by which we define balance. For me, this is being able to enjoy and do the things that being happiness in my life. Little things. Mundane things. Trivial stuff. Like more time for reading. Blogging. Baking with Kyla. Art stuff with Kyla. Collecting anything with butterfly designs. Buying new books. Things that make life worth living and bearable. Time with my kids. Time with my better half. Time with friends. Time for myself.

Thank you Lord for the bountiful blessings!

2013. I am ready for you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Run for a Reason (Kyla's Singapore Marathon Experience)

We started getting Kyla into running this year. She closed the year with three running events under her cap with no less than the prestigous Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2012 Kids' Dash (the 7-9 yo category) at the Marina Bay!  There were more than 3,500 children who signed up for the Kids event and it was such a joy to see them full of energy and enthusiasm for the run!  All finishers get a medal so that is an added boost, something they can be proud of. This year's theme was Run for a Reason and the proceeds will benefit charitable foundations in the country.

Kyla has enjoyed running so much and she continued to look forward to the Terry Fox Charity Run this January which will be for the benefit of the Singapore Cancer Society.
Here are a few good reasons to encourage children into running:

1. Good for the Health.  At proper training and moderation, running stimulates cardio-vascular system and increases one's stamina.  The more you run, you will realize that you will be able to slowly but surely outpace yourself as you do this repetitively. Getting kids to run at early age puts them ahead with respect to getting this discipline imbibed in them too.

2. Fight the Digital Couch Potato Syndrome.  I always say we would rather have Kyla spend time in more meaningful recreation like arts and sports than waste time with video games (Ipad games, PSP included)  and even the so-called 'virtual sports'. Handheld games are either solitary activities, or mainly virtual interactions (if you do online games).  Whereas sports facilitate socialization as well (unless you are into solo swimming).  Even while Kyla was running the last 50m or so, she had time to slow down and chat with a classmate who was running in the Kids dash as well! A true-blue chatterbox!

3. Running is a Confidence Booster.  At their age, running is not yet about breaking records but more into embracing the freedom of running against the wind and finishing the course.  The more race they finish, their confidence will surely be boosted and would encourage them to go further and run more. Kyla's first race was a 5KM event.  She ran with my friends from work who were true runners, so she had to step up.  She felt very proud that she finished waaaay ahead of us and this started her quest to continue running.

4. Serendipities.  They may not realize it at once, but running also teaches discipline; perserverance;  pushing the limits; recognizing limitations and rising above it.  In the Standard Chartered race, I was nicely positioned near the flag off line (well, hanging over the Fullerton bridge in a not-so prim-and-proper position) and saw the kids in action moments after the horn sounded off to signal the start of the race.  In the 10-13 yo division, two boys were late for the flag off and had to push their way around the next batch of runners already positioned at the starting line.  With their batch already 100m ahead, they still ran to catch up and were cheered by the crowd. I cheered for them too.  Kyla acquired colds the night before the race.  We knew it would somehow affect breathing but will be manageable so we advised her to do proper inhale/exhale while running.  So she rested very early and told me that she will keep her lozenges handy.  I also quizzed her if she is feeling okay to run. She was positive. 

She made it!

The Race Pack for the SCSM 2012 Kids Dash

Proudly showing off her Finishers' Medal with Kuya Kevin