To medicate or not to medicate

This is the second year that my son is taking Ritalin for his ADHD. And though I was skeptical during the first year, I didn't think twice this school year.

Yes, his appetite is still deeply affected especially while he is on medication, he NEVER eats his lunch at school... but once the medicine wears off, his appetite is also back. So I make sure that he eats heavy breakfast (i.e. rice, noodles or pasta) in the morning before he takes his medicine... and I have food ready for him (as his lunch) when he comes home from school at 4pm. And he also eats dinner again at 6pm. So he still gets his 3 meals a day.

What are the advantages?

  1. His grades have improved a great deal! No more NIs.
  2. He doesn't get into trouble at school anymore.
  3. Before, a task I would do in 10 minutes would take my son 3 hours or more (I'm not exaggerating, you can just imagine my frustration)... now, the same task would take him 30 minutes.
  4. When he was in grade 1 (not yet on medication), he loses his cap/scarf/gloves/sweater at school easily and wouldn't remember where he drop it (about 5 pairs of gloves, 3 scarves and 3 caps) ... last school year (already on medication), I'm happy to say that he only lost 1 cap and 1 pair of gloves.
  5. He can control himself at parties and at sunday masses. He doesn't squirm as much as before.
  6. Last but not the least, now HE THINKS BEFORE HE ACTS!
To Darlene's query: I don't know the case of your son. But I think I know what you've been going through, I was there and still am.

My suggestion to your ADD child is to try the medication and see how he reacts to it, note down his behavior before and during the medication. And see for yourself! With the right medicine and the right dosage, you will see the difference immediately, I guarantee you that. Try to send him to school one day with the medication without telling the teachers, and talk to the teachers at the end of the day and see if they notice anything different. Likewise, do it at home so you can witness it yourself. If you don't see any "major" improvements then you can easily stop the medication.

I'm not a doctor and I don't claim to be an expert on this, it's just a suggestion from a mother to a mother. There's no harm in trying coz we all want what's best for our children.

Me and my hubby were skeptical at first, especially my hubby, we don't believe in medicating children so that they would act/behave a certain way... but after doing my own research, talking to doctors, teachers, other parents in various ADHD egroups and my son's school principal who had an ADD child, I told myself that I should at least try and see if it would HELP my son. And it did!

I haven't tried behavioral therapy with my son. But I did implement a daily routine for my son everyday, I notice that without this routine, he is always "lost" and confused.

Routine is simply the schedule you follow everyday: once he got home from school, first thing he had to do is put away his shoes/jackets/bag, then he washed his hands and then eat his lunch. After that, he do his homework or if no homework, he get to watch 30 minutes of TV, then he takes his bath and as soon as his daddy comes home, we had our (early) dinner... Then it's either play time or more tv... They read books 30 minutes before bedtime. I notice that if I follow this routine everyday, we wouldn't have any problem at all. Simple task, right? Not for an ADHD child.

Its important to remember that kids like my son cannot do multi tasking, so mothers/teachers cannot give more than 2 instructions at one time. I used to give these instructions all at the same time: 5 minutes before we have to go down for the school bus I would say "it's time to go, put on your shoes, get your bag... don't forget your eyeglasses and jacket... let's go..." And my son would always shook his head in frustration and said "mommy I can't do all at the same time. You said shoes and now jacket, what do I do first?" But if these were given one at a time, he will be able to do it all with no hassle. So now I give him allowance, instead of 5 minutes, I give him 10 minutes to do all these things every morning.

How am I sure that he needs Ritalin? All I know is that my 5-year old daughter is able to do the little things that I also require of my 8-year old son. A simple task like putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, my daughter can do it without me reminding her... but with my son, his clothes will be on the floor beside the laundry basket all the time even with constant reminder. My son lost a lot of stuff at school, my daughter NEVER lost anything (yet). My daughter can sit for 30 minutes to 2-hour doing her activity books... my son will not last longer than 5 minutes. I hate comparing my kids, but it helps me understand that my son needs more help than my daughter. And the culprit is ADHD not him.

To help you all understand the mind of an ADHD child, here is a poem by Vicci Morris.

To blog or not to blog

I have been sitting in front of my computer all morning thinking of whether I should blog today or not... I am already running out of things to blog and after completing a post earlier and before I could save/publish it, it was lost! Blogger ask me to sign in and when I did, the post that I have just created was gone!

That was yesterday... obviously I decided not to blog...


Amazing Race 8: Family Edition premiers tonight on CBS at 9pm EST.


I am a night person, I can stay up as late as I want to (not partying though)... sometimes doing housechores, surfing, blogging, emailing, scrapping or just simply watching tv or a movie at home with hubby. And because I sleep late, I prefer to wake up late too. I'm definitely not a morning person.

On weekdays, I have to force myself out of the bed by 6:30am to get the kids ready for school. And on weekends, I tend to sleep till about 10am since hubby is here to take care of the kids... My alarm clock would be the screaming of my daughter out of frustration, the fighting over which program to watch, my kids jumping on my bed, or simply the loud tv.

The past week had been different though. The house was very quiet even on the weekends. I spent 10 days of sleepless nights waiting on my kids as they alternately got sick! Yes, both of my kids were sick!

They both have 2 different type of medicines to take and at different hour of the day... its especially hard for me in the middle of the night... cause as I was just dosing off, I have to wake up again. And once I'm up, I can't just go back to bed and continue my sleep. From midnite to 4am, I have to give the kids their medicines every hour. So I was basically up till about 4am (the next dose of medicine is at 8am)...

On the 8th day of this kind of schedule, I was beat, luckily it falls on the weekend. So hubby was here to attend to the kids and give them brunch. It's also a good thing that I left hubby a note (which I scribble in the dark at 4am) for the kid's next medicine time. Since both of my kids were sick, my normal alarm clock didn't go off -- no loud noise, no shouting, no fighting to wake me up in the morning. Hence I woke up at 12:30pm on saturday and at 11am on sunday.

Now everything is back to normal... they are both healthy and strong, active and hyper again! I'd rather have my noisy and messy kids anytime... rather than see them suffering from being too sick.

We Are Canadians!

Today marks the first day of Autumn/Fall... Today also marks the day we appear before the Judge to take oath of our Canadian citizenship!

We got there just in the nick of time, as we know that they won't let us enter the courtroom before the scheduled time. We were assigned seat number 108 to 111. And waited for about 45 minutes while the CIC staff checked all of our documents... Court in session at 2:10pm, Judge gave a speech and then we took our oath (both in English and in French):

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

By 2:30pm they started calling us one by one as they handed out our Citizenship card and certificate. Total of 134 candidates from 23 countries in our city became Canadians today! By 3:30pm, we ended the ceremony by singing O'Canada (our national anthem).

Tagging our kids along wasn't easy as my son has been sick since last Friday but is much much better today... likewise, my daughter is also sick since yesterday. Our kids are not required to appear before the Judge but because we don't have a babysitter, we brought them along with us.


After the ceremony, we had an early dinner at Il Fornello.


The Time Frame / Process

June 2004
We submitted our Citizenship applications to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

July 2004
We received acknowledgement from CIC. The letter said it will take approximately 8-10 months to process our application. Also attached is a book called "A Look at Canada" for our reference.

May 7, 20005
CIC started processing our applications.

August 4, 2005
We received letter informing us of our upcoming citizenship exam on August 20 at 1pm.

Hubby and I take turns in studying the book called "A Look at Canada" where the multiple choice questions for the exam will be based on.

August 20, 2005
We took our first step.

September 9, 2005
After 3 weeks, we received yet another letter - this time its a "notice to appear" before the Judge on September 22 at 1:15pm.

September 22, 2005
After 1,629 days of making Canada our home...
and 33 days after our Citizenship Exam...

We are now Canadian Citizens!

This doesn't mean that we are turning our back on our birth/home country... in fact, we have every intention of maintaining dual citizenships.

Countdown continues

Tomorrow is THE DAY!
We are all very excited!

Reading for today: Another Love Story... You'll definitely think twice about your blessings after reading this story by an unkown author.

Countdown begins

3 more days to go...
September 22 is a very special day for our family... details to follow...


Do you know your basic first aid? Could you do it if someone is choking, got burns, frostbite, or is bleeding? Would you know what to do? I thought answers to these are easy, until I took the Reader's Digest' first aid quiz!

Saying "I'm Sorry"

"Sticks and stones can break your bones,
but words can truly make or break you."

Why is it hard to say "I'm sorry"? Is it because we don't want to admit that we are only human and can make mistakes? Is it because we don't care if we hurt other people? Or is it because we don't know that person well? Is it because you don't or wont be seeing each other? Or because it is hard to swallow our pride? Or because we truly believe that we did nothing wrong?

On the other hand, there are people who do say "I'm sorry" quite easily. The question here is: Are they sincere or not? Is it because they make so many mistakes and hurt so many people that saying "I'm sorry" meant nothing anymore? I truly believe that if you care enough, you wont have to say "I'm sorry" because you will make sure you are not hurting anybody at all.

If you publicly accused someone of something, and later on found out that you were wrong, would you publicly apologize too? or would you apologize privately? If you were the accused, which would you prefer? To me, it doesn't really matter, as long as that person admits to his/her wrongdoing, sincerely, that is fine with me.

Let's talk about an incident with S. I don't "personally" know S, I just knew her face and name and we've been to the same high school and college. We got re-acquainted last year thru an egroup and I thought I found a friend (I'm so naive). One innocent question that I posted in our egroup turns into disaster! S said I don't have the right to ask that question since it doesn't concern me. She's right when she said that it doesn't concern me since I am here in Canada and the event will take place in the Philippines, but because I saw this as a trend I had to ask my question. Just because she can't provide a "logical explanation" to an "innocent question" doesn't mean that S have the right to call me an "egghead" or wanting to kick me out of the egroup! (Actually there's 3 of us here, so we are now known as the "tatlong itlog or three eggheads"). And worst, she spread it like fire... this "egghead" had reached HongKong, USA and who knows where else, before it reaches Canada! What the hell is that for??? Even those other members of our egroup whom I haven't talk to since high school would suddenly send me YM messages asking me what was wrong. If she has a problem with me, she should have confronted me. It was as if we were transported back to our high school days! Grrrrrr...

Some say she has always been like that... guess I found out a bit too late... Anyway, I confronted her, I guess she didn't know me well enough to realize that I confront people. Haha... And she was in total denial! She claim she never said those mean things about me... she only admitted on calling me an "egghead" and still she never apologize for it! Since then, I kept my distance... no sense in keeping in touch with people like S.


"Words can hurt you by what is said about by others. A false accusation can destroy a career, ruin a relationship, and end a marriage. Words are weapons and words used frivolously, callously or with evil intent can cause you immeasurable harm. Gossip is destructive. Backbiting is destructive. Rumor is destructive. Inaccuracy is destructive." by Dan Davies

Reading for today: The Cookies

Sand Sculptures #2

Artist Jose Luis Gonzalez returned for the third time to San Pedro this Easter weekend to create a sculpture of Jesus Christ at The Last Supper with his 12 disciples, breaking bread and drinking wine. "La Isla Bonita" was privileged, once again, to welcome the 26 year-old artist from Mexico who was most recently in San Pedro last January where he displayed other magnificent sand sculptures at Central Park. His most famous creations at that time were of "La Piedad" and Jesus Christ on Mount Sinai. Read more...

Last supper

Last supper

Here's more that I got from Google... from unknown artists.

Sand Sculptures #1

From street paintings... now comes sand sculptures... it must have taken these artist a long time to come up with these sculptures.


From Easter Sand Sculptures in Benidorm

More to follow....

Interesting article

For those who are still single you might want to consider moving/migrating to Cap d'Agde, a small city south of France... read all about it in the Sept 13 post at Denny's blog. (Hi Denny, hope you don't mind me linking to your topic for the day.)

I have heard of people going topless or naked at certain beaches... but its my first time to hear about wanting to bank naked? Shop naked? Dine naked? Buy baguettes at a brasserie naked? Read all about it here.

Gift suggestions

The first "ber" month is here and it reminds us that Christmas is just around the corner.

As a mother, seeing how my kids treat their toys, here's MY list of great birthday/christmas gifts to children (ages 4 to 10 years old):

  • I love scrapbooks and that's my number 1 gift item to a friend's teenage daughter. But seeing my daughter's excited face in doing her own scrapbook and her proud face when she look at her own masterpiece, I realize that its a great gift even kids her age. And I definitely appreciate this as I discover my daughter's "newfound" talent.
  • Books and Activity books. Always a good gift item. My kids hardly received them as gifts. So I make it a point to give these as gifts. Kids may not appreciate it at first sight as much as if its a toy, but eventually they would. A parent would definitely appreciate this too.
  • Board games are also a perfect gift especially for siblings as they tend to bond more playing together rather their own separate toys. Having a boy and a girl, they have their own different set of toys, and the only time they play together are thru board games (i.e. monoploy, chess, checkers, card games... or anything that requires 2 players or more). Of course, its also good for family "bonding" time.
  • Instead of the little legos which is messy and kind of hard to disassemble, I prefer those K'nex toys as you tend to make more out of it and the kid's creativity really comes out. My son had 3 sets of these and he still loves playing with it, and so does my daugther.
  • Educational games such as leap pads and v-tech that teaches reading, math and science. A bit on the expensive side, but I prefer these types of toys than gameboys/nintendos/xbox.
  • Piggy banks. Kids have keen eyes to find coins in the mall/grocery/streets... its a good way to teach them how to start saving and the value of money... Once, I hid some coins all over the house for my kids to find. The trick is they need to clean up their toys inorder to find these coins and all coins goes to their piggy banks. You should see the smiles on their faces when they shook it and knows that its getting heavier and heavier.
  • For boys, any hot wheel cars and matchbox, even though they got plentiful of it already; and for girls, any stuff toys, Barbie dolls and the likes are always a big hit. You'll never go wrong with these type of gifts.
These are the type of toys that I don't buy even for my own kids:

  • Playdough. The only time my kids play with playdough is outdoor! It's a great toy though, I just hate the tidying up because its messy and sticks on the carpet/rugs.
  • Action heroes (figures) and the likes, as they don't do anything but add mess... unless the kid is really into collecting these models for keeps. My son would only play with these type of toys for a day or two and that's it.
  • Puzzles. Once you lose a piece, its garbage. Once its completed, its garbage (I mean kids won't play with them anymore). Though there are some puzzles that are pretty enough to have it frame once you've completed it. This is a gift that teaches "patience" in kids and may be more suitable for teenagers.
  • Glitters. Anything with glitters equals mess that is hard to clean.
Just my two cents.

Tornado Pictures

I received this in my inbox and was awe by the beauty of nature captured by this unknown photographer during a tornado.

The subject said:

"Photos of Fergus, Orangeville, ON
Fri 8/19 Tornado and Rain Storm"

More pictures here

Thoughts #7

During the most troublesome time of my life, first time out in the real world, where I don't know where to go or what to do, confused and scared of what the future holds for me, I met this lady whom I will call E.

E and I became instant friends since we were on the same boat at that time. I treated her like a sister, no secrets, no walls, no barriers. To me (I dont know on her part), I believe we have been a teacher, an adviser, and a family to one another. I have always been blunt and frank with my feelings and point of views, and so does she... we understood each other perfectly... or so I thought.

Eventually we parted ways, I got married, she migrated, I migrated then she got married... we kept in touch thru email and as members of an egroup. Then I notice the big change in her, she became proud and a snob. hmmmm... probably influence by living in north america? or probably because she had accomplished a lot on her own? She became so defensive and argues with everybody in our egroup. A 1-sentence would yield 2-3 paragraphs of "defensive" response from her even if the message is for the general public.

And worst, during our first few months here, she look down on me and my hubby saying we wouldn't last in Canada with the way we were spending... well, we survived! Thanks to GOD's never ending blessings! Hence my question: how could a "friend" be your worst enemy?

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that emails, egroups, and blogs can create friction and a lot of miscommunications. Why? Because we may be posting something nice but to the reader its offensive... we may be sharing our most intimate experience/feelings (good and bad) but to the reader you are just showing off or possibly exaggerating or making things up... we may be joking but to the reader its not funny... we may be giving logical advice on biological clock for example but to the reader "its none of your business."

To my fellow bloggers, if ever I did make a comment in your and/or my blog that offended you or that you didn't like, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. Feel free to delete it. It was an honest mistake. But please let me know by sending me a private email.

I blog hop a lot and most of the time I'm the quiet reader just lurking around... and if I don't have anything good to say or I can't relate to the topic, I keep my mouth shut... and if I don't like the content of a blog, I will never waste my time posting "rude" comment/s nor will I ever go back.

I respect other people's blog as I will like them to respect my blog. Cheers!

And now I leave you with this -- What Will Matter by Michael Josephson

A Canadian Wedding

We were once again invited to a wedding (my hubby's boss). Our first Canadian wedding.

The wedding ceremony was held at St. Andrew's Church in Oakville at 1pm. It's a Catholic wedding that lasted for 40 minutes, and here's what's different from the Pinoy way:

  1. They don't have ring bearer. The best man got the ring.
  2. They got secondary sponsors but there's no candle/veil/cord ceremony.
  3. They had their first kiss after the exchanging of the rings not after the whole ceremony.
  4. They weren't seated in front of the altar, but on the side bench.
  5. After the wedding, they didn't take pictures inside the church nor with the priest. Instead they waited by the garden to greet all guests.
  6. Then they proceeded to the groom's house (I guess for more picture taking).
The officiating priest is one funny guy, before he ended his ceremony, he made this announcement: "I want to remind everybody that confetti are not allowed within 2 miles of the church. The reason is our janitor doesn't like cleaning the confetti... and that's me!"

The reception was held at Paramount in Woodbridge.

The invitation said:

Cocktail Reception and Antipasto Bar at 5:30pm
Dinner to follow

So we got there at 5:40pm, didn't know what to expect. The newlyweds together with their parents were already there greeting the guests as they come in.

at the church and their first danceHere, I saw the roles of the secondary sponsors... The first pair of secondary sponsor was at the table where we drop off our gift and got our souvenir gift (an ice bucket) in return. We sign the guestbook at the second table... The second set of secondary sponsor were the one who gave us our table assignment. The 3rd pair were the one who guide you to your table. Very well organized indeed.

Once we got to our table, we were surprised that appetizers were already being served and its an open bar. The appetizers was served in 1 long buffet table - different types of salads, breads, cold cuts, vegetables and cheese.

By 7:30pm, they were ready to introduce the newlyweds... they cleared up the buffet table to make a dance floor. The parents, secondary sponsors, flower girls, matron of honor, best man and the newlyweds were introduced one by one, and once the newlyweds stepped onto the dance floor, they danced their first dance.

The presidential table were divided into 3 round tables: 1 table consists of the parents, another for the secondary sponsors and the third (center table) for the newlyweds with their best man and matron of honor. We watched a video of pictures of the newlyweds from their childhood to the time they met.

By 8:15pm, we were served with our first meal - Grilled Seafood: 1 pc each of Calamari, Scallop, Shrimp and Salmon with Wild Mushrooms and Asparagus Risotto... a friend of the newlyweds sang "From this moment."

At 8:30pm, we were given Lemon Sorbet as Intermezzo... then a speech from the Matron of Honor.

At: 8:45pm, we were served with our second meal - Pasta: Casarecce alla Vodka accompanied with pancetta.... then a speech from the Best Man.

At 9:10pm, we were served with the Entree: Veal Tenderloin in a peppercorm sauce and Chicken supreme in a white wine musrhoom sauce served with vegetables and roast potatoes and mixed green salad... then a speech from the newlyweds!

At 9:30pm, we were served with Dessert: Fresh fruits, pastries and coffee/tea/expresso... and the Belgian Chocolate Fountain and Cake... then they open the dance floor! With lots of salsa dancing as the bride's relatives came all the way from Peru.

center pieceThroughout the dinner, the newlyweds went table to table (not for picture taking) but to talk to their guests. And I got one more souvenir! I got the center piece.

The wedding was fantastic! Makes me want to get married again (with my hubby of course)... or since I love weddings maybe I should become a wedding planner? hmmmm...

Street Paintings #2

I love street paintings... so when I received this in my inbox, I just couldn't resist to post it here. These artists are just so creative and talented!

"Julian Beever is an english artist who is famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Its particularity? Anamorphic illusions drawn in a special distortion in order to create an impression of 3 dimensions when seen from one particular viewpoint."

See for yourself. It is truly amazing!!!

"Here we see the Swimming-Pool, drawn in Glasgow, Scotland,
but viewed from the "wrong" side.
These drawings only work from one viewpoint
otherwise the image appears strangely distorted."

This is the same picture (above) at the right angle

"The illusion of the Portable Computer was drawn on
The Strand, London and was commissioned by Procom."

Coca-Cola bottle


A Sailboat

And the best of all...

"This drawing of a Rescue was to be viewed
using an inverting mirror."

Have a great weekend!