Recently in Selective Mutism Category

Back-to-School Night (Anna)

Playdate for Anna

Anna finally had a playdate tonight (I feel awful about this, but I have truly felt overwhelmed since before we left Texas last year). Her friend was someone she had never spoken to at school before but after a while and with Sarah to help boost her confidence, we soon heard all three girls giggling and having a great time in the play room. Sarah was thrilled that I let her stay up "super late" and hang out with Anna & her friend.

Living Museum

Anna's class had a living museum exhibit today. Each kid chose a country and wrote a report. During the exhibit, the museum-goers pressed "button" on the statue and it came to life and read/recited their report on the country they studied. Anna chose Russia (she has been interested in Russia since she was four and I know she was particularly excited that she was able to mention Anna Pavlova, a famous Russian ballerina, in her report). Since Anna was unable to read her report aloud to the parents who came through the exhibit, we recorded it and she showed the video on the iPad. Apparently, all of the kids in her class were really excited to get to watch her report and made a big deal about hearing her voice which she didn't like. (She does speak softly/whisper to her teachers and a handful of friends at school.) Henry was a good little brother and went around to each exhibit but he was particularly excited when Anna's teacher announced that it was time for "tea" and that this consisted of a delicious cookie and some punch. Henry guzzled his punch and bargained with Anna for some of hers, too.

Uniforms & Groceries

SAS had a Tabitha of Cambodia holiday sale (see their US website here) today so I thought it would be good to take Sarah & Henry there so they could do a little Christmas shopping and we could also stop and buy Sarah's uniforms and get her set up with the bus for next semester. Anna's teacher happened to walk by when we were picking out some things and we had a nice chat. She said she's really happy with how Anna is doing and she was able to do a reading assessment with her this week (Anna's still whispering to her but she did the assessment and never even mentioned this to me!).

Once we had our fill of shopping we went over to Causeway Point to get lunch and go to that Cold Storage. We needed groceries and I figured that that is probably where I'll usually shop when we get to Woodlands so why not start today since we were already on that side of town. We met another American lady in the checkout line who gave me her information in case I had questions or needed anything while we are looking for housing there/getting settled. That was really nice! I hope I can return the favor some day. (No, still no word on our housing offer from last weekend. I'm not sure why someone else in the office hasn't made any contact with us on behalf of our realtor?)

The best part of the day today was when we went upstairs for breakfast (we haven't gone the past two mornings but had to this morning because we needed groceries!) and one of the ladies that works in the breakfast room came over and complimented Sarah & Henry and said how wonderful and well-behaved they are and how she was so impressed with them. They really were well-behaved this morning and it was nice that someone noticed and said so! I think she set the tone for the whole day with them!

First Day of 2nd Grade at SAS

Anna loves her new uniform (it is more comfortable than the one from her school in Texas).

At the bus stop.

Fancy school bus!

Watching construction outside his window with his Robin.

Looking at his friends from Texas (the "Robins" class).

Not diggin' the local snack stuff we picked out.

One of the playgrounds at the primary school.

Doing homework with Anna.

I really should have Anna write out her experience here... maybe I'll ask her to write it out tomorrow to share.

Anna is still waking up super early (3:30 AM today) and it doesn't help that she was so excited to start school this morning! Craig took her down to the bus so I didn't get to experience that part with her, but it sounds like she enjoyed the bus ride (I'm not sure exactly how long the ride is, but it takes 25 minutes by taxi to get to SAS from our apartment).

She really only had positive things to say about her day. She went to music (piano lessons today--I'm not clear on what the program is--if they rotate instruments throughout the year or what), Chinese, and library today along with math, social studies, reading/writing, etc.

The best news I heard from her though was that she spoke (whispering) to her classroom teacher, the music teacher, the librarian, and at least four of the girls in her class. She seemed so pleased with the day and I'm so happy that it went well. Tomorrow is probably even more exciting though because she has PE and they are swimming.

Sarah, Henry, & I had to go pick her up in the afternoon since the bus doesn't have a space for her in the afternoon until next week. I wasn't sure how long it would take to get a taxi or really how long it would take to get there at that time of day so we left way too early! Sarah & Henry had fun playing with a couple of those new apps I bought for the plane and never used though, so the wait wasn't bad at all.

As for the rest of us: Sarah, Henry, & I went to Plaza Singapura to shop at Daiso for a few items we needed (a sharpie pen, a towel for Anna to bring to school for PE tomorrow, and some tissues were at the top of our list). We tried to get a snack at Bread Talk but it was just a little too "weird" for the kids so I ended up dumping most of it out. After Daiso (I love that place, it's just a miserable place to be with kids!), we saw a Gloria Jean's Coffee and had a much more pleasant snack-experience. We found the towel at a second store and then headed back home. We noted that it was raining outside Plaza Singapura before we headed down to the MRT and on our way out of the Newton MRT, we stopped at 7-11 and bought an umbrella for our walk back to the apartment.

Sarah & Henry had fun being together today although I could tell that Sarah really missed having Anna with her.

I spent a long time trying to figure out the best place to order Indian for dinner and when I finally did, I checked my phone for a message from the place I ordered from and saw in my email that Sarah now has a spot at SAS starting in January! I half expected her to leap out of her chair in excitement, but the kids were so busy with their "homeschool" work (even Anna after a full day of school wanted me to give her a cursive workbook to work on!) that I'm not sure it fully registered for Sarah.

Dinner was excellent (spicier and a lot better than what we get in Texas). Henry really tried to like the Chicken Tikka Masala but ultimately it was just too spicy for him.

Today was the first day that I didn't feel like I was going to fall over from jet lag all day. I did have two cups of coffee but I also slept from 9 last night until 5 this morning (with one interruption at 3 when Sarah came in because "Anna was snoring"). Craig & Anna are still waking up super early but Sarah, Henry, & I seem to be almost back on track. I'm hoping to finally hit the gym this weekend (I have not exercised at all since the 10 for Texas!) and I know that will help, too.

(I'll note that Craig had another long day of meetings, so that's all I'll say about that!)

Goodbye: Therapist

Anna had her last session with her therapist for selective mutism. Her therapist is also moving to Austin so it was perfect timing for all of us to be moving at the same time. Anna will miss her! I'm also relieved that Anna has made so much progress since she started in fall 2010 and I feel comfortable with this whole transition.


I forgot to get new dry-erase markers for Anna for school so I promised her that Henry & I would make it to Target as soon as we could. (She used a dry-erase board last year to communicate with her teachers during class-discussions and to communicate with her friends as well.) Henry & I made it to Target today and when I told Anna I got some fresh markers for her, she said, "oh, I don't need them anymore." She is whispering to both of her 2nd grade teachers! We are all so pleased and we hope this is the beginning of something great for her!

Birthday Party

Anna had fun with a couple of her friends at a birthday party this evening. It was really nice to see her so relaxed and having fun with her friends from school. I'm not sure why I didn't get her picture with the birthday girl, however!

Last Day of First Grade

Anna had lunch with her gym teacher each week and started talking to her after just a few weeks!

Anna's first grade teacher is the first homeroom teacher Anna has spoken to.

Anna had her last day of first grade today. She made so much progress this year regarding her selective mutism. She really has been on such a roll lately that we hope we can keep her momentum going over the summer and continue with her success into second grade.

Okpo Reunion

Apparently, Henry thought he was one of the adults.

We had a good time catching up with some friends from our first assignment in Okpo today! Of course our kids don't remember each other (many of them didn't even exist while we were there!) so Craig & I were particularly pleased when Anna spoke to the other kids right away; Sarah held off a bit longer and then finally realized she was missing out on the fun.

January 2014

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