I took a blogging hiatus for months now. I needed to re-think and re-focus on a lot of things. Taking a break from writing is very difficult but it’s a sacrifice I am most willing to do (with so much heartache, of course!) to be able to get ahead of things.
Sometimes, all we need is to be invisible for a while to be able to see what was needed to be seen.
So yeah, I’m back! And I definitely have a LOT on my mind right now. Can’t wait to share them with you!
Toddler years are the golden age of exploration for a child. It is at this stage where parents should be extra mindful in understanding their kid’s language – and it’s you, mom, who needs to guide your kids how to communicate effectively.
To help parents navigate the toddler years (children ages 2 to 4 years old) – from tantrums, toddler behavior, hygiene, milestones, activities and more – SmartParenting.com.ph, the most credible parenting online resource backed by experts and a community of moms and dads, kicked off its annual signature workshops with the first leg, Smart Parenting Mom Workshops 1: Raising Toddlers on March 18, 2016 at Makati Diamond Residences.
“Hopefully, parents will leave the workshop more confident about parenting their toddlers,” said Leah Nemil-San Jose, Smart Parenting’s editor in chief. “The work really starts at this age when it comes to raising bright and independent kids.”
Michelle Tambunting, the co-founder and directress of Young Creative Minds Preschool, discussed how to tame tantrums and doled out advice on parenting effectively in this digital age.
A model mom of two toddlers, Nicole Hernandez de-los Angeles, shared her experience on raising two boys. She spoke for Belo Baby, one of the major sponsors of the SP workshop, and spoke about how she found the perfect baby skin products for her boys, relying on Belo Baby because it has 100% certified natural ingredients.
Dr. Carmina M. Arriola-delos Reyes, pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, gave an informative talk on pain and fever management when it comes to kids.
Arceli Tan of Insular Life, ended the discussions with one the most important subject parents need to know, money. She talked about Financial 101 for all moms.
After the talks, all participants were treated with sumptuous buffet, exciting raffle prizes, and gifts – thanks to Smart Parenting and its major sponsors – Insular Life, Belo Baby, and Calpol – and partner concessionaires –Smart Steps and Nature to Nurture.
I am so glad to be part of this workshop. Being a mom to a 3 year old is really a journey. A beautiful, messy journey. The workshop definitely gave me a different perspective when it comes to taking care of my toddler.
Get access to vital parenting information and relevant content 24/7, visit http://www.smartparenting.com.ph, and follow Smart Parenting on Facebook via /smartparenting.ph, and @_smartparenting on Twitter, and @smartparenting on Instagram.
After running with a friend last time, we we were thinking of a place to dine and chill. Of course, we wanted a place which offers healthy dishes for (feeling) healthy people like us. My friend suggested Pastaholics, and having heard about the resto for a while, I of course did not argue.
The funny thing is, we’ve been living in Fairview for a while now and I haven’t tried this resto -which is just a walking distance from where we used to live!
Situated along Dahlia Street, Fairview, Pastaholics is a small restaurant where people go to eat good food and chill. Pasta is one of their specialties (hence the name), but they also serve other salad, steak, pizza, rice meals and burger, too.
Since my friend and I just came from a run, and it was 7:00 in the evening when we came, we went with the healthy option.
People also give reviews about their drinks (especially La Bella). Sadly, when we went there, they were out of the good drinks. They only had the Lychee drink. I asked if it was natural, they said it was powdered, so we just got water.
When we got there, there weren’t a lot of people yet. After 15 minutes, the seats and tables were full. There was just one server so she was coming back and forth the kitchen getting and giving the orders. When we needed water refill, we couldn’t locate the server. I even knocked on the kitchen to look for her. The place was small so that’s probably why there was just one server, but I think they could have done better by having the server visible at all times. Or maybe a bell at the counter would work to get attention. 🙂
All in all, it was a good experience.. And I would recommend the place to you. Food’s tasty and healthy. It’s also a good place to celebrate events, too, since it’s cozy. It feels homey.
Last December 7th, Hans and I celebrated our fourth anniversary. Just like that, we’re on our fourth year!
Four years. Wow. I know what some of you may say we’ve got a long way to go. And we do have more to learn. So much more to experience. So much to understand.
But to still be married and in love with each other at this day and age for 4 years (we’ve been in a relationship for 7 years now- 3 years as bf/gf, 4 years as a married couple) is only through God’s grace.
I meant to do this post earlier but December was a very busy month for me (for all of us, I assume?), hence the late post. Nevertheless, here’s how the three of us – yep, Seth included- celebrated our special day. ❤
It was a beautiful day. What made it more beautiful was it was my rest day (suprisingly, and I believe it was God because I didn’t request for that day to be my off). Hans and I didn’t plan anything because we didn’t know my schedule yet plus no one would be left to take care of Seth. So when we woke up and greeted each other (which Hans did better btw, he woke me up at 12 midnight to kiss and greet me) we both decided to do a road trip and just go somewhere near.
So we both did our research: we live in the countryside (Central Luzon) so South would be too far. Hans said,”let’s go to Bataan!”. I of course seconded right away because anywhere with him is already a treat, going somewhere else is cherry on top (can I get an ‘awwww’, please? :p).
Yep. Unplanned road trips are the best.
One thing about Hans and I is that we both love history. We love going to museums, doing long walks (maybe that’s just me lol) and long talks (oops that’s me again).
So first stop: Mount Samat National Shrine.
Mount Samat National Shrine (Dambana ng Kagitingan) is located near the Summit of Mount Samat in Pilar, Bataan, Philippines. It was built to honor and commemmorate the Filipino soldiers who fought during World War II.
Museums have this particular effect on people: they take you to where they want to take you. At Mt. Samat Museum, I was taken back to war time. I felt chills (literally), and Filipino pride. It was an awesome moment and I was glad I got to share it with my boys.
Outside the museum is a cross where you can go to through a lift. Unfortunately, when we visited, the lift was under maintenance so we weren’t able to use it. We attempted to climb going to the cross but because Hans and I are both afraid of heights, we climbed only until we can, and took a picture there.
There are also shops around the shrine, as well as a field. Entrance fee to the shrine is 20php/person. It is open from 8am-5pm daily.
We arrived at the shrine around 11am so after our tour we were already hungry. Time for lunch!
Next stop: Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an
We used Waze throughout our trip. We had a little difficulty finding Loleng’s (although it can be found in Waze) because the streets were a little narrow plus there was a construction nearby.
But we found it! Yey!
We learned about this place from ByaheniDrew. Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an is located in Barangay Binaritan in Morong, Bataan. According to the television show, Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an is a humble roadside eatery run by a Filipina who used to work in a refugee camp. It has been delighting people with Vietnamese noodles for over 15 years.
Loleng used to work at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center (PRPC), where she learned to cook Vietnamese dishes. Her specialties are Hu Tieu, a savory noodle soup and Banh Mi, a traditional Vietnamese sandwich with meat and fresh basil. You may read more about Loleng’s Hu Tieu-An here.
Aside from Vietnamese dishes, Loleng’s also serve Filipino dishes like Lomi, Pinoy-style spaghetti, shanghai, and pancit palabok. I tried ordering pancit but I was told they only come in big sizes (bilao) and that it would take a long time, so I just ordered spaghetti for the little one.
Loleng’s Hu Tieu-an is open from 7am am to 9am, everyday.
After Loleng’s, we also stopped by Subic Bay (near the Subic Bay Airport), and we just gazed at the beach. It was beautiful. We also did a stopover at Puregold Subic, where we bought Seth’s favorite “teddy bear cookies”.
Last stop: Clark Picnic Grounds
Nothing beats watching sunset to end the day! We stopped by Clark Picnic Grounds for a while to watch the very beautiful (albeit fast) sunset that day. We were able to catch the sunset but only for a short time because it started to drizzle.
That’s it! That was the most inexpensive, spontaneous anniversary celebration we’ve experienced. It wasn’t that extravagant, it wasn’t fancy.. But it was how we both wanted it to be: memorable, historical, and beautiful, like how anniversary celebrations should be.
How do you usually spend your anniversary? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share!
I was from a 24 hour shift the other day (whaddup, nurses!) and I was really, really exhausted. The husband fetched me from work and brought me home, changed his clothes and went straight to church. I intended to attend the afternoon service with Seth because well, I was sooooooo tired.
Seth and I were left at home. I never had any problems with Seth whenever I need to sleep. I would just tell him, “baby, mama needs to sleep okay? Don’t play or talk with mama”. Then he’d say okay and eventually, if it is a good day, he will sleep. But because Seth is in his terrific twos and is doing the exact opposite of what I asked him to do, and because a toddler is so full of surprises, he disregarded what I said and just played and played and played. He did let me sleep but he watched The Lorax (his fave movie now; he’s done with The Diary of A Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter), with the volume too high it could pass as Dolby Digital Surround if we were a movie house. So I slept intermittently, waking up every now and then.
I was already becoming cranky and I was starting to get upset with the hubby. It was 11 o’clock and he wasn’t home yet (church usually ends at 10). I.WANTED.TO.SLEEP.SO.BAD!!! Seth was becoming his usual clingy self, mouthing “mama, mama” when he wanted (and not as needed!). He was following me wherever I went and the once cute clingy man turned into a monster. He was shouting and was just really cranky.
And then he started crying. I forgot how and why his tantrums started (sometimes it’s best to just stop rationalizing things when you’re a mom), but it did start. Usually his tantrums start when he’s already very sleepy. And this wasn’t just an ordinary tantrum. This was one hell of a tantrum. He started throwing things on the floor. This was what rang the bell in my head – ting ting ting ting!!!!! I was already furious.
And then I did it: I spanked Seth – in his cute little butt.
You see, I don’t believe in spanking. I have nothing against those who do. In fact, I have high respect for them. But spanking just isn’t my style. It is, actually, my husband’s. But it isn’t me. Probably because I never experienced being spanked and I turned out okay (thank God!). And also because I am a nurse and I believe in the psychological way of dealing with kids.
So imagine how uneasy it was for me to spank him. It wasn’t a cute spank. It was a painful one- I can tell by the sound. So Seth started to spank me too (the inevitable part when you spank a kid- they end up using violence on you). Then he started throwing his toys at me.
I threw one of his favorite toys: a green bucket (his favorite color) where we keep his shapes (his favorite thing). I threw it so hard that I ended up breaking the bucket. It was made of plastic, and we’ve thrown it a couple of times already. But that particular throw was the mother of all throws. It was too painful to watch, even for me, who did it intentionally.
Then he began to scream and said, “mama, what did you do? You broke it!!!! Say sorry to the bucket, mama!” He was still crying and I can see that he was really hurt. He hugged me and asked, “mama, why’d you throw it? Why’d you break it?”.
And then I started to cry. The once fierce mama broke down, and cried too. I hugged Seth as tight as I could.
“I’m sorry, mama.”
“No, no, don’t say sorry, baby. It wasn’t your fault. It was mama’s fault.”
I have always been a toughie when it comes to Seth. I can take it when he cries or when he throws tantrums. I can ignore him as long as possible until he folds. I am good in that department.
But this time it was different.
I explained to him the reason why I did that, and that he should listen to mama or dada all the time. I couldn’t stop crying and neither could he. It was a funny thing, actually, but at the same time, a very emotional moment for me (I am still moved to tears as I type this!). I hurt the one person who adored me more than anything else in the world. Then he hugged me and said sorry again. I kissed him and asked him where his booboo was, and he pointed his butt, which I blew and kissed. Then he asked me the same, kissed me where he spanked me – my back, my forehead, my face (he spanked me a lot of times!).
It really takes a tough woman to be a mother. It takes a tougher woman to be the mommy of a 2 year old.
Sometimes when we are very tired, motherhood can take a hold in us. We feel tired and overwhelmed at times. There are days when I feel like I really needed a break from all the mommy chores that I do. And there are days that I just need to be quiet and not do anything, just because. And it’s okay. It’s normal. And we should take a break once in a while.
Toddlerhood is a test of patience, for me, most especially. There are days when I think I know what I am doing, and I believe I am doing a good job. And then there are days when I just lose it. There are days when I just want to break down and cry.
I put Seth to sleep (finally! It was already nap time when all our drama ended). I kissed him and whispered another “mama is very sorry”. I promised myself that I would buy Seth a new toy. And then I prayed. I told myself that I would never, ever, let my exhaustion get in the way of disciplining my child. And then I told God that I’m really, really tired. He’s with me in this battle, after all.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.