Smart Parenting Mom Workshops 1: Raising Toddlers

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. 

Love this one. Michelle Tambunting talks about how we should put ourselves in our toddler’s shoes before reacting. Perfect advice for toddler moms like me!

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.

The beautiful Nicole Hernandez de-los Angeles shares why she trusts and loves Belo Baby.

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. 

Hug a fellow mom today and say, “you are doing a good job. You are enough.”
Congratulations, Smart Parenting, for a successful workshop!

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.

Üprint by Reggie: Your One-Stop Shop for Your Printing Needs

I love hosting events. When I was younger, I hosted events for fun and for well..money. Teehee. I love planning.. Doing details and stuff. It is a venue for me to exercise my oc-ness, if you know what I mean. 😀

Last December, my family hosted our annual family reunion. Of course we had to do the brainstorming before the event. It was fun, a little stressful, but I’d like to believe it was a success. 

Part of the planning was thinking of a souvenir. We have to have something to remember the event. It was a family reunion, after all. 

I came accross Üprint by Reggie while looking for ref magnets on instagram for a friend. Her friend was getting married and they were specifically looking for ref magnets as giveaways. I inquired and got the answers that I needed, and reported back to my friend. 

Then my niece celebrated her birthday last year. Being the bibo kid that I am, I told my sister-in-law about the shop and she liked the idea of giving ref magnets as giveaways. She ordered from the shop and I was told they had a smooth transaction.

Then came the reunion. It was my turn to think of a giveaway. Because my sis in law didn’t have a problem ordering from them, I suggested ref magnets to my sibs and they went for it. 🙂 

Ref magnets start at 15php, individually packed with resealable plastic and paper backing. If with pillow box and or  accents, cost would be 25-30php.

Üprint by Reggie respects your own creativity and design.
Yep. I am proud to be a Dayrit!

The only problem that we had was the holiday rush. I ordered the magnets last December (our reunion was Dec 30th) so it was a really busy month. I kind of gave them short notice.. Like I only sent them the design days before the reunion. Also, we mostly communicated through facebook messenger and I think it would have been better if we talked through sms instead because sometimes she wasn’t online when I was, and vice versa. Aside from that, finding a courier was a problem, too. Using LBC or other trusted couriers will not guarantee getting the products on time. Thankfully, there is an  express service such as Grab Express. We went with it, as suggested by Üprint. We paid 219php for the delivery fee.

I can recommend getting them as a supplier because they were easy to talk to. They didn’t even put “rush fee” and they happily accepted my order even if I gave them such short notice.

Aside from ref magnets, Üprint by Reggie also make customized mugs, business cards, notepads – basically anything with prints.

You may view their works in instagram and facebook.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uprintbyreggie/

Facebook: Reggie Gaile Rosales-Catacutan (they recommend contacting them here for faster transaction)

On Days When I Just Lose It.

There are days when I just lose it.

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.

Isaiah 40:28-31

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Our words and actions live in our child forever.

Acting Quickly vs Acting Wisely

Disclaimer: This is a very late post. Meant to post this before Halloween, but, Mommyhood happened. Lol.

It was a happy day. I was on rest day, and the hubby and I decided to bring Seth to the mall. We haven’t spent much time together since I started working again (woot woot!!), and we’ve been looking forward to being together and just eating Jollibee. ❤ If you’re from the Philippines you can relate- Jollibee is happines to kids and to us kids at heart. ❤

Seth loves going to the mall especially now because Christmas is just around the corner. In the Philippines we start decorating in September. Christmas songs are everywhere! Lights are everywhere too. So whenever we’d go to the mall Seth would drag me to the ‘Christmas area’, where there are trees, lights and other Christmasy stuff. It is also nearing October, which meant scary stuff are everywhere in the mall as well. We don’t do Halloween like the Western people do, but there are still costumes everywhere.

After roaming around the Christmas decors, Seth and I went back to the mall entrance to meet the hubby. The entrance was filled with Halloween masks of all sorts, costumes, and the like. There was a man, around 50s, who was wearing a mask, just standing there, scaring the passers-by. We didn’t really give him attention because Seth was also excited looking at the scary stuff. But apparently this man was looking for attention. We were looking at the spiders and masks when the man wearing the mask touched Seth in the arm. It all happened so quickly; I wasn’t looking because I was showing Seth the spiders. Seth was so scared (I was carrying him), he cried and wanted us to go home. He was saying, “dada, drive the car! Let’s go home!” repeatedly because he was really very scared!

I didn’t pay that much attention to the man, but he quickly removed the mask and laughed. I did smile at him to show that it was okay. Then I focused on Seth, and so did his dad. We were telling him that it’s okay, it was just a mask and that the man was just fooling around. I even tried to wear a mask to show him that it was just something people (bored ones to be exact) wear to scare someone. Of course he wasn’t hearing me, he was too scared!

The man acted as if nothing happened. He didn’t even say sorry, he just walked away and wore another mask! Part of me wanted to go to him and ask him if he was happy he got to scare a little boy. But I didn’t. 

We left the mall, and then went outside. I was still upset and I felt like I didn’t avenge my son. I was also upset at Hans because he didn’t do anything either. I was thinking what I should have said to the man that would make him think about the seriousness of what he did (he was older than me, might I reiterate on that!). 

When we went home, I can’t move on from what happened to Seth. I was thinking if I did the right thing – not talking to the man and giving me a piece of me (you don’t mess with a tired mom of a toddler!). Of course I knew I did the right thing but I was still furious at him! I prayed and asked the Lord to give me peace. 

The next morning I came across Peter’s story. When Jesus was being arrested, Peter acted on impulse. He was upset and he cut part of the soldier’s ear on purpose because he acted quickly rather than wisely. And I am so guilty of that! My mom would always tell I react so fast- and that I am always easily angered. I always act on impulse. I refuse to count from 1-10 when something annoying happens because I want to be heard (my feelings demand attention. Lol). 

How often do we act on impulse? How often do we answer back to people who shout at us during traffic to defend ourselves? How often do we get mad at the fastfood cashier because our order is taking a long time? How often do we fight people just because we disagree with their opinion?

And when Peter did what he wanted to do, quickly, Jesus rebuked him. 

I am humbled. I wanted to teach Seth a valuable lesson of standing up for himself but I was taught and reminded to stand up for Christ instead.

Until now, whenever I’d tell Seth that we’d go to the mall, Seth says, “but mama, I’m scared of the man!”. I’d tell him Halloween is already finished, there is no more man, and that there is no reason for him to be scared anymore. Now the dialogue would be, “mama, finished Halloween? No more man?”. I still feel bad because of the incident but I feel even bad not for Seth but for the man, because he had to scare people (kids especially!) to be noticed. And I am grateful I was able to minister to him in some way.

Acting on impulse is one huge thing. Waiting to act on something is another. I thank the Lord for opportunities like that where I can practice patience and self-control. ❤ It wasn’t easy; we are just humans, after all. But we can, because He can. ❤  

A Valuable Lesson From a Two-Year Old.

Sometimes I laugh at how my little one teaches me things. 

As you know, I became a full time mom to Seth when I arrived. Here’s one thing you should know about me: I love being a mom. I love nurturing people (even those who aren’t my kids lol). I enjoy taking care of them, cuddling them, sheltering them. I am that kind of person. I love kids; I get along better with them. So everything I do as a mom, I do it with pride and with flying colors. I am always on career mode: from feeding to bathing, to playing, to teaching, even as simple as talking to him, I wanna make sure I do it the right, excellent and wonderful (haha) way. If we were on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I would be Monica – Obsessive Compulsive, always competing with everyone including myself. 😜

One day I was trying to put Seth to sleep. I closed the door and began singing to him (haha I do that- there was even a time when I was trying to put Seth to sleep and he said, “mama, lalala!”, which meant that he was asking me to sing haha). I was patting his legs when a friend sent me a message in fb. It wasn’t super important and she didn’t need my response urgently but I felt the need to reply right away. You see, there are days in my mommyhood when I would feel like I need to have my alone time – that’s why I wake up extra early so I can run and have devotion otherwise the little one would ask to come -and that particular time was one of those days. I just felt the need to reply! So I grabbed the iPad and started replying.. while I put Seth to sleep. 

And then as I was typing, my smart, cute little one stood up, took my iPad and said: 

“Mama, no iPad. (Seth will) Go to sleep.”

I was shocked and amazed at what he said. He has never said that to me before, but I gathered that he may have learned those words because I have told him that phrase a couple of times already. I started to laugh and said, “oh sorry, baby. No iPad. Let’s sleep”. And then I felt guilty and ashamed. 

I felt guilty that my son had to remind me that we were having our quality time, and I was ruining it. I felt guilty whenever I feel like I don’t have time for myself or my friends anymore – when I know that family is the most important thing. I should never make my son feel that spending time with him or his dad is inconvenience to me. Time with them is precious. Time with them is a blessing.

I stopped for a moment and pondered upon what my son has taught me. I know that I feel like all I ever do is spend time with him (not forgetting other mommy chores like cleaning the house, taking care of my son, cooking), but I should be grateful that I am able to do so.

I’ve seen moms everywhere struggle with this. I’ve seen them shout at their kids who interrupted their gaming or their fb or browsing time. Sometimes I go close to getting mad at my son whenever he repeats all his questions I wouldn’t answer because I am busy doing something else.. When it is him I should be busy with! Our children should never feel like they need to demand for our attention. Attention should be given to them automatically; they should be our priority. 

Our kids will never be kids forever. Eventually they will grow up, and they will not let us put them to sleep anymore! They will not let us kiss them in the armpit, nor chuckle and make that sound as we kiss their tummy. 

So as I put Seth to sleep, I was laughing silently, thanking God for the wit that my son has. And for using the simplest things (not to mention the simplest of hearts!) to share a very valuable lesson to me. Minsan lang sila bata. Best to spend more time with them while we can. ❤

Love how goofy and how happy we both are in this picture!