How to have a great 2016 – Jia’s way

Jia is not familiar with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions but she showed me a list of her reminders for herself for 2016. It is such a great list! I think if we all just follow this list, we will have a great year and a great life!

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Reminders:

  • Write in diary daily
  • Do not whine
  • No TV
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Love people
  • Sleep early
  • Festivals daily
  • Daily dates
  • More education
  • Make nice remarks
  • Often go outside
  • Be-you-tiful!

♥ Write in diary daily ♥

Journaling is something I really need to practice daily. Writing down my thoughts calms me and gives me perspective. In fact, it has been found out that journaling increases the immune system and reduces asthma and RA symptoms. Amazing, right?

♥ Do not whine ♥

Yeah. Just do not.

♥ No TV ♥

One day last week, I explained to Jia how a dyslexic brain works. I explained to her that Joya, because of the possibilty that he has dyslexia, needs to learn how to focus. TV, however, messes up with his brain and makes it harder for him to focus. After that explanation, Jia never asked for the TV to be turned on again. My heart is bursting with pride.

And for the normal people… so many articles and survey say that rich people watch so much less TV than, you know, non-rich people. Haha! Well, I know that money is not everything but since I want to be rich, I should really stop watching TV (and Facebook!)! Hahaha!!

♥ Hugs and kisses ♥

Jia’s primary love languages are Words and Time. Touch probably falls on the bottom of her list. But ever since she learned that my love language is Touch, she has actually made an effort to hug me more and also to hug Joya more (whose love language also is Touch). Nakakatuwa siya talaga!

Beyond Jia…

Children have primary love languages and parents must do their part in filling the love tank of their kid using the latter’s love language (and not the parents’). A kid whose emotional tank/bucket/love tank (whatever way you call it) will thrive. I was a guidance counselor once and so many of my students did not feel their parents’ love. I am sure their parents loved them so much. But the disconnect arose from the differences in love languages.

As for couples, I have heard so many complain of their spouse when the latter does not do the things they deem to be proofs of love. “Hindi man lang ako mabigyan ng bulaklak o tsokolate!”. The problem with this thinking is that it does not take into consideration the partner’s love language. Yes, he may not shower you with gifts but maybe he is willing to drive you all to the way to Batangas and wait for you while you have fun with your friends. Then his love language is Service and not Gifts. It does not mean that he does love you; it just means you he shows love in a different way (and he probably also does not understand how you show your love to him).

Awareness and Communication (yes, with a capital C) are keys.

♥ Love people ♥

‘Nuff said. 🙂

♥ Sleep early ♥

More than getting the enough number of sleep every day, I urge my kids to sleep early. In fact, their bedtime is 7:00 p.m. Sleeping early has so many advantages  and sleeping late is even correlated with depressive symptoms (HERE and HERE). Just Google “sleeping early vs. sleeping late” and you will understand why sleeping early is the best way to go.

♥  Festivals daily ♥

At our home, a Festival is the time when we, the whole family, pretend play to be in a Festival. The two older kids prepare everything and then we sit down to “eat”. Last time, they even prepared a separate area with toys for Iana so she won’t disturb the whole Festival.

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I am so happy that the kids love spending time with us. I know that in a few years, they would prefer being with their friends more but for now, I am using this opportunity to build a good relationship with them.

♥  Daily dates ♥

I used to have daily dates with Jia but now we only have twice weekly dates because of her school schedule. We realized that if we fail to keep her weekly dates, she starts to act out. “Act out” for her means she starts being whiny, impatient, etc. I therefore conclude, one-on-one dates are non-negotiable!

♥  More education ♥

I know that learning is a lifelong thing but it’s just funny that this comes from a 7 year old. 🙂

♥  Make nice remarks ♥

Jia is a cerebral and yet highly emotional person. She is, she admits, very sensitive and because of this, she totally understands how it feels to be on the receiving end of not-nice remarks from her less sensitive classmates. And even when she is hurting from not-nice comments and I am teaching her how to stand up for herself, there are times she hesitates to assert herself because she is afraid she might hurt her friends.

Two weeks ago, in our family meeting, she told Joya that she was hurt when he (Joya) and their cousin, Uno, left Jia. Jia said she felt left out. We thought of ways to prevent that from happening again and true enough, the next time Uno was with the two of them, Joya made extra care to not make Jia feel left out. (Yey for family meetings!) Last week, Joya and I picked up Jia from school. Jia asked Joya to play with her and her classmates. While they were running towards the playground, I reminded Jia to not leave out Joya. She looked at me with surprise on her face and replied “Of course not! I already know how it feels to be left out. I won’t do that to others!”

So, yes, make nice remarks and just overall be a nice person.

♥ Often go outside ♥

Jia loves reading and as happy as I am with that, I encourage her to go outside and play. She… we… all need sunlight and to be with nature! 🙂

♥ Be-you-tiful! ♥

Oh yeah!  Be beautiful!

♥♥♥♥

Have a beautiful 2016!!

It’s worth it.

Blogging this to serve as my reminder that what I am doing is right.

Joya, Iana, and I were waiting for the elevator with another group of people who was waiting before us. When the elevator opened, I asked Joya to let the first group in. When we were all inside the elevator, an elderly Chinese woman said that I was raising him well. She talked to Joya and I was happy with how he answered her. The lady remarked how well-mannered Joya was. We got to talking and she asked me how I did it. Sabi ko lang, “Ganyan po siya talaga.” She asked if I was a stay-at-home mom. When I answered yes, she nodded and said “It’s worth it.”

Yeah, this is worth it. 🙂

What a good way to start the year!

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About the picture:

Joya, Iana, and I went in an elevator and Iana bumped her head on the corner of the frame. Joya took it upon himself to protect Iana from further mishaps. He spread his arms to block the frame and said he’s protecting Iana from bumping her head again. He did that during all the times we used the elevator that day (around 4 times). This boy just melts my heart.

DIY Wooden Nativity Set

This brought me so much happiness.

While I was growing up, my mom’s dream was to have a nice belen. Because we did not have much money, it was not a priority. Eventually, when I was already in college, she was able to buy one. It was a simple ceramic set but point is, we had a belen.

For the past years, I, too, have been wanting our own set at home. Pero masyado ako namamahalan sa super magaganda. Ayaw ko naman ng ceramic na matatakot lang ako na baka mabasag. This year, I realized I can DIY one. My requirements were simple – not so stuffy and stiff (in short, cute) and is not breakable.

When I saw this set, I knew I had to make this. I scoured the net for the images and ang saya kasi nahanap ko! I was losing hope in ever finding these. In fact, I had the blocks sized for a different nativity set images because I did not think I would be able to find this set. Then one night, around 1am, while waiting for the beef I was pressure cooking, I tried again and found it in Simply Fresh Designs. Wooohooo!!

Jia helped me make it and we spent a great time talking while doing it. Joya, who knew I was planning to make it, was just so happy that he has a nativity block set to play with. He recreates the birth of Jesus using the blocks. Ang galing kasi ang lapit sa kanya ng istorya at hindi yun tipong pwede lang tignan pero hindi hawakan.

Ay, ang saya ko talaga! 🙂

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How to be a wonderful mom (A book by Jia)

Okay… so before you proceed reading, you have to solemnly swear you will not judge me. As in really swear! Okay? Swear? Okay…. now you may proceed.

LOL!

So the past weeks have been kinda rough on me and to let out steam, I admit I was mostly on Facebook. And because of that, Jia reacted to what she believed was my lack of time for them. So she wrote this book, “How to be a wonderful mom”. Here, she explains what moms can do to manage their time better. I copied and pasted everything and did not edit out anything (except our address and phone number).

She said it was not for me but for all moms out there. Also, just n case you find her definition of “schedule” and “routine” weird, it’s because of how I use those words.

Oh, because of this, I have downloaded and am now using the app Forest so as to lessen my time on FB. LOL! Yes, tinamaan din ako! 🙂

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Introduction

You, as a mom, are most often stuck to FaceBook, playing with other adults, working, going to seminars, etc. And usually, there is no time left for your kids. This book will help you have time for your kids and still have time to do the rest of the things that you need to do. ( sorry, no contents! ) Hope you have a nice time reading.

Chapter 1

Right, you need a schedule. Sometimes it might be hard at first, but soon it will be easier. ( for those who already have a schedule, please go straight to Chapter 2. ) here is an example of a schedule:

Tuesday
6:00 Wake up
6:30 Prepare breakfast and eat breakfast
7:00 Drive your child/ren to school
7:30 Return home
8:00 Daily/Weekly date with your child/ren
8:30 Start talking on FaceBook with your friends there
9:00 Go to your weekly seminar
9:30 Return home
10:00 Change clothes
10:30 Arrival in Game Room and start playing Monopoly
11:00 Return home
11:30 Prepare lunch
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Lunch is finished
1:00 Rest
1:30 Drink a cup of coffee
2:00 Read
2:30 Free time
3:00 Pick up child/ren from school
3:30 Daily/Weekly date
4:00 Snack
4:30 Free time with child/ren
5:00 Free time byself
5:30 Prepare dinner
6:00 Dinner
6:30 Lights out for kids
7:00 Sleeping time for kids
7:30 Sleeping time for you

See, there are lots of ways to make a schedule. Take my mom, for instance. She would put some times at the left side of the paper, put our names ( Jia & Joya ) on the top and at last put things we should do in the rest of the paper. At least, it was NOT a schedule, since it was for our medicinces, but oh well, it would do.

Chapter 2

Most recommended for those who have a schedule already, but no routine, since this one is about making a routine. You see, a routine is much like a schedule, but unlike a schedule, a routine is pernament, so you have to be EXTRA careful with a routine. I cannot show it to you, since i intend to show it to you with pictures, and most routines have pictures so they would know which is a schedule and which is a routine. Oh well. Well, i should tell you more about the diffrences between a schedule and a routine.

1) A routine is pernament.
2) A routine has pictures.
3) A schedule has to be made everyday.

I cannot list anymore, since i have ran out of ideas. If you have any ideas, please write it down here.

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Thank you if you got any ideas. Hope you now know the diffrences between a schedule and a routine.

Chapter 3

Most recommended for those who want and already are part of Positive Discipline. For those who want to check it out and also for those who want to join please go to Chrome and go to www.positiveparentingph.com . I think there will be some seminars and lectures ( for an adult, please be reminded that you should not bring children for 2 reasons: 1, they will get bored, and 2, because they are not adults. ). The main reason i am writing this chapter is because most moms scold their children almost everyday. For those who are already part, please practice at home ( Note: do not let children see you, but you can tell them that you are part of Positive Discipline and that you sometimes need time alone. ).

Chapter 4

You may now tell other people about this book. Please also write down in here the things and other stuff after. And also this chapter is dedicated to extra stuff.

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Extra

Our number: *******
Our address: *******
Our nearest mall: *******
Note: If you are going to visit us, please tell the guards your name,address and name of person you’re visiting.

Thank you for reading. Hope you understand now about Positive Discipline.- Julia Isabel T. Aviñante. A.K.A Cupid and Jia

The Anna dress

Around June, while on our weekly date, Jia and I went inside the department store in UP Town Center because she needed to buy something. While inside, she saw an Anna (of Frozen) dress. She stared at it for sooo long. Jia never had a Disney Princess costume before and I knew she wanted it. She asked me if we could buy it. I checked the price and it was Php1,349.00. Truth be told, if it were a book or something I felt had more relevance in life, I would probably have closed my eyes to the price and bought it. Jia is such a good and responsible girl and she seldom asks for things. But because it was just a costume, I could not justify the price to myself and explained to her that it was just too expensive. Still, the mother in me wanted to make my baby happy and so I told her that she could ask her Dad if she could buy it.

Anna from Frozen
When we got home, she explained to her Dad about the dress and how much she wanted it. Now, Jia has an allowance in school. It’s Php20.00 per day. She brings lunch and snacks and water so she really does not need to buy anything but we give her allowance primarily because studies have shown that adults who were given allowance as kids grow up to be better with money than those who did not. I give her Php100.00 at the beginning of the week and it is up to her to budget that for the whole week. Jia’s Dad told her that if she really wanted to buy the dress, she would have to save up for it. Jia agreed. [Read more…]

Toilet Paper Roll Cars

After weeks of the whole family staying at home because of illnesses, Jia finally went back to school and J went back to the office. This means that Joya and I are left at home (with Iana, of course). This morning, Joya has been feeling his Ate’s absence and wanted to do something with the toilet rolls that I have been collecting. To release his creativity, we did toilet paper roll cars. We had so much fun and I am happy to realize that when asked to get things, Joya can now remember up to three things. I was actually gunning for four but Joya pointed out to me that the fourth thing was just beside me. Haha! Because Joya tends to not focus on stuff, this is a small victory for me! Yay!

Joya did much of the work. Anything that did not involve the cutter was done by him. He was even the one who cut the number sign circles using his scissors.

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Our toilet paper roll cars! Tadaaaah!!!!

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Another proof that kids do not need expensive toys. 🙂

tissue paper roll cars

Crush vs. Love

sign by mockingbirdprimitive

sign by mockingbirdprimitive

I feel that one of the best things I can give my kids is the security that their parents have a good marriage. This, I believe, will also prepare them and direct them to have good marriages when they grow up. A couple of weeks ago, as we were preparing for bed, the kids asked me to tell them the story of how their Dad and I met. So I told them about J and I –  how we first met, how we became friends, and how we ended up together. After my story, Joya said , “Ohhhh!!! Friends who fell in love!” His eyes were sparkling and he looked so happy, I almost laughed out loud. I told them that it is better to be married to someone who is also a friend. Of course, whenever I say something about love and marriage, I end it up with “when you’re already an adult” or something similar (mahirap na! haha!). Minsan, lalagyan ko pa ng numerical age (“Yes, you can get married when you are 35 years old.”). Hahaha!

Jia, all 7 years old and 4 months and 3 feet 11 inches of her looking serious, said, “Mommy, I am confused. You said that falling in love is for adults. You see, I have a crush. The way I thought of it, a crush is something that hits you immediately [instantly] and then you have a crush on that person while love is something that takes a long time to develop. But you say that falling in love is for adults. I was thinking that since I have a crush on this person for a few years now, that it is has now developed to love and I am now falling in love with him. But if love is just for adults… I am confused….” She trailed off.

Okay, I have to admit that I had to breathe a little deeper than normal and I had to say “Hmmmmmmm” and “Ahhhhh” for a long time to be able to stall and think of how best to answer her. Hahahaha!!!

I told her that, indeed, love takes a long time to develop and yes, it is for adults, and then in a stroke of near genius that only happens to me once every few years (kasi usually tapos na yung pangyayari pag nakaisip ako ng magandang solusyon! Haha!), I remembered an FB viral post I saw about crushes and the “Love is patient, Love is kind” verse of 1 Corinthians 13. I told Jia that there is a simple test on how to see if what an adult is feeling is love or is just crush (yeah, sinabi ko na “what an ADULT is feeling” para klaro) but that she can also do the “test”. Ay, ang anak ko, dahil sa Montessori nag-aaral, excited sa salitang “test”! Haha! But since it was already late and I refused to do the test that night, she made me promise she’ll have the test the following day.

Day of the “Test”

I started by showing her 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Then I explained to her that before she can take the test to see if what she is feeling is love, she has to see first if the other person deserves to be loved. Oh, Jia was so excited! I told her that to know if the person deserves to be loved, all she had to do was to substitute the the word “love” with the name of the person and to see if the statement still holds true. If it does, then the person deserves her love when she is an adult.

Jia refused to take the test with me (I asked her to read it aloud.) and said she would do it by herself. I knew the exact moment the person “failed” the test (and I think I was able to hide my look of glee pretty well). Jia’s face looked crushed for about two seconds and then promptly recovered. I think she understood the wisdom of the test… plus it’s the Bible — she believes in the Bible so much ! (Sadly, wala akong kinalaman diyan, laking pasalamat ko talaga sa school niya!).

She then asked if she could copy the verse. When I said yes, she sat down, copied it, rolled the paper, and put it in her shelf, probably to remind herself about the test.

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Jia copying the verse from the online Bible.

I was so proud of my girl. She was able to face a disappointment (this boy has been her crush since she was 4 years old) and get over it and then even do something to make sure she does not forget. I honestly do not know where she got her maturity. *insert a happy sigh*

I am also so proud of myself for not freaking out and for letting her feel that she could, in fact, talk to me about things like crushes and falling in love. I an anticipating that we would be going through this test a lot in the future. She told me she has 50 crushes now so at the very least, 49 more tests to go! Hahaha!