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!

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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.

Merry Christmas!

I truly believe that it is the most wonderful time of the year 🙂 From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! We wish you wonder, bliss, and peace!

Christmas 2015

 

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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My ref and magnets

This blog is primarily to document everyday, run-of-the-mill happenings in my life. Sometimes I blog about deep things, sometimes I blog about something like this. Hahaha!

This is our ref door at home.

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Like most refs, ours have a hodge podge of reminders, important notices, pictures, and magnets. I am not an avid magnet collector but I like ref magnets. Although Iana has no picture on the front of the ref when I took this (she has a picture on the side), I think this photo basically sums me up.

This is a magnet from Wonder. Wonder is this tear-jerking book from RJ Palacio about a kid, August Pullman, who has a facial deformity and had to attend regular school for the first time in his life. (My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.)

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These are by Fernando Zobel. Kahit na sabihin pang magnets lang ito, may Zobel artwork pa rin ako sa bahay! Walang basagan ng trip! Ang mambasag, nai-inggit lang!! Hahaha!

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This is my fave destination magnet. I got this more than a decade ago in New York (notice the tattered corners?) and until now tops my list. Maybe it’s because it was taken during twilight (which is my fave part of the day) or maybe because it’s New York (a city which induces a natural high), or maybe because it reminds me of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. which is like THE. BEST. SHOW. EVER. (And if you do not agree, please keep your opinion to yourself! HMPH! Hahaha! Joke!) Whatever the reason, it is my certainly my fave.

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My magnet collection also includes photo booth magnets from days of yore (este wedding coordination days), magnets which represent motherhood and breastfeeding, photo magnets, the souvenir magnet from Counterflow, etc.

Ang babaw pero ang saya ko tuwing nakikita ko ang ref ko. Feeling ko akong ako. 🙂 How does your ref looks like? Puro kung anu-ano rin ang nakalagay? 🙂

P.S. Whoever clicked the link to my deep things blog post, I hope you enjoyed my deep thoughts. Hahahaha!!!

Wally, Lola N, and musings about married life

WARNING: R-18 for the first part! (But don’t worry, this article is not really just about Wally Bayola) 🙂

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I remember watching Wally Bayola’s video a couple of years back showing his intimate moments with a woman who was not his wife. I am not claiming to be a prude and truth be told, I have seen a couple of vids before that of the same nature. But that particular one was just too much for me and that was the video that made me swear never to watch another video of that nature again. I felt that those were two minutes of my life that I would never get back.

During the whole bruhaha following the release of that video, I learned through my FB news feed that his wife stood by him. Sobra akong bumilib! As in sobra! To forgive when your husband had an extra-marital affair is incredible but to do that when it seems like the whole world was watching and has seen your husband in a most intimate moment with another woman is, for me, amazing beyond words. That takes strength and courage and the will to face each day with your head held high.

Recently, because of the AlDub craze, I got a copy of Yes! magazine’s AlDub issue and they had a feature on Wally. I learned that earlier that year, before the video was leaked, one of Wally’s kids was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer. Researching more, I learned that Wally’s wife knew of the affair, has actually talked to the girl involved, and the affair has ended even before the video went viral.

This — the whole Wally situation — made me realize so many things:

1. A marriage can surpass infidelity. I have seen couples who have separated because of infidelity but I have also seen some who were able to withstand it. One of my most fave quotes came from the movie The Vow. The mom learned of the dad’s cheating and yet stayed. When asked why, she answered, “I chose to stay with him for all the things he’s done right; not the one thing he’s done wrong. I chose to forgive him.” I hope I do not get tested but if I would be, I hope I can have the strength to forgive.

2. Forgiveness is possible. I believe that it is a God-given grace so it is with God that it can be given. I did not believe in this before but recently, a fellow N@Wie lost her husband and she was able to forgive the person who caused the accident. Na-amaze ako. Ang galing, ang galing. Kung hindi ba naman grace from God ang forgiveness, ewan ko na lang.

3. As important or probably more important as forgiveness from others is forgiveness of oneself. I read this from Mandy Hale: Dwelling on past bad decisions you’ve made only allows those decisions to keep defining you. Forgive yourself and move on.

4. There are much more difficult things than facing infidelity. I am not undermining spouses who have suffered through their husband or wife’s infidelity. Hindi talaga. Ang hirap hirap nun. But to go through a child’s cancer, I think, is a more difficult trial.

5. Going through a hardship together makes a relationship stronger. The adage “What does not kill you makes you stronger” is indeed true.

6. Amidst trials, you would realize what is most important in life.

the most impt

Marriage is hard work. Oh, it is fun, yes. It is beautiful, yes. It is also hard work. In the course of married life, fights, arguments, trials, hurts will happen. Pero ganun talaga. Pipiliin lang talaga ang pagpapatawad at pagmamahal araw araw.

Sobra akong bilib sa asawa ni Wally. I am in awe of her. I am not privy to their private life but I am hoping that they are doing well. Sabi nga ni Lola Nidora, “May mga pagsubok sa daan pero ‘yan ang magpapatamis ng mga biyayang makakamtan.” At sana ang pagsubok na ito ay totoong nakapagpatamis sa kanilang biyayang nakakamtan sa ngayon.

On being a stay-at-home mom

Someone asked me if I had a hard time transitioning from being a working person to being a stay-at-home wife and mom (SAHWM). I have blogged about being a SAHWM and the changes it brought me but in snippets. This time, I will be talking fully about it.

This was the reason I decided to be a stay at home mom. But before I did, I had a thriving business and I have to be honest and say that the jump was scary.

Warmth in the Cold by Katie m. Berggren

Warmth in the Cold by Katie m. Berggren

I remember in college, although marriage and kids were not even on my mind,  I told my best friend that my plan was to be a homemaker/housewife and to throw luncheons and dinner parties. She jokingly retorted, “Hindi  housewife ang tawag dun! Socialite!” which was akin to her telling me that what I wanted was impossible. Hahaha! So I guess the pull to being home was there from the very beginning. In fact, when J and I got married, we were planning that I would be a stay-at-home wife.  So yes, the pull was there. Some of my friends from U.P. were telling me that they could not imagine being a SAHWM and they would die of boredom. That was never my concern. Still when we finally (J and I) decided to take the plunge, it was not easy for me.

My mom was a career person and except for one aunt, all of the adult females of my childhood were working women. I was very surprised though that my Mom was supportive of my decision to be a SAHWM. She was much more supportive of it than my decision to be a wedding planner! Hehehe! Also, I think I got it good because I seldom got insulting comments and retorts. Except for a couple of friends saying that they could not imagine stopping work, no one told me “Sayang ang pinag-aralan mo!” or words to that effect. I think it was because the way I presented myself did not give much opportunity for them to say that.

So if I had a supportive mom (and you have to admit, most SAHWMs have a hard time defending to their career moms their decisions) and did not get insults, what made it hard? The difficulty came from how I saw myself.

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