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!



  • 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.


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!!

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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!


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.

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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


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Growing as a parent

A couple of weeks ago, I was so frustrated and disappointed with something that Jia did that my tone with her was firm but not very kind. I was not angry, I told her, but I was just at my wit’s end at that moment.

She was not able to go to school that day because we had no available car, no taxi would accept us, and Uber had a 2x plus surge (the last time I accepted a 2x plus surge to her school, the fare was Php500+!). Because I was also not in a very good mood, I told her to just stay home instead.

Because I made it clear with her that I was not angry and I think she also felt that, she was not “rebelling” against me. She was also not cowering. She just did the things I asked her to do (wash the dishes, make her onion poultice which meant slicing the onions, and serve kiwis to her siblings which meant peeling and slicing the kiwis) the normal Jia way — with determination and happiness. If I were not so clouded by my frustration, the two of us in the kitchen would have been a wonderful experience.

2015-12-28 00.43.52

And then to make my mood worse, I discovered that the caramel I made for my banoffee pies melted and that made the pies collapse. Those were pies that I stayed up for to make until the wee hours of the morning. I was ready to cry. As I was panicking, Joya came to me and asked me to play with him, like I promised I would. I told him that Mommy was just facing so many problems that moment and that I was so sorry but I would not be able to play with him. He understood, kissed me, and went to his room to play by himself.

I called my husband to tell him about the pies and he assured me it was okay. He asked me how I was and I explained briefly the situation with Jia. He gave me some advice and reminded me to let Jia know that it was what she did that was not acceptable and not her. I knew that but I needed to hear the reminder. Still, after I put down the phone, I did not go to Jia as I was still just too emotional. Instead, I went on Facebook and checked my On This Day memories. My memory from last year was this.


I laughed and cringed at the thought of my beloved straws.

Scrolling down, I read this.


This was about the Sandy Hook shooting and it made me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have my kids with me. Those parents who lost their kids would probably give anything they have to have their children back.

Scrolling down some more, I saw this.


This was after my shockwave therapy. The period before that, when the doctors could not find out what was wrong with me even after so many tests, was the darkest of my life. The thought of dying did not bother me at all. The thought of leaving my kids was another story and that sent me bawling.

I realized then the pettiness of my issue with Jia. My behavior was in direct contrast to my mantra to always be life-giving. I called her and before I could even say anything, she apologized and hugged me. I apologized, too, and we talked about what happened.

I was ashamed at how I behaved but at the same time, was also proud of myself. Prior to discovering positive parenting, I might have screamed my head off. Instead, I was able to calmly process with Jia why her behavior was less than ideal.

I am proud at how my relationship with Jia has improved. We can actually have an argument or a differences of opinion without fighting and without her being afraid of me. She has confidence in my love for her and I am just so proud of that. I am confident that she knows that my love for her is greater than any frustration or disappointment or anger I might be feeling. For my part, I think I have made great strides in curbing my anger.  As I told one of my workshop participants (and something I always tell myself), no naughtiness or  bad behavior is worth a child’s loss of self-esteem

Parenting indeed shapes the parent, too. The lessons I learn along the way help me not just be a better parent but be a better person. 🙂

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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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On positive parenting

I mentioned before that I was a wreck when I was pregnant with Iana and it led to my two older kids’ regression. The silver lining there was I realized I had it in me to pull myself together for the sake of my kids. During the time I wrote that post, I was consciously trying to be a positive parent to my kids. Since we try to have a Montessori home (like the kids have to be independent), there were guidelines of positive parenting that were easy but there were parts that were difficult to apply at first (like no yelling… my golly gosh!). Little by little though I saw improvement in my kids’ behaviors. I saw the sparkle in their eyes coming back. I also learned to be more forgiving to myself and to my kids. It was as if a gray cloud that was hovering over our household disappeared.

[Read more…]

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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.


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! 🙂



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:

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.


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 . 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.



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

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