Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Counting and Sorting


    Although it may seem as if counting is pretty easy to grasp, it isn't so when it comes to young minds. It takes practice and the use of more than one of your senses to understand this concept fully. 
     We may think that if our kids can count from 1 to 10 easily, that they do know how to count... but we won't really know that until we put it to the test by making them count objects one by one :)
      
Here are my students! Ready and happy! ;)

My teaching materials for counting:
plastic shoe boxes and index cards, plus toy blocks

     We can teach our children to count not just by rote (which is by repetition or memorization) but by helping them use actual objects to match numbers. What I did for Audrey was prepare shoe boxes (plastic ones - if I had used carton shoe boxes, Natalie would just sit and stand on them and they'll be useless in no time!), index cards which I wrote the numbers 1 to 10 on, and toy blocks.


For the first two weeks of summer, we practiced mastering numbers 1 to 5. In the next two weeks, we added numbers 6 to 10. The girls had fun using different colored blocks as the objects for them to count - although I was really teaching Audrey, Natalie joined in and we let her of course :) It was fun for the sisters!

The first five numbers were a breeze! But not so with 6 to 10! The confusion began when there were a lot of blocks to count. Sometimes counting through speech was quicker than counting with hands! :P But this didn't faze us, we kept practicing until Audrey got every number right :)

We also did some sorting exercises with the same blocks.
We didn't just count but sort the objects by shape or color :)

Learning how to count is fun! :)



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Family Traditions by Little People

     Ah yes, I know what you're thinking - family pictures again??! :) That's what Dad says to Mom whenever she mentions to us that it would be nice to take our family photos! But I think it is a good idea! It's great to capture all of these moments especially when you have talented photographer Titas to take them for you ;) 
      Our photos below were taken by Tita Krissy of Little People Lifestyle Photography last December (Hence, my shorter hair and Natalie's single tooth heehee!). Our theme for this photo shoot was Family Traditions (especially during Christmas season), so you will see what goes on in our home during the holidays. The exception here is playing, reading and goofing around because we love to do that all year long! :)


Natalie and I love playing in this tent!

Buh!

Hula hooping!

Yup, that's the tooth I was telling you about!
Now she not only has one up there, but four! :P

Christmas in July! Come to think of it, 5 more months
and it's actually Christmas once again!

Natalie loves the lights on our tree!

And she loves playing tunnel with Dada's legs!

Decorating the tree is something that we look forward to! We helped
Mom put together our Rainbow Christmas Tree last year :)

Opening gifts in our pajamas!

We usually open gifts after all the busyness of family gatherings and dinners.
It's our way of unwinding and spending time together as a family - and wearing
our comfy jammies makes it more relaxing haha!

Playing with Dad!

Mmmm... hot chocolate!

Somebody wants some!

We sing songs together a lot of times! (not just during Christmas!)

And reading is one of our favorite things to do, especially before bedtime! :)

Mama and Dada look funny here! heeheehee!
They were trying to call Natalie and stop her from doing something...
I just can't remember what it was because I wasn't really looking! hahaha!

Having  a few laughs!
Natalie's a funny baby sister!

Goofing around is the best! :D

That was fun indeed! I think we should take more family
photos soon. I'm on Mom's side on this one heehee! :)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary


     I have been wanting to post these photos for quite some time - believe me haha. I apologize though for posting pictures that are somewhat 'old' rather than recent. What I really wish for is just to document most, if not all of our trips and travels as a family - and this blog let's me do just that. I actually look at my collection of travel posts from time to time and I see how my girls and our family has grown - and how much fun we had on our trips. This really serves as my online journal and I'm glad I have a place to put photos and write about experiences we had. 
     And as I was shortlisting pictures for this entry, I realized that my girls have grown so much so fast. I really should be posting sooner than later! Audrey's hair is now much longer and Natalie is also much bigger! (And as for me, I hope I have also lost more mommy weight by this time hahaha!) 
     The photos below were from our Australian trip last year and it was fun visiting the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. My husband and I do enjoy visiting zoos and aquariums, even as a couple, but it's even more fun now with the kids because they get so fascinated by the different types of animals that they see. It's always a worthwhile and fun visit.



Deciding on where to go first.

Why walk when you can ride the train? haha! :D

Koala bears!
I remember 'koala' being one of Natalie's first words! :)


Ahh, the majestic peacock.


And one of my favorites - the red panda!
(yes, as in Master Shifu from Kung Fu Panda!)


Natalie didn't look as scared hehehe!

And if that were a real giant spider, I wouldn't even be there!!!

And finally, the kangaroos! One looks like he's ready to jump at the camera!

The roos were all in a huge open space and visitors can roam around by their side

Up close!

I love how the sun shone on these creatures that afternoon.

 Can't get enough of these kangaroos! :)

We met up with the Pats who were also exploring the sanctuary
before heading back home! :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why This Is Worth It



      Two little but sweet things happened to me yesterday.


     It's been quite a hectic past few weeks. As in full of activity. Which is why I couldn't post regularly on this blog. I've been busy being a mommy as always- but I've been doing more than the usual stuff (as if that was possible, but yes it is :o). Adding to my job as mom and caregiver to my girls, is the job of chauffeur. I take Audrey to school everyday and pick her up too. I'm also a more active cook and baker nowadays, thanks to my obsessive compulsiveness with Audrey's lunch and our shifting to an even healthier lifestyle. As we all know, it's always been better to prepare your meals from scratch because you know exactly what's getting into it and where it's from. I've been experimenting with some new recipes and it's been great but really time consuming.
    I can confidently say though that I'm truly enjoying this :). However, I think I need to replenish my concealer soon as I've had to use it more often now because I wake up even earlier nowadays. I still have my other job- being an architect, and projects do demand a lot of time. The wee hours of the morning are perfect for working. It's quiet and I can concentrate. Unfortunately, it's the cause of the dreaded raccoon eyes which I sport almost every day! Sigh. Oh well.
    Besides all this, I still get to do what I truly love and what I think I was really made for. Mothering. I just enjoy the time that I get to spend with the girls and doing those big and little things for them. And I actually miss home schooling Audrey, but I'm very happy that she's enjoying preschool. Would really love to post about it and how Natalie took it all - I hope I'll have the time very soon!
    Yesterday I was just happy about some little sweet things that the girls did for me. While we were at my in laws' place, I was with Audrey and Natalie in the den. We had some snacks and when i started to breastfeed Natalie, "I thought out loud, I'm thirsty. I think I need some water." Little did I know that Audrey was up to something when she went out and left me with Natalie. A few minutes later she was back with Inday, who gave me a glass of water, courtesy of Audrey. She said that Audrey asked for it for me. So sweet! She's always been caring and dependable (especially when dada or mama isn't feeling well), and this was proof once again. I was so amused and happy. I didn't even have to ask.
    And last night, while Natalie refused to sleep right away and opted to play with some blocks, I left the room to eat dinner quickly. (In case you're wondering where dad was, he was taking a shower and Audrey was already asleep). I kept checking on her until it seemed as though she would be busy with the blocks for a while. A little later I heard something fall- followed by a loud cry. Naturally I ran towards the room, opened the door gently and found her standing beside her mini wooden stool wearing her slippers. She was trying to reach for the door knob so she could open it and go out to me in the dining area. She cried again and pointed to her owee. It was so sweet of her to try and make an effort to get to me. I didn't hesitate to carry her and hug her tight while she squeezed me with her little arms (oh the bliss!).
    These are just a few of the wonderful and sweet moments when I see rewards that are beyond the ordinary (and if you're a mom I'm sure you know what I mean). They come in different forms and ways but the reason for it is the same - it is an expression of love. And when it comes from little hearts who have innocent motives, it can bring such a delight to one's soul. I am just so happy and thankful that I get to experience this kind of love. So in the midst of all this busyness and activity, I can stop and smile because I know I am truly blessed :)


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Worship

    Since the girls have been going to church with us since they were infants, it's no surprise that they've come to love the songs we worship to. Here's one of them.



One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture


Check out Natalie's short home video below if you have time ;)

                         video

       From strumming the guitar to raising her hands to the sky, this video isn't just amusing for me as a parent, but heartwarming :) Hmm, maybe the title of this post should've been: Worship - Toddler Style ;)

Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Simple Joys

     So proud of Audrey today J She woke up extra early and told me she was hungry while I was at my work station (which we fondly call The Workshop). I took her favorite breakfast out – porridge (this batch made up of organic barley and green lentils), which she sprinkled with ground flax seeds and granolas before pouring some milk. Plus she had some grapes on the side.
    She then started eating away and I asked to be excused as I needed to get back to the workshop (inside the room) and finish some drawings. My independent little schoolgirl can be left to eat on her own for some time now, and I am happy that she doesn’t mind eating by herself in the dining room as well. This allowed me some more time to work while Natalie was fast asleep.
    When my husband came out, he saw that Audrey was done and had put away her bowls, her cup of water and even put the milk back in the fridge. J This amazed me! I know this may be a trivial thing for most people or other moms, but I just felt a great sense of fulfillment. My 3 year old is growing up and is aware of responsibilities around the house. I would always remind our girls that even if we have a housekeeper, tidying up and packing away should not be expected of her all the time. We all have to do our part – however small. I am so glad that this reminder every now and then has been remembered.
   What’s even better to hear was that when my husband asked Audrey why she cleared the table even without being asked is because she learned it from Mama J Music to my ears! Hehe!

     

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Something for Dad


A letter for Dada written by Audrey - and she said she wanted to put Natalie's name in it too :)



Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Adventurous We

     Once upon a time, before we were called mama and dada, my husband and I went on quite a number of exciting adventures ;) Now it doesn't mean that we're not willing to try something daring and fun nowadays - we are just a bit more limited due to time constraints, budget concerns and lack of babysitters! And no, age is not an issue either - ha! After all, it is just a number! (defensive hehehe) Now really, if we had the opportunity and resources to travel more and explore new things and places, we would take it. But for now, here's proof that we were the adventurous twosome not so long ago! ;)

White Water Rafting!

        While staying at Rotorua, New Zealand's popular geothermal hot spot (you can actually smell the sulfur when you're here) and home to many adventure filled activities, my husband unknowingly booked us for a White Water Rafting experience in the Kaituna River that we will never forget. This river has the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world and more than a dozen drops! He only learned about this after our hotel receptionist told him this 'not so important' piece of information after he already paid. He then looked at me slightly worried but we just laughed and decided to go ahead with it. We're only in New Zealand once in a while so we might as well try it! hahaha!

        We then rode a bus (included in our booking with Kaitiaki Adventures) the next day along with other fellow adventurers (mostly student backpackers from all over the world). We were able to talk to some of them and we learned that they would do odd jobs like pick watermelons in order to earn some money to fund their travels while in New Zealand (citizens of certain nationalities are allowed to work while on holiday here). 

        Not long after we arrived at our destination - the famous Kaituna River, home of the 7 meter high Tutea Falls! I couldn't tell then if the butterflies in my stomach were because I was excited or nervous! Maybe both haha! 

        After gearing up we headed towards the river. Our rafting guide made me go into the raft first, but he slowly rowed away and made all the guys jump into the cold water to catch us! haha! The group that my husband and I were assigned to had two bulky guys and one who was as slim if not slimmer than my other half. I had to be placed beside the biggest guy so as to balance out the weight in the raft. We were given our paddles and told to hang on for dear life once the ride gets rough... and it really did!

One of the drops!
I actually fell out of the raft in one of them and wow, swimming in a
wild river like this one was no joke! I couldn't quite get back on the raft because of
the current and our guide had to pull me out of the water (using my life jacket)!

The water was soo cold and clean!

This was the 7m drop but it didn't look like it in this photo
(only felt like it! haha)

Now you still see us...

Now you don't... we were immersed in all that water!

And then we're out! (you can't even see me in this photo haha)

My red sleeves are finally showing and my husband
is emerging out of the water at last!

We all made it in one piece!

We came from way up there! (by the trees)
Now it looks more like 7 meters high without the camera's zoom :D

The survivors!
This was one of the most adventurous and fun-filled activities
I've done in my life! ;) So happy my husband and I decided to go for it!

Not so daring but quite adventurous too - we decided to try
Quad Biking in Taupo as we were driving towards Rotorua.
My husband just saw a sign and said that maybe we should check it out.
These spur of the moment decisions were part of the fun experience!

The beautiful view while we were in the bike trail

Can you spot us??
My husband and I had the bike trail all to ourselves
(sans guide too! he was far away busy taking our photo :D)

I even had a bit of an accident while on the trail. I swerved on one of the curves a little bit too fast and my
quad bike toppled to the side! It was too heavy for me to push up so I had to wait for my husband to
realize that I was no longer trailing after him because there was NO ONE else there to help! yikes! hehe!
I had no radio or phone either so I just took my time and waited.
A few minutes later, as expected, I saw my husband running back on the trail hehehe (it's hard
to drive the quad bike backwards - it's definitely faster to walk or run!)

At the Zorb! (Still in Rotorua)

We chose the Hydra Zorb - with water inside so you end
up sliding everywhere while it rolls! Super fun!!!

Happy Zorb first timers!

The Zorb guy assisting us sure knows how to jump!
He must've had a lot of practice! ;)