Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Why I'm a Hands On Mom

     I’m a hands on mom by choice, not by circumstance.
    Since having kids, I knew my desire was to be their full time mom – even if it meant setting aside work and my own pleasures and convenience.
    In this culture of yayas, I’ve had my share of discouragement and worry from some, including my own family. “It’s too hard!”, “You’ll be so tired!”, “You can’t handle two”, “Why don’t you get a yaya for your girls?”, were just some of the comments I got.
     Well, believe it or not, being hands on with my kids is actually something that I want to do. And even if I'm living as though I was abroad with this yaya-less setup, somehow I don't mind. I do have a housekeeper who helps around the house because even though I know I can handle the girls, I am certain that my house will be a mess if I am to be in charge of it as well. And that would mean it would be even more difficult to work on my projects. There simply won’t be enough energy or time left in my day. 
     When I'm out with the girls (and without Daddy) our helper also assists in bringing our stuff and in watching over the girls (watch and not change diapers or give a bath though haha), but at home, I am their primary and only caregiver (with Daddy helping at night and on weekends J ).
     The truth is, I just want to be the one doing everything for my kids and with my kids. As far as I am concerned, this is a season in my life where I can give and give as much as I can to the people I love, even when they can’t give as much back or at all. And this is a season in my kids’ lives where they are so dependent that they have no choice but to let me love on them and do almost everything for them. It’s just an opportunity that I don’t want to miss.
    The Bible says, “There is a time for everything”, and I believe this is my time for sowing into my kids’ lives. This opportunity comes only for a season. Before we know it, our kids are old and can make their own decisions. They won’t be needing mommy as much because they will know what to do and will be physically capable to do it. 
      Time flies is not just a popular saying – when you have kids, this is just so true.
     And when you own something that’s so precious, don’t you treat it with the utmost importance? This is why I know that I am capable of providing the best care for my children more than anyone else.
      Being hands on has its many advantages...
    Our kids learn from us and we are their best teacher. They learn to converse and express themselves better. When we read to them and talk to them like we would to an adult, they quickly pick up and gain knowledge of new words and ideas.
      It is easier to discipline them – I am not easily manipulated like a yaya usually is. I see everything my child is doing and can praise or correct when necessary. But if having a yaya is inevitable, taking time to train them would be best. They need to know the right approach in dealing with your children so they can help you discipline them by reporting any misbehavior promptly and not always agreeing to what they want. 
      I also noticed that Audrey has learned to be more independent since she's been on my watch. Because she has to eat with me at the table with no one else feeding her most of the time (usually during breakfast and lunch), she has learned to feed herself after turning one (kids will know how if left to themselves – with you watching of course, but not doing everything for them). If you have a yaya, train them to encourage your kids to do things on their own, and not just do everything for them. Of course there will be times when you will need to assist and feed your toddler too (i.e. when you're at someone else's house and want to avoid making a big mess ;P, when pressed for time, when they feel lazy and distracted, when all they want to do is play with their food!) But for the most part, encourage them to do things by themselves.
     Being a hands on mom will also allow you to witness all their important milestones – the first laugh, rolling over, reaching out, smiling, sitting up unassisted, the first time they crawl or walk, uttering their first word, saying mama... ahh these times are just so precious!
     I am sooo thankful that I get to spend quality time with my kids, provide acts of service, shower them with words of affirmation, and give them the physical touch that they need. Four of the five love languages already (now this is a different topic altogether). 
    So even if it may seem hard or tiring, I know the returns on this investment is far greater than what I have imagined. Time spent with my kids is absolutely priceless.

P.S.  How I wish all moms had jobs that allowed them to stay and work at home most of the time, like I do. It's not easy to leave home for the office, train a caregiver to take charge, and miss your kids while at work!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Snapshots from a Surprise Party

    Last week, one of my favorite Titas celebrated her 30th birthday! Since Tita Patty didn't really plan a party on her own, my Ninong Pat thought of coming up with a surprise party with all of her favorite treats! :) 

Love these little balloons! See that colorful sorbetes cart behind me?
I thought the chocolate flavor was yummy :)

Even Natalie wanted a piece of the Potato Corner fries that mom was eating... paired with her favorite drink - Mama's milk! :)

Want some?

Had so much fun playing with my gal pals Julia and Sky! :)

Some more pics with our family and the surprised and very happy birthday celebrant :)

These photos were taken by none other than Tito Jorem and Tita Sheila Catilo 
of Catilo Photography :) Awesome shots as always!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goodnight Books

     Reading books has always been part of our activities with our kids. My husband and I make it a point to read to Audrey, and even Natalie, at least once a day. It not only helps them learn new things or expand their vocabulary, but promotes bonding as well. 
     I remember being so excited when at around a year and nine months, Audrey started 'filling out the blanks' when we read her books she was familiar with. She actually knew the words! Two of those books which she gladly recited along with us was Goodnight Moon and The Going to Bed Book. Since we read them to her almost every night, she already knew the words at the end of practically every phrase. And we noticed that it was so much easier for her to remember when they were rhyming.
     The pictures in the books were also very helpful and were an essential part of why she remembered the words. Whenever we read to her, we would point to the corresponding illustration so that she knew what the word stood for. It gave her a clue whenever she would forget. 
       Here are our favorite nighttime and winding down books and why we love them.

Count to Sleep Seattle,
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
and the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon was an instant favorite. I first encountered this book through my friend
Vit as she read it to her son Diego. She would read and point to the 'light' and 'red balloon'
and Diego would be able to identify it and read along with her. And this
actually gave me the idea of filling out the blanks while reading with Audrey when
I had her a few years later :) Thanks Vit!

This book has both colored and black and white (or monochromatic) illustrations. I'm not sure why this is so but I noticed that it helped me remember the order of the story whenever I had to recite it from memory :D

We actually bought Goodnight Moon even while Audrey was in my tummy and started reading it to her then.
We did the same with Natalie :) 

These are pages from Count to Sleep Seattle, a book given by my sister in law, Mic
to Audrey when we visited them in Washington last year before Audrey turned two.
It's a good book for her to remember our trip by and the places we went to, and the things we saw. 
It also helps her learn how to count :) At the end of this book are illustrations of children sleeping 
in their beds and we often make Audrey point out which of these kids are her cousins in Seattle :) 
And of course she will also point out which one of them she is! :)

The Going to Bed Book was a book that I got from Seattle as well but I've seen it being sold here. It is a cute bedtime book with nice illustrations and a funny story. It's one of Audrey's favorites :)
We read this mostly at night but also at any time of the day!

     Nowadays Audrey can recite sentences from the books that we read to her - and she can even read along! All it takes is reading the book to her a couple of times and she catches on. Good to know her memory is pretty good :)
    Sometimes I would also catch her opening her books and pretending to read :) More often than not, the stories that she makes up correspond correctly to the page in the book! She already knows the story probably both through memory and from the illustrations. It is really amusing and rewarding at the same time :) So I encourage you - if you haven't yet - to read books to and with your toddler! You'll be surprised how quickly they catch on and learn :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Treat For Your Little Girl's Feet!

    Do you have little girls like I do? If your answer is yes, then here's some good news! We're giving away a pair of Audrey for Suelitas shoes to 2 lucky winners! :) 
    These shoes are super comfy and ideal for your young ones! They come with removable straps and are foldable - just like their big girl counterpart Suelas! Audrey really loves them and her pink glittery pair holds a special place in her heart :) She just wants to wear them all the time!


     To qualify for this contest, your little girl's feet must have the following HEEL to TOE measurements:

Win any of these 4 styles by Audrey for Suelitas! :)

Here are the Contest Mechanics:
1. LIKE the Suelas facebook page at www.facebook.com/suelasonline
2. SHARE a photo of your favorite Audrey for Suelitas style on your personal facebook 
    page through the Holiday '12: Audrey for Suelitas facebook album of Suelas
3. FOLLOW Suelas on Twitter @suelasonline and The Daily Audrey @DailyAudrey
4. TWEET US @DailyAudrey @suelasonline with "A Treat For Your Little Girl's Feet! #AudreyForSuelitas"
5. EMAIL a photo of your little girl together with her Shoe Size based on the Audrey for   
    Suelitas Size Chart, Your Name, Shipping Address, Contact Number and Twitter Account 
    Name to thedailyaudrey@gmail.com and tell us why your little girl should win a pair :)

Contest ends on April 30, 2013. Winners will be notified through email :)

All photos courtesy of Lemarc Limosnero

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fun in the Sun

     Last weekend, my family and I finally got to go to the beach! We've been looking forward to this trip and I was especially excited to swim again :) It was a welcome break for mom too since our housekeeper was on vacation for two weeks and she had to finish tons of work, not to mention that all four of us caught a cold. Well, that didn't stop us from heading out of town to breathe in some fresh air and swim under the heat of the sun! It was sure lots of fun! :)

Me and my star floaties in the sea!

Natalie is such a water baby! She instantly loved swimming and wasn't afraid of the water at all :) This is her first time at the beach and to go swimming too! I'm so proud of her :)

Didn't I tell you Natalie was so relaxed in the water? She almost fell asleep in it! :D

Time to squirt some water on Dada! :P (Oops gotta be careful with little sis!)

Our photos in the beach! Natalie looks great in my straw hat :) Glad it fits her already!

Finally built my first sand castle! I used to hate the sand but not anymore! :)

Busy busy!

Playing with bubbles in the lawn near the beach! Love to pop them :P

Saw some little monkeys too! Can you spot them? :)

Hanging out in the sand!

I had so much fun with my family! :) Can't wait to go to the beach again!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Little Luli

      If you are constantly on the lookout for cute, comfy and affordable outfits for your toddlers, then Little Luli is perfect for you! Check out their lovely little dresses for girls modeled by none other than Audrey :) 

These dresses are available in sizes 2-5 and Audrey is wearing a size 2.

Shown here are the cute and cool tent dress and space dress 

And here are the tank top dresses!

Audrey loves this purple tent dress and insisted that she wear it with her pink Suelitas
(and matched it with her glittery magenta bag shown in one of the photos above too) 
She's a little fashionista! :)

     Little Luli will be at the EXPO MOM BAZAAR 
     at the Rockwell Tent on April 6-7, 2013.
  Check out their Summer Collection!

Also available at the bazaar are their Limited Edition infants' shoes and headpieces!

These infants' shoes are suuuper cute! :) They fit 0-9 month old babies!

And these headpieces are limited so grab one for your little girl before they run out :)

And good news for boys' moms!!! Little Luiz will have little polos available 
at the Rockwell Bazaar and soon to be available online too!

Little Luli and Little Luiz are available at 
www.littleluliandluiz.com and www.facebook.com/LittleLuliandLuiz