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! ;)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Style Icon: Emma Stone

     Time for another break in this busy working mommy's life! Although I don't usually obsess after Hollywood celebrities' latest looks and fashion, I do love seeing them in some awesome get-ups either to get ideas or just to simply entertain myself haha! I do believe that fashion is a form of art and being creative in what you wear is a nice way to express yourself. 
       After drooling on her Gwen Stacy character outfits, it's time to check out Emma Stone's personal style ;) She's been one of my favorite actresses ever since I saw her in Easy A and Crazy, Stupid, Love. I just adore her personality and sense of humor. I think anyone who can laugh at herself and not be so self conscious all the time but is able to go with the flow is awesome :) 
       
I love this look and shade of pink! 

The architect in me just loves the structure of this outfit.
I like the colors and how crisp it looks!
And check out those shoes! ;)

Girly and bright!

I love the contrasting lines in this
flowing gown. 

Long and elegant

I like the simple sophistication of this outfit :)

I like the bright red jacket as an
accent to the dull gray top ;)

Ok, so now it's time for me to get back to work! Break's over. Haha!

Images from the Web

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Handwriting


     Teaching Audrey how to write her name was a fun and challenging experience. Besides making sure that she knew the letters of her name, I also had to make sure that she knew how to write (from left to right) and what the proper strokes are for each letter (still working on this as it is very tricky!). It just takes a whole lot of patience, time and practice. 
    I was able to get great resources and worksheets online that really helped make the process of teaching easier for me. I would frequent www.handwritingforkids.com to get practice worksheets and information about writing and more. 
     Here are tips for you from Handwriting for Kids if you'd like to start teaching your child to write:


     Never lose your patience when your child is learning how to write. Here's a few tips to get you started:
  • Provide a quiet, comfortable, and warm atmosphere to work with your child.
  • Make sure your child understands the directions before beginning a handwriting lesson.
  • Show your child how to write on a separate paper while you're giving the instructions.
  • Limit each session to one or two lessons.


  Below are more tips and guidelines from my pre-school teacher friends :)

Make sure that your child has the Proper Grip. They usually start off with the palmar grasp 
so you need to show them how to hold a pencil so they can write properly. I am
lucky though because Audrey started doodling and writing with the proper grip already.
It seems that she's been observing how I would hold my pen when writing even at a very young age.

Although kids love writing with oversized markers or crayons, practicing 
how to write is best done with a Short Pencil or Regular Size Crayon
according to my sis in law Mic.

I made Audrey practice different pencil strokes.
Our practice includes Vertical Lines, Horizontal Lines,
Big Curves and Small Curves.

At their table. Natalie writes with the palmar grasp. I will teach her the proper
way to hold her pen when she's ready :)

We practice writing the letter R by Tracing since it's a tricky letter for Audrey to write.

Used a fat marker upon request :P 

Smiley Audrey

Smiley Natalie

We also practice writing with a Lined Sketch Pad,
although I do let Audrey write without lines from
time to time just to see her progress ;)

We try to keep the letters within the Top and Bottom Lines

Practicing never ends as long as my student is willing! :)


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Very Early Day

I got up from bed without my alarm clock ringing this morning. Very early this morning.
I couldn't breathe well. Something about air conditioning and a fan directed towards me makes me cough and tightens my lungs.
That was at 2am. (I was asleep before 10 if I remember correctly).
I tried going back to sleep but as I looked at the clock, it was the slowest time has ever been 2:15. 2:30. 2:35. 2:45. (Wish time was always this slow).
By 3am I told myself, if I don't get to go back to sleep by 4, I'm getting up.
So I did.
I honestly felt like a zombie. My head was buzzing and my body was sleepy. But my mind stayed awake.
Oh well, might as well start my day.
At 4am I read inspiring devotionals. About breaking bad habits, taming the tongue, encouragement for busy moms.
I was at it for about 20 minutes before Natalie cries out for milk. Oops, back to bed. Hope I don't fall asleep while nursing (breastfeeding has the power to make me drowsy, especially since I'm vulnerable now).
I'm trying to keep myself awake by typing this on my phone. I need to stay awake bec my day has begun. There's so much to do. So much silence to take advantage of. In a few minutes I need to start working and send out emails. In 30 minutes I have to cook my husband's breakfast. After that I've to get back to work. While the girls are asleep.
Emphasis on ASLEEP.
Life as a mom is just so different. I remember being busy as a married non-mom (is that even a word?). Ok, as a married woman with no kids yet. I think I want to laugh! That kind of busy is NOTHING to this kind of busy!
In fact, I now realize that I wasn't that busy back then after all. I had only two individuals to think of. Me and my husband. And we were also both capable of taking care of ourselves.
I don't need to make the extra effort to wake up super early just so I can have time to myself and work.
I don't need to sneak in work while my husband was asleep because he can keep himself busy with his own concerns and interests. And of course, he too goes to work.
My day can start at 9am if I wanted to. 10am even. But not so anymore.
My day with the girls starts at 730am. On some days at 8. So I need to get my personal things done before then if I want to accomplish a lot today. That means devotions/prayer time (it keeps me sane), working, and bathing.
I'd be lucky to squeeze in some work during the day with my daughters' consent. Audrey being older and more understanding would just say, "I hope you'll be done soon Mom, I'd really like it if you can play with us or let's do home school again" (and this is after a whole morning of class with me, whom she calls Teacher Mom).
Natalie is not so forgiving. If I have to attend to an urgent email or phone call or finish some drawings, she will more often than not protest by crying, going to my work station and asking for milk. Or even tapping my knees and arms endlessly and pointing to the mats while saying, "play".
Shucks. How can I even say no. They're only this young for a short moment in time.
So every day I tell myself - Get up. NOW. Get up while it's quiet. Get up and work. Get up so you can finish what needs to be done so you can have more time with your girls.
So that's why this zombie mom is up now. Never mind that I lack sleep. Or that I may possibly get raccoon eyes (that's what concealer is for anyway).
At least I have this time to myself now, and time for my girls later.