Dusty Uniwide = My Happy Place

I discovered Uniwide through my sister-in-law Mae last year. I did not blog about it because I got a lot of my Christmas gifts from there. Of course, I didn’t want my friends to find out how much I paid for their presents. Although the place is dusty, the pushcarts are heavy and uncooperative, I sweat like crazy everytime I visit, it is still one of my top shopping destinations. If Dapitan was great, Uniwide is 10 times better! Plus, it is just near my place. Since I am trying to save save save, I only brought 500 bucks. I still went home with three bags fulls of treasure.

Click on the pictures to see the unbelievable prices of my favorite finds.

Some shopping tips

– It is hot inside. Wear a pair of shorts, a sleeveless top and bring a ponytail

– Bring a damp washcloth so you can wipe your face and hands after shopping. Wipe only after you leave the store. It is no use to wipe while you are still shopping because your hands will still get dirty

– Inspect each item carefully. Most if not all items are factory rejects. Some have noticeable flaws. Some look perfect.

Routines and Rituals: Car Rides

Ever since I got to read Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Toddler on the Block book, we have been trying to implement as many routines and rituals as we can. According to the book,¬†doing the same thing everyday¬†lowers kids’ stress, builds their confidence and makes them feel smarter. Adding rituals or simple specific actions adds a dash of fun to routines.

Routines are not just for the kids. Routines also help¬† parents and caregivers. For example, we have eliminated the morning dramafest whenever I leave for work when we started our morning routine. Every morning, when I go to the office, Aki and Cheryl also leave the house. We walk together until we reach the guard house where I kiss Aki goodbye. Aki and Che then, walk¬†towards one of our neighbors’ house to watch koi fishes. It really was difficult before when Cheryl was still new. Aki did not like his new yaya and refused to be left alone with her. Now, he looks forward to his morning walk and even says goodbye to me first.

One of the rituals that Dr. Karp suggested is playing the same song every time we get in the car.

Here is our playlist.

Bioman Theme Song (Shudenshi, Bioooooooman…) Continue reading

OTOP Trade Fair Finds

After a long long time,¬†I finally got to visit a trade fair again. As I posted before, trade fairs used to be my thing. I would go out of my way to find out when is the next fair. I even had this notebook where I jotted down my favorite finds and the supplier information so I can contact them again in the future. During those days, I looked for the most innovative or weirdest product. In my last trade fair shopping spree at the OTOP fair, I had different products in mind. I wanted to take home common items from my childhood in fear that local entrepreneurs might stop producing them. Most of the items that I got were actually for Aki’s Filipino toy collection.

I only had a budget of 400 pesos but look what I got to bring home.

Pangamot or back scratcher (PhP)40 and Toy Guitar from Cebu (PhP80).

Ifugao house (PhP20) and Bahay Kubo (PhP25)

Raffia Christmas Ornaments (PhP 15@) 

 
Continue reading

Playdate with the N@wies

Now I remember why I have not yet blogged about any of the previous playdates that we had with my fellow N@wies and their kids. I have been looking at my screen for a good 10 minutes and I still haven’t¬† found the right words to start this blog entry.

If you have been reading this blog, you probably know already that I am a member of this online community called Newlyweds@Work.  Members like me are called N@wies. In a nutshell, we are a group of graduates from another online egroup called Weddings@work.  So from, planning a wedding, we now move on to discussions on everything and anything about being a wife, a mother and  a woman.  Our topics range from passport application to pediatric dentists to vacuum cleaners to Sara Geronimo. 

Weekend playdates with¬† my N@W friends and their kids is something I always look forward to.¬†It is nice to finally talk about developmental delays, homeschooling¬†and other mommy concerns and stories without worrying if I am boring my friends. Three of the four playdates that we had were held at the Play Place in Alabang Town Center McDonald’s.¬† The area is separate from the rest of the restaurant, giving us some privacy. There are also several tables where we can eat, chat and leave are bags in when it is time to follow the kids inside the tubes.

The most recent playdate was very memorable for me because for the first time, Aki really played with other children.¬† In the last playdates, it was mostly parallel play. He played side by side but did not really interact that much. In our last playdate, Aki followed Briel, sis Nadia’s son,¬†wherever the latter went. Aki kept on asking for Basti’s balloon until Basti finally let Aki touch it. Basti is sis Sunshine’s 2 year old toddler. Aki followed Maia, Faye’s darling little girl,¬†down the slide. I had no plans of fitting all of my 115 pounds into that kiddie slide but I was worried that Aki might get scared inside the tube slide. After twisting and turning, I found my way out. Aki was not a bit scared.

In this video, I think Briel was pretending to scare Maia and Aki.

 

This is Akikoy, my boombambino.

Continue reading

Goodbye Manang, Hello Cheryl

I just realized that I haven’t introduced Manang’s replacement, Cheryl. So far, so good except for the instance when she forgot to put the plug back after defrosting the ref. I was expecting the transition to be difficult especially for Aki. Cheryl came on board one month before Manang left. And in that one month, my son, who is usually very sweet to everyone, even to strangers, did not like Cheryl. He hit her and¬†shoo-ed her away everytime she was about to go near. Since Manang left, Aki learned that he has no choice but to be nice to his secondary care giver.

When Manang advised that she will be leaving for good, we started immediately to look for a replacement.¬† In our hearts, she will never be replaced but we need someone to take her place in our house. The search was on. I earn a living by recruiting qualified applicants for the company I work for. It is a shame that for my first two househelps, Jane and Manang, I did not do any screening at all.¬†Good thing, both performed well. For my third househelp, I was determined¬†to somewhat exercise what I learned in my 8 years in HR.¬†With the many yaya horror stories that I read and¬†heard, I need to be sure that¬†Aki’s yaya is fit for the role. ¬†There were three¬†levels of screenings – behavioral interview, background check and pre employment requirements. I will try to blog about¬†my interview¬†and background check questions when I have the time. For now, let me introduce Cheryl thru her hiring documents.

Based on her biodata, she took up a one year course on Caregiving. She knows CPR and other first aid skills.

Continue reading

Aki’s Playroom Gets a Makeover

I have posted this room’s¬†before pictures¬† here. While it was not so bad then, there were a lot of things that I wish we had and did not have. For one,¬†sometimes the room used to look like Toy Kingdom meets Payatas.

I have edited and edited and edited this room so that
1) Aki won’t get overstimulated anymore
2) Clean up will be easier for Aki and for us
3) The color motif, green and blue, would be more obvious
4) The Filipino theme would be somewhat noticeable

Without further ado, welcome to Aki’s playroom!

This room is really small. I can’t imagine putting a bed here. Maybe, Aki will sleep beside me until he is ready to move out when he is 35. Tee hee.

This is the most inviting room in the house. Literally.

Remember the fence shelf that I got from the Asiacraft Warehouse sale? I had it painted using chalkboard paint ( ordinary paint with grout). I am actually a bit disappointed with how it turned out. I thought the grout will make the color lighter. I also did not check if the paint that I bought was glossy. There was a chalkboard paint available but I opted to DIY it because the whole galloon costs 500 bucks. I only needed 1/5th of that amount. Anyhoo, the good thing is that the Aki can now draw on the sides of his toy shelf.

After the toy decluttering that I did last month, these are the only ones that I decided should stay. Some toys are in my in-laws. Some are in Aki’s 2nd playroom. The rest which are mostly age inappropriate are in the guest room.

Aki’s cutest baby onesies hang above the toy shelf.

Here are the native horsie horsies, more toys and Aki’s kiddie rocking chair with the monogram pillow that I made.

Continue reading

DIY Monogram Pillow

This is my most recent project for Aki’s playroom.

First, make a pattern. I also made the pillow case but you can also use store bought ones. I think solid colored cases will pair nicely with printed letters.

Now, trace the pattern over felt cloth and cut. Felt is a great fabric because it does not fray.

 

Using safety pins or any sewing pins, put the letter in place. Continue reading