Thoughtful Early Christmas Gifts

Speaking of thoughtful, I want to share this forgotten draft about the first Christmas gifts that I received last year.

Faye got me Christmas movies for our Christmas movie marathon tradition.

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One reason why I don’t buy stuff online is because I don’t have time to go to the bank to pay. Franco’s paranoia has rubbed on me. Paying online scares me.  Some months ago, I bought this jar in an online garage sale. Will share what I did with it in a separate post. Unfortunately, I was so busy that I kept delaying going to the bank to place my payment until I forgot out the jar. I think the seller (Hello Bonnie! Please don’t hate me.) put the jar up for sale again and sweet Rachel bought it for me because she knew I was not able to do so.

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My suki at our Sunday parish market gave me a little something last Christmas to show their appreciation for my patronage. So sweet!

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Latest Additions to my Ref Magnet Collection

Can I just say that I have the nicest and most thoughtful friends and family?! Thanks to them, even if I have not been going anywhere, my magnet collection has grown. I blogged about my collection here, here and here.

Don’t you just love the intricate details of magnets? I wonder how they are made and what are they made of? Are those carved? Probably not. Are they hand or machine painted?

I love magnets because they remind me of the places that I have been too. They also remind me that I was remembered during the trips of my friends and family.  I have  lost some magnets. Sigh. Thanks to very curious and playful little hands. I particularly miss my Thailand river market and Davao durian magnets. Hopefully, I will get the chance to go back or someone who loves me will visit those places again and get me new magnets.

Moving on…

Thanks Tita Ming for my Taipei magnet!

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From my dear father-in-law, a magnet from Rome.

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From Stockholm with love. Thanks Sieggy! Malaysia magnet naman next time ha. 😛

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Maggie got me this one from India. Thanks, Maggie! Your next assignment: Bacoor magnet. Harhar!

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DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar

We had the most fun beating the heat a couple of weekends ago mega thanks to our mini ice cream party. Aki and I left the house early to buy toppings. On our way to the grocery, we stopped by at each of his friends’ house and invited Justin, Gabbie and Vincent for an afternoon of ice cream at our house.  The kids were definitely psyched! I told them to be at our place at 3:30PM. They arrived at 2:30!

The secret to a fun ice cream party are toppings topping toppings! I was planning to make hot chocolate fudge but since the guests came early and were eager to start, I decided to forego the fudge.

The toppings: graham crackers,crushed Hi-ro cookies, white chocolate Knick Knacks (a surprise hit with the kids), Chocnut, chocolate chip cookies and Nips.

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Don’t you just love the colors? My Tita Ming got these colorful Ikea bowls, plates, cups and utensils for only 1 pound per pack.

I could have done a much better job at taking pre-party photos but the kids just could not stop eating my toppings.

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For the ice cream, we got 2 flavors – chocolate and cookies & cream.
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Are there toys in heaven?

Some weeks ago, I prayed to God to show me how can I be a better parent to Aki. The answer that I got was to read Bible stories more often. I love how I get answers to my questions and prayers. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night and suddenly have answers. Or sometimes, someone would bring up the topic out of nowhere and give suggestions. I take that as a sign and answer from God.

Anyhoo, here are the questions that Aki raised after reading Bible stories to him

What is heaven?

Where is heaven?

How come we can’t see Jesus? Is he invisible?

What is holy?

What is the Holy Spirit?

Are there toys in heaven?

Neighborhood Friends

When you were still a kid, did you spend countless hours playing in the street with your neighborhood friends? Unfortunately for me, I did not have that kind of childhood memories.  I was never a batang kalye. I was not allowed to play in the streets. My lola told us that if my sister and I played with boys, we will grow penis in our foreheads. Crazy!!  Looking back, my childhood was not so bad but it would had definitely been more memorable if I had friends outside our family. More on my childhood here.

Fast forward to 2014. We used to always hear that parents want their children to have the things and experiences that they growing up did not have. I am no exception. I want Aki to grow up with lots of friends in our village.  One afternoon as I was walking home, I noticed a group of kids running around. I invited them to our house to play with Aki and his beyblades. And the rest including my quest to be the coolest mom on the block is history.

We now have kids hanging out in our living room and garden all the time. How fun it really is. I love how Aki now has little role models. Aki’s friends teach him things like how to play gentle esp during sword fights, how to share and how to calmly wait for your turn and how losing is okay. Aki wants to be 6 years old because I told him, after interviewing the kids on how old were they when they were allowed to play in the streets, that he needs to turn 6 first before he can play outside unsupervised.

I too am adjusting to the role. When the kids come to the house before they have eaten breakfast, do I ask them to go home first? Or should I offer our food to them? My concern is that if they eat in our house, their parents might blame me if they don’t eat during meal times with their respective families. When it is already dark, do I ask the kids to go home? I would be worried if Aki is still out and it is past 6PM. But then again, my boy is only 4 years old. I might feel differently when Aki’s already 7 or 8 years old, which is the age of his friends. And what do I do if they bring their toy guns which Aki is not allowed to play with? Or what should I do if they start fighting?

Oh well, let’s wait and see and enjoy watching them have fun.

Here are some of the pictures from the long weekend last January

Vincent and Aki playing dinosaurs versus action figures

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Limbo rock

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Jumping rope.

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Sword fight

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Life’s Little Moments

I think Michelle Obama hit home when she said in a Good Housekeeping interview that what makes life great are not the big splashy stuff. It is about the little day-to-day routines and rituals. As a wife and mother, it is my personal mission to make sure that those little moments don’t just pass us by. Being in the moment to me means being aware of the memories that you want to make, keep and celebrate.

Here are my favorite little moments that make our life oh so great

Whenever Aki tells me that kissing and hugging me are his favorites parts of the day

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Hanging out in our doorsteps and enjoying the art of doing nothing

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Watching Aki enjoy being a kid. Last Saturday’s Kodak moment was brought to us by our suking aircon cleaning guy.
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Curling up in bed on weekends and watching our favorite  80’s or 90’s movies. We were in the middle of Back to the Future III when this shot was taken
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Black and White

Lately, we love taking photos in black and white. B&W photos look classic, artsy and dramatic. Here are my favorite shots from last weekend.

Franco took this pictures of me and Aki in our favorite hangout spot. We love to cuddle by the door and watch people, dogs and delivery trucks go by.

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI bet you just stared at my gray hairs. I can’t stop staring at them too. So do strangers in the elevator and officemates during meetings. I have a long line of people who are just dying to pluck them out. However, based on experience, despite what books say, I am a believer that the more you pluck your gray hairs, the more will come out. I don’t mind the grays actually. It was only a few years back that I realized that not everyone gets a head full of gray hairs in their 30’s. What I hate is that most of my grays stand out. They are just begging to be plucked because they are coarse and kinky. G

Moving on… Even off angle blurry black and white shots look artsy

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Aki, my little bolero, just said, “You’re so beautiful, Mum. I love your long hair” before he took this shot Continue reading

Fly Fly Green Butterfly

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I am so happy to share that we have discovered new butterflies in our garden.

Missed our posts on our save-the-caterpillars project last year? Click here to back read.

Technically, the new butterflies/caterpillars are not in our garden because the host plant , the acapulco is right in the border of our property and that of our neighbor. The neighbors do not seem to care about the plant so I am claiming it to be ours. Manang Lydia said in Samar, acapulco is considered a weed but I think it is to pretty to chop down.

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After diligent observation for about 2 months, we now have a better understanding of the life cycle. I still have yet to find out what kind of butterfly this is so Bostjan, if you are reading this, feel free to jump in and share your expertise with us again.

Remember this Vet for A Day post? Aki nurtured an injured butterfly back to health. It was the first time for us to see a green butterfly in our garden. We never saw one again until late last year. While opening the gate, I saw a green butterfly in labor. I know how a butterfly in labor looks like because I have seen a lot of other butterflies lay eggs in our calamansi plant. They flap their wings faster. They don’t care if your face is 2 inches away which is unusual because normal butterflies will fly away as soon as they sense that you are coming. The eggs come out of the tail.

My dear one playing with his new pets.

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He even came up with a caterpillar race for them similar to the one he made for the chubby pets from last year.
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Let’s look at the life cycle, shall we?
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