Tuesday, November 19, 2013

After the storm

More than two weeks has passed after the most powerful typhoon on earth hit my country, the Philippines.    The magnitude of destruction is beyond comprehension.  Many lives have been lost, houses swept away by strong winds and water that engulfed the affected areas.  It still feels so surreal that this could happen.  Until now,  I tear up whenever I see news of what Yolanda left is with.  The road to recovery will indeed be a tedious and challenging one, but I pray for the people's strength and faith that there will be a better tomorrow.   I am at awe with the outpour of help from my countrymen as well as the international community.  It just goes to show that there is still a lot of good people in this world.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toddler activity: the salt dough experiment

R is not fond of touching slimy or gooey things.  That is why most of the sensory activities that I do with him would exposing him to such textures.  Pinterest has been my go to site when looking for toddler activities.  I pin away everything that interests me and just check out the individual links when I need to come up with a new activity.

For this week, we tried making the salt dough.  You just mix salt, water and flour and you have a soft dough that's ready to be worked!  R poured the ingredients by himself but took a backseat when it came to mixing.  He really did not want to do anything with it!  After the dough was formed, I pulled out the cookie cutters and this was what got his attention.  He got so giddy when he saw the Christmas tree cookie cutter!  He kept on saying "tee."  This was the ice breaker!  He enjoyed making dough cut outs.  To make him use his hands more, I gave him a ball of dough and asked him to follow what I did.  We squished and rolled the clay and made snake doughs, which he loved so much that he kept on swirling and making them crawl on the tray.

This is a very good activity for sensory play.  The consistency is softer than a clay making it easier to manipulate.  You can even make a memorabilia out of it by having your kid mark his hand or feet on the dough and bake it!  We were not able to do it since we did not have time to heat the oven. But we will definitely do this again!

                  All you need are 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c salt, 1/2c water, and a bowl for mixing!

                    R making his Christmas tree dough.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The good and the BAD cholesterol

Our tests results (lab test, that is) are in and we all have bad cholesterol beyond the acceptable limit.  I, being the healthier looking between my hubby and our helper have the lowest score, just a few points over the limit.  The two, who you would assume would be in a healthier state, have higher bad cholesterol than me.  This just goes to prove that thin does not necessarily mean healthy.  I pretty much had an incling that they would have higher scores becuase of their food choices.  Now, since we all need to take some medication (I for a month and the other two for three months), it is an eye opener that we really must alter or eating habits.  We seriously need to avoid fried foods (or at least lessen it), drink more water and exercise.  As my brother (a personal trainer and crossfit coach in Canada) keeps reminding us, no diet can help you if you do not change your lifestyle.  True that!  I have went off track for the past three weeks from my exercise regimen and eating 'cleaner food'  after I got sick.  This is indeed a wake up call since it's the first time that I went off any limit.  I will go back doing T25 plus some running on weekends with the hubby and be more serious about drinking green smoothies.  I commit to join Superfood Grocer's 10 day challenge.  So, in case you see my Instagram bombarded with daily pictures of my daily dose of green smoothie beginning  Monday, you can ignore it, or cheer me on.  Either way, the goal is to motivate myself and be healthier, not just for me but especially for my hubby and son (and fututre kid).  

                                         Superfood Grocer's challenge.

    Photos taken from Superfood Grocer's ebook.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Super typhoon is driving me nuts!

This super typhoon is freaking me out! Although Manila will not be directly hit by typhoon Yolanda, this urban jungle is prone to flood even with the slightest rain.  Blame it on poor urban planning.  And as an Ondoy victim,  I get all nuts whenever there is a storm that's brewing.  For the past three years, there has never been a year that R and I evacuate for safety to my uncle's house and camp there for several days.  I am thankful though that we have not experienced any flood since Ondoy.  I honestly do not know if I can handle one again!   

I hope the typhoon will weaken.  Please, God.  Give our country a break.  We just went through several typhoons and earthquakes.  What's even worse is that I read in the newspaper a couple of days ago that the Philippines belongs to the top 10 countries that will suffer severe damages due to climate change. Should we evacuate now to another country? Sigh, it is super scary that I do not even want to read more about it.  

Thank you God for making me a Mom.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fun at the Little Gym

It is R's 3rd week at the Little Gym and I am so happy that he enjoys his classes there. It is actually the first time wherein he does not hold on to the entrance of the door, stopping me to go inside. We have been to Gymboree, Summer Class in ISYC and Kindermusik (trial class) and I experienced the same behavior every time. I am not saying that the classes/programs that he attended were not good. It's just not for him.

One day, I was looking for other institutions for R that offered once a week classes to follow through on his summer school experience. I was looking for a school that will meet his needs. He loves to run a lot, so that was one of my major requirement. A program that will further hone his dexterity and at the same time improve his social skills. I did some research on the net for other alternatives and came across reviews about the Little Gym.

The Little Gym along Julia Vargas in Ortigas has been there for quite sometime. I guess the reason why I never checked it out was because I had an impression that they were only offering gymnastics. I wish I knew what they had to offer earlier! During our trial class, R was running around like crazy. He loved how spacious the place was! Lots of room for running! The class had a similar flow with the other schools, but a plus is that they involve gymnastics in teaching kids. At first, I was afraid that R might be afraid of walking on the balance beam or swinging on the low and high bars, but he surprised me because he actively participated in all of the tasks. He was having fun!

What made me decide to enroll him at the Little gym was because of their progressive approach. For the first time, I heard the teacher assure the parents that it is alright to let the kids wander off, especially if it is their first time. We were asked to just stay with the group and just call on our child from time to time. I felt relieved because I was not stressing myself on making R join the group all the time. There wasn't any nagging from me or crying from R. True to the teacher's words, R (and the other children) would gravitate towards the group and join the activities.

So far, both of us are enjoying his classes so much.  In the three weeks that we have spent  at the Little Gym, I am seeing how he is very comfortable with his teacher and surroundings, and is being more sociable towards his classmates.

The enrollment fee may be a little bit higher compared to Gymboree and Kindermusik, covering 12 weeks, but my hubby and I were willing to give it a try because we saw how it can benefit R.  This is really worth an investment.

Holidays without the mall

How was your long weekend?  I hope you guys had a blast as much as I did.  We did not go out of town or anything.  Honestly, I am not the type to plan trips that will coincide with holidays, knowing how the traffic scene will look like.  Stress.    We had a simple, yet fun long weekend, sans R getting sick after trick or treating.  This was also the first time that we did not hang out in any malls and it was such a refreshing change!  Don't get me wrong.  I love going to the mall.  A week cannot pass by without visiting the mall.  I feel incomplete and I kinda get irritable (haha!)  The week that had passed was truly an exception and I congratulate myself for breathing in some fresh air.

R had fever Friday morning, but thank God, it quickly went away after drinking paracetamol.  Come late afternoon, my hubby and I were kinda getting bored and decided to dine by the Manila Bay.  We wanted something different and wanted R to experience eating by the Bay.  It was a quick drive to Harbor View, which is one of the restaurants that my family and I used to frequent when I was younger.  On our way, R got so giddy seeing the huge ferris wheel in Star City, which can be seen at the other side of the bay where we dined.  We totally loved the cool breeze.  It was a new experience for R as well.  It was his first time to see this side of Manila and dine by the bay.

I had to order my all time favorite Nilasing na Hipon.  I missed it so much!  I think the last time I had that was five years ago!  I was solved.  I was not able to take a lot of pictures because the little boy was everywhere and kept on pulling me towards the trick or treat pail.

Harbor View.
My little elf.

Mama, pshhhh.
We opted to sit inside.  
My Nilasing na hipon!
Al Fresco dining by the bay.

Come Sunday morning, we headed to UP so that R could run.  We also brought his tricycle, knowing that he would get tired.  Initially, he was riding his tricycle.  But probably after seeing all those people walking, jogging, running, and biking, he decided to join them. And run did he!  Boy, did excerised that morning! The expression from my son's face every time he runs and see such a huge space is priceless.  It's as if he is in heaven.  He just kept on running and taking everything in.  He must have been so exhausted on our way back because he asked his Dad to buy him juice and quietly sat on his tricycle, drinking.

It was truly one of my ideal weekends, just hanging out with my boys and enjoying the simple and cheap things that life can offer.

Sunday morning fun at UP.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Food trip days

Fridays are usually food trip days since R has class at The Little gym.  I have been quite busy to do separate reviews, so here are some of our food escapades for the last two weeks.

                     Ginza Bairin at the UP Town Center is a must for Katsu lovers like me!

          Pancake house's Limited edition Salted Caramel & Walnut pancake is so good!

                            Green Pastures at the East Wing of Shangri-la mall is always
                                      full.  Organic food + good food = winner!


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