Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sam is 5!

A few weeks before Sam's 5th birthday, we asked him what he wants for his birthday. He made a quick rundown :
  • a chocolate cake with cherry on top
  • a trip to Dinosaur Island (he saw the pictures and videos of Ate's field trip here and couldn't get over them),
  • a trip to Thomas Land ( I almost fainted)
  •  new dinosaur toys (he's still into the dinosaur fascination stage),
  •  ice cream, spaghetti and chicken 
  • swim and play all day!
I was too confident we'd grant all his wishes until I heard Thomas Land. We explained to him that we can't go to Thomas Land (yet) as we still need to save for that trip because it's too far from home (in UK where Tito Ian lives) and we need to take the airplane. He understood pretty well. He's happy naman na we're going to Dino Island.

Kids, as they grow older and have a good grasp of what parties and celebrations are all about, should be part of the party planning. It's also important they understand where budget comes in and what is feasible and not. This way, they'll be able to know the concept of money, manage their expectations and still get to enjoy their day.

So we're off to Dinosaurs Island in Clark.

During the trip to the park, my husband kept on joking that were going to Baguio City instead and they both squealed 'NO!' (They can read the signs 'To Baguio' along NLEX) They're so excited to go to Dino park, even our fave vacation spot doesn't appeal to them. Lol.

Finding the theme park was a little challenge since we don't frequent Clark, Pampanga and there's not much human in sight save for the guards on-duty. Thank God for Google maps and GPS.
Just want to share too that we were saddened that the town looks too forgotten - unfinished construction, abandoned buildings, hotels and houses. I love driving along Subic and Clark because of the wide roads and organized traffic system. I hope something can be done with Clark.

Anyway, we finally reached the theme park. Our little celebrant was so mesmerized by the animatronics dinosaurs. He was simply starstruck the whole time! We couldn't get him to look at the camera, he was too busy digesting everything in site.

Every time we walked to a different dinosaur on display, he would demand for me to read and explain about the creature - did it eat meat or plants? why the spikes? does it have sharp teeth or not? etc. 

Ate Sophie finally got to try the T Rex experience. She wasn't able to do this during her field trip because of the long line. 

We also tried the Jurassic Jungle Safari ride. I bought the ride tickets online and since we availed of the safari ride, we got discounts on the entrance fee to the theme park. Sweet deal! Not a sweet ride for the kiddos, though. While ate Sophie was screaming and crying the whole ride, Sam pretended to be invisible and curled up into a ball on his seat once he spotted a dinosaur. It's his way of surviving daw so he won't get eaten. I don't know where he got that but it's really cute :)

Can you guess who's more excited to be here? My crazy husband! Honey, there's such a thing as underacting in theater and you need to learn that.

Next, we took the almost 1 hour drive to Subic for lunch. Long drive really but we were all hungry for Meat Plus Cafe's burgers and ribs. Once again, Meat Plus didn't disappoint. My grilled salmon was heavenly (I'm trying to eat more fish and glad they serve seafood on the menu) :)

The highlight of our lunch was a surprise ice cream sundae with cherry on top for our celebrant. He was too ecstatic to blow the candle and eat his ice cream which he shared with all of us. He is a kid who doesn't mind sharing his food. After he tasted his very first cherry he said, 'Mommy, I don't want cherry on my cake anymore.'

Those are few wishes off his list plus a little shopping for the kids and adults hihi. 

He went shopping for a new pair of cool shades. 

Across Meat Plus we found this wall of white and red. Kewl!

Sam showing off his new loot. 

And did he say play all day? Why not! Swim all day too, they did. Well, not really all day... :)

On the day of his birthday, we got him his chocolate cake. No more cherry on top but I placed all the toys (cleaned well) he loves in those five years - Thomas and Friends, Bumble Bee and dinosaurs.

Oh and, of course, that spaghetti and chicken and some more favorites like our homemade cookies, fruits and chips for the movie night.

Yep, as a bonus, a Dinosaur movie night and mini party with his friends.

My son has always been Mr. Entertainer. Such a goofball! 

 Happy birthday to our little Mr. Energetic! Thank you for bringing so much joy in our life and for keeping our brain cells working overtime with your mind-boggling, tricky questions :) We wouldn't have it any other way. We love you much much :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Late Birthday Post: Turning 38

I've been contemplating (too long it’s April na) on what to write as a birthday post. As I shared, I turned 38 last March. Honestly, I have so many drafts for a birthday post and, ironically, they ended up unfinished. Somehow, I just can’t find the right amount of inspiration to end it and publish. Plus, life offline is so so busy. 

So here’s another attempt. This time I’m writing 8 things I learned since I became 30, that monumental part of my life where everything just took a 5th gear to where I am now.
I was 30 when I got married and got pregnant to my first born five months later. It was also at that time that, consequently, I moved out of my parents’ house and started my own family. I was around that age too when I got promoted to managerial position. Overwhelming 3-0 really. 

After years of what seem to be a roller coaster ride (I have a love-hate relationship with roller coasters), I’m here now sharing the things I learned. Off course, if given the time, I’d write more but for now, let’s keep it to 8 important truths in life as I see it (in no particular order):
  • Motherhood is no walk in the park. Some of the most hair-pulling, grueling experiences I came across as a mom were never shared in books, on the internet; not even my mom was able to share half of the hardships of parenting. Each parent needs to experience the journey, learn from it and grow with it. There will be a time when trial and error is the only option you have but the end in mind is always what's best for the family. That is our battle cry in this chaos of parenting. It's a fun ride, nevertheless. I love kids so I enjoy the journey. 
  • Marriage is no walk in the park either. From experience and as what I have observed with other married couple, I believe in 3 things to keep the marriage together 1) you have to love and marry the person for who he really is, not who you want him to be, 2) make sure you see yourself growing old with this person. It's important that you develop a strong friendship bond as this will get you through past the romantic and horny stage, past the financial and household crisis. In the movie American Quilt, the question,  'Should you marry your best friend or your lover,?' was something that stuck to mind. I go for the best friend! 3) Most importantly, always put God in the center of your relationship and home and He will guide your hearts to make your marriage fruitful. 
  • Never underestimate kids’ perspective, intuition and intelligence. Everyday my kids amaze me with their question ranging from 'I-can-answer-that-without-batting-an-eyelash' easy to 'OMG-what-to-say' difficult and trick questions like ‘Mommy, why God is a statue? Is he dead? So many eyelash batting before we can think of a clever, kid-friendly and truthful answer. Then they go 'why Mommies know everything?' Endless conversation really, never a dull moment :) My mindset at raising the kids is that I am just a steward of God assigned to take care of Sophie and Sam. And being that, it is my responsibility to raise them well as good and God-fearing individuals but they are never mine, they are God's children. 
  • A mantra that I have embraced since I was young: ‘God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.’- Reinhold Niebuhr. This always helps me to get a grip on life especially when it just gets too frustrating. 
  • ‘Don’t worry, at the end of the day, it will all fall into place’ - something I learned from a mentor. You know what, it always does. So when I'm bound to hit a wall, I just hum these words and sing a prayer song (they say singing a prayer is like praying 3 times over). 
  • Invest is now one of my favorite words. Over the years, I learned that if you invest something - in friendship, love, in career, financial, etc. - there is always a return. Just as you cannot reap a fruit if you don't plant a single seed and nurture it, you cannot expect success if you don't sweat it out. My younger self was the impatient, hungry kind who like it snappy, always moving, no idle time, fast paced, go go go! But as I got older, I learned to wait and be patient - for kids to learn to walk and talk, learned to work hard and climb the ladder to a better and stable career, to invest time on a good friendship. There is always a time for everything and we need to start at something,work on it and be patient with God's sweet time because hard work bears beautiful fruits. On the flip side, I also learned that there are people and things that you just have to let go to declutter life. Those that just brings you down and cause you constant stress, as Elsa said 'Let it go'!
  • This is so me right now. It just comes with age, I guess.LOL. I somehow outgrew my inhibitions, speak words of wisdom which surprises even thyself. I find myself sounding like my mom, if that is a good thing... 

Maybe it is. A former staff who is now abroad sent an online card on my birthday with this message.  

I was overwhelmed by the birthday messages on FB and texts from colleagues, subordinates and friends. They were totally unexpected and heartwarming :)

         At this point too, I don't care much about the norm and decide based on what I think is best for            me and my family whether it be the brand of shampoo or the school for the kids. I'm also trying (yes trying) to live life simply, focusing only on what's essential and those that add value to life. I guess               this is why for the past birthdays, I can't think of any material gift I want for myself. What I cherish now are those immaterial things. 
  • Life is short. Carpe Diem! Live life to the fullest. Don't say 'yes' when you really mean 'no' and vice versa. Don't stress over little things, don't sweat the small stuff. This last part practically sums up all other things I live by for years and years now. Of course, with #7 in mind. 
Have a peaceful and safe long vacation everyone! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quick Update: Happy Thoughts :)

Just a quick post because work is hell crazy right now and as you know I don't do blogging on weekends because that's family time so this is a quickie and random post :)

I'm so happy to receive an email from that I won in the raffle. Yip yip hooray!!! I already called Learning Library branch near our area (Schola Progressio) for assessment schedule. I knew I should have joined #100happydays. So many happy moments to share (but it's not too late right?) :) Thank you thegomom and The Learning Libraries:)

This week, we gave the summer schedule of kids at home a breather because we got bakasyonistas. The kids coaxed two of their cousins to stay at home for a vacation. Their cousins excitedly packed their bags, jumped into the car and went to stay with us for days sans parents ha. I feel like a mom of 4 for days lol.

Anyway, as treat from their great grand lola because of kids' good grades in school, they were given cash gifts which they used to buy a new inflatable pool (our old one was screaming retirement already). A fruit of their labor which they are now enjoying almost everyday! Buti na lang we have a mini garden. The water from the pool is used to water the plants and clean the car. No wasted resources.  

On a different note, here's today's lunch: blackened kingfish skewers with brown rice. So good and only 306 calories. Try Joreen's place for healthy happy meals delivered to your doorstep. They have a FB account FB/joreensplace and instagram account @joreensplace. 

Happy Thursday everyone!

Related Posts with Thumbnails