Build Battle 1

I may be closing the door to my past, but I won’t forget all the lessons, the good and the bad, the people,  and of course, my students who added colours to my life as a teacher.

Nothing’s really changed. I am just returning to the person I used to be. Being a full-time mom once again entails considerable effort! Coming back to a new world is like a female version of Rip Van Winkle, who had slept a great deal and was awaken by now teenage kids.

Here is what has been happening in my home 🙂

https://youtu.be/rWoeHNUikUM

 

 

 

Lead

I am currently busy with the school in which I had a major part to play with. This is neither my school nor my dream. This is my commitment.

A huge population of Filipino migrant families here in Singapore had previously left because of limited educational opportunities. And because of this situation, LEAD Centre for Education was born. Aba tamang-tama, I have three children studying in local school, pwede kong ma i-share sa ibang bata ang mga lessons na natutunan ng mga anak ko. Pwede naman sigurong pagsabayin ulit ang pagiging ina at pagiging guro.

Day 1 with 15 students. To juggle Math, English, Science within 4 hours… nahulas ang beauty ko! My energy was already drained, and it is not even midday yet. Pero later that day, ang saya kong nakatulog.

Nakaka-ilang araw na ba? Happiness is sinking in! A few more students added to our family and we are now warm with each other. Ang first day na nagsimula sa shake-hands, ngayon high-five na! Aba level-up ang friendship ng mga bata! I have discovered a lot of things with our students. Nandyan ang bata na takot mapagalitan ng mga magulang sa mababang marka na nakuha niya from his exam. Nandyan naman ang batang laging nagbabanyo. There was even a time I caught him playing with soap that I have to wash his hair, salon-style (sa sink ba nakadantay ang leeg para mabanlawan ko ang buhok). I witnessed one little lady who was lacking confidence and because of the support and encouragement of her parents, aba umaariba ang grade at pati ang kanyang hosting skills, panalo. Informalities are good, pansin nyo, pati ako nag eenjoy na din sa pagkwento? These are just the tip of the iceberg.

A few months had passed. I have become young again. Ano na ba ang pinaggagawa ko sa buhay nila?  We studied ukelele together, I was forced to study the Chinese language (baka mapahiya kasi ako sa kanila), memorized the latest songs with them, played “10-20-30” and “Mr Wolf”, I even tried studying the “The Cup Song” para “in” si Ms Joan. Though, I am their teacher, I have become their student too.

 

While I was eating with another student, I was curious to know what will she be like after 18 years. Will she be able to recognize me? And so I devised a plan. Since she owe me lunch, sabi ko bayaran nya na lang ako pag matanda na sya. And to this date, my anticipated lunch dates 18 years from now are more than five. (Caleb(4x), Stephanie, Aliyah, Alana(2x), Elle, Lambert and Reis).

I am hopeful that in a few years time, one of them could replace a Ms Joan. It might not be their dream job, but when one of them realised that this is their calling, they will yield to it, and be inspired to commit themselves as they discover that there was no better feeling in this world than becoming a teacher.

 

English Language Composition: Resolving Conflict

I drifted slowly to sleep. It was all so peaceful and quiet. Not a sound could be heard. Suddenly, a knock on the door cracked the tranquility. I woke up and tried to find out what racket was going on downstairs.

I saw mom opening up the door for the delivery man. Looks like mom ordered a new laptop. I went back to my bedroom and fell asleep. I was up by the crack of dawn. I went downstairs and saw my little brother eating pancakes for breakfast. I sat with him and ate. I asked my little brother if he wanted to play basketball with me. He agreed. Soon, we were trying to snatch the ball. Suddenly, we collapsed and the ball went flying into the living room and smashed mom’s new laptop! “Nooooooo!” I shrieked. I took the broken laptop and brought it up to my room. My brother accused me of breaking it. It is the other way around, the next second, we were in each other’s throats. Meanwhile, downstairs, my mom came back and saw the broken pieces of shattered glass. Mom was shocked. She also heard the two of us quarreling. Mom went to our bedroom and caught us red-handed.

A few minutes later, after some explaining and defending each other from mom’s wrath, we realised that a mistake was made and we owe each other an apology.

It took us time but we made peace the next morning over pancakes.

 

*Ethan is currently studying in Singapore and he is into basketball and video games.

 

The Rules of Parenting: Rule 2. No one is perfect

“Parenting” and “Perfection” are completely two unrelative words. I had my fair share of “mommy fails” and after reading this chapter, it is much clearer now, I will continue to raise my children in my own unique way. I sometimes do enjoy being an actual mother with flaws than a mother trying to be perfect for her children-which is certainly frustrating. What I now wanted my children to learn from me is that committing mistakes are normal; and that we have to move on and be a better version of ourselves the next day.

 

“A personal code for bringing up happy, confident children.”

The Rules of Parenting: Rule 1. Relax

I came across a book entitled, “Rules of Parenting” by Richard Templar. I thought for a second, “do I need this?” The truth is… I do.

I agree with the realities the author is telling me. This book puts everything in perspective, you in control, and your children on the path to becoming a successful, independent adults. Allow me to read to you The Rules of Parenting: Rule 1. Relax

 

“A personal code for bringing up happy, confident children.”

What is your “Parenting Goal”?

Here is my New Year’s resolution in spite of being 13 days late. I converted it as my “Parenting Goal”. Isa lang naman ang goal ko para madaling gawin 🙂

Please listen to my musings and maybe, share and comment? Thanks!

Book Review: The Special Bear

  1. The Special Bear

by Gabrielle Yang

ARMOUR Publishing Pvt Ltd

An impressive front cover illustration of the book

A “catchy” front cover illustration of the book

For those of you looking for something extraordinary to share with your little readers this holiday season, do try the book – The Special Bear.  Written by Gabrielle Yang, this book shoots straight to the readers’ hearts and will open their minds to the understanding that not everything good needs to be pretty and perfect.

Not your usual tale about beautiful princesses and heroines, The Special Bear is the story of a Teddy Bear who was created by the Toy maker to be a bit different than all the other Teddy bears before him.  Since he was different, he had always thought of himself as the ugliest bear in the world, and has always been treated terribly by all the other toys in the shop.

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Because of this, he has always been sad and lonely. But unbeknownst to him, his special purpose would be revealed, when one day, a beautiful lady arrives into the toy shop.

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This book is a soulful read for kids (and even grown-ups), providing a lot of insights regarding the reality faced by children, and everyone else, who are called to be a bit different due to their physical appearances.  It reinforces our young readers with the values of Kindness, Courage, Self-appreciation and Friendship.  And furthermore, emphasizes that it truly does not matter what you look on the outside as long as you’re beautiful on the inside.

Sof describe this book as "comforting"

Sof described this book as “comforting”

The book has colorful and vivid drawings on each page wonderfully illustrating the story, and it even includes some activities at the end of the book for our dear little readers.

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

Ethan was impressed by the colorful illustration from cover to cover

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The Special Bear not only has one of the most interesting stories that I’ve seen in a while, but it would also help your children grow and understand to appreciate people for who they are inside and not just for their physical appearances or differences.

My youngest boy giving you his thoughts about the book 🙂

Dadvice: #4 On caring for your Family

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click here to read our Dadvice article #1 On treating your Parents

click here to read our Dadvice article #2 On keeping your promises 

click here to read our Dadvice article #3 On loving your Siblings

 

 

I have once read a phrase, “Blood makes you related, but loyalty makes you Family”, and I believe this to be true.  Always love and prioritize your family among other aspects of your life, because money, career, and even friends may come and go, but not family.  We will always be here for you.  Right now, as a kid, a family may just seem to be a group of people whom you are comfortable with, who loves you and provides for your needs.  Only when you grow up, will you truly understand the importance of a family.  The world can sometimes be tough, a cruel and cold place, to this I will not lie.  But when you have your loving family beside you, supporting you, it makes a whole world of difference.  Everything is brighter and more worthwhile.

And to my kids when you grow up, I pray that you would have a wonderful family of your own, as what I have now.   To my daughter, always help and support your husband, and raise your kids well.  To my sons, always do your best to take care of your family.  That’s how my Dad did it, that’s how I’m doing it, and it’s what I’ll be expecting from you too.

Alive Museum Singapore Family Ticket Giveaway

There’s more to see in Alive Museum Singapore!

Recently, we were invited by the Alive Museum here in Singapore, and it was a nice surprise to see that this time around, the world’s best 4D museum has added two new zones, namely, the Young @ Heart and Live.Laugh.Love.  For those of you who have visited the fun and immersive AMS, enjoy it once more as they are offering a 40% discount for a limited time only. Yet another good news for all photo enthusiasts like myself! 😉

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More than just the galleries, my kids also loved and enjoyed the interactive pieces here as well.  Look at Sofie’s video below with one of their digital arts, featuring Marilyn Monroe –

 

And this disco and mirror room sure brings out your hidden moves and grooves.  It definitely makes me want to visit again.

 

Allow us to give you a tour around, but first here’s my favourite picture thus far-

My husband’s killin’ it.

 

This was taken at the Young @ Heart Zone. Isn’t he funny? ^_^

 

Felt like Thumbelina in the most colourful garden, in the museum!

It felt like I’m Thumbelina in the most colourful indoor garden!

 

My kids sitting under the lovely cupid tree at the Live.Laugh.Love. zone

My kids sitting under the lovely cupid tree at the Live.Laugh.Love. zone

 

Notice my hands? hahaha. Now I have a reason to return here! Hun, let’s have a second take please! X-D

 

My kids were thrilled and enjoyed themselves while appreciating everything that the museum has to offer.

 

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“It’s all good dad!”

 

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“It seemed so real!”

 

"Okay let's play one on two dad!"

“Okay let’s play one on two dad! We can beat you now!”

 

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Here’s what’s happening during our photo shoot

 

All right. Who can't resist spiderman kiss?

Well alright…who could resist spiderman’s kiss?

 

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This is going to be a good display in our living room wall, would you agree?

 

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He likes to play hero, this photo suits him the most #wolverine boy

 

one damsel in distress. or not.

Sofie said, “look from afar!”

 

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Though my kids have visited the Alive Museum a few times before, they’ve told me it’s always worth coming back… and indeed it was 🙂

Thank you AMS for this special invite!  Please log in to their website, click here for the latest updates or visit their Alive Museum facebook page.

 

 

 

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For all of you who would like a chance to visit the Alive Museum

We are giving away an Alive Museum family package (for 2 adults and 2 children) worth $90, just simply do the following :

1. Visit and Like our facebook page here

2. Like the Alive Museum Facebook page

3. Answer this: Why would you like to visit the Alive museum, in the “Comments” section below or:

4. Comment on our  Alive Museum facebook post here.  Best answer will win!

Winners will be notified on or before 9 Aug 2016. Goodluck 🙂

 

The death of happiness

image source: http://www.amyfrost.com

It felt like death when I realized I will be going away for 30 years.  I did not say my goodbyes to my children yet; they were all in school and my mind is telling me the next time I will see them is when they have families of their own. I cannot seem to comprehend what was happening to me.  My mind is whirring and I am drowning in an emotional slur. I remembered lying next to my husband on our bed, sleeping peacefully. I woke up, instead of him in my arms; I was holding a tray, already in prison. I panicked. I will not be home for a long time, and my children are still young. They are clueless, I will be gone.  I cannot accept it. The heavy weight has been placed on my chest and I am fighting it. I was sobbing the whole time. I woke up with tears in my eyes.

Back in reality, there I am working in my kitchen again, thinking. I was terrified, yes, and I am so not looking forward to revisit that dream. Happiness was robbed from me and I cannot let that happen in my sane world.

These past few days, I have forgotten what happiness is like, until this morning. My happiness are my CHILDREN and my HUSBAND. They are here with me. Whatever it is that my dream wanted to put in my head had lead me thinking that when you are happy, you hold on to that happiness because anytime, it can be taken away from you.

 

image source: http://www.amyfrost.com

Dadvice: #3 On loving your Siblings

 

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click here to read our Dadvice article #1 On treating your Parents

click here to read our Dadvice article #2 On keeping your promises 

 

Yes, yes, they may get on your nerves a lot.  And yes, I do keep track of who did what to whom.  But is being upset with your brother or sister really that important.  You should always remember that family is family.   Cherish your brothers and your sister while you are young, and even more when you’ve grown up.  They should be your closest friends.  No one will understand all the craziness you’ve been through while growing up better than your own siblings.  And, don’t forget all the fun you guys had playing together when Mom and Dad aren’t around.  And, when your parents’ time has come to pass, it is really among yourselves that you can rely on.  Forgive your petty fights and always love each other, WE are family.

 

kids laughing

Thoughts on fostering a child

This is an interesting article about Joy, a working mother of four children. In the article below, she shared some of her thoughts about her family’s fostering journey. I am moved by her willingness to nurture a child in need; and was impressed by her belief that every child should grow up in a loving and supportive home. If her story inspires you, do drop by to Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) Fostering Road Show at NEX Mall Level until 15 May 2016.

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foster parent joy

Let’s take a look at an extraordinary mother who not only fulfils her role of

being the educator and nurturer of her own children, but extends her love and care to other

children in need.

As a working mother of four young children, Joy Shuo has her hands full. But she still

volunteered to become a foster parent with the blessings of her husband, a pastor. A home, with

loving parents and siblings, is the “best stable environment” for a child to grow up in, insists Joy.

With this firm belief, she embarked on her fostering journey in 2011, and has never looked back

since.

Joy wants to care for a foster child for a longer period to be able to contribute more to the child’s

overall well-being instead of taking short-term fostering, ranging from a few weeks to a few

months which she had, at first, been asked to do. Her wish for a longer staying foster child was

fulfilled when she was assigned a two-month- old baby girl to care for.

Joy works as a pastor now and got her domestic helper, Anyes, and her mother to care for the

foster child when she was at work.

Megan, Joy’s youngest daughter, has turned out to be the most excited of their children with the

arrival of their foster ‘baby sister’.

Megan would often run to fetch Anyes or her grandmother whenever she finds the baby awake.

She does the same when the baby needs to have her diapers changed.

“Megan has become like a mother hen, watchfully guarding her foster baby sister’s every single

move and stir,” said Joy.

It is Joy’s belief that every child should grow up in a home and not in an institution, a hospital or

an orphanage. “This is why it is so important for us as a family to take in a foster child. It is the

least we can do to help another child to get a chance to be loved and cared and to have that

stable foundation to grow up to his or her full potential.”

Joy admits that she was not sure at first “how much love to put in”, given the goal of foster care

is to reunite the child with his birth parents. She says, “I’ve heard stories about foster mums

sobbing when they have to return the child. But I have to think of the big picture here. My role is

just to love someone, and hopefully that will change her life forever.”

For those wishing to find out more about the MSF fostering scheme, please call the enquiry line:

6354 8799; or visit the MSF website: www.msf.gov.sg/fostering

Should I argue back?

This is me and my big bro Kuya Ethan. What do you think is happening between us?

This is me and my big bro Kuya Ethan. What do you think is happening between us?

One time, I asked my mom

 

“Mom, when someone argues with me, should I argue back?”

Then I relized it was wrong.

My big bro told me I should compromise.

My mom told me not to get  into a quarrel, just stay out of it.

Then I thought mom and big bro are good examples. I should follow them and so I did.

Don’t hate the person that disagree with you. Don’t say bad words at them just because they don’t have the same opinion.

 

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Do not play too much gadget

This is my brother Zack. What can you say about him?

This is my brother Zack. What can you say about him?

Hi, I am Ethan . Here in my school, almost everyone wear glasses. Maybe kids play too much gadget that’s why their eyes are not sharp anymore. I don’t want to wear glasses because it will be heavy on my nose.  Here’s an essay I wrote about playing too much gadget.

 

Why Too Much Playing gadget is bad for children.

Too much playing in the gadget is bad. You will also be addicted to the gadget and will never get high grades for all your school tests. Also, too much playing can damage your eyes.

I watched a video in school about a boy who keeps on playing in the gadget and gets low marks for his school tests that was a bad example. Sometimes you can play in the gadget but for a limited time.

I play gadgets but for a limited amount of time and only play during school holidays.

 

Additional opinion:

Remember playing too much gadgets can damage your eyesight.

 

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A week in a life of a blogging mom

My blogging journey started when a friend of mine encouraged me to write about the things that were happening in my life as a parent.  He is a professional blogger who has made very good income through blogging, and so I thought maybe I could do the same.  But as it turns out; I was headed to a different direction.  Right now, I enjoy blogging because I have 3 avid readers who consistently check my website almost every day.   They see themselves in every page that I write.  I sometimes hear the youngest exclaim, “Mom wrote about me today!” Followed by the others saying, “Can I see, can I see…”.  And sometimes, “I almost forgot that funny thing mom!” they would declare during the moment while exchanging laughter.  Believe it or not, blogging helps me to connect with my kids.  They even involve themselves by actively participating and providing voice-overs for our videos.

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Me and my minion working on our blog 🙂

The thing is, I just blog whenever my schedule permits me to.  Because yes, having three kids is indeed insanely challenging.  I’ll give you a peek on what usually happens within a week in our house.

Let me start with the weekends because these are the days that I like best.  I get to slow down from the weekday mommy phase.  We can do anything in our house, say, play spa where we get to take turns being the masseuse.  I’ll also have a series of massages from my three kids, so who needs a trip to the massage parlor when you can talk them into it, right?

the power of touch

the power of a mother’s touch

Sometimes I play Nerf with my kids too, boy, I can’t stop shooting at ’em, as  this is the only chance to get even with the three! #sorry not sorry.

I also humor them with my talent.

I started making makeshift toys for my kids when they were really small, since I don't have work and kids during those days are easily satisfied. Mack the truck was my master piece. Too bad I don't have a picture back then. But now with they're age, I can no longer compete with some gadgets and XBOX, any takers for my axe?

I started making makeshift toys for my kids when they were really small, since I don’t have work and kids during those days are easily satisfied. Mack the truck was my master piece. Too bad I don’t have a picture back then. But now with their age, I can no longer compete with today’s technology, any takers for my diamond axe?

 

I have a lot more crazy ideas I come up with and I truly enjoy these moments with my children. Another example was this:

 

I saw this box downstairs – don’t judge me ok. It was humongous. I tried to put this inside the lift, by the time it’s halfway there, the lift was closing already. The kids were on panic. I was hysterical! Oh, but if there’s a will… there’s a way!

Or this…

My kids were blindfolded while peeling their oranges, laughter everywhere!

My kids were blindfolded while peeling their oranges, laughter everywhere!

But of course, there are French classes, Catechisms, and Sunday afternoon mass to attend to, so time to put my mommy hat once in a while!

Last week was especially busy:

I had to edit their presentation for National Friendship day in school.  Aside from the chores, I was to and fro the computer, and I had to go out to fetch them as well. Very busy but I felt accomplished that day.

If you want to know how our video turned out, please click here.

Tuesday  was the most interesting and exciting day for all of us. We get to climb up the stage to present in front of the school, yes, including me!

All set to present some trivias and a brief history of our country, the Philippines

All set to present!

 

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“Ang Pagmamano o Mano is a sign of giving respect to elders.” A practice almost similar to the Malays.

Right after the presentation, I saw the kids’ faces and they were all beaming with confidence.  I am happy and proud to witness this moment. 🙂

I had dedicated some of my free time for some volunteer work at school.  Since there was an event last week, my PSG Colleagues (Parent Support Group) were teaching the kids how to make friendship bracelets, origami, facilitating trivia questions in the iPAD, and some more activities which highlights Singapore’s neighboring countries.

 

Tuesday to Thursday's duty, really worth it most especially when you made the kids are happy. Back here, they call me Auntie Paula, so funny :-)

Last week’s team, glad to put a smile on these children’s faces, they call me Auntie Paula, so funny lah 🙂 (thanks to Annabelle Teo, our PaPa chairwoman for this photo)

 

During ordinary weekdays, I try my best to teach them at home.  But occasionally, I do encounter challenges like these…

 

"Zacki, what do you want, do revisions and play with me and dad after or just sleep until tomorrow?" Clearly, he chose the latter

“Zacki, what do you intend to do? Finish your revisions, or just sleep until tomorrow?”  Clearly, he chose the latter

But whenever I feel helpless, dad takes over…

This what happens when dad takes over. Enticing the kids so the kids can understand well

Daddy makes interesting examples for ‘Nouns’.

 

Do you feel me?

Do you feel me?

But I do have my highs too… one example is when I see them diligently doing their assigned chores.

I created a checklist for my kids' house chores

I created a checklist for my kids’ house chores and it’s looking good.

 

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My girl folded these clothes. Her dad told me that he did not even ask. She’s just quietly folding while watching a tv show.

 

I love, love taking pictures with my sayang 🙂

As I review this blog, I realized that I am lucky to experience these with my children and my husband; the challenges, the proud moments, the highs and the lows and the things that we do together as a family  -these I will continue to write in mommysaiddaddysaid, until I ran out of words and there’s nothing left to tell.

 

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This post is brought to you by the Singapore Parent Bloggers blog train for April. You may also read the inspiring entries of the rest of the 29 blogging mums or dads here.

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Next stop on our blog train is Estella, Mama to 5 yea12966681_10153605307148182_14474898_nr-old Joy,

Estella runs a mineral make up and brush shop on her online shop at ESOD and is an occasional singer/host. She is passionate about living fully, breastfeeding, as well as home design, care and organization. On ESTELLA.SG, Estella writes about Joy, her passions and the family’s journey towards getting their new home.