Oh My Caterpi!

Hi, I’m Sofie. Mom asked me to help her write in our blog. She said I am in charge for now. I am not writing with pen and paper but using her phone. I never knew I could do that! This is easier and I thought this is cool too!!!

It’s almost Christmas and a lot of things happened since we arrived in our hometown. Today is the first “simbang gabi” or “misa de gallo.” I think mom assigned my brother to talk more about that.

I will share with you one sad experience I had a few days ago…

10 Dec 2015
On Saturday, Tito Joel gave me a pet caterpillar we named him Caterpi. On the next day, it grew longer and it has shorter legs. On the following day, it started crawling up, as if it is looking for a branch to hang itself. I was very excited because I thought I will witness the transformation of caterpi into a cocoon… but it did not happen 🙁 it died after it hanged itself.

Do not shake a caterpillar



The Secret: Law of Attraction

The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes

The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes

Motivational Monday

5th of October 2015

No matter how hard we think our life is, what’s important is how we always try to pick ourselves up, without having to think of surrendering. This is for you my love.

One of my favorite quotes was that by ― Shannon Alder he said that  “When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.”  And I’m sure, these people are not negative people but people who are also full of positivity.

Let’s start the week with positive vibes.

Here are some lessons from Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret”.


Thank you for listening, ’til Monday!

Handy helpers!



Giving children household chores at an early age helps to build a lasting sense of mastery, responsibility and self-reliance .”

-Marty Rossmann, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota


At home, we tend to do all the chores and shoo our children away to their rooms. We are more focus on finishing our housework rather than asking for their help. They are becoming less empathetic as they grow, and not responsive to others’ needs. They are lacking self-reliance and not acting responsibly with the task that they should be doing at their age.

They are missing something.


Let them have it and let them learn from it.

We have come up with a “feel-good” training/motivational video for your soon-to-be handy helpers 🙂

Please watch and share, thank you.

McDonald’s Happy Meal, reboot!

Notice our children’s faces when we mention to them the phrase “Happy Meal”?

Their eyes widened, their smiles reach from ear to ear, they giggle non-stop, and excitement ensues.  This scenario is common even in our home every time I decide to have a trip with my kids at nearby Mc Donald’s.

Then recently, I heard the news that educational books will be included in every Happy Meal, and it was my turn to smile.  Something amazing has truly come over to that red lunch box named “Happy”.  Not only will we be feeding their tummies, but we will be fueling their imaginations and minds as well.


DK books set shown here were provided for the purpose of this review.


Happy Kids with DK books from Happy Meal



Reading time!

Kids, Mommies and Daddies, you can now enjoy a collection of eight Happy Meal Books, specially selected from the renowned Educational books publisher Dorling Kindersley’s (“DK”).  These are the “Watch Me Grow” and “WOW” series.


A whole new collection from Happy Meal: DK Books for young and old!

The “Watch Me Grow” books explore an animal’s life through their own point of view. This collection of popular animal titles includes “Panda,” “Penguin,” “Butterfly,” and “Elephant.” As with my 5-year-old Zack, this collection is perfect for your preschoolers (aged 3-5 year olds).


Zack, showing the inside pages of Watch Me Grow! Penguin book


Interesting back cover 🙂



Watch Me Grow! Penguin


Watch me grow! Panda


Watch Me Grow! Butterfly

The “Wow” books collection, on the other hand, is ideal for your lower primary children just like my Ethan and Sofie (aged 6-9 years old).  Each “Wow” book is a spectacular show-and-tell experience, exploring and illustrating each subject in a unique way through stunning photographic images.  Your kids will enjoy the vast collection of facts and trivia presented through “Wow! Human Body,” “Wow! Art and Culture,” “Wow! Space,” and “Wow! Ancient History.”


Our voracious reader, can’t take her hands off the book!






WOW! SPACE (with free stickers inside 🙂 )



Don’t miss out the opportunity to collect these amazing “purse-friendly” books. Visit your nearest Mc Donald’s restaurant from 11am on 3 September 2015, and you will receive a free Happy Meal book with every purchase of a Happy Meal while stocks last. You and your children can look forward to a choice of two new titles that will be launched every Thursday at 11am.

Week 1: 3 Sep – 9 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Panda

Week 2: 10 Sep – 16 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Butterfly

Week 3: 17 Sep – 23 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Elephant

Week 4: 24 Sep – 30 Sep

  1. Watch me grow! Penguin



Away from the gadgets!

And it just doesn’t stop there, the love for learning continues with specially planned activities for your children. From 10am-12noon starting next weekend, join Ronald McDonald for a session of Art and Craft and Fun Reading at the following restaurants:

12 Sep – McDonald’s West Coast Park

13 Sep – McDonald’s Jurong Central Park

19 Sep – McDonald’s Bishan Park

20 Sep – McDonald’s Ang Mo Kio Park

26 Sep – McDonald’s Kallang

27 Sep – McDonald’s Ridout Tea Garden


But wait, there’s more… what makes the “happy” meal truly better.

More good news as Mc Donald’s Restaurant has announced an adjustment on their menu, with considerations for health conscious parents.  Now, every Happy Meal option is assured to come in a less than 500-calorie count.  Kids can now enjoy the nuggets fried from Canola Blend oil.  This reduces the level of saturated fat by approximately 30%, and that’s a lot.  Corn Cups are now lower in sodium content, but if your kids are not a fan of it, you can also choose healthy Apple Slices for their sides. Additionally, they have also included Magnolia Lo-Fat Hi-Cal Milk for our kid’s beverages, which is a definitely healthier choice!  We appreciate and hope that McDonald’s continues in their direction to be more health conscious in every meal that they serve.


Our own versions of “Happy”


Bible Stories – 3 The First Man and Woman

After creating the heaven and the earth, and all the wonderful things that dwell in it, God decided to create a very special being.

He called him Adam.


image source: viz.dwrl.utexas.edu - adam with parrot

image source: viz.dwrl.utexas.edu


God assigned Adam to take care of all the animals he created. But God thought that Adam needed someone special that can help him with everything that was entrusted to him.


image source: www.free-for-kids.com

image source: www.free-for-kids.com

Please listen and share with your children the story of the first man and woman.

This story was retold by Anne de Graaf, from “The Children’s Bible Story Book.”



One afternoon with foul words

When I am about to fetch my kid from his soccer training, I heard three higher primary students exchanging a few foul words with each other. They are not arguing, but laughing nonchalantly.  One says, “I know what an ass looks like…”

These kids are wearing their school uniform. (note: not from my son’s school thankfully, but this can happen from ANY school to be fair.)

Words like G_ _ D_ _ _ I_ and As_ H _ _ _ were thrown. My auditory nerve is sensitive to hearing these words coming from kids their age and so finally, my brain decided to zip their not-so-innocent mouth.

Despite the fact that I’m shaking inside and have been wanting to spank them all, I manage to keep calm and tell them that their teachers won’t be happy if I report them to their school. I also found myself repeating these words (I know you’re going to raise your eyebrow, but let’s face it, I’m talking to some hard headed higher primary kids, I am curious to know their reactions if I copy them)

I studied their faces of contempt.  Then I let out a “not really nice to hear, right?”

I smiled and retired.

I heard the biggest one exclaimed, “Hallelujah! That lady went away.

Tagalog Tuesday: Tula (Poetry in Tagalog)

“Tula” or “panulaan” is how you call it in Tagalog.


This poem is from www.tagalog-tula-pilipinas.blogspot.com

The title of this poem is “Pag-ibig ang siyang sasagip sa mundo.”

 (Love will rescue the world)

Aking tinawid ang labing-isang dagat,
Itong mga bundok ay aking inakyat,
Upang itong OO – makitang sumikat,
Sa irog kong ibig na mapasapalad.

Gawin mong alipin itong aking puso,
Sa kadiliman nga ay gawin mong sulo,
Sa sibat ng unos dito ka magtago
Pagkat ang dibdib ko at ako ay iyo!

Ang ngiti mo’y ilaw sa dilim kong sadlak
Sa aking umaga ay siglang pantulak
Sa tanghali’t hapon ay aking kayakap,
Upang ang kalsada, pumatag ang lubak!

Sugatan man ako sa pakikipaglaban,
Sa imbing daigdig nitong kapalaran,
Ako’y babangon pa sa kinasadlakan
Upang ang luha mo ay aking pahiran!

Ikaw nga ang aking ngiti at halakhak,
Sa lungkot ay aking ligaya at galak,
Sa sakit na dulot nitong mga hirap,
Ikaw ang sigla sa buhay kong salat!


Watch out for my next post, we will translate this poem in English 🙂

Mommy’s stories Chapter 2: Meet Bob

For this chapter, any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.



…. And together, Ethan and Sofie, search for something to change their village.

They walked over the mountains and crossed rivers.

And as they were walking, they saw a village similar to theirs. They decided to stop by and take a look around.

There were cheese curls, potato chips and chocolates hanging all over the trees.

The houses were made of cakes and the sweetest treats.

They suddenly heard a giggle but could not find where the sound is coming from.

So they looked and they looked, and to their surprise, they saw a boy; his tummy as round as a big, big ball sitting in the corner of the street; with tempting treats and drinks in front of him; munching, and gulping, and gobbling non-stop.


You seem lost, and you kids look funny. (giggling)


image source: www.clipartof.com

image source: www.clipartof.com


Hi I’m Sofie and this is my friend Ethan. What’s your name? And, may I ask why do we look funny to you?



Hi, I am Bob. And to answer your question, well, it’s because you’re all skin and bones. Have you not eaten for a long time? By the way, what brought you here?



We are looking for an answer… the answer! We’re trying to find something that could bring our lives back home.



Oh poor friends. I think I have the answer. Come to my house and I will give you chocolates, cakes and marshmallows, sodas and ice creams… bring these to all of your friends too! I’m sure they will like it and eventually, play with you! However… you have to carry me first. I find it hard to walk since I’m feeling very, very heavy and weak…


The curious Ethan whispered to his friend…


Ethan whispers to Sofie:

I don’t think he has the answer. I think it’s because of the food that he’s been eating. That’s why he has gotten so heavy! And did you see that he’s weak too? Junk foods are not healthy at all!



Bob, heard Ethan. He got angry at him and Sofie, and he sent them away.


The kids knew that bringing home some junk foods would not be the solution to their problem.

Ethan’s hunch  was right, it’s not healthy at all.

They continued their search and went on their way. A while later, they have reached another village…


Now, what kind of village awaits them?

Follow and like us at MommySaidDaddySaid and @KennPaula. ‘Til my next post. 🙂


Mommy’s stories Chapter 1: Looking for answers

For this chapter, all characters appearing in my work are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is not coincidental. 🙂

I plan to tell this story to children all over the world. This was made from the bottom of my heart. Please read and help share. Thanks, appreciate it! 🙂



image source: http://jake-labz.deviantart.com/art/Mushroom-Houses-198421730

image source: http://jake-labz.deviantart.com/art/Mushroom-Houses-198421730

Once upon a time, in a land where the trees meet the sun and the rivers have no end…


Where all you can hear are the chirping of the birds and rustling of the leaves,


There was an old village called “The Skinny Mushroom Village.”


In this place, people have found their home, and settled on their own way of life.  And soon, they’ve built their own community and had families.


All through the day, they grew as much mushrooms as they could. And all through the night, they slept soundly, and slept tight.


People, young and old were already accustomed to this very simple way of life.


But in this quiet little town, there is a boy named Ethan, who thought that this life is pretty–



Boring. (sighs)  I’m so bored. I’m always tired of the day’s work and nothing’s left for me to do but sleep during the night. Everybody’s feeling weak all the time and nobody likes to play anymore! They’ve lost their interest in almost everything! This village needs life! What can I do?  We need some life, some energy, but where can I find it? Ah! I need to find the answer! I want out of this town, right now!



Little did he know, that there is also a girl, who’s been wanting to leave town… Her name is Sofie.



I have to leave town. I have to see what’s beyond the mountains. Life here is so boring. Nobody wants to play, and they are always tired. We eat the same thing over and over again! Ugh! Mushrooms! I want something else besides mushrooms! Maybe there’s something more out there!



And so, both Ethan and Sofie secretly packed their food for their journey.

They snuck out of their mushroom houses while their parents were asleep, and quietly made their way out of the village.

However, it was so dark and so cold. Ethan had an eerie feeling when he heard footsteps coming towards him.


image source: stylishdexterity.deviantart.com StylishDexterity

image source: stylishdexterity.deviantart.com StylishDexterity

Similarly Sofie, also feels mostly uncomfortable during nights.  This is because she doesn’t have a very clear eyesight.




Ethan and Sofie altogether:





They bumped into each other, and ran as fast as they could. But in their disarray, they seem to have ran in circles, and so…


Ethan and Sofie altogether::




they bumped again! The curious Ethan then gathered his courage, he stopped running, and looked to see that it was simply a girl who has scared him, then asked –



Who are you? Are you spying on me?



No, I’m not.  I should ask you the same question!



Oh no, I’m not a spy, I am just a boy from a village nearby…  the Skinny Mushroom



And so am I… Well, I mean, I am actually a girl. My name is Sofie. So you plan to leave the town too?



Hi Sofie, I’m Ethan. Yes, but well, not for a long time, I still want to go back you know. I just need to find some answers. And I want to bring life to our village!



Same here! I’m thinking that I might find something new out there, something better.  Hey, why don’t we  go together; you know… two heads are better than one.



And together, Ethan and Sofie did, to search for something to change their village.

They walked over mountains and crossed rivers.

And as they were walking, they saw a village similar to theirs. They decided to stop by and take a look around.


What do you think will happen to this story? Do you know what they found out in the village? Follow and like us at MommySaidDaddySaid and @KennPaula.  ’til our next post!

Tagalog Tuesday : How to tell time


Narito po muli ang Tagalog Tuesday!
We’ve made 13 essential topics for you to review before you visit the Philippines.
On our previous post, we’ve talked about:
– The history of Tagalog
– Ang alpabetong Filipino
– The modern tagalog versions of how are you, thank you, how to say you’re sorry
– Some survival phrases that you need to know when you visit the Philippines
– How to count and how to shop in the Philippines.

Please go and check out the Tagalog 101 folder in the sidebar of our blog if you want to learn more about it.

Ngayon, pag aaralan natin kung paano sabihin ang oras sa Tagalog.
Now, we will learn how to tell time in Tagalog.

First lesson: how do you ask, “What time is it?”
Here’s how you say it in Tagalog:

Anong oras na?

Here’s a sample answer in Tagalog:

Limang minuto bago sumapit ang ika-dalawa ng tanghali

Meaning: It’s five minutes before 2 in the afternoon
Or simply put: 1.55pm
Let’s dissect the phrase:
Lima is five
Minuto is minute
Bago is before
Sumapit is reach
Ika-dalawa ng tanghali is 2 in the afternoon or 2 o’clock pm

Limang minuto bago sumapit ang ika dalawa ng tanghali
5 minutes before it reach 2 in the afternoon

But here is the easier way for me: the version that we had during the Spanish era.
You just add the prefix “Ala or Alas” before the numbers
Alas is our version of the suffix o’clock

one o’clock Ala-una

two o’clock Alas-dos

three o’clock Alas-tres

four o’clock Alas-kwatro

five o’clock Alas-singko

six o’clock Alas-sais

seven o’clock Alas-siyete

eight o’clock Alas-otso

nine o’clock Alas-nuwebe

ten o’clock Alas-diyes

eleven o’clock Alas-onse

twelve o’clock Alas-dose

It is half past one Ala-una y medya

It is half past two Alas-dos y medya

It is quarter past four Alas-kwatro kinse

It is quarter past eleven Alas-onse kinse

We have so many versions in telling time in our country but for me, the quickest way is to say it in English. 1.55 pm!

Limang minuto bago sumapit ang ika dalawa ng tanghali – the old Filipino way of telling time

Ala una singkwenta y singco –Spanish inspired way of telling time

5 minutes before it reach 2 in the afternoon- American way

Or 1.55 pm! The shortened American way.

If you have any suggestions about the topics you wish to learn, just email us, or send us a message at mommysaiddaddysaid facebook page 🙂
Salamat po at hanggang sa muli!

How to keep your children from saying bad words

image source: www.teachjunkie.com

image source: www.teachjunkie.com

“A child’s mind is like a sponge and absorbs whatever it hears in the environment it is in.” Having three growing inquisitive children, all the things they hear, good or bad are in truth, beyond my control. This is real. Even the things that you hear from the movies, TV shows, or some You Tube videos intended for kids are sadly, not safe for kids. Profanity is unavoidable. I am guilty of saying bad words too. The first time I heard my kid say “damn it,” I was embarrassed and shocked because he said it in front of our friends. To make the long story short, I did not beat my child, but I warned him that it should be the first and the last swear words I’ll hear.

Just this weekend, I heard those words again but this time around, my other child had said it. “Damn it.” Okay. I missed something. I forgot to explain MORE to them why that word was considered a bad one. I confronted them, and veered right away. Placing myself in their shoes, I know it is so tempting to say these words because we hear it everywhere. And just like what I said earlier, kids absorb whatever they hear. And when you tell them to stop, the more they will ask you WHY. You see, they need a sound explanation too.

So this got me thinking…

  • Be a good example in front of them. We are not perfect. But when you feel like cursing…
  • Find some substitute words. It is okay to be angry, let it out, but choose a more subtle language when you are around with your kids.
  • There are times that you cannot deliberately keep them away from being exposed to profanity. So if this happens, point out the words right away. Tell them not to use them because these words will make them look bad.

A few weeks ago, Sofie shared with me a simple yet meaningful activity from her Form Teacher and Guidance Period Class (Mr Idris of Yumin Primary School). This made his students realized how it is important not to tolerate saying bad words.

According to my daughter, here’s what they did:

  • Their form teacher asked them if they knew some bad words that they are aware of. (and yes, he allowed the kids to say these words)
  • The teacher wrote it down on a piece of paper. So while writing, he made these children realized how strong these words were (some children were throwing non-vulgar words, but considered as bad ones too. I was embarrassed to know that my daughter threw one of the strongest words in the history of “childrenkind” )
  • He then explained the effects of saying these harsh words to friends. “People will not like you if you say these words… You will be a bully… You will hurt other people’s feelings when you say this… You will lose friends…”
  • After writing it down, he made a meaningful act as he crumpled the paper while saying “Let’s throw the bad words in the rubbish bin.”

A simple activity yet my daughter remembered every detail of it, she had learned a lot without being reprimanded.

She is now our language police.

Effective Ways To Ask Your Child

image source: BabyRabies.com

image source: BabyRabies.com


“Hi, how was your day?”

I can tell that they are bored hearing these words from mommy. They are so used to hearing it on and on and will only limit their answers to “fine” or “okay.”  This afternoon, I tried a different approach.

You are free to imagine my exaggerated face. Plus my exaggerated tone. It made them feel I’m really interested in what they were up to when they were away from me. The result was overwhelming. You will get what I mean as you read along.  But first things first, here are the effective ways to ask your child:

The hunch:

  • I am guessing you had an interesting day today…

The Intrigue:

  • You think you had a good time with your friends today? (whispering) Can you tell me more?
  • How about Ashley (name her best friend), you think she had fun playing with you too?

The specific:

  • What was your favorite activity that you did in school today?

The “when I was a kid like you” method (it will get them to talk, promise)

  • Back in the days when I was small, I remembered I was pretty scared taking my test. How about you, did you feel the same way when you had your test in Math?
  • I remembered the time when I was in Primary 2, there was this big kid that I was so afraid of. Did you ever experience that?

Kids tend to engage more with these interesting questions because they can relate with it easier.  Be more attentive when asking them, but be patient and don’t stress them out when they can’t find words to say. Just sit down with them and enjoy their company. Be more creative but specific. You might also find it effective when you whisper to them while asking these kinds of questions. You can only get them to talk when you talk.


So here’s what happened earlier.

I sat down with them on the dining table and uttered a hunch. “I think all of you had an interesting day today…”

The first to respond was Ethan.

“I told M___ not to kiss me anymore.”


Zack was teasing.

“Me I don’t have a girlfriend yet.”

Sofie changed the subject.

“We said bad words in our class today.” (Watch out for my post about this)

But after hearing all of these, I think I’m going to have a heart attack too. And so be ready.




Motivational Monday – The Purpose of Your Life

image source: meetville.com

image source: meetville.com

What I want to share with you is the most important reason why we live.  “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning” Mitch Albom, the author of Tuesdays with Morrie.

He was right. There are so many things in our lives that keep us pre-occupied so much so that we could easily have missed the affection that the other people are giving to us. The affection that we take for granted.

Take one step backward and look back, look at the people around you and reciprocate to their love and affection, and let them know that it meant a lot to you. Our purpose is to give meaning to everyone’s lives. Take your time reaching out. It’s more meaningful and enjoyable if you take your time.

Tagalog 101- Panghalip Pananong or Question Words in Filipino


image source: eduardreformina.com

image source: eduardreformina.com

Question words, asking words or interrogative words in Tagalog or the Filipino language is called Panghalip Pananong.

*In English, we know that an interrogative word or question word is a function word used to ask a question, such as whatwhen,wherewhowhy and how. They are sometimes called wh-words, because in English most of them start with wh-. (source:wikipedia)


For today, we will translate this question words in Tagalog or Filipino.

What – Ano

Anong pangalan mo?

What is your name?


When – Kailan

Nowadays, the letter “e” replaces the letters “a” and “i” in the word kailan.  From kailan, it becomes kelan.

Kailan ka pinanganak? Or an easier way to say is  Kelan ang birthday mo?


Where- Saan

Saan ka nakatira?

Where do you live?


Who- SinoSino

Sino ang kasama mo?

Who is with you?


Why – Bakit

Bakit ka malungkot?

Why are you sad?


Bakit ka masaya?

Why are you happy?


How- Paano

Paano tayo pupunta sa Pilipinas?

How are we going to the Philippines?


Motivational Monday – Gratitude

image source: themodernnomad.com

image source: themodernnomad.com

One magical word I learned today – Gratitude.

Listen to a beautiful passage from Rhonda Byrne’s third book, The Magic and some of my take (I know I am not an expert) basing on my experiences as an ordinary person.

I would be grateful if you pass it on 🙂