On Financial Awareness

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Yui may still be too young to count money but we think it’s never too late to teach her the value of it. Ever since she was little we made it a point not to spoil her with toys and other unnecessary things. Lately we would occasionally window shop at a local toy store and every time Yui points at a toy I would say that it’s too expensive. She would move on and content herself in looking at the other toys then watch video clips of these toys in Youtube when we get home. Thankfully, she doesn’t throw tantrums when she don’t get what she wants. We just explain that these are too expensive and that we don’t have budget to buy.

I was pleasantly surprised then that she took this learning in other things and not just with toys.


Yui-ism #1:

Since the start of the year, she would tell us that she wanted to have a birthday party at Burger King (because she loves the playground at the BK near our house). One time we talked to her and told her that we couldn’t afford a BK party. She would have to pick a cheaper place to celebrate. The next day, she told us that she wants to have her birthday at McDonald’s. When we asked why, she said because Burger King is too expensive. Haha! Fast learner 😛

Yui-ism #2:

I recently bought her a new rash guard for our upcoming beach outings. I wanted a long-sleeved one and she wanted Dora. Good thing there was something that fits both our requirements. However, it is somewhat costly, same as an adult’s swimwear. She knew it was “expensive” so she was thrilled to have it and said she would take care of it.

Yui-ism #3:

Sometimes we would make homemade jelly made from gelatin mix we buy from the grocery. One night Yui was looking at the ice tray which we use to mold the gelatin and she said, “Mommy, when we have enough money can we buy gelatin so we can make jellies?” That’s really when I thought that this girl is now used to not having everything she wants.

I hope we’re on the right track… 🙂

MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park

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Last weekend, the Home Room kids had an educational trip at the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park in Quirino Ave., Manila in line with their “Things That Go” topic. It was aimed to teach the kids about the signs they see on the road and basic road safety. I tried to google about the park prior to the field trip but all I saw were news releases about the opening of this park. I also tried to find it in google maps but it didn’t register. All I got was that it is in front of Manila Zoo and the address is Quirino Ave. cor Adriatico Street in Manila.

We came from Roxas Blvd. since the kids went on a Manila Bay cruise first before the MMDA park. So armed with the address and the knowledge that it is in front of Manila Zoo, we drove on. When we crossed Quirino Ave. and Adriatico, we saw the park. Since there was no entrance for parking along Quirino Ave. we circled around once and then when we reached the front of the Manila Zoo entrance we realized that there really is no parking area for the MMDA Children’s Park. So we parked at the Manila Zoo parking area then crossed Adriatico Street to go in the MMDA Children’s Road Safety Park.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

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Little Flower Girl

Little Flower Girl

This week’s photo challenge is all about sharing something that says FORWARD to you. We encounter a lot of peaks and uncertainties in our lives. It may come out as a nice surprise in the end or a huge disappointment. Either way, we will never know unless we try, right?

Just like this photo of Yui when she was one of the flower girls at our friends’ wedding. We came upon this very nice looking staircase so she immediately started climbing. Halfway through, the guard reprimanded us and told us that we can’t climb up those stairs. For a split second, Yui was disappointed but she turned the other way then looked for a new place to explore.

That’s how it’s supposed to be, right? When an experience brings us disappointment, no matter how promising it seemed to be, we should just turn around, move on and look forward to a better tomorrow. 🙂

On Teamwork

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Yui is an avid Disney Jr. fan but she sometimes watches Nickelodeon and knows the characters and shows as well (Dora, anyone?) There was a time when she and her aunties have been singing the Wonderpets‘ song all the time. Wherever they go, they would belt out, “What’s gonna work? Teamwork!” over and over again.

What's gonna work? Teamwork!

What’s gonna work? Teamwork!

I didn’t give this much thought until recently when we were preparing for a trip up north. The trip is Saturday but as early as Monday, Yui already had a bagful of toys ready. These are what she would bring to Pangasinan and even if she would play with the toys, she would always put them back to that bag. Yui kept on reminding us that this is her toy bag and she would bring this to Pangasinan and that we should never forget this. Two nights before the trip, she reminded me again that she already has her toys ready. Then I asked,

Mommy: “But what about your  clothes? Have you packed them already?”

Yui: “No mommy, you will be the one to pack it. I pack the toys, you pack the clothes, daddy will drive. We’ll have teamwork. Because we’re a team, mommy”

Wow. I was caught off guard again. Here’s my 3 year old talking about teamwork, when some adults don’t even seem to know what the word is. 😛

And so I packed our clothes. Coz we’re a team. 🙂

Let’s Get Craftsy!

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I started my interest in crafts when I was in high school. I would create scrapbooks for my friends using “scrap” (cut outs from magazines and pictures). It was an era when cute scrapbook materials are not yet available (or are waaaay expensive for my high schooler budget :)) I also ventured into beads. I would go to Quiapo and buy cute beads which I would make into accessories for me and friends. I even made a small business out of it when my friends would start ordering necklaces and bracelets. I remember our class president ordering rings and gave it to all of our classmates. So we sort of had a “class ring”

Until now, I still keep a scrapbook toolbox which I take out whenever the crafting itch comes. That’s why I was ecstatic when Yui started showing interest in the craft kits whenever I’m tinkering with something. One time I was doing a diaper cake for the christening of her cousin, Yui helped me roll the diapers. After a while though, she was quietly cutting construction papers with the pinking shears and then asked me to cut some ribbon for her to make it into a necklace. That’s when I knew that we are going to share this fascination with crafting. 🙂

Yui's "Punched" Necklace

Yui’s “Punched” Necklace

The last time that we went to Daddy bunny’s province, I brought along this cupcake decorating set toy that was a gift to her last Christmas. We spent our Saturday night decorating the pretend cupcakes and had a lot of fun pretending to eat them too!

Cupcake Decorating Set

Before: Cupcake Decorating Set

After: Yui-decorated cuppies

After: Yui-decorated cuppies

Last week we went to our friend’s dressmaker to measure Yui for her flower girl gown this May. There we saw some gowns that they are making and putting beads on. Yui said she wants to have beads too. Good thing grandma was at Quiapo that time and bought some for us. It was sort of nostalgic to be making bead accessories again. But this time instead of making bracelets for my friends, we’re making bracelets for my daughter’s friends.

Bonding session over beads

Bonding session over beads

Yui's own bead box organizer and her first bracelet collection

Yui’s own bead box organizer and her first bracelet collection

I’m really enjoying these craft activities with Yui and I’m looking forward to more bonding sessions over beads, scrapbook materials and other craft stuff with my baby. 🙂

Miss Independent

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When I was 12 years old, I went to school 2 hours away from home and started to live in a boarding house. I had to learn to budget my allowance or else I won’t have food to eat and have to sleep off my hunger. The same can be said for Daddy Bunny. He lived with his aunt when he started high school and learned to be independent at a young age. Looking back, these situations helped mold what we are today. We learned how to tend to ourselves and in Filipino colloquial term, “dumiskarte sa buhay”. 

It may not be surprising then that our daughter wants to be independent too- maybe not to the point that she sleeps off her hunger but enough for her to get by in life and teach her to be tough. At an early age, Yui already displays her independent attitude.

At her Moving Up program: Eating by herself

At her Moving Up program: Eating by herself

Ever since she started eating solids, she would always want to eat by herself. We let her be since it will help her motor skills when handling the food and utensils. Like I said, she will not sleep off her hunger like what I did in my early days. Whenever she feels hungry, she would just go grab a plate and then find food to eat at the table. The good thing is she would always ask first if the food is okay to eat. One time, I cooked pancit canton and gave some to her as merienda. After a few minutes, I noticed that she’s already eating another serving. She got the food on her own.

Now that she’s bigger, we stopped using her potty and she started using the adult potty. Recently, she does not want us to hold her when using the potty since she can already reach it by herself. She keeps mentioning that she’s a big girl already. She always say this when she wants to do things on her own.

One of the highlights of my Christmas holiday was when we went to the mall with her cousins. As we were going home, I told her that we will be riding with daddy but she insisted on riding with her cousins in the other car. I kept telling her that I won’t be there with her and asking if she can make the ride without me. I’m just cautious since her aunt might panic when she starts crying for mommy and daddy in the middle of the ride home. She cried as we were walking and then in between her whimpers, she said “Mommy, I’m not crying because I want you to be with me. I’m crying because you won’t let me be by myself.” I looked at her dad and we agreed that maybe she is big enough to try it and that she probably won’t cry anymore if we’re not there. And she didn’t. 🙂

There are times that we shake our heads at how this little 3 yr old girl keeps demanding her independence but then again, as long as it won’t hurt her deliberately and will help her be an independent and smart lady in the future, we let her do it herself. It’s how we learned and it’s how she will too.

I'll hold your hand as long as you want me to. I'll be here for you even if you walk your own path.

I’ll hold your hand as long as you want me to. I’ll be here for you even if you walk your own path.

On Parenting and Humility

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As parents, it is soooo easy for us to gush over our children. I, myself, am guilty of this. When Yui was born, it was all about how cute this newborn was. And now that she’s growing up, we’re just at awe at how fast she is developing. This blog and even my facebook account can attest to how proud I am of my little girl.

It is no wonder then that she always hear how cute she looks or how smart she is – whenever something awesome like this happens:

Yui's seatwork

Yui’s seatwork

Now that Yui is 3 years old, she gets to understand things more and communicates her feelings articulately. Whoever said that parenting is a walk in the park is surely mistaken. In the example above, Yui was able to complete this seatwork by herself. She wrote her name without help, traced the words and drew those faces. Imagine my feeling when I saw this – it was such a proud moment! So the words “smart”, “cute” and “pretty” are often heard to describe the little girl. It wasn’t long therefore that she got to associate these words with her too.

One night, we were talking outside and she asked what those lines in the posts are. I told her those are electric lines. So she mentioned that maybe those lines power our houses. And I said yes. Then the conversation went on like this:

Yui: “I know. Mommy, I’m smart right?”

Mommy: “Yes, baby. But you should not say that you are smart. You have to just wait for other people to say that. Not you.”

Yui: “But how will they know? If I don’t tell them?”

Mommy: *stumped* (oo nga naman) After a long pause, “Yes, but they will know. Even if you won’t tell them”

So that’s where my dilemma comes in. How do I teach my daughter humility? I’m not even sure if what I said was right. I’m not sure if that’s how you start to introduce the notion of humility to a child. I started to actively research on the subject and got some tips from other mommies online. Some of the most note-worthy “tips” that I read are:

1. Model the behavior. Well, we believe this is true not just on teaching humility but also other character building stuff that we want our child to learn like respect. If she sees us doing it, she will follow. Old school rule. But which sometimes I’m guilty of forgetting. This is something that I should consciously strive to do day in and day out. Who knows, I will not only build my daughter’s character but improve mine as well.

2. Build their skills. However ironic this may sound, they say to be able to teach a child to be humble, she should have something to be humble about. So building our children’s skills is important. She should be able to have self-acceptance and self-confidence.

3. Coach them how to respond. The basic “Please”, “Thank You” and “Sorry”. These are important and very much needed in this generation. We don’t want respect to be phased out, right?

Now this may take a long time to do. It will require us, as parents, to be consistent in doing this. But I know at least we’ve started something. A few days ago, some weeks after the electric lines incident, I was asking her to drink her milk and went:

Mommy: “You should drink your milk, Yui. Just like achi Bea. So you’ll grow strong and smart like her”

Yui: “Okay, mommy. But you said I should not say that”

Well, at least what I told her a few nights back stuck with her. With a child like this, we should really watch what we say so our words will not backfire on us. 😛 One thing’s for sure, this humility stuff is not something that we just put on blackboard and teach line by line to our kids.

Writing on board

It will take time. Patience. And for sure, several teaspoons of sense of humor too! 🙂