Dec 28, 2013

Finding Baby Steelers Clothing Online

I came across this baby photo of Simon while I was looking for a photo of Sam wearing a body suit that was given to him by his godfather when a few Christmases back. His godfather or 'ninong', as we call them in Tagalog gave him three types of bodysuits, a baseball fan bodysuit, a football-themed bodysuit and soccer-themed bodysuit. The baseball-themed bodysuit is the one Simon's wearing above. He got it as a hand-me-down from Sam. It was still in good quality. We lost the cap however. 

Anyway, this Ninong was a former boss who's really dear to me, because he's a kind and generous soul and had helped me a lot so many times at work. He reminds me of my father, actually, in his passion for life and work and in his love for wife and family. I think he's based in the US now and I know that he has a baby boy who is as adorable as my Simon. I don't know if he lives in Pittsburgh, I have to check again on his Facebook. But if he does live in Pittsburgh and if he's a Steelers fan, I'm sure he would have checked on http://www.babyfans.com/baby-steelers.aspx by now to order Steeler baby clothing, because I know he's a football fan. Finding Steelers bodysuits, bibs, and other infant gears and clothing is so easy at BabyFans.com. They have good quality clothing and durable materials that can withstand time and wash, and  can be handed down to future siblings, just like I did with ours in the photo above. 

I love receiving gifts of any kind. Baby and boys clothing are certainly much appreciated. I have three boys so they usually are handed down from one boy to other, especially the good quality ones. Sometimes, we even manage to donate them to the survivors of typhoons and such because they still look brand new. Baby clothes and kids clothing I think are perfect gifts.

Our Trip to See The Lights and Sounds Show

Finally, this year, I was able to watch the Ayala Triangle Lights and Sounds Show. The whole family, including our Mama Tess, trooped to Ayala Avenue two days ago to watch it. 

    
My mission
My mission in going to the Lights and Sounds Show is not to only to see the enchanting lights. I also wanted the kids, especially Sam and Simon, to experience how it is to ride the MRT (Metro Rail Transit). I also wanted to them to see the Makati Business District with its towering buildings and structures. 

How we got there
The Ayala Triangle where the show is being held every 30 minutes from 6PM to 9PM is located in Makati, which means it's a long way off from our place in Las Pinas. For a family who doesn't travel much, this is an ordeal, especially when the kids refuse to take a taxi (they get nauseated) or bus. And it's either we take our own vehicle (which we don't have, haha) or we take a jeep, then the MRT. Fortunately, the MRT is on the mission list. 

We thought it would not be jampacked on the MRT, being it the 26th already, but we were wrong. The kids almost got squished when we were trying to board at the Taft Station, and hubby and I decided we'll take the taxi instead, despite the protests of the children. We couldn't find any taxi because we're on the other side, the side going to the Mall of Asia. Simon wanted to go home. We went inside the nearby KFC to think what to do (should we continue going to Ayala and go to MOA instead?) and eat. After eating, Simon was in high spirits again and up to anything, thank goodness. 
  • We were able to board the MRT effortlessly on our second try, after our meal at KFC. There were not so many passengers anymore. - MRT ride, mission accomplished, CHECK!
We walked from MRT Ayala Station to Ayala Triangle. The kids are okay with this, since we went through four malls (SM, Glorietta, Landmark and pass by Greenbelt's walkway too) and there were lots of things to see. Still, it's a long walk and Basti complained after the show that his feet were tired.

It was raining and the show almost got cancelled!
We got off the walkway and it was raining. And with heavy heart, I said to myself, OMG this better be worth it. When we got there finally, there were already many people waiting, anticipating. Then it was announced the show is postponed for that hour until the weather clears up. I refused to go home and we waited for awhile. Fortunately, when the rain stopped, the show resumed. People clapped and cheered when it was announced the show would resume.

While waiting, I pointed to Sam the tall buildings surrounding Ayala Triangle. He's so happy to see them and he has so many questions, some of them I couldn't even answer. 
  • Mission number two, Tall buildings and skycrapers, Accomplished, CHECK!
It was worth it
When the show started, everyone were like children again. The Christmas spirit was there. For a few minutes, everyone was either smiling, silent and taking it all in, or dancing like Simon. Simon was dancing freestyle the whole time and soon afterwards. 




Sam was speechless while Simon danced to the music.

 
How did I know it was worth it?
 I asked the kids. After all the travel time, getting almost squished at the MRT, having a hard time finding a taxi, trying at the MRT for the second time, walking from MRT to MSE, and having the show almost cancelled and not to mention the same route back home, you'd think that they wouldn't want to go again next year. But they do! They want to go again next year. They were still excited even after we got home which was almost midnight. We slept at 2AM, with the kids still talking about it!  We were dead tired and woke up very late the next day. I think more than anything, it's the adventure that they loved. We got a pure family bonding experience that day. I am so proud of my kids for being on their best behavior and for just being kids enjoying the moment.

We would definitely do this again, next year, but on a more leisurely pace. We'd hang out at the mall first and then go to the show afterwards and hang out there. The earlier the better, I'd say. We were able to witness the show inside the garden, and outside the garden (from the entrance of the Makati Stock Exchange). You get to see a bigger, clearer picture of the show and appreciate the lights and sounds more as a whole when you're outside the garden. But beneath the lights and the trees, up close, the lights are more spectacular.

Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights & Sounds Show Schedule:
Nov. 20 - Dec. 31, Ayala Triangle Gardens, Ayala Triangle, Makati City every 30 minutes from 6:00 to 9:00 PM (we entered through the Makati Stock Exchange building)

Dec 25, 2013

Christmas Party 2013


Simon and Sam had their Christmas party last December 21st. Parents were also invited. I enjoyed this year's Christmas party more than last year's. I guess the kids felt the same way, too. The party was held inside the school premises, unlike last year when it was held in the subdivision's community hall to accommodate everyone. This year only the kids and a handful of parents attended. Holding the Christmas party inside the school, I think, is better because the kids were in their own environment and were more relaxed when performing their song and dance numbers.

Sam and Simon both actively participated in the games and even won the stop dance contest. My boys are competitive, I can see that. The kids were given prizes just for participating even if they did not win and that is good. Everyone went home happy.  The teachers bought the kids' gifts based on their wish list and but the money came from the parents. It's a good system because I did not get stressed at all over the kids' gifts. The parents were only ask to bring a gift for another parent, which is also not hard to do anyway.

I love the kids' school. The teachers are always thinking of ways to save the parents money and time. The school is not like other schools where you have to buy everything and spend for every project. I was recommending this school to my neighbor who has a one-and-a-half year old child, but her grandson is too young to go to preschool. She's looking for a play school which could accommodate babies her grandson's age just like that of Bullfrogs and Butterflies Childcare in the US. It's very hard to find that kind of school here. Although, there are some all over the country, there's none in our area. 

Anyway, back to the Christmas party, my kids went home with their stomach full, their spirits high and their bags full of goodies and toys. I let them play till they couldn't keep their eyes open anymore that night, because I can see that they were so happy with their new toys. It's really a joy to see kids so happy and merry at this time of the year.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you love and joy this holiday season. From our family to yours, merry Christmas! 


Dec 22, 2013

Musical Shakers Made of Bottle Caps

My kids used these musical shakers during their Christmas party program. Seeing these every day brings me back to my childhood days when I used to go out with friends for Christmas carols. Do you remember this musical instrument, made only of soft drinks bottle caps and wire? How long ago was it since you've used one? 


Have you made one recently or do you just buy the ready-made musical instruments from the store? Christmas carolers are innovative these days. Yesterday, a group brought a sound system and played the CD instead and sang along with it. I'm sure the local band would be visiting on Christmas eve with their big and recently-bought  exceptional gator drums at Musicians Friend. They do that every year. So glad though that some children still used shakers like the one above. It's great also that my kids' teachers asked their students to make something like this. It's something they can use even after the Christmas party program.  

Dec 21, 2013

Shopping for Boys' Clothes

baby's clothes, not in Baclaran though
I went to Baclaran the other day to  buy a t-shirt for my eldest and a little bit of this and that for gifts. It didn't take me long to find what I'm looking for, since I know the area quite well and hubby tagged along before he went to work and already know where and what to look for. We found the perfect t-shirt for Basti in no time, hubby went to work via the Metro Rail Transit and I went on my way, window shopping (if you can call it that in a very crowded place such as Baclaran) as I made my way back to the jeepney stop. At this time of the year, there's no easy way in and out of Baclaran. There's too many people and there's too many things going on.

As I go from shop to shop, among the many stalls of the crowded place, I can't help thinking that I wish I have a girl and at the same time saying to myself, moms of boys have it easy when choosing clothes for their sons. The baby dresses are so cute that one will have a hard time deciding which one to get! Cuteness overload indeed! I found a store that sell Hello Kitty stuff and I was like in pink heaven, hehe. 

Some Gift-giving Tips
 Most boys would want toys. They wouldn't say, I want clothes. But they'd be happy with clothes also if  you find out what kids' interests are at the moment first before buying for them. When my boys were so fascinated with Angry Birds, someone gifted them with Angyr Birds t-shirts and they were so ecstatic about it! When the Plants versus Zombies was a craze, they wanted that, too! So whatever their passion is at the moment, they'd be proud to wear them. You'll be sure to get a beaming  face or toothless grin come Christmas opening presents time.

If they're still babies and can't decide yet for themselves and are not yet affected by such games and stuff, find out what the parents are into. Giving something like Yankees baby clothes to the baby of a New York Yankees fan would really make the day of the parents. Besides babies in baseball attire are always cute. Maybe the whole family can wear baseball uniform while watching the game.

Shopping in Baclaran (and malls) versus online
Of course, prices in Baclaran are way lower than the prices in the mall or anywhere else here in Manila, maybe except Divisoria. But it's a place I wouldn't want to be in at this time of the year. If I'm not super strict on my budget, I'd rather shop online at this time of the year. If you're an online worker like me who works by the hour, you would rather spend that hour at the comfort of your home and have the items delivered at your  doorsteps. For one, the traffic going to and from Baclaran is not a joke. The amount of time you go from shop to shop is lengthened because of too many people blocking your path. When you get home, you're super tired and can't get to work anymore. But I am on a strict budget and I had time to spare, plus the item that I want can only be found on that store, so off to Baclaran I went, hehe. For everyone else who are on a looser budget and who doesn't have the time, buying online is the way to shop.

But the best way to save, money-wise and time-wise, is to shop early and to buy in bulk. :)

*photo credit:  Image courtesy of Supertrooper/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Gift Ideas: Pens From Nikki Prints

I bought these cute personalized pens from Nikki Prints a month ago. We are giving them to special people in my kids' lives and hubby's friends, too. I love the orange ones the most. 

Pens from Nikki Prints

These are great gift ideas, I think. They also have personalized tags, notepads, and personalized planners.
If you wish to order you can check out Nikki Prints Online.
I know it's too late to order for Christmas but maybe next year, like Valentines Day, you may consider Nikki Print for gifts. I'm a happy customer.  

Dec 18, 2013

December 28th Weddings

My brother who is a photographer said that there are many couples tying the knot on December 28th. He and his team are fully booked that day. I wonder why there's so many couples who chose this date. I've read in a Feng Shui website that December 28th is generally an auspicious date for weddings. Maybe that is the reason why. One of my brother's friend it's because it's Los Inocentes Day celebrated much like April Fool's Day, and that there are many wedding ceremonies happening during that day, too. Whatever the reason is, I wish all the couples a blessed and happy marriage. I am looking forward to seeing my brother's albums on weddings on December 28th. Boasting aside, he takes really good photos. I like his perspectives on wedding rings, any kind, whether it's mens platinum wedding bands or the regular gold wedding rings. You can check out his work at weddingprojectsdotcom. 

Dec 17, 2013

Christmas Tree #4: At the Barangay Hall

There's this Christmas tree which we pass by every time we go to our mother-in-law's house. It's made of twigs. It's so beautiful  especially during the night when all of the white lights are lit up.

 

Up close. 
 

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Dec 13, 2013

Steps to Finding a Wonderful Chemistry Tutor for Your Child

Finding a good chemistry tutor is the key to your kid's good chemistry grades. Chemistry should not be taken as a subject that is only essential at the high school level. The chemistry grades your child brings home can decide whether your kid gets admitted to his college of choice or not. Solid chemistry theories help throughout life. Therefore your child needs to have a strong foundation in chemistry when it comes to his high school science subject. This is why you need help quickly before your kid falls way behind the class and never recovers. 

Many frustrated parents solve this problem by attending a good Chemistry tuition. However, each and every family has unique needs, and tutors have many degrees of experience and kindness. So it is vital to know what you want, then carefully investigate the skill, experience, commitment and personality of the Chemistry tutor.

Get to know your goals

Ask yourself or your kid’s Chemistry teacher the level of help you need. Get to know if the child needs help with the homework, intensive remediation or something in between. Identify whether your child needs to improve on the scores, study skills or even motivation. 

Try and understand your child’s learning styles. Does you kid learn better by listening, touching, moving or reading? Does he get along better with men or women? Does he need a lot of nurturing? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself. Additionally, you should have an idea of the amount of money you are willing to devote for the tuition.

Try and know your options

Call your kid’s school counselor or Chemistry teacher and share your concern. Good chancellors will have met with your kid and will have files on the kid’s progress in Chemistry throughout his school career, his scores on regular tests, and notes on possible personality issues. Majority of schools have a list of registered tutors on file in the counseling office. It is frequently in the form of resumes or fliers. These are mostly posted in a book for parents to look over before making a choice. 

Test Your Options

Carefully check the credentials on the potential chemistry tutors. Ask questions to see how well their skills match your kid’s needs. A chemistry tutor should have at least a college minor in Chemistry. A different education is necessary to teach first-grade reading. Look for a Chemistry tutor who has worked with students who have similar abilities and are of the same age as your child.

Meet a number of the candidates, with your child of course and ask them a couple of questions about their experience in Combined Chemistry Physics tuition or any other Chemistry related course. Find out whether the tutor will use school reports, standardized tests or other forms of assessment to discover your kid's strengths and weaknesses. A skilled tutor will do more than just answer questions and do problems with students. 

Partner up with the tutor for great results

Watch how your kid relates to the Chemistry tutor and join them sometimes, if possible. Remember that your kid must be comfortable if you want to see positive results. Monitor your child’s progress and see if his Chemistry grade gradually improves. If, after a number of sessions, you do not see any development or you feel a negative attitude in your kid, try and get another tutor.

Finding and keeping a great Chemistry tutor involves some work on your part. Whether you need him basically for chemistry tuition, Combined Chemistry Physics or any other subject, you need to do all you can to get the best tutor for your child. After all, your child is worth all the help you can provide. 

Lauren Wong is one of the tutors at The Educationist - Singpore's premier tuition centre. With years of experience and the highest and most relevant qualifications in engineering subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics, she was able to help hundreds of students improve from F9 to A1. The Educationist, after more than a decade of success in helping F9 students achieve "A1"s in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths, is so confident of their unique and effective teaching techniques that they are offering all new students a FREE trial lesson! 

Visit Lauren at www.theeducationist.sg or call her at 81-888-009 for more details and to sign up for a free consultation.

Dec 12, 2013

A Typical Date With Sam


This post is linked to Kids in Doodles! 

A typical 'date' with Sam always starts or ends up in the health clinic at the third floor of SM. Don't worry, nothing bad happens during our dates. It's just that the health clinic is actually the destination and the visit to the doctor is the main purpose of these dates. Of course, in order to motivate the little boy to come with me to the clinic, I tell him we're going to go on a date. He's always at SM almost every weekend with his Papa  and brothers or his aunts and uncles and cousins, but it's not often that he's at SM alone with me. There's always something special about a date, don't you think? I enjoy this alone time with Sam, but I wish we don't have to go to the clinic often. We've been going a lot lately in the past couple of months, with him always getting sick due to coughs and cold. People tell me it's the season. I don't know, I really hope it is. 

Anyway, a typical date involves (after visiting the doctor at the clinic) checking out the toy stores. Sometimes, we buy, but only the cheap ones. Sometimes, we don't. Sam understands there are some things that he cannot buy. He loves to pose for the camera though and take shots of things he want and he'll show it to his brothers when he gets home. 

Sam in one our dates at the SM Toy Express stall
Next, we'll check out the usual stuff in the mall -- the music store, that black round thing (I don't know what it is called) where you drop the coins and you try to grab them before it spirals down the drain; and of course, the places where kids play.

Things to check out 
On our latest 'date', the Christmas tree is all lit up and of course, he wants to take a picture of that. :D

Christmas tree at SM
And as always, a date would not be complete without passing by Jollibee. Sam loves the spaghetti there. He's already happy with only spaghetti and french fries, the soda, and the sundaes are all bonuses. 

Jollibee is Love 
Sam is really enjoyable to be with. And I don't have to spend a lot. The only thing he asks for on this date is Jollibee spaghetti, hehe. I just needed to entertain him a lot by pointing out interesting things to him, and from this he learns a lot of things and ask questions about them even days after. I know he enjoys this alone time with me, too.  

How about you, what's your typical date with your child like? 

Dec 11, 2013

Eyeglasses For My Mom

Image courtesy of ponsulak/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net  
A few months ago, I won a code for a nice pair of eyeglasses and I was really excited to use it. I was thinking of giving it to a friend or using to buy for mom's eyeglasses, even if I have to pay the international shipping fee. I asked my mother about her prescription glasses and she texted me the numbers she saw on the receipt. We were both confused at first because the information is not as detailed as the information given to patients in the US. I did a lot of research based on the limited information she sent me through text and customized the features (if you could call it that) of the eyeglasses I want for her, and saved it to my cart. I said I'll let it rest for a few days because I didn't know if I already have the correct specifications that would suit her. Also, I began to question if it would cost the same if I just buy the glasses here, locally, or pay the international shipping fee. And then, so many things had happened in the last couple of months, and I forgot about it. When I remembered about the coupon, I then decided that I'll just use the coupon to buy an UV-protected non-prescription glasses for a friend's daughter in the US  and have it sent to her since I'm not sure about my mom's prescription. My brother also mentioned that she'd get my mom a new pair of eyeglasses, so I'd let him, lol. I decided it would be a surprise. But when I  came back, I saw that the coupon had expired. Boohooo! 

Now, I'm checking online for eyeglasses again so I can send my techie brother some suggestions on styles. My mom already has eyeglasses, but they're old, and we want something different for her. I chanced upon eyeglasses.com and checked out their site. The site is fairly easy to navigate with categories such Woman, Man, and Kids, and Prescription glasses. The site has very simple how-to-order instructions. And one thing I notice is that their eyeglasses have a lower price compared to other sites. I'm going to give the link of this site to my brother and the other site where I won the coupon so he'll be the one to do the ordering (if and when he decides to order online). My brother has an online store and is used to this kind of transactions. I'm sure he'll get the best for my mom. 

Dec 7, 2013

Christmas Tree Number 3: At SM City Sucat

I have posted about simple and recycled Christmas trees in my previous post. Now, let me give you a glimpse of the Christmas tree in our nearest hangout place, SM City in Sucat. This one looks very festive, indeed.


And since I have started this already, I am going to post pictures of Christmas trees every now and then, to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in this blog. I have this inspiration from a blog post I read and I forgot whose it is, but it's a pretty neat idea, so why not? 

Dec 4, 2013

Thinking of a Fruitful Career? Consider Taking O level Chemistry Tuition

Many are the times that a student thinks that chemistry tuition is only helpful in some certain fields and irrelevant in other areas. This reasoning makes the student either drop, or put less effort in the subject. Matter of fact is that chemistry applies in basically all career fields. It may be applied directly or indirectly. Anyone thinking of prospering in life may need to put more effort in the subject in high school or at O levels. Fields where chemistry is applied contrary to popular belief are as follows:

1. Construction Industry

A common fallacy is that builders or bricklayers require little or no chemistry knowledge. Unfortunately, this is not actually true. A builder needs to know how wet concrete will cure depending on the salinity of the water used. He also needs to know how the carbon or iron content will affect the strength of metal bars or rebar. These decisions are not purely physical, but also chemical. Lack of good chemistry skills may affect the structural integrity of the building.

2. Auto mechanic

When thinking of an auto specialist or mechanic, one may think of ability to diagnose engines, repair damaged cars, and carrying out regular service. All these do not require any chemistry tuition right? Well, this is not the case. The mechanic needs to know how the salt content will react to car paint; he also needs to know the chemical properties of the engine oil and how well it will protect the engines internals.

3. Woodworker or Carpenter

A carpenter definitely needs to have good woodworking skills. But he also needs to have understanding of chemistry. Different types of wood react to the humidity in the air differently. For instance, teak wood will turn grayish when exposed to the atmosphere for a long time. High quality sapwood from teak initially is light yellow, but may change to tan or brown with age. The varnish or lacquer applied on finished wood products may affect the durability of wood products. In order to produce high quality products, a joiner or wood specialist needs to have knowledge in chemistry.

4. Forensic Auditor

Auditing is about confirming that the entries in the accounting books are in order. This will not only require good knowledge in maths, accounting, and statistics, but also chemistry. An auditor may at times be required to confirm records that date back many decades. O level chemistry tuition will help the auditor understand whether a paper record is authentic or not. Aged paper will turn yellowish due to oxidation. Various types of inks also react differently to the atmosphere and also on the type of paper written on.

Gone are the days when O level Chemistry Tuition was viewed as a career specific subject. In today’s world, chemistry is finding its way in many careers as professions become more dynamic and versatile. This is making more people advance their education in other fields unrelated to their current profession. For instance, a banker may become a forensic auditor; a nurse may work as a laboratory specialist, or a chemistry teacher working as a lab assistant. A student who puts more effort on chemistry tuition stands a better chance of having a more fruitful future.

About the author:

Lauren Wong is one of the tutors at The Educationist - Singpore's premier tuition centre. With years of experience and the highest and most relevant qualifications in engineering subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics, she was able to help hundreds of students improve from F9 to A1. The Educationist, after more than a decade of success in helping F9 students achieve "A1"s in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths, is so confident of their unique and effective teaching techniques that they are offering all new students a FREE trial lesson!

Visit Lauren at www.theeducationist.sg or call her at 81-888-009 for more details and to sign up for a free consultation.

Dec 2, 2013

Nameless and Photoless ID

There's definitely going to be changes in our lives in the next few months. My hubby had decided to resign from work. He had thought carefully about this, and I support him in his decision. I'd rather not go into details but I think it would be good for him to make that change. He would be surrendering his ID in the second week of January. It would be the last time I'll be seeing that nameless and photo-less ID and it will be the last time he's going to swipe it on their id scanner. A nameless and photoless ID means that security is really tight in this company, being one of the biggest companies in the world. My husband loves his company but he needed to make that move. There will tough times ahead for sure. But with God's grace and with my husband working hard to get us back on track again, we will overcome. 

*Image courtesy of sixninepixels/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net  

Origami Book

I found this Origami book at the National Bookstore at SM City Sucat. Sam had been asking me if we can do some origami and finding this book is just perfect timing. And it only cost 59 pesos (roughly $1.50).


It has detailed easy-to-follow instructions inside, papers to fold and stickers. I love that it has the stickers and the kid love the stickers, too.


The kids got to work and they eventually came up with these after a few minutes. The yellow one is a fox and the second one is a rooster. Simon put all of those circular stickers in there.


If you're looking for a gift for kids, I recommend this origami book. It's very inexpensive, instructions are easy to follow, have papers in it already, and it has stickers too. It's a complete set. The whole family can enjoy making origami with this set. 

Dec 1, 2013

Checking Out The Music Store


Every time we go to the mall near our place, we always drop by the music store. It's just in the first floor and near the elevators so we couldn't miss it. The kids always wander around the store and look at the different musical instruments on sale. The last time I and Sam went to the mall for a checkup at the private clinic at the third floor of the mall, we again drop by the music store. I was looking for a guitar that Basti and I saw online, the gibson es 175 at guitar center, (to see if it really looks as good as it looked online) but they don't have it in that store. Anyway, Sam was very happy to see the newest addition to their inventory, a blue drum and the violin. Sam is beginning to show interest in music, too. He's always singing aloud at home and his favorite game online nowadays is SCGMD 4.