Our First Sandbox

More than a month ago, I saved this draft in my iPhone during that sleep deprived night.

If not for their “Keeping Cool” May 2014 box, I will certainly miss posting this.  Anyway, for those who don’t know what exploresandbox is, it’s a monthly crafts box for kids.  They have different and appropriate themes every month with complete materials (which I really appreciate) and instructions on how to do it.  It’s not just arts and crafts, but it’s also loaded with science facts. 🙂 (check out their official website

The first box I ordered from them was their Christmas box last December 2013 and that’s what I almost forgot to post. hehe (If my previous post is late, I don’t know what to call this then, hehe) 

The Christmas box contained 5 activities – DIY Christmas stockings, DIY Christmas ball, snow like mixture to build a snowman, a science project behind Santa and the chimney, and last was the good deed list. 

For this box, we were only able to make 2 out of the 5,  for some reason the snowy substance won’t form and i feel it’s a little messy to play with. I also noted to myself to ask Leslie of exploresandbox how it should work, well obviously I forgot doing it. Haaay…

Here’s Liam with his Christmas projects.. 🙂

Here's our December box .. All excited to start! :)
Here’s our December box .. All excited to start! 🙂

First project that we did was the Christmas Ball.  Excited mommy that I am, I did not read the instruction and put the glitters outside the ball.. The daddy noticed and asked why am putting it outside when instruction said inside.. Sorry naman.. hahaha.. nevertheless, we enjoyed doing it together and this was one of our Christmas ornament in the tree. 🙂

Materials for our first project - glue, glitters, plastic ball, ribbon and Japanese paper
Materials for our first project – glue, glitters, plastic ball, ribbon and Japanese paper
Liam really into the crumpling...
Liam really into the crumpling…
and he's really enjoying it.. :)
and he’s really enjoying it.. 🙂
our finish product.. :)
our finish product.. 🙂

The other project that we were able to make is the Christmas stockings!  Liam enjoyed putting on the buttons and for added work, I gave him some cotton balls to glue on top of the stocking.  Of course, mommy was the one who sew the socks together.

next stop.. our Christmas Stocking!
next stop.. our Christmas Stocking!
Obvious ba? He likes what he's doing?
Is it that obvious that he likes what he’s doing?
one down.. one more to go
one down.. one more to go
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busy gluing the cotton balls.. 🙂
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers.. :)
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers.. 🙂
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Now, our stocking is complete! TADA!

As for the other projects, I felt Liam was too young for them pa and we ran out of time na since we went home to Manila for the holidays. Nevertheless, we both enjoyed our project time.

Ask if I will order again?  Wait for my future posts for my answer. 😉

 

 

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Throw Back Thursday

My first ever throw back post.  Well coincidentally, it’s Thursday today that I thought of doing this post. 🙂

Liam, do you remember this?

7 months old Liam during our first Crocolandia visit
7 months old Liam during our first Crocolandia visit
Fast forward, 3yrs 5mos. old Liam with the same croc. :)
Fast forward, 3yrs 5mos. old Liam with the same croc. 🙂

Where have time gone?  You may grow up so fast, then and again, you will always be my baby. 🙂

Date With Mom

One more thing I like about Liam’s school is that they have activities like “Date with Dad” and “Date with Mom”. It’s some kind of field trip with activities for the children and their mom or dad. They really encourage that only the mom or dad join the activity. No yayas, no mommies on dad’s day and vice versa. Though, if dad or mom is not available, they suggest that lolo / tito or lola / tita to accompany the kid so they won’t be left out just because their parent is working abroad (or that day, in our case). Nice diba!?

Last year’s “Date with Mom” was held at the Movenpick hotel in Mactan (former Hilton) where teachers have organized different activities like arts and games for the kids and their moms. Unfortunately, it fell on Liam’s nap time and I have this rule that his sleeping time (and meal time) always comes first. Thus, us not joining.
The “Date with Dad” on the other hand was held on school grounds where they played different sports.  It was also scheduled during class hours so Liam and Dino were able to join.  They both had lots of fun that time.  But since we’re not sure if Dino can handle a 2 yr old Liam, Ate Donna was in tow then but waiting to be called lang.
This year’s date days were both held outdoors.  Dad’s day was in Shangri-la Mactan.  They’ve organized painting, tree planting and games for the participants.  Sayang lang kasi, we had a major event in our work that Dino cannot miss.  So they weren’t able to join.  Night before the date pa naman, Liam was excitedly telling us that he’s going to Shangri-La with his teachers and classmates.
With that guilt at heart I made a resolution that I will join the date with mom by hook or by crook.  So the day came and off we went to Crocolandia in Talisay.  It’s an hour drive from the city so we left a bit early. The day was consist of an educational tour (where nobody understands what our guide was saying, hehe), a short educational classroom type experience for the kids, arts and crafts, fishing and fish feeding and a little dance program from the kids.
We arrived a little early before call time, and program did not start right away.  So Liam and I walked around and looked at the animals in the zoo. Liam liked the birds the most.  Un lang, better if we see them in the wild.   Can’t wait for Liam’s first birding adventure.  Anyway, did not take pics na with the crocs and other animals.  Ayaw ko pics na puro wire mesh.. hehe.. 🙂
We went fishing after the zoo tour, and Liam and I enjoyed it a lot.  We did not catch any fishes though.  I think it’s because he and one of his classmates kept on throwing the fish food directly to the pond.  Wala ng hirap for the fishes. No need to go to our baits. hehe
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fishing time.. 🙂
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Liam and his classmate busy throwing fish feeds to the pond.

In the class type demo, they were introduced to different animal eggs, parts of a turtle and snakes.  They were asked to distinguish the eggs too.. Ganun pala un no?! may kaba na kasama if your child will be able to answer or not, kahit di pa totoong exam un.. haha.. oh well, he did very well naman.. Liam was initially afraid to touch the snake, but overcame his fear.  Proud mommy moment again for me. 🙂

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Liam’s turn to hold the Tortoise’s egg
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Liam unsure if he will touch the snake..
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But kuya is very encouraging and was able to let Liam hold the snake..
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Yey!! He did it! 🙂

We then went to the reptile gallery and was able to take photos with the albino snakes. 🙂  Liam was not afraid of it anymore.. 🙂 We also did our Crocodile project there.

 

Photo opt with the albino snake na mas ako pa ang natuwa
Photo opt with the albino snake na mas ako pa ang natuwa

 

Project time with mommy.. busy putting the hearty scales..
Project time with mommy.. busy putting the hearty scales..

 

After the project, the kids all danced for their mommies.  Was too excited to notice that I failed to turn on the video cam while taking it.  (yeah, ako na ang excited! haha) It’s ok, since Liam danced so well and I can still remember the smile he has while dancing his heart out looking at me (like he was saying: “Mommy watch this”.) 🙂  After their presentation, it was time to feed the biggest and oldest crocodile there named Lapulapu.  I got a good spot where Liam can see the action, but the guy who’s feeding Lapulapu have a different idea and let the crocodile come near us.  It ended up eating the chicken right in front of Liam face which really scared him.  He ran off and doesn’t want to go near Lapulapu’s cage anymore.  I then decided to call it a day kesa masayang pa lahat ng memory kakapilit ko saknya.

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Bye Crocolandia, ’til our next visit. 🙂

He enthusiastically recounted all of the morning’s happening to his Dad that night and even to his lolo who came 2 days after our date.

Oh, another thing I like about this date was the chance I had to meet other parents, one of which is my constant text mate now, exchanging notes and plans about our kids. We are planning to have play dates for our kids soon.  Sana matuloy.

Definitely looking forward to more dates with Liam, not only in school activities, but hopefully until he grow bigger. 🙂

Liam Meets Aki

Oh yes!! At long last, we were able to meet Familia Kiki during the holidays when we were in Manila (yeah, this is another late post.  Sowee).  Leah, my SIL, was the one who introduced me to their blog, and  I got hooked to their site ever since.  I even wished that we’re neighbors. Hehe

With only a few days in Manila, I was glad that they are also available on the date we set.  I’ve let Maqui do the planning (Thanks Maqui! :)) as this was the first time Liam (we) will have a playdate.  We agreed to meet in Book Sale MCS, since it was books that made us bond on the first place.

Am doubly glad that Leah is also available and offered to be the photographer that day (Thanks Ninang!!). hehe  I will not make this text heavy and will let the photos tell the story. 🙂

Liam and Aki exchanging Christmas Gifts
Liam and Aki exchanging gifts..(Thanks again for the wonderful gift – wish come true – will have another post for it) 
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Photo Opt before starting our night.

 

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Inside the store, Aki showing Liam his Bey Blades (Bem Bem as per Liam, hehe)

 

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Feeling at home in Book Sale, the kids played while the moms chika and the dads chika too (outside). Not sure what we’re talking about, why is my face like that?!!? hehe

 

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Kuya Aki is really sweet, lending and teaching Liam how to use the Bem Bem. 🙂

After the staffs shooed us out of the store (nakahalata na tambay lang kame, hehe) – this is a joke, we walked across the street and had Dinner in Amizi.  It’s an Italian resto beside Don Bosco Makati that have super nice Gelato and oh! their pizza and pasta were also so great. YUM!

 

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Liam tasting the Parmesan Cheese.. (Gutom na ata!)

 

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Aki’s turn to try it. (gutom na nga ata sila)

 

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While waiting for our orders and to divert their attention from the cheese, the kids busied themselves with an episode of Power Rangers (which Franco also loved, shhh.. I hope he’s not reading this.. hehe)
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Funny little boys, posing for Ninang Tita.. 🙂
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Since they are good boys who finished their meals, they had Gelato for dessert. Here, they are choosing what flavors they will get.
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Cheers to new friends…
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Group pic after dinner

After our filling dinner, we all walked to Waltermart where we dropped by Japan Homes and let the kids play in TimeZone.  We don’t have that much photos anymore, as Leah has to do some wifely duties.  hehehe  Liam and Aki don’t play the same games, but there is one game they loved – Go Go Balls!

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Having fun with Go Go Balls – not only the kids enjoyed it.. Mommies and Yaya too.. hehe

Liam and I really had fun that night.  Liam was still talking about Aki and Bem bem til now (mental note: buy Liam Bey blades.. hehe) Enjoyed good company, new friends and the chit chats!

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Maqui, Aki and Franco

To Familia Kiki, thank you so much for taking time out to meet us and for the dinner too.  Hope to see you guys again soon.  Wish ko makasama kame sa mga playdates nyo. 🙂

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thank you kuya Aki., ’til we meet again..  😉

 

 

 

 

 

Vday Gift from Liam

This post had been sitting on my drafts since Feb. 14, 2013.

The night before Vday, Liam had act up that created an argument between me and Dino.  That night, all my insecurities about being a good mom and all the guilt came out.  I really can’t sleep with all those bad thoughts, so after a few toss and turns, I went out of the room so I can clear my head.

Before I move on to that night’s story, let me share with you another concern we are handling.  Liam has a problem about waking up alone.  You see, ever since he was born, I was so praning that even if he’s asleep, I really don’t want him left alone.   So maybe, that’s also the reason why he’s not use to it.  Earlier this year, they had an incident where Donna left him for a while to pee (during his nap).  He woke up and cried so bad that he had been restless in bed since then.  He would always make sure that somebody is on his side by hugging or touching any part of his body to the one beside him.  I talked to him every night after that.  Told him that he doesn’t have to cry and be afraid should he wake up alone, that I will only be outside should he wake up and not find me. (same goes when he takes his afternoon naps with Donna).  Every night for a week I did that.  Slowly, he was able to sleep better.

Back to my restless night, while unnecessarily feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly heard someone opening the door from our room. I thought it was just Dino checking on me, then I realized that it was Liam all doze-y and with eyes squinting at the light, no crying, just looking for me outside as I told him. I quickly carried him (before he fell down on our steps) and he simply asked: “what are you doing?”

With that simple gesture, I realized that am doing something right after all.

Me taking a nap while 2 months old Liam sleeps on my chest.
Me taking a nap while 2 months old Liam sleeps on my chest.

 

Conquering That Stressful Haircut

Remember my old post about Liam’s stressful haircut?  My SIL, Leah, also wrote about Liam’s stressful haircut here.  This is really one thing we dread to do every time the need arises.  Well, am happy to report that we are “slowly” conquering this fear.

Before 2013 ended, we brought a long haired Liam to the salon. As always, I talked to him beforehand that we are going to see Kuya Eduard. He agreed and I took advntage of his good mood and told him that we need to go inside the salon. (You see, past haircuts, we do it outside the salon so as not to disturb other customers…) I even ask him if we could sit down. Nakahalata ata at di na pumayag… Hehe

No more crying! :)
No more crying! 🙂

Improvements:

1. We are now inside the salon (still carrying him and standing)
2. We wore the “blanket” (tunic) this time
3. No more crying, no more struggles, no more bites on my shoulders.. Hehe

Excitedly waiting for Kuya Eduard to put gel on his hair.. ;)
Excitedly waiting for Kuya Eduard to put gel on his hair.. 😉

Last Sunday, Liam had his 2 weeks delayed haircut. Again, we talked to him. I really thought he’ll back out when he learned that his ever trustful Kuya Eduard is not available. Fortunately, the gel trick did it for us. 🙂  It was Kuya Michael who did his do.  Because he’s behaved, the haircut took us 30 minutes.  Yes, he sat still for 30 minutes, kahit kame ni Dino di makapaniwala. hehe..

Ang bait diba?
Ang bait diba?
concentrate...
concentrate…
...sa panunuod.. hehe
…sa panunuod.. hehe

Improvements:
1. He now agreed to sit on the chair (on ate Donna’s lap)
2. He now wore his own “blanket”
3. He is more relaxed now

Gel time!! :)
Gel time!!  He was the one who requested for Kuya Mike to put his hair up. 🙂

I’m so happy that we finally beat this fear.  Next stop is for him to sit on his own na. 🙂

Good job Liam!! Mommy and Daddy are so proud of you. 🙂

Sari Saring Kwentong Liam: Simbahan

If there’s one good thing the earthquake has brought to my family, it’s that we were able to go back to church and hear mass every Sunday. Well, the earthquake was just half of it, it was also Liam’s birthday.

You see, Dino and I are not too religious. But we made it a point to go to church every Sunday to hear mass, say our thanks and ask for forgiveness. This stop lang, when we had Liam na.  We tried going back when he was 5mos, but it’s a bit difficult since he can’t understand what it is pa.

So last October, we heard mass as a family. Okey, it was just the 3 of us adults (including ate Donna) who really understood, but I think this is the best way to introduce the idea/concept to Liam. As expected, he was not super behaved.  He asked a lot of questions like what the nuns are doing, who is talking, is it finish na ba, and a lot more.

I first introduced Liam to church, the structure, earlier this year on our way to the mall.
Mommy: Liam, that’s a church, you see there’ a cross and at the window there is a big bell, blah blah blah (i went on describing the sound and what it’s for)
Liam did not say word.  Kala ko wala na intindihan.  After a few meters…
Mommy: Liam, that’s also a church
Liam: where’s the bell?
Ayun, nakikinig naman pala…

The first time we brought him to church, he kept on asking questions at the start, then he started to get bored.
Liam: mommy, are we done na? Go home na tayo?
Mommy: we can’t pa, we have to wait for the priest to finish
Liam: who is the priest?
Mommy: the one in green (habit)
After a few minutes..
Liam: mommy is the green one finish na?
Sa isip ko.. Wala namang green sa Bioman ah!?

One afternoon, ate donna gave liam choco flakes in a bowl..
Liam stood up, got a piece and went to his ate, gave her one on her hand..
Liam: you say amen
Communion ang peg..

Liam really got intruiged with the host that we take, one sunday at mass…
Liam: mommy, i want to eat host
Mommy: you can’t pa. You’re still a little boy. When you’re big na, you will have your first holy communion
I think he understood, since he did not ask me about it again.
One night when I stepped into the house coming from work, he ran to me excitedly and said…
Liam: Mommy! ate said am big boy na!! Can i eat host na!?
Toinks!!! Naintindihan nga nya sinabi ko! Hahaha

There are a lot of things pa that got his interest like the holy water and the offerings.  One way to persuade him to change and go to church is when I tell him I will let him dip his hand in the holy water which we do last (before going out ) so he’ll have something to wait for and look forward too.  Yun lang, he keeps on asking if we’re done na.

He also likes the singing part pala. He usually hums with us. There’s this responsorial psalm that caught his attention and several times he asked me to sing it for him. Kaso I forgot the line na.  So the following week, i made it a point to remember, kow ung nauna pa din ang gusto nya.

Well, hopefully soon, he will understand na din what this is all about.  Since I can’t take photos during mass (mapapagalitan ako ni Bobe), eto na lang share ko sanyo..

Since I can't take picture inside the church, magagalit si Daddy.. Am sharing his airport photo. :)
Photo taken at the airport.  Love the smile and the dimples… 🙂

Christmas Balls Project

Am really not a crafty woman.  One of my least favorite is art class.  I remember my uncle telling my cousins to help me with my projects when I was still in elementary.  Naawa ata sya saken at hating gabi na di pa ko nangangalahati sa project ko.  When I was in high school naman, I always make it a point to team up with someone who’s good in drawing and in crafts. hehehe..

Liam is the opposite of me when it comes to art, he likes art.  He likes painting and all those crafty stuffs.  I think this is another de Leon side of him.  Dino is artistic in his own way.  He is good in drawing and not to mention he is good photographer.  May it be SLR or a simple point and shoot, he is really good.  We always say that he has an eye for it.  His Lolo and his Ninang is also very crafty.

Am also so lucky that Ninang Tita (my SIL, Leah of The Bright Spot) is very resourceful and never fails to update with anything and everything under the sun.  She posted this site on my FB page, telling me it’s a good Christmas project for Liam.  Tama nga sya, Liam did enjoy it.

This project is very easy, you only need Christmas balls, white acrylic paint, paint brush, markers and egg tray (for drying).

Mommy helping Liam paint his hand with white acrylic paint
Mommy helping Liam paint his hand with white acrylic paint
White palm.. :)
White palm.. 🙂

After the first ball, Liam went to the sink to wash his hands.  Eto mahirap sa batang to, he don’t want his hands dirty or sticky.  Wash agad yan.  hehehe.. So he washed his hands and told me he’ll do it by himself na.  After the Second time he washed  his hands, it’s my turn naman daw.

Liam:  Don't teach me na, I can do it myself...
Liam: Don’t teach me na, I can do it myself…
Liam's turn to help me paint my hand.
Liam’s turn to help me paint my hand.
after he got tired of painting and washing his hands, he decided to paint the balls directly instead. :)
after he got tired of painting and washing his hands, he decided to paint the balls directly instead. 🙂

And here are our finish products!!

My finished ball
My finished ball
Liam's finished ball
Liam’s finished ball

Easy and fun project!! Thanks again to Ninang Tita for the suggestion!! 🙂