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
photo 1_1
busy gluing the cotton balls.. 🙂
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers.. :)
Mas busy removing the cotton fiber from his fingers.. 🙂
photo 1_2
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. 😉




Handy Lolo

Liam has been fascinated with cars (read: real cars) as early as he was 6 mos old.  His curiosity started with the stirring wheel, then moved to the gear, then to the pedals. Now, he can distinguish automatic cars from manual cars by looking at the gear and pedals. Anyway, supporting his love for cars, his Lolo made cars (driver’s seat only) with wood, PVC pipes and old toys.

Introducing Liam’s ride V1 (drum roll please)

photo 1 (972 x 726)
V1 – using Liam’s kick board, pipes, stirring wheel from his Ninang and some straws

After a few weeks, Lolo got so hooked with the project and gifted his beloved apogi with a better version.  He gave it to Liam when we went home for Christmas.  My son was so ecstatic when he saw this.

V2 (manual car) – bigger and better, complete with pedal (mind you, the pedal springs back when stepped on), gear, chair, stirring wheel and a logo.

Due to insistent public (read: apogi) demand, V2 was updated with a gas tank and foot rest before we went back to Cebu.  Since V2 is bulky, we can’t pack it to bring back to Cebu.  So, on Lolo’s next visit to Cebu which was only a week later after our holiday vacay in Kumati, he made Liam another one – this time it’s an automatic version.

Liam helping his Lolo fix the car - now with 4x4 gear.
Liam helping his Lolo fix the car – now with 4×4 gear.


A funny side story, while fixing V3, Lolo asked ate Donna to give him the screw driver. Donna passed the tool to Liam and asked him to give it to Lolo.  Who can guess what Liam did?  He gave Lolo his toy screw driver and used the real screw driver himself.  Kulit lang talaga.  Good thing, we have a spare driver, thus the photo above. 🙂


PS.  I just realized now, where my other chair had been. hahahaha.. 🙂


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!! 🙂

Vacation Projects

As the whole world may know, er encountered 2 major calamities here in the Visayas.  It’s really scary and I was out of my wits for a few days. Kayo ba naman yanigin (at patuloy na yanigin) at bagyuhin ng bongang bonga…

But despite all these, we are still thankful that we are all safe. No damage was encountered naman. As for our sraffs in Tacloban, all were accounted for and were safely tranaferred here in Cebu.

During the hype of the dubious earthquake, all schools here in Cebu were suspended until after the holidays (all saint’s day).  It was 2 weeks of no school for Liam.  I was worried he might get bored at home or he might enjoyed free play so much that he might get lazy when it comes to school stuffs. So I instructed Ate Donna to still read, sing and count with Liam and do new projects at home. 🙂

Mr. Bee project
With the use of a tissue roll core, they paint it yellow and pasted black stripe on it.  Ate donna even cut out small feelers for the bees.  Liam’s favorite part is putting the googly eyes. (source here)

Mr. Bee
Mr. Bee

In the sea project
Another thing I like about Ate Donna is that she is matyaga. This project was her idea and she cut everything out night before.

In the Sea (Can't say under the sea since we don't like the boat sinking, right?)
In the Sea (Can’t say under the sea since we don’t like the boat sinking, right?)

Balloon project
Another one of Donna’s bright ideas.  She cut out the balloons using construction papers and used the excess strings Ninang Tita used during Liam’s Ice cream party. They first paint the paper blue so it will look like the sky.  During these times, Liam loves singing “Ako ay may Lobo”.  Maybe that’s how Ate Donna thought about this project.

Ako ay may lobo, lumipad sa langit.. :)
Ako ay may lobo, lumipad sa langit.. 🙂

Rubber Ducky
Remember the Chinese lantern project we made? We had lots of gold sequins left and Ate Donna thought of doing this with Liam… Cute no?

Rubber Ducky Project
Rubber Ducky Project

Ladybag project
I got this inspiration from this post and thought that Liam would love this since he’s into bugs.

Instead of using a paper plate, they cut out red construction paper and used black markers to give it shape and feet.  Donna also punched holes on a black paper and use it as the bug’s spots and don’t forget the googly eyes.

Mrs. Ladybug
Mrs. Ladybug

Playhouse project
I bought Liam some popsicle sticks to make the popsicle sticks with velcro (I don’t know what’s the right term for it, kung meron man).  I saw it online (clikc here for the source) and wanted Liam to have some.   but I cant find any pre-cut velcro, so this is what Ate Donna thought of doing instead.


After Liam got tired of squirting his sticky glue and tap tapping with all the projects, he requested for a paint project and here’s what they did.

Print hands - as Liam calls it.
Print hands – as Liam calls it.

This is another reason why we love Ate Donna.  She is very resourceful, matyaga and ma-abilidad.  We just tell her what we want Liam to learn or do, she follows and does it more than what we requested and expected her to do.

Liam’s vacation was not boring and unfruitful after all. 🙂

Tracing Fun

This is a super duper late post again. I almost forgot about this, if I didn’t check photos in my phone last night.  Anyway, last August, we received early birthday gifts from Maqui of Familia kiki.  I posted about it here.  One of the books they sent was the tracing book.  Maqui also blogged about this book here.

This book made it!  He was the one who asked his ate Donna to do the pages.  He grabbed the book, sat on his table and took a market.  I think the graphics and colors interested him.  Here are some of his in action pics.  As you will notice, he is still having a hard time how to hold his pen (marker) properly.  As Donna told me, he initially held it properly, but got tired and don’t want to listen na when asked to change how he holds his pen.




He showed me his previous works, and I think his favorite was the crane.  he kept on going back to it and showed it to me at least 3x. 🙂







I can say this book was so effective that it did not last a week.  Ubos na.  there were some pages left at the back, pero super complicated na for him to even try.

As of writing, we are not pushing him to practice writing anymore.  We are happy if he will initiate writing.  Pero we just let him be.  So far so good, he knows how to hold his pen properly na.  He sometimes intentionally holds his pen wrongly to tease us.  Then he will give us his sweet smile!

To Maqui, thanks again for this superb book!! 🙂


PS sorry about the photos posted sideways, tried to changed it, but still came out that way… hehe

Book: Creepy Crawly Creatures

Among the books we got from our Book Sale visit last Sunday, this book is Liam’s favorite – “Creepy Crawly Creatures”.  The creator of this book is not joking when he put the phrase – dreadfully disgusting – it’s really disgusting.

It’s very nice though, since they have pop ups on every page, making the bugs come to life and description and facts on every page about the bugs they are featuring.  To give you more idea on what am talking about, here’s how the book looks like.

Cover page – cover palang, it’s eeky na, wait til you see what’s inside…

Cover page
Cover page

First off are the cockroaches. My number 2 enemy (next to rodents).  It looks harmless when you flip the page.  Open the flaps and you’ll see what I mean.  The pizza inside the box is full of cockroaches.  What’s nice is that when you flip then box open, the Madagascar cockroach on the top pizza will also move.  On the right naman, you will see the bottom part of a cockroach.

Cockroach page
Cockroach page

Next is the Spider page then the Ants page (or was it the other way around – basta these 2 comes next).   On the spider page a big Tarantula Spider will pop out once you flip the bag open.  On the Ant’s page, you’ll see it crawling inside the burger. Like the cockroach, this ant also crawls when you move the buns up and down. 🙂

Spiders and Ants
Spiders and Ants

My favorite is the Scorpion page.  It’s claws and tail will move if you pull the zipper up and down.  do you spot the difference between the 2 photos below?


Millipedes and Centipedes follow the scorpion.  The Millipede will pop out curled-up when you flip the soccer ball open while the Centipede will crawl once you flip the rock up.  Yes, the centipede is moving every time you flip the rock. Nice no?

Next are the Locusts and Cicadas, there’s nothing much about the Locust while for the cicadas they will come flying out once you flip the bushes.  (side comment;  it will be better if they incorporated the sounds of the Cicadas. Mas magaling sa author ang peg ko.. haha)

Millipedes and Centipedes; Locusts and Cicadas
Millipedes and Centipedes; Locusts and Cicadas

Okay, sorry I skipped a page, cause this is the yuckiest among all the pages. The Flies!!! On the left, it explained how flies reproduce and shows the larvae on a hotdog sandwich! kadiri diba?!?! (those white thingy on the hotdog are the nasty maggots).  On the left naman, it shows how a fly looks like once we swat them dead! hehe


Generally, it’s creepy, but if you read the text naman, it’s quite nice as the book explains how flies carry germs and how cockroaches lives. This opens an opportunity how to explain to kids why they can’t eat the food na once a fly lands on it or how we need to keep our house clean para walang cockroach.

So sige na nga, I like the book din pero still this is eeeeew!! 🙂

Liam’s Top 10

Here are Liam’s Top 10 picks when it comes to his books.  Ranking is based on how frequent he reads it and alin ang nakabisado na nya. I had a hard time trimming down this list as there’s more than 10 naman that he likes.  So the ones he liked when he was barely a year old was out and I made a little daya – put 2 books together. hehe

#10 – Speedy Little Race Cars – This book helped him identify the colors. Also, this was the first book that I heard him memorize.  You say the color of the car, and he knows what happened to that car.

Speedy Little Race Cars
Speedy Little Race Cars

#9 – Corduroy’s Day and Corduroy Goes to the Doctor – The Corduroy’s day book is the first that he showed interest in a character and this was the first book he was able to relate himself too.  So, I bought the latter to help him us with his check ups and it worked. After that, even Wawa helped us find other books starring this cute little bear.

Corduroy books
Corduroy books

#8 – Walt Disney’s Pinocchio – This is one of his favorite cartoons (his first favorite cartoon was “A Bugs Life”).  He still gets this every once in a while and we will read this together.

Walt Disney's Pinocchio books
Walt Disney’s Pinocchio books

#7 – In a People House – We often read this earlier this year, but stopped when we started the bug books. He knows all the things highlighted in this book after our first read.

In a People House
In a People House

#6 – Green Eggs and Ham – to my delight he liked this book. Yey! Though this was also set aside for the meantime, as he’s busy with his bugs. hehe

Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham

#5 – Minibeasts and 1000 Facts about Wild Animals – he likes these too but lately prefers his new bug books

Minibeasts and 1000 Facts About Wild Animals
Minibeasts and 1000 Facts About Wild Animals

#4 Put Me in the Zoo – another one that he memorized. He also started to spell out the words in this book. (spell by reading of course)

Put Me in the Zoo
Put Me in the Zoo

#3 – I Love Bugs – We still read this until now and he knows all the bugs in this book.

I Love Bugs
I Love Bugs

#2 – Numbers – Ohh.. nagkalasug lasog na tong book since he always bring this with him.  He also likes using this to make fun of his mommy. He will always count the ones that should not be counted and laugh so hard cause he know I will react.  He calls this his fish book (as seen on the cover)


#1 – Go, Dog. Go! – his ultimate favorite! I think we have read this a thousand times already, as we read it twice or thrice a night! Even during day he will ask me to read this to him. During the hype of this book, he will ask for this first thing in the morning! Kahit pikit pa mata ko sa antok! KOW!

Go. Dog, Go!!
Go. Dog, Go!!

That’s it, pacsit!  Well, this is as of this posting. I feel this will change soon, as he have acquired a new bug book yesterday and he’s bringing it with him every where he goes.. hmm.. Let’s see..

Books! Books! Books!

After comparing the Top 100 Children’s Books list with Liam’s collection, realized that we only got… 11 out of 100!! 11% hmm.. ang layo! hehehehe Thanks to Maqui now we have more than a dozen (literally 1 more than a dozen, haha).  She gifted Liam with 2 new books that’s in the list! YEY!! Here are some of the books we have..

here are some of the books we have
i wonder where the “Goodnight Moon” and “Guess How Much I Love You” books went.. hehe

Anyways, even as a kid, am just a sporadic reader.  But i remember having a set of Dr. Seuss books at home and we have a set of Disney Encyclopedia at may grandma’s place where I grew up.  i remember reading those encyclopedia during free time and that my favorite Dr, Seuss book is Green Eggs and Ham.

That’s why, when I saw these Dr. Seuss books in Book Sale, I can’t help but buy them. They are way cheaper than the set I saw in one of the bookstores here. A set of 12 mini-me sizes costs P 3,200.00 (P 266 each).  P120 from Boos Sale is still waaaay cheaper.  Here’s our Dr. Seuss collection…

Dr. Seuss Books
Dr. Seuss Books

Am also so happy kasi my money did not go to waste as Liam loves them.  When he was barely a year old, his favorites are “Hop on Pop” and the “Foot Book”.  That’s why those 2 looks worn out.  Oh, he also love “Are You My Mother?”  Now he likes ‘The Cat in the Hat”, “Put me in the Zoo” and “Green Eggs and Ham”. But his ultimate favorite is “Go, Dogs! Go!”  We read this E V E R Y night, 2x pa at times.

Lately, Liam is into bugs.  I downloaded apps about bugs and insects in both tablets and bought him some books about it too. Buti na lang I bought him these books at nakapahinga lately si Go, Dog! hehehe

"Minibeasts", "I Love Bugs", "1000 Facts About Wild Animals" and his "Number Book"
“Minibeasts”, “I Love Bugs”, “1000 Facts About Wild Animals” and his “Number Book”

The number book is not about bugs, but he also likes this lately.  He likes the flaps that shows the correct count of the items on the page and likes making fun of me too – counting the pictures that should not be counted then will look at me and laugh.. haaay.. ang kulit lang ng anak ko.. hehehe (by the way, this “fish book” (that’s how he calls this) is a gift from Leah’s boss when she visited us earlier this year.  Ang Sweet no?

Well, Liam have other books pa na he likes.  Will be doing a separate post on that na lang next time as I haven’t organized my thoughts and pictures pa for that.

Liam reading his Fish Book.. ganda ng lazy boy nya no?? :)
Liam reading his Fish Book.. ganda ng lazy boy nya no?? 🙂

P.S. Thanks again to all contributors to our mini library. We feel the love.. mwah! 🙂

Gifts from Manila

One of the things I love most are gifts!  It really warms my heart. For me kasi, It’s a sign lang that the person remembers you and thinks of you and that you’re as important din to them as they are to you.

Personally, I love buying and giving gifts. Lalo na if recipient really appreciates it. Siyempre, I also love receiving them. I always get kilig if Dino brings me pasalubong. Kahit small stuff lang nakakataba ng puso. Yeah, am mushy like that.. hehe

Anyway, last weekend, Liam got lots of gifts (hehe, yes, kay Liam not mine) from Manila. My in-laws (together with my SIL, Leah) came to celebrate Dino’s birthday and of course to visit their Apogi.  Here are the stuffs Liam got..

gifts from Wawa and Ninang Tita
gifts from Wawa and Ninang Tita

My SIL gave him a book about colors and shapes and the black drawing paper where colors will come out once you write on it (scratch it).  Liam enjoyed drawing on it with his ninang tita.  On the right naman are Bugs and Vehicle stickers from wawa.  Oh, our house is full of it now. 🙂  Thank you Ninang and Wawa!! 🙂

That’s not all! There’s another set of gifts for Liam…

Cloudy With The Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy With The Chance of Meatballs
Tracing Book
Tracing Book
Where The Wild Things Are
Where The Wild Things Are

3 books from Aki and Maqui of Familia Kiki. Maqui read my post about books I wanted for Liam and texted to inform me that she have an extra copy of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  She arranged a meeting with my SIL before her trip to Cebu.  Look what comes with Cloudy! 2 more books.  Love love love.  🙂

Thanks a bunch Maqui and Aki!! I really hope to meet you guys soon.  This Christmas break, will make sure to set a date with you. 🙂

Liam’s Books Wish List

ever since I read Maqui’s Someday post, I have planned to write about the Top 100 Children’s Books of All Time too.  (4 months ng delayed ang book post ko. hehehe)  But busyness and laziness attacked and this was almost history. hehehe..

Oh well, since I’m still not able to take pics of Liam’s books, I’ll share books Liam I want to have (for Liam of course) from the Top 100 list.  (by the way, just want to share, I think we only have a dozen from the list. hehe.. ang layo ko pa!)

The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree

I would like Liam to have this as I think this will be a good example of pure and unconditional love. Did not see this yet, pero I feel Liam will like this. 🙂 This is number 2 in the list. 🙂

The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Number 7 on the list, I think Liam will love this as he’s into worms nowadays.  And as the description goes, this  is a delightful tale with a lesson. This is an interesting story about the caterpillar since he was a egg until he became a beautiful butterfly.  Teaching our young ones numbers and days of the week. 🙂

I Love You Forever
I Love You Forever

This one I’ve been requesting about a year now. Di ko malunok to buy at Powerbooks.. hehehe.. Calling Ninang Tita and Aco Juddy. hehehehe…


Everyone Poops
Everyone Poops

23rd on the list, Everyone Poops by Kane / Miller.  One of our dilemma now is how to train Liam to use the toilet.  We already tried several ways – potty trainer, ate sitting on toilet with him, sitting on toilet converter, etc.  But none really worked.  Problem is, nandidiri si Liam sa poo poo nya.. 😦 Well, I hope this one will help.  Super sayang, as I already saw this book last year in booksale, but did not buy it as I did not see the need pa. Now, can’t find this here in Cebu na.. haist.. sayang..

Once Upon a Potty

Well, for the same reason as above. Will be hunting for these books.. 🙂

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Oh another book I would like to have is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  I loved the movie version of this and I think Liam would love to have this too and hopefully this will introduce him to try eating other food.

As for the other books in the list, I haven’t really scrutinized the plots pa, pero for sure there are more books that would interest our little boy. 🙂

On the side, am really worried today and wants to go home na as our little boy is sick.  We asked him to skip school today so he can rest but he cried and told Donna that he wants to go to school. So as not to break his heart, we allowed him to go.  after an hour, he was sent home na din kasi he was already matamlay.  Haay.. Ganito pala ang feeling, I want to be there beside him, to be the one taking care of him. Oh well, mommy will be home soon anak.