Monday, October 14, 2013

Read Books

I'm dedicating the next few days to activities that you can 
enjoy together with your littles.

Let's begin with: Read Books.

I can imagine you rolling your eyes now. Reading books 
with children sounds simple enough. If this were really so
then we would be raising a generation of readers. Sadly,
the opposite is true. 

No need for statistics. All we need to do is look around. 
Techie toys are everywhere. Rarely will you find a child 
reading a book. And if you find one, you will have 
to ask too, is s/he reading because s/he wants to or 
because s/he has to? I'm sure many educators will agree 
as well.

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
- Emilie Buchwald

I believe that reading books with one's children is a precious 
gift. When I read books with Tot M and Baby Pea I am not 
just reading with them. In reality, I am spending time that is
FOCUSED on them. Little ones just love and need that.

3 Tips for Reading Books with Your Child:

1. Read books that the children enjoy
Certain books seem to appeal to young children. Goodnight 
Moon, Guess How Much I Love You and Dr. Seuss books
are consistent favorites. These books are part of our little

Nowadays, we gravitate towards books that involve cars and cooking. I'm sure our book choices will evolve as Tot M 
and Baby Pea develop their interests. 

2. Choose books that are age appropriate and level 
I usually scan through the books we borrow. This ensures
that the books we have at home are appropriate for them. 
The kids sometimes go through the books by themselves
when I'm doing chores. In general, I avoid books that have 
heavy themes. There's plenty of time for that when they're

Every so often, I borrow books that I know will challenge 
Tot M's reading skills. It's a way for us to learn new words 
and concepts. 

3. Have fun together
Other moms have said it and I have witnessed it myself --
just read with your kids. Enjoy and have fun. Before you 
know it, you will have a budding reader right in front of you.

Happy Reading!


Confession time. Yes, there was a noticeable gap in my posts
for 31 Days. I hope to catch up in the next few days. Let's see 
how that goes. Such is life with littles. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Grocery List (FREE Printable)

Our family fridge + freezer can only hold a week's worth 
of food. It's a year old pre-loved unit previously owned 
by friends. Back then, I couldn't get why they needed to 
upgrade to something bigger. Ahh, the things you learn 
when you actually use something. Let's just say  we can't 
have too much of anything.  Extras just take  up valuable 
shelf space.

If I could only share one home/budget organizing tool 
with you,  it would definitely be our Grocery List. It's
been a lifesaver to us. No second guessing what needs
to be bought. 

The Grocery List I'm sharing has a "classic" design.
It's a no frills black and white item. H can easily use
it as there's no eye candy involved.

The Grocery List is editable. If you can, arrange it
according to the layout of your supermarket. Remove
items that you don't buy. Add items that you can't do

The Grocery List can help you stay on budget. I do
a quick estimate of our total bill before we go shopping.
If I think we've gone over the budget, I put a question
mark or cross out back-ups. We use a calculator or 
mentally compute while shopping. If there's a special,
we can add or remove something to accommodate it.
So far so good, we usually stay within budget +/- $10
when we use the Grocery List.

Click here to download your copy of the Grocery List.

I hope this Grocery List will be as useful to you as it
has been for our family. I'd love to hear how it works
out for you.

* Oops, just caught myself there. This really is a 
Grocery List  LOL :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Embrace the New You

It takes time to sink in. A year or so into married life and
I still felt like I was single. I was not the party type. And
it wasn't a case of denial. Life just felt the same.

I didn't feel like I was a mom until Tot M turned one??? 
Then there was the "I'm a mom?!?" feeling when I had 
Baby Pea. Yes, it took some TIME for things to sink in.

I love having a family. The wife and 
mom thing has been 
my new career of sorts. I was a bit of a workaholic in my 
former life. I had no plans of "lowering my standards". 
But for the longest time, we could get away with doing 
things on the fly. H and I could just grab a quick bite. 
We could just rush off to the mall. We could just take 
an impromptu day trip. Life now is more scheduled and

Breastfeeding. Baby bag fixing. Weaning.
Baby food prepping. Potty training. 
Eating. Bathing.
And the list goes on.
The little things that eat up so much time and energy.
At some point, I had to stop trying to be super mom.
Instead, I decided to be the best mom that I could be.

Giggles. Laughter. Gummy smiles. Cheeky grins.
Tinkering hands and wiggly toes. Hugs and kisses.
Funny moments. Sweet memories.
I love yous.
And the list goes on.
The little things that let you KNOW that it's all worth it.

Work at work mom, work at home mom, stay at home 
mom. A mom is a mom 24/7. There's no turning back.

Enjoy the journey. Embrace the new you.

Image courtesy of Angela

Sunday, September 29, 2013

31 Days for Moms with Littles

Little one, baby, bubba, tot, toddler, love.

Life can be crazy fun in our home. We currently have a 3.5 y.o.
and a 9 month old baby in residence. 

After dozens of interviews and hours of research, I've confirmed
what I've been suspecting all along: life is a lot more 
interesting when you're a family with littles.

I love being with my family. Sadly, all the stuff that needs doing
takes up too much of my time. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc...
The list goes on and on. There are days when it seems like the 
to-dos just never end.

This year, I will be joining The Nester in the 31 Days Project

Join me as I blog about 31 Days for Moms with Littles
May you discover less stuff, more life solutions to your daily
mom challenges.

p.s. You are abundantly blessed! 

31 Days for Moms with Littles
Click on the day to

Day 1 - Embrace the New You
Day 2 - Grocery List (FREE Printable)
Day 3 -
Day 4 -
Day 5 -
Day 6 -
Day 7- 
Day 8 -
Day 9 -
Day 10 - 
Day 11 -
Day 12 -
Day 13 -
Day 14 - Read Books

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ready to Read at 3 y.o.

Hurray Hurray, it's been just a few months since he turned 3 y.o. and Tot M can
already read by himself.

I was suspecting it for the past few weeks. But of course I wanted to be sure ~
naughty mama! We borrowed Bears On Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain
from the local library. I asked Tot M to try reading the book by himself. He
was happy to oblige. Can you see me grinning from ear to ear!?!

I've talked a bit about what we've been doing here. In a nutshell, our reading
program has consisted mostly of reading together for 30 minutes daily and
Tot M watching mostly learning videos. Yes, you don't need to be a homeschooler
to do that.

Of course, we still read together. There are so many more words, books,
and ideas to discover. Here we come world!

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 Homeschool Curriculum

At the start of the year, I decided that our 2013 Homeschool Curriculum
will be based on the Hubbard's Cupboard and the ABC Jesus Loves Me
curricula --- for ages 3 and 4. Seasoned homeschoolers have said that I
don't need a curriculum for Tot M's current age. Reading books and playtime
fun are sufficient activities for a 3 year old. The curriculum is more for me;
it's nice to have a framework to refer to when I feel lost.

Of course, we are nowhere near The Plan. The activities just don't appeal
to Tot M. I've talked to other playgroup moms about this -- particularly those
with boys -- it's nice to know that we're normal.

To date, Tot M can:
- Recite the alphabet, identify uppercase and lowercase letters including
  their sounds
- Name basic colors and shapes
- Count from 1-20, plus a few numbers beyond 20
- Understand positional concepts
- Spell a few words (using his alphabet puzzles)
- Write a few letters

The 3 things that have helped learn these skills:
- Reading books
- Watching videos
- Having alphabet toys within reach: fridge phonics + alphabet puzzles

Things we're working on this 2013:
- Reading books: still trying to get back to the frequency that we had last
- Learning how to read: we've started with a few word families and a few 
  high frequency words
- Writing letters: we've used a few manipulatives and worksheets
  Tot M is fascinated with the concept of writing.
- Math: still trying to figure out how to go beyond counting.
- Cutting with scissors: haven't tried this in awhile, let's see if he's ready
- Playing with toys: this fills up a pretty good part of the day

If you're looking for a FREE Homeschool Curriculum for your preschool
child, Truly Rich Mom has a great list that you can start with.


The 2013 NZ School Year started on the 28th of January and will end on
the 20th of December. Our Homeschool follows the same school year.
Tot M is now 3 y.o.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FREE McMuffin at McDo Philippines

McDo is having a National Breakfast Day on the 18th of March 2013,
5:00 am to 9:00am for the 1st 1000 Customers.

Complete details can be found here

And for your viewing pleasure:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent 2013

I've been a Catholic all my life. Lent was a de facto; it just came
and went. Yes, I fasted, abstained from meat, and gave up chocolate.
Unfortunately, I was too busy being a Martha about it.

In recent years, I've switched gears. Lent has become an opportunity
to grow my personal relationship with Jesus. I haven't exactly been
successful in my attempts. I have never completed 40 Days of
intentional living; going about my day with a disposition of prayer
and sacrifice. Even if I managed to do so, I'm sure there is much more
that can be learned about the breadth, length, height and depth of
His love. - Eph 3:18 

Here are a few ideas for celebrating Lent:

Our Sunday Visitor recommends that we go back to basics with
The 1-1-1 Plan
One Sin: Concentrate or focus on one sin or fault that is getting in
                the way of your relationship with God and with others.
One Add-in: Add one positive activity that will deepen your prayer
                     and spiritual life (especially if you think you are too
                     busy to put anything more into an impossibly busy
One give-up: Deny yourself something you really like or are
                      attached to.

A Holy Experience has a free Lent and Easter Jesus Tree Devotional. 
There are readings for 17 Days and one just stretches them out for
the entirety of Lent.

The De La Salle Community in the Philippines has a list of
Good Deeds for 2013. The good deeds are acts of kindness
that one can do for others.

Lent 2012  has other ideas on things you can do to celebrate Lent.

Each year, we receive an invitation from the Lord to grow closer to
Him. He invites us to pause, remember and celebrate His passion,
death and resurrection. This is Lent.

Photo credit

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello February 2013!

Whoa, that went fast. Yep, we're now at February!

How does one sanely manage 2 kids (3y.o. + newborn) while homeschooling
and working from home? Inquiring minds want to know...

Nope, we're NOT having anyone come over to help, nor getting help, nor sending
anyone to childcare.

Ahh... here's to better planning, organizing and executing :)

Photo credit