Our first National Breakfast Day experience

Last night, Big Sis told me as I was getting ready for bed that today would be National Breakfast Day and we should head to McDonald’s as early as 6 AM to participate. If you must know, this daughter of mine has gotten into the habit of sleeping very late in the evening and waking up very late, too. I thought I’d never hear her say again that she would be waking up early for anything at all, so I took that as a positive sign and challenged her to be up by 5 AM.

She went to bed then even before 10 PM, which is already rather early. She woke me up at around 2 AM, however, because she was hungry. I thought then that we won’t be able to make it and get a free breakfast sandwich for sure, but we would still go there and have breakfast as long as she’s up before 8 AM.

Lo and behold, Big Sis woke me up again at 5 AM! 🙂

We left the house at 6 AM and went straight to the McDonald’s branch nearest us. However, there was already a crowd gathered both inside and outside the premises, and my early risers were so disappointed that they started pouting and complaining. I didn’t realize that it was McDonald’s Southwoods that they had in mind, but I brought them to a different branch. My fault. Wanting to reward them still, especially Big Sis, for waking up early, we headed to McDonald’s Southwoods then.

Just as Big Sis had predicted, there were very few people at this branch compared to the one we visited earlier. In fact, there were no one else for the staff to hand the coupons but us. It was not until the crew was done taking our orders that customers started to pour in.

Sausage McMuffins, pancakes, and hot chocolate, please!

 

Participating at McDonald’s National Breakfast Day had been an interesting experience for us. I used to have breakfast by myself at McDonald’s while waiting for Lil Sis to finish her classes at a Montessori school. (They used to attend conventional schools.) I sort of miss having that time to myself, but I was also happy to share that moment with my girls too. My relationship with my teen needs a reboot, and having breakfast outside the house was just one of the ways to do that, I thought.

Pancakes for my growing up teen 🙂

After breakfast, we explored the area and exchanged thoughts about animal cruelty, especially after seeing two dogs tied together in an open area opposite commercial establishments. My teen wanted to document the scene and report it to the authorities, but I tried to reason with her that we needed to be certain first that a violation was committed. After all, it was still pretty early and the weather was rather gloomy, so we can’t say that the dogs were left under the heat of the sun, neglected, emaciated. We would have to go back to the scene several times during the day and see if the owners won’t come back for the dogs, bring them to shelter, and feed them. We may also have to interview some of the people in the area.

I don’t like the way these dogs are tied up either, but I can’t really tell if they’re being abused. Can you? What would you do if you were in my place?

Having that kind of conversation with my daughters was really encouraging for me as a homeschool parent-teacher. I want them to be able to ask intelligent questions and think of possible scenarios before doing anything drastic. If my teen happened to be out with her classmates from her former school, I wonder where their conversation would lead, or whether a teacher would even jump in and share some wisdom.

 

All in all, the National Breakfast Day at McDonald’s had been a nice experience for my daughters and me. Even if I had to deal with a few character blunders, the girls and I were able to pick things up and move on and connect to each other more meaningfully over a nice breakfast. That’s what a family breakfast is all about after all, right?

So, kita-kits at McDonald’s for their 6th National Breakfast Day next year? ❤

Advertisements

The day I lost my unborn child

I didn’t plan on getting pregnant again. Definitely, not now that Big ‘n Lil Sis are already 13 and 10 years old, respectively, not to mention I have just started to deal with teenage angst. I have always wondered, however, what it’s like to have a son and would very much like to raise a God-fearing gentleman, who would make a difference in this world.

Although my daughters are enough to bring joy to our family, I also know that my husband still doesn’t want to let go of his dream of having a son of our own, someone to carry his name even after he’s gone, and I really can’t blame him. Hence, he was ecstatic when I told him of my suspicion that I was pregnant, and more so when the store-bought pregnancy test kit confirmed it.

I finally began to feel excited about having another baby then. My husband and our girls’ excitement was simply contagious and having a baby (boy) in the family was all they talked about! I even started browsing the Instagram accounts of celebrities who recently gave birth, so I would have an idea of what sort of baby stuff I should get before the baby was born or once he reached a certain age. I was surprised to find out that technology and ingenuity had brought about so much change in the baby products line available now in the market. I had also started thinking about creative ways to announce the coming of the newest member of our family in social media. Despite the happiness surrounding me and my own excitement, however, I had some struggles too.

My third pregnancy wasn’t really much different from my previous two, except I experienced the symptoms at a very early stage. It has been a very uncomfortable pregnancy, yes, but nonetheless, something I was determined to go through for nine months. That meant being bloated and nauseous and fatigued 24/7. That is, until I started bleeding last February 19th.

Although a part of me feared that I was already having a miscarriage, I continued to hope that my baby was still safe and sound in my womb. Accompanied by my sister-in-law, I went to the hospital to be certain that gloomy Sunday morning.

The OB-GYN said that my cervix was (still) closed although some spotting or light bleeding may still be expected in the following days. They required me to go through medical tests to be doubly sure. All the tests yielded favorable results, except for the ultrasound. For some reason, neither my baby’s heartbeat nor the gestational sac could be detected.

Monday, February 20th, I saw my own OB-GYN after I had a blood (B-HCG) test ran at the biggest and most modern hospital in the nearby city, where she also has a clinic. I had the procedure rushed, and the results showed that I was only four weeks pregnant. (At least, I did not imagine my pregnancy!) She said that it’s possible, among others, that the gestational sac was still forming and was rather too thin to be detected by the ultrasound. I was advised to be on bedrest as well as continue to take prescriptions that would help me keep the baby while we wait for two more weeks to have another ultrasound.

On February 22nd, Wednesday, I had another bleeding episode. I bled as copiously as I did last Sunday, except this time it felt like my water bag broke. Instead of water, however, blood came out, soaking both the sheets and my clothes. I didn’t feel any physical pain though. Continue reading “The day I lost my unborn child”

Rediscovering Ukay-ukay

I was already in college when I first heard the term ukay-ukay, and I was told that it was a rage that started in Baguio. It refers to a store that sells used clothing, shoes, and accessories, although it is possible to also find items that have never been used or rather new (and some still with the original price tags) sold there as well. They’re typically found near transport terminals and wet markets. Somehow, I never really got hooked to it, or at least not until recently. And, it probably has something to do with my first visit to an ukay-ukay, which wasn’t pleasant at all.

The first ukay-ukay I’ve been to was a huge room with rows and rows of clothes. It had no air conditioning, so the room was so stuffy, and after a few minutes of being inside it, I had trouble breathing. I had to leave before I was able to find anything I would want to buy. The strong odor apparently came from the disinfectant used on clothes. I had to console myself with the fact that I was pretty good at hunting down at the mall branded apparel at bargain prices. I decided then that ukay-ukay shopping was not for me.

Years passed and I met some coworkers who prided themselves as ukay-ukay queens. Impressed with the items they had supposedly bought from an ukay store, I would tag along whenever they would schedule a trip to their favorite shops, daring them to prove to me that I could also get something as nice for myself from an ukay-ukay. They would bring me from one store to another until I found something that I liked.

There were times when I would find items that were in really good condition, but rather expensive, especially for a second-hand clothing. Most of the time though, I would buy only skirts because I felt that they’re the safest item to wear from an ukay store, i.e., probably the most hygienic piece of clothing compared to blouses, pants, undergarments, even shoes.

Since most of the things I usually ended up buying weren’t really much of a great find, I had stopped going to ukay-ukay for years unless my daughter(s) would need a costume for a school presentation that I couldn’t easily find at mall department stores. However, now that we live in the suburbs where beauty salons and ukay-ukay are just about everywhere, not to mention my in-laws, who live across the street from us are frequent ukay-ukay shoppers, my curiosity to see if the stores in our area are really better than the ones I’ve visited before got the better of me. I can’t say though that I finally thoroughly enjoyed the experience this time, albeit it was better than the ones I had before.

It wasn’t until I came back from my recent solo trip to Singapore (to visit my husband and meet one of my cousins and his family as well as some friends) that I began to look at an ukay store with different eyes. Apparently, while I was away, my 13- and 10-year old daughters visited one of the stores with my in-laws and found a few items that they really liked. And, I must admit that I was pretty impressed with their bargain-hunting skills when I saw their loot.

As much as possible, I would only buy them brand new clothes. However, if you think about it, there’s really no harm in having them use second-hand clothes, even from strangers. After all, kids generally do not have body odor and they tend to outgrow clothes fast. Besides, there are so many anti-bacterial products available in the market now; disinfecting them should not be a problem at all.

Out of curiosity, plus proof of their ability to find great items at an ukay-ukay, I started to give in to my daughters’ request to visit the store again. I also used it as an opportunity to teach them how to budget their money by giving each of them only PHP250.00 to spend. Continue reading “Rediscovering Ukay-ukay”

Of bedtime stories, lullabies, and puberty

It’s interesting that we, parents, tend to wish for our children to do more, think or act more (mature) than what’s expected of them at their age. Yet, when our wish comes true, we fear that our children are growing up so fast and then we start wishing that they were little kids again, who would like nothing but to stay near us, do things with us, even please us! And this is exactly how I feel right now.

It’s been weeks since I last co-slept with both of my girls. I have started to acknowledge that my eldest, who will turn 13 next Sunday, is growing up and now prefers to sleep in her own bed. Indeed, she is starting to demand some privacy and independence from us. Her younger sister, who shares the bedroom with her, is also aware of that and would usually get out of their bedroom when her sister is there.

I miss the time when my girls were much younger, when they would both snuggle close to me, demanding a bedtime story to be read to them before they sleep at night. I must admit that some days, particularly when I was still so engrossed in my (dream) home-based jobs, reading to them had started to feel like a chore. I tend to wish that they would grow up soon and be able to just read by themselves and stop asking me to do it for them. Yet, when that day finally came, i.e., when my eldest child started reading bedtime stories to her younger sister just so the latter would fall asleep while leaving me at peace to finish deadlines, I regretted ever wishing for it.

Thankfully, I was given another chance to read bedtime stories to my daughters again, even if they have already started reading novels, such as Thea Stilton, Nancy Drew, and Harry Potter by themselves. Believe it or not, I have even started to record myself on QuickPlay as I read some of their favorite stories. I was hoping to launch a podcast that is dedicated to them, so that when I am unable to read them a story for one reason or another, they would still get their (daily dose of) bedtime story. And, yes, maybe use them to read to my would-be grandchildren 20 years or so from now, too.

My youngest child is already 10 years old, and I still continue to read stories to her before bedtime, and sometimes even during the day.  I have come to realize that she asks me to read not because she doesn’t want to read, but because it simply makes her feel good, somehow helps her both sleep better at night and wake up in a good mood the following morning. Moreover, doing so helps strengthen our mother-daughter relationship, I believe.

On the other hand, now that my eldest is going to be a teenager soon, my opportunity to read to her before bedtime has diminished, it seems. She prefers to stay in their bedroom most of the time and do things by herself now, such as reading thick novels and painting. She also requests to study by herself on most days of the week.

There were times when I worry about the changes I see in my soon-to-be-teen. I fear that although we are always together, especially that we are homeschooling, I am losing her as she tries to exercise her independence. I guess I’m just not used to it (yet), and I’m blaming it on puberty. After all, she was really the clingy one when they were much younger and I had often wished that she would start being independent and learn to do things by herself, especially being the eldest. But now that my wish has been granted, I must admit that I do have mixed feelings about it.

Well, it’s past bedtime now, and although neither of my girls has asked for a bedtime story this evening, one of them requested me to sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to help her fall asleep. Who would have thought that I could make any child sleep with my singing voice, eh? Anyway, good night for now–or should I say good morning?

(Featured image by Alice Hampson via unsplash.com)

 

Ditching Bonaparte’s advice

It’s only been a month and a half since we started homeschooling, and I’m already questioning my abilities both as a mom and a teacher. We started very excited about this whole thing, certain that we would succeed, but I’m not so sure anymore. Lesson planning has started to overwhelm me and at times I simply couldn’t help getting disappointed when I don’t get a satisfactory answer to the questions I throw at my students, my daughters. I mean, seriously, I can’t help wondering what they learned from that private school they used to attend. (And how come I wasn’t aware of it?)

It’s been days since we have resorted to self-studying. I was hoping this would help our situation, or at least myself to regain control and get a stronger grip on what we’re doing. Unlike before when we would sit down together and discuss each page of the book that we’re supposed to cover on a certain day, lately, I have been assigning my girls pages to read by themselves along with some exercises to answer.

Of course, I’d make it clear that they could come to me and ask questions if there’s anything they did not understand. At first, it seemed to work as they both probably felt the need for some space too. After all, they’re not used to this kind of close monitoring and learning together, being first time homeschoolers and not counting their preschool years. However, I’m afraid I have started to become too comfortable in this kind of setup while they’re starting to lose focus–self-studying, that is.

Some days, my husband is his usual supportive self, but some days, well, he simply is not. He’s starting to think that I’m not doing a very good job, especially by letting the kids oversleep on a weekday. He fears that such habit would cost them a lot when they get to college, where they could have classes as early as 7:30 AM, even 7 o’clock.

I suppose he’s right, although I tend to assure him that it isn’t too late yet for them to become morning persons. (Or, is it?)  Besides, we still have time to catch up with everything, we have 12 months to study all the subjects, plus the girls can actually wake up early when needed. No matter how much I try to placate him, however, I do agree with him and I am starting to get nervous for my girls’ future too. I, myself, often got into trouble with my college professors because of tardiness (seriously, classes at 7AM is pure torture) regardless of how I aced in the class itself.

It also doesn’t help when a relative would emphatically tell me in front of my daughters that my girls should go back to regular school simply because they need socialization. As much as I disagree, I know he wouldn’t understand even if I explain to him that socialization is not the most important thing for my daughters to learn at this point in their lives. They are sociable, all right.

I’ve brought them to business meetings and seminars and they were able handle themselves well. Young as they are, they could carry conversations with successful entrepreneurs, including millionaires, foreign authors, and resource speakers. Recently, they interviewed a Filipino scientist/renowned orthopedic surgeon for their Science class and it went well. (I’ll have it posted here and on their own blog soon.) They also easily make friends, even with kids they’ve met for the first time at mall lounges. So, how’s that for socialization skills?

If you ask me, the kind of socialization they need now is with kids at the orphanage. Although my daughters are very generous, i.e., donating school supplies with their own money to charities for underprivileged kids, and giving away some of their clothes and toys, especially when calamities strike, they could get very suspicious of street kids. They also tend to have that privileged mindset at times… I know. Who doesn’t, right, especially for millenials they say? But still… Continue reading “Ditching Bonaparte’s advice”

Parenting pets

I’m a mom, not only to two little girls, but also to eight pets. We’ve always wanted to adopt animals, but now that the family has grown so big, I realized that it’s actually fun! It makes me happy when I hear my girls gleefully play with our pets, and I always get amused when friends visit and start counting the animals living with us. Don’t get me wrong though–it’s not all fun. Having pets is similar in some ways to having children, i.e., it entails a lot of responsibilities. After all, anything that is precious or worthwhile does not come without a cost, right? So how do we manage things, you ask?

For one, my children would feed the pets, especially in the morning before we have our own breakfast and in the evening, before dinner. Bathing and cleaning after the pets are also divided between the two of them. We have pets that stay outside and inside the house, and they take turns in taking care of them. If one’s feeding those inside the house, then the other would feed those that are outside. For my part, I only have to make sure that we don’t run out of pet food, the pets get their vaccines on time, they are healthy and potty-trained, then the girls do everything else (with little supervision from me). Of course, I get to share in the cuddling too! Now, may I introduce you to our pets?

We have five dogs, namely Olaf, Hershey, Quinn, Skye, and Gyp; three of them are adopted. Quinn is the only purebred, a Boston Terrier, whereas the rest are all mixed-breeds. Olaf is half Jack Russell and half Aspin (Asong Pinoy, a local breed); Skye and Gyp came from the same set of parents, i.e., a chow chow and a Japanese Spitz; and Hershey is a mix of Dalmatian, Labrador Retriever, and Aspin, but she somehow ended up looking like a pit bull.

All our adopted pets came from our relatives. Quinn was from a reputable breeder, who is also a friend of mine, so aside from acquiring her at a very affordable price, we were given the option to not have her tail (and ears) clipped. We opted not to, and that must be the reason people would wonder if she’s really a Boston Terrier (or a purebred at that), especially when we bring her to doggie events. Seriously, why would people have their pets’ tails or ears clipped? If it’s only for aesthetic purposes and not for health reasons, like they have a tumor on those body parts, then they’re being unreasonable and should try having their own feet, hands, nose, or ears cut too, don’t you think?

Anyway, Quinn is the house dog, i.e., she stays inside the house most of the time. When she was younger–and whenever she could get away with it–she would sleep with my eldest daughter in bed, hiding under the blanket. That is actually good, in a way, because it helps my daughter(s) deal with anxiety and the trauma they had to go through (thanks to our vexatious next-door neighbors). However, my husband and I really meant for Quinn to be the guard dog inside the house.

quinn

Quinn’s the gentlest dog we’ve ever had, by the way. No matter how rough my girls would play with her, she never bites; she’s always calm. When she’s tired, she would just crawl under the table or couch, or to her own bed and sleep. She also never made a habit of chewing our slippers or furniture. (She would, however, chew paintbrushes, headphones, pencils, and shoeboxes if they’re left lying around while she’s all alone in the house.) And, because Quinn’s always well-behaved and rather small, we get to bring her to malls and parks from time to time. By the way, do you know that our Bella Quinn has her own Instagram account? Continue reading “Parenting pets”

The ring

To all the OFW families out there and couples in long distance relationships, who had to endure so much pain but continue to trust and love each other, I most want to share this with you…

My husband’s annual summer homecoming came a little early this year. He usually takes a vacation in May, in time for our youngest daughter’s birthday, which also happens to be his (and his mother’s) birth month. This year, he timed it for our daughters’ elementary school graduation and recognition day, and close enough to celebrate our post-13th wedding anniversary, too. This is the first time he’s coming up to the stage for our Little Baby Z, by the way. He was there when our Big Baby A graduated from kindergarten though, and now that she’s graduating from elementary. As for our wedding anniversaries (March 21st and June 28th), it must have been seven or eight years since we celebrated together.

The thought of going up the stage with my husband as our daughters receive their awards for academic excellence was surreal. It used to be just me, and most of the time, we’d go home with just a couple of good photos in my camera simply because Daddy wasn’t there and it would take a lot of prodding to make the girls smile. On two or three separate occasions though, I had invited my late papa and my father-in-law to at least watch the ceremonies, especially that the other kids seemed to bring their whole clans with them every year. This time, however, our family’s finally complete and that’s all that mattered. (We still didn’t have enough good pictures though as someone’s always moving, blurring the images. Too much excitement and happiness this time, perhaps?)

I wanted to look good for the occasion, which marked a milestone not only in our daughters’ academic life, but also in our life as an OFW family. I even took the time to buy myself a new dress and a pair of shoes. My husband saw it as a very special occasion too, and he even brought a suit to wear. So I had to match his outfit somehow, right? But guess what, after spending hours at the mall, I went home with only a new pair of shoes, no dress. It was frustrating not to be able to find that dress that would make me really want to wear it (more than once) without tipping the budget, at the same time, wow my husband. I ended up wearing a dress that I had only worn once–at my father’s wake–that my youngest daughter thought it was reserved for that particular night alone. It was simple, comfortable, yet classy enough. It was designed by a former churchmate and I was glad that my husband liked it.

After attending both of our daughters’ recognition and graduation ceremonies, which happened the same day, we went shopping. (The ceremonies took place at the cinema of SM City Sta. Rosa, by the way.) We each got a DC shirt, which would be part of our family tees collection. My husband and I like to wear matching outfits, and it seems that we have passed that on to our daughters as well. It’s their idea  now that we have family shirts. I got the Wonder Woman shirt, my husband picked the Green Lantern, A got Batman, and Z chose The Flash. Unfortunately, there’s no Superman shirt that would fit any of us, or I would have picked one for myself too. Apparently, I’m the only one in the family who loves Superman (and Super Girl).

On our way out, we passed by the jewelry section of the department store. Because it’s Women’s Month, the items were on sale, so we looked around. I discreetly looked at the watches, trying to decide whether I should get my husband a new watch right then and there before moving to the adjacent rings section. If you must know, we are still yet to find a replacement for the wedding bands we lost years ago (read the story here). My husband encouraged me then to try several diamond (engagement) rings, which I half-heartedly did after seeing their price tags. However, I was really drawn to this one that looked a lot like the one my late mother gave me for my 24th birthday, which unfortunately got stolen. It’s not as fancy as the others on display, but it’s beautiful, set in white gold. My husband thought it looked good on my hand too. And then the next thing I know, he was asking the sales person if he could pay it by credit card.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised at all, but I still had to ask twice, “Are you sure about this? Do we have a budget for it?” (Even if he’s using his credit card, it would surely be on straight payment.) He paused then looked at me straight in the eyes before saying, “Yes! Don’t you like it? Don’t worry about the money; besides, it’s on sale.” Well, I couldn’t really say no, so I tried to explain to him that even if it’s discounted, we could have bought a pair of new wedding bands at the same price and that way, both of us would be wearing a ring. But he said he didn’t fancy any of the designs and we could get them at another time. Still unconvinced, I asked, “Is this a wedding anniversary gift?” He smiled. “The one you’ve been planning to give me since our 10th wedding anniversary?” I teased, before finally thanking him.

It’s interesting how natural it feels now to be constantly wearing a ring again, as if I’ve always done so. When he saw me removed it because I had to wash the dishes, he told me to wear gloves instead so I won’t have to take it off. Now that my husband’s back in Singapore, the first thing he would ask me in the morning as we talk via Facetime is, “Where’s the ring? Are you wearing it? Let me see it!” Continue reading “The ring”

Praying for my daughters’ best

I’ve been married for nearly 13 years now, but it feels like my husband and I have been together way much longer than that. We’ve probably already talked about everything under the sun except our daughters getting married someday though. As you already know, we have two daughters, now ages 12 and 9, and as Christians, one of the things that we are taught to do as parents is the importance of praying for our children. That includes not only praying for their health, a heart that would always want to seek God, discovering, developing and using their talents to serve God, and more, but also praying for their future marriage, the person they will marry someday (and whether it is part of God’s plan for them to be married).

I have not started really thinking about them getting married one day, and so you can say that I slack when it comes to that prayer aspect until I had an opportunity to speak with one of my friends’/mentor’s only son recently. Somehow, after that meeting, whenever I would go to bed and wake up, I would be reminded of my conversation with this young man and the fact that I should be praying for my daughters’ future, too.

Now this boy, age 16, left a positive impression on me. I met with his mom for a new project collaboration and some business mentoring at their house. When it was time for me to go home, his mom asked him to drive me to a transport terminal on his way to pick up one of his sisters at school. It was during this 15-minute drive with him that I got a chance to get to know him a little bit more.

I often see him with his family, but never really had any conversation with him. I have noticed how affectionate he is, however, toward his sisters (all four of them, one of them older than him) and how respectful and obedient he is toward his parents. I’ve seen him transform from a short, lanky, quiet lad who seemed unsure of himself into a tall, confident, handsome, and sociable teenager.

I was surprised that he could actually carry a conversation with someone who is not his age, plus he seemed really interested to get to know our family too. He asked questions about my husband, his line of work, my daughters, their ages and interests, etc. Of course, I also asked a few things about him and that’s how I got to know him apart from what his parents share with me about him (and his siblings).

He also shared with me some of his plans for the future, why he’s pursuing a major in business administration, his motivation for learning how to drive, his life as an athletic scholar at a prestigious university, what it means to man up and take charge (even if he is not the eldest child) because he is the only son, and so on. Moreover, he surprised me when he talked about putting up his own business later on, so he could have more time with his future family. Okay, wait, what? I’ve met and seen some guys much older than him, who do not show any wisdom at all, yet here’s a young man who is well-educated, well-mannered, kind, and nice. And, of course, he’s a Christian and is being raised by godly parents. (I suppose I should no longer be surprised, eh?)

But that got me thinking… what if my daughters married someone like him? Well, that shouldn’t be a problem then. But what if they married someone who is his opposite, someone ungodly? Now that thought was enough to make me shudder and wish for the LORD’s second coming to be much sooner! If not, I’d do everything to keep them from committing a big mistake; after all, the apostle Paul said:

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 1 Corinthians 7:8 (NIV)

One of my daughters has actually told me that she has no interest in getting married. She even expressed her desire to live with us, her parents, wherever we may be and take care of us when we are old and gray. I wonder if she’s really supposed to remain single? On the other hand, her sister seems to have already envisioned herself having a family of her own someday, even settling down in another country… But I really wish that the two of them would never be far from one another and get along with each other so much better as the days go by.

I suppose it’s just best to continue praying for my children and start to seriously pray for their future as well, God’s will for them, i.e., marriage and their future grooms. It wouldn’t hurt to do that, really! ❤

 

Choosing to homeschool

Our tweener will soon graduate from sixth grade and my husband and I have been discussing for months now where to enroll her next. We agreed that the standard of teaching at his alma mater, where both our daughters are currently enrolled, has declined and we have no desire to enroll her in the same school for high school. Not to mention we have seen very little improvement in our daughters’ school facilities and management over the six years that she’s been with the same school. I have also been on the lookout for better schools near our place, but have not found any that would really convince us that it’s good enough; there’s always a flaw that we could simply not overlook.

I must admit that I have always secretly wanted to be my daughters’ best teacher in the world. To homeschool them would be a dream come true to me, but I have also always doubted my ability to teach them effectively. After all, like many moms, I, too, tend to be exasperated and get impatient with my own children as much as I love them. There were even times when I would say/do things that I would utterly regret, sending me to my knees to ask for forgiveness from God because my character was unbecoming of a Christian mom. For me, this was the biggest obstacle that I had to contend with, especially with homeschooling. After all, I would not only be transferring my knowledge to my child, but my values as well. And I have to model good character all the time.

My husband, on the other hand, does not doubt my ability to teach our kid(s), except in one area: mathematics. He knows that I’m not a fan of numbers. In fact, I would always require him to help our daughters with their homework via Facetime or Skype. Some days, he’s happy to oblige, but other days, well, he’d go to bed early. (Yup, that’s the downside of being in a long distance relationship, a.k.a. OFW family.) With regard to my temperament, he’s positive that I’ll still be able to handle things well, plus he’s aware that our daughters’ attitude, especially our tweener, could really get into our nerves sometimes.

It took a while then before I was able to overcome my own negative thoughts about me homeschooling our daughters, especially our 12-year old one or tweener. I started reading the Bible more often as well as parenting books, subscribed to devotionals for mom, and even bought a Bible for Moms! By the grace of God and with the help of other homeschooling parents, whom I have been interviewing regarding their own experiences as homeschooler, I am now ready to embrace the idea of becoming a homeschool mom. Continue reading “Choosing to homeschool”

Counting the hours at Suvarnabhumi Airport

31 December 2015

It’s the last day of the year, the last day of our vacation, the last day before my husband goes back to Singapore while the girls and I go back to our home in the Philippines. It’s going to be months again before we get together as a family, and the day’s not turning out well. I was hoping that we could still do some sight seeing, have fun while we wait for our flight, make the most out of the little time that we could still spend together.

Guess what, our flight is not until half an hour past midnight later, though my husband’s three hours ahead of ours. Now that means we’re spending about 12 hours doing nothing at this airport. Twelve hours! We’re in a different country, it’s sunny outside, and we’re stuck here! I’m not happy, and I’m venting it all out here. I’m sorry, but you just got to let me. Everybody’s reluctant to go out and I don’t understand why. Am I the only one who wanted to make the most out of this trip? Am I the only one who really wanted to travel and see the world, or at least part of it?

IMG_2325
Giant colorful statues such as this seem to be the only attraction at Suvarnabhumi Airport

We traveled for about 11 hours all the way from Vientiane, Laos to Bangkok, Thailand by bus, and we arrived at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport just when the sun was about to rise. The sunrise was beautiful as always, by the way. I have waited for it, been wanting to witness it in full view, see if it’s any different from the one from our place in Laguna. The sunrise was the only consolation I have as we let time slip away while we’re confined in the airport. I could see the sun as it continues to rise in the sky from where we were sitting.

Attachment-1
Watching the sun rise from both outside and inside the airport building

I’ve been looking for attractions in this place, right inside the building. However, sadly, there’s none. It’s an airport, and that is all there is to it. It’s nowhere near Changi Airport, where you could stay for hours and not feel trapped. I could go out by myself, sure, but after learning how bad the traffic is going to the nearest mall, I changed my mind. Continue reading “Counting the hours at Suvarnabhumi Airport”