Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When was the last time you had a date?

Has anyone heard of Desi? You might ask what does this mean. It can also be said as Deshi. They are actually the beautiful people of South Asian heritage, from either Pakistan, India, or Bangladesh. I got to know this from the internet, eager to know how they can be referred since we have nice friends from those countries mentioned. Yesterday, we had a social gathering sponsored by our Apartment’s leasing office; they called it “Residents Holiday Brunch”. Even if I’m not a party-goer, I thought that it’s a good opportunity to meet other people. You don’t live just by yourself, you know. Also, I believe that it’s also a part of our social duty to go out and mingle with others. I remember my college friends used to go out just to meet hot girls in night parties. In the apartment’s function room, with my wife and kid, I was able to meet the husband of our good friend and neighbor, Liza (not her true name). We’ve known Liza not for so long but we sure are good friends already. We both have a toddler that’s why we can relate to each other’s life situation. I always love to meet her husband but we don’t really get a chance till yesterday. Liza is from Denmark while her husband, Ainesh (not his real name) is from India. I already know that information since Liza talked about it the first time we met. The first thing I asked her was, how’d you two meet? They actually met in Denmark; I’ve learned that her husband is so bright that he’s engaged in multiple jobs. As I can recall, Ainesh was in a convention in Denmark during that time. Ainesh is a researcher, doctor and a pilot. Whoa! That’s really impressive you know! No wonder, Liza fell in love to him, not to mention, people from India really has good looks as well, especially those Indian girls. Despite of having English as second language in India, I observed that he still communicates well and with a lot of sense. We found ourselves, listening to every word he says since you will either be inspired or learned from him. He’s also down to earth I may say when he danced with his daughter as if there’s no one’s watching.

Liza and Ainesh are the living proof that no matter where your origins are, two totally different people can still meet and be together, in love and in happiness. You can tell it by just looking at their adorable daughter. This made me think of why are there still a lot of single people around. I can say 75% of our friends are still single. Some of them are just waiting, not doing anything since their principle is “Someone you deserve will come even if you don’t look for him/her”. Some also says, “I still haven’t met the perfect one”. And even one said “I will not look for him, he should look for me”. Tsk.. tsk.., no wonder why they still celebrate cold Christmas alone. Their predictable defense as always is, you don’t need a partner to be happy. That’s how they can say it for now, well, how could I believe them, they haven’t experienced one yet, and if they did, there might be a problem on their selves why it didn’t last. In my opinion, they should do some of the work and not just to depend always in what they called, destiny. In Manila, we have this ancient Filipino saying, “NASA DIYOS ANG AWA, NASA TAO ANG GAWA”, it somehow means "In God we trust, but man must have the confidence to do the things God had entrusted him to accomplish and achieve, for himself, and for others." And if you’re waiting for the perfect one, well, Good luck! I hope you’re still alive when you found one, since as far as I know, nobody on earth is perfect.

There are a lot of ways to meet people and make new friends. To those single men, you might even befriend to some college girls or hot babes if you just know how. One was the event we attended yesterday, bar hopping, going to church, your office or school and other public places, but the easiest way and well known to match people from different parts of the world, that may even connect two different cultures just in one click is the internet! It’s so powerful that I myself met some of my new friends through blogging. One site I can recommend is http://www.desihotpoint.com/ . Man, there are lots of beautiful Desi girls you will find here. I personally met people from India and Pakistan here in US and I can say that they are nice, intelligent and possess good looks. This site will give you opportunity to get to know them better. You can look for a good and decent date of your dreams. The best part is you will know some of their personal information they provided that may define your compatibility, through age, profession, religion, height, weight, hobbies and the likes. It will also tell if they’re smokers or alcoholics, what a great clue! That means knowing their personality without even doing some of the hard work like in courting or hitting hot chicks. Their pictures will tell how hot they really are. This will surely help shy people to have confidence in meeting new people. Another good thing is that there’s no single penny to spend just to meet someone of your interest. You can see members even if you haven’t sign up for them yet, well if you’d like to be known, you can create your own profile though. My advice to all those single men and women to try these ways of discovering new people, these may lead you to might not the perfect one but the right one for you. You are wasting some moments of your younger years if you will still not work for it. You’re not getting any younger, you know. Life is good and beautiful, and even better if you have someone to share with it. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teach him the 'write' way

It’s been 3 days from now when I started teaching my son how to write. People might not know but my very first job right after I graduated was Class Instructor in 3 colleges of STI in Manila to finance my ECE Board review classes. Man, I thought teaching my son will be easier for me since somehow I have background in this area and I told myself before that if I was able to patiently teach other people, I should do it more for my own son with all my best. And that won't be a kept promise. But of course, my college students were totally different from my toddler who is just 2 and a half years old. I really need to be more considerate since it’s like I’m starting from zero. He has no idea at all that what we’re doing is for his developmental growth, for him everything is playtime and fun. That’s why sometimes I can’t get him focus on what we’re doing. Also, toddlers have little attention span, they are long in will but short in skill. That’s why he’s often frustrated and ‘misbehave’. If you know to yourself that you are a perfectionist type of person, forget it! I believe that in parenting, to be efficient you should also know how to be flexible, not everything should be done according to rules, you know, or else you will end up stressed and more frustrated than your child. I mean, it’s not our kids’ fault if they know nothing, we should not expect from them that they automatically know what to do next. Like what happened in our session, he dropped his marker on the carpet, I’m thinking that he will pick it up since he’s not yet done writing, but instead he rolled it over the carpet by his foot. I almost burst in madness worrying that the ink might get into the carpet. Good thing, I was able to get my sanity back and saw that not a single spot of ink was there. I realized he has no clue that what he did was wrong. I gave him a warning on that very moment.

I’m so proud of him, he can now follow the dotted letters in his book all by himself, though it’s still not perfectly done but I can see the progress. This is how we started; First, I let him watch me on how to do it right, then I tried to put the marker in its best possible position between his fingers. With my assistance, we tried following the dotted markings of the letter in his book. It’s like teaching a kid to ride a bike, at first you need to hold the bike while he’s pedaling then once you noticed that he’s doing it right, little by little, without him being aware of it, you let go of the bike. In our second day, he didn’t ask for my hand assistance anymore. Sounds easy, nah! I lost some of my hair in doing these. It will be easier if you have the right materials, what we’re using in teaching him are really effective. Here they are:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

First Flurries in 2008

I can't think of anything to do last Friday til I decided to videotape the flurries outside. wala lang.. Here it is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another round of Parenting

I guess my son misses the fun at school during the weekend. He always brings home what he learned from his class. Like what he just acted today.
(Click the pix to enlarge)

Clarence gathered all his stuff animals for Circle Time. Here he tells a story, showing pix in the book to each and everyone.

Second Circle time, now Elmo's in the group, singing the Eenzy Weenzy Spider

Singing "Where is Thumbkin"

My kid's way of parenting

I think what I’m doing to Clarence is starting to instill in his innocent little mind. It shows in his acts and words all the things he’s getting from my parenting. Today, I chuckle so much seeing my son doing some silly things he copied from me. Look at the pix below. He's getting it all over his head alright!

Puppy and Elmo got their time-outs! Elmo for not stop laughing, i guess!

Here's when he told Puppy to face the wall and gave a cute command of "Stay there!"

Clarence asked Puppy if he will be a good boy now.. "Gudboy? gudboy? come here!"

Clarence kissed Puppy, gave him a big hug and posed for Daddy saying "Cheese"

Puppy goes to potty

Friday, November 21, 2008

Manners and Etiquettes

Yesterday, my wife was able to chat with her sister from Italy. I got interested when I heard that they are talking about manners and etiquettes. Her sister shared some of the things she read from the book. Though she had some trouble translating it since it was written in Italian but we got the idea perfectly maybe because some of it were true in us. I may say that these can be used as a reminder to all of us because things that we know okay for us might not be good for others. Sometimes, bad things are becoming normal to us especially when we are used to do it. It’s like becoming a habit for us, a really bad habit. Here are some of the dos and don’ts we discussed over chat:

1. While eating, keep your mouth closed in chewing the food.
2. Don’t make a sticky food sound inside your mouth, unless you’re a pig.
3. Cover your mouth if you can’t avoid yawning in front of people.
4. For men, don’t use white socks in dark suit.
5. When someone invited you to a gathering, don’t mind knowing the people who will attend. It gives a perception that you’re basing your decision from it.
6. Don’t go in front of the food table without your shirt on.
7. Don’t talk loud inside the elevator if there are other people with you.
8. If you’re going to blow your nose, please don’t check the napkin of how your secrete goes. Yaiiks!
9. For men, always remember to put back the toilet seat in place after peeing. Though some men don’t even lift it up because of laziness.
10. In eating spaghetti, don’t make a loud slurp while slopping the pasta. You’re not supposed to eat it like a soup.
11. Don’t belch in public. No one wants to know what you ate.
12. Don’t tell to brides “Congratulations!” but instead “Best Wishes!” The former term is for grooms.
13. Don’t go to a gathering so early that the host might not be in proper dress yet.
14. Always flush the toilet after use. Double check if necessary.
15. Don’t stare at people, unless you like trouble.
16. You know that you’re attending in a church; you don’t need to be reminded to turn off your cell phone.
17. If you are to be introduced to someone, take off your sunglasses.
18. For women, initiate the handshake when introduced, men are waiting for it, they don’t want to be refused.
19. If you’re about to enter the house, don’t ask if you may come in when you’re already halfway inside.
20. Don’t laugh so loud in public that it seems you’re looking for attention from others.

Examine yourself and don’t be in denial. I may not state here everything we discussed but I know you can add some more through comments. Feel free to give us your ideas so other people may know that what they’re doing isn’t acceptable for the majority. I intentionally put some for friends who I don’t have guts to tell directly in their face. I hope they can read this.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bright Side

Despite of having a fever for the past 2 days, I still feel blessed for having a caring wife and a loving son. I used to fetch Lorie from the train station when she's coming home from her night shift work but she chose not to call me and instead walk home just to give me more time of sleep. I’m so worried because the temp outside the house is dropping and I believe riding in the car is really necessary. I don’t want her to be sick too. She even cooked our breakfast not minding her tiredness from all of her night’s work. I really appreciated it and everything she just did, made me feel a lot better. Likewise, my son relieves some of my pains when he did cooperate most of the day. He put a smile on my face when he started doing our night duties. He knew what to do ahead of me saying it. It’s very seldom you see a child begging for his vitamins, racing you to turn on the clean up song, and even assisting in putting his night diapers on. I was surprised when he also did the sign of the cross though he still can’t perfectly do it as of this time, with his trying voice of saying “Hmmn father.. son… oly.. pirit.. amen” . We prayed together and afterwards read his book. There’s no reason for me not to get well. Surrounded by my 2 precious treasures, clear bright side is all on me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

"The Smile Stone Award"

I would like to dedicate this award to my readers and co-bloggers, hehe.. Thanks to Sunny for considering me for this precious award. It was said that this is an award for bloggers who show kindness and spreading happiness around.

Here are my top 10 reasons for keeping my dimples in my face today:

1. It's my wife's special day. Her birthday! Another blessed year for us.
2. I was able to chat with my sister in the Philippines and learned that they are all okay.
3. We bought RC for our son which I always wanted to give to him. He's so happy playing with it.
4. For having blog friends such as Sunny who tagged me for this award. I felt that I'm valued.
5. We went out to celebrate. We ate good food in a Thai Resto.
6. The gas price went down and I was able to fill our tank with extra discount.
7. Our phone doesn't stop ringing because of our friends who wanted to greet my wife.
8. I saw another good deal of laptop offered for Black Friday. Almost half a price, really bargain and this time one of the brands I wanted. We might get it by next week.
9. Rain showers made our car clean again. No need for paid car wash.
10. My wife appreciated my gift to her. I didn't even spend a single peny for it.

By the power vested in me. I would like to share this award to my friends.
1. dulce
2. carla
3. carol
4. ruthie
5. joanne

Happy Birthday Lorie!!!

I'm so happy the night before my wife's birthday because I was able to finish my gift for her but unfortunately I got colds and now suffering from a little fever. I think I abused myself for not getting enough sleep and rest. I don't know, whenever I think of doing something that really interests me, I don't stop until it's done. Like what I did in making Lorie's gift. I really believe that it was a labor of love. I didn't spend money in creating the gift but it took me a lot of time editing and making it extra special. For the love I have for her is priceless. I can give up my time of sleep and meals just to make her happy. I love it when I see her becoming emotional when she gets my gift, I really feel how she appreciates it. She values my feelings more than any material things I could buy for her. Here's my gift... Just click this "For my loving wife"

happy birthday lorie - ezekiel

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You, Daddy!

In everything I do, good or bad, I never thought someone would ever notice or appreciate it. Since each day passed, those busy days, doing the house chores become seemingly a routine work for me. My wife being so exhausted at her work, sometimes consumes most of her time sleeping. She’s working so hard to earn for our planned vacation in California. I believe she deserves a good treat whenever she’s having her rest day, that’s why I don’t like to oblige her in helping me around the house. Sometimes, you cannot avoid frustration at home, especially when you are so tired doing all the work. There I will find myself struggling with my son, pleading , negotiating and even punishing him for his ‘supposed to be’ child behavior. How can you keep your cool if everything you ask him to do, he opposes. My wife told me that it’s part of being a toddler, saying ‘No’ to him, is like triggering his curiosity and giving him opportunity to make him do it again and again. This provoked my undying theoretical thinking. So, instead of saying No, I tried ‘Yes”. I told my son, “Ok son, do it, come on, do it!” BUT it didn't do the trick. Silly me, I suppose reverse psychology is not yet applicable for him. The major of all the major jobs I do is taking care of my son. I actually know all the characters in Sesame Street, that means I cannot watch what I want if he’s awake. We also share computer, it’s like 90/10. I’m the 10. So you cannot blame me if sometimes I’m acting weird, I’m beginning to like being a kid again. I even asked my wife to buy RC as Clarence’ Christmas gift. My wife just said, “In your dreams!” c”,)

There’s one time, when I got so angry because my son messed up on his food, I gave him a time out. I felt some guilt for I know he didn’t mean to play with his food and he doesn’t deserve that time out. Later that night when I’m preparing him for bed and wiping his body with a warm towel, he then suddenly said to me, “Thank You, Daddy!” …… Whoa!!! That sweet, sweet little voice of him really struck me up. All my exhaustion for all the day’s work has been replaced with gladness. We taught him how to say thank you whenever he receives something. It’s like a required response, actually. But this is different, I don’t know how he knew that he should thank me for the good things I’m doing for him. “You’re welcome!” I responded “You will always be”. This time I know he means it. His innocence mind makes it real for me. That’s the best reward I received for being a parent. Appreciation from my 2 year old son.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why do men leave their partners?

Why do men leave their partners? The common scripts you widely hear from men is “I need space”, “The problem is on me”, “I want to search myself”, “You don’t deserve me” or “You’re not the one I used to know”. I said scripts because they are untrue to a certain extent. Scripts, for they are just been said to lessen the pain and to give respect even for the last time. One of the true reasons I can think of is weariness or boredom. Men are sometimes selfish, they cannot help themselves to look for what they want inside their shabby relationship. They are looking for a perfect partner, it could be another woman, adventure, or career. This perfect partner will not only accept him as he is fully, but also will finally make him express the parts of himself that are hidden. She'll bring out the best in him. Rather than criticize and make demands, the perfect partner will give unconditionally and fulfill his every need. But you have to understand that this is only men’s fantasy. If only women could fully recognized this, they’d be able to know how to handle and deal with it.
I know a girl who became overweight while her husband is still slim and tidy. She’s finding reasons on how to defend her situation or why she was resulted in being fat, like she gave birth to their children, she doesn’t have time to exercise and etc. But when we are together, she most likely wanted to go out, check some restaurants and shop. Even at breakfast, while her mouth is still full, she’s already asking everyone what they can get for snack. Could you imagine that?!, she’s still eating her breakfast and then she’s planning ahead for having a snack. There are a lot of things to think of, but for her, it’s always food. I was not surprised when she told me that her husband consumes a lot of his time in doing something like reading, surfing the net, or fixing his car. I can’t blame him, it’s better to get into things that interests him rather than focusing to some unlikely sights. c",) This will make men more bored in the relationship, you see, what men and women don’t realize is that their true need is to find adventures in their relationship. This girl that I’m talking about should be challenged on how she can get back the attention of her husband, not only in the physical sense but also in finding ways to somehow fulfill his fantasies.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some things in this world are FREE

I was very disappointed when I found out that the Compaq laptop which is on sale at Wal-Mart has been sold out. Even if I went early at the store, I still didn’t get a chance to spot just a single piece of it on stock. That was the Christmas In-store Specials of Wal-Mart where they have limited stocks, only ten units available for each particular store branches. I could’ve got it for half of its original price (it was tagged at $298 on sale price). I envied those people who are checking out their new laptops. Well, maybe it’s not meant for me to get one, at least we saved money and Compaq is not really my brand. I think I’ll just wait for some other good deals that Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas may offer.

In facing today’s economic crisis, looking for best deals and bargains has definitely been included in our priority list. If you know how to use your resources, you won’t believe that there are still things you can get for free.

First, we searched for school that offers free classes for Clarence and we found the Judy Center housed in Campfield Early Childhood and Development Center. This will prepare Clarence for preschool. We attend classes 3 times a week and it’s all for free.

Second, we looked for Parks and Museums that has no admission fee and we all got it from this site, http://freefallbaltimore.com/ (Thanks to our good friend, Annette). They give schedules of some educational museums, musical theater, art exhibits and workshops. You will enjoy your family hang-out while learning and having fun, which makes it absolutely PRICELESS!

Third, we had been informed by our good friend, Karen about the wealth in earning grocery coupons. Some sites offered printable coupons that you can use in all stores actually. Like the http://couponmom.com, http://grocerygame.com, http://coupons.com and http://coolsavings.com. You may also buy Sunday paper that gives pages of coupons. You should also be aware of the “Double Coupon” policy of the grocery store. Like in Giant, they double your coupon when it’s worth $0.50. For example, you get a chance to learn that their toothpaste is on sale from $2 to $1. And your fortunate to have a $0.50 coupon of the same product, you’ll just say to the cashier that you want your coupon doubled, they will match the $0.50 coupon you have so it will give you a total of $1 coupon which will make the toothpaste free of charge. Huh! Was that really cool or what? Sometimes you just need for the product to be on sale to maximize the benefit of your coupons.

Fourth, we signed up to www.blackfriday.info so that we will get email alerts of the bargains and on sale items that different stores offer. You will be informed ahead of time. Some stores give pre-blackfriday specials like the one I waited for Wal-Mart. They will tell you not only the sale for blackfriday but also for thanksgiving, Christmas and other extra offers that stores have.

At home, we replaced all lights with energy-saving fluorescents, we also loosen some of the bulbs/fluorescents that came in set like in chandeliers and bathroom vanity lights (from 6 to 2 fluorescents) . We made sure that lights were off in rooms that are not in used. It will save cost also if you will totally unplugged appliances that are not in constant use. We used jackets/sweaters and socks inside the house when the cool temperature is still tolerable, this is to keep the heater from use. Instead of the centralized heater, we’re using a portable one in our bedroom since that’s the only place we need warm in time of sleep.

I think finding ways like cost-cutting is an effective approach in fighting the crisis were facing today. I have proven that the phrase “Nothing in this world is FREE” totally wrong.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

90/10 Principle of Stephen Covey - Anger Management

Have you heard of the 90/10 principle? I got this from an email and this taught me a great lesson. Applying this in our daily lives will save us from distress, heartache and depression. You are to choose your own consequences. Making your day bad or good is really up to you. Please read this article and be involved in it.


Author: Stephen Covey

Discover the 90/10 Principle: It will change your life. The 90/10 principle is incredible! Very few know and apply this principle. The Result? Millions of people are suffering undeserved stress, trials, problems, and heartache. They never seem to be a success in life. Bad days follow bad days. Terrible things seem to be constantly happening. Theirs is constant stress, lack of joy, and broken relationships. Worry consumes time, anger ruins friendships and life seems dreary and is not enjoyed to the fullest. Friends are lost. Life is a bore and often seems cruel. Does this describe you? If so, do not be discouraged. You can be different! Understand and apply the 90/10 principle. It will change your life!

What is this principle? 10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean? We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane may be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%! How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light, but you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; You can control how you react!

Let’s use an example. You’re eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the coffee cup over. She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize them for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed zone.

After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 (traffic fine) away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs to the building without saying good-bye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to going home. When you arrive home, you find a small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter. Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning.

Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?

B) Did your daughter cause it?

C) Did the Policeman cause it?

D) Did you cause it?

The answer is D. You had no control over what happened with the coffee. How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

Here is what could have and should have happened. Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, “It’s OK honey, you just need to be more careful next time.” Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase. You come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You and your spouse kiss before you both go to work. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good of a day you are having. Notice the difference. Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different. Why? Because of how you Reacted. You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens. The other 90% is determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle. If someone says something negative about you, do not be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You do not have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out, etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you lose your temper? Pound the steering wheel? (A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!) Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them? Who Cares if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive. Remember the 90-10 principle, and do not worry about it!

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep or get irritated? It will work out. Use your “worrying” time and energy into finding another job.

The plane is late. It is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger, etc. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse.

Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results.

Complaints or Appreciation

Are you the kind of person who always sees things in its worst form? Who are proud to tell to everyone how hard you’ve gone through just to get out in a situation? Some people complain about everything. Patterns like parent to child, employee to boss, student to instructor and vice versa are the common ones. They complain because there’s no contentment in their hearts. You can’t expect everything to happen in your own will and preference. This is why I hear many parents complain about how mischievous and terrible their children were. We cannot blame our children to be playful or naughty (at times) for it’s part of growing up. That’s what they supposed to behave. Instead of complaining, why don’t we be grateful that our kids are healthy that’s why they are lively and full of fun. If you are to choose, a sick child or a playful one? Why don’t you try to say “I’m so blessed for this stress because I know this is just a small cause of having a healthy kid”. And if someone asks you on how your day went, would you say that you had the worst boss and job in the whole world? Remember that there are people who are homeless, jobless, disabled and ill. Learn to be appreciative on what you have. Think of the good things behind every bad thing that happens in our lives. Life is beautiful if you'd only know how to look at it right.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why party?

Today, we went to Aidan's birthday party. We really had a great time. Clarence met some new friends and restlessly played with them. Food were all delicious, I had a lot actually. I went back to the table twice :) . Our efforts in buying Aidan’s gift paid off when we saw the excitement in his face. He even asked his mom to open it up after unwrapping it which he did not do with the other gifts. We really appreciate it because we perceived no trace of pretend in his actions. That’s what I like in kids, they’re telling their true feelings and not being hypocrite. I was also invited for a beer by the host’s brother-in-law which I refused at first for the reason that I will still need to drive home. In the Philippines, to maintain a harmonious relationship, we practice camaraderie, so I gave-in with his request plus the fact that I also like to drink some. I just had 2 bottles of beer. I know my limitation whenever I go out. We waited for almost 4 hours before leaving the party, I took coffee and soda just to wash away the beer (that’s only in my theoretical thinking :)). They even prepared take-home food for us which we openhandedly accepted, of course. The day was filled with friends. We’re really grateful for having people around us who value our presence in such special occasion. They are the likes of people who are worth praying for.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Educational websites

(click the pix to enlarge)

This is related to my previous blog, "Computers on kids". I’m surfing the net for some educational stuffs that I can use to entertain Clarence. This is an idea I’ve thought that will make me free from him and do some chores. Then I accidentally discovered this really cool website of Sesame Street, http://www.sesamestreet.org/games. I found out that all the games from the CD we borrowed from our friends can be played in this site. It actually offers more educational games than I expected. If you will just browse the whole site, there is an option for more games. They also have videos from Sesame Street episodes which are really great to watch, suits for all ages, I may say. Popular singers can be seen jamming along with the Sesame Street monsters. Games can be played by big and little kids since there are selections for keyboard and mouse activities. It’s really good, your kids will learn how to sort and pile up things of the same shapes / colors and to clearly observe patterns. They can also create their own monster character by dragging parts of the monster such as eyes, nose and mouth to the preferred body and face. Just right under the game you're playing, there are other choices of games of the same category (i.e. numbers, seasons). At the right side of the game window you’ll see some parenting tips and advice that changes from time to time. And one of the best features for me is the PlaySafe button where your child cannot navigate the web browser away from your selected Sesame Street content when you are away from him. Try it and I know you’ll love it!

You may want to try the following websites as well:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Computers on kids

While doing some of my computer works, Clarence gets into my lap and started asking me to pull up his Elmo games we installed in our PC. He quickly pressed the window button and the start menu came up. I remember that I put a shortcut of the game in that section, he grabbed the mouse and clicked on the picture of Elmo. There’s Elmo again, waving at me, giving me a look that says, better luck next time!! I don’t blame my son, the game is really good and beneficial. It teaches letters, shapes, numbers, music, colors, and a lot. It’s kind ‘a annoying though because I’m in the middle of doing something but I guess that’s my fault as well. First, I know that I can work when he’s sleeping but I didn’t. Second, I taught him how to become expert in using the keyboard and the mouse. He knew most of the functions of the keyboard. I will not be surprised because I’m so addicted in the internet, what else could he get from me but to learn the computer. He knows ESC, Enter, arrow, page Up/Down, windows, and space bar keys. And for the record, he became good at it when he was just 2 yrs/ 5 mos. old. He can control the mouse with ease, I remember my sister was struggling with the mouse when I first introduce the computer to her. But Clarence is different, it was like just few hours were spent for him to master all the controls in the mouse. When I instructed him to click or press on something, he’ll do it without me asking for the second time. I’ll just say some clue words for him, like ‘X’ for the close window button, ‘OK’ for the option OK, Escape when he mistakenly clicked on something, and Enter to allow whatever tasks are displayed on the screen. I’m so proud of him.
By the way, we got the Sesame Street game from our good friends who originally bought the cd and let us borrowed and installed it in our computer. Thanks to Melvin and Coni for their concern when they told us that the CD will be useful for Clarence like it did to their toddler. I believe that choosing the right computer games for our child is really important, knowing that there are a lot of junk games available in the market, we should be selective. We all know that we can’t avoid the rise of technology, we’re silly if we think that our kids will not be interested at this. We can’t deprive them from using the computers but we can set limitations and their options. The good part is we can reassure to ourselves that they’re learning while also having fun.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What to consider in buying gifts

We went to Toys R Us to look for a birthday gift for Aidan, one of Clarence's friends. We take into an account that whenever we buy something for someone, we should also buy something for Clarence. I think it becomes a rationale for us asking ourselves, how can we buy other people expensive gifts and not our own son. It might be a wrong principle for others but that’s how we deal with it. Our goal is to make our son happy, we don’t like him to be in a toy store and seeing us buying things that are not meant for him. Before we go there, we already know what to buy for Aidan because his mom said he wants Lego. I thought Lego was just the simple old traditional blocks that I used to know so I said it’s easy to get one. Then I was surprised to see so many styles of it all in different forms, like Batman, cruise ships, racing cars, and etc. We almost spent an hour looking for the right Lego gift for Aidan, because whenever I see one that fits my taste, my wife will tell me that it’s inappropriate for Aidan’s age, its small parts are hazardous for it could choke, or it could hurt Aidan or his playmates because of the flipping pellets included as a weapon feature. It didn’t come in my mind that choosing the right gift will be more complicated than getting my wife a pair of shoes. After filtering all their stocks, we finally got the one that suits my wife standards. I don’t blame her for being picky because it only shows her concern to the recipient of our gift which made me admire her more. Well, I think that should be our objective in giving gifts, to buy what we know is the perfect one and not just to get anything for the sake of saying, ‘at least we have a gift’. This will somehow show to our friends that we value them as they did in inviting us.

When it is time for Clarence’ toy, I realized that the store is so big for we’re looking for the best toy for him. This time, my wife’s criteria had increased. We’re now looking for safe, best-quality, age-appropriate and most of all ‘educational’. We found a lot but we promised to buy just one. We checked almost all the corners of that store, we compared this and that, read all features and benefits it can give. I almost even pass out for I forgot to take my lunch on that day. Till we finally get two of our choices because we can’t decide which one to get. After we checked out everything, we immediately went to Fuddruckers for snacks. At the end of the day, we didn’t feel any wasted time for we know that we used it in the right way we believe. Giving gifts is also a way to show our appreciation to the people who have offered their friendship to us. So if you’ll gonna buy one, think of the person as yourself getting the right gift with your exact preferences.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Power of tongue

Sometimes you can't just control words coming out from your mouth because of anger or insecurity. You tend to defend yourself without considering the feelings of the one hearing you. Your aim is to be at the top of the argument that made you shut your mind to everything but only to what you believe is right, whether it's reasonable or not. And what’s this can cause you? Nothing good. You made yourself terrible by getting into a bad mood which is so stressful, you hurt someone by not meaning to do it at all, and you will feel the guilt once you calm down. But the painful part is the fact that the damage has been done. It’s like a permanent record between you and the one you hurt. It’s like you cannot change that particular moment when you did a significant scar in your relationship. It’s worse if you did this to a loved one. In situations like you feel you can’t control yourself, try to stop and think. Know all the consequences of your actions. Will this help or not? Will this do better or make it even worse? What if you try to calm down and listen? It’s better to communicate when both of you are considerate hearing each other out. Both of you will allow each points of view to be well understood. Because one of the good rules is “Shut your mouth if you don’t have any good thing to say”.

Mars Vs. Venus

Source: marsvenus.com

This is just one of the behaviors of women that drive the men away.

Telling him what to do

Are you constantly telling your man how to drive, how to dress, how to behave? Women are good at making improvements, but this highly sensitive area is off-limits. The most important thing to a Martian is doing a good job. Question his competence and you'll not only hurt him, but you'll meet a wall of resistance. Instead of telling him what to do, try to ask for his opinion. Martians thrive in an environment where they are the experts, so help him be the expert. Instead of saying, "Honey, you should do this." Ask his opinion, "Honey what do you think of this?" This allows him to share his thoughts and you get him involved in a conversation about whatever issue is on your mind. This simple trick is how you can help bring about improvements in your man without telling him what to do!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Having friends around

Last week 2 of our friends visited us from Pennsylvania. They stayed in our apartment for 3 days. We really enjoyed their company. They didn't know how they made our lives easier for those days that they were here. Our daily tiring routine suddenly changed and the frustration from boredom was treated. They are my wife’s colleagues back when they’re still working at Phil. Heart Center. Actually they are love couple who are together for many years. Ace and Tintin are both younger than us but then the childishness of my wife made us all meet at the same level. They brought with them their Rockband Wii which entertained us a lot especially my wife. Almost 6 hours of play and if it’s not for me, it might not end forever. So happy, that you will not notice that the day had just passed. My son had a lot of fun playing with them, which I took advantage to do some of the house works. We went to Washington DC to check out some great museums as well. Having friends around is surely helpful in both physical and emotional sense. You know that there are people who care not only for you but also for your loved ones. And I only mean this for ‘real friends’. They are also a good cure for stress. It’s important for us to have some break from the adversities of the world. We consider them real friends for they are the kind of people who will not leave you no matter what happen. If there are real friends, definitely there are also fake ones. These are people who only remember you in their time of needs. They are the ones who will just listen to those things you say which will benefit them. Who only wants to hear what they want. We have few of those here, very unfortunate. There are 3 things I’ve learned from living here in US (and mingling with fake people) (1) Trust no one but yourself. (2) The only one who will help you is yourself. If you ask it from others and you didn’t get it, that’s okay for they don’t have obligation to you. If they offer-be thankful. And (3) to fight for what you know is right, since some of the people we met here are not just racist but also didn’t finish school which made them disrespectful. The message is, know your friends, the ones for keeps and the ones for kicks.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don't Let Stress Get the Best of You

(click the pix to enlarge)

I got this from Clarence' school. It's worth sharing since every word in it applies to me and I'm thinking that this could help others as well. The source is from "The Family Tree", I think this is an organization in Maryland where they focus on child care, parenting and some family matters. Their articles are really great. We have the same objective so I wanted them to be known for their good cause. Here are the articles: http://www.familytreemd.org/default.asp?location=news_and_articles

Stress may separate you from your loved ones, you should know how to deal with it before it's too late. Always remember that your family is the source of your strength and not should be the reason of your stress. Value your family as you value yourself.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You need to set a structure

Most parents are struggling with a child who is disrespectful, intolerable or even abusive in some ways. This creates frustration and exhaustion especially when arguing becomes more constantly. These parents may feel also that they are "walking on eggshells" around their child to avoid conflicts that will "set their child off?" They may have tried screaming, punishing, pleading, and negotiating but their child still walks all over them.

You cannot predict child’s behavior but it’s normal for them to act differently. Bad behavior can be observed from time to time and the only thing that you can do is to have some interventions to correct it. You should have a structure that will make your child follow. This structure should make him feel that he has responsibilities that need to be done. You may look at our structure but I'm not saying that we have the right one. First, we set schedules, like breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. Also he has to get his nap during around noon time. Playtime, bath time and TV or PC time will be set for other parts of the day. At around 8pm after having his dinner, Clarence knew that the next thing to do is to take his vitamins. And then I will play the “clean up” song in our PC implying that we need to put his toys away (keeping it organized and putting in the right place-like toy shelves, bins, etc.). After doing the clean-up routine, we will ask Clarence of the next thing that we should do, he might not answer us but he will go directly to the bathroom for it’s his wash time (this includes brushing his teeth, warm cloth, lotion and changing of clothes). When we gets into bed, he will automatically asks for a book, there we will give him 2 choices of books and the one he picks will be read in bed. Once he said, “The End”, we will put the book away and then hold his right hand to do sign of the cross as a start of our night prayer. After that, lamps will be turned off and night light will be on. You should be strict in your structure for him to be familiarized with it and not to differ in every instruction you will give. Just be patient for the first days and you’ll find your reward when things go in your way. We didn’t even get it the first and second tries, but as days go by, we noticed that Clarence easily picks up the things he should do as we strictly followed our structure.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Child's skills that can be developed through playing

It's a good thing that Clarence is attending free classes in school near our place, I also get to involve in parent-teacher discussions and catch some tips and advices in parenting. Though some of us have different approaches, but sharing it all in our meeting helps us to come up with the best method. There are some ways you can develop your child skills and at the same time having fun from it. The following are the things I’ve learned from Clarence’ teachers and co-parents: Special thanks to Ms. Peggi Kelly and Ms. Jan Simons, two of Clarence' wonderful teachers.

Cognitive Skills: This is your child’s ability to solve problems and remember things. Help your child sort big and little things (example toy cars) into 2 containers. Some toys like shape puzzle also makes this skill into practice. I tried grouping pile of things with same colors and let him recognize the colors by asking him to put some of his toys in the pile where it matches its color.

Communication Skills: This is your child’s ability to understand what is said, follow directions and express his needs, wants and emotions. Help your child to express his wants during playtime by giving him choices. Like giving him 2 choices of toys or books, just make sure that both options presented are acceptable for him to take. Try giving instructions, like “Get your diaper”, “Close the door “, or “Give me an apple”. Could he follow that direction?

Social and emotional skills: Your child’s ability to follow group routine; separate from familiar adult, and play appropriately with peers. Was your child aware of the other children at play? Use balls and toy cars to push back and forth with another friend. Encourage good eye contact. As for you, make a friend with another parent, exchange names and talk with their child.

Fine motor skills: This is your child’s ability to use his hands and fingers to manipulate objects and complete tasks. Use playdough to strengthen finger muscles. Once in a while prepare some art activity that requires your child to use pincher grip like picking up cut leaves and pasting it to a framed tree.

Gross motor skills: This is your child’s ability to control large muscles to crawl, walk, climb, hop, run and etc. Encourage your child to crawl through a pretend tunnel. If he is reluctant, place a preferred object at the other end. Draw some circles on the ground and make him jump in and out from those circles. You can also use a roly-poly ball to straddle.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Know who you are

Why is that there are people who always see themselves good as what they believed? You can tell these kinds of people by simply listening to them. They often use words like “I, me, my, mine” but seldom use “ours, you, or we”. If you’re lucky enough, you will hear them saying the latter words in blaming or accusing. Have you experienced an instance when you are with your friend, and you did something right or good that you consider rewarding in your part, and when you tried to tell to others how great you were, there is your friend who will get all the credits by saying he did it, I’m the one, If it’s weren’t for me, or It’s a good thing I did it! What a complete jackass! He didn’t even think that he can be heard by the rightful person of the honor. These kinds of people are the ones you need to avoid because in just simple things they can pull you down, without them even knowing it. I’m just wondering why they keep doing that. In my wife’s point of view, she’s thinking that they might just have high regards to their selves or it could also be a compensatory mechanism that may suffice what is lacking on them. By continuous practice of this kind of behavior, it will become a habit and little by little it will become part of their personality which is really hard to change. Or they might not really aware of their behavior, which made them inconsiderate to others, and this is one of the reasons I created this blog for them to realize their unacceptable attitude. I hope by any chance they’ll be able to read this. Who knows it could be you as well, if you feel somewhat guilty from the things written here..

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Best Gift You Can Give to Your Spouse

Most of the time, married couple for many years are becoming at ease with each other. This is how they can make the other person feel that he's being accepted whoever he is or whatever he does. Sometimes this kind of thinking out bounds the true meaning of acceptance. For a healthy relationship, you should still have the sense of indignity to yourself whenever you did an offensive thing in front of your partner. One time, I watched this late night show, a sitcom called ‘Home Improvement” starring Tim Allen. His wife, Jill invited some friends in their house and found Tim so appealing that they envied Jill for having a husband like him. This made Jill realize all the good traits of Tim the first time they met, which made her fall to him. She then promised Tim a romantic night in their bedroom. Jill prepared so much that she wore her sexy nighties with a warm setup all around the room. Here comes Tim who had just came from an eat out with his son, too much full that he gave 2 big belches. And when he got in to their bed, he started swaying his hands out of the blanket to loosen the gas he just passed. Poor Jill, all her excitement were turned into madness. Of course she will freak out and lost her passion to what she had prepared for. It’s not only in the acts that you may offend your partner but also to the way you look, you talk, you eat, you smell and etc. What I’m saying here is that there should be no reason for you not to act or look good, the same way you shown to your partner when the both of you are just starting to build a relationship. The best gift you can give to your partner is for you to be always at your “best”. If you’re getting fatter, you should exercise and do some diet. If you grew some beard, then shave. Always make sure that you are rightful in your partner’s eyes. Fix your hair, brush your teeth, have a little cologne or perfume and most importantly, take a bath. When your partner came from work and being exhausted for the whole day problems, you will not aim to add in to his exhaustion. You should serve as a reward to him that his stress will not matter as soon as he sees you waiting for him with you at your best. This is not a one-way process, like the saying goes, “It takes two to Tango”. Both parties should know their responsibilities and limitations to each other, and that will sum up by treating each other right.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Videos from Internet

Did you know that you can download videos from the internet? This is one way you can use to create another learning material for your kids. Be careful with the videos that you are downloading though, sometimes it contains bad images or wordings. I created a playlist of nursery rhymes and some of the episodes from a well-known children's show. This actually makes learning easier for my son. Alphabet song with colorful pictures and live children, Different kinds of animals with their natural sounds, Colors, Numbers and the likes. Kids can enjoy learning while having fun because of the cheerful songs that binds with the videos. You can save the playlist in your computer or burn it in a vcd. Whenever I need to do a household chore, I’ll open my playlist and let my son watch and learn from it. It’s like hitting two birds in one stone. I can work with my chore while my son is being entertained by the videos. Here’s one way how you can download video; you need to install “real player” in your computer and in its setup, you have to choose the option for downloading videos from the internet. Once you’re done, try going to a site where you like to get videos (sites that share videos and allow people to do downloads, please respect copyrights). On the upper right corner of the video, a “real download button” will appear asking you if you want to get a copy of the video. Clicking it will save a copy in the “real player downloads” folder and library of the real player. It’s up to you on how you will create your playlist. My son started singing the alphabet song at the age of 2 and I think the videos had something to do with it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A day out with Hershey

Having fun with friends is one of the great ways to fight stress. It's important to give yourself some time to enjoy and relax, that's for me is healthy especially when you are dealing with your terrible two's. We visited "Hershey's Chocolate World" in Pennsylvania and found out that it's not just a place where you can buy cheap chocolates but is also an amusement park. Mr. Milton S. Hershey is such an inspiration, he is a real proof that anything is possible if you believe. He was like others who started from nothing who didn't stop believing and succeed. Clarence had so much fun in some of the kiddie rides. I enjoyed it since seeing my son happy is an ultimate reward for me plus the fact that I didn't experience those kinds of rides when I was a kid. I learned so much, not only of knowing how chocolates were made but also the idea of how can I instill to my son the inspiration behind the park.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poop Goes to Potty!!!

(click pix to enlarge)

It was like my wife and I hit the jackpot when Clarence learns how to go to potty. He can now tell us when he needs to poop or pee (poo-poo/wee-wee in his words). We were afraid that we’ll not be able to teach him how to use the potty because most children in his age (he’s 2 yr / 5mo.) were already trained in using it. It also comes in our minds that this potty issue could be a big reason, for him not to be accepted in pre-school. This is why we decided to introduce to him the function of his potty. His potty chair was a birthday gift from our friends (Raffy and Karen). Honestly, when I saw it the first time, I can’t imagine that Clarence will be cooperative in using it. Well, I was right! At first, he used it like a chest for his small toys, a chair when he’s playing his piano, a platform to reach high places (like tables, TV, light switches, etc.), a drum when he got two pencils in his hands and a radio since it’s musical with a press of a button. We failed to make him realize the purpose of the chair, till we just think of buying a small toilet seat that can be attached to the actual toilet. That’s when we found out that his potty chair has already the part we needed. We didn’t know how functional his chair was until we saw the same chair in Wal-Mart showing in its box a boy sitting in a toilet with the seat detached from the potty chair and using the rest of the chair as a footrest. Thanks to Raffy and Karen, we saved a bunch of money from buying a seat. When we arrive at home, we immediately try the potty’s seat on the toilet and it fits. Now, the only thing that we are aiming to get is to make our son sit and stay on the toilet when he needs to go. We tried to demonstrate to him how to use the toilet; we used every chance in getting his attention to recognize the function of it. We used the help of internet, particularly YouTube because there are videos of kids using their potties. We are trying to make him realize that it’s a normal thing to do for kids like him. We even sing the potty song, like “Poop goes to potty!, Wee-wee goes to potty!” but it’s really hard to make him use it. Then we thought of taking his diaper off for a period of time. We started at the first day of October, we just let him run off the house with just his shirt, brief and shorts, not minding if he’ll pee on the carpet or couch. He did pee on our carpet and everytime he does, we’ll make him feel that it’s not appropriate, that it’s like a yucky thing. It’s funny when you can see him walk because of the wet pants, it’s like that there’s a big something between his legs, a very wide leg opening, a zumo wrestler walk I may say. It reaches 4 days before he can actually control his pee. We didn’t have problem with his poop because even if he has no diaper, I know the signs when he’s about to poop, and that’s when you can see me rushing to the toilet carrying him. Last October 5th, he can actually say when he wants to wee-wee or poo-poo. Whenever there’s a success in his toilet time, we are there praising him for a job well done. My wife sacrifices her sleeping time just to let my son know that his efforts are being appreciated. Now, when he says, “Daddy, wee-wee/poo-poo” and I don’t respond sooner, he’ll panic and say “Oh no! Oh no! wee-wee!!”. When he’s sitting on the potty and he sees that his wee-wee come out, he’ll tell to himself and us, “Good Job!” in baby talk. That was really a relief for us. Not to mention, the savings for not buying more diapers.