A Thousand Years piano cover by Jade

Like most you who are viewing this blog post, I also love this song.  I requested my daughter to learn this song so I can enjoy listening to her daily practice.  I remember well the night she recorded this video.  Thank you Jade!  You always touch my soul when you play piano.

A Tribute to my Mom

I created this video in 2012 for my Mom’s 68th birthday celebration.

Today in Manila – October 14, 2015 marks the 1st Anniversary of my Mom’s passing.  I just want to post this video and share to the world how beautiful, strong, talented, loving and compassionate my Mother was.  

Ma, I love you.  Nobody can ever know how much I miss you.  I miss your voice, I miss your smell, I miss you being around us, I miss everything about you… most of all, I miss your warm embrace.

I pray for your eternal rest.

Last photo taken with my Mom (August 2014)

Letters that make my day… CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL (Sponsor a Child)

Back in 2013, Bok asked me what I want to do when we grow older and what will make me happy during those times.  I clearly remember that day when he asked me that question, we were driving with the kids and when we do long drives, Bok and I enjoy talking about life, our families, our goals, plans and dreams.

I remember thinking deeply and asking myself, what will make me happy specially when I get older, after we raise our own children.  Only one thing came to mind… CHILDREN.  In 2014, I discovered Children International.  Together with my girls, we scoured profiles of needy children and finally picked Ariana and Arjon.  Ariana is a girl from Legazpi, Philippines and she is the same age as Jade (my eldest daughter) and because we don’t have a son in the family and we lost our little boy when I had a miscarriage in 2010, we decided to pick Arjon, a 5-year-old boy from the Philippines.

We’ve been sponsoring these two beautiful children for more than a year now; and to us, this journey is just beginning and we enjoy every moment and opportunity that we are able to help these children live better lives through our sponsorship with the help of Children International.

How does it feel to sponsor?  It’s PRICELESS.  No burden, no worries, no pressure, no second thoughts.

We love hearing back from Arjon and Ariana after we write them.  It keeps our relationship going as we learn about each other’s lives.  Funny thing, both of them don’t know that we are a Filipino-Chinese-American family.  We’ve been writing them in English and I never mentioned to them that we speak the language they speak.  We do this because we want to surprise them.  This coming December (2015), in coordination with Children International, we will be meeting these children face to face.  We will visit their homes, school and community in Legazpi, Philippines.  It’s going to be a trip of a lifetime.

Thanks to Children International for this great program, thanks to their great staff both from the U.S. and all around the world.

Thanks to Ariana and Arjon for these letters that always make my day.  See you soon!

 

My Children… 

 

I am a Mother of our two most precious Angels, God-given, Life-motivating, and our source of Happiness. Having our children changed me as a person, made me a stronger woman, taught me to be more patient, fearless, selfless, brave, God-fearing, creative, hardworking, silly, nagging, fun-loving, and compassionate.  As our children grow, and as I age, I slowly realize my stages of growth when I was a child myself, growing up with 3 siblings being raised by our parents back in The Philippines.  Every stage, I tend to flash back and discern the struggle my parents had to overcome.  It’s not easy to raise children but it is definitely The Best thing in my life, my family.  My husband and our children they are the source of my strength. 
I got this book today from the Thrift Store in Tustin for only $0.50.  I am excited to learn more and understand how to inprove my parenting skills.  That’s another thing I learned as a parent, spending money wisely 😉 and THAT, is very important.

Thanks for reading!

Ma, it’s our Day!

Life is always celebrated by get togethers, banquets, and laughter but when our most beloved Mom is not around anymore to be appreciated and loved on Mother’s Day, there’s emptiness somewhere unexplainable. Looking back, I have so much to thank my Mom for, and the two most important things are for my life and for the unconditional and unending love she gave me. I miss you on this very special day.

Ma and Me circa 1975, Katipunan Metro Manila Philippines

Why the late post?  It’s because I too celebrated Mother’s Day.  I thank my children and my husband for making my life complete.  My two most precious girls have brought so much happiness, laughter and love into my life.  Because of my girls,  I have learned about my strengths that I never knew I had.  Now that I’m a Mom, I understand… Now that I am a Mom, I just want to thank back my Mom for everything.

IMG_4370
Mama & Mei
Portrait of my Mom by Jade Art Masters Class
Ten things I know about my Mom From my Jade for Mother’s Day 2015

Song for Mommy: “Mama”

I used to not like singing this to my Mom because of the sad words in the song but she loved it a lot everytime I sang it to her.  I won my first singing medal when I was in 3rd Grade singing this song by Lea Salonga.

Mama, I miss the days when you were here beside me
Mama, those happy days when you were here to guide me
Safe in the flow of your love
Sent from the heavens above
No one can ever replace
The warmth of your tender embrace

[Chorus]
Oh, mama
Until the days that we`re together once more
I live in this memory
Until the days that we`re together once more

Safe in the flow of your love
Sent from the heavens above
No one can ever replace
The warmth of your tender embrace

[Chorus]

Oh, mama
Once more…

Throwback Thursday 02-26-2015

I don’t usually throwback my photos but today I am.  I just realized, instead of putting photos on Facebook, I want to save this photo here.

What are they doing on the photo?  My husband and our youngest daughter used to hang a piece of string (named “Wormy”, yes it has a name) on a pushpin pegged on our wall. This started when hubby was tasked to bathe our little one.  She was about two years old at that time.  We tried to find something that will make the bathing routine fun and easy.  The key was to find something or someone that will make us look forward to bath time everyday.

We purposely took a picture one night to record this moment and show it to our daughter when she gets older.  

Fun memories – parenting makes life colorful.



Crazy Sippy Straw Cup Hunting (Review) 2012

Back in 2005, it took me a while to find the sippy cup that will work best for our first child, but after several purchases, we finally found what we were looking for. Now, I’m back to hunting and spending and frustration. All these new sippy cup technology and features are just way too frustrating that’s the reason why I am sharing my experience and hopefully give light to other parents who are now in the same boat as I was.

BORN FREE 7 OZ. TRAINING CUP

This was one of the first cup I used after weaning my baby from using baby bottles. By the way, for infant bottles, we always loved Dr. Browns but because of cleaning and washing issues, we ended up with Avent Infant Bottles. I introduced Born Free Training cup to my baby and here’s the verdict:

POSITIVE:

  • Baby loved the handles
  • Easy to sip water
  • No leaking when used for younger babies (6-12 months)
  • Easy to clean
NEGATIVE:
  • When baby learned to shake the bottle with all might, she discovered that water can come out from the spout and she enjoyed playing with the leaking water. One day, I just saw our carpet all wet with water. I discovered that my baby spilled the water by just tapping and tossing and turning her Born Free training cup until it leaked out all the water.
  • The slit/whole on the spout got bigger eventually after a few use (2 months of use)

EVENFLO ZF SPORT CUP

While shopping at Target, my husband handed me this bottle and said it’s really cheap ($2.99) so we can try it and we might get lucky… we were not.

POSITIVE:
  • Very light
  • Easy to wash
  • Baby can sip easily
  • Nice design
NEGATIVE:
  • Not insulated
  • Leaks when turned over and shaken
  • Straw was hard to clean

AVENT 9 0Z. INSULATED SIPPY CUPS

One of my favorite sippy. I guess since my baby used Avent when she was an infant, I’ve been leaning towards her using an Avent sippy cup too. Anyway, I saw this online. Not available in stores anymore (except I think at Sears) so I ordered this at Amazon. It’s a little bit pricey but I get three, 9 oZ. cups with cute designs and colors. I am keeping these for when my baby is about two years old. I am sure she will use this because she likes it now except that it’s too big for her to hold.

POSITIVE:

  • Cute colors and design
  • Super EASY to clean (dishwasher safe)
  • Very durable
  • Comes with a flip-top lid
  • I especially love the Non-spill bite resistant spout with valve to conrol flow
NEGATIVE:
  • A little expensive and hard-to-find (Amazon still sells this)
  • Too big to hold for very young toddlers like mine (14-month-old)

AVENT TODDLER SPOUT CUP 260 ml.

I honestly don’t like this cup as much as my baby doesn’t like it. Even if you look around on the web, the consumer reviews for this cup is not so good.

POSITIVE:

  • Nice Design
  • Handle loved by my baby

NEGATIVE:

  • Terribly LEAKS around the nipple/spout area
  • Hard to sip for my 14-month-old
  • Spouts with valves are hard to clean – need special tools just to be sure it’s clean inside
  • LEAKS LEAKS LEAKS – Simple very disappointing for the price..

AVENT SOFT SPOUT 200 ml. CUP

Their claim that it is non-spill is a NO NO… but because of the soft spout, easy-sip technology, I’d give this cup an 4 Stars out of 5. It serves our purpose so I like it. My baby loved her Avent baby bottle nipple so she really likes this cup too.

For us, it was a GREAT STARTER CUP!!!

POSITIVE:

  • Easy to find (Toys R Us, Babies R Us, etc.)
  • Easy to clean
  • Handle for easy holding
  • Easy transition from Avent baby bottle for easy weaning
  • Very light and cute design

NEGATIVE:

  • When thrown, the soft spout in squished and leaks (but this only happened to us after using if for a couple of months already)
  • Nipple eventually became loose and falls off from it’s snapped position of the cup.

NUK ACTIVE CUP

I got this only because I saw that it has a soft silicone spout and the spout is my top priority in choosing a cup because of my very picky toddler. Nuk wasn’t as we expected it to be…

POSITIVE:

  • Cute design
  • Lightweight
  • Nice on-the-go cup

NEGATIVE:

  • Spout was soft but it looked like my baby was still drinking from a bottle (defeats purpose of bottle-sippy transitioning)
  • Leaks
  • Spout was too soft my baby ripped the tip after a few use (I guess she has sharp front teeth)

NUBY 10 oz. EASY GRIP SIPPY CUP

We loved this cup for our first daughter. This was her favorite cup back in 2005. Not only was it very cheap, it was easy to clean too.. But here’s the story now in 2012…..

POSITIVE:

  • Lightweight and easy grip for toddlers
  • Easy to clean
  • Very very affordable
  • No spill

NEGATIVE:

  • For my baby, the spout was too big … she didn’t like sipping from this spout. It was hard for her
  • Non-insulated

Because we liked this bottle years back, I still recommend other parents to try it. It’s really cheap and nicely designed. My first daughter liked the spout so it’s worth a try if your child will like it too.

NUBY 8oz. CUP WITH SUPER SPOUT

Another Nuby products I hoped my baby would like.. But she didn’t. It was worth the try because Nuby products are fairly cheap.

POSITIVE:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Nice handle

NEGATIVE:

  • My baby didn’t like the spout. She had a hard time sipping plus it was too big for her tiny mouth
  • Super Spout leaks if it is not positioned correctly onto the cover… It was hard to back every after wash
  • Non-insulated
  • Too wide that it wouldn’t fit a stroller bottle holder
  • Lost all the “undetached” covers

TOMMEE TIPPEE EXPLORA® TRULY SPILL PROOF STRAW CUP

Sorry to say this but I HATE this cup! It was so disappointing and each time I washed it, I was frustrated and upset and I wanted to throw it to the wall. My review might not be accurate for others who had a good experience on this cup but I still want to express my frustration so that others new to this cup will be warned.

WARNING: STAY AWAY FROM THIS CUP!!!!!!!

POSITIVE:
  • Cheap… ($8.99 + Tax at Target for two cups)
  • Looks and feels durable (didn’t use it too long to prove that it is durable)

NEGATIVE:

  • Too HUGE for toddlers to hold
  • HARDEST in the world to clean because of too many parts that not easy to assemble. And even if you can assemble properly after reading the manual, the straw inside falls by itself when bottle is shaken.
  • Baby gets upset and frustrated when while drinking, she suddenly sips air and no milk when the straw inside detaches from the attachment with just a light shake (NOT GOOD with sleepy, hungry and tired babies… too upsetting I tell yah!)
  • Too big to fit in standard cup holders for strollers, carseats, or even diaper bags

And the winner…..

MUNCHKIN 9 oz. INSULATED STRAW CUPS

How do I love thee… let me count the ways.

POSITIVE:

  • Very cute designs (our is Backyardigans but it also comes in assorted animals, Dora, Spongebob, Elmo, Thomas the Tank and I think even NiHao Kai Lan)
  • Insulated (and works perfect too)
  • Easy cleaning, assembly of parts is a breeze…
  • Baby sips well. Not too easy – not too hard
  • Perfect grip for my baby… it’s not too wide to hold.
  • Most importantly – LEAK PROOF!!!!! Plus I love the Click-Lock Leak Proof Technology

NEGATIVE:

  • For now, I don’t see anything negative – that’s why it’s the WINNER!!!!!

For more information on Munchkin’s Click Lock Leak Proof Technology, here’s a quoted paragraphs from Munchkin’s website:

Munchkin’s new line of Click Lock™ Cups are just right because they just CLICK. These cups feature a simple click-and-lock lid to securely close for a leak proof seal – guaranteed. Parents will see, hear and feel the cup lock, so they have triple assurance against dribbles and drips. Munchkin is so confident these new cups are mess-free, we are backing up the promise with a 100% replacement guarantee.

I hope my short review on different sippy cups will help other parents buy the right cup for their use. I have yet to try the Thermos Funtainer. I bought a Ni Hao Kai Lan Funtainer for my incoming Kindergartener back in 2009 and it lasted really long. It was very durable and it kept her drinks cold for a long time. I will buy one for my toddler soon.

That’s it for now! I am done buying sippy cups except for the Funtainer and maybe some extra Munchkin cups for back-up.

Have fun with your hunting! 🙂