mom musings

thoughts on motherhood

Jyenn’s World of Art for Kids

–Originally posted at Truly Wealthy Mommy

I am very happy and proud to have launched a new project today that aims to help less fortunate kids in the Philippines that are being cared for by non-proft organizations supported by the Light of Jesus family.

Today, I started Jyenn’s World of Art for Kids with my 6-year old son, Jyenn.  He loves drawing; and from a plan to start up his own small “business” of selling bookmarks made with his art to friends and family, the project became something with a purpose! We will now be selling his art through cards and bookmarks to collect funds to help children cared for by the He Cares Foundation and Tahanan ng Pagmamahal (House of Love).

But we need your help; together we can do something to help the kids in need of our love.  Please check out our dedicated blog for Jyenn’s World of Art for Kids and find out how you can help today!

JWoA

 

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How I Know I’m Doing Good as a Mother

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My son told me earlier that when I’m working, he couldn’t tell me things he want to say so i told him that he can write them on paper. So a few minutes ago this is what I got. Times like this tell me that I’m doing the right thing, even if often, I tread unconventional or unpopular paths of parenting as compared to my peers. I used to think I need to know all experts’ rules/tips to be a good mother. But basically all we need to do is to be governed with what our hearts think is right.

Bible Reflections for Today

I’m a member of the Kerygma Family which is an online community of people for prayer and spiritual support.  Part of my blessing as a member is to receive Daily Bible Reflections (all for free!) which has three parts: first is the Didache which contains personal sharing and stories which are related to the readings of the day. Second is the Companion, which contains all the Mass readings of the day (First Reading, Second Reading, Psalm and the Gospel) with brief explanations. Third is the Sabbath which contains reflections of a priest about the Gospel. It’s actually like listening to a homily.

didache_2007_1small_large phpThumb_generated_thumbnail Sabbath 20143 cover

I joined Kerygma 5 days ago and have already received five Daily Bible Reflections. But because of the Gospel yesterday about the Parable of the Sower made me realize that it’s not enough that I read these, I need to reflect on them too.

Today’s 1st Reading from Isaiah 1:10-17 made me realize that it doesn’t really matter if we do religious things for God if we are not able to do anything to correct injustices in our own backyard, especially if we are responsible for or take part in those injustices. even if we worship God every week or even everyday, if we are spiteful of the people around us, if we shout to a service crew at a fast-food place, if we know of a relative who’s in need but do nothing about it, if we have a house helper but treat them as someone inferior, if we mismanage our subordinates, if we prefer to throw food away rather than feed a hungry kid because he looks dangerous…everything else doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t sound easy but it makes total sense. 

If anyone else would want to receive the Daily Bible Reflections too, with the Didache, Companion and the Sabbath, I’m inviting you to be part of the Kerygma family. It is ABSOLUTELY FREE to join and its purpose is to let everyone know that wherever you are in the world, you have a whole family or support system to help you through anything.  You have access to counselors anytime of the day from wherever you are.  You’d know that wherever you are, there are people praying for you too. You can check their website here

A Truly Blessed Sunday at The FEAST PICC

Today, my family attended The Feast PICC for the first time.  It was a long time coming, but we have done it finally.  It was such an electrifying experience for me and my husband, especially listening to Bro. Bo Sanchez preach in person.  I have written about the experience in my other blog, WAHMmy – Third World Style.

2014-07-13 10.23.37

It was our family’s first time to attend The Feast at the PICC today.  The Feast is a weekly Catholic prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Family founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez.  Being a relatively new member of the Truly Rich Club and the Kerygma Family as well, my desire to be able to attend The Feast has grown until going was no longer a question.

Read more here.

 

FREE FINANCIAL LITERACY TRAINING

Here in the Philippines, financial literacy is definitely not a priority of the common Filipino.  It is not in our culture to think about the future.  We are used to taking each day as it is.  While some cultures say that having this “positive” outlook is one of our strengths, we fail to realize one important thing: we are not prepared for the challenges of retirement.

We are so scared to think about retirement like you are willing bad things to happen. We don’t want to talk about insurance or healthcare or investments. Usually we think all these are a waste of time and money.  Besides, we are earning well now anyway. But what we don’t realize is that high income does not equate to wealth.  Having a high income is not a guarantee that all our financial needs will be met.  A question we should ask ourselves is that, “If I lose my job today, how long can I live without having to look for a source of income?”

There are two scenarios in life that we don’t really think about but is actually disturbing: dying too soon and living too long. Why?

If I die too soon, who is going to take care of my family?  Can they survive?
If I live too long, who is going to take care of me?  Can I survive?

If our answer is doubtful, then we can do something about it to make it crystal clear.  We can educate ourselves to secure our future and our family’s future.  There are a lot of programs around that can help us analyze our financial goals and give us a solid plan to achieve them.

The Wealth Academy of the International Marketing Group is one of those programs. Their aim is to educate people about financial literacy and them build a solid financial plan.  They hold a series of training and seminars that tackle different topics about financial management.  By educating ourselves, we can be our own financial experts.

If you want to be your own financial expert and secure your future, you can register for one of the training sessions here:

IMG WEALTH ACADEMY PRACTICAL MONEY MANAGEMENT and INVESTMENT STRATEGIES TRAINING

Android/Smartphone Newbie in 2013

Daddy JB just got me my very first Android smartphone early this afternoon.  As expected, we still need to get acquainted with each other so navigating and even texting (as with any other new phone) still isn’t a breeze.

There isn’t really any special reason why it took me this long to finally buy a smartphone; actually I’ve been putting it off for months.  I just didn’t feel it’s something that I really need at the time.  But since I work using Skype and I would love to be able to access e-books anywhere I am (instead of just here in front of my PC), there we decided it’s about time.

I wrote more about it here in my new blog: WAHMmy – Third World Style.

Check it out! 🙂

Things I Wish For Dad

I wish Dad…

could be more patient with the kids.

would always remember that the kids are still just toddlers, and well, they would act like toddlers.

would know that the kids look for him everyday when he’s at work.

would realize that the kids will not be toddlers forever and soon will not need us as much.

would know that (having said the 4th statement) he would lots of time for himself as soon as the kids hit grade school age, and more so when they enter highschool.

would listen to me more.

would think before he speaks.

would have more initiative.

would be more considerate.

would be more of a team player.

would read this, reflect and understand…

 

i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife

i enjoy reading a lot of parenting blogs because it’s fun knowing how other parents handle very familiar situations and i also get a lot of tips and also, because it’s nice to know that you are not the only one who feels that way about something. however, i just realize now that it’s also great to read about marriage blogs; after all, i’m not just a mother, i’m also a wife.

us in college

dad and me in college

i want to write about this blog and a particular blog post i really liked today by Pamela King. i’m so thankful that she found my blog first when she checked out my post “and just like that it was 2002 all over again” yesterday. i headed over to her blog Still Dating My Spouse and absolutely loved it! one post touched me though, it was Creativity in Marriage. sure, it was written beautifully by Pamela and her tips were great but most importantly, it got me thinking (don’t you love it when a post gets you thinking?)…about my own actions, about my complaints, about the things i wish that my husband would do, and finally, about what things i can do differently.

i realized that there are a lot of things i could be doing. despite our hectic everyday life, there are a lot of things i could be doing to have even just five minutes of sparkle with my husband. i have also realized that these tips Pamela mentioned…we used to do all of that. and somewhere along the way, we just lost track or we just started waiting for the other one to start.

out of town

out of town for our 3rd wedding anniv

recently, i have been spending hours and hours online. yes, i work from home but even after my work, i would still be in front of the computer for several hours more. i even think, the internet is now my bestfriend but then again, it would be very easy to delegate even just a few minutes from all those hours to sneak in some QT with hubby.

i am really glad i was able to find her blog around the same time hubby expressed his feelings about us and or family. that way, i know exactly what to do to add on to what he initiated: letting me know how much he still cares.

new yr 2012

dad & me new yr 2012

and just like that, it was 2002 all over again…

remember that scene from Sex and the City 2 when after being frustrated by Big‘s seeming preference for a couch-tv-and-takeout marriage, Carrie decides to stay at her old apartment for two days to write? at the end of day 2, she receives a call from Big asking him out to dinner and she discovers that he is waiting for him in his car outside her apartment; the same way he always does during their on again off again relationship. due to this “renewed sparkle,” Carrie was able to say, “just like that, it was 1998 all over again.”

(Photo credit: FotoRita [Allstar maniac])”]Sex and the City [in Rome]

i felt exactly like this when, during one of my classes, hubby started sending me this messages on FB (not exactly the most romantic venue but who cares). it was more like a letter although it was in parts and it is exactly what i need to “renew the sparkle.”

these past weeks (okay, months.) hasn’t been good for our marriage. we are nowhere near wanting to disown each other but we are a far cry from the romantic-comedic couple we once were. i guess we’ve been both frustrated with a lot of things: change in our financial situation since i resigned from my job several months ago, move from the apartment we used to rent to my father’s house when he left it, the severe lack of quality time together and the severe lack of “alone” time for both parties. these were all nobody’s fault and it’s part of the hardships one gets through marriage but we were taking it out on each other. instead of supporting each other through these bad times, we became watchdogs of each other, always looking fro something to gnaw at as if we weren’t already frustrated enough. the lack of money for recreation further makes the situation worse for we cannot even go out to have dinner alone together. as months passed by, we continually failed to be a team.

five days out of the seven in a week, we wouldn’t be in “lovey-dovey, partners in life forever” mode. so i was pleasantly surprised when i received the first part of his “letter.” it had been a very long time since he last wrote anything for me. and it’s not just the act of writing something, but the message was just what i need to remember that all is not lost; that we are going through a rough time when the kids are still young, money is not easy and we don’t have a lot of chances to spend time together BUT we still have each other.

of course our relationship will never be the way it was when we were still in college (i don’t even think i want it to be). but Hubby’s right. things change but not the love that we have for each other. and sometimes women do tend to hold on to every single mistake when we can just let (the simple ones) go.

i’m not saying that we will be all roses-and-chocolates from now on. i’m pretty sure the next mini argument won’t be too far away but i would like to commend him for expressing his thoughts this way rather than just being passive aggressive about it. at least now, i know what he’s thinking about, and i can understand where he’s coming from.

if you are curious about the “letter,” here it is. it’s not too fancy but it’s the straightforward quality of it that i appreciated a lot.

dad & me

The Grudge and Me: Parenting Politics

There comes a time in your life as a parent when you need to employ strategic politics.  It has come to mine several times already and one in particular happened some months ago.

Both my kids have always been so active, always lively and very loud. I know, most toddlers are like that and when I see a mild-mannered kid it can feel like, “oh, now that’s new.” But my kids are like most toddlers who can turn the house from tidy to what-the-hell-happened in seconds. My eldest is only a year and a half older than his sister so they would always be partners-in-crime or worse, they’d be rivals. Our house is always noisy, we can’t watch anything properly, it takes me forever to get work done because I’d always have to check what they’re up to when they’re unusually quiet or break them up from a riot.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly complaining. I am very grateful that they are lively, healthy, happy kids. I am merely recounting events that have become “facts of our lives” as parents of these two active kids. Sometimes though, you need even just a few minutes of peace and quiet to finish something; or today’s episode of your favorite soap is just too juicy to miss; or you need the kids to sleep so you can have some time with your partner already.

So some months ago, I think that was September, JBdad decided to unlock our emergency secret weapon #1. After dinner, he made the kids watch The Grudge. (oops, stop. a disclaimer for would be critics: i’m not saying that this is a great thing to do and I am in no way telling other parents to do the same. and this is not a “perfect-parenting-blog). The objective is for them to get familiar with “The Grudge” and maybe the name can be strategically used in the future to get them to listen.

taken from trailers.apple.com

The actual movie watching was uneventful. They were pretty brave and sat through the whole movie quietly. JBboy (3) would ask occasional questions and JBgirl (not even 2 then) was either quiet or not at all that interested. But it has since then given us a great convincing tool; you know like, when they are getting too loud, when it’s way past siesta time and they’re still jumping about, stuff like that. I don’t really think they’re scared, I think they just take it to mean like “okay, they’re serious now.”

When I was a child, parents here used almost the same “strategic secret weapons” and a lot of them were scary creatures (our culture has lots of them that I wanna mention now but it’s 4am and I’m the only one awake). Others and equally popular were unfortunately a bit racist or derogatory, the most popular of which is the “bumbay.” During the 90’s, there were a lot of Indian nationals who ride around neighborhoods in their motorcycles and there are the go-to’s of those needing cash and fast. They were really friendly, tolerant and at times “abused-for-their-kindness” men who unfortunately, because of their wardrobe became an easy target for parents who need a convincing tactic for their kids. So popular tactic #1: Don’t get out of the house, the bumbay will carry you away in his motorcycle. I know, not very nice; but it worked really well for parents back in the days. (for possible Indian nationals that may come across this blog, please do not get offended, our parents loved the jewelry and the umbrellas and all the other stuff and they tried to keep up with the installment payment because you were all really nice and understanding. it’s just that, sometimes, parenting was hard and lack of imagination prompted them to do that).

"a man in need will cling to the bumbay." taken from geekofalltrades.wordpress.com

another one would be the neighborhood eccentric. i think this would be popular everywhere and each one would have their local version. ours was this young man (then) who used to walk around pushing his cart to collect pig feed (i was also scared of him).

neighborhood eccentric

taken from emilovesshushi.deviantart.com

I think using The Grudge is us staying away from the racist and the derogatory. I know you have strategic secret weapons of your own. Care to share?