Last December 20, 2016, I joined a charity event called “Ang Daming Ngiti” (a lot of smiles) for the benefit of the children of Bahay Aruga, in Paco Manila. Bahay Aruga is a free halfway house for pediatric cancer patients. This is where the children and their guardians stay for free when the kids, who mostly live in provinces, have to go to Manila and undergo checkups or treatments in the Pediatric Oncology of Philippine General Hospital which is just a few blocks away.
I came across this project when a friend of mine, Lyka, together with her friends (they call themselves Hacienderas. The story of their group name deserves another blog post haha!) posted this project on Twitter.
I intended to participate as a donor but I believe God has other plans. As I was sending Lyka a message asking her what to donate, I found myself saying that I also want to be a volunteer on the day of the event itself. And when she said yes, my heart skipped a happy beat!
We welcomed 2016 with so much excitement and anticipation. I must say, it did not disappoint! I do not have big wishes for every new year that comes and so it is such a sweet surprise when it gives me more than what I expect. Here’s a quick recap of the year that was for me and my family:
What a great way to start the year when we had our first playdate/Christmas party with our NICU family friends. We, the Sampangs, Ngkings, Mendozas and Garcias met each other at the Neonatal ICU of Capitol Medical Center when all of our kids namely Hendrix, Clyde and Clint, Elias and Eae were born preemies. The hours of waiting and taking turns of us parents to visit out babies resulted to a friendship that extended beyond the borders of the hospital. Four years after meeting each other, we still get together for playdates and catch ups. It is so nice to see our kids grow together.
The 18th day of February is always special because it is the birthday of our firstborn Heinel! This year he turned 8! Heinel has always been such a polite, good and well-behaved kid, and this year was no exception! I am also glad that this year he was able to expand his horizon and became more confident. We are so blessed to have such a good son!
Four years ago I gave birth to a teeny-weeny-cutie baby, who, even though was very small, cries the loudest especially when he is hungry. It was March 15 and that boy is our dear Hendrix. This year, when he turned four, he continued to amaze us with his strength, determination and cheerfulness. Hendrix is always our sunshine even during the stormiest days!
I was one of the lucky girls who was invited to be part of the launch of Ariel’s new product built to wash 100 kinds of stains, in just 1 wash!
The launch was also a summit for women which aims to empower us all as 10 women from different fields, equally fierce and fearless, get to share their stories and insights. The venue was buzzing with excitement!
October brings in a feel of exciting chaos to me (what the?!).. Well, the control freak in me I guess. Why? Well, if companies have planning sessions too, our family has one too. uhhmm… more of me planning then getting approval from Daddy S. We are basically gearing up for the Christmas season and the upcoming year.
October is when we finalize our budget for the holidays. It is also when we finalize the gift list since November is when we start shopping. Shopping in November for Christmas gifts may seem to early for some but since Daddy S gives bulk gifts at work, prepping all of them takes soooooooooooooo much time.
October is also the time to finalize our travel plans for the upcoming year. Daddy S, being the “boss” 🙂 I usually suggest places/countries and he gives a yes/no answer after estimating costs. Then I take serious and detailed planning from there, such as the dates, travel itineraries and all..
Finally October is when we set targets for the coming year, sort of short term and long term planning, both for expenses and costs. Having a long term vision sets our short them plans. We want to give our kids a secure future without sacrificing the chance to enjoy being with them while they are young. Goal setting is the key!
Now that I read all these October to do’s, I am actually wondering why all of these must be done in one month. But not complaining though. I am happy getting things planned ahead! So cheers to October!
I am happy that nowadays there are more advocates of breastfeeding. Thus, moms and even dads are given the right information and education about the necessity of breastfeeding our babies.
A lot of comments in my blog are usually about breastfeeding. And more so those seeking advice on breastpumps. My advice then and now is still the same, direct latching is still the best way to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding on demand is still the best and mixed feeding is highly discouraged.
For breastfeeding moms who will return back to work after their maternity leave, I admire your dedication for wanting to continue your breastfeeding journey! Of course, having been very satisfied with Medela, I still recommend it for working moms. It’s a good thing that one of the exclusive distributors Medela in the Philippines, Parenting Emporium (formerly Medela House) was gracious enough to give me their price list for 2016.
Freestyle Hands-Free – Php19,000
In parenting two boys, running a household, having our own jobs, having that “we time” for Daddy S and I is not that easy. Our usual couple moments are dinners or movie nights. But last month, we I got a rare chance to have that exclusive time together outside the country. Our destination, Singapore!
Guilty as we are in leaving our boys behind, we are excited for this trip. The last time that we had an out of country adventure as just husband and wife was way back 2011 when we went to London. That was five years ago!
It was a very short trip, but we gladly took it. Four days was enough to rejuvinate our husband and wife spirit, and not too long to miss our kids a lot.
This summer, we did away from the usual sports activities, and instead opted for a more academic experience, so we enrolled EA in the Kumon Math program.
What is Kumon, you may ask? And how does it work? I took an excerpt from their website just to give you a glimpse of how Kumon works:
The following four strengths enable Kumon to achieve its learning objectives:
1. Individualized Instruction
Kumon is an individualized learning method that allows each student to study at a comfortable level, regardless of age or school grade, and advance beyond his or her current school grade level. At Kumon, students become enthusiastic for learning and experience a sense of accomplishment as they increase their academic ability and develop their potential to the maximum.
We had been receiving a lot of inquiries about Japan and travelling in general. Today I will answer the frequently asked questions (FAQs) by you guys! But please note that all my answers are just base on my personal experiences. I do not claim to be an expert traveler nor claims to know Japan really well.