Posted in Life

Letters To Elijah: Happy 2nd Birthday

The past two years has been amazing. There are a lot of beautiful things to say about you. A lot has changed. You grew so beautifully.

Every now and then, I still get the feeling of dissatisfaction. Thinking how I chose to be a full-time mother, than a career woman like I used to be. A part of me still want my life before, but I would not trade your welfare for anyone and anything.

I am grateful to spend everyday with you and receive your random kisses and feel the warmth of your hugs. I am thankful that I am always by your side when unfortunate circumstances come and I can finally say, “Don’t worry, Mommy’s here”.

As you learned how to walk, stand and run by yourself, I am very happy I made a choice to be a full-time mom for you, because as you grow, I can see you are becoming much more independent. I still love carrying you and swaying you to sleep when you wish to.

I am grateful for every night we sing together and you patiently listen to my stories before sleeping. I am thankful for seeing the spark in your eyes every time you look at me after an accomplishment. I am grateful that you are alive, every second and every minute.

Today, as you turn two, let me say that the two years I had being a parent were never easy. Exactly two years ago, I was clueless as I became a mother. I think no one has ever been prepared for parenthood. I had you and my responsibilities increased, but I never knew that your birthday will introduce me to a kind of love like no other.

Please remember, Mommy and Daddy will always try to be the best parents for you. We may have a difficult family set-up for now, but I know we will make it through. One day, our prayers and our hard work will pay-off. Just hang on, anak. God gave us the best head of our family, your  Dad. Don’t you worry about tomorrow, we will work hard to make a great one for you. Today, on your birthday, just be the playful you. Play as long as you want. Jump as high as you can.

Let us hug you, carry you and kiss you. Let us love you in the ways that we can, care for you as best as we can.

You are the ray of sunshine in our gloomy days. You are the calm in our anxieties and fears. Our strength and one of our greatest weaknesses. You our son. You are our life.

All of us are praying for your good health.

We love you so much. Happy Second Birthday!

Loving you always,

Mommy

 

 

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Posted in Motherhood, Travels

How to travel alone with a toddler and not loose your sanity

Imagine this. You are folding your child’s stroller for x-ray baggage screening before boarding. Your son’s free. He is running fast going to all possible directions. You still need to bring out your laptop, camera and phones, together put those in a tray for screening as well. Afterwards, you need to go inside the screening area and wait for your valuable things, bags and your baby’s stroller. Put them back again and… wait, where’s your kid? 

Life is a race. Literally yes when you have a toddler. My son’s quite active. I am so thankful that he is because that is his normal self. I am used having my husband around whenever we are flying. If he is not available, I will have my mother, aunt or sister accompany me going to Singapore. But time has come and I need to be more of an independent traveler slash mother. I have traveled twice with my son, for this year, alone and without any help. It may seem not quite an accomplishment for some, but for me, it surely is.

I will be sharing with you some tested tips on how to travel with an infant or a toddler. Hoping this can reach parents who will be on the same situation in the future.

But before that, let me share some facts about traveling with an infant.

FACTS: 

Children under 2 have the option of traveling sitting on your lap but their fare is not FREE. You still have to pay for their fare. Oftentimes, way less than half of the basic and without travel tax.

If your spouse is an OFW, present a Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate of your child, and his OFW contract (for OFWs in Singapore, you can present his IC) to avail discounted travel tax. For kids below 2 years of age, they are usually FREE. For an adult dependent of an OFW, you need to pay Php 300.00

MOMMY TIPS:

PURCHASE MORE CHECK-IN BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

As much as possible, check-in all of your things so your hands will be free and you’ll be focused more on taking care of your baby.

TAKE THE STROLLER WITH YOU UP UNTIL THE DROP-OFF POINT BEFORE BOARDING

At first, I thought of putting the stroller for check-in since Changi airport has nice airport strollers available after immigration. But having my son sit on the stroller while I take out the electronics in my hand carry bag gives him the shortest time to walk or run away (during the last check on the boarding gate).

Put your hand carry bag(s) first on the x-ray baggage scanner, then put the electronics on the tray for screening as well, then unbuckle the stroller’s seat belt and remind your child NOT TO RUN. Luckily, my son was entertained by the airport officer and he walked slowly towards him at the other side of the metal detector. Make sure you’ll get the stroller first afterwards and let your child seat comfortably on it while you put back the electronics back to your bag.

BRING ONE HAND-CARRY BAG ENOUGH TO KEEP ALL YOUR CHILD’S NECESSITIES DURING FLIGHT

You can bring as many bottles you want, with water in it during flight. As long as you have a baby and the liquid is inside the bottle, they will let you pass. I always bring 7-8 bottles per flight even though our travel is less than four hours only. Maybe because I am a paranoid mom, or maybe because I just don’t want my son to be thirsty in case of emergency landing somewhere (hope not!). Nothing wrong with being prepared and ready.

LET YOUR CHILD DRINK OR EAT DURING TAKE-OFFS

This is a universal traveling tip for parents. To avoid getting a lot of pressure in your child’s ears, make them drink their milk or water during take-offs and landings. If you have a toddler, allow them to run at the airport or spend their energy in the playground if there is any. I always let my child be thirsty when it is near our boarding time so he will take the drink I prepared before take-off. When he was a baby, he will easily snooze his way to sleep. But things have changed, he is always awake now.

BOOK A SEAT IN FRONT, IF NOT, ASK FOR A WINDOW SEAT

Seating in front has many advantages if you are traveling alone. If your baby can still fit inside the baby bassinet, ask one from the crew and you can put your sleeping baby on it. The bassinet is usually available for guests sitting in front where it can be hung. If your child can not fit there anymore, front seats give you more space than usual for playing, if you have prepared activities for him or her, which I will discuss later.

If you forgot to book a seat in front, ask for a seat beside the window. By doing so, you can point other airplanes to your baby during boarding and show your baby the clouds when your already flying. If your baby fell asleep, you can lean on the aircraft’s window wall and you can try to sleep too.

I love sitting beside the window. Because when we are already up and flying, I will sing Peppa’s Song softly to my son’s ear “Flying high, in the sky, flying high and high and high” and he will surely smile.

PREPARE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR CHILD

The main objective here is how you can keep your child busy during the flight. I usually bring some of his colored pens and a paper, so he can doodle if he wants.

You can also bring pocket-sized learning flashcards, and discuss them with your child.

My husband consistently reminds me to bring my son’s toy cars whenever we leave the house, especially during our travels. Cars can keep my son busy for a long time. So yes, bring your kid’s favorite toys, but avoid the heavy and bulky ones.

BRING YOUR CHILD’S FAVORITE CRACKERS 

My son’s favorite biscuit is Leibniz Zoo. It is basically a butter biscuit with shapes of different animals. It made my son busy for about 15 minutes while in flight because he likes listening to me as I make each of the animal’s sounds before he takes a bite. Bringing your child’s favorite crackers can also give him or her relief from ear discomfort, by munching some.

SAVE YOUR CHILD’S FAVORITE VIDEOS

I know screen time is not recommendable for kids’ age less than two, but for me, screen time in flight is definitely an exemption. This is the most effective way I can keep him sitting on my lap. However, my child will still get bored and try to stand up.

LET YOUR CHILD PLAY FOR A WHILE

Sitting for hours is a very boring task. Allow yourself and your child to stand up once in a while, walk through the aisle. Allow your child to talk to the person sitting beside you. Allow him to stand on your lap so he can see the people sitting at the back. Allow him to play with your seat belt. Allow him to play his favorite travel toy. Just please be mindful and considerate of your seatmate’s comfort while in flight.

ASK FOR HELP IN GETTING YOUR LUGGAGE FROM THE CONVEYOR BELT

You are already a super human for safely and successfully traveling alone with your child. There is nothing wrong with asking help from others, especially when claiming your bags from the conveyor belt. It will not be an easy task, so look for a good Samaritan.

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As you can observe, I did not put any photos on this blog as I can’t find any decent picture we have during the flight. That means I was too busy keeping him occupied.

I hope these tips can help you prepare on your next flight.
Thank you for reading!

 

Posted in Family, Travels

Awesome awaits: A day tour in Legoland Theme Park, Malaysia

About thirty-minutes to an hour ride from Singapore, we decided to finally visit Legoland Malaysia Resort. I have been seeing photos of this place from my friends in Facebook, and I am happy we got the time to experience the attractions this park has to offer. Honestly, I think it is a very fortunate opportunity that we visited Legoland almost five years since it opened. Mainly because almost all, if not everything, of the attractions are ready and completed. I have heard some of my friends in Singapore recommended to not visit the park during the times it was newly opened. Good thing I believed them. If it were not for my son, I think my husband and I would not mind going there at all. We have a very active toddler and he is the main reason why we visited the theme park.

I assure you, we absolutely enjoyed the place. Yes, it is a ‘we’, the parents enjoyed the theme park as much as their son did!

First of all, let me share to you our booking details.

Booking made from Cebu Air Travels and Tours (Lucky Plaza, Singapore)

Booking cost: 79 sgd per adult, our son who is less than 2 years old, traveled and entered the park FREE. The cost included a two-way transfer from Singapore to Legoland, and the entrance to the theme park only. Please inquire in the travel agency if you want to go to the water park as well. 

 

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Market Restaurant

We arrived at the park about past eleven in the morning due to long queue at the immigration. I read about Legoland reviews beforehand and saw a travel tip to eat early than usual so you can enjoy more rides when most people are eating their lunch at the usual timing. So I asked my husband to eat first, before we start our ‘family day’. We decided to eat at the Market Restaurant, where you can find Chicken rice, Briyani rice, Fish & Chips, Pasta, Roast Chicken and Ice Kachang. You can pay your meals using Malaysian Ringgit, Singapore Dollar or using your credit cards. It is a fully air-conditioned facility so this can be your haven amidst scorching heat outside.

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They also have Lego-building tables for kids to enjoy.

Lego City

After filling up our tummies, we decided to go out and enjoy the park. We know that not all of the attractions will allow us to ride since we have a toddler with us. So for the other attractions, we just enjoyed seeing families bond and enjoy, just like here in the Lego Rescue Academy. 

Here are the other attractions we will ride next time.

My son really loves cars and likes riding on them too. Too sad he’s too young to enjoy the Junior Driving School. Maybe next time, little boy.

This is the Shipyard, it is a playground for kids, concept from the name of the area itself.

They also have game stalls everywhere. Here’s my husband’s almost-three-points-shot.

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Land of Adventure

I think it is because of the weather that the Dino Island was closed for the day. It was sad, but I bet we can’t ride here anyway. I just remember the thrill I usually had when I rode Jungle Log Jam in Enchanted Kingdom (Laguna, Philippines) during my school field trips.

My son’s too young to ride the Lost Kingdom adventure as well, so we just took a picture outside the attraction.

 The Lego Ninjago World

Finally, we have found an attraction that will allow us to ride as a family, The Lego Ninjago- The 4d ride. The staff said that kids as young as one year old can ride this attraction. It was safe, it was not so shaky, unlike the Transformers in USS (just for comparison).

You can feel adventure even outside the attraction itself. I must say,  Lego structures here are simply amazing!

 

 

Lego Imagination Land

So now, welcome to Imagination Land, where my family enjoyed the most. Dunplo Playtown is a heaven for toddlers. Here, let the pictures do the talking.

Imagination Land, is undeniably, for young kids and kids at heart just like my husband. Look at him riding Duplo Express with our little one.

When you go to Legoland, remember to always bring protection from the sun– hat, cap or umbrella. The weather is always unpredictable. When we were there, it was sunny early in the afternoon, but it became rainy afterwards. We took refuge in the Build and Test area where you can create your own structures. Race cars were a big hit in this play area. There were race tracks, equipped with timer, so children can test their car creations in a real race. We also enjoyed watching a 4Dmovie at the Lego studios while the weather was crazy outside. Watching a Lego movie bought us time to rest and wait for the sun to come out.

Lego Kingdoms

Here’s the Lego Kingdoms, the home of Dragon’s apprentice, a roller coaster ride designed for younger guests but for sure will bring thrill to adults as well. There are also a lot of attractions available for young kids, but our son is too sleepy to try anything, so we just took pictures.

Lego Technic

Definitely my husband’s favorite, Lego Star Wars Miniland, a part of Lego Technic area. This indoor observation experience showcases models and iconic scenes from all six episodes of the show. WOW!

LEGO Miniland

Quoting the theme park itself, …”at the heart of every LEGOLAND is the much-loved true-to-life miniature version of Asia’s iconic landmarks around the world. MINILAND dazzles in every way as a magnificent masterpiece built with over 30 million LEGO®bricks that showcase famous scenes from 17 Asian countries.”

Here are some of my husband’s photos from Legoland Malaysia Miniland. Enjoy!

I believe this day tour did not only bonded us as a family, it was also a memorable day for my husband and I. To end this blog, let me share with you my message for my husband in Facebook, posted on the exact day of our tour.

I just want to remember this day as happy as it has been. We definitely shared good and loud laughs all day long, joking around, riding boring-for-adults rides for the sake of our son, taking photos of each other, experiencing some things for the first-time. Thank You for being the man that you are. Today was an awesome day. I love you.

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So, there you go, if the pictures above may not still invite and make you want to visit Legoland Malaysia Resort, then may the last message I posted for my husband be the factor. Go and enjoy! Awesome awaits! 🙂

More information on their site: www.legoland.com.my

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Posted in Letters To Elijah

Letters to Elijah: RISK IT ALL OR PLAY IT SAFE

Dearest Eli,

I am seeing you grow before my very eyes, and I can see your courage gets bolder, and bravery becomes greater. You love to explore, climb and run. If you only knew, how much I struggle to do daily activities while watching over you. You’re like The Flash.

There was a time, I was about to take the first bite for my meal, I just took my eyes off you only for a brief number of seconds. The next thing I saw is you standing at the edge of the cabinet, trying hard to find balance. My heart jumped and in a blink of an eye, I ran towards you and when I finally got you, I loudly exhaled a sign of relief.

I must say that you are dauntless. At your age, I cannot see fear in you yet. I had mini heart attacks every time I see you at the edge of cabinet or table, standing, sitting or sometimes effortlessly laying down. Then I said to myself, these instances are just a mere preview of more bold events in the future. My parenthood journey is only beginning and they say there’s no finish line. Once you became a parent, you will always be one.

Honestly, I am excited to see you grow up and make your own decisions. I am praying that I can guide you to continue being courageous. If I could just preserve your innocence in taking risks, as if there are no consequences, I will. But in reality, I need to somehow prepare you that it will not be always a ‘go’. That most of the time, you need to analyze before you execute.

My dearest Elijah, may you stay hungry for learning as you are now. Explore more, though it will not be always easy. Take your time learning the basics before you jump to complexities. Take it one step at a time. Manage your time well and it will not be against you.

May you always remember the lines of the villain in your favorite Turbo movie, Gangne, Take a chance and risk it all or play it safe and suffer defeat.”

You are born to experience the world, not to play safe and always stay within your comfort zone. Continue to be a risk-taker as you are now.  You’ll never know unless you try. I also pray that someday, you will understand that risks must be chosen wisely. Not everything is worth the risk. I know you’re wise, do not let emotions alone drive you to make life-changing decisions.

Time will come you’ll understand more. But for the mean time, Mommy will always be here for you, ready to catch you, even before you fall. And if you fall, I will still be there, with an ice pack.

I love you.

I am always proud of you,

Mommy

 

 

Posted in Family, Travels

Flower Dome with my boys

This is my first time visiting Singapore as a tourist. About six years ago, at the age of twenty one, my dreams brought me here to work, and I officially became an Overseas Filipino Worker. After years of working hard and providing for my family, I met the man of my life, my ex boyfriend, now my husband. I got hitched, has been romantically married for about three years now and was blessed with a son, Francis Elijah, whom I dedicated most of my previous blog posts to.

We are staying here for 29 days, for the purpose of making more family memories. We just wanted to be complete once in a while. Long Distance Relationships are very hard to bear. We missed my husband so much, or should I say, I really missed and needed him a lot. Though it costs us about a month of our savings for all the expenses we will have here, we just decided to go and make the most out of our trip.

So here’s a glimpse of our visit to Flower Dome inside Gardens by the Bay in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. It was a tiring day because it was more likely of a marathon for my husband and I, as we were, all day long, running after our son, who thought he can run already, but he usually just walk faster than normal. And I am imagining how much more tiresome it will be when he really learns to RUN. But that’s the beauty of parenthood. It is always tiring and exhausting, but you wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Mommy Tip: When going to Singapore, make sure to bring your kid’s stroller. There will surely be a lot of walking to be done, and you wouldn’t want to carry your child the whole trip.

My son saw this Macau-like pool inside Marina Bay Shoppes and he just wanted to dip in. Yes, he wanted to jump and splash the water just like what he does during his bath time. Glad Daddy was on the rescue.

 

Daddy Bonding first at the Toy store since it was raining outside and we can’t walk to the Dome yet.

Yey! The rain stopped and we managed to reach Flower Dome without being wet. But Elijah fell asleep. Hoping he wakes up inside!

Elijah woke up just in time! Get ready for a lot of family pictures!

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Let’s admit it, a decent family picture is rarity with a toddler. HAHA

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“Some women feel the need to act like they’re never scared, needy or hurt; like they’re as hardened as a man. I think that’s dishonest. It’s ok to feel delicate sometimes. Real beauty is in the fragility of your petals. A rose that never wilts isn’t a rose at all.”
Crystal Woods, Write like no one is reading 3

For more information about Flower Dome’s operations. Check their site http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/attractions/flower-dome/visitor-information.html

 

Posted in Family, Marriage, Random

To My Other Half: A Happy Birthday

I just want to offer something special for you, to remind you that you are always loved and cherished. I will not keep this long though, I know you do not like reading long messages.

Even though you reminded me not to buy any gifts for you this year, I still wanted to give you something that you can use in a daily basis, the item you received 17 days early. That was just a simple way of saying thank you, for all the sacrifices you made and are enduring overseas just to support our family.

Honestly, all I want is to hug you right now and tell you personally that I love you. But I need to be patient and wait for another month, to hold you and kiss you. But do not worry, I am thankful to have a Little Kiko here beside me, ready to be hugged anytime.

Happy Birthday to the man I can’t live without. I will always pray for God to guide and protect you.

Your son and I are waiting for you to be back home. We miss you and we love you so much. Cheers to another year! God is good.

Here is Elijah greeting you a Happy Birthday as well. ❤

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I am watching Turbo but Mommy requested me to pose for a picture.
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I love my Daddy anyway so I agreed.
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But it is already the most exciting part!
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CAR RACING, my favorite!