Kids' 7 Rules for Safety

I would like to share these tips with all the parents out there. This was adopted from 'Knowing My Eight Rules for Safety' by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. I read this with my kids every time we have one of those 'being safe' talks. I also have this posted on the fridge just as a reminder.

1. Before I go anywhere, I always check first with my parents or the person in charge. I tell them where I am going, how I will get there, who will be going with me, and when I'll be back.

2. I check first for permission from my parents before getting into a car or leaving with anyone, even someone I know. I check first before changing plans or accepting money, gifts or other items without my parents' knowledge.

3. It is safer for me to be with other people when going places or playing outside.

4. I say NO if someone tries to touch me in ways that make me feel frightened, uncomfortable or confused. Then I immediately tell what happened to my parents, my teacher or another grown-up that I trust.

5. I know my home telephone number, address, and parents' work numbers. In case of emergency, I should try to contact my parents as soon as possible.

6. I trust my feelings and talk to grown-ups about problems that are too big for me to handle on my own. If someone makes me feel scared of uncomfortable, I know my parents, teacher or other trusted adult will listen and help me.

7. I am strong, smart and have the right to be safe.

Mommy Moments #11- Summer Outing

My kids love the water and the beach. The beach is less than a 10-minute drive from our house so going to the beach is always an option for us in the summer time. This is also my daughter's favorite season, she goes to summer camp every year. She enjoys attending the camp and doing all the activities for kids her age. They get to do archery, swimming, rock wall climbing, ropes course, arts and crafts, cooking, gardening and nature walks. My son hasn't been to camp yet, maybe next year although I know that he's been wanting to go since last year.

A was 4 years old in this photo. This was in Bohol Beach Club in Panglao Island. We love this place and the beach and water was pristine. We love the fact that you can walk a hundred meters in the water and it is still shallow. This summer, we will be going to Cebu city. The kids are already excited especially when I told them that they will get a chance to feed the fish at the beach in Shangrila-Mactan.

These photos of T were taken in Germany and the Netherlands last summer. The first one was in front of the Reichstag in Berlin. My kids are excellent travellers considering their young age. They never gave us any hard time. They are already looking forward to our next summer vacation.

These photos of A were also from last summer. The first photo was at the Vatican City in Rome, Italy and the second photo is in Strasbourg, France in part of the city called 'Le Petit France'.
I had a lot of wonderful memories of summer when I was growing up. It meant going to places and spending time with my friends and cousins. Now that I have kids, I want them to have wonderful memories just like I did. See more Mommy Moments.

Talking to Your Kids About the Economy

My daughter is at that age where she is becoming aware of what's going on in the household and in the country. She hears about all the things that are happening with the economy from the news and asks me about it. I try to explain everything in such a way that she understands it but not make her worry. I think that times like these are teachable moments. I told her that some people lose their house just like people all over the country for many reasons, some either borrowed too much money that they cannot afford the monthly payments or some lost their job and don't have any money to pay the bank. So one lesson here is not to live beyond your means. Even if banks will let you borrow money to purchase some expensive Wilmington NC real estate , if you can barely afford the monthly mortgage, do not take the money. She used to always ask for us to buy her this and that but now she knows that if she wants something, she has to save for it first. We told her that we'll pay for half and she in turn will have to fork out the rest. Yes, we can afford to give it to her but I don't want to raise a brat who expects everything to be handed to her. Children need to learn that money doesn't grow on trees. I've already started talking to her about mortgage, taxes, bills and other expenses. By doing this, hopefully, she'll be responsible about her finances.

Mommy Moments #10 - Bonding with Siblings and Cousins

Mommy Moments Bonding Europe Vacation - Venice and SwitzerlandThis week's theme is bonding time with a sibling or cousins. My kids are just like any other siblings, they bicker one minute then get along the next. My son is the typical little brother, always teasing his sister. They both like Pokemon and enjoy jumping on the bed although I'm always worried that they'll hit the bed frames. The photo on the left was taken in St. Mark's square in Venice, Italy. They both had a great time feeding the pigeons. The photo on the right was on top of the alps in Switzerland. They both love the snow and had fun with the snowball fight.

Mommy Moments Bonding Playing Wii and the Xylophone Here, they're playing with the Wii Fit. They like to do the running part of the game. They also play together in games like Raving Rabbids and Super Smash Brothers Brawl games. The next photo was at the music room of the Deutches Science and Technology Museum in Munich, Germany. They're playing a big xylophone here.

Mommy Moments - Cousins These are their cousins from dh's side of the family. The eldest is 16 years old and T is the youngest at 4 1/2 years old. His cousin Terrason is 6 months older than him.

Mommy Moments

When to Use a Booster Seat?

When is the right time to use a booster seat? According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, kids who are too big for the regular child safety seats should use booster seats until they are at least 8 - 10 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. What does a booster seat do? A booster seat raises a child up so that the seat belt fits right and can better protect your child in case of an accident. The shoulder belt should cross your child's chest and rest snugly on his shoulder, and the lap belt should rest low across the pelvis or hip area -- never across the stomach area. Your child's ears shouldn't be higher than the vehicles back seat cushion or the back of a high booster seat.Children 12 years old and under should always seat at the back.
My son, who is turning 5 years old this summer is still in his regular car seat whenever he rides in the SUV although he uses a booster seat when he rides in his dad's hybrid. My daughter, meanwhile, is 4'10" and is tall enough not to use one. If you need more info, you can go to the NHTSA website. Meanwhile, I am currently looking for the best auto insurance companies and see if I can get a lower rate for our car insurance.

Shopping for Growing Kids

Do you find that the clothes you bought your kids a couple of months ago does not fit anymore? I tell you, my kids are growing like weeds. The capri pants that my daughter wore just once last summer does not fit her anymore. Her jeans are shorter, same with my son. In a way I'm glad that they're going to be taller than I am since the average height for women in the US is more than 5'4". I'm way below that number. My daughter will be reaching 5' soon enough. That's why when I shop for pants, I try to get the next size over even though it's a little bit loose. Most pants nowadays have adjustable waists. That way I save money in the long run. I also look online for a Sale and coupons for some amount off or even free shipping. I usually find good deals at and some other similar sites. If you're not familiar with, you can view their video advertisements at YouTube. They have Howie Mandel as their spokesperson and he delivers funny videos. So back to my kids, their old clothes goes to the kids of my friends so it doesn't go to waste. In fact, my good friend Lanie gave me some of her son's old clothes. Do you recycle your kids' old clothes or do you donate it to a charity organization?

Philippine Summer and Basketball Clinic by Boybits Victoria

In the Philippines, summer vacation is starting for kids. Some of my relatives are planning to visit California for a couple of weeks. They plan to do the tourist stuff like Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc. They also plan to go shopping, in fact, my cousin already asked me to look for the best deals for Mac memory for his Mac book.

I also received the following email from my high school batch mate. Her brother is Boybits Victoria, a former PBA player and coach. For those in the Greater Manila area, if you have kids or know of someone who would be interested in attending a basketball clinic offered by Boybits Victoria please read on:

Boybits is now offering basketball clinic for kids and adults. Several sessions started two weeks ago and Summer Classes are starting to fill up fast, so please call and inquire the soonest time.

He will be hands-on with his students so you will be assured of quality training for your kids. Evaluation of skills will be determined in the first session and the program will be adjusted to your child's needs.

For schedule and enrollment fee inquiries, please call the following numbers:
0917-969-5593 (macy)
0916-348-6176 (junie)
0915-534-3137 (erma)
0922-738-3454 (marcia)
0918-645-0448 (phen)

For more information on HOOPIN' and to know more about Boybits, please visit

Mommy Moments #9 - Sleeping

! 1/2 months sleeping
This week's Mommy Moments theme is SLEEPING. This photo of my son sleeping when he was only 1 1/2 months old is my all-time favorite. Isn't he the cutest thing? His face was so pudgy and I love that he looks like he posed for the photo. :o)

A and T sleeping in T's bed This other photo was taken last year. My son sometimes ask his sister to sleep with him in his bed. Now mind you, his bed is a twin so you can imagine how big it is. He has one of those platform beds where it is high up and has some drawers and a desk underneath.

Both my kids were preemies but you wouldn't know if you look at them now. They're growing up so fast that you would think I'm giving them horse supplements for vitamins. LOL

Planning for Another Family Summer Vacation

It's that time of the year again, time to plan our family summer vacation. Yay! Yes, you read that right, I wrote FAMILY because anywhere we go, the kids go. What fun is a vacation if we're not complete, right? I'm lucky that my kids are well-behaved so we take them everywhere. Last year, our vacation was a blast. Imagine spending a month touring 7 countries in Europe, so many beautiful memories were made. My 10 year old remembers everything of course, while my 4 year old remembers the Italian gelato. yummy!

So this year, we are going to...drum roll please...the Philippines! Dh had been there only once (we met in CA where we both live), daughter had been there twice ( she was 2 and 4), while son haven't been at all. My parents, sister and her family, aunt, uncle and cousin are also going back so it is going to be a family reunion too. The kids are already looking forward to this trip since I told them that we will be going to the beach a lot. We also plan to spend a week in Cebu Shangrila where they have a lot of activities for the kids.

Now I'm on a hunt for plane tickets. I know that this is not going to be a cheap flight because it is considered 'peak season'. I also prefer to get international travel insurance for long trips since you never know what might happen. It gives dh and me some peace of mind. We got one for our Europe trip and it's a nice feeling knowing that you're covered no matter what happens.
I am looking forward to our trip back to my old country. I've been living here in the US for almost 20 years now but I still get excited whenever I go back for a visit.

How about you? Do you bring your kids on trips? Any plans for this summer?

Are You a Cracked Pot?

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the House, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, Perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection. And miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my Flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw. So I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table and furniture. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house?

Moral of the story:

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
I received this from a high school friend. I loved the message of this story that's why I decided to share it.

Mommy Moments #8 - Bath Time

mommy moments bath time Both my kids love baths, they prefer this over taking a shower. My son enjoys playing with his bath toys and have been fascinated by bubbles ever since he was a baby. They use to take a bath together until two years ago. Now my girl prefers to take a bath by herself.

Happy Birthday to My Dearest Friend Phoebe


Yup, that's my son according to his sister. LOL My daughter said that he always gets her in trouble. It's funny actually. I'll hear the pitter patter of his small feet then followed with "Mom, A is so and so." How can siblings be so different when they came from the same parents? It just amazes me. My son T is so laid back and fun loving while daughter A is always serious and a little high strung. They are little people with big personalities. I wonder if this will be their personality when they're adults or will it still change over the years? Anyway, back to being a tattletale, do you think I should tell my son to stop doing this? Of course I would want to know everything that's happening but on the other hand, I don't want him keep on doing this if it will get him in trouble when he's an adult. What do you think?

Sniffles and Snuggles

It's not fun whenever your little one is sick. This is true especially if your child is little. Small kids get very clingy and would want to cuddle up next to you. I'm glad that my kids don't get sick too often. (knock on wood 3x) I think it all comes down to good nutrition and good hygiene plus getting all the necessary immunizations like a flu shot in the autumn; or it could be that their body has a strong immunity against the common ailments. I know of a mom whose kids are always sick and she's constantly looking at different sites online on how to cure ailments. She even mentioned that she found this website called Symptoms, Treatments and Cures with information about common ailments. This site is maintained by a healthcare professional. Scribd has a profile for Mr Dan Neumeister, a well-respected healthcare professional in California. Check out Dan Neumeister's profile at Naymz and know more about how to cure ailments and other healthcare issues and concerns.
In our house, my kids always wash their hands after coming home from school. I think that as long as you teach your kids to eat healthy (fruits and veggies) and stay healthy (hand washing, coughing on their sleeves, etc), you will have a healthy household.

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