Saturday, April 20, 2013

Because the Work of Children is to Play (#SigeMom Post)

At my eldest's preschool, they spend the first 45 minutes to one hour of class "working." Working is when they let the children engage in free play. Play is encouraged because it stimulates both the mental and physical development of children.

I didn't play so much when I was a child. I spent a lot of my time cooped up inside the house, my nose buried inside a book. That did not help develop the natural athlete in me - but the nerd in me sure flourished. Looking back, I must admit that the few memorable visions of childhood I had were moments of play. There was that one time when my cousins and I decided that 2 people can definitely fit on one bike - I ended up with a huge gash on my elbow that day. One very hot summer day, we all got trapped inside a pitch black storeroom while playing hide and seek - my uncle was not so happy to have to come and rescue us. We spent many summer days pretending we were travelers - camping out in various places inside our compound - fully equipped with pots, pans and even real food. (Disclaimer: This is not to say I wasn't happy with my books. I was.)

Now that I have kids of my own, and I get to play with them and their toys, I myself am enjoying playing. I enjoy the rare occasions we spend at a playground. I enjoy drawing and painting with them - and even moulding Play Doh with them (but i'm still OC about mixing up the colors!). After almost three dozen years in existence, I can now see why children love to play (duh).

So, I was so glad when the SoMoms (check them out, it's a star studded cast!) invited me and my family to a day of Yoga, Art and Music at Nuvali last April 9, sponsored by Breeze. Breeze's latest campaign is the Sige Sa Mantsa campaign where they advocate letting children play and explore - even to the extent of getting messy. Check out why Breeze believes getting dirty is good here.
It was a day sponsored by Breeze, My Masterpiece Movement
and the Mommy Mundo SoMoms.

It was a great morning spent at Nuvali - where we had an hour of  yoga and music with the kids.
My girls sure enjoyed copying Teacher Anna's moves.
Even I enjoyed following the moves!
This was followed by a handpainting activity - where the Sige Kids created a beautiful work of art.

We all wrote our personal Sige Mom quotes.
After a dip in the very inviting Nuvali pool, we all sat down to a hearty lunch while Teacher Anna explained the inspiring evolution of My Masterpiece Movement and Breeze representatives talked about the Breeze campaign.

It was a holiday well spent, and a road trip worth taking. Thank you to Breeze, My Masterpiece Movement and SoMoms!

Did I mention we all got to take home this huge gift pack? Thank you Breeze!

The SoMoms and SoDad: (L-R)  Marc of The Fatherland, Eli of The Painter's Wife, Teacher Anna, Jackie of Go Jackie Go!, Belle of Cruisin’ Mommyhood, Janice of Mommy Mundo, Me, Patty of Non Stop Babble, Tin of Manila Fashion Observer, Christine of Mommy Journey, Jenny of My Mommyology, Kris of OC Mom In Manila, Cai of Apples and Dumplings, and Teacher Kara

Saturday, April 13, 2013

K is thankful at 4

We did not plan anything special for K's birthday. It fell on a Wednesday, and just after Easter break. Most people were still trying to get back into the groove of life after that long break.
I wanted K to feel special, in some way , on her special day. For kids - dates are days - how do they actually tell the difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow?
I bought some balloons from National Bookstore and I scattered it around her in the morning before she woke up. I also put up the birthday buntings (thanks to Trisha of  Paper Treats!) that we used at her school treat - and added balloons for extra flair.
When K woke up - in her sleepy state - she asked:

K: why are there balloons on the bed?
Me: remember what day it is today?
K: (scratches her head)
Me: it's your....
K: ... Birthday!

Her reaction was priceless. With a big smile, K gives me a big hug and says, "thank you mommy! Thank you for my balloons!"

Later in the day, she got some new books as a present from us, and she got to have raspberry ice cream with extra candy sprinkles on top. Each time, she was thankful. It was a simple day, with none of the initial shebang I was hoping for (what mom does not want a big birthday event for her little princess?). We did not get to go to the pool for a swimming party, nor did we have time to have a romp out at the park. She had balloons when she woke up, she had special "decorations" that she did not want put away... and she had mommy for the day as I took a break from work. These simple joy completed her birthday. My prayer and wish is that she would continue to appreciate these things when she turns 7, 18, 35 and 67! Happy birthday K! I'm blessed to have such a grateful child as you.

If you're happy and you know it

I came across this inspiring article by Lisa Earle McLeod on not putting our own happiness on hold. I felt a connection to it immediately - because it's exactly how I choose to enjoy my life, by being constantly happy, BY CHOICE. My husband says I'm one of those irritatingly shiny, happy people of the world. I choose to find the good in every situation I end up in. I choose to smile, regardless of what tomorrow might bring. I find that it's a lot easier and healthier to look at the glass half filled rather than half empty.

Lisa (first name basis!) writes that research has shown that there are three factors that contribute to daily happiness and they are as follows:

1. Being part of something that brings meaning or a sense of purpose.

2. Being with family and friends.

3. Being kind and helping others.

She's so right to say that these things are all available to us right now - whatever situation you may find yourself in. I looked again into my daily routines and I realize the things that make me smile all do fall into one of these categories.

- The time I spend w my husband and kids - those precious minutes before bed are the icing to a long day.
- The sense of accomplishment after finishing a major presentation (regardless of how much nonsense went into the process - sometimes!) - and seeing that we've met our numbers.
- Answering a question from a twitter friend - or sharing articles with them.
- Smiling at the next person who walks in to my office and asks for a signature on a document.

Think of your day - what makes you smile? Those little pockets of sunshine are what makes you happy. Go ahead, take charge of your own hapiness. You deserve it.
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