Spelunking Phu Pha Phet Cave

Derick and Summer were the youngest in the group of tourists in Phu Pha Phet cave. I thought they won’t survive the two hour walk inside the cave, well I thought wrong. As a matter of fact they enjoyed it, Summer got so fascinated by the things she saw and Derick, oh well, because it’s so dark and he gets to use a flashlight.

We came as a side trip since the cave is within the vicinity of the waterfalls we went to earlier that day. Although unprepared it turned out successful. They love it and are looking forward to spelunk again.

This time though we have to prepare some things before hand like.

  • Face mask especially if your kids are asthmatics. It might be dusty inside from loose soil or bat droppings.
  • Tiny backpacks for water bottles, face towel, and the likes
  • Comfortable rubber shoes are definitely better than open loose slippers
  • Long stretchy pants would be comfortable and it would be easy to crawl or duck if there is a need to.
  • Wear mosquito repellent lotion for protection.

For more details about Phu Pha Phet Cave Satun Thailand.

Here’s a slideshow of them in the cave

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Life Starts At 40

There’s some truth in “Life starts at 40”.

A relatively healthy person frequents clinics or hospitals during his 30’s.  Pains and sickness seem to appear out of nowhere during this time. If these symptoms are left unattended could complicate into something serious, as often told by doctors to patients.  Our body is like a car.  After the warranted years, bolts loosen up and parts wore off.  As we near our 40’s, people start thinking of lifestyle change such as quit smoking, limit alcohol in-take, engaging oneself in a regular exercise, and eating healthy.  Reasons vary.

For us, we want to live long enough to see our kids grow and attain stability in life, and if our bodies permit maybe meet our grandchildren.

Among the lifestyle changes mentioned above, the latter two are the most challenging for us.  But since we need to start afresh on our 40’s we have to take on the needed changes.

  • Exercise your way to a healthy you.  We are home buddies and a bit of couch potatoes, sadly.  Up until this time we haven’t settle on a regular exercise routine.  Aside from this, we also found our super structured schedule 24/7 a great hindrance. We hope to get our acts together on this ASAP.
  • You are what you eat, so eat healthy.  We LOVE to eat. The health issues we are facing at the moment is food related. So this is definitely the first thing in the MUST Change List.

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Structured Busy Lifestyle vs. Child’s Play Time

“To a child playing is learning.” ∼ MitchRyan

Play is one of the most important factors for normal developmental growth in any child. It is a child’s world, as a matter of fact it could be the only world for them. In this world a child learns to solve problems, learn things around them like color, shapes, learn to do things like grasp, crawl, balance, and understand the concept of cooperation, negotiation, and give and take.  These in effect lead to the development of more sophisticated cognitive, affective, and psychomotor tasks along the way.
Modern times, however, has curtailed child’s play time to almost nothing. Our lifestyle is so structured towards getting things done that 24 hours is not enough. People are busy making a living leaving no moments for play and relaxation. Why is this? It’s because doing so is a waste of time. It seems like these days are all about competition, profit, and innovation. Although these are excellent goals, these on the other are all result oriented. Hence the process leading to the result is given the least priority which thwarts a child’s normal developmental growth. As parents if we want to see our children grow to become great individuals who have achieved their fullest potential then we must start looking into the process of making great individuals.

Now, here are practices which I think puts child’s play time to a minimum.

  • Kids taking up too many after school classes and/or lessons on the weekends
  • Too much screen time
  • Obsession on having high scores (mostly parents)
  • Class ranking and competition especially during the early years
  • Early school years inappropriate curriculum. For example, some schools give emphasis on writing and listening, thus, the series of writing books, long hours of sitting. Kids are reprimanded for not holding pens properly and are branded having ADHD because they could not sit for long hours.
  • Too many homework

Reality bites! The degree may vary from one culture to the other but sadly these are true. These and many other practices run havoc on our child’s play time which, to reiterate, is one sure process for children to engage in a meaningful learning. Play should be treated as a form of lifestyle for children.

Playing is a child’s lifestyle.∼ MitchRyan

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What Happens When Mood Swinger Mom Meets Drama Queen Daughter?

 

The struggle is real, believe me.  The result depends on what side of the mood spectrum is Mom at that moment.

From experience a drama queen is always a drama queen at all times, may she be dealing with simple or complicated things.

The gravity of the impact lies on the mood of the moment.  When Mom is in the mood, circumstances are dealt with calmly, patiently, and even humorously. However when Mom is in a dark mood, a petty circumstance could mushroom into an atomic bomb within seconds.

As a Mom, this is a great parenting concern.  I’ve realized and seen the negative effects of my blurting out and “mismanagement” during those times when I’m in a lighter mood. But like what I’ve mentioned, it is  a tremendous task. It is a struggle that up until now is unresolved.

Moms out there who might be in the same boat as I am or if you happen to know of someone who was able to successfully overcome this, please do share your thoughts below.  It’d be deeply appreciated.

 

When I Was A Fairy

Being a flower girl is the closest thing to being a fairy, and being a fairy is every little girls’ dream, isn’t it?

Dream, make believe, imagination, whatever you call it is a memorable part of every child’s life.  These prepare children for the real world.  These are significant in the child’s cognitive development and achievement later on in life. These might seem trivial to unaware adults, but all these are important ways with which children effectively learn the basics needed for their future.

I remember getting so excited whenever I get picked up as a flower girl in a wedding.  Wearing that kind of dress, make up, holding a basket full of petals, and throwing these as I walk slowly down the aisle felt like I was in fairyland.  I still remember those days, and I love remembering them.

Now, living away from home, I’m grateful that my daughter had a chance to become a flower girl at a friend’s wedding.  She was thrilled and was without herself with excitement.  She loves her dress and was ecstatic with her colorful flower headdress.  Everything went well during the wedding.  There was no complain of itchiness, tightness, or whatsoever.  Great!

I kept her flower girl dress for souvenir’s sake, and every now and then, she would wear and play make-believe.

Have you ever been a flower girl? How did it feel?

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Old Calendars for Something Educational

Don’t throw old calendars, re-use them for something educational.
Alphabet flashcards may not be that expensive, but then why buy when you can do it yourself, right? Coloring them is fun and relaxing. I enjoyed it. Besides I get to showoff my coloring skills to my daughter who is into drawing. She likes the way I do it and so she’s trying to imitate it.  Now, she’s good at it.
So what I did here was printed out free printable alphabet from the internet (What2Learn.com). Although you can print them out in colored ink, I chose black and white. It’s no fun if all you need to do is print, cut, and paste. Go the extra miles, color them yourselves and bring out the artist in you. Your kids can help out too. It’s a good way to teach coloring techniques and color combination and mixture. Anyway, after that I glued them onto old, hard paper calendars like these.
And voila!
As I was looking at the finish product, I thought, it would have been better if I colored the letters with a similar color. That way, they would have aesthetically “jot” out instead of getting lost in the riot of colors in the background.
What do you think?

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DIY Gift Wrapping

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My daughter loves to draw. She started to show interest at a very young age.  I saw how her drawings improve through the years.  She is very proud of her drawings, and we have always made sure she gets all the encouragement and praises she needs to go on.  She draws anytime and every time an idea sparks and she does this wherever she is at that moment.

One instance, we have to attend a birthday party of one of her friends. Although we were informed days before, I was too busy that I forgot to prepare for it.  So on the said day, I hurriedly bought a gift for the little girl but forgot to buy a gift wrap.  I was a bit panicking since there were still other things to do. Good thing, my daughter had a great idea, DIY gift wrapping.

On a paper she drew a family, wrote a greeting, and added some designs. She used this to wrap the gift. She recycled a ribbon, and voila.

DIY Gift Wrapping
DIY Gift Wrapping

What do you think?

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BEST TIPS TO CONTROL DUST MITES

Dust mites love to breed in moist areas like your bed. You could be sleeping in with possibly thousands or even millions of dust mites lurking in your bed. Experts say that there are approximately up to 2,000 microscopic cousins to spider in just an ounce of mattress dust.

Crazy!

And that could lead to a lot of health problems such as skin allergy and asthma. Dust mites can be pretty hard to eliminate, but if you take small effective steps constantly, this can help reduce their numbers in time.

Here are some easy tips to help you.

1) Deprive Mites of Moisture

Dust mites die when there is insufficient moisture in the air. So always keep humidity levels low. You can use a dehumidifier to maintain your room’s humidity level to something in between 30 to 50 percent. Another great way is to use waterproof mattress pad to cover vinyl mattress, and a vinyl covered pillow with zipper to seal and protect your pillows.

2) Keep your room cool

Dust mites do not just live with moisture but also thrive in warm weather. To fight back and reduce dust mites, one way is to keep your room temperature low. Open your windows to get some fresh air and cool down your room.

3) Wash bedding weekly, in hot water

Wash your mattress pads, blanket and duvets for at least once a month, pillow cases and sheets at least weekly in hot water above 130 degrees. A temperature of 130 degrees and F are what kills dust mites.

 4) Flip and Vacuum regularly

Your mattress should also be flipped regularly, recommended every time your season changes. You also have to clean your mattress regularly by vacuuming. Regular vacuuming will keep your mattress clean and sanitized. Remove all the bedding and sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and essential oil. This removes odor, dust and bacteria on your mattress. Vacuum your mattresses every time you flip them. If you have some extra budget, invest in a vacuum with HEPA (high efficiency particular air) filter which is designed specifically to suck up allergens.

5) Buy washable toys

Even if how cute they are, stuffed toys can accumulate dust quickly and is not recommended to sit on your bed. But if you insist, opt for toys made of plastic or those washable toys that you can wash regularly together with your beddings.

6) Use allergen blocking covers

Protect yourself from allergens by encasing your mattress and pillows with allergen blocking covers.  These covers prevent dust mites from making your bed their real estate.

7) Use Protection

Stains can be pretty hard to remove so definitely, avoid messy mishaps to your mattress. But it is quite inevitable to not mess your mattress no matter how keen you are to avoid staining it. So a great way to protect your mattress is by using mattress pads. Mattress pads shield your mattress from food spill over, blood, urine, sweat and other possible stains.

8) Clean stains

In the event that you forgot to put on a mattress pad and you spill over some coffee, make sure to clean them right away. You can use an upholstery shampoo or dry suds to remove them. Dry suds are an alternative way of cleaning stains. This is made by mixing a quarter of detergent liquid and a few teaspoons of water.

Bed bugs and dust mites are some of the leading causes of asthma and other allergies. And these allergens are mostly found in our beds. It’s the time to fight back. Use these great tips to reduce stubborn allergy causing substances in your bed. And you should be able to relax and sleep at ease knowing that you have a clean and healthy bed to sleep with!

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Veggy Nuggets

Eating vegetable is definitely the healthiest way to live.  Vegetables are natural, but has to be organic not genetically altered.  They contain less fat and calories, and are full of vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the body.

Yet these facts mean little to little children.  It is up to adults to find ways and means to let these little ones ingest these without them knowing it.

My kids, especially my very picky son, are totally into this.

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Here’s my version

VEGGIES NUGGETS

1 1/2 to 2 cups minced mixed vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, etc)

1 cup all purpose flour

2 medium bulb minced onions

2 large cloves minced garlic

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

2 large eggs

left-over fried chicken or fish (optional)

 

Here’s how

In a bowl mix all ingredients well.  Deep fried in vegetable oil.

You may notice that my nuggets are not shaped well.  I’m a busy mom and got no time rolling them into balls.  So I just scoop a spoonful of the nugget mix and drop it into the hot oil.

How did it go?

Did your family like it?

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Mom On A Budget New Toy

We’ve recently acquired a new blender from a trusted brand.  I am particularly excited, and immediately tried it.  Verdict? Great.  I am so happy.

My family loves smoothies or just a simple fruitshake.  But I stopped doing it for a while because my old blender (check it out) was not working well after just a few times of use.  I was so disappointed.  But then I thought it shouldn’t be a surprise since I got it on a discount.  Now I am not saying discounted items are not good.  I’ve got quite a few discounted things which are working perfectly.  However we could not deny the fact that there are reasons why they are on sale. One of these could be because they’re rubbish.  I felt like I just wasted that few bucks I paid for it.  I definitely did not get a good value for my money.

The problem with my old blender was leakage.  It couldn’t hold the fluid inside and leaks out from the bottom.  It was probably due to the rubber at the bottom (which I think most blenders have)  not working well. It could be due to a flawed design, or something else. Anyway, my new toy (blender) has a one-piece body (see the photo below), so there’s no way fluid will leak out.  It is BPA free and the padding in the box is carton, not Styrofoam.  It has suction cups so it stays in place.  Although it does not have blending modes to choose from I don’t really mind, for the price of $28, I think I definitely got my money’s worth. It’s not as if I’m going to use it for a fruitshake business.  It’s pulse and single-blend modes work just fine.

I’m loving it!

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