Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a prosperous 2018 from my family to yours. 2017 has been a wonderful year for us. It was not perfect that’s for sure. That the imperfections made it wonderful; for only in imperfection you would see perfection. 2017 had been a roller coaster ride but still it was wonderful. Just a few hours from now we will be becoming 2018. We wish that 2018 will be awesome and full of great things.

5 Reasons Children Need Chores

Experts say, chores are good for children academically, emotionally, and professionally.  The house is a size down version of the vast universe awaiting children in their future.  The training they get early on greatly affects their performance, their sociability, their work ethics, and over-all values as grown-ups. And doing household chores no matter how these may seem petty and trivial is apparently a training of immense significance.  This early training will result to not only an individual of excellence but also an individual with  a great feel of others.

They say, success is achieved when children start doing chores during their formative years. During these years children might be busy with outdoor activities, and extracurricular activities as they start schooling, they must still however do household chores for these following benefits.

What can chores do to children?

  1. Skilled. The effects of learning to do chores efficiently and effectively resonate as far as being efficient and effective in school, in the workplace, or in whatever endeavor a child will take on in the future. These important like skills instill in children the concept of excellence, management,  resourcefulness, and creativity.
  2. Self-reliant. Being able to complete tasks and contribute to the family give a child a sense of accomplishments consequently boosting confidence and trust in one’s ability to do things and make decisions. And so when a child goes out in the vast world, s/he could stand on her/his on confidently.
  3. Empathy. Doing a task as a contribution and support to the family as part of this community help children develop a feel of others. This character is what makes the world a better place.  Individuals who do not only think of themselves but who are conscientious, kind, affectionate, and passionate of others.
  4. Responsible. Having regular obligations and duties at home develop a sense of responsibility. As part of the family a task is given that s/he alone is responsible of, inability to do so affects not only him/her but the entire family. So accomplishing this task is something that needs to be done otherwise there will be consequences.  These consequences must be made known for the child to realize that there is a purpose why s/he is doing it, and not just because mom or dad said so. For example, keep the kitchen floor dry, “Why do you think it is important to keep the floor dry?” or “What do you think will happen if any of us step on wet floor?”
  5. Disciplined. Learning to do chores in a routine manner teaches children the importance of following rules set.   And in the long run develops a sense of control that is essential later on as they deal with school works, job related experiences, and them as part of a bigger society. Disciplined individuals are what this world needs.

The benefits of doing chores are great and ideal.  It is something parents would want for their children. However the road leading to these is challenging and oftentimes fraught with emotions. Parents out there very well know these challenges.  It is easy said than done, but something that needs to be done nevertheless.

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5 Effective Ways to Deal with Annoying Puppy Sounds

Everybody loves a puppy—until it’s 1 am and you hear one whining or yelping nearby.

It could be yours. It could be your neighbour’s. Either way, it’s annoying!

But there’s a good reason for annoying puppy sounds. it’s nature’s way of helping mother and pup find each other in case they get separated.

So since annoying puppy sounds are part and parcel of getting a new dog, I’d like to walk you through seven effective ways of dealing with your puppy during this period of its young life.

 

Understand Why Your Puppy is Making Annoying Sounds

If you’re anything like me, understanding something takes most of the annoyance out of it.

To begin with, let’s try and understand why your puppy is making whining, yelping or excessive barking sounds.

A common reason is neglecting to spend enough time with your puppy. Remember it has just been taken away from its mother, so it needs all the reassurance it can get. Make time for your puppy and let it know that you’re always around.

Your puppy could be bored. If it’s explored your backyard, it may be time to allow for some extended exploration.

Health, exercise and a troubled past are also reasons for your puppy acting out of fear and making annoying puppy sounds. Let’s look at these and others.

 

Be as Understanding as Possible

Your puppy needs you during this time. Patience will go a long way to establish a strong bond between you and your new dog.

Your dog will slowly learn to trust you and see you as a safe place when they are anxious. Shouting at your dog or punishing them for making certain sounds will not solve the issue. You must understand why your puppy is making those sounds so that you can act accordingly.

So, let’s do some testing.

 

Do Some Tests to Establish Why Your Dog is Making Annoying Sounds

If you can’t pinpoint why your puppy is making annoying sounds, you may want to try a process of elimination.

Start off by listing all the possible ways you could healthily mitigate your puppy’s annoying outbursts. then try them one by one. We’ll be discussing some more below, so get some ideas that have worked for me and other professional dog trainers.

If one thing doesn’t work, try another. Sooner or later your puppy will either grow out of its anxiety, or you’ll pinpoint what the problem is and solve it.

Also look into your puppy’s history. Were they mistreated or starved before you adopted them? What kind of breeder did you buy your puppy from?

 

Take Your Puppy for Regular a Long Walk

Exercise is one of the most important factors for any dog. Your new puppy will love taking walks with you every day. it will strengthen your bond and burn all that excess energy & frustration that’s been building up in your puppy.

Try walking your puppy every day during the same time. Your puppy will have something to look forward to and their anxiety and/or boredom may decrease.

 

Check Your Puppy’s Health

Poor health can also be a common reason for constant yelping and whining.

 

Here’s how to do a quick home health check on your puppy:

  • Check your dog’s ears by selling them. If there’s a bad smell, your puppy may have a skin condition or some kind of parasitical worms.
  • Run your hands over your puppy and check for lumps or wounds.
  • You can also check your puppy’s excrement for blood or any irregularities.
  • Walk with your puppy and check if they are limping in or walking strangely in any way.
  • Eyes and gums should be void of any discoloration like blotchiness and yellow stains.

If you find any of these take your puppy to the vet.

 

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Oh I love That Look


Afro hairstyle is one of the most iconic looks of all time. From Diana Ross, Janet Jackson to Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, and Willow Smith are just few of the many who through the years have sported this gorgeous look. In particular, a full-fat voluminous afro do is a personal favorite. It is wild and carefree. It exudes a certain kind of swag. It is cool. It is beautiful.

Get that look… How?

Thanks to crochet braids, you could rock this afro look any day you want.

What is crochet braid?

Crochet braid or latch hook is a quick, inexpensive, yet protective way to change hairstyle.
The extension must be looped through your natural hair which is braided beforehand. Once done, you can experiment with your crochet braid which does not only allow you to have the iconic afro look you love, but it also gives you freedom to experiment in terms of color, length, and texture. So you can style all you want while keeping your natural hair safe and undamaged.

Constant hairstyling may give the satisfaction of having the kind of look you desire. However in the long run, your natural crowning glory would surely take the heavy toll from hairstyling products. And in some cases, hair loss could be the worst scenario possible no one dreams of experiencing.

So it is wise to use crochet braid.  It is economical. It is easy to use, and gives you that afro look that has been here like forever. Wigging it could be another great idea.

What is your favorite afro look?

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Five Universal Baby Language

5 Universal Baby Language

While babies bring tremendous joy to mom and dad, having them especially to first time parents could mean sleepless nights too. For most parents, babies’ cry is just simply a cry.  To us, this cry could mean just about anything and it is up to us to guess what they are crying about.

My husband and I were no different from the rest of parents out there. We were exhausted, and just did not know what our then new born daughter needed.  And since we did not know anything about baby language, we were just guessing what could be wrong with her. Sometimes we got it right, but oftentimes the crying went  on, and on and on. Thus the long hours of incessant crying.

However just before I had my second child, I came across a video about baby language.  Here, it was explained that a baby’s cry is actually a form of language to communicate with their parents. I studied these sounds, applied it to my then new born son, and it definitely worked.

Being able to understand their cry is amazing! I thought it would have been a treat if I had known of this when my daughter came. I could have spared her, my husband, and myself from sleepless nights.

So for first time parents, and moms and dads to be, study these five baby language.

  1. “Neh” means hungry
  2. “Owh” means sleepy
  3. “Heh” means discomfort. This could translate to, I just peed. I pooped. I don’t like my position. I’m hot. I’m cold.
  4. “Eair” means lower gas.
  5. “Eh” means burp

Thanks to Priscilla Dunstan

Priscilla Dunstan is the lady behind baby language.  And she is the woman, parents across the world have to thank for. These five baby sounds are universal. This language holds true to all babies the world over regardless of race and nationality. It is important to familiarize these sounds for you to decipher them. So take a look at this video and learn the sounds.

 

Listen to these 5 Baby Language

 

Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

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5 Reasons Moms Should Wig It Out

Why not,  right?

A wig should be a must in any Mom’s wardrobe.  We’re not talking about clown-like wigs. We’re talking about wigs that actually look and feel like they’re your own hair. Yep they have gotten so advanced these days, thanks to modern technology. These beautiful,  fashionable accessory is popular among top Hollywood celebrities like Gwen Stefani,  Beyonce,  Kylie Jenner,  and of course Lady Gaga. It’s nothing new for fashion models  as well. Coco Rocha, Kendall Jenner, and Gigi Hadid are just few of them.

Now Mommies, here are reasons why we need this in our wardrobe.

Protection for our natural locks.  As hair is definitely our crowning glory,  keeping it healthy is important. So protect them from all sorts of chemicals and stress. Whenever a need arises to get your hair done, and especially if it involves putting on hairsprays, styling gel, or whatnot, pause and get that crowning glory in a box instead.

Let’s give our natural hair a break.  Is there a mom here who has not had hair waxing,  hair rebonding,  hair curling, hair stretching, hair oil treatment,or even a simple trip to the salon to get her hair done in one point in her life?  Probably, none.  I had been blessed with strong,  thick,  jet black hair but with all those fuss about hair-rebonding and waxing,  well,  I gave in and had them once.  My hair has never been the same again.  And aside from this, age,  stress,  and neglect have taken its toll. If you and I are on the same boat, subjecting our hair to further stress is way too much.  Let it rest and rejuvenate,  and wig it out instead.

They’re easy and affordable.  Putting on a wig is easy peazy.  While it takes hours to go to the salon (well because of terrible traffic), and another few hours of excessive shampooing and conditioning,  and chemical-inundated hairstyling, it only takes minutes to put on a wig.  So you’d still have more time to do some other important Mommy stuff.  And also,  wigs are affordable,  some are even cheap.  That one time hair rebonding I had cost me $60, while wig online although some could cost you over a $100 there are many which costs as low as $10 only, and mind you these can be worn again and again whenever you feel like it.

Luxury of choosing the perfect style.  One issue I oftentimes encounter in the salon is the incompetence of some hairstylists to get it done accordingly and properly.  On the other hand, wigs are perfectly cut, colored,  or styled.  So, wigging it is the perfect solution.

Lastly, Moms can be fashionable too.  The taboo on wearing wigs is simply gone,  gone for good. Individuals of all walks of life are into wigs.  The reasons for wearing could vary but whatever the reasons are,  wearing a wig is just simply the new in thing nowadays.  If they are in, why can’t we?

Love this!
..and this.
This is one fashion trend that Moms ought to have.  It is safe,  saves us time,  and could boosts our confidence without hurting our hair and our pockets.

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Free Milk in Schools

As children are the future citizens of the world their health should be of great concern.  And what could be a more fitting way to promote good health among children than providing them with free milk in schools. This is a health program by governments of countries the world over including the UK, the Philippines, British Columbia, Canada, and Thailand.  Despite its benefits and noble nature, there are different political issues of some sort surrounding this program – corruption, milk quality, milk suppliers, budget and allocation, and many others to name a few. However, as hundreds of thousands of children have availed and have improved health condition every year, this should be  given priority and attention.

Milk is very nutritious.  Many believe in its role in building strong bones, which is not far from the truth. The body uses several nutrients, not just one, in doing whatever metabolism it needs to accomplish for normal body functions.  And milk provides the necessary minerals needed in building and repairing bones. It is a very good source of protein, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium, which all contribute to having healthy bones. It also is a great source of water, which is rich in vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin B complex.

In Thailand, School Milk Program (SMP) was implemented and got full support from central government in 1992.  Since then school children are given free milk for 230 days annually.  Since there are only 180-200 school days in a year, each child gets 1 box of milk to be brought home during the holidays. Foreign children who are born in Thailand and are studying here, get to enjoy this as well.

Thai government looks after the welfare of its citizen by providing useful services like the Batprakansangkom which is extremely useful. And for the future of the nation, Thai government will hopefully always look after their health and welfare.

 

So mainly this program aims to promote healthy growth in children. However, it is part of the program to outsource milk from local farmers, and so as a consequence this has tremendously boosts the income of local farmers.

Free Milk in Schools

My kids love this. In fact they prefer this over formula milk. They’re lucky.  I don’t remember getting any free milk during my primary school days in the Philippines.  Have you?

 

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5 Features You Might Like to Have in a Family Car

Investing in a family car is a crucial decision to make for an average family like ours. My husband and I had a long discussion on what kind of car to get to replace our aging Nissan Sentra, even the make of the car was researched and compared. The time invested on research and review-comparisons did not go to waste as we are now currently enjoying the services of a reliable, fuel efficient, road worthy vehicle, the Toyota Vios/Yaris. It has been 5 years since.

The Toyota Vios (Asia) or Yaris (USA) is a B- Segment sedan. For a family of 4 it is more than enough to take the kids to school and drive it going to the office. On road trips this car just gives you that sense of confidence on the road knowing you are in a reliable car. This compact sedan is also easy to drive and easy to park. Fuel efficiency is also one of the reasons why my husband and I agreed to get it. We love road trips so the more fuel efficient the car is the better.

However as our kids grow our family activities are also getting diverse and we somehow feel that we are outgrowing the functionalities of our vehicle. Our kids love to ride their bicycles around the city park but we could barely fit one bicycle in the boot let alone two. So we ride in discomfort with one bicycle in the boot and one inside the car placed on the backseat. This is a dangerous set-up and we don’t want to be doing this for a long time.

 

So we are now in search for a vehicle that would cater to the demands of a growing family.  Cars.com is certainly a great help, as they have got wide selections to choose from. We are eyeing 3 time-tested car brands with their respective MPV offerings – the Toyota Avanza, the Honda Mobilio and the Suzuki Ertiga.

Below, we have delineated must haves in our family car.  Although based on our personal preferences, these nevertheless might be features that you would want to consider in your new car.

 

The reason why we are eyeing these three MPVs are as follows:

  1. Huge boot space – As I have mentioned our kids are into biking and we need that space for the bicycles. And not only that, we could use that boot space when we are on a road trip for our suitcases and a whole lot of other stuff that we like to bring with us on the road.
  2. Third row seats– Some may say third row seats are not that important but it is. We have experienced so many times driving with our kids on our laps because we have guests and we don’t have enough seats. And that is very dangerous.
  3. Cup holders– Now many may think of this as petty but it is definitely not if you have kids onboard all the time. Surely, most parents with young kids are with us on this. Anyway, this petty little feature is one of the things lacking in our reliable car and it is pretty annoying.
  4. Reclining middle row seats– This is a must for long distance trips. Your passengers will be more comfortable a bit reclined while on a long journey as to sitting upright the whole time.
  5. Price– For middle class families like us we are also very concerned with the price. SUVs can very well solve all our vehicle problems but would surely kill our finances. These three cars we are eyeing have some of the traits of an SUV for a lot less.

Now we are still on the process of choosing which of the three we would get. We would go through the same process of comparing specs and reviews of these MPVs before we decide to put our money down.

 

For parents out there with plans on buying a family car, what features do you consider important? Do we have similar preferences?

 

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Mother’s Day 2017

It’s Mother’s Day in Thailand.

In my 8 years as a Mom,  I had been greeted by so many friends,  colleagues,  and even acquaintances on Mother’s Day but never  from my own child.  This year’s Mother’s day is different and special.  For the first time I received a Mother’s day letter from my daughter.  Here.


She wrote this in school,  and wanted to surprise me.  I felt a lump building up in my throat as I was reading it.  It is simple but the gesture is just so sweet.  Earlier when we went grocery shopping she bought me a bolster and a towel (which I paid for,  Lol).  It’s OK.  It’s really the thought that counts.  I was so touched!

And then later on she secretly made me another card complete with Thai translation ^_^.

 

Oh so sweet!

 

To Have or Not to Have a Nanny

From a previous post, I enumerated three options expats could choose from with regard to who will take care of a child after the one month maternity leave. These are:

  1. Hiring a nanny
  2. A daycare center that accepts infants
  3. Mom and/or Dad looking after your baby

In our case, the first two options were the most plausible. Option 3 was out of the question. Hiring a nanny may not be the best especially if we take into consideration child psychology 101, fundamentals of education and whatnot but truth be told this is the most convenient, easiest, and practical option there is.  And putting our son in a daycare was the other probable option.

 

How’s the nanny?

Our first born was with a Thai nanny most of her infancy and Filipino nanny during her toddler years. While our second child was with a Thai nanny during his infancy and spent most of his toddler years in a daycare. We could say that we experienced the best or even the worse of both worlds.

We were lucky our kids had caring nannies.  We never had nanny-related problems similar to those horrendous news or videos of babies and kids abused by their nannies. However, the biggest challenge we had, since the Thai nannies we had do not speak our language, was communication gap. Explaining your preferences and the do’s and don’ts is extremely difficult.  This oftentimes lead to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a possible strain in the relationship.  Another problem that could arise from having a nanny whether communication is a problem or not, is the differences in child-rearing practices. Parents have visions as to how their kids should grow and what values they want to re-enforced. On the other hand, parents and nannies may not be in the same spectrum.

And so, if you have no other recourse than to have a nanny for your dear kiddies and more especially if you are an expat, you have to choose your nanny with utmost care after all you are placing your kid’s safety on her hands.

 

A care from a Daycare

After moving to a new place due to job relocation, we were left with no choice but to send him to a daycare center as we were new to the place and knew no one to take care of him.  A daycare is cheaper but it is crowded. There were 20 sometimes more toddlers in one room with only two adults to look after them.  Due to this, he was sick most of the time. The worst thing he got from there was Foot and Mouth Disease.  It was such a trying time for us.

 

The choice is yours

As parents, we gotta do what we gotta do, right?  Our decisions could either break or make our kids.  It’s hard, but it’s something that comes with parenthood.  Depending on your present circumstance, whether you are an expat, single parent, working mom or dad, the choice is yours.

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