Learning the Art of Bento Making

ENRICH is my word of the year. I am taking small steps to make sure I fulfill this goal/vision I set for myself for 2014. So, when I heard that the Bento Mommas are going down South, I immediately signed up for a crafty afternoon adventure.

I'm a work-in-progress mom (aren't we all?) and lately, I've been getting more creative in putting together my son's baon. A picky eater, he is not. It's just so terribly fulfilling and fun for me when my son says I make the coolest baon.

For a minimal workshop fee, we get to use and bring home the most essential bento stuff. Glad Kitchen provided another bagful of freebies for all the participants to take home.

I love freebies! We took home products from Glad Kitchen. Very useful stuff, indeed.

It's a very small class, and I thank our host MommanManila, for welcoming me and my son in their lovely home. You see, I didn't know anyone there, I just signed up and showed up in my desire to learn.

The Bento Mommas prepping for the afternoon

Bento Momma Kaye in action

With the Glad products, and the nifty tools in our starter kit, we were taught how to shape the rice. This is probably the only time when playing with your food isn't just allowed, it's actually encouraged.

My creation looked so promising =)

My son took a break from all the running and playing with the other kids to check up on his mom.

My 6 year old probably thinking what creature his mom created

My creation was cute until I started decorating the face.

We made a rabbit.  A scary one here, in my attempt to make it errr, cute. But hey, it is something I made and now I know how to shape and mold the rice, the monsters  shapes I can create are endless!

My 2nd bento creation turned out so much better! This is my bear-y nice sandwich!

After the session, we exchanged stories over merienda. Concentrating for more than two hours, even if I was putting grapes, and chicken and kiwi inside my mouth from time to time, will make you hungry. Good thing there's pasta from Mish and chicken from Marky's.The chicken was so crunchy I'm sure this is going to be something I can include in my son's lunchbox that he'll absolutely love.

And we shopped, too! What a complete experience! My son was so happy that the Star Wars set was available there. It's almost always out of stock at their online shop.

Thank you to the #Crafternoon group for  this workshop. Nice meeting you, MommanManila (not in photo) and MrsPCuyugan (right)!

The class picture

Photo credit to MommanManila



6th Birthday Celebration: Legoland, Malaysia

It's funny how you often wish for what you don't have now.

Last summer, when it was scorching hot in Malaysia, I wished for cool weather. Now that it's typhoon season in Manila, I am longing for the bright ray of sunshine to cheer up this gloomy day.

Legoland was the most awaited part of the trip by the youngest member of our 4-person tour group. I was itching to scrap this off the itinerary before because I couldn't figure out how we can get to Malaysia in a very convenient way. We still ended up taking the bus, but no regrets, if it was the trip highlight for this boy, then it was mine's, too!

Ready for Legoland!

We went on a Wednesday, no lines on the rides.

If you are celebrating your birthday, go to the Guest Services Offices. The entire staff sang Happy Birthday to the surprised boy and gave him a birthday pin. Thank you for this, Legoland. It was a nice touch.

Our first stop was the Driving School where you can actually drive a Lego car. My son has probably dreamed of this even before he thought it was possible.

Concentrating on driving. We got him a driver's license after this as a souvenir of this trip and to make the experience more authentic.

It was really hot and we took refuge in the airconditioned food courts.

The sights

The shark ate him. =)

Are these regular legos? The structures look amazing.

Tried the rides. Most of them are okay for the faint of heart. I screamed a lot though on the roller coaster ride for kids and won't post my too funny, see my tonsils picture here.

Another ride. Forgot the name, but I welcomed the aircon!

Our view at the top

Pictures of the miniature village where only the dad dared to really stare at (again, too hot)


Again, it was so hot I happily stayed with him to build legos here.

While we appreciate not having to line up to try the rides, it would have been more exciting and fun if he had playmates in this nice play area.

And so serious about shopping! I will be too when I'm only allowed to buy 2 items =)

A good background but no thank you, I wasn't ready for the ride. =)

See you again, Legoland! See you again soon, sunshine!


Finally Learning How to Swim

I am finally writing about this because the rain, from where I am, seems so fierce that I might have to swim going home later =) Signal #1 is up. Typhoon Glenda is in Manila.


They say the third time is the charm. In our case, it is!

Last summer, our boy learned how to swim.

Our first try

By the 5th lesson, only his chin will be submerged every time the coach says "bubbles".

I got very frustrated. At 6, I felt he should at least make more progress than when we first enrolled him two years ago. Out of frustration one afternoon, I packed our bags, asked the daddy to drive us to a public pool, and threatened him that we will not leave the pool until he learns how to float. Bad mommy. Tsk, tsk.

With a bit more understanding and patience and the guidance of a new coach, he's taken to the water like a fish.

Now, he takes some lessons from a former Olympian!

Each school is different, with their techniques, their approaches to swimming. Each kid is different, too. I'm just so happy we found the perfect fit for him last summer.

My son learned swimming and added a load more confidence in his arsenal but I think I had the bigger take away.

What this mommy has learned in the process:

- Kids learn at different times. Lean to listen to them.
- Be patient. I think I already am where my son is concerned. Extend your patience, double it if needed.
- Don't force your kid. They will do it when they are ready.
- Always be gentle and kind. It's what a child needs.

Keep safe and hope you stay dry! =)


Big School Ready!

This year is the start of many new things for us as a family. The biggest change and adjustment we are making is that our little big boy is now attending big school!

Here’s how we are doing, err or coping so far.

1.      The Time
Our boy is an early riser. When he was 2 years old (and until he was 4 and a half) , he wakes up at the crack of dawn, waits for the first ray of sunshine to hit our bedroom window and will cockadoodle-doo (or tiktilaok) until we wake up. This is about 5.30 am. Even on weekends.
So, I never imagined waking up early for school will be one of our challenges. But years later, I would hear the “5 more minutes, please” plea. Twice. One from him and the other from his dad.

School bus picks him up at 5.45! My goodness. So far, he’d ridden the school bus just a few times in the morning since school opened last June 17.
My sweet sleeping child
2.       The Environment
Big school really is big. His preschool is the kind where everybody knew each other. The guards even know which bag belongs to which student. The big school tour terrified this mom. Fortunately, the big-ness thrilled him. And why not? It’s a big playground, now he has more playmates, and can’t wait to use the school library and the microscope in their science room. Can I also mention he said they will be watching movies in a room, too which I interpret as the multi-media room in school.

Missing his old pre school. We picked up his graduation pictures on his first day at big school.

3.       The Subjects
If his boxy bag is any indication, we are loaded with subjects he will encounter for the first time. Sibika at Kultura, Filipino, Music, Computer and Christian Living. Scrap the computer subject, I know we’ll have no problem there. As for the others, we need more practice so Filipino will come easier for him. And we need to work on orienting him about the Bible and the stories. He learned the Big Bang theory years before he was told about the story of creation and now we have to answer very difficult questions. Questions even Mr. Google will have a hard time answering.

Shopping for his school bag a week before school started. He chose this ginormous bag. "Mom, I can sit on it!" Ang galing ng sales talk ni kuya sa SM

His favorite NatGeo science book

4.       The Baon
We have a hearty eater.  The biggest stress I have now is what to pack for him every day. He eats breakfast around 5.30-6 am. His next meal is at 10.10 am. He usually eats every 2-3 hours so I need to make sure what he eats at breakfast will last him until recess. And what he eats at recess will last him until the 1.10 dismissal time.

So, what do I do? Wake up at 4.30 am to start preparing his bento box. I hoarded lunchboxes last summer and I’m buying bento stuff online. I followed Pinterest users to get more inspiration for bento lunches every day. My goal is simple: make eating fun and healthy. I get a high everyday every time he eats "simot sarap" his baon. (means down to the last morsel, but the Filipino expression just seems more apt)
I'm a work-in-progress mom. Forgive the hotdogs while I get the hang of things. Mahirap to think of healthy snacks pala every day.

His first day of school photos.

How time flies! This made me teary-eyed. Whatta difference 3 years make, right? Both taken during the first day of school.

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