Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Ultimate Shopping Experience at the Grand Baby Fair

My family and I visited the Grand Baby Fair last Friday.  We thought going on a weekend is not a really good idea because everyone will be off work and will definitely head there.  Going on a weekday would mean less people shopping and we'd have more time to choose among the items that are on sale.  We thought wrong.  Families, expectant moms, kids, grandparents -- they are everywhere.  And I know why.  Most of the things that are sold are a steal!

I got my list.  My husband and I agreed on a budget.  We're pretty good! We even had to take our son with us since our nanny left us a week ago.  

We had him rode a cart as we move around the area.

Aside from the items on Sale, SM had several activities lined up.  Our son enjoyed the talk by the representatives from the Make Believe Productions.  They even pulled a few kids in the audience to join them on the stage. 

 Kids join the activity on Stage as ACTORS. 

And I had the chance to listen to the talk on Breastfeeding while waiting for my husband pay for the goodies. 

Dra. Yogi Reyes and Ms. Marilen Faustino-Montenegro on Breastfeeding 

It was exhausting but we bought what we wanted.  We stayed on the budget and we got a SWAG BAG full of items from the exhibitors.  I'm definitely looking forward to the next event.

All these valued at two thousand pesos
And the FREEBIES!!

Today is the last day.  You still have a few hours to catch the Grand Baby Fair at SM Megamall. 

My Daughter the MATH Wizard

My daughter is a Math Wizard.  I am proud to say that.  She's been competing in MTAP for the past 3 years.  She learned fractions on her first grade; starting adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing one on her 2nd grade; and studied linear equations on her 3rd grade.  She knew things I never knew when I was her age.  She is now on her 4th grade and she even passed the MTG (Mathematics Trainers Guild) exam.  And because of that she went through a series of rigorous Math Training.  We recently found out that after the MTAP exam that she only scored 29 out of 50.  Shocked, surprised and disbelief is what I felt.  I pulled her aside and asked her how she felt.  She said three words, "sad and disappointed."

I can only give her a hug and a kiss and tell her how proud I am of her.  And that it's ok.  There is always a next time.

I asked her if she wants to talk about it.  Her reply? "No.  Talking will only make me feel more disappointed."  Then she left.

She probably needs some space now and I am giving her that.  Maybe in a day, a couple of days she'd be ready to talk about it.  And I will be there for her.

My daughter is a Math Wizard.  With recognition or not, I know what she's capable of and I am proud to be her mother.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Grand Baby Company Fair Year 2

It's time once again for the Grand Baby Company Fair at SM Megatrade Halls 2 and 3.  It's three days of non stop shopping with over 100 exhibitors offering up to 70% off on their items.   Can't wait to shop? Me too!  

Here are some of the tips that you may want to read through before going there.

  • List down the things that you need before leaving your homes.  Going to a Mega sale without your list can result to either spending way over budget or forgetting the things that are more important.

  • Come up with a budget base on the items that you have listed.  Not fun?  Come up with a budget, but be realistic.  Make just a little room for the impulsive buys.  Of course, you and hubby have to agree on that amount.
  • Have a talk with your husband on how you'd be able to check out all the booths without getting lost or without going around in circles. You can maybe agree that you start from the right side of the hall down and then to the next column and back up front again.  Be creative. Would you believe this idea came from my dear husband? Talk about being organized.
  • Leave the kids at home if you can.  Most kids get fussy if there are a lot of people.  Or bring your yaya with you so you can shop while the yaya is attending to your kids.  
  • If you're bringing your kids, make sure you pack them some snacks or bring along a small toy to keep them entertained.  We don't want any distractions while we do our shopping, right?
  • Be Early.  Getting there early means having more time to go through the booths and not really worry that much on the number of people shopping.  You may even get a lot of freebies for being an early worm.

Now all you need to do is get some rest and be ready for the BIG day!

Got any more tips that you can share?

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Smart Explorers Smart Tots Session 2

I was excited to take Andre to the next session now that he started singing the two songs that he learned from the previous session.  I can't wait to see the smiles and hear his laughter and see him participate this time.

We didn't anticipate the traffic getting there so were were a few minutes late for the class.  The kids are already in the reading room listening to a new story about shapes. Hmm...shapes. My son should know this.  He can identify circles (his favorite), diamonds, squares, stars so this should be easy.  Nope, my son, again, didn't say anything.

The next activity is follow the leader and this time, he went under the arch, walked up the stairs and down slide more confidently. Teacher Noemi then gave them time to explore the toys.  They have hard and soft toys to teach them about texture.  There are balls of different sizes and there are several musical instruments.  I was happy to see him take interest at this activity.

What to play with? Orange Ball? or Purple Ball?
He's taking interest in the musical instruments -- xylophone and the maracas

He immediately stopped nursing after seeing the bubbles. 
My son still didnt participate that much in the session although I see him explore things on his own.  While everyone was doing the activity, my son was at the glass window happily pointing at the cars that are passing by.

As expected, the second session was better than the first.  I see him starting to take interest but I still feel that something is missing. I'd love to see him get more engaged.  We're going to have to wait and see if there are changes on the 3rd session.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Smart Explorers Smart Tots Session 1

I am a little bit skeptical in sending my son to school as young as he is (he's 18 months old).  But the representative from Smart Explorers explained that they have a toddler program that is designed for toddlers as young as 14 months old.  I was handed a coupon that will allow my son to attend four (4) sessions of their Smart Toddler program for free, which I gladly accept.  If I feel and see that my son is ready, then I'd be more than willing to sign him up.

Smart Explorers International Pre-school and Learning Center is located in Makati and is one of the accredited members of the International Pre-school Curriculum (IPC).  One of its missions is to "To foster children's growth in learning in an environment that is nurturing, play-base and developmentally appropriate."  It's interesting too because they offer multilingual and multi-cultural learning opportunities.

After the Christmas break, my husband and I took our son to their school.  I'm very hands on when it comes to my kids and I want to be there to personally experience how the school is like and what my son's reaction will be.  He fell asleep on our way there so when it was time to start the class, he has not settled in yet.

Story Telling withTeacher Noemi.  "It's the scary shark!" 

The session begins with a song and a story.  There were a total of 6 kids at that time and my son was the youngest.  Teacher Noemi read a story about the creatures under the sea.  I know my son loves fishes but surprisingly he just sits there by my side while the teacher reads the book.  After the story, we played the game of "follow the leader" where the kids and the yayas follow the teacher as we go around the son willingly obliged.

They have activities that allows the kids to explore several things like shapes, textures, colors with a whole lot of music involved.  Even picking up the toys and musical instruments involve singing.  Although my son loves music, I didn't quite see that much reaction from him.  I caught a few smiles from him but most of the time, I see him observing the other kids around him.  I had to coax him into participating in the activity.

Great to see the elusive smile of my boy 
Soon the session that lasted for an hour and 15 minutes was over and it was time to go.  Everyone got a stamp on their hand that says "You're GREAT!" Still no reaction from Andre, which made me wonder how he feels about the experience.  Until a day later that I sang to him 

"When you're happy and you know, you clap your hands....."  

He remembered.  He started singing this song over and over at home with that joy on his face.  Maybe he enjoyed the session after all.  Now I can't wait to take him to the next session.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In Shoephoria

I have big feet.  My biggest challenge is finding the pair of shoes that I like that would fit me.  Shopping for shoes became more of a hunt than a fun activity for me.  Until I accidentally discovered Payless Shoe Source in Shangri-la.  I was suddenly in Shoephoria!!!!

What I love about it is that their shoes are arranged depending on your shoe size. Easy, not just for me but for all the customers.  All you have to do is find the aisle with your size.  They have all types of shoes from flats to boots to wedges to high heels.  They have shoes for men, women and kids.  This is the first time that I visit a store and find shoes that are bigger than my feet.

I know I'll have my size everytime I go to Payless.

And they have items on Sale too.  The shoe that I bought originally sell for 1250 php but I only bought it for 590 php.  Definitely a STEAL.

They are still on sale up until the end of the month.  Payless made shopping more fun and exciting for me.  Expect me to be back real soon to buy another pair.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My New Year's Resolution

Eight years into the new year and I'm still pondering on whether I should be making my New Year's resolution.  I don't want to make any resolutions only to find out at the end of the year that I couldn't keep them.  I thought I'd just go with the flow.  Little did I know that I have been making the list in my head since last year and I'm not surprised that these are anchored in my family.  So here they are (so far) since I have a strong feeling that I'd be adding a lot more along the way.

Resolution #1 Communication 
I'm a working mom.  Unlike any other moms, I work at night and sleep all day.  I live far from my parents too.  I want to be able to call my parents anytime the same way I want my daughter to reach out to me whenever and not worry about the phone bills.  So I've submitted my application to a phone line with Sun Cellular.  Why Sun you ask? Sun is the only one that offers unlimited calls and texts.  Definitely an advantage for us.  

Resolution #2 Sustain my newfound love for Writing
Thank God for a stressful job that I discovered writing as the best diversion.  Surprisingly, I've been enjoying what I've been doing and I plan to keep on doing this for a long time.  Two book reviews posted in Smart Parenting online publication (here and here) and this blog keep me sane amidst the chaos at work. 

Resolution #3 Quality Work Time
I love that I can take my breaks anytime and I love that I have flexible time at work.  The problem is, there are certain days when my mind wanders off and end up doing less.  Quality work time would mean less time at the office and more time at home.  I need to spend more time with my daughter since they will start competing for MTAP really soon.  Yes, I need to review my Math so I can teach my daughter better. 

Resolution #4 Save Save Save
I need to cut back on a few things -- including my need for coffee at night -- bye Starbucks for now.  Goal for this year is for the entire family to go on vacation at least every year.   That means setting aside a portion of my salary on a Vacation fund.  I can't wait to find out where that money will take us. 

Have you made your list so far?