Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Two heads are better than One :)




Bry and I have known each other for twenty years, and I admit, sometimes, I assume that I know how he thinks and would make decisions for the both of us, especially when it comes to running our household.  However, as we are currently experiencing some major changes in the dynamics of our home (with 3 helpers set to leave almost at the same time), Bry and I have been bouncing off ideas to each other as how to handle things.  I really appreciate the fact that we would come up with strategies that I wouldn't have thought us had I not consulted with him.  It's an effort for us to discuss things given our schedules, with the kids requiring our attention almost every 5 minutes, but its worth the effort.  It's really nice to talk to someone with a different perspective.  It allows me to see a different point of view as well as practice how to articulate my own thoughts so I can properly share them.  This opportunity provides a silver lining during such a time of anxiety! (Can any of the parents out there relate to the stress of having helpers leave? Show of hands, please? :) )

Prayers for patience, wisdom, and energy! This summer is going to be a roller coaster ride but I am hopeful that as long as we put our heads together, Bry and I will someday look back at this experience with fondness and laughter.

Happy Easter to Everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy 3 years to us, Bree and Bea :)



Today, the twins turn 3.  I never thought that I'd breastfeed for 3 years.  Whenever I was asked how long I intend to breastfeed, I'd say "I don't know, but the average age worldwide is  3 years". I guess, that was the safe answer.  But like anything that's challenging and important, I had to look at myself and really think about my personal motivation for extended breastfeeding .  Because even if the first few months are the hardest, it also took some commitment to nurse the girls during their second year.

So in honor of Bree and Bea, here are the reasons to nurse your child beyond 2 years.

Nursing helps protect your children who  are now more exposed to viruses as they go out more - For me, nursing the twins wasn't primarily about making sure they are not hungry, but more of my way of protecting them from the viruses they are exposed to at school and other public places.  Also, with Ben starting big school, he is bound to bring home some viruses, too.  By nursing the twins, I am doing my best to protect the girls from being infected with whatever he has.  I'm not saying the girls don't get sick, but I am hopeful that they recover faster whenever they do.

Nursing helps calm down children who are still learning to regulate their emotions - the girls are still learning to be verbal, which means we have our share of tantrums when they are upset.  Once they are cranky, I'd feed them and they quickly settle down, which makes it easier to take care of them especially during instances when I don't have anyone to help me.

Nursing makes travelling more convenient  - Long bus and airplane rides with the twins have been rather quiet.  Nursing has helped them sleep and not be irritated with the change in altitude.  Lighter luggages with more room for shopping is another plus :) 

The thought of extended nursing may be overwhelming, but there's merit to doing it.  Take things a day at a time though, and remember that no matter how long you breastfeed, each day that you're able to do so is a victory!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ben, Bree, Bea and thier BLSS swimming journey

I've always been vocal about my love for swimming.  As I would say over and over again, it's the only sport I know.  I may not be competition material, and my strokes aren't perfect, but for me the most important reason for knowing how to swim is because it is a life skill.  Survival swim and confidence in the water is something that a person  of any age can benefit from.



Thankfully, my kids have found a "swimming home" in Bert Lozada Swimming School.  My kids are BLSS babies.  Ben and the twins started their classes when they were about one and a half years old and have been (thankfully) consistent in attending classes ever since.  I remember feeling lucky to have gotten a slot in Coach Angelo Lozada's My Baby and Me Classes 5 years ago. Fast forward to the present, Ben is now doing laps on his own and claims that he is faster than me (or lets me win).  As for the twins, I enjoy watching how the girls show their individuality in the water.  Bree seems to be more focused on her speed while Bea takes her take time making sure she does the drills right.



I can go on and on about how BLSS has 60 years of experience in teaching swimming, or how the school has partnered with a lot of institutions to spread the advocacy of water safety to people of all ages, but what I really noticed over the years was how the coaches are really committed to the welfare of each student.  Over the years, I had the opportunity to get know some of the coaches and I admire their genuine concerns for my kids and their other students as well.  They are not just skillful teachers, but caring coaches with big hearts.



For those interested in BLSS Swimming classes, please check out their webpage and like their Facebook page :) classes start for kids as young as 6 months! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On learning something new .. :)

Over the past several months, I've had the opportunity to learn some new skills.  From something basic as learning pingyin to learning how to teach kids.  It has been fun, exciting and at the same time nervewracking.  I was never a confident student during my ICA and Ateneo days, and I must admit, this hasn't changed now that I'm an adult.  Learning something new brings us out of our comfort zone.  This can be a real challenge, but I am glad to be doing it not just for myself, but for my kids.

I always try to encourage the kids to try new things, and to keep on practicing until he gets better.  By learning new things myself, they have observed me struggle, fail, then try again.  It is also a humbling experience.  You are reminded that there will always be someone more knowledgable than you, and that you should be open to their tips and constructive critisims.  Whenever I feel insecure and frustrated with my progress, I'd reflect on how the kids must feel when they encounter challenges during their classes and try to stay positive the way I hope he will.  



My prayer is that my kids will have a positive attitide towards learning and that I will have the patience and efficiency of the teachers I have the honor of learning from.

How about you? What new skills would you learn given the chance?