Friday, April 25, 2014

Mommy vs. Trash Pack

Allow me to interrupt the Carnival Party series to make way for this "landmark post" about Jaden. (Part III of the series will be up on Monday!)

You see, a few days ago, Jaden and I had a stand-off over this toy called Trash Pack. Are you familiar with these guys? Well, their name gives them away as they are, quite literally... uh, trash. Their website describes the toys as "the grossest guys who live in your garbage".

Yuck, right?
Fan concept of Trash Pack from this source.
The object is supposedly to "collect them, trade them, and bin them." They must be hugely popular among kids because they're pretty expensive--some Trash Pack toys can go as high two thousand bucks.

Before this, I've never really banned Jaden from any toy. He could play with anything he gets his hands on. I remember he went crazy with balls, then building blocks, then cars, then trains, then trucks and then most recently, LEGOs. My son has an entire room of these toys.

Then he got introduced to Trash Pack by his playmate/kid-uncle. Being 3 and impressionable, Jaden wanted one too despite not knowing what on earth they were (he rarely gets to watch Nickelodeon where Trash Pack supposedly appears). He got his wish when his generous Lolo Sito (aka "Lolo Duck") gifted him with a set of 4 Trash toys.

I didn't think anything of it at first (what harm can it do?). That is, until only several hours later, Jaden wanted another one again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sophia's Carnival Party (Part II): The Party People

See Part I here.

On Sophia's birthday, we were blessed with perfect weather. The sun was shining bright the whole day and a gentle breeze cooled us in the afternoon. It was the best we could ask for an outdoor party like we had!

Funnily enough, though, we actually forgot to pray for sunny weather (sorry, Lord)! Both Julz and I took the weather for granted (we figured rain wasn't so much a threat because it was March)... until it rained the very next morning and throughout that day! Only then did we realize what an amazing favor we received on Sophia's birthday. So thank You, God, for granting us even the things that we forget to ask for!!! :))

Anyway, the great weather and the awesome setup provided an excellent atmosphere for the best part of the party: our celebrant and her special guests!
Lolo Duck & Lola Cora: Our venue, food, and prize sponsors! :)
We had party host  Flooch come in to entertain our little VIPs with games, a magic show, and a puppet show too! Despite his asthma, I think he pretty much brought the house down with his show! Thanks, Flooch :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sophia's Carnival Party (Part I): The Pretty Little Things

As many of you know, my daughter Sophia turned 1 several weeks ago. We celebrated this happy milestone with a vintage carnival party held at my in-laws' beautiful lawn (Thanks, Mamacora and Papato!).

I'm so excited to share with you these photos of the party set-up styled by Sweet Nest Candy Buffet! Huge props to Zeus Martinez, too, who gamely covered our event!
Big, big thanks to my friend Jaz Distrito of Sweet Nest Candy Buffet for helping me with the party styling & set-up... and basically with every detail of the event!
It was a real treat for me seeing and hearing the oohs and aahhs of our kiddie guests as they took in the sights and sounds of Sophia's Carnival!
As they say, "It's in the details!"
Sophia's lovely cake that was uber yummy too! I got this as part of Sweet Nest's candy/dessert buffet :)
Bringing in "personalized" water bottles was actually a last minute idea, prompted by the heat. I loved doing those tags the night before the party! 
Team Sophia

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter is all about LOVE

"That's what happens when LOVE finds YOU."

Because Jesus lives, we can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. 

Have a meaningful Easter, everyone :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Best Parenting Philosophy

I was reading the book Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman when it struck me how there must've been too many--and too different-- parenting philosophies in the world. Attachment Parenting, Independent Parenting, Child-Centric Parenting, Family-Centric Parenting, not to mention the unnamed culture-based schools of thought... the list really does go on and on.

I recall that when I was a new mom, I agonized a lot about whether I was doing the mother thing right. I must've read a whole library of parenting books. In fact, I still do gobble up those books! All in the hopes of broadening my knowledge about how to raise children.

And why not, right? Two lives--two futures--depend on me and my husband!

To be honest, just thinking of the huge responsibility and the 1,001 ways to handle it is daunting. Even scary. I've lost count how many times my heart broke when something wrong happens to my kids and I immediately think, it's because I'm not raising them properly.

In this day and age, it is so easy to blame oneself for a whatever befalls and becomes of our children. Picky eater? Oh, that's because you didn't introduce this food and that at the right age. Tantrums? Oh, that's because you're too "soft". Not a talker? Oh, that's because you didn't read this and that book to him when he was young.

It's downright crazy.

And silly.

And yet, completely desolating.

The wonderful news is that we can choose to trade our (inevitably) losing battle for a yoke that is light to bear. In Matthew 11: 28-30, we can read Jesus' invitation to walk with Him. Jesus said, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."

I'm certain Jesus wasn't talking to parents alone; but I'm also pretty sure this invitation tugs at every parent's heart.

It's difficult being a dad or a mom; more so when you do it on your own as a single parent. Like I said, I've lost count of the frequency I've cried over mothering. So when the going gets tough, I remind myself of these words from Jesus Christ. After all is said and done, and I feel the tiredness of being mommy, I can choose to just walk with Him, give Him my burden, and rest.

Then when my heart is at rest, my mind clears up and I remember that though parenting philosophies abound, ultimately, the Lord asked only one thing from me as a mom: My commitment to train my children in His ways and to teach them about Jesus Christ by living as an example of my faith.

Simple and straightforward. Not crazy. Not silly. Definitely not desolating.

Now I don't know about you, but I think that makes for the best parenting philosophy.

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