My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

March 15, 2020
by mymommyology
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Homeschooling in a Time of Self-Quarantine

It isn’t even day 1 of our self-quarantine days and already many of us are panicked. Children are home for 3 weeks. All sports, extra-curricular activities are cancelled. Vacations are cancelled. No play dates (remember social distancing!).

Remember, this is not a vacation,” my kids were told that Friday on that last day of school.

Jokes are already going around about who will survive whom at the end of the three weeks. Some of us have scheduled virtual brunches with friends to keep sane. We’ve considered starting a run club but everyone has to maintain a 6-ft distance when they run.

And then of course — the school work is promised to come.

But let’s face it — we all know that the situation different. And kids — as much as they need free time — they need some form of structure too (which is why they’re in school half their waking time in the first place).

I know the other reason I put my kids in school is because I can’t homeschool them. Day in and day out — I love them with all my heart and soul, and I would do anything for them… but I just know we’re going to drive each other nuts. I have utmost respect for the parents that DO homeschool their kids and choose to do so… day in, and day out.

And yet — here we are, most of us are left with no choice, all in thanks to this coronavirus scare.

I’ve been practicing the art of positivity and gratitude lately (Thank you Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi) — but that is for a different time and a different post. I tell you though, it’s worked for me.

In anticipation of this closure, I’ve done a couple of things for myself and for my kids, to help us ride out this 3-week self-quarantine at home. We are after all, making sure we do our part.

I decided and committed — I’d make the most out of it.

Sometimes just the way we see things makes all the difference. Who am I kidding — it’s everything.

I could choose to see it as an inconvenience: I JUST started my business, and it’s beginning to take off… how on earth do I manage my kids’ schedule and mine on top of it all for three weeks with no break?!

Or, I just see it for what it is.

I am a mom first. They are my WHY, so my kids’ needs take precedence over all else. Thankfully (THANKFULLY) we are all healthy and safe — but yes, they are still young and we need to keep up with their learning. So I will do the best that I can.

Is it an interruption of my daily routine? Yes it is. But at this point, there’s not much more to do that to make the best out of the situation, which in reality is not so bad — all things considered.

From that commitment, I’ve worked to set up the following:

A physical space for each of us to work.

All of us at home now have a physical space (desk/chair/office) that is separate from each other. Noise is limited by headphone / earpod use (because really not all of us have hallways and rooms of space). The rule is, if you are there, you are meant to work with minimal to no interruptions. Mom included.

Individual planners — to manage their schedule and follow it.

Yes, my girls are old enough that I can task them with this responsibility. But what if your child isn’t?

I know a couple of parents who’ve gotten creative. White boards with stickers and schedules for the family to follow, check off, erase, and the like.

Alexa, alarm clocks and time timers are all great tools to help keep time and keep kids on track. We moms say it the most — DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

Befriend technology and social media.

Okay. We’ve all heard the horrors of too much technology and too much social media access for kids, teens and tweens. I get it. BUT! In times like these — let’s choose to see technology as our friend. Why?

There are a lot of resources that will help us pass the time. Did you see the one about the virtual museum tours around the world? There you are — field trips at your fingertips.

What about the one by Oceans Initiative, offering online marine biology camps — this is perfect for my budding scientist, and it’s only one example of so many other groups that are doing similar things like it to help parents and kids with their learning at home.

And hey, if moms can do virtual brunches — how about virtual meet-ups for the kids? Virtual study groups? For as long as there’s an adult present in the room guiding the kids through their tasks, then it could work. There are so many online meeting rooms now with Zoom, Webex, Go To Meeting, Google Hangouts and the like.

Personally, I would still watch the amount of usage of gadgets on non-essentials like games and shows though.

Incorporate physical activity as family togetherness time.

Kids still need physical activity. It will help them focus better. And we need it too — trust me we do. Find ways to exercise together. You Tube has a lot of 30 minute workouts that you can follow. Or have each family member take charge of the day’s work-out and follow their routine.

Learn something new everyday — together.

My daughter came home and said, “mom, my teacher said we should make everyday an adventure. How do we do that?”

An adventure doesn’t necessarily need to be a trip out or something big. It could just be doing something different at home — like chores. Kids can learn chores and have fun with it too. Or everyone learns a new dance move and creates a new dance move. Try a new recipe — everyone has to eat it… oooh. Have family book club night!

So many new things can come out of the current situation we’re in. And while we probably never would’ve asked for this self-quarantine to happen, we’re in the thick of it now. And if all else fails, I can only see my family becoming closer and more resilient towards any other crisis that we’re put through.

January 4, 2019
by mymommyology
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Another New Year

New year — new blog format it seems! I guess it’s been a while since my last post!  As much as I tried my hardest to write regularly, life got in the way. Doesn’t it always?

I will admit, man that last quarter of 2018 drove me to the ground. Everything had to happen at neck-breaking speed (literally). In the end, they were all good things and much got accomplished, but the juggling and time management of it all did send me towards…. wine (what else?).

We’re currently on a trip out of the country at the moment (and a lot of future posts I have mapped out will go into further detail), but let’s just say I’ve found some downtime now at our hotel now that Jamie is down with a cough. We opted to stay in and take it easy, so she is napping now while the husband tours Sam around on our last day.

Being away for three weeks has truly made me miss home; the predictability, the regularity of it all, and of course a little bit of the busyness that comes with it. I am hoping I will be “smarter” this new year about time management and commitments, but I suppose that remains to be seen. The irony of it is I keep harping about the same to Sam, and yet it is possibly a lesson I too have to learn in a different way.

I think I have to admit that there’s always going to be a lot to do. We are involved in so many things, it will always be an adventure, and it will always be tiring.

I suppose it’s just a matter of perspective. As a wise person recently told me — it’s because you’re capable of more.  I suppose that is a good perspective to have, to be able to do more because we can.

My little family ended the year with quite the adventure. And we greeted the new year with another adventure. As they say, the first day of the year sets the pace and tone for how the rest of the year will look like.

If it is truly any indication, then I suppose I know what kind of year I’m in for. At the end of the day, it is all good — the girls learn, they have fun. And I have to remember, it is because I can.

October 11, 2018
by mymommyology
3 Comments

MyMommyology Loves: Peace and Me by Lantana Publishing

Peace and Me by Ali Winter, is one of the newer books released by Lantana Publishing.  If you go to their website, the first statement says, “Lantana Publishing is a young, independent publishing house producing inclusive picture books for children.”

I love them already.

I love the theme of this book.

The book has several stories of how peace was displayed in different parts of the world, by different people across time.  It actually starts of with Mr. Nobel’s story himself and how the Nobel Peace Prize came to be.

Even as I read it with my kids, I learn new things too.

My good friend and one of my favorite authors, Gutsy, the Director of Communications and Projects, works at Lantana, and told us about this book even before it was released.

She and I grew up on books.  She knows my kids (she’s one of Jamie’s godmothers!) love books too.  In fact that’s one thing I enjoy learning from Gutsy — finding new books to read.  I’m so excited that she’s now part of a group that publishes books she’d like to read too.

She sent me a message one day and said they were releasing the book on the International Day of Peace, Sept 21, and creating their very first book trailer for it.  (side note: How ironic is it that in the Philippines, Sept 21 is most remembered for the declaration Martial Law. )  

 

They needed a voice talent for the trailer she said, and would Sam like to do it?

We were very honored of course — to be part of this project and have Sam voice their very first book trailer.  I was even happier that I’ve learned to embed videos into my posts. 🙂

The girls and I read a little bit of 32-page book each night.  One or two stories at a time, and then we talk about it and process it together.  We put a little bit more context behind it.  Reading about peace, sometimes means reading about war, and my girls ask why people fight.  It is quite the eye opener too.

And while it is a picture book, the content is truly for older children too.  The girls love the illustrations by Mickaël El Fathi.  We look for the little girl common in every page.

And at the end of the trailer, they ask, “Peace can mean many things to many people.  What does peace mean to you?”

A very timely question indeed. It is a good question to always keep in our minds for all time.

Thank you, Tita Gutsy for including us in this project and giving Sam one minute of fame!

Peace and Me is readily available on Amazon, along some of the other books published by Lantana.

October 8, 2018
by mymommyology
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Firsts at #Seawheeze2018

It’s been over three weeks since the #Seawheeze2018 half marathon in Vancouver, and I feel like I’m still on recovery / catch-up mode.

I always say it was the hardest half I’ve done, and maybe that’s what makes it so memorable.  And there were a lot of “firsts” that I can associate to it as well.

It was the first time I traveled outside of California to run.  In fact I said I’d never spend money to do that!  My husband already thinks paying to run in local races isn’t a good use of money when I can run for free.  But I told myself, it’s a lottery system, what did I have to lose?

As it turned out, I got in on second round, which fell on my birthday!  Do you believe in signs? 😉

When I got in, he surprised ME by saying — go ahead and do it.  That was a big first in itself! I guess the old adage, never say never, still rings true all around.

My best friend lives in Vancouver and was gracious enough to host me for the weekend.  So I prepped, packed and flew over.

I’ve heard all good things about Seawheeze.  It’s a beautiful course in a beautiful city, and there is nothing like it.

Pretty #raincouver

And of course, Lululemon.  They had a jam-packed weekend with yoga, shopping and a party, but I’d been so busy leading up to the weekend I really didn’t have time to think any of it through.

Actually, leading up to the race felt like a race in itself.  I didn’t have time to properly prep for it, and so going in I felt ill-prepared.  I was going to  Orange Theory but outside of that my runs were sporadic and short. I started to feel aches and pains and I was constantly sore.  My best friend took me to her boxing circuit the day before, which was a good way to warm up our bodies in the cold.

Where I met Bob.

The weather forecasts showed signs of rain and this wasn’t something I could wrap my brain around.  I’d never run in the rain.  That’s something my mom told me NOT to do!  I hoped the chances of rain would decrease but as my friend says, “honey, they don’t call us #raincouver for nothing.” 

But at some point, I had to come to terms with it.

Rarely do I do selfies, but the trash bag look is in these days…

That’s also the reason for the cling wrap around my ankles and socks.

The race began without rain, hurray!  But the trash bag flapping was pretty distracting.  So I chucked it and just as I rounded the corner for mile 2, well whaddya know: DOWN. CAME. THE RAIN.

In a couple of minutes I was soaked and everything was squishing in my shoes.  I tried to avoid puddles, but people were running past me and splashing thru without a care in the world.  There wasn’t much else to do but keep going if I wanted to finish.  And boy, was it hard to keep going!

Yes indeed. Thanks for the photo, Dewi!

This wasn’t my first half, but it was definitely the hardest one.  It was truly “mind-over-matter”.  My toes were gripping in my shoes so hard that parts of my body I never knew could cramp started cramping!  It had to keep reminding myself: Beautiful course, beautiful city, and force myself to look up and enjoy the sights.  I didn’t get a picture of it because my phone was encased in ziploc, and even that was wet.

All things considered, I finished with an acceptable time (to me).  For all the glamour that a brand like Lululemon holds, I felt the farthest from it, a tired, cold wet rat to be honest!

The view WAS beautiful though, and on a good non-rainy day, it would’ve been an ideal race.

Debbie and I post-race, limping up to catch a better view.

Props to the swag too:  it’s the best I’ve seen in the little experience I’ve had with races.

The Sage bath salts, oh my word! Love them.

And thankfully, I had friends to share this experience with!

Part of my running village!

Even off the course, and my entire weekend stay was absolutely delightful.

The best support group I could ask for! Love them all.

My own little after party was full of eating, laughing and shopping! And just such good conversation all around.  Gotta love decades of friendship.  It was a first to have my own cheering squad at the end of the race, bananas, and dry clothes to say the least!

The big question is, would I do it again?

And the honest answer is:  I don’t know just yet.  If it weren’t for the rain, I’d most definitely say yes.  But I think I need a little bit more time to think about it. 😉

September 17, 2018
by mymommyology
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Summer Outdoors

I’d like to think that my seemingly more active lifestyle has inspired the rest of the family to be active as well.

We purposely took away a few of our regular activities to make time to just be outdoors.  My girls love being outdoors anyway, more than I’d care to admit.  Thankfully, I dodged a camping trip this summer.  Whew!  I probably was the only one happy about that though.  But I want to say, we more than made up for it!

We did spend a lot of time at the pool this past summer.

with Maga in the pool!

We had play dates and friends, and all sorts of good fun over the 4th of July weekend.

As my mom says, more summer fun!

On another night, we were able to get them out and bike.

Chasing them down the path.

One of my prouder moments last summer was teaching Sam how to ride her bike.  Jamie has the balance bike and soon hopefully she will join her sister pedaling away.  It’s nice to see she’s not as timid about taking risks.

For our 13th year anniversary, the girls requested to go to the beach.  My children are like me – we love the sand and the sea.

Strong waves, cold water.

Although I’m not particularly too fond of this sea because it is COLD!

We spent a good portion of the day in the cold water and on the sand.  The girls were happy to build their little creations and turn into mermaids.

Then went to visit some of the tide pools.  I have to admit it was fun, although I was mostly worried about the slipping and hitting of the head.  Thankfully there was none of that, but now I have a mental note to buy water shoes for next time.

She’d escape to the sea if she could.

And I didn’t have to worry about cleaning off, we had our trusty portable shower!

We don’t leave home without it.

We did more than one beach clean-up over the summer too (Yes, a True Girl Scout makes the world a better place!).

Separating the plastic and fishing lines from the seaweed.

We pretty much marked all the major holidays this summer and special occasions with some outdoor fun.

Over the Labor Day weekend we went up to Big Bear and did a quick hike around the neighborhood.

Climbing uphill.

Then there was some kayaking fun in the lake filled with moss.  Ewww.  I can’t say the girls didn’t enjoy it though.

At least Dad got some exercise.

As we move into fall, we look back and it still felt like a jam-packed summer.  I think I’m still recovering from it all.  But I can’t deny it was a lot of fun!

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