Where To Bring Kids (Mom from LA County)

Building happy memories for my children and capturing them through photos and writing are one of the most important roles I have right now.

As parents, we can do a lot of things to build long lasting happy memories for our children. One of those is taking time to bring them places. We do not need to be grand. You do not have to go on long drives or expensive vacations. Just check the places around you.

1. Parks

Parks have always been our favorite especially during Spring and Autumn (since it is not too cold or too hot). This is the place where the kids can run, play, spend their energy. Some of my favorite parks are Wilson Park in Torrance CA, Heritage Park and Liberty Parks in Cerritos CA.

2. Libraries with Play Area

As we instill the love of reading to our kids, they also get to socialize with other kids. This is good especially for toddlers and preschoolers.The structured story telling time, singing and dancing can help  them prepare for school.

I remember bringing my son regularly to the story times and other activities sponsored by the library since he was 2 1/2. This was the place where we met our long time friends now.  I loved the Carson Public Library. They had really good teachers back then. At present, we often visit the George Nye Library in Lakewood. They have lots of toys kids can enjoy.

2. Indoor Places

Unlike in parks where I have to run after the kids all the time, in indoor places I can be more relaxed. One of my favorites (because they are clean and not usually crowded) are:

2.1 McDonalds in Carson CA (along Avalon Boulevard) and McDonalds in La Palma (along Orangethorpe

Boulevard)

2.2 Burger King in Cerritos CA (along South Street)

2.3 Chuck E Cheese in Cerritos CA (along 183rd Street)

2.4 Chick-Fil-A in Long Beach Town Center – We have not visited this place yet but I hear a lot of good

feedbacks.

2.5 Kids Concepts USA in Torrance CA – I used to bring my son here a lot when he was growing up. They have different areas for little kids and big kids.

2.6 Jumping Fun Kids in Buena Park CA (Business website jumpingfunkids.net) -Just opened in July 2014. We just went there one time and I really love the place. We will definitely visit again. There are different jumpers  and lots of toys. I loved the clean couches everywhere. Just sit back while the kids have a blast!

3. The day after Christmas, my kids had an amazing experience. They visited the Montebello Barnyard Zoo. The place provides pony rides, train rides, petting zoo, picnic area, playground, kids birthday party areas, and a traveling zoo.

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Dreaming of Boracay

You caught my eye

You were rows behind

It was a short flight to Boracay

I was there to unwind.

We were in the same boat

Stayed in the same island

Beautiful memories afloat

The feel of the warm sand

Parallel journeys

Intertwined fate

Wonders and mysteries

Treasured memories

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“In Like or In Love?” (very short love story)

She came back from a vacation abroad. She heard that there was a new guy at work, and they said that he was a heartthrob. She did not really care.

The next day, she was called for a meeting. She sat across the new guy. In her mind she thought, ” Fine. He is cute.” The meeting was adjourned. The new guy approached her. He introduced himself. She thought it was nice of him to do that. They talked for a while, and they hit it off.

Almost everyday, he would visit her in her cubicle at work. He would share pastries or coffee or just engage in small talks during breaks. Months and years passed by. Their friendship remained. Unconsciously, she liked him. She would deny it but eventually she was having feelings. She thought, maybe she was just fond of his ways. Moreover, there was no way of liking him because he had a girl friend. He talked about her.  She thought, “maybe he looks at me like a sister”, but honestly she thought there were mixed signals.  He would talk to her about his girl friend, call her up whenever they were having problems. He would seek for advice.  He would share his secrets (both nice and bad) to her. They were good friends.

One day, after work, as she was heading towards her car, she heard a voice behind her. It was the girl friend. It was the second time she met her. The first time was when the guy introduced them during an office event. The girl looked so worried, mad, confused, jealous. She just let her feelings out.The guy found them talking. He was embarrassed that his girlfriend had to confront her. He assured her nothing was going on between them.

After that incident, little by little the guy kept his distance. He no longer dropped by her cubicle or share coffee/pastries or engage in small talks. One day, he just informed her that they were getting married. She was shocked, but she was expecting it. Did it hurt? Maybe a little. Her heart was broken. She moved on…  After her long term relationship, she still prayed harder to find her soul mate, that man who is meant for her.

After a few months, she reconnected with a friend. And he found her! Everything fell into place. It was magical.  She got married the following year. At present, they are happily married for 10 years, with three kids. Sometimes, she would still remember that new guy from work. It makes her smile, and she still ask herself if somewhere along the way, did he have feelings for her too? Was she in like or in love with him? It was in the past. It will always be a special memory.

The Cycle of Life

On Life

Today is a very special day for our family. My sister is giving birth to a beautiful princess. In fact, she is still in the hospital. It’s been hours, and she is still in labor. How I wish I can just teleport, fly across the Pacific Ocean, and witness the joy when the baby finally comes out. I am so thrilled for them. I am sure every member of the family is excited to meet and greet the new addition to the family. It is amazing how we share the same fate. Both of us started with the labor signs/pains on the 17th, admitted to the hospital on the 18th. We were both in labor the whole day and night. The babies would not come out still. All the epidural, the pain, so unbearable! In the end, we both needed to have c-sections. Both babies born on the 19th! (But mine of course happened 6 years ago)

This is it! After two miscarriages, after all the mourning and the pain, finally,  their bundle of joy will be in their arms soon. I know that it will change them. It will change their lives forever. Just like how having kids has changed mine. My children have given more meaning to my existence, more meaning to my life. Now, I have a purpose and a reason to live.

On Death

When I was younger, I did not give much thought about death. I finished college, had my Master’s degree, found a fulfilling career. I got promoted, had my own office and I loved my job. Moreover, I was able to travel to different places, my favorite was the Europe trip with my parents. Visited the United States too and went to different vacation spots in the Philippines. I remembered me saying to myself, “I have been blessed. I can die now.” But it all changed when I married and started my own family. Now, I am terrified when I think about death! (My death or losing a loved one)

My 6 year old has been asking questions about death: when, why people die, where people go when they die, what happens to the body, etc. I try to give him a simple explanation since the questions are NEVER ending. As a Catholic, I know we all go to heaven (this is what I tell my son). At the back of my head, I am also thinking of other explanations as to what happens when someone dies. Maybe we are like the energy transferred to one form into another. Or maybe, when we die that is the end of it. Nothing else. Blank. Black. No more.

I always ask God to grant us (me and my  husband) a long life, at least until we are both 90 years of age. I want to see my children grow, finish school, get a job that they love, find the love of their lives, have their own family.  Surely, I would love to play with my grandchildren!

So holding on to dear life! Appreciate every waking moment.

The Dark Side Of Me

We live in an imperfect world, and we, ourselves are also far from being perfect. As human beings, we do our best to improve and  be better everyday. These imperfections may have been brought about by genes, personality, environment, circumstances in life, and other factors.

Writing can be scary because it can make you see things even those things that you may not like. It can be unveiling. As I mentioned before, writing has helped me in MANY ways. It can be therapeutic too.

There was a trigger why I wrote about this. I saw some of the person’s photos. Suddenly, it was hard to breathe. I felt so nervous, my heart was beating so fast. I felt nauseous, felt blood rushing to my head. Same things happen when I hear the voice or there are some memories about the person.  These manifestations do not go away overnight. It lingers for a while with unpleasant memories/feelings and fears about the future. My mind starts to worry. I feel anxious again, and I have to fight it.  It is just over thinking. It is just in the head. I extremely dislike that I felt this. I remember I was having nose bleeds when that person was around. I went to the doctor to have it checked since it was frequent but he could not find anything wrong. I was a Psychology graduate, so I knew it was psychosomatic (physical illness or other condition caused or aggravated by a mental factor such as internal conflict or stress). I was also sad or a little depressed since I did not like what I was feeling neither the person that I have become.  Indeed, it affected me physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Have you experienced disliking somebody to the point where you are confused if it is still dislike or hate? “Dislike and hate might appear same in meaning, but not actually so.  They certainly differ in their sense.  Many think that the two words are synonymous but literally speaking they are not so.  They might appear to be interchangeable, but would convey altogether a different sense if interchangeable.You dislike somebody as a choice.  You hate somebody on the basis of animosity or enmity.  Hate carries unpleasant memories of the past whereas dislike does not carry with it any unpleasant memory.”  (http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-dislike-and-hate/)

This feeling or emotion is totally unhealthy, poisonous, bad, and it is very hard to deal with!  But it exists… It is real. I. I see my weakness, the dark side of me. I tend to fixate or focus my attention on something. In this case, I was paying attention to the unpleasant feelings that relationship brought through the years. To be fair, I should say it may not be the person’s intention to hurt me. It was just irreconcilable differences that made it sour (I should say more on differences in personalities and values in life). But somehow damage was done, things were said and done. Was I responsible for my feelings? Should I blame somebody? Should I blame the situation that entrapped us?

I want to be healed and be free from this negative emotion. I want to forgive myself and that person, but it is true that things are easier said than done. It will take time. Time heals. I hope not for long.  I know that we should not let emotions control us or define us.

In this season of giving and sharing, may the good Lord heal all wounds and divisions especially in the family. And we should keep trying too.  I believe the fist step is self awareness (being aware of your thoughts and feelings). Recognize that they are there. Then try to open our hearts to the forgiving aspect? Acceptance of differences, the present situation, and others. I do not know what comes next. I just know that life is too short to feel bad…

Wer i walk at work

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Christmas time is in the air again! You will definitely know it because of these: busy stores, people shopping for gifts (I do mine online. It is hard with the kids!), Christmas trees, colorful ornaments, holiday decor, mistletoe, Christmas wreaths, socks for the tree, peppermint, hot cocoa, elves and nutcracker soldiers (my favorites),  sweaters, jingle bells, and jolly Christmas songs. It is all wonderful! This is one of the children’s favorite holidays because Santa is going to give them presents. We savor the magic and spirit of Christmas.

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This year is better for me. I am happier. I was struggling (emotionally) with something through the years. Now I am free, the more that I aim to give my children the holidays and traditions they will never forget. I am more focused. I desire to build happy childhood memories for them. I want them to have a better life. My childhood was not perfect. My memories of Christmas is just fine. We had a unique family set up and it made a lot of things complicated. Maybe I will share this to you one of these days. I am just saying that we all have our journeys, our struggles in the past. Now, we have the chance to focus on the present. We make the best out of NOW with eyes hopeful for the future. Especially this time of love and sharing, we try to remember all the good things in life.

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It is one tradition that my husband and I made. This is our second year. We buy fresh pine tree the week after Thanksgiving. We enjoy its presence and its smell in the house. With our kids, we decorate it. We want to keep it simple and fun. We found some chocolate balls they sell in COSTCO now. These are colorful and very pretty. I hang it on the tree but our toddler kept on eating them, and she won’t stop. She started crying when we won’t give her some more! She wanted to get them all. In the end, we had to take all the Christmas balls down from the tree (edible and glass). We will have to skip it for this year. We have three more weeks left before Christmas! Enjoy with your loved ones!

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