Sunday, May 31, 2015

Noah says...

These days, when Noah reaches for something and I help him out by handing it to him, he says, "I used the Force again!"

When I jokingly glare at him for pulling one on me, he says in his Yoda-like voice, "Strong within me, the Force is."

And when I glare at him even more, he yells, "Dead, I am! Dead, I am!"

Photo is from here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah says... series.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Color Obsession: all of them

Spotting these various multi-colored things the past month have certainly made my everydays brighter, happier and literally, more colorful!

From the colorful bands of the corn rows of my friends' pretty daughter to the glasses at another friend's resort...

To these pens on my desk that I got from another friend on my birthday...

Hope the remainder of your summer is as delightfully colorful!

Photos are all my own. 

Click here for previous posts from the Color Obsession series. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

how much is that safari animal in the window?

The animals of Taman Safari in Indonesia were far from doggies with waggly tails. Oh, but they were in my window - my car window! 

Taman Safari is a zoo that you mostly explore by car. And as you weave through the one-way streets around the park, the animals will poke their heads inside your car window!

They were inches from my face! If I wanted, I could have kissed a zebra!

As we approached the I-assumed-carnivores' area, a sign at the gate said to keep windows closed. So this lion was still just inches away from me...

Inches away but with a closed window to protect me. See the Toyota printing on the window? 

The other beautiful safari animals were a few feet away, just a few. Photos were taken with an iPhone 5S so you know I couldn't really zoom in that much. 

I loved that they looked like they were in their natural habitat. 

No cages. Just my closed car window and for some animals, those wires stood between us. 

I also loved that there was a pretty wide selection of animals. 

Hungry Hippos!

Simba on Pride Rock?

Sun Bears!

I had two favorites of all the animals. The giraffes were one of them. 

This one looks so meek, it was so cute...

And Isabella spotted a heart on this one on the right!

My other favorite were the zebras. Naturally, I loved these animals that I call "horses with one of my fave prints - stripes"!

I admit, I did feel a tiny bit scared when zebra heads were poking inside both my left and right open windows. It was unnerving not being able to keep an eye on both of them at the same time. I think they were expecting to be fed. 

Sadly, I ignored all the carrot stands I passed on the way to Taman Safari so I didn't have any to give to these I-later-realized-were-herbivores in my window. I did get to feed an elephant bananas though.

The cool thing was that these Sumatra elephants could tell if the people we passed while I was on his back were handing him carrots or money. The elephant would take the carrot with his trunk and his trunk would roll down to put the food in his mouth. If the elephant was handed money, he'd roll up his trunk to hand it to the driver on his back!

Taman Safari was a truly awesome experience! The animals in my window - even though none of them went "Arf! arf!" - made it an unforgettable experience!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Mommy Mondays: resto turns

We eat out every Sunday after lunch. Because Noah was the most picky in the family, we would always end up eating in the same restos. Until I implemented taking turns choosing the restaurant. 

Since we each take a turn and he knows his turn is eventually coming up, Noah is more tolerant of eating in restos he wouldn't normally eat in. In the past, the few times I would let Isabella choose the resto we would eat in, Noah would give me so much grief: whining about not liking anything there, about me forcing him to eat there, and so on. But now, because it is a weekly ritual, he now expects that he won't get to choose the restaurant so the whining, the crabbiness, the tantrums are all gone. 

The great thing is that it has opened up my picky eater's palate to new dishes. He is now willing to try new food. I remember, when we first started this ritual, my mom chose LES Bagels. Since he'd never tried a bagel before, I allowed him not to order first. When we got our orders, he tasted my Lox and Isabella's Bacon & Cheddar. He loved the Bacon & Cheddar and ordered one for himself. Nowadays, Noah has learned to find something he likes on the menu of any restaurant we go to. I end up describing dishes to him and he enthusiastically chooses the one he fancies the most from my description. From a kid who only ate fried chicken, 4-cheese pizza and waffles, his list of fave food has expanded to include mushroom risotto, tempura, panizza and tocino. 

Now, it's so common to hear an excited "Who's turn is it to pick today?" when we get inside the car after church. And now, I don't even have to be the one to answer because they try to figure it out for themselves, recalling where we ate the previous Sunday and who chose. They're even so protective of other people's turns. My always-self-sacrificing mom often offers to give up her turn for them. But they refuse. They actually want her to have a turn. I just love the selflessness this weekly ritual has taught them. 

Lastly, in this world of instant and automatic, it's nice that this ritual has taught them to wait 3 Sundays before they get their turn. I especially like that the wait is so long, it's not time they can kill playing with their gadgets.

To be honest, this resto turn ritual is something I cooked up because I was very tired of the restos we always ate in. But it didn't just expand our resto choices. It also lengthened their patience, stretched Noah's EQ, broadened his palate and widened their concern for others.

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Mommy Mondays series.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Noah says...

Upon seeing Isabella's bright red lipstick, Noah said, "I didn't know you were in a fight. Your lips are bleeding."

Poor Isabella. She put on some red lipstick and died a little because of her annoying little brother.

Photo from annniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah says... series.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Simple Trick: Special Occasion Boxes

When packing for a trip, I waste so much time looking for (and even gathering) all the things I need to pack. 

So I recently decided to set aside a box for all my Travel things. My Travel Box contains the following:
1. Our passports (and piece of paper with everyone's passport details & travel doc photocopies - from a previous simple trick here
2. Wallet with foreign currency "barya" (loose change/small bills)
3. Travel pillows, eye masks and other plane essentials - Since I have motion sickness, my pouch of travel essentials holds my dizzy meds & hard candy together with my inflatable neck pillow and toothbrush-toothpaste set. 
4. Toiletry Bags with travel toiletries - I moved these from my Toiletries Drawer since I only use them when I travel. 
5. Underwear pouches, electronics/gadget pouch, shoebags and packing cubes
6. Universal travel adaptors - I moved these from my gadget/electronics drawer since I also only use these when I travel anyway. 
7. Shades (if you have an extra pair) or an empty sunnies case - My shades are in the sunnies holder in my car. So I put its case in my Travel Box so I'm reminded to get my sunnies from the car when packing for a trip.
8. Just-in-case medicines - Especially when I travel with the kids, I always pack emergency meds so my pouch for these are also in my Travel Box. 

Not only does this box save time when packing, it eliminates my usual checklist/reminder-list of things to bring (read: might forget). The electronics/gadget pouch is a reminder to bring my gadget chargers. My sunnies case is a reminder to get my shades from the car. And the shoebags remind me to pack slippers!

Aside from my Travel Box, I also organized a Beach Box since our beach stuff seem to always be missing when we're packing for beach trips. This box contains all our goggles, sunblock products, beach toys & aqua socks. I also plan to put my Vino2Go tumbler in here.

These special occasion boxes also save time when unpacking because returning everything in their "proper place" is so much faster and easier when their "proper place" is just one box!

Photos from annnniegirl

Click here for previous posts from the Simple Trick series.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Noah says...

Noah: Isn't wine the thing that gets you drunk?
Me: Yes, because it has alcohol.
Noah: So why is it the holy drink in the bible? If God wanted something red, he could have just gave Kool-Aid.

Photo from frommetoyou.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah says... series.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Noah says...

The kids were playing the Alphabet Game. Category: real names of superheroes...

Isabella: What's Mrs. Incredible's name?
Noah: Elastigirl!
Isabella: Real name!
Noah: Mom!
Me & Isabella: Hahaha!
Noah: Why? That's what Violet & Dash call her!!
Me: What's my name?
Noah: Mommy!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you named "Mommy" too!

Photo from here.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah says... series.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Today, I am loving...

Remember Jo's Starbucks cup doodles here? I'm not sure if she ever did get her doodles on a Starbucks Christmas cup, but she has published this best-selling, out-of-stock-on-Amazon grown-up's coloring book!

I absolutely looooove it! I've always loved coloring. But I haven't really done it in ages. This grown-up's coloring book got me to borrow my kids' Colleen and Faber-Castell colored pencils and start coloring again.

And it has been so therapeutic! It has proven to be a creative outlet - a colorful way to de-stress at the end of a workday.

It has also given me something new to do with the kids. Isabella worked on page 1...

... while I worked on page 2.

Noah and I also got creative together one Saturday. Sharing colored pencils, he worked on a Malang-copy for me while I did some coloring by his side. 

Today, I am totally loving... my grown-up's coloring book!

Photos are all my own.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am loving... series.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Noah says...

We went to the beach last weekend. Coincidentally, it's the same beach we went to after my last post almost 2 years ago. Am trying to ease myself back into posting on this blog since it seems I have more material these days for my new blog here and my other blog here. Since Noah still says the darndest things, this series seems to be the easiest to restart.

So let me restart... We went to the beach last weekend and parts of Noah's face are starting to peel. So I told him, "We need to put cream on your face." With a pretend-alarmed look on his face, he replied, "I don't want you to turn me into a banana split!"

Yes, he is amusing and infuriating at the same time. 

Photo from annniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah says... series.