Dear Baby 2: First letter in 2013 for my 2nd baby

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Posted on : 28-04-2013 | By : dutdot | In : All about my baby, Letters for my 2nd baby, NATURAL LETTERS

Dear Baby K,

I missed writing letters for you and Ate. Oh, it’s really been ages since I last wrote you a letter. I’m so sorry for that. The past months/years? weren’t so conducive for me to write my thoughts about you, your developments and more. Now that somehow I’m getting back the so-called of balance of being a mother and a person, I’m trying to incorporate in my busyness this art of writing letters again – for you and Ate.

You’re now on your way to ‘terrible twos’. :)) Oh, sorry for that. I should say, ‘terrific twos’!

Wow. You’ve grown into a beautiful baby.

There’s one thing that you love to do – pinch Mommy or Ate or your new yaya. But it’s Mommy who you love to pinch the most.

You love to mimic Ate’s funny behavior when you’re mad. You go to her favorite spot and then cross your arms and your heads up while making face. So funny. So adorable — the two of you.

Three days ago, you uttered two sentences which really caught us off guard, Daddy and me. Here was the conversation:

1st scene:

You’re playing with the blocks and Daddy was calling you…

Daddy: “Come baby k…Come…”

You were so busy that you didn’t bother to look up.

Daddy: “Baby, come to Daddy. I wanna hug you”

He kept on ‘pestering’ you over and over again until you got ‘tired’…

Baby K: “Leave me….”

Where and how on earth did you learn that? Hahaha.

2nd scene:

Baby K: “let” (for chocolate)

Mommy: “Ask daddy”

Baby K: “Daddy, let”

Daddy: “milk”

Baby K: “let”

Daddy: “milk”

Baby K: “let”

Daddy: “drink your milk”

Baby K: “I don’t want”

Hehehe…Bravo, baby!

I have a lot of things to write about you, baby. However, since it’s been quite a long time that I haven’t gotten in touch with letter-writing (for you and Ate), I have to refresh my memory about all of your developments.

This is all for now, baby.

I love you.

Mommy

Spiritual Awakening

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Posted on : 23-04-2013 | By : dutdot | In : Filipino Blogger, Life's Musings, Spirituality

It’s good to be back.

not just in blogging.

but in truly ‘living’.

in doing the things that I should be doing…

such as becoming a dutiful homeschooling mom (formal homeschooling at www.homeschoolinginkuwait.com)

and becoming a better person everyday –

as a wife, mom, daughter, and friend…

and most of all, as a better Child of God.

 

Spiritual Awakening

When I was still in our country back home, I was (somehow) faithful, spiritual but I didn’t have a personal relationship with God until I met Him overseas – six years ago.

Our house (wherever we transfer here in KW) has been visited and blessed by bishops and priests. It’s only here overseas wherein we have felt a connection with God’s representatives in the form of priests and bishops. In my home country, it’s kinda hard to approach bishops more so ask them to dine with you.

As my faith has started to grow and strengthen everyday, I have also started to develop a personal relationship with God.

But there was something that was lacking…I didn’t know what it was – until…

…a few days back, something triggered me to really seek God and know Him more.

..that frightening news about the earthquake prediction in the Middle East…

in the latest report, this was denied by the USGS, stating that earthquakes cannot be predicted.

I felt a huge relief with the thought that there was no truth in the prediction. But I must admit that it made me panic. Along the way of my confusion during the past days (April 21 to April 22), I sought refuge in God’s Home and loving guidance. I went to the Blessed Sacrament and poured out my fears and anxieties to Him. I started to really internalize His words. I bought a Miracle Hour prayer booklet from the bookstore at the church and started using it on April 22.

Since then, a stronger personal relationship has emerged between me and my God. I have started to jot down all the Words of God during my prayer time. Linda Schubert’s Miracle Hour booklet has immensely helped me in transforming the way I pray.

Now, I can pray for less than two hours and sometimes it extends to over two hours because I am very much eager to know God and reflect on His words.

This morning, I read this status from Facebook – God Posts, “The more you love God’s Word and study it, the more you will love God’s Word and study it”, and this holds true to what I’m currently experiencing.

“To God, thank You so much for being faithful to me all the time and for not giving up on me. Thank You for always reminding me to be faithful to You, and for giving me the chance to have a stronger personal relationship with You. The void in my spiritual life has been suddenly filled up with Your Amazing Grace and Love. Thank You for protecting us, all of my family members here and in my home country, and overseas. Thank You for all the bountiful blessings and the recent award that I got. Thank You just for everything that I was, that I am…Thank You for being my Rock, and my All. AMEN!”

 

Weight Watch 2013, other stuffs, and my daughter’s 4th birthday today

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I weighed myself last night.

I still need to lose 6KG before July 1st. I don’t know how I’m gonna lose the excess 6KG in 2 months, just in time for my brother’s wedding in July.

I decided to cancel our June travel to Manila. But I’ll attend my brother’s wedding in Malaysia, along with my parents and two sibs. Hubby will travel with me to the PH but he’ll stay in Manila. Our two kids will be under the care of their new yaya. I’d be very sad to leave them behind for 12 days but my mind wouldn’t be at peace if I’d leave them in Manila. After the MY trip, I’ll go to the province to be with my younger sister.

Today’s my 1st born’s 4th birthday. How time flies! Though she’s not a skilled reader/writer yet, her wisdom is beyond her age. Last night, she asked me a profound question: “Why do we love, Mommy?” I was thinking how on earth would I answer that? But before I could open my mouth, she said, “…because we have a heart”…

I’m one proud momma. I love my 2 daughters so much.

This is a random blogging. My mind is off to researching about my daughter’s homeschool curriculum but I have a lot of things to do at work. This morning, I didn’t go out to work but decided to work from home. I think that from now on, with a new yaya at home, I’d just stay at home to work on my stuffs. It’s better that way. Yesterday, this lady/crew at Espressa didn’t welcome my presence. She removed the cord without asking permission from me. If she had a good attitude, she’d ask me politely before removing the cord.

Well, it’s OK. Lately, I also could not concentrate outside home. I just felt that, in the past, I was just wasting my money when I worked outside because I didn’t seem to finish anything.

This is all for now. I’ll be back soon.

 

What matters most

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Posted on : 20-03-2013 | By : dutdot | In : Filipino Blogger, Life's Musings

Time flies so fast and it passes by without notice.

It’s been almost a year since I last blogged here.

There’s this feeling of guilt that envelopes me…for not giving shapes to my thoughts in the past.

But not anymore…

Writing or blogging is my way to connect to my soul. Due to the circumstances in the past, (e.g. my business sites were hacked including my personal blogs; we’re nannyless for almost 9 months, my kids weren’t homeschooled and didn’t attend the playgroup, and more), I somehow lost the connection with myself. Now that we have a maid from heaven, I’m trying to get back my life. I’m finding time to revisit my personal blogs. My business sites are up and running again (after they were hacked and blocked by Google). Thanks God.

So far, life’s been good. Blessings are pouring in. My husband and I have become more prayerful. After feeling so helpless for the past 9 months without a maid at home, I slowly learned not to feel sorry for my shortcomings. Though there were losses in some opportunities and on how we managed our time, I felt that everything happened to strengthen me as a person with other important roles in life (wife, mom, daughter, friend).

If there’s one thing that I learned for the past 9 months and up to present, I can sum it up in one word: AWARENESS.

No matter what life throws at us, intentionally or unintentionally, we have to be aware. When our awareness level is so high, nothing can deplete us or worry us. Awareness comes in all aspect of our life. When we’re aware of how we need God, our spiritual awareness will lead us through the ups and downs of life. When God is always present in us, it’s as everything runs smoothly from the moment we wake up to the moment we retire at night. Life becomes handy as well since there’s not much baggage to carry around.

Awareness in our mental, physical, emotional aspects is likewise important. When we’re mentally, physically, and emotionally aware, we’re always prepared to deal with our day-t0-day activities and our long-term plans. There isn’t much waste on one’s time, effort, and thoughts because any thing that we’re about to do, or are doing, synchronizes with what we want to achieve. When we’re not totally aware on how we’re using our time, resources, and other capabilities, we often find ourselves sluggish, irritable, and distracted. It’s what I discovered for the past 9 months when there was just so much to do but little time and no help at all in dealing with my two kids, work, and more. I wasn’t connected with the real thing that matters most. When I looked back, I discovered that I was lacking in awareness of myself, of others who are important to me.

It’s been two weeks that our new maid has been helping us at home, and life, in general. We’ve been helping her emotionally, mentally, and physically, too. Another thing that I learned in life is that everything is energy. Every person, thing that we meet, or get is because of the energy that we have and the kind of energy that we put into.

For two days now, I’ve been going out with the purpose of doing my work away from home. However, much as I’ve wanted to make the most of my time outside, I’ve noticed that my heart hasn’t been attuned with the demands and wishes of my mind.

I do things that aren’t a priority or necessary.

My thoughts wander from here to there.

There’s just so much clutter in my mind.

My hands are itching to blog, make a plan, and more.

But one thing does arise from all these cobwebs around me, AWARENESS.

And from there, I’m starting anew.

I welcome myself back at this blog – dutdot (not just a dot on the Web).

 

Finding nursery schools in Kuwait and an expat mom’s thoughts on early childhood education

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My husband and I decided to look for a preschool for our 1st born. She recently turned three, and some sources said she must be enrolled in a preschool at her age. If not for our friend who told us that 3.5 years old kids should be enrolled in Ministry accredited schools here in Kuwait, we wouldn’t be finding the time to really look into this thing. We thought that she should be enrolled at the age of 5, just like in our home country, for formal and obligatory education.

We looked for some information on the Web. We read some blogs featuring some nursery schools in Kuwait.

Here are the links worth reading/browsing:

Nurseries in Kuwait
Finding nurseries

Regular classes will start on September.

Since we want our 3-yr old daughter to increase her social awareness and her vocabulary, we decided to enroll her at the classes in BrightMinds. Her first day went superb although she couldn’t cope yet with the cutting of paper using scissors. I have to teach her how to. She’s left-handed so I guess she needs more practice. Anyway, at the school, I’m glad that she’s sociable. She can get along well with the kids. She’s not much into following instructions yet, but I hope that she will learn to do so as the classes go along.

This morning, when I told my daughter that we’re going to school, she was so excited. I am sure she didn’t understand yet what school really is, and what she’d be doing there. At first, she was so shy to mingle. When the time came when they were asked to sit on the grass (carpet), she just observed the singing coupled with actions. But I could see in her eyes that she was carefully observing. Towards the end of the class, she started to play with the other kids. She was also hesitant to leave the place, when it was time to go home.

As soon as she woke up from her afternoon nap today, she opened her Dell XPS laptop, and opened her Starfall curriculum. It’s been a week since she first started using her laptop for homeschooling. She’s learning so fast at using the laptop, and doing the exercises at Starfall. After using the laptop, I asked her about what she did in school, and she was singing the alphabet song she learned (Zoo Phonics), with matching actions although she didn’t memorize yet the lyrics because it was her first time to hear such. I’m glad I found BrightMinds. I decided to enlist my daughter in three classes a week: Zoo Phonics; Sea Math; and, Crafty Kids. I am pretty sure her development will increase even more.

As soon as we reached home this afternoon, my husband and I talked about the schooling path for our toddler. September is the start of first term here in Kuwait. Should we enroll her on September in a formal school, one that holds classes from 7:30a.m. to 1:00p.m.? Uggh, isn’t that too tasking for a 3.5yr old? The nursery school that topped our list (for September) is 25min-ride from our house, no traffic; and, 1-hr ride if there’s traffic. Of course, relocating to a flat nearby the school isn’t an option. Other than the distance, the high fees are also taken into consideration — KD1730 to KD1800/yr.

This afternoon, hubby and I sat down and really dug deeper into our family’s direction. I realized that when you have kids overseas, a parent, I should say, both parents should have a master plan about child education. Looking through the fees for children aged 3.5 to 5, I could almost collapse. LOL.

There are a lot of questions that came up:

  1. Are we really going to settle in this country?
  2. Until when?
  3. Should we really enroll our toddler comes September at age 3.4 in a nursery school? Which school? Which curriculum? Which area?
  4. Where’s the best country to live in that offers quality education?
  5. and so on..

The questions went on and on, and still I was having a hard time answering the questions.

Since it’s so hard to really decide at this moment, I decided to read more about early childhood education.

Now, I’m brainwashed. LOL. I think I might not enroll my child in a formal school until she’s 5 years old. Period. She will continue joining the classes at Bright Minds, but not enroll yet formally in obligatory education at 3.5yo. She will continue her homeschooling program, online.

This article, Much Too Early by Dr. David Elkind, has, to a large extent, opened my mind as to what early childhood education should be. I need not stress my child. Learning should be fun. I agree with the article that

“early education must start with the child, not with the subject matter to be taught”

I couldn’t agree more with this:

“The guiding principle of early-childhood education is, then, the matching of curriculum and instruction to the child’s developing abilities, needs, and interests.”

And this one is an eye-opener for me:

“The deployment of unsupported, potentially harmful pedagogies is particularly pernicious at the early-childhood level. It is during the early years, ages four to seven, when children’s basic attitudes toward themselves as students and toward learning and school are established. Children who come through this period feeling good about themselves, who enjoy learning and who like school, will have a lasting appetite for the acquisition of skills and knowledge. Children whose academic self-esteem is all but destroyed during these formative years, who develop an antipathy toward learning, and a dislike of school, will never fully realize their latent abilities and talents.”

Really, I do believe in that.

I remember my youngest brother. Among us 5 siblings, he was the only one who enrolled at a young age of 3.5. I guess he was mis-educated. His self-esteem was damaged. When he entered grade school, the more that his self-esteem was damaged by his arrogant teachers. Too bad. Too sad.

Now, I don’t want that to happen to my children. I want them to have a healthy self-esteem about themselves, and about education. I want them to be always eager at going to school, and not already bored because they have been formally going to school since the age of 3.5, and have been sitting around for 6 hours or less, and have been commuting at an early age. I want my kids to enjoy LIFE. From infancy to less than 5 years old, joining a playgroup, and homeschooling them, I guess, would be enough to create happy memories, and happy disposition and outlook about life and education.

Dr. David Elkind is SO RIGHT in saying that:

“If we want all of our children to be the best that they can be, we must recognize that education is about them, not us. If we do what is best for children, we will give them and their parents the developmentally appropriate, high-quality, affordable, and accessible early-childhood education they both need and deserve.”

Mom Dutdot
www.dutdot.com

UPDATE:

After an hour of reading articles online, I came up with this information about education in Kuwait (Modified on 20 March 2012 at 13:29):

Nursery and primary education

 

In Kuwait, schooling usually begins at age six. Pre-school or nursery education is also available to children from four to six years old. Under a new system, primary education will begin at age 5 years.

Now, my worries are set aside.  A few weeks back, we were told by a friend about a certain issue that 4-yr old kids should be formally attending schools here in Kuwait.

Preschooling/nursery education is not a must, but just an option (of course, my kids will learn at home, and at playgroups).

UPDATE April 29, 2013

We’re lovin’ HOMESCHOOLING…