iMickey or the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

Even before the advent of the  iPhone, iMac and iPad, there was a much bigger icon than Steve Jobs.  That is none other than Mickey Mouse.  I can hardly imagine anybody not growing up with this iconic cartoon character.  He, along with Donald, Minnie, and Goofy have influenced- and continue to influence- kids from 1 to 92.

I just had to have my M-I-C-K-E-Y fix, so my daughter and I excitedly hopped over to the Araneta Coliseum here in Metro Manila on a rainy Sunday afternoon to catch the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival.

It was pretty much similar to the Disney on Ice shows- just without the ice!  The show was entertaining, the music infectious.  That- without a shadow of a doubt- outdid my home sound system by a mile! It was simply heartwarming to see my daughter’s- and mine too- favorite Disney characters come alive to sing their famous ditties on stage.  More than that, they jazzed up a few popular hits from the 80’s to today as well.  I especially liked Goofy dancing to “Who Let the Dogs Out” and the Mermaids of Triton shaking their booties to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.  And I must say, I must find out Princess Jasmine’s workout routine, as her tanned and toned abs are to die for!

On more than one occasion, I felt the aching urge to get up on my feet and dance to the beat.   But even if the performers on stage tried to engage the audience in song and dance, only a few actively participated- mostly kids, of course.  Blame it Filipino culture, I guess!  We are admittedly quite a shy lot.

I believe the Mickey Mouse gang will be touring most of Asia and Australia in the following months.  If they happen to be near where you’re at, don’t pass up the chance to see them in action.  Disney never fails to bring out the kid in us.  When the show ended, I found myself craving for more.

As I was driving home in the pouring rain, I felt as if my daughter and I were “soaring, tumbling, free-wheeling on a magic carpet ride…” Disney will forever be a part of my life.

This Post Is Brought To You By a Sentimental Fool

I have to admit, I am that fool.  Whenever I spend fun times with two of the most important people in my life, I can’t help but keep replaying every moment in my head.  My brain hasn’t kept up with the times, though, so it still is in video cassette mode, rewinding, pausing and replaying those cherished moments.  Those two people whom I love the most and would die for-without batting an eyelash- are my daughter and Significant Other.

The fates were smiling down on me this weekend, as ex-husband agreed, without force or grave threats, to not “borrow” my daughter.   That didn’t sound quite right, did it? I think I just made my daughter a commodity there.

Anyway, I never thought that spending hours at the mall with a five-year old can be so much fun.  She proved to be a worthy shopping companion, spewing out fashion tips along the way.  It was the first time she joined me in the department store changing room.  It’s utterly amazing and amusing to see how she thinks beyond her years.  Eating out with her was an enjoyable experience too.  I finally found someone who’d willingly laugh at my jokes- and totally get them!

As for Mr. SO, it was heartwarming to sing the Bangles’ Eternal Flame with him in the car while braving rush hour traffic.  I was almost dumbfounded at how he knew the lyrics to the song, considering that he’s many years younger than me.  Must be an old soul, this guy…

These two people have shown me love in its truest and purest form.  I don’t know how else to describe how happy and inspired they make me feel.  Whenever I feel  my mood doing a nosedive, I can always replay our happy moments together… and I am once more alive.

How a 5-year Old Influences a Thirty-something

Don’t be fooled by their diminutive size, but a preschooler can manage to influence her parents in so many ways. In my case, my pint-sized five-year old always does Jedi mind tricks on me. So well in fact, that she would make Darth Vader proud. I’m not one to complain, though, as these have had a positive effect on me thus far. If anything, I have developed my sense of rhythm and deep appreciation for the arts. [Read more…]

The three P’s of a lunar eclipse

What is it with me and astronomic phenomena? Ever since I can remember, I keep missing these close encounters of the lunar kind.  I didn’t get to catch the lunar eclipse the other night.  Now, I have to be content with viewing other people’s pictures of this magnificent wonder.  Nonetheless, I am still left with my mouth gaping in awe at this beautiful sight.  The next time you are fortunate enough to witness a lunar eclipse, here are some P’s to remember, to get the most enjoyment out of your lunar experience:

Picnic–  Being in the company of friends, family, or your special someone under the stars spells “fun” in anyone’s dictionary.  A lunar eclipse, or meteor shower, as the case may be, would provide the perfect backdrop for a night together with the people dearest to you.  Bring out the picnic blanket, throw in a few munchies and drinks, and you’re all set for a fun night outdoors.

Propose–  What could be more romantic than proposing marriage to the love of your life under a beautiful lunar eclipse?  Both of you are sure to remember this day for the rest of your lives. It makes for a good story to tell your grandchildren too.

Pepper–  No, I’m not talking about a condiment here, nor am I being overly narcissistic, because that’s way out of my league.  Ok, in effect, I am talking about myself here, because I want to stress the need for quiet “me” time.  Whatever you do for a living, whether you slave off for hours in the office, or you are a busy homemaker 24/7, you deserve and badly need time to just be still and relax.  A lunar eclipse is a good opportunity for you to just sit under the blanket of stars, and ponder on the greatness of God.  Even for a few minutes, you can simply sit back, enjoy the view, and clear your mind of all your worries.


How to help your child make friends

Photo credit: Google Images

It’s always a delight to witness our kid playing alone with his Lego blocks, as he unknowingly develops his creativity. They say that a child at play is seriously at work, so we do everything in our power to support our child as he plays.

What’s even more delightful, is seeing our kid socialize as he plays with other kids. If your kid happens to lean towards the shy end of the spectrum, you can do something to help prod your child along and make friends.

Create situations where your child has the chance to interact with other kids in a comfortable atmosphere. Organize play dates with kids of some of your friends, or maybe schedule a mini get-together with some of the parents of your child’s classmates. To keep things simple, you could perhaps start with inviting one of your neighbors’ kids over to spend a couple of hours playing with your kid.

Make sure your kid and his playmates have enough to do during the play date. You can do arts and crafts with them, or teach them some easy board games. Don’t impose, though. It would be a good idea to ask your child beforehand, as to what games he’d like to play.

If you’re concerned about your child’s inability to make friends, you could have a chat with his teacher in order to get some insight on how your kid interacts with his classmates on a daily basis.

It’s essential to develop healthy social skills early on in childhood, so just continue to support your kid as he comes out of his shell and makes friends.

Family Time#7: Fun at the Fun Ranch

I’m lucky enough that the company I work for has extended our weekend to today, Monday, in lieu of the May 1 Labor Day holiday. My daughter and I couldn’t help but give out a shrieking “Weeeeee!!!!!” This is one of the rare times when I get to spend time with her, as normally, she gets to stay with my ex-husband on weekends.

Sunday, we went to Fun Ranch near Tiendesitas. It’s the one place she never gets tired of going to, much to my chagrin, because the place is extremely hot! We always make the mistake of going there at near noon, so you could just imagine the blazing heat. But I always give in to whatever makes her happy, so even I ended up a happy camper, notwithstanding the sweat brewing on my armpits.

My daughter went on all the rides as many times as she desired. I almost pitied her, as she frolicked around Fun Ranch alone, hungry for a playmate. If I had it in my power, I’d give her the little brother or sister she has been asking me for the past few days. But of course, given my present status, that is best left to wishful thinking.

Sentimentality aside, we both had a blast that day. In the final analysis, that’s all that matters.

This is my entry for this week’s Family Time. View other precious family moments here:

Introducing photography to your kids

If you feel your little one has grown tired of his crayons, poster paint and clay, take consolation in the fact that there is still another option out there to enhance his or her creativity: photography. Don’t be too quick to think that this is a hobby best left to adults. You’d be amazed to see how even your preschooler can handle a point-and-shoot with unbelievable skill.

photo by Google Images

For your preschooler, you don’t need to get him a DSLR or any of those other fancy photography equipment. You can start with any old 2-megapixel digital camera with automatic settings. If you feel you’ve got a few extra bucks to spare, go get him one of those shatter-proof digital cameras made especially for kids.

To start with, tell your 5 or 6-year old to stay still while holding the camera. Tell him to make sure that the subject of the photo is in the finder. Gradually introduce basic principles like taking pictures with the right distance from the subject, lighting basics, etc. Remind him to keep the camera inside its case when not in use.

You can start with animals or scenery as subjects. His active pet hamster could be a willing model for a photoshoot. When you go on a picnic with your kid, encourage him to take snapshots of the scenery, or even of still life like fruits in a basket or a huge rock by a tree.

It’s never too early to introduce your little kid to photography. When you teach your child how to take good pictures, you teach him a skill which develops his independence, creativity, and at the same time, helps him value life’s precious memories.

Mommy Moments…And She Turns Five

My daughter celebrated her 5th birthday in school, as it happened to fall on a school day. She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, because she didn’t want to miss partying with her school crush. Yes, my heart skipped a beat when she told me she fancies one of her boy classmates. Ay, caramba! Well, I better save my sentiments on that for another post.

She's the one at the far right.

We just had food delivered to her school. The kids enjoyed the loot bags which I’ve oh so painstakingly prepared…Ok, that may have been a slight exaggeration :). They especially loved the Dora-topped cupcakes which were arranged to form the number 5.

Turning a year older is always a joyous occasion. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 8 or 80. Birthdays are a constant reminder to us of the gift of life. It’s a time to have your cake and eat it too! :)

This is my first ever entry to Mommy Moments.
Check out other worthwhile Mommy Moments here:
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Family Time #4: A Weekend With Dora

Ours is just a family of two, so family time means just my daughter and I having fun. This past weekend was an extraordinary one, as my kid usually spends weekends with her dad. The mommy fairies were smiling down on me this time, as I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend with her.

It was a hot summer Sunday, with the sun beating down hard on us. We went over to the NBC tent for the Working Mom children’s workshop expo. My kid was extremely delighted as soon as we entered the doors. We were greeted by different mascots in all their furry glory. My kid excitedly hopped from one booth to another, to try out their various activities- arts, cooking, play. She even got to try her hand at the abacus.

The highlight was the photo op with Dora the Explorer. Though I must say, Dora could lose a few inches from her stomach.

It was a weekend I will sure cherish for years to come.

Just Beautiful: Boracay

Powdery-white sand, clear, blue waters, fresh seaside air….despite the advent of technology and urban development, a slice of paradise still does exist…and it’s an island called Boracay.

My daughter and I just got back from a 3-day trip there. It was her first out-of-town trip, and I must say, she enjoyed it so much. The plane trip for her was like a theme park amusement ride. I was impressed at how maturely she handled her fear. As the plane took off and landed, she just firmly held my hand while singing and laughing.

Hotel Soffia is a good place to stay, if like me, you prefer to keep away from the main hubbub of activity at the beachfront of Boracay. The resort we stayed in was atop a mountain, so the breeze was invigorating, and the view… simply breathtaking.

Need I say more about the beach? The beauty of the surroundings speaks for itself. It is a testament to God’s marvelous creation. Although Boracay can get somewhat crowded, we still managed to find a fairly private spot on the beach, where I was fearless enough to wear a two-piece bathing suit. I sneakily snuck away from the intrusive cameras of the (imaginary) paparazzi that kept following me closely wherever I went. I was immensely entertained as I watched my daughter and her friend make castles in the sand.

The food was sheer bliss. We picked out our grub from a wide array of fresh seafood, and then had them cooked the way we wanted. My daughter wolfed the food down like there was no tomorrow.

More than anything, I enjoyed spending precious time with her in such a beautiful island. It was the closest thing to heaven on earth. The memory will forever be etched in our hearts.
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