Tuesday, August 21, 2012


at the end of 3rd grade, we found out that malia made it into the GATE program, which would start in 4th grade.

i had no idea what the GATE program entailed, i went to private school. so i was excited to learn about it at the parent meeting today.

GATE stands for Gifted And Talented Education. they showed us this:

malia would be in the GATE program until the end of elementary. she is so excited about it, and i am excited for her. she will be doing advanced art, outdoor biology/science, and community service.

i guess i'm neither bright nor gifted because i had to think about it for a while. every parent thinks of their child as both bright and gifted. and she had to go through tests and score 95% or higher and get recommendations from teachers to qualify. so they're telling me she's just gifted? i don't know if i like this categorizing my child idea.

and then i found this on one of the websites they mentioned:
How do I know if my child is gifted?
Compared to their age peers, gifted children usually learn at a faster pace, use a large vocabulary, ask many questions, and need activities that are complex and challenging. They may also be highly sensitive, creative, and intense. These are only some of the characteristics of a gifted child.
Why is raising a gifted child so challenging?
Gifted children often exhibit unique social and emotional needs that may include a strong sense of justice, extreme idealism, moral intensity, perfectionism, hypersensitivity, and unreasonably high expectations for themselves and others. They can be emotionally hypersensitive, such as to criticism, and/or physically hypersensitive, such as to touch and smell. Some may appear to be perpetual motion machines, or show wide swings in mood and maturity. Their vast emotional range can make them appear contradictory – aggressive and timid, mature and immature, arrogant and compassionate – depending on the situation. They may push the limits of rules at home and school, challenge their parents and teachers with constant questioning and engage in risky behavior. The discrepancies between their physical, emotional, and intellectual development make parenting and teaching gifted children especially challenging. You may benefit from joining a support group for parents of gifted children as a way to meet others who share your concerns; if there are no groups in your area, consider starting one of your own.
and it all became clear. she is all that, and thank you CA Association for the Gifted for acknowledging that she is challenging to raise, thank you! but sorry, i can't join a support group at this time, but i do have some friends with gifted children. does that count?

malia turned to me with a smile at the meeting and said,"i'm gifted." i told her that i would wrap her up all the time since she's gifted. she rolled her eyes and laughed. (yes, put me in the crazy category.)

bright or not bright, gifted or not gifted, she's just my baby girl.

Friday, August 17, 2012

split date night

malia and i went to our first Padre game at Petco Park. it was last minute. joe couldn't make it with jos, so she asked us if we wanted her extra tickets.

so we had a mother-daughter outing, me & lia and jos & joelle. kinda funny, just the girls going to the baseball game. and jos & i were never really into baseball. but it was filipino night at the Padre game, so a bunch of friends were there as well.

we had nosebleed seats, but the kids had a blast. we got to see a home run, not from the Padres, but it was still exciting. we walked around and ate gelato, then called it a night.

while lia & i were at the Padre game, roel & micah had their own outing. they went for dinner and ice cream. and micah fed the coi fish.

everyone had a good time. maybe we'll all go to a Padre game together in the future.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

son & daughter's day

it's been so hot lately, it was time to go to the beach. plus the kids have been asking begging to go.

you see, i'm not a fan of sand, i just don't like it. it gets everywhere. i don't know what happened to me, i played in the dirt all the time when i was a kid. i made mud pies. so the kids should be able to also, and i must turn my head and pretend i like the sand too. i made sure i was ready though. i brought my big bottle of baby powder. because that helps get the sand off the skin, which makes me feel better, a little.

and it just so happened to be son & daughter's day. so malia was happy, because she always likes to do things knowing we are celebrating something. she told micah that she had a gift for him at home, then asked if he had a gift for her. his response was,"oh, i didn't have time."

anyways, m&m's favorite spot is at ferry landing in coronado. it's a small spot they found with roel last summer. and it was great because there was hardly anyone there. plus, the background is so nice.

the adventos came for some beach fun. (we don't know the girl with the dog.)

 i love this  picture of lia and joel

micah wanted me to take his picture like this.

malia always loves to bury herself in the sand, i don't know why.

i didn't take too many pictures, because of umm...sand, and i was playing with the kids. we ate dinner there at ferry landing, and ended off with ice cream of coldstone. so much fun!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

seeing daddy at school

both m&m were zone transferred so that they could attend the school where roel works. this has worked out great. very convenient for our schedules. and he sees them during school hours maybe 2 or 3 times a day because he is always walking around or going to classrooms where there is computer or user trouble.

this is malia's 4th year there now. and she loves having her daddy there. she almost milked it to the point where she was barely responsible for her things. we had to put an end to that. but she stops him in the walkway to hug or kiss him. and he loves it because he knows she won't always want to do that, especially at school, and in front of her friends.

now that micah's there, roel makes it a point to check on him to see how he's adjusting. so it's funny for me to hear about how different the kids react to having their daddy at school. roel told micah the other day, "micah, when you see me at school, you don't say 'hey man' to me, say hi daddy or just hi."

malia and i just started laughing. then malia tells micah, "because he's daddy, he's not a man." omg, my children.

Monday, August 6, 2012

dear kids

it was great to have found that letter to future me the other day. and then this one popped up into my e-mail from mamapedia this morning. it is SO true, and funny at the same time. i will have to let the kids read it when i think they are ready, or just pass on the info.

from mamapedia.com:

Dear Kids,

To my daughter:

Wait as long as you can to shave your legs, pluck your eyebrows or color your hair. Because once you start, you’re signing on for a lifelong commitment.

Don’t flip through the pages of Cosmo or Vogue to compare your beauty to because those photos have been airbrushed. Go to Walmart instead. No airbrushing there.

Every photo that is taken of you, and every email that you write, is forever. Sure, it’s funny now, but do you want that crap plastered across the Washington Post when you run for President?

Give the nerd a chance. See that hot jock over there? One day he’s going to be fat, bald and working at a Blimpie. And when you’re 40, you’re not going to care how many push-ups your husband can do. You’re going to want a sweet, supportive partner who is intelligent and a good conversationalist. And maybe a trip to the Bahamas.

Find an exercise that you can do for a majority of your life like golf or yoga. You only have so many years that your body can handle sliding into 3rd base or doing a roundoff back handspring.

Everything can hurt you: sharp scissors, fast cars, loaded guns, roller coasters, boat rides, carving knives, snakes, spiders, partially cooked chicken, pedophiles, street drugs, snowboarding, scuba diving, roller blading, boys, illness, disease, pointy objects, wild animals, Red #5. It’s my responsibility to make sure that you don’t die – not that you have a good time – but just that you live to see another day.

Don’t hate me for getting you braces in your teens. Look around – 70% of your friends have braces and their parents are paying for them. One day you’ll want straight teeth, but then only 1% of your peers will have braces and you’ll have to deliver pizzas at night to pay the $5,000 orthodontist bill.

I would buy you the world if I could. So my prayer is that I have just enough money to buy you most of what you want, but not enough to buy you everything you want because it will only set you up for future disappointment. And I’m not supporting this Abercrombie habit forever.

When we don’t have internet access or provide you with a laptop computer, iPod Touch, iPhone or webcam, it’s not because we’re poor. It’s because the internet is a scary place. You might visit some disgusting website, or even worse, your boyfriend might want to FaceTime with you after midnight.

Never let boys talk you into sitting in the back row of a movie theater. There’s only one reason that they want to sit there and it’s not to show off their superhuman eyesight.

Don’t let boys talk you into doing anything that you’re not ready to do because, let’s be honest, you’re the one who will face the consequences, and they’ll just high-five their buddies in the locker room at your expense.

In summary, boys can be bad. Try to avoid them until your twenties.

Yes, I know that so-in-so’s mother let her stay out later. And yes, I also know that so-in-so’s mother is letting her go to the party. I don’t care. I’ll give you the same response that’s been used for generations: I’m not her mother.

Go to college. I know that when you’re 18-years-old all you want to do is earn your own money and buy your own stuff, but your college years will be the best years of your life. It’s the small window of time when you’re old enough to have no curfew but young enough to have no mortgage.

Believe in yourself and others will believe in you, too.

When you are at a party and you turn down cocaine, I promise not to be mad at you for drinking a couple of beers. Probably.

Don’t get a tattoo. I don’t care how symbolic you think it is now, because when you’re 87-years-old, they all look ridiculous.

Tequila shots are never ever a good idea.

Don’t ever dance on a speaker box in a nightclub. Those girls are desperately seeking attention. They usually get it, but it’s the wrong type. And sometimes you can see their underwear.

If you go anywhere without hair done, make-up on or wearing some old sweats, you will see at least one person you know. I’m not trying to deter you, I’m just letting you know the facts.

Don’t be the girl who drinks until you puke or pass out. Not only will people make fun of you the next day, they’ll remember it forever. And 20 years later while shopping with your mother-in-law, the last thing you want to do is bump into an old sorority sister and relive the infamous hunch punch party.

I’m not your friend. There are 6 billion people in this world who can be your friend, and only one person who can be your mother. I’m just trying to do my job.

To my son:
Please don’t knock up some bimbo.

Love, Mom

Sunday, August 5, 2012

we're booked

so excited because we are now booked for our next big vacation. it's back to disneyworld for us in 2013! well, crossing my fingers that it all goes through. there's still a matter of payment. and next year's trip will definitely cost more than the 2011 trip. that's the reason for booking early, monthly payments make it possible for a big trip.

and again, we aren't planning on telling the kids. it's better this way because they probably wouldn't be able to concentrate at school. plus they would be asking me every day when it's time to go.

now if i could only finish uploading the 2011 trip...

Friday, August 3, 2012

letter to future me

i found something online yesterday that made me cry. it was perfect for the way i have been feeling lately. i have been feeling overwhelmed. the kids are growing up. i wish i could freeze time. or even rewind it. what happened to my chubby little ones who would cuddle with me for half the day? they now talk like adults and are learning so much. i am so proud of them and can't wait to see how much more they will grow, but at the same time i want my babies back. being a mom is so challenging. our responsibilities for our children are always changing. we question our parenting skills often to the point of making ourselves paranoid. but it is so rewarding. finding this was perfect.

A Letter to Future Me: Remember How Much You Loved Them

Dear Me 20 Years From Now,

I wonder if you've become one of those women who briefly lingers around, a safe distance behind, young moms carting their babies and toddlers through the grocery store with that far-off look in your eyes. If you gently smile at the mom when she looks up and catches your glance, obviously frazzled by how challenging taking 2 kids grocery shopping is, as if to tell her it's going to be okay. If you look at her and miss that time, want so badly to trade 5 minutes of the independence you have now that your kids are much older so that you can rest a toddler's head on your shoulder, or buckle a baby in their car seat, mindful not to pinch any belly chub in the harness.

I have a feeling that you might be, and there are some things I want you to know, some things I'm willing you to remember.

I want you to remember that they were the hardest thing you'd ever done. They challenged you, and they kept you up at night. They pushed your buttons, and they were never, ever quiet... unless they were in trouble. I want you to remember that you loved them the hardest you've ever loved anything, from day one, and every day after that.

I want you to know that you were completely overwhelmed nearly all the time. The thought of taking them anywhere by yourself made you want to hide in bed all day. You were overwhelmed by the responsibility. You had NO clue what you were doing. You were overwhelmed by how much they trusted you and how much they needed you. You were overwhelmed by how much you needed and loved them.

I want you to remember how it felt to lay side by side next to your 4-year-old before he drifted off to sleep. How you talked face to face, nose to nose, about his day. How you told him you were excited to see how much he would grow by the morning, and how in the morning you'd lay in bed next to him and stretch his arms and legs out, exclaiming, "LOOK HOW MUCH YOU GREW LAST NIGHT!" How that put the biggest smile on his face.

I want you to remember what it felt like to hold your 18-month-old on your lap, wrapping your arms around her and laying them on her bulging tummy. How the back of her head and the handful of baby curls at the nape of her neck felt and smelled when you rested your head atop hers.

I want you to know that you were acutely aware of how fast they were growing. Even though many days would pass in the blink of an eye, there would always be a moment when your world would snap to a halt, and you would look at them while they were doing something mundane and normal, and you would be painfully conscious that they were no longer the size they were last week, and that they would never be the size they are at that moment again.

I want you to know that you went to bed every night with one simple wish for the next day. To just do better.

Even though you were tired and challenged, exasperated and overwhelmed, you knew then that you would miss these days... most of them, at least. It was a truth that was hard to live with, and most of the time you ignored it because there was nothing you could do about the passing of time. If you spent your days mourning the ones that had gone by, you'd miss out on the days you were living in.

You knew you were on a light rail, moving at speeds you couldn't comprehend. You had no control over the ride that brought you to where you are today, but believe me when I say you searched so very hard to find the emergency brake.

Please know, please remember that you tried to savor that time. Be at peace, knowing you spent late afternoons curled up with them on the couch, that sometimes you just sat and watched them move and run, that occasionally you took inventory of all the things they'd learned in the last week, and that you appreciated your time with them the best you knew how. Know that despite your very best efforts, there was no way to freeze time.

I promise you, you tried.