Love Language: quality time

When I told my twin sister, Monique, that Joshua’s love language is quality time, she empathized with me. She has one child who also has shown that his love language is quality time and she knows how overwhelming it can be.

My son always checks if I am around. He will start whining asking “where is mommy?”. Then on the second time he asks and does not see me or hear my voice he would start that crying sound.  I have to make him hear me say, “I’m here.” When he finally sees me his crying face changes and he would laugh and smile with relief. 

That’s pretty much a picture of my life now. When I have schedules outside the house and if it seems I will be spending about 4 hours away from the house, it means I have to take my kids with me. Anna needs me because I chose to breastfeed her.  Josh on the other hand goes because he wants to be with me. He is my Mr. Quality-time guy.

Even my bathroom breaks are not my me-time anymore! I get invaded doing my thing on the toilet or have the shower curtains checked while I bathe. I can’t have locked doors because Joshua will either cry or find a way to open it.

  
It is serious business for my toddler to know where mommy is. I have learned to let my guards down, and to ease up. My child wants to access me all the time and it makes him feel secure if he knows mom is just there. 

Each child is unique and their love tanks are filled according to the love they want to receive. At 2 years and 8 months, I am figuring out that Josh feels loved if we spend time together. In fact, at times I get busy, he will ask me to take a walk with him. Just the two of us to talk and hold hands and look at the sky. Or he would ask if he can sleep, but actually all he wants is me to stay beside him on his bed to look at each other, pinch each other’s face and laugh. He won’t sleep at all. He just wants me to “date” him on a one on one.

It’s sweet and cute. But at times his demand of quality time can also be so overwhelming and sometimes annoying. But as a parent my job is to secure my child with love and to teach him in the way he should go. So that means, I must make time to spend quality time with him. Dad also does his share of “dating” Joshua and playing with him. 

We as parents should know our child and love them the way they feel loved and want to receive love. Learn more about the love languages of your child in the book, 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. It’s a good book to help us parents become more intentional with our children.

  

Colored Ice! 

Thinking of painting in a different style, I tried to follow other moms who use food coloring and water. The new idea is to put them in a ice cube tray and freeze them!

  
I placed Popsicle sticks a little early, so my ice cube tray looks like this. It still was as good because it still was able to pull out the colored ice cube. My son was excited with his new medium for art! 

  
What we used was a cartolina paper. I also recently ordered some tables and chairs from a dear designer friend, Rain Ramas. This is where Joshua can do his activities. I find it so important that Joshua will be able to reach and do things in his level and height.

  
Okay, my son started to talk about what he was doing and he has some application from our recent visit to Mind Museum. He said that he was making planet earth with the stars! A little bit of science input there. He is beginning to understand that we live in planet earth and that there is a sun and moon, with other stars and planets. The movie “Home” also made it clear that there is a big universe or space out there where the stars are, and that we live on planet earth. 

  
I am seriously amazed at my son’s growing knowledge and imagination. This was the first work he did on ice cube paint! It was so fun we ended up having to do another cartolina paper. But Joshua ended up letting our dog eat the remaining ice and he enjoyed eating this edible colored ice too!

  
This is really one fun, fun, fun activity for 2-3 year olds. But I say, even a 38 year old mom like me, enjoyed it too! 😄😄😄

My child exposed my heart 

It is amazing when the bible says that children are a gift from God. They truly are and they are a gift to help us parents become better persons.

Lately, I am losing the battle with my temper. I thought I am pretty patient but my buttons do get pressed when my son over reacts by whining and having meltdowns. When trying to talk it out why he cries, he would prefer to scream with wild tears on his eyes… I start feeling upset. Then when he does not obey or tries to fight his baby sister, I burst from the inside.

  
When I burst, I don’t like the image of myself. My husband also pointed out that my helpers are watching how I treat Joshua and giving them the license to follow my style. Ugh… How I hate how I have not controlled myself. 

So now, I’m writing my prayer because I am so discouraged. I need God to work on me from the inside out.

Lord Jesus. I need you.

I need you to help me raise the children you have bestowed to our care. Give me patience to train my babies. 

When they whine, and uncontrollably cry because they can’t get what they want… Give me a calm spirit. 

Give me wisdom to just ignore the cries and encourage them to talk. 

Give me strength to discipline them when they disobey and disrespect me or others. 

Help me Lord to do it with grace. 

Keep my tongue from sending out hurtful words that might curse them.  

Keep me Lord from blanking out when I see something displeasing. 

Help me hold myself from screaming or reacting in anger. Help me react in grace rather than aggression. Lord, I confess this is so hard for me… 

But by your grace and the Holy Spirit you can make me a good mother to my children.

Lord, you give me hope because you are not done with me yet, and you promised to complete me in Christ Jesus. 

Please protect my children from my weakness in parenting. 

I have faith that you have good plans for them. Lord Jesus, please help me live a life that will bring them closer to you, not farther. Amen.

My children have exposed an area in my life that I need to surrender yet to God. I need God to help me control my anger and my pride.  I confess this sin and surrender it to Jesus. 

  
I know there are mothers like me who need this time out and restoration from God. The only thing holding me now is the truth that God draw nears to us when we draw near to him in a broken spirit and contrite heart. He will refresh us when we humbly ask and He will enable us to do what is right.

I also trust that God loves my children more than I can and could. So in total surrender I rest my soul to the hands of our Creator. I know with courage, God will enable me to start over with the right attitude and a renewed heart when a similar situation passes.

Letter Activity H,I,J,K

I try to introduce one letter a week to my two year old. I try to make it as creative as possible so that it retains well in his mind. I also search the net to find ideas and inspiration on what activities to do. So these are a few we have done.

The Letter H

Using a paper puncher, I punched the colored paper and made holes that would make an H. Then I stuck this colored paper on a paper plate. The idea is for Josh to use paint and a sponge and smudge a color on the holes. Once he is done, we take the colored paper and see the H impressed on the paper plate! 

   
 

Letter I

With the letter I, the activity encouraged Josh to write the ” I ” with a pencil. Then introduce him to objects starting with the letter I. To add more activity, the cotton he glued unto the paper to pretend it to be the ice cream on a cone. (Please excuse this reverse view because photo was taken from the point of view of the teacher.)

 

Letter J

For this Letter it was easy for my son to remember because Joshua now knows that it’s the first letter of his name. We did a fine motor skill activity where he inserts a noodle over his straw. At the end of this we curve the straw to make it look like the letter J. 

 

Letter K

I love paper plates! It’s cheap and can be used for many activities. So to introduce Joshua to K, I drew a big K in the middle of the paper plate. I then placed examples of what objects were starting with K. Still with a bit of fun, I asked Josh to use his play dough to follow the Letter K. I had to help him here, but he succeeded in putting the play doh on the paper plate. 

   

As I go along from time to time, I check if Josh remembers randomly the letters individually. I realized some he would, but others he won’t. So in that part, I am learning to just relax about it. He is only 2 years old and 8 months! As a mom teaching at home, I must make Joshua enjoy and play and he will naturally absorb these fun learning. These activities help him familiarize with the individual letters and their sound. 

   

Foam Cut Out Art

I love National bookstore and Japan Stores because they have a lot of materials for art. It is always good to start buying basic stuff  for activities at home. This would include Crayons, papers and colored paper, scissors, glue and stick glue.  

I like doing activities with Josh that requires him to use his hands and avoid getting entertained by TV and the tablet. I bought some foam cut outs that had animals and shapes. Those were available in Japan Store for P88. Then with colored paper and stick glue we got ready to create our artwork!  

   
As Joshua chooses his cut out, we would imagine that he is pretending to create a jungle with all these animals. When we tell stories, it helps Josh also with his imagination. I love listening to his version of the story telling too! 

   
 
At the end, you can see how accomplished he feels with his work. And I feel the same! 

Creative Math for Toddlers

Since I want Josh to practice the concepts of numbers I prepared another activity just by using simple materials. The objective is for Josh to really count and understand what the number means.

What I used are the following:

1. cardboard from a used folder

2. Colored paper

3. Play dough

4. Marker Pen

I cut out into similar rectangular shape the old folder. Then I cut circles in different colors from the colored paper. Those circles I would paste at the top part of the rectangular board.  Below the circle, I would put the number. 

With the play dough I made small round circles.  There should be enough to be placed for all the card board numbers that the child will complete. 

  
It is a guided play. I tell Joshua he has to help the circle get their seeds. The seed should be the same as the number. Oh he enjoyed the challenge! But of course, you have to help him count and understand that those “seeds” have to be inside the circle.

  
This was Josh doing number 8. When I presented the card board it was one at a time and in random order.  This way he won’t be so overwhelmed and just feel like he is playing a game. 

  
Here are some of his completed work. The plus part was he enjoyed this activity he kept asking to do it again and again. Of course, that brought a huge smile on my face 🙂

Teaching this math concept will lead him to understand later the concepts of addition and subtraction soon!