Cute and Sweet

These photos happen to be the cutest snapshots I captured one afternoon. I was having a meeting at home and I caught this situation:

Anna is in a middle of some car trouble  and only her Manong (Brother) Joshua can help. 
In this distress Anna is fortunate to have a big brother who is a bit of an auto expert!  

 
And in this bad  situation, sometimes a big brother is all you need to drive you out of it!  

 
Sisters are blessed to have caring brothers! Sometimes  just having your brother with you, makes you feel that everything  will be okay. 

 
Ahh… I’m so loving this stage. I pray that they will remain closely knit forever.

Here is another fun photograph from Kim Tiblani. Thanks for capturing these Kim! 

 

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Family High Five

We like the Family Finger song. We sing it, we watch it on YouTube, and its fun! 

“father finger, father finger, where are you?  here I am, here I am, how do you do?”

Since I am teaching Josh about our family, I decided to make a Family High Five!

Items required:

  1. Photos- I made a collage of our photos and printed them out. 
  2. Paper Plate and Pen- I then drew a hand on a paper plate with 5 fingers
  3. Scissors  – cut out the photos and the hand from the paper plate
  4. Glue -to paste the photos
  5. Popsicle stick – to support the hand   

 

The most important part is getting your child involved in making this project. So after cutting out everything, it was Joshua’s job to paste the family photos on each finger.

   
 I took this opportunity to familiarize Joshua with the spelling of his surname. So I wrote SOLON on the hand and let him spell it out. This teaches him that we are the SOLON Family. 

Of course this is more fun when we start singing… “Daddy Finger, daddy finger, where are you?… Here I am, here I am, how do you do?”

  
This Family High Five is easy to make and fun to do! You should try it at home!  😊😊

Family trips: Manila Zoo

I thank God for giving me a husband who is excited to give his children an amazing experience. Going some distance and over some traffic is no big deal, as long as the family gets to experience something great together.

I was amazed on one weekend that Steve decided to bring us all to Manila Zoo. I was not sure what we would be seeing but the opportunity to show real animals to the kids, especially to Joshua, meant learning! Animals in our picture books are no match to the real thing. 

  
The entrance fee was only P50. I was so surprised how orderly and clean Manila Zoo is. It is the oldest zoo in South East Asia and has been operating since 1959.

We were able to see the controversial elephant Mali. She is a lone elephant whose residence is a cemented structure. There were volunteers who were feeding her and showering her water to keep her cool from the heat. She is controversial because many want her to be transferred to real Elephant sanctuary (like Thailand) where she can live a more normal elephant life with other elephants. She has been in captivity for more than 40 years. It makes me wonder if she can still adapt with others after being so alone for all these years.

  
Daddy took Joshua to meet different animals. We got to see different kinds of birds (peacocks, flamencos, etc) and see how big ostriches are… 

 
The Manila zoo is a 5.5 hectare park. It is so nice to walk around because of all the trees and the greens found inside. You can also tell that the animals are also well fed.

   
 
  

Daddy Steve showed Joshua the deers, crocodiles, turtles, monkeys, lion and Tigers. But I think the most fun part was touching the animals while taking a photo with them!  Inside you will find a photobooth where you can take photos with different birds. Look, Joshua held a bird in his hand and Anna had one on her head! 

  
Manila Zoo also sold refreshments inside and for sure you will need water. Walking around the zoo can make you a bit thirsty!  

I love how Joshua now realizes the cartoon videos we watch on his tablet like “5 Little Monkeys” are just inspired from the real thing. He actually felt a little concerned that real monkeys don’t look as friendly as the one on his video.

   
 
I love Manila Zoo because it is stroller-friendly too. Even our little Anna can enjoy just strolling around this park. 

   

And before leaving Manila Zoo, we took another family photo this time with some albino Python snake. Joshua did not get scared, he actually held it too! 

  I recommend the Manila Zoo for family bonding trips. It was interesting and educational for our little boy, and it was good fun for us all. I was actually happy to see how clean and well maintained Manila Zoo is. 

If you plan to visit, here are some information you need:

Location: Quirino Ave., Adriatico St., Malate Manila Luzon Philippines (corner of Mabini St. and Harrison St.)

Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily 

Telephone numbers: (632) 400-1884  or (632) 522-6179 

Thank you for being daddy!

My husband, Steve, is a public servant and he is a very busy man.  So most of the day, I spend with the kids taking care of their needs, teaching and disciplining my toddler (because I catch the moments of disobedience). However, despite his very busy schedule and the stress that comes with his job, he makes it a point to spend time with the kids every day. I really appreciate that about him.

He is the type of dad that wants to be the first one to make his children experience something different or new in their life.

   
  He likes to buy gifts and play, but he is also stern in discipline.

  
When he gets home, he likes spending time being in one room  doing nothing (ok, maybe watching TV).

  
He also likes to hug and kiss the kids.  He loves holding them!

  
When we are away, he keeps saying, “I miss you guys, and I keep dreaming of Joshua”.

The most stressful part about being married to Steve is when any of the kids get sick. Even just a slight fever can be like the worst has come!  He just wants all of us to be well and happy!

  
As a father, he prays for his children.  He lays his hands on them and releases blessings in their lives.  So I know that our heavenly father is listening and will grant his prayers.

  
It seemed like a blink of an eye, that time in our life when we prayed to the Lord for our children.  I recall the day when we found out we were pregnant and weeks later, that first pregnancy was going to be terminated because it was ectopic.  The night before the operation, Steve embraced me to sleep with his hands clasping mine, as I cried to the Lord for the loss.  He was crying too because we both wanted to be this baby’s parent.  The Lord in His faithfulness, on the 7th year of our waiting, made us parents.  Steve was finally a legitimate father. A daddy to Joshua, and now a daddy to our little Anna.

  
I thank the Lord for the privilege he is giving my husband to be a father.  I thank God because Steve is experiencing a different kind of love.  He is experiencing another dimension of joy.  Most of all it is making him know God more as our father.

This day, I thank God for all fathers, who make themselves available for their children.  To dads who are ever present, who provide for their children, who love and discipline their own kids, who prays for their children, and who thinks about their future.  God bless you and may God increase your joy! I love and thank you Steve, for being that kind of daddy.

Happy Father’s Day! 

Family Time at City of Dreams Manila

I did not realize that it has been 5 months since I last went to Manila. This is our first travel as a family of 4. Anna who is known for her opera singing a.k.a crying spell went to Manila for the first time at 2months  old. Thank God she was a good girl on the plane! 



We looked forward to this short break to spend time with family, especially with my sister-in-law, Samantha, who now resides in Australia. They are in the Philippines for a short visit and it is an opportuned time for us to introduce our new baby Anna.

The newest buzz in Manila is the opening of the  City of Dreams complex. We have been to City of Dreams in Macau and we enjoyed the entertainment it offers the family. Unlike the old days where casinos were just for gamblers, now it’s concept has evolved to cater to entertain the entire family. 

This facade is adding flare and glamour to Manila Bay. A complex of 6 hectares is operating a hotel, casino, shopping malls, and an array of restaurants and cafes. It also has an area specific for entertainment such as night clubs, shows, and even a Dream works amusement center for the kids to enjoy.

This investment is quite big and has the stamp of excellence just like the City of Dreams in Macau. There are shuttling of buses from airport to City of dreams.  I am very impressed with the architecture and the interiors. What was a planned lunch for the family became a 5 hour stay… Yet it was not enough! 



 Some restaurants have opened and it included a Chinese, Korean, Filipino, and continental cuisine. The family chose to eat at Erwin’s…the food served were burger, pizza, steaks, and salads.



After lunch we were given an opportunity to see the soft opening of the amusement center called Dream Play. Dreamworks characters are inspiring the themed center with rock climbing, slides and canopy walks, rides, 3D theater show, and even their own retaurants including ginger bread’s bakery. 



They were on dry run so not everything was opened. It was a look and see of what it could be. It was good fun especially for kids above 3ft! I would suggest it for 3 year old and above! 

What I loved about the place was how they considered every detail. Like providing a mothers lounge for breast feeding moms like me. I took our 2 month old Anna with us and having that mothers lounge helped me feed and change my infant while my toddler kept on playing! 




It is impossible not to return to this place because they make it a whole lot of fun for the entire family. I look forward to going back and discover more of what City of Dreams can offer.

Life photo shoot

When I gave birth to Anna, I’m so blessed because the man behind Imaginenation photography was in town… He happens to be my brother-in-law, John Ong.  His gift for photography has blessed many couples for their prenuptial photos and wedding in photos. Now, they have a new segment called Life, where they capture moments in one’s life. They take baby, maternity, and family photos.

It was Imaginenation that took my first maternity photos. We could not resist to have photos taken because we waited 7 years for this first child. We were excited and wanted to make sure we encapsulate our journey through photos. Imaginenation’s team of photographers plus the direction and styling of my sister, Monique Lopez Ong made it exceptional.

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Now, John and Monique captured Anna’s first days at home! She was absolutely adorable with their direction!  Also our first family photoshoot with Anna were made possible because of their presence!

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Imaginenation does not only capture photos, they are also involved in family ministries. They organize “Before I do” premarital counseling seminars. Many couples who plan to take the road to marriage and want to prepare for it should consider joining one of these sessions.  Another one is actually coming up very soon in Manila… If you are interested to know your fiance and know God’s plan for your marriage start booking today!

BeforeIdo

He loves her

Recent days have been very tiring and for me because caring for a newborn has no schedule. At times I get to sleep by 12mn and wake occasionally to feed my infant. But there are nights that are so long that I have caught the sun rise before getting my sleep. 

 For several weeks,  I have missed being the first one to get my son’s morning kiss. Joshua has tried to see me and wake me, but I’m too tired to get up… Even our morning play time is not the same as before. I begin to sense that this has been an adjustment for my older son. 



My two year Joshua asks for mommy’s attention by acting like a baby.  He would ask to wear diapers even if he is potty trained and no longer needs it. When he sees me feeding his baby sister, he would ask if I could carry him just the way I am holding his sister.  He also has periods of crying for no reason so I can hug him and embrace him. Sometimes, he gets moody and tries to fight me especially when he wants to play. 

 Of course, I am concerned that he might start feeling jealous of his sister and express that in the way he approaches her. But I am so blessed because God has given my son a tender heart for his sister.  He may have meltdowns with mom, but never with his baby sister Anna.  



When Anna cries, he would run to her, touch her head and say “Be Happy, Anna!”  When Anna is awake he would always ask to kiss her. He often jumps in the crib so he could play with her and kiss her.   





Joshua loves being “manong” or older brother. He smiles when we give him praises for being a good and sweet brother. There is such joy in my heart to see that my little “manong” truly loves his baby sister.