Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top 5 Gift Ideas for Toddlers with Special Needs

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Eight more days to go and it’s Christmas Day!

Some may have finished their Christmas shopping as early as last month, while some had just started going after their list. In my case I haven’t done any Christmas shopping yet, except for the “floor puzzle” that I have bought two weeks ago for my son’s exchange gift. So here I am listing my top 5 educational toys that I wanted for my 4 year old son. As much as I wanted to buy remote control cars, or transformers robot, I opted not because what my son needs are educational toys to further enhance his cognitive and fine motor skills.

Honestly, the time my son was diagnosed with ASD I already bought some sets of wooden toys for him. Most were bought online at TahanangWalangHagdanan, Inc. and some wooden peg puzzles that I found at Toys R Us.

But as the days, months, years went by he already memorized some of the toys. This time, we need to introduce something new to him and maybe, this season husband and I can slash part of our budget and buy a set of wooden educational toys for him.

Here’s the top 5 out of so many that I wanted to get for my son. I may have listed 5 that doesn’t mean I’ll get all of them, I’m only choosing at least 1, that is readily available in the city;


1.  PLANTOYS FUN SORTING




This wooden sorter is different what we have at home, it has obstacles planted on the wooden rod, that will require the child to twist and turn to fit in the right spot.  The wooden rod can also be twisted to create a more difficult game level. This toy will develop problem solving and fine motor skills.

Source: toykingdom.ph


2.    UNIVERSE OF IMAGINATION 150-pc Wooden Block Set 


Source: toysrus.co.uk

Actually, I’ve been eyeing this set for months now, but because it’s beyond our budget I chose not to get it yet.

This wooden block set has 150 blocks of six different shapes and several colors. This construction game will enhance the child’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination and will teach the child shape recognition because the lid is also a shape sorter. 

3. Sort, Match, Attach Nuts & Bolts Boards




Unlike what I have bought for son before, this bolt  and nuts set is no ordinary because it had a wooden puzzle board where the child will fit-in the same shaped bolts and nuts. This educational toy will help build shape and color recognition, sorting, matching, hand-eye coordination and develop fine motor skills. 


4. BATTAT BRISTLE BLOCKS 50PCS BUCKET




Source: toykingdom.ph


This set of plastic blocks looks interesting. I have only seen the plain blocks, and those like the megablocks it’s my first time a set of blocks with bristle. As the description implies the child can create their own item to build and the toy will help the child stimulate creativity, hand-eye coordination and develop fine motor skills. 


5. Bead Sequencing Set Classic Toy






Though my son already has a wooden bead lacing set, I still find this set from Melissa and Doug very useful. I love the idea of having hardwood dowels where the colored beads will be stacked. And the pattern card that can be positioned upright as well  for easy to patterns.

Those are the top 5 toys for me as a mother with a toddler diagnosed with ASD and I am looking forward to get them for my son and I hope that the prices will fit my budget. Or maybe Santa will send one for him... :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

iCARE’s Christmas Party 2014

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From big corporations, to schools, barangays, and even simple family gatherings, the holiday season is not complete without Christmas Parties. Everyone is entitled to enjoy and celebrate the Christmas season, whether in grand or simple gatherings, especially the children and of course special children are no exception.

Last Sunday, December 14, 2014 the Intervention Center for Autism and Related Exceptionalities (iCARE) had a Christmas party for kids and their family who are under the institution’s care held at McDonalds Lim Ket Kai Center here in Cagayan de Oro City.

It was actually the first Christmas party that our son had attended with the only ABA therapy center in the city. Activities like this are very beneficial to children with special needs. It’s a sort of socialization and community integration in their part that we don’t want him to miss.

At 2PM, I drove the little boy, his younger sister and the 2 caregivers to the party venue. Hubby was still at work and expected to join us later in the afternoon. 

The supposedly 2:30PM party started at 3:30PM, a 1-hour delay because there was an ongoing event at the party area, miscommunication according to one of the teachers.

Like all children’s parties, games were played and participated by the kids. Sadly, our little boy does not know how to play with the group yet. So, we have no choice but to watch the others playing in the small vacant space in front. McDonald’s party area is too small for the big group like ours, big group because, not only the children were there, but as well as the family and caregivers. As expected, some kids were screaming and crying because of the crowd, and since it was too crowded the area really felt hot, the air conditioning units seem to be malfunctioning.

Anyway, those minor flaws were overridden when the Magician came out and showed us his magic tricks. Seeing him made bird picture came to life was amazing.

the magician
The magic show was indeed fun and that not only the children enjoyed, but as well as the kids at heart.

After the magic show, free foods for the kids were served. By simply presenting the meal stub, the kid will get a Chicken Mcdo Meal, a burger and juice. The little boy had one and later Sir Nats (iCARE’s Director) gave us another stub for the little girl. Free foods were only for children, while parents, companions and caregivers may purchase their own meal. I ordered spaghetti Happy Meals for us, because I was after the free toys featuring the Penguins.


the meal stub

But before the meals were served the little boy fell asleep in his caregiver’s lap and he was burning with fever. Hubby arrived just in time the meals were served, we waited for a while for the exchange gift and then asked permission to leave earlier. 

On our way out, we saw these two mascots outside waiting for their queue to enter the party area. Too bad the little boy wasn’t able to see them because he was carried out by his father ahead of us. And since these two were already there, might as well take photos with them. 

with the mascots
The little girl was really curious who these colorful creatures are. I myself do not know them (oops! Sorry). After googling, I came to know these two, the big blob in purple is Grimace and the yellow bird is Birdie. Well, they are not really good looking compared to the well-loved Jollibee characters, but at least the little girl wasn’t afraid at all. 

Before ending this very long blog post, I would like to thank the management and staff of iCARE for the very enjoyable Christmas party. Next time, I’ll make sure to choose seats nearer the stage so that we can join the games too.

Merry Christmas iCARE! May You continue to be a blessing to all of us, especially to our children.


The Intervention Center for Autism and Related Exceptionalities (iCARE) is located at 11th 30th Street, 9000 Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City. You can check out also their FB Page for more info.

Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 Annual Physical Examination

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Every year an Annual Physical Examination (APE) is given to all qualified employees. It is one of the benefits that our company is giving us. And each year we are looking forward for the APE, and unfortunately reach the Mindanao Region on the last month of the year and the results will come out more or less 3 months from now.  Anyway, we are still thankful to the management for giving us this free examination, which will cost a lot if done outside at our own expense.

The Mobile Clinic parked inside the Office Compound
On Wednesday afternoon, the diagnostic team from Manila had arrived in the city to facilitate the APE for employees under the Northern Central area of Mindanao including our department. I was one of the first employees to fall-in line the following day. At 7:30AM I already arrived at the testing area, filled-up the necessary papers and did the following series of tests;

1. Complete Blood Count
2. Urinalysis and Stool Examination
3. ECG
4. Visual/Eye Examination
5. Chest X-ray
taking the blood sample
If last year the Pelvic and Breast Examination and Pap smear are only given to female employees 40 years old and above, this year the age range was lowered to 35 years old and above which I am very glad because I am qualified to take these examinations.

By 10:00AM I’m done with everything, including the mandatory drug test. Just in time, my boss called me up and directed me to attend a meeting in his place, because he attended another meeting outside the office.


For now, I have to stay put and wait for the examination result. And I hope I have good results this time (I doubt!), unlike what I had last year. (High Cholesterol, etc.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thrift Finds: Jeans + Shirt for the Little Boy

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It’s Christmas! While everyone is busy shopping for the holidays, I was busy at work and busy rushing for the last pieces of made to order handmade jewelries which will be sent out tomorrow.
This afternoon, I remembered that on Sunday my son will be attending his first Christmas Party hosted by the therapy center he is attending. And digging into his closet, I realized that he needed a new pair of jeans/pants. He grew tall and that the few pairs he have are already hanging.


After office, hubby and I took him for a quick shopping at Gaisano Bulua, the nearest department store we can go to from home and bought him his new jeans + a polo shirt. 


Gone are the days, that I shop for kids clothing at SM City. Branded clothes that are half the price, but still very expensive. This season I decided to be frugal and spend less on children’s clothes because aside from the reason that they outgrow them fast, hubby and I are having trouble budgeting the past months. We have to cut down our expenses, and prioritize our needs. A good way to start realigning our budget, spend within our means, and save more for future needs.


Going back to the clothes for the little boy, I think hubby and I found a great set for him. Jeans at P290.00 and a shirt @ P215.00 are a better catch than spending more than P500 for a pair of jeans alone. Next time I’ll be in Iligan City I’ll find time to dig into the ukay-ukay I’m pretty sure I can find good as new branded clothes at less than P100.00. J

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

12 Things to be Thankful for in November 2014

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November was a very demanding yet exciting month for us. There are a lot of things had transpired the past month and I can’t help but be thankful of the following that I can think of;

1. Time. It was the day to remember our departed love ones. Hubby and I are thankful for the time, because we were able to travel to his hometown safely and visited his parents’ graves. 

2. Birthdays. November is one happy month for us because it is the month that our two beautiful kids were born. On the 10th we celebrated Jewel’s 1st Birthday and on the 15th it was our 1st born 4th birthday

3. Crafts. I thank God for giving me a pair of hands that can create crafts easily with the help of some tutorials online. I was able to do DIYs for the bee-girl’s 1st birthday and later on the go for my handcrafted jewelry projects.

 

4. Star. On his younger sister’s birthday, X brought home a star on the back of his hand. His reward for being very good in the class which he seldom does, then brought another star three days later. 

5. Beach. A day after X’s birthday, the family went to the nearby beach. A much needed salt water dip for the kids and I after suffering from cough and colds.

6. Milestone. While having breakfast on the 17th, our little girl finally knows how to clap her hands. Babies meet their milestones in different pace, she probably was late to learn how to clap, and it’s okay as long as she was able to do it. 

Exactly 20 minutes walk!
7. Exercise. The car needed a check-up because of the vibration observed, thus, I have no choice but to take a public transport going to the office and vice versa. Unlike in the morning, taking the jeepney is too hard, usually already full of passengers, thus, I decided to walk my way home from the highway crossing that took me 20 minutes to reach the house.  By doing so, I actually hit two birds at the same time. I was able to save a few pennies and had an instant 20 minute exercise. Cool!

8. Neighbor. Two minutes after arriving at the office on the 19th, my cell phone rang and on the line was our concerned neighbor, who saw the sparking/burning of the service drop wire in front of our house. He told me about the event and that he already told our two house help at home (with the kids) to switch off the main breaker. I reported the incident to the local electric utility and later in the morning they fixed it. I thank God for keeping my family safe by sending us a concerned neighbor. 

9. Gift Card. Shopping for a wedding gift is too difficult these days, you’ll never know if the newlywed can actually use them. Thank goodness there are already available gift cards that we can buy and send it as a gift instead. 

This hubby and I + 2 of our office mates gift to the couple
10. Wedding. Saturday the 22nd! Hubby and I already cleared this day solely to attend the wedding of my officemate happening in Iligan City in the afternoon. Because I was busy at work + I have no car the past days, I wasn’t able to have my anticipated manicure and pedicure. My nails looked so awful that I have to rush to my favorite salon for a quick nail fix and at the same time have my hair ironed in the morning. By noon time, we headed to Iligan City to catch the 3pm wedding ceremony. The unpleasant story after can be read here

11. WeChat. Communicating with my supplier in Metro Manila is made easy because of the application. We can chat and send pictures to further clarify and be specific with the items ordered and sent. 

12. Bonus. It’s already the end of the year on the 28th, the last Friday of the month our 1 month bonus was already credited to our ATM accounts. As much as we wanted to spend our bonuses, hubby and I can’t do that because they are already married and will directly be deposited to our other account to pay for our lot loan amortization.

That’s it! Those are the 12 things that not only me, but hubby as well are very thankful for. Aside from those listed above,I am always thankful to our Lord God for the every day of our life. For our kids, who are special and beautiful in many ways, for my husband, the father of my kids who always stand as our strength, for our job that brings food to our table, to the people around us, our family and our two house help for taking care of your children during times we are at work. Our everyday life is made easy because of the people around us and of course with the guidance and graces from our Heavenly God.
"to get the full value of "JOY" you must have someone to divide it with" ~mark twain~ Daisypath Anniversary tickers