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Our First Potluck At Home

We did it. We pulled it off.

Our very first time to entertain at home. 🙂

Technically, it’s not the first time. The hubby has had friends over for drinks, but they only ever really spend time at the back and its only for drinks. On Saturday night, we hosted our first potluck dinner party to celebrate the hubby‘s birthday with his side of the family.

This is the first time his family is coming over for a visit. We have been dreading this day for two months – since about the time the cousins agreed that the June inuman session was going to happen here.

Why have we been dreading this day?

Our entire living area is such a mess. It looks like we just moved in, or a tornado just blasted through. That’s why I don’t invite friends over, and why one of my goals this year was to finally be able to entertain friends and family at home – to motivate us to really clean house!

Initially, we wanted to do the cleaning all by ourselves. But we’ve postponed the dinner date because that didn’t happen. And just a week left before the last day of June, we were desperate for help. We finally booked the help of Busy Bees Housekeeping Services to get the house in shape.

They really saved the day.

They helped us declutter and let go of a lot of things. They cleaned up our couch, our bathroom and our kitchen and back area. There’s still a lot of stuff we held on to, but it’s a start towards breaking free of ‘stuff.’ Next time, we intend to enlist their help again but for the bedrooms and the upstairs bath.

Sorry, no before and after photos here but trust me – they did wonders to our home! My parents will attest, specially my Dad! 🙂

Too bad we didn’t get to take photos of everyone who made it to our small shindig, specially since it was the first time since the wedding three and a half years ago that my parents got any face time with my in-laws. By the time I remembered to snap this photo of our remaining guests, the ‘oldies’ had already left 🙂

On a side note, the Big Winner of this gathering was really our nephew/inaanak Grey who got to pick three items from his Ninong Dodong’s Lego collection:

Honestly though, we are wondering how many days we’re actually going to be able to maintain order and cleanliness around here. Haha!

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If you need cleaning services, chat up Busy Bees Housekeeping Cleaning Services on Facebook, they are very responsive and will provide you with a free estimate.

The Book Thief

How many times have I found myself transported to another place, and another time? How many times have I imagined living in a different world, a different era? But I would never wish to exist in the time of The Book Thief.

Specially not on Himmel Street.

The Book Thief is my book #14 for 2018. I took my time with this one, reading just a few pages a day. Towards the end, I wanted to keep reading. All the while knowing…

That I may not have the courage to live in that harsh reality of wartime Germany. I don’t know that I have the heart to survive it.

Liesel Meminger had to say so many goodbyes at a tender young age. All because of words. Words. Words. Words that planted seeds of fear and hate. Words that started and fueled a war. Words that ripped families apart. Words that sent home thousands of souls earlier than they had to.

Is it coincidence that I read Markus Zusak’s masterpiece at this very season? There is a lot happening in our country, and in the world today. And once again, words are at the center. Words that are once again being shaken and used to distract, confuse, instill fear, and instigate hate. Words that are rewriting history, and shaping a new reality.

But it is also Words that helped Liesel cope. Words kept her alive. Zusak weaved for us a beautiful tale of humans that existed in that time. He forces us to remember that where there is ugliness, there is also beauty. And that kindness continues to persist in a world full of hate.

No, I would not wish to have lived in that time, in that place, but I would have been fortunate to have known the likes of Liesel, her family and her friends.

They are a reminder that there are Hans and Rosa Hubermanns out there who are willing to care for the lost and forgotten. That no matter the danger, it is right to repay kindness with kindness. There are Rudys, who are true friends, and this one shows us that boys can grow up to be decent young men who will give their all. And there is Max, who held on to hope even when it seemed that all is lost, and who never failed to show gratitude in every way he could.

So I also know that now we have a choice – do we allow the words of modern-day Fuhrers to shape our world, or will we use our words to spark hope, spread kindness, bring joy, and inspire change?

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Clean Oven

Our Elba, the oven I happily featured in this post from 2009, has served us really well. Recently, it’s always grimy, and all pots and pans you use while cooking would end up with soooo much soot I hated washing because soot just ended up on everything else that’s on the sink.

One knob was broken and has gone missing. The burners weren’t working 100%.

We haven’t used the oven in a long time.

Now, thanks to these young men, Louie and JC, we have a clean and fully functioning oven!

They checked everything and cleaned it inside and out. They say it was in pretty good condition, and just needed a good cleaning to get back to tip-top shape. It did take about 5 or 6 hours for them to complete the job though on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The service is husband-approved! He’s the primary cook and kitchen manager in this household and is very happy that he can now use multiple burners again. He is also looking forward to using the rotisserie function!

For your oven cleaning and repairs

These guys came all the way from Binangonan, Rizal, and had braved through Metro Manila traffic on their way to our place. That evening, I couldn’t stop thinking about how much time they spend on a single job that day – 6 hours on the job and maybe 4 hours on the commute?

So I would really love to help drive more business to these hardworking, small business folk. For your oven repair and Service needs, here’s how to reach them:

Facebook: Bertiz Louie

Mobile: 09073116053

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Tantrums and Meltdowns

Tantrums and Meltdowns in Kids | Stitches & Words http://verabear.net

Tantrums and Meltdowns in Kids | Stitches & Words http://verabear.net

Is Your Toddler Having a Tantrum or Suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder?

Do you have a child who seems to act out all the time? Perhaps you chalked it up to a temper tantrum, common behavior for toddlers. Has their behavior has become not only disruptive and embarrassing but potentially harmful and frequent? Though this could very well be nothing more than your tiny tot trying to find their voice and express their emotions, it is also a real possibility that they’re suffering from something else.

Tantrums and emotional meltdowns as a result of sensory processing disorder or lack of self-control may appear to be the same, however, they are very different from each other. Having a clear understanding of these differences can help you learn how to parent in a manner in which supports your child’s growth and development.

What’s a Tantrum?

A tantrum is an emotional outburst that children display when trying to communicate their needs or wants. You might notice this occur if you’re paying attention to your phone and your kid wants your attention, or when they can’t have a treat or play with a toy. A tantrum can manifest through screaming, kicking, crying, and lashing out. They may not be able to fully express themselves in these scenarios and may have a valid reason for trying to communicate with you, however, a toddler who is catching tantrums is on some level able to control their emotions and behavior. You can tell because when provided with what they want, they’re able to quickly stop their negative behavior.

What’s a Meltdown?

Meltdowns are emotional outbursts as a result of feeling overwhelmed. For children suffering from a sensory processing disorder, their meltdowns essentially mean that there’s too much information to be processed. They might start screaming in a crowded grocery store because of all the commotion and bright lights. They may kick and yell to take off their clothes if the seams are causing irritation. In these circumstances, they’re unable to control their responses to feeling overwhelmed. Unlike a tantrum that is often resolved by getting a response, a meltdown can continue to occur even after giving the child what they want or removing them from an environment they’re overly sensitive to.

How to Deal with Tantrums and Meltdowns

Now having a clear understanding of the differences between a tantrum and a meltdown, you can make more effective decisions as a parent. How can you prevent or minimize the likelihood of them occurring? If they do occur, what should your response be? Below are some answers:

Tantrums – To deal with a child who’s catching a tantrum, it is imperative that you don’t give in to what they’re asking for. This reinforces their behavior and makes it harder to stop the next time. Instead, acknowledge their feelings, express to them a better way to communicate with you, and then after they’ve corrected their behavior if you want you can provide them with whatever it is they’re after.

Meltdowns – If your child suffers from meltdowns due to sensory processing disorder the best thing you can do is either remove the triggers or remove them from environments that overstimulate the senses. If they cry every time they have to get dressed you would seamless sensitivity products to soothe their frustrations. If you’re in a crowded space, try to get somewhere you can be alone and help your child to calm down and refocus.

Tantrums are negative displays of emotion to get what they want or need. Meltdowns are often uncontrollable emotional responses to overly stimulating environments or circumstances. Knowing the difference between the two is imperative to your child’s growth and development. It also helps you to understand them in a way that helps you to be a more effective parent. If your child continues to have tantrums and meltdowns, you may want to check with their pediatrician to ensure they don’t have any other developmental issues that could be causing the behavior.

My 3 Best Dads

Reposting this photo of my 3 best Dads ?

Yesterday was really family day for my husband and me. First up was a big lunch with the Ocampos in Fairview. And then it was dinner with the Apitanas all the way in far Pasay. Hehe ?

I have truly been blessed to have grown up with fine examples of Dads. Papa and Daddy showed me that ‘good provider’ was not just about bringing food to the table but being a real presence. That love for family came first, but so did serving the bigger community.

My husband has always had big shoes to fill because these guys, my Kuya included, set a very high standard. Hindi naman din sya nagpapahuli.

Tho we are still working on that baby project, Pawrents naman kami to our four-legged babies. And sya ang primary caregiver. I just know he’ll make a fine Dad himself, given the chance.

To all Dads – a belated Happy Father’s Day! Know that you are loved and appreciated, every single day of the year ?

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