LEGOS ARE SO UNDERRATED FOR GIRLS!

During Christmas, I was browsing the toy aisle for different things to buy my daughter. I wanted some things that would help her fine motor skills and also could be used for engineering. For some reason when people think of girls, they leave out science, engineering and math.

Lego Friends

Growing up, I don’t ever remember playing with Legos. My daughter is only five, but she put the set together by herself. I assisted a few times, pushing things down a little harder, but she was able to follow directions by herself and figure it all out.

I’m sold and a total Lego fan! She sat down and was persistent for an hour. I watched her self-esteem boost. It also gave her a chance to explore her creative side and work on her fine motor skills. She also got to use her planning skills, which most toys don’t allow her to do. I mean she had blocks and big Legos when she was smaller, but these are definitely amazing, and I will be buying her a few more sets. It kept her quiet for an hour and left no mess to clean up. No need to say anymore.

Lego Friends Set

SO THANKFUL MY DAUGHTER IS ENTERTAINED BY A SIMPLE CEREAL BOX!

This is how we grew up! I read on social media about parents complaining their young children are too into screens, iPads and phones at the table. It makes me giggle. 

Parents are parents for a reason. It’s your job to set the guidelines for your children, oh and don’t forget lead by example. 

My daughter is a sponge and soaks up everything I do. So, it was my job to tell her my brother and I would fight growing up to see who could get to play with the stuff on the back of the cereal box first.

! Boom it was that easy!

Once a week in my house we have cereal for breakfast and guess what she wants to do? Even if she’s done it already! Bravo to these organic cereal companies who are keeping up with the mainstream by putting cute things on the back of the boxes! It makes for a great start of our day and keeps her quiet for a moment! Win, Win for everyone! 

Confession: while organic cereal is a great substitute, I do miss my Frosted Flakes, Pops, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch! I wish they would take out the paint thinners, the GMOs and bad stuff. It’s such a shame my lil one has no idea how great they used to taste. But I guess you don’t miss what you never had…

SOCCER TIME AGAIN – OMG, I’M OFFICIALLY A “SOCCER MOM!”

It’s that time again: soccer season. My daughter was so excited to get back in town the night before soccer started. I thought she was going to be jet lagged and tired.  Excitement took over. This time I did not sign her up to be on a soccer league, I signed her up for an instructional soccer class. She did great last season, but I didn’t play soccer, so I would like for her to learn some more skills before she gets back on the field. When we got there today, she was the only girl in her class, and because we got there early, I was able to see the class before hers and it was also full of boys.

At five years old I understand sports are supposed to be fun and games, but I also believe sports are more fun when you’re on a winning team. When you’re one of the top players on the team, your confidence is high and so is your self-esteem. She is so young right now that all the children get playing time, but I am that parent that’s going to go out of my way to do everything I can (in case soccer is something that she sticks with) to make sure her skills are perfected to the best of her ability. That way when she’s older, she will earn her time to play.

I’m sorry, (not sorry) I’m not one of those parents who believes everyone deserves a trophy. Kids need to learn if you want to succeed you have to work for it. That’s how you prepare your child for the real world. Everyone’s not gonna like you and everyone’s not gonna be nice. Those are things that I tell her now and I reassured her it’s OK, everyone doesn’t have to like you, it is more important that you like yourself. 

Today the class was a meet and greet and they ran some drills. All the kids did great and we’re pretty much rookies. I’m excited to see all that they learn, and I will write again to let you know if I think this instructional class improves her skills when it’s time for her to join her next team. 

I do want to give a few little tips for soccer moms. The first one is it is winter, so they told me that they would be having class inside the gym, so bring tennis shoes which I did. I’m so happy that I grabbed her soccer bag with her cleats inside because when we got there she was out on a dirty, muddy field because it rained last night. So, if you can, keep those cleats on hand and make sure you remember their shin guards. I noticed some of the rookie moms also didn’t bring water for their kids. He gave the children three 30-second water breaks during the 45-minute class and I thought it was awesome because I’m big on hydration. Last but not least, don’t forget to encourage them. Before we got out of the car, I looked at my daughter and said, “The only person you have to do better than is YOURSELF! This is NOT a competition! You are here to learn make friends and have fun.”

THE SECRET WAY I GET MY DAUGHTER TO HOLD STILL!

I am the mother of a spunky, energetic 5-year-old! She has more energy than I know what to do with. I keep her in activities so they can wear her out. At times, I wish I hadn’t waited so late in life to have her because I truly struggle to keep up! 

Yesterday, she was riding her new scooter in the house and it just seemed like she was right behind me while I moved from room to room. After almost falling over her with a basket of laundry I wanted to put away, I thought about it…how can I get her to hold still? 

Polish her toenails! She loves having her toes polished! For Christmas, the family who owns the Taekwondo studio she goes to gave her a set of like 10 different nail polishes and she is excited about them! 

I put the laundry basket down, went to her bathroom and pulled the set out. Bent down next to her and said with excitement.

 “Who wants a pedicure?” 

She yelled, “Me Mommy”! 

So, before I knew it I grabbed a white hand towel, her spa kit and went into nail tech mode. She enjoyed every minute of it!

She sat proudly as her Turquoise right foot and Baby Pink with Hot Pink sparkles left foot dried! It worked! I made her a sandwich, put it next to her and she sat and waited for her toes to dry! Yes, I lied and told her they were still wet to get an extra 10 minutes…but I got the laundry all put away and she held still for 45 minutes, talking about every thought that entered her mind! Until I gave her a sandwich! (I was thankful I didn’t do her nails too.) 

Now, it would be nice if I could find the time to get a pedicure my damn self! I understand now why parents use to tell us, “Go outside or something” Those musta been the good ol days when you could just kick your kid out the house. We didn’t even feel rejected, we would just go play. Deep sigh, imagine… Anyway, how do you encourage your kids to keep still? 

Please share!

SHE DID IT!

This weekend was full of excitement. Our little girl was invited to test for her black belt in Taekwondo! While she was pretty cool looking, she was calm and collected when she told me that morning that she was a little nervous. I busted out in a sweat! I started eating candy and I was a nervous wreck. (I don’t even eat candy.)

All awhile telling my little girl, “You are ready for this, you have been practicing and as long as you are prepared, there is no reason to be nervous. I will be right there, and I believe in you.” 

Her father told her to enjoy herself and she got this, and we all love her.

Her grandmother told her, “You got this girl! Don’t be nervous.”

She walked in the Dojo, bowed and went straight on the mat to meditate. 

My 5-year-old baby was meditating. I was proud but my heart was pounding. We were all sitting there and her Masters came up and greeted us with huge smiles. This was her first real testing with big kids. The kids there ranged from about 8-15 years old. They were all testing for different belts and of course they were from what my daughter calls “THE BIG KIDS’ CLASS”. She was the only student who tested from the Little Champions Program.

Her testing lasted 2.5 hours. After they warmed up, she was called to the table to preform her Form – Chung Gi. This is when I started to calm down, she nailed it! Her cheering section was full of smiles as we watched a higher rank testing with her watching her to make sure they were doing things correctly.

Her one steps were flawless, she landed her kicks and her punches! She broke the board. She also counted to 10 in Korean and knew all her Korean vocabulary. She wrote her essay…she did it! 

SHE GOT HER LITTLE CHAMPIONS BLACK BELT!

Grandma was crying! 

Her Daddy was screaming KIA! 

I could finally breathe, hahahaha.

Her Determination, her Focus and her Fierceness will take her a long way! She is off to the big kids’ class soon…but not too fast. For now, it will only be 1 day a week because she’s still only 5 years old! So, he’s gonna slowly move her over to longer classes with bigger kids while still allowing her to take the fun lil kids’ class that’s not “AS” serious all the time. 

LOL, Ima PROUD MOMMA!

I CAN’T BE THE ONLY PARENT WHO FORGOT TO MOVE THE ELF!

As a mother, I don’t need one more thing to remember, not one more thing on my list to do. Whoever started this Elf on the Shelf thing, I’d like to strangle him. Let’s just get real, sometimes when my kid falls asleep… I fall asleep too because I’m completely exhausted. I want to run away from responsibility just like everybody else. 

Holidays are those things that I feel like I have to do because my mother loves them so much but it’s not the thing that I really enjoy doing.  Yes, my house is decorated. Yes, my Christmas trees are up (4 of them). Yes, I have a reindeer and angels and trinkets and Santa Claus everywhere.  My kid knows the truth, she figured it out when she was three that Santa Claus is not real.  She said, “There is NO way he gets from Uncle Chris house in Thailand, all the way to Uncle Aves house in Singapore, then to me in the USA all on the same night. It’s not possible, Mommy!” 

I’ve never tried to convince her otherwise, I giggled and told her don’t tell other children. She pinky promised but she happens to enjoy all the shenanigans. 

This Elf on the Shelf thing is becoming a pain in my butt. Let me let you into my home. My daughter wakes up bright and early at the crack of dawn happy and the first thing she does is search the house for the damn elf. My heart dropped because I realized I fell asleep! Damn, the elf was going to be in the same place it was last night not because my kid was bad yesterday, because I simply forgot and fell asleep. 

She called my mom to tell her the elf didn’t move. Thank God, I have an awesome mother who loves to play all the little elf games. We left to go grocery shopping and what do you know…when we came back the elf had moved! At first, I was confused but then I giggled. 

Thanks, Mom. I might be 44 but you’re still my hero and you’re still rescuing me! To all parents out there who have also bought their children an elf, good luck. I hope you can remember that one more thing that’s on your list until Christmas! 

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN IS ALWAYS AN INTERESTING ADVENTURE!

I used to have anxiety about traveling with my daughter but now I must say she has become my little road dog! Pausing to take deep breaths and meditation has always helped tremendously. I travel a lot for work and keep her in toe. I have always preferred taking the earliest flight out. Yes, that means very early mornings and often we are on our way to the airport while it’s still dark outside. She ends up being all sleepy on the flight and even when she doesn’t fall asleep, she’s mellow. When she’s able to get a nap in by the time we land, she’s ready to go. As long as we are traveling in the states, the whole day is not lost due to traveling. So, she is ready to hit the ground running.

I have been blessed with a child who loves to travel. Watching her gain her confidence while traveling has become an amazing experience for me. She loves pulling out her own ID, (Even though it’s not needed yet, she feels like she’s a big girl.) holding her own boarding pass and pulling her roller bag all by herself was the new thing on our latest trip. Even checking the scale to make sure her bag wasn’t overweight. Pulling out her iPad and putting it in a bin at security. I know these may sound like little things but she’s 5 years old already knowing how to basically get around an airport by herself. 

😂

This summer my mother started letting her order room service by herself, so this trip back to California she didn’t bother to tell you she was hungry for breakfast, she would go get out the menu and order her breakfast herself! Hahaahah, at 5 years old she’s even figured out she could buy things in the hotel and tell them to charge it to the room  LOL! 😂Thank God my mom didn’t allow her to do that while I was at work. I have a feeling strawberry shortcake ice creams from the gift shop would have been her everyday thing. I’ve noticed no matter how many toys she is given, she seems to talk about her experiences more than her things. While toys are nice, the gift of traveling and experiencing new things seems to be her favorite. Adventure over material…

She has definitely inherited that from me!

EXPERIENCES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THINGS

I live in the most incredible town. They always throw these “Events” for children in the neighborhood. I took my daughter to see Curious George for free at a book reading event. It was the cutest thing ever. Moving from California has groomed me to be everywhere early and thank God because when I say my town comes out to support, that is an understatement! My daughter and I were sitting in front of the stage and she was eating a blueberry muffin. All of a sudden, it turned 10 a.m.  I turned around and looked and out of nowhere there were 100 children behind us.  In no time, my baby girl had made friends with the boy on her left and the girl on her right. They were happily sitting there waiting. Watching her anticipation reminded me how important it is that children get experiences. In fact, I realize experience is more important than “things”. (She remembers the experiences and loves to talk about them.) 

With it being the last quarter of the year, I am going to remember this for Christmas time and try to figure out how to wrap up experiences instead of just gifts.

*Side note as beautiful as the event was, during the last book reading 3 kids approached the stage standing, screaming, and being unruly. A mother came to pull them back twice but wasn’t successful. Now they didn’t block my daughter’s vision because I told them to move but other children were blocked. They refused to sit down or be quiet, as not just me, but other parents in the front suggested! Now, none of us know what the last book was about, thanks to them. Even Curious George was curious about where their mother went. I need to know.

Momma, what were you thinking and why can’t you control your seeds? They were all under 5. The rest of us shouldn’t be punished because you gave up on parenting.

If nothing else at the end of the event, I was reminded my own child may be loud at times, but she is NOT bad, inconsiderate or rude! So, it brought me back to full circle appreciation. Thank you to my little city for all the cute things you put together for the youth! 

BEDTIME STORIES

Tonight, our bedtime stories were all about powerful, beautiful girls. My daughter’s first pick is a book called, Rad Girl Revolution. It features inspiring stories and gorgeous photographs of real girls in 30 different careers where women are often underrepresented. The book is beautiful, powerful and inspiring and teaches young girls to have courage. It was well thought out and is beautifully diverse. Every girl is able to see themselves in this book. The best part about Rad Girl Revolution is I homeschool and they have a great book unit that goes along with it. Thank you, Sharita Manickam & Jennifer Elliot Bruno, this book is truly magical! If you have a daughter, please check out this Girl Power Pack Impressive Book, says my Lil Cherie! 

The book is available on Amazon now

SHE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, STRAWBERRY

It was a sad day in our house today! My little girl and I walked to the park and had a great time. She saw beautiful butterflies and talked about how she loved nature. When we got home, she went to feed her fish. First, she fed Molly then went to Strawberry. Strawberry was at the bottom of her bowl not moving. My heart skipped a beat. She started screaming into the bowl. Strawberry was dead! As a parent, I could either take this time to talk about the facts of life or lie. I picked the hard choice. I looked in the bowl and said Strawberry is dead. There was no easy was to say it. I held her and let her cry…. she screamed and cried. It broke my heart. She was hysterical and I was heartbroken for her knowing unfortunately, it was the first of many heartbreaks. 

When she settled down, I asked her if she wanted me to flush him or bury him. She wanted to bury him. So, we picked a bush she could see through her bedroom window. I dug a hole and put Strawberry in. She wanted to cover him, so I handed her my little hand shovel and let her. I said a prayer and she said, “Amen.” 

She couldn’t concentrate on school, didn’t want to go to Taekwondo. When she didn’t stop crying and didn’t want to go to Taekwondo, that’s when it came to me this was just gonna be a hard day. So, we snuggled in bed and talked. I asked her to tell me how she felt, I allowed her to talk and cry. We turned on YouTube and watched a couple of videos about children grieving over their pets, so she knew she was not alone. We snuggled and talked. I know it’s a long road ahead, I explained to her the pain will always be there but will dissipate over time. 

Good luck to parents since explaining death and grieving to little ones is never easy. There are many wonderful books I read to her about children whose pets have passed away.  One of my favorites was Up in Heaven by Emma Chichester Clark.

Strawberry 

July 21, 2019- October 15, 2019