I had a Birthday!

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Despite the pre-Birthday stress, I did have a fun birthday. I was surrounded by Family and Friends that I consider Family.

Thanking Dheza for giving me cake. I feel like I did not thank you enough. But really I am so grateful!

We had pancit molo! Self service of course..

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Bingo!

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Tagay!

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I received nice gifts but the best gift by far, is a butt nekkid Rhylie-pot!

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Toy Rotation – Part 1

If you have read my earlier post, you know that Rhylie’s Play area looks like this:

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Then more recently, it got worst. I am just grateful for the poor quality of the pic, you can’t see how bad it was. =)

Play area 1

I think he gets overwhelmed by the toys he had and did not really enjoy playing with them. He will pull them out or dump them but not really play with them. So I decided to try rotating his toys. The idea is, one toy per shelf and 1 floor toy.

Play Area 2

Much better. But this is just a band-aid to the mess I have made. We are still working on improving the room since half of it is full  toys that I have dumped to free up the shelves. I also put a floor bed and he loves this. In fact, he had taken naps and had fallen asleep in here a few times.

So what do we have on the shelves?

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First Shelf (L-R)
Dylan the Dump Truck – He loves Dylan and will actually point to him when asked, “Rhylie, where is Dylan?”. This is a megalbloks and it has “bloks” that he puts together and pulls apart.

Cardboard Book of Nursery Rhymes – He is not into this somehow. He used to love turning the pages and looking at the pictures.

Stacking Rings – He likes this, but apparently not much. He keeps on tossing the rings out of the playpen. He can stack the rings but not order.

Piano – He used to love this but somehow he is over this.

Second Shelf (L-R)

Fischer Price Phone – He enjoys playing with this for the sound and the mechanisms. But he does not recognize this as phone. When I tell him to call Bing Ang on this, he will use his bare hands or his “cordless phones”, the ones that came with his other toys to pretend call.

Pounding toy – Not in his skill set. But I still left it there. For now, he can recognize that the hammer is used to pound the pegs but when he tries, he misses and his pounding, not enough force. (Where is the hammer? Hmn..)

Blocks – Love, Love, Love this one. He can stack them kinda high. They are of good qualitym the colors are nice and some of the blocks have special features that makes them interesting. he also loves throwing out of the playpen, I think he likes the clunking sound it makes. In the evening when I get home, I would stack the blocks and he will topple them over. I will pretend cry and he giggles.

FP Catterpillar – He can push and pull the 2 pegs, but the middle on has to be rotated and his chunky fingers still can’t manage that. 2/3 is not bad I guess.

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Just another angle.

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His floor toy is his basketball and a couple of balls.

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The mainstays. Pooh Bear of course, and his unbreakable mirror. He also has Tigger and Sophie the Giraffe. Both were not photographed since they live on the bedside table.

So this is how I am arranging his toys and honestly, this method is very effective. He learned to play with each of his tou and even knows that the blocks go on their tray and Dylan’s Blok pieces goes on the Dump Truck. He is able to enjoy his toys more and a bonus, cleanup is a breeze!

This weekend, I am switching the toys up. He had this set up for almost 2 weeks and most bloggers suggest rotate toys every 2 weeks. Hopefully we can update soon.

Here’s praying that I also finish the rest of the room.

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Montessori at Home

I was supposed to start montessori at home when Rhylie was 9 months old. But honestly I got overwhelmed. He is now 14 months and I am starting fresh. We had been doing little activities and he is doing great. He follows instructions well and can actually concentrate on a single task for a few minutes. But he stills gums everything he can grab so he must be supervised when doing activities that has small objects.

Here’s what we had been doing so far:

pompoms

Inserting pompoms into an empty soda bottle then shaking it to empty it out. This is a hit! I can have a few minutes minutes of silence. When we started, he puts the pompoms in his mouth so I had to watch him vigilantly at first.

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Animal sorting. This one is a fail. He does enjoy putting the animals inside the ark but he doe not put them in their correct slots. He just put the animals on their side and insert them to the alligator slot since the hole is longer. That is kinda smart of him. But I am keeping this on hold and will reintroduce later.

blocks

Blocks. This one is a hit. He can stack them high and a bonus, he knows to put the blocks back in their tray. Yey for that!

magnets

Magnets. We are using my old chalkboard/magnetic board and some magnets we have on hand. This is a hit. He loves it. But he still puts the magnets in his mouth and I am paranoid. So, this is also on hold.

Resto

We were in Red Lobster in Dubai and while waiting for our food, Rhylie got antsy. Instead of flipping out the iPhone as usual, we insert sugar/creamer packet tubes in an empty water bottle. A few minutes of silence. Then he got tired of it and started throwing the packets on the floor. So, we whipped out the iPhone. =(

supplies

Some supplies I got for future activities. There are so little options here in Ras Al Khaimah so I have to use my imagination a lot. I went to a thrift store (RAK Palace) and bought all of the items in the picture except for the pompom balls. That, I got that from Daiso.

I have likewise created a list of Montessori activities he can do at home for the next week:

1. Open and Shut – Just some containers/boxes/bags that he can open and close.

2. Color Sorting – self explanatory.

3. Animal Basket – to develop word recognition and teach animal sounds.

4. Hats/Shoes/Sunglasses in a box – this will be his real life activity form now.

5. Lacing Activity – or more like “tuhog” activity since we will be using as stick to “lace” the animal beads.

6. Tennis Ball in a Container – to develop his gross motor  skills

Hopefully I can update on the activities above.

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Rhylie’s First Birthday Party

I’m just glad that I am not doing this for a living, otherwise I’d be broke. Such a bad, lazy blogger. Tsk tsk tsk. Not that this will make make up for the lapsed. I’m brain tired and body tired. So this will mostly be a photo dump.

Rhylie’s celebrated his first birthday party in the UAE. Since summer has started it, we decided to rent out a venue instead of having a party at home. Plus we do not know how to cook, we will need a venue + catering. There are only a few choices in RAK and after visiting several potential venues, we settled at Chikka Grill Resto-Bar. Not an ideal place for a children’s party but it turned it great and we were happy with our decision.

Photos as promised. The Gigantic Tarpuline, courtesy of Tito Regie, along with the Family T-shirts! It made our celebration super special.

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 The Sad Clown, he hates the clown wig so much. You can see how miserable he is when I forced it on his head.

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A DIY signage to guide the guests. Wish I could have done better. Time constraints and all. Sigh.

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We had a candy bar full of goodies!

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The wonderful and delicious cake courtesy of Tita Jing and Tita Cai! Thanks po!
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We had activities station for kids, temporary tattoos, clown mazes, and children’s games.

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Whenever kids join any games and activities they are given tickets. Based on the number of tickets they have collected, they can pick a prize from our Prizes Corner. Wish I had a better photo. =(

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The giveaways, courtesy of Ninong Sam! Arrange by Ninong LJ in an R for Rhylie.

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More photos of the cute celebrant! Yey!

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Lastly, Family Pic!

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Thank you God for Rhylie. We have prayed for him and waited many years. He came in your time and we are grateful. Continue to bless him with good health, with good humor, with good sense. Thank you for the many people that have so generously blessed us to make his birthday celebration more special. Amen.

On a side note, I really should edit my photos. But if I start to think about how imperfect they are, I would not be posting for months. So this is us and what I can for now. Whew.

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Rhylie’s 1st Birthday – Planning or rather Lack of Planning

As I type this, I am being harassed (halfway ’round the world, mind you) by my BFF to move my a** and finalized the many details for Rhylie’s birthday. I really don’t know why but I am so chill and unpanicky. It is so not like me. Even the BFF commented, that I put more preparation (and panic) in other people’s parties I have thrown over the years. Toinks! I guess my party planning mojo’s thrown off because of the recent drama that I am still going through. Just a couple more days and I will hit my stride and plunge head first. Anyhoo, the venue is booked, invite is almost ready, giveaways are on its away. So that’s 3 down, the latter 2 of which is courtesy of my BFF all the way from China. Ain’t he awesome? I love you ne, just wanna throw that in there.

At least for today, I will list all the things that needed to be done and purchased and planned.

As a consolation for my procrastination, here is a sneak peak from Rhylie’s photoshoot.

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Ain’t he cute? Special shout out to our pro-bono photographer Tito RL, whose availability, kindness, patience and willingness is unabashedly always taken advantage by the me.

K, wish me luck!

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April Projects

April is Lent Month. Lent means, sacrifices, second chances, betterment. Because of this I have decided to tackle some projects. All at the same time. Because I’m an optimist and stupid at the same time. Here’s the list that mocks me.

1. No spend month via http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/31-days/livingwellspendingzero/

This is such a great idea, I started out all gung-ho not spending a dirham but then I went to the mall for groceries this weekend and failed miserably. Stupid sales and buy one take ones. Aarrrgh! But as per my forum buddies, just get back on the horse and do better. I am trying to track my spending by Goodbudget app in my phone but somehow its not working. I will try and twerk it today so hopefully it will work. I am also thinking of installing the app in hubby’s phone but I’m not yet that brave, nor transparent apparently. *Sheepish grin*

2. Project Balik Alindog via http://www.mommyfleur.com/?s=project+balik+alindog

Honestly not even to be sexy but to, at least, fit into my old clothes again. I do have some pretty stuff and I hate to part with them especially since some of them are kinda expensive! And after the “Rutchel, y no bath?” fiasco. I must admit I need to get out of the frump.

Weighed myself yesterday, scary digits came back. I hope the upcoming events in the next months should motivate me.

3. Organize/Clean Home via http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.ae/2014/03/monthly-clean-home-challenge.html

The house is a mess! I am becoming more and more lazy. I am just letting mother hen take over the housework. But with her good intentions and ADHD (joke! joke! joke!), our house is half clean, half organized. Just need more Stresstabs and good music to kick it off.
Jen at Iheartorganizing have a printable list, I hope it can produce results no matter how slowly it will take.

4. Montesorri at home via http://thefreechild.blogspot.ae/search/label/Montessori%20infant

I really want Rhylie to have an stimulating, fun, organized place to grow and learn but instead he has this:Image

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* Hanging my head in shame.

I promised myself I will not expose him to a bunch of electronic toys but now, my go to solution for a little peace and quiet is a youtube playlist of his favorite nursery rhymes. He even knows how to swipe the iPhone and press buttons. So I failed on that. Let me just dust myself and will get back on the saddle.

Thank goodness April is a long month and I am allowing my self as many chances as I can . I just have to let go of the perfectionist, pessimist, procrastinist, in me. I will try and update when I can. Maybe a themed day?

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No Spend April

2013_83way_1_innerbigIt’s the first of April, I am diving head first to a challenge. A 30 day no spend month. It is scaring the bejezzez out of me and I am unprepared. But it is now or never. I have been thinking of doing this challenge for the longest time but my impulse online shopping is just too hard to resist. Now money is tight and it is time to be smart. I was to stock my pantry and purchase everything forehand but I did not. Not off to a good start but here we go.

Why exactly? Because it had been 7 years since I landed in the sandy desert and I have nothing to show for it except my little Pot-pot. It is time to buckle up and man up!

Following this smart lady’s plan,

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/31-days/livingwellspendingzero/

So what’s the plan?
– Buy only the necessities

– Bring lunch

– Do not buy toys and clothes

– Pay all bills on time

That is all for now. I hope I can keep it up. My mantra starting today is “Every Dirham Counts.”

 

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