Rainy Halloween and My Little Pumpkin

For the past two years, Halloween here has been rainy! But the rains and the gusty winds have not stopped the kids from wearing their Halloween costumes today in school. It was hubby who sent our school boy today and even with the pouring rain dampening the school grounds, kids were still in their costumes and he said they still looked very spooky, cute and adorable.

I am just happy that it’s not so cold today because children can still go trick or treating. There is still rain but it’s not pouring hard anymore. I just hope that the kids can go a long way with their treat or tricking later. The whole family will have dinner in hubby’s aunt’s place and she has prepared some “meat eyeballs,” “bloody fingers,” stuffed chicken, a hearty soup and she has also prepared treats for my boys. We all can’t wait to go there and enjoy the sumptuous treats. I really do hope that it won’t rain that hard later tonight.

I just want to share to you today what my little boy wore for Halloween and because it was raining hard and super cold last year, they were not able to go out for trick or treating. Here’s my little pumpkin:

Have a safe and Happy Halloween everyone!

Relief Operations in Bohol

The aftermath of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the beautiful island of Bohol in the Philippines in the morning of October 15 is just so heartbreaking. Even up to now, I still see photos of friends’ and neighbours’ houses destroyed and all kissing to the ground posted on Facebook. But just few hours after that destructive calamity, help came and relief operations went under way. As you all know, I started a campaign here in my blog and the response to help the earthquake victims back home was just overwhelming!

I was able to raise $1,060 in cash and cheque and have already sent it to two non-government organizations in Cebu and Bohol that are conducting relief goods distribution to the affected towns and municipalities. There is also another $500 pledge from the Knights of Columbus here in Oakville but I still have yet to receive the cheque and this will surely be able to buy gallons of water as this is the most needed now. The earthquake has shaken the grounds, destroyed water and electricity lines thus cutting off the much needed supply to the towns. It really breaks my heart to see my friends, neighbours and relatives to sleep in tents and fearing for their lives every time the ground shakes as aftershocks are still being felt (even till now). My heart bleeds thinking that I have enough water here, I have food in my fridge and yet they don’t have potable water to drink for days after the earthquake. That they had to wait for relief goods to arrive, they had no electricity and to contact them seemed impossible.

Thankfully, through my media connections back home, I have sent messages to help the victims and that they need it immediately and they have responded well too! The donation that I have sent have already been used to buy goods and several towns have already been given their much needed food and water and even medical supplies. Here are some photos that I’ve gathered from the organization that I’ve coursed through for our donation, Hope-Avenue Philippines Incorporated:

relief operations for Bohol

Goods being repacked by Hope-Avenue’s volunteers and staff!

relief operations for Bohol

Hope-Avenue in action and the earthquake victims scrambling to receive bags of relief goods.

relief operations for Bohol

This photo really tore my heart and as I write this post, my tears are falling down. I can just imagine the ordeal that this elderly had to go through. All I can do now is pray for her and for everyone else who have been affected, that the Lord may comfort them and they will be able to rebuild their lives again.

relief operations for Bohol

And while browsing through the relief operations album of Hope-Avenue, I saw this photo, more tears fell down. I think of my own children who would have also been in the same situation had we stayed in Bohol for a year more. I see in the children’s eyes the hope that they will be able to overcome all the circumstances they are in  and their simple joys of getting a bag of rice, noodles, biscuits, canned goods and water is just evident.

The bags of relief goods will only sustain for a few days and I think of the long-term effects of the earthquake. How will they start, how about those families who have lost loved ones? How are they going to rebuild their lives? And even though I see the hope that Bohol will rise again, it will only happen if everyone contributes. Hope-Avenue Philippines Incorporated has also launched a calamity aid response unit geared towards the rehabilitation and rebuilding of houses as well as the psychological and spiritual lives of the earthquake victims.

The earthquake has forever changed our lives, the landscape of the island and has etched a big mark in our hearts, but the destruction and devastation will never dampen our spirits, it will never make us lose hope, it will make us stronger and Bohol will rise again!

I’m Saying Goodbye to Diaper!

I have two boys, the eldest is 6 and the youngest is 2 and I am so PROUD to say that I have successfully potty-trained them, or should I say, I did not have problems at all when it comes to potty training. Yes, minimal to no problems at all, it’s because my boys trained themselves to use the potty! Thanks to my hubby who somehow influenced them. It’s like this, my husband (ssshhhh, it’s a secret) usually don’t close the bathroom door when he uses it, so our little boys get to see him peeing (gosh!) Because of this, our little boy follows his daddy to the bathroom and sees everything that’s going on there. I know it’s not a right thing to do (to not close the bathroom door when you are using it), but somehow in a way, our little boy has learned to go by himself from watching his dad.

It was weeks ago when Job did not want to wear his diaper anymore. He wanted to take it off and just be on his pants. So when he was doing this, hubby and I kept reminding him to say “wiwish” when he wants to go pee. We also bought him a potty where he can sit down and pee. Yes, he first used them and even helped in flushing his pee into the toilet, but because it was such a waste of water (cleaning the potty then flushing it again in the big toilet), I decided to just let him use the big one so that we can save water. To this, which the little boy gladly followed and since then, he doesn’t use his own potty anymore and would just say “Wiwish potty!” That means he wants to go to the big toilet! For the first few nights, we still had our little boy wear his nappy, but in the morning when he wakes up, it’s just wrinkled, dry and empty! By the time he’s up, he would ask me or his dad to take off the diaper and he would say “wiwish potty!” And there you go! Three years ago too, my eldest just trained to go by himself. The time just came that he did not want to wear diaper anymore and would just ran to the bathroom and do his thing.

What makes me so PROUD is that there was no coercion, no force, no pushing my boys to sit in the potty and go, they just did it themselves and my eldest has NEVER wet his bed ever since. The little boy has not wet our bed yet and he has not been wearing any diaper at night for about two weeks now! For me this is a GREAT ACHIEVEMENT! I know of some parents and moms especially who have had terrible experiences with potty training that they almost gave up. I am just so fortunate and I feel blessed that my little boys did not give me any headache with potty training!