Absolute, Millennial Moms PH: In Trusting Your Children’s Choices

February 22, 2019 0 Comments
When we give birth to a child, we shower them with unconditional love and we celebrate small and big wins one after another. That baby becomes the apple of our eyes, the focus of all things and a mom's world seems to revolve around the little baby. But as months and years pass by, we, moms, tend to be more clingy than ever as we find our baby having a life of their own. Suddenly, the baby we once cuddled to sleep doesn't want to sleep beside us anymore. She would prefer to eat on her own and would proudly show us that she can already dress herself. As she goes to school, we would feel that she has become more independent and moment after moment, we find our little baby needing us less.  

I am not ready to let go yet! That's the silent cry of moms but we all just need to learn to let go and be happy with our growing baby. Our baby is slowly becoming a toddler, a kid, an ate or kuya, a school child, a teenager and so on. Oh they really just don’t stop growing. But one thing we should always remember is that our children needs our absolute love and not the clingy type of love. The love we give should make them confident, happy and ready to face the realities of life - a love that will keep them going through life. 

A huge part of loving purely, truly and absolutely is teaching our children to grow in freedom and trust. That trust should come from us first as manifested in our actions. They should learn it through experience as we trust them in small, day to day decision-making while they are young and slowly in bigger things as they grow and mature. Our challenge is to give them the right criteria to always refer to whenever they make their own decisions freely. We cannot and should not dictate what is best for our child. That's not absolute love; in fact that is not love. Let us all give pure and absolute love that trusts and respects freedom. If we are successful in doing this, our children will be able to enjoy life more and will be able to overcome any challenges they may face in the future. 

Millennial Moms PH were so touched with the Absolute Distilled Water: #PureLoveTrusts video that features Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo and her children as they can very much relate to her situation. Here are some of their comments on the touching video as they learn to let go and trust their growing children: 

"I look at my daughter everyday and I can't imagine letting her go. But thinking of my mom who raised us alone, like her, I know that I just have to trust God on whatever His plan is for my child." - Mommy Miriam Isla-Evangelista 

"Ours is quite the clingy type of love. But as she grows up, I must instill in her the type of independence that will allow her to explore and discover on her own and still now that at the end of the day, we still have each other. No matter what she encounters, she will always have my absolute love for her." - Mommy Shane Cuison Baniel 

"As moms, we need to balance how we hold on and let go of things relating to our children. They need to see that as they grow older, our trust also grows with them. But they also have to see that no matter what, our love is always shown." - Mommy Jinky Santos-Addun 

"We have to trust our child in the things they want to do and we'll be there to guide them properly giving them our never ending love and care." - Mommy Marycor Molina-Valencia 

Mommies, the struggle is real. I too can relate having a 3 year old who talks and reasons out like an adult and an 11 month old baby who is growing too fast and would not want my assistance as she learns how to walk. But maybe we can just follow the footsteps of our parents who loved us and trusted us as we make our decisions. Just imagine if our parents did not trust us. We wouldn't feel happy and loved right?! We can do this! Our love should evolve as our children grow, as we ourselves become more mature, to a love that is more noble and true. Let's plant the seeds of a love that is pure and absolute in the hopes of raising a person who has the ability to make good and morally upright decisions. By then, we hope would be able to say that we have done it right, that we have really loved.

#MomApproved: Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Rocker

February 22, 2019 0 Comments

When I had my first baby, I would casually hear a suggestion from my parents and other experienced moms not to invest so much on baby stuff as the babies easily outgrow it. Well, after having two babies, I can attest that this statement is true. So to get more value for my hard earned money, I learned to invest on toys and gears that can be used longer by my children. When I say longer, it means that it should be something that they can find useful or enjoyable for a longer time and it should be able to withstand years of usage.

I particularly like the Fisher-Price brand, not only because I grew up knowing the brand, but because their products have been tried, tested and proven to be made of safe and high-quality materials. I also like that Fisher-Price always comes up with age-specific products that help the child develop ones sensory and gross motor skills. Lastly, I like that Fisher-Price products are reasonably priced. The products last for years making the investment even more worth it. Bella's Fisher-Price toys are now being used by Eliza.

One Fisher-Price product that I really like is the Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Rocker.

Why I like it?

1. It grows with the baby. 
The rocker can be used from newborn to toddler age. That would be an approximate 3 years plus usage for each child which makes it a great investment. It is something that can be used by the succeeding babies as well. And since I have two children, an 11 month old and  a 3 year old, this rocker is something that they both use at present.

2. It converts from a stationary chair to a rocking chair.
For my 11 month old Eliza, I use it as a stationary chair. This prevents her from accidentally falling due to the rocking motion.

Ate Bella, my 3 year old, on the other hand loves using it as a rocking chair. She finds the rocking motion too relaxing and amusing for her.

I like that all I need to do to convert it from a stationary chair to a rocking chair is to pull the four legs down.

3. It serves as my child's own safe and happy space.

The rocker sparks joy as it is covered with a very colorful and vibrant pad which makes it very attractive to my children. The moment I set-up the chair, the two kids are automatically drawn to it. A plus is that the cute pad is machine-washable so I need not worry too much just in case the pad gets dirty.

It also has a removable toy arch that has two toy links that always captures the attention of Eliza. Since Bella is older, I remove the toy arch to give her more space to move. Good thing, it can be easily adjusted to suit the different needs of my children.

In terms of safety, the rocker comes with a 3 point seat belt which prevents the baby from falling off the chair. This is a good thing because nursery chairs which are usually stools does not come with a safety feature.

The rocker can also be reclined if the baby wants to take a nap or sleep. It facilitates correct posture for the baby. It can again be adjusted to a seating position when the baby is awake and playing.

And lastly, my fave feature of this rocker is the vibration mechanism. If you lay down a sleeping baby and activate the vibration motion, it makes the baby sleep even more as she feels that she has company. The vibration also soothes and calms the baby which results to a longer and deeper sleep.
The rocker can be folded too when not in use!

P.S. Did you know that aside from toys and gears, Fisher-Price also has shoes for babies and toddlers?

Like the other Fisher-Price products, the shoe designs are so cute and made of high-quality materials. It is extremely comfortable and safe for use by our little ones. Just look at that signature Fisher-Price lion!

The shoes has a memory foam insole for superior comfort of our baby's little feet. It has a stitched outsole to make it more durable and it provides a flexible heel support to ensure the safety of our beginner walkers.

To those who want to buy Fisher-Price toys and gears, shop online at Kids Company to make sure that you are buying authentic ones via this link: bit.ly/FPKidsCompany.

Do follow @FisherPriceSEA and @RichwellClubPh in Instagram for updates and promos.

Fisher-Price shoes are also available at the SM Department Store - Children's Shoes Section.

Subic Bay, A Family-friendly Destination Near Manila

February 19, 2019 4 Comments

Before I became a mom, trips would mean packing light, having a loaded itinerary, staying up late and choosing a budget hotel that is good enough for sleeping through the night. But now that I am a mom of a three year old toddler and an eleven month old baby, trips would mean overpacking, bringing the entire house, having a relaxed itinerary with several contingency plans and choosing a family-friendly place to stay.

I can't believe we are a family of four already!
Even though traveling with small children would mean getting tired than usual, I still want to travel with them because I honestly would not want it any other way. I love to see my children's eyes sparkle in amazement while experiencing new things. I want to create memories with them that we will all look back to through the years. I want to have a break from the usual routine and relax with them. I want to see them happy because it makes me happier. I guess a tiring/happy/satisfying/kid-friendly trip would be the new normal for me.

I have been wanting to book a flight to either Bohol or Boracay for some peace and quiet time. I wanted to go to a beach resort with a lux hotel feels to recharge and regain my sanity and also to reward myself for successfully surviving a yayaless household with a feisty toddler and a clingy baby. But just thinking of the travel, the stuff I will bring, managing the two kids by myself, the body aches and pains I will endure make me to eventually put on hold my plans.

So, when I got an invite to an overnight trip to Subic Bay recently, I immediately said yes. I told my husband that the heavens heard my prayers and the beach is now the one literally offering herself to me. Who am I to say no? Subic is such a family-friendly place. It is very near Manila and can be reached via land transportation. In Subic, everything is within reach. SM, Ayala Malls and even Duty Free shops are in the vicinity thus grocery, food and supplies would not be a problem. Hospitals, drugstores and even banks are also available. There is also a Catholic church nearby.

Note: This trip is sponsored by ACEA Subic but I am not paid to say the things I will mention below. It is solely based on my personal experience during that overnight trip.

Subic via SCTEX
Though without much preparation, I went to Subic with my husband, my 3 year old toddler and 11 month old baby. Similar to our past trips, the OA mom in me overpacked and brought a lot of baby stuff like the sterilizer, diapers, lots of extra clothes and toys. Thank God we have a car where I can dump everything in high hopes that I did not forget something essential.

Ju-Ju-Be bags + Babyzen bag and Babyzen stroller
We left on a Friday at 6am, passed via SCTEX and reached Subic at around 9am. It was a surprisingly relaxing and fast 3-hour trip. I enjoyed sightseeing the long stretch of SCTEX - the lahar, the mountains and the seemingly endless carless road. I suddenly wanted to explore the North more since traffic was way better compared to the South. Imagine, our recent trip to Tagaytay took us 5 hours in total - 3 hours from my house in Fairview to SLEX and another 2 hours from Alabang to Tagaytay proper.

As we reached Subic, I have little expectations of where we will stay. All I know is that ACEA Subic is a relatively new hotel on the side of Subic where Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure are located. It is situated in the same area as All Hands Beach and the famous Bat Kingdom. In my mind, ACEA Subic will be similar to the hotels I usually stay in when in Subic.

First impression

Upon entering the gate, I was so surprised that it has a quite big entrance and parking area. It reminded me of the entrance of Henann Resorts in Bohol and Boracay - but a mini version of it. I immediately felt good upon entering and I silently told myself that I am up for something promising.

While checking-in, I can already see the view of the beach and it made me excited even more.

HII Managed Resort!
Seeing this sign is a plus for me as it gave me the assurance that the hotel I am staying in is not just an ordinary hotel. Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII) is known for offering exceptional value, personalized experiences and the best brand of service and hospitality in the properties that they manage.

What I like about ACEA Subic

The private beachfront: 

I really like that it has a private beachfront. The beach is clean and so is the sand. Security is tight and only guests of the hotel are allowed to use the beach. You need not worry of peddlers reaching out to you to sell some stuff. They also offer exclusive beach activities such as the banana boat ride and jetski rental.

Bonding with my firstborn
There are no peddlers here!
The sand is so clean. No garbage!!!

The infinity pool: 

The hotel has a spacious and kid-friendly infinity pool. The deepest part is just 5 feet. There are also shallow areas for the little ones.

I love that the pool "connects" to the sea.
This shallow area is perfect for toddlers and babies.
Parents can also stay on the day beds while the kids are playing on the shallow portion.
The shallow part is connected to the deeper portion so parents can still enjoy swimming.

The play areas:

The resort has an indoor and outdoor play areas. The outdoor playground has several slides and a bucket when filled splashes water in the entire playground. The indoor playground on the other hand has slides, tubes and a ball pit. My daughters loved the indoor playground. In our next visit, we will surely allot more time so we can enjoy these amenities longer.

Outdoor splash playground
Indoor playground
The in-house restaurant:

I particularly like that this hotel has an in-house restaurant, Salt Restaurant, that serves delicious and affordable food. It offers both set and buffet menus. During our stay, we were able to enjoy a sumptuous lunch, a Mongolian buffet dinner and a buffet breakfast.

Buffet area
Dining area
Set menu for lunch

Mongolian Buffet Night

The spacious room:

I also like the room as it is perfect for a family of four. The room has a fridge, a TV with a working cable signal (and Disney channel!), free WiFi and a spacious toilet and bath. The rooms also have a nice and relaxing view. You can choose either a sea view or a garden view room.

The room is big enough for 4 adults.
A relaxing garden view. Love the greenery!
Aside from the resort facilities, the best feature of ACEA Subic that I really like which will make me recommend it to my relatives and friends is that it is not a crowded resort. Families can enjoy some peace and quiet time while bonding with their families. Neither the beach nor the pool is packed with people - one can serenely enjoy swimming, playing and even taking photos.

Staying in ACEA Subic is like waking up to a dream. I had zero expectations at the start of the trip but it gave me a new hotel standard for Subic hotels when I left. In just two days, I experienced really nice hotel facilities, admirable service and an unparalled beauty of nature - clean beach, fresh air, spectacular views of the sunset and the mountains. I cannot stop telling my husband that staying in ACEA did not feel like we were just in Subic. Since I cannot fly often yet with two small kids in tow, ACEA Subic would definitely be my go-to destination when I simply need a breather, some beach therapy for the kids or a quick family get-away.

ACEA Subic is located near other family-friendly destinations such as the Inflatable Island and Zoobic Safari. For this overnight trip, we chose to go to the Inflatable Island as we already went to Zoobic Safari some years back.

1. Inflatable Island
The Inflatable Island is a floating playground that kids and adults will surely enjoy. It is as big as eight basketball courts put side by side and contains inflatable slides, towers, bridges, human launchers and swings. Kids should be 3ft and above to be able to access the Inflatable Island. Since my little ones are below 3ft, we just stayed in the Pink Bali Lounge and watched their daddy as he went to the floating playground. The Pink Bali Lounge is also a nice photo backdrop so we made sure we took a lot of photos.

To those who want to visit the Inflatable Island, note that food and drinks are not allowed to be brought in. There are stores inside where you can buy. The resort also does not offer any room accommodation so you can only rest in the Bali Lounge beanbags or at the covered eating area near the stores.

Someone got thirsty!
Daddy on his way to the floating playground
Mesmerized with the all the inflatables and that giant unicorn!
Daddy survived!
Chilling at the Bali Lounge

2. Zoobic Safari

For children, the zoo is a great place for fun and learning. Zoobic Safari allows guests to have a close encounter with some animals like the tiger and crocodile. We went in 2016 with my family and I only had one baby back then.

Zoobic Safari trip in 2016
Close encounter with the tigers

Upon check-out, we went to the other side of Subic where the restaurants and malls are and ate at Extremely Espresso. We ordered their specialty pizza and nachos to keep us full for the long drive home. We wanted to do some Duty Free / outlet stores shopping but had to skip it since the kids were already sleeping.

To those planning to visit Subic this summer, here are the rates:

ACEA Subic Rates
Overnight accommodation in ACEA Subic for 2 adults, 2 kids (0-7 years old)
Fee is inclusive of breakfast : PHP 7,650.00
You may book via https://www.aceasubicbay.com/.

Entrance fees to Inflatable Island
Fee starts at PHP499. You may book tickets via Klook: https://www.klook.com/activity/8402-inflatable-island-subic-manila/

Entrance fees to Zoobic Safari
Fee starts at PHP487. You may book tickets via Klook: https://www.klook.com/activity/10665-zoobic-safari-admission-ticket-subic-manila/.

***Special thanks to ACEA Subic for this wonderful weekend get-away. You made this super tired mommy happy, energized and rejuvenated.***