3 Bonding Ideas With A Twist

Thinking of weekends never fails to make my heart skip a beat. I LOVE weekends because of the time I get to spend with my boys.

Still, I get a little bit anxious whenever I fail to think of a new activity. So what I do, I try to add some twists in our weekend bonding activities that my boys and I will surely enjoy.

Below are several activities that family often enjoys and I your family could try them as well.

Visit an arcade

My son loves playing in arcades but the sad part for us is the waiting for him to finally finish playing. Although we have a budget, sometimes it takes a lot of time before he accepts that his arcade hours are over.  So the twist here is to add a competition to take the arcade bonding experience to the next level. I team up with my son and we play against my husband. The “team” having more tickets can choose which snack to have. And of course, the other one has to pay for the snack.

Dress Up A Costume

Since my son had his first Halloween Trick or Treat, he can’t get over the idea of dressing up in a costume and getting lots of sweets. The twist here is that you can recreate this at home like a mini-cosplay of your child’s favorite cartoon. The materials should be anything found at home.

Fun with the Bedsheets

Remember the time you made your first fort? I do and I still make them. I also taught my son how he could make his own fort using pillows. The twist in here is making a bedsheet fort for each of the family member. My husband usually resides beside the computer. Our son bought the mattress lot so I can only have the lot near the dresser.

One of the best advices I got for family bonding is that the activity should only be for the child. Sometimes we focus only with the child doing the activity but it is a lot more fun and memorable when all the family members join the games and contribute to the bonding activity.

Advertisements

Valentine’s Day Celebration with the Family

Last December, I was fortunate enough to attend a parenting seminar called REPLAYS – OUR CHILDREN ARE REPLAYS OF US, THEIR PARENTS. In this seminar, we were enlightened with the fact that what happens in the relationship of the mother and the father are reflected in their child’s behavior. When Mommy Fe Gloria and Daddy Mani Gloria were sharing their experiences they mentioned that their children were the happiest whenever Mommy Fe would read them Daddy Mani’s love notes while he was overseas. It sounded cheesy but their children, now adults, confirmed that this was one of the most memorable moments of their childhood. It was an affirmation that they were made by 2 people who are madly in love with each other.

Since the Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away and falls on a weekday, I had an idea to celebrate February 14th at home with Miguel. Hubby and I already agreed that we’ll do our Valentine’s Date on a weekend so there’ll be no conflict with the schedule, only an extended celebration.

Since I had to make a Valentine’s Day celebration child-friendly, here are a few things I’m planning to do:

Movie Marathon – Our family loves watching movies together and I thought we could use some Lady and the Tramp love this Valentines. If the night is still young, I could squeeze in another movie like Wall-E which also has a good love story in it.

from allbackgrounds.com

Hearts Curtain – As soon as February starts, I’ll hang a heart curtain with pictures of the family members and reasons why we love each other. This heart curtain will stay until the end of February.

Mathching Valentine Pajamas – Since we’ll be watching some “child-friendly” movies, we could do it both in style and in comfort.

from prlog.org

Spaghetti and some sweets sampler – Since Lady and the Tramp is showing, we can’t miss the spaghetti! Also, we got share that love with a plate of desserts. I’ll be ordering a few red velvet cupcakes and vanilla ice cream.

from redcupcakes.wordpress.com

The point of this celebration is for the children to have memories of how their parents love one another. Of course I will still plan for a date with my husband but I guess another celebration with the kid might start a new family tradition.

The Family’s First Baguio Trip

I’m back! After a long hiatus from this blog, I’ve decided to write again.

To restart Family Time Manila this 2012, I’m going to write about our first Family Trip in Baguio last December 2011. This Baguio trip means very much to me because it’s a gift from my husband.

My husband informed me about this Baguio trip 3 days before the trip. For a “control freak” like me, that was a short time to prepare and to make sure that everything goes smoothly. I had to make the itinerary and I had prepared the things that we need. However, the 3 days of cramming for the trip would never surpass the happiness the trip brought us.

Trip Preparation

I had to make sure everything I need was written down. Especially, the itinerary and the addresses of the spots we visited. I had a very big bag with me all the time to carry my camera, my makeup (to look good for the camera), first aid kit, spare shirt for my son and the itinerary folder.

Speaking of itinerary, here’s the planned itinerary and the next list is the actual itinerary.

Planned:

Day 1
4:00 AM – Departure from South
10:00 AM – Arrival in Baguio
10:30 AM – PMA
12:30 PM – Lunch at Forest House
2:00 PM – Check in at Mines View Park Hotel
3:30 PM – Merienda at House of Waffles
5:30 PM – Back to Hotel 
7:00 PM – Dinner at Hotel

Day 2
7:00 AM – Breakfast at Hotel
8:00 AM – Wright Park
9:00 AM – The Mansion
9:30 AM – Botanical Garden
10:30 AM – Burnham Park
12:30 PM- Lunch at 50’s Diner 
2:00 PM – CHJ Mile Hi and Eco Trail, Target Shooting
4:00 PM – Tsoklate Batirrol (CHJ)
5:00 PM – Bell House, Bell Amphi, Cemetery of Negativism
7:00 PM – Dinner at Hotel

Day 3
Breakfast then Mines View Park – Check out

Actual:

Day 1
4:00 AM – Departure from South
10:00 AM – Arrival in Baguio
10:30 AM – PMA
12:30 PM – Lunch at Forest House 
2:00 PM – Check in at Mines View Park Hotel
4:00 PM – Tsoklate Batirrol (CHJ)
5:00 PM – Bell House, Bell Amphi, Cemetery of Negativism
7:00 PM – Dinner at Hotel

Day 2
7:00 AM – Breakfast at Hotel
8:00 AM – Wright Park
9:00 AM – The Mansion
9:30 AM – Botanical Garden
10:30 AM – Burnham Park
12:30 PM- Lunch at 50’s Diner 
2:00 PM – CHJ Mile Hi  and Eco Trail, Target Shooting
3:30 PM- Merienda at House of Waffles
4:30 PM – Mines View 
5:30 PM – Back to Hotel
7:00 PM – Dinner at Hotel

Day 3
Breakfast then Check out

As you can see, we weren’t able to follow the planned itinerary since there were a few considerations experienced once we arrived in Baguio. Still, it was easy to update the itinerary since the destinations were grouped based on the vicinity.

Taking time to enjoy away from the city was really something new for us and we felt the happiness even after several weeks. Now, we’re always looking out for budget family travels this 2012.

Enjoy the pictures:

Design-Your-Family-Burger

Weeksdays are so tiring for working parents that more often than not, we dont have time to cook.

Our previous helper doesn’t know how to cook so my husband and I have to cook meals during weekends and have them frozen. We re-heat them during dinner or breakfast.

But now that our helper knows how to cook, we usually let her do the dinner. But of course, there are meals that you have to cook and prepare on your own.

 One of the dishes my husband and I have to do by ourselves is our Ultimate Family Burger. It so ultimate because it is so big and delicious.

I have to apologize because I won’t be able to share our recipe. The only thing important with designing your own burger is that you put in everything you want. Get the best ingredients and make it hearty. It will still be a lot cheaper than fast food burgers.

So every sunday, make your family burger with everyone’s favorite toppings on it. Watch a movie and enjoy the afternoon. Mondays will surely be a lot better. 🙂

Visiting the Grandparents: How Often?

New parents often find themselves in the limbo of spending time with their new family and spending time with their respective in-laws.

In the Philippines, we give very high importance to our family that even if we already have our own family, we never forget to take part in family gatherings or call our parents from time to time.

If your a “balance-freak” like me, you’re probably wondering how much time should be spent with the Grandparents for your child to have enough bonding time with them. I’d tell you this, your asking the wrong question. As I always say, it not about the quantity, but the quality of time spent. You can drop by one day every month but still have the quality time spent.

Maybe it’s just me but I feel the need to prove that I am independent when we moved out of my parents’s home.  Juggling work and managing a household was overwhelming at first that I used to forget to get in touch with my parents. But I can’t give that reason to my son when he starts asking about his grandparents. I’d feel awkward if my son would feel indifferent with his grandparents. So from time to time, we let him spend time with his grandparents.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your Grandparents’s time:

  • Plan Ahead – A month ahead the scheduled visitation should suffice. This will give you and the grandparents time to block schedules.
  • Home-bound – I find it more rewarding to spend an afternoon at my parents’s home than spend time in a restaurant queue or worse, traffic. You can have food delivered if you’re looking for a special dish.
  • Have other relatives come over – This works if done alternately with just the grandparents or with some relatives. If you have a mom like mine, you’d probably told your mom to stop wandering in the kitchen and just relax when visitors come in. So have some weekends with just the grands parents and some weekends with the cousins.
  • Live your child alone with the grandparents for an hour or 2 – You can escape for a quick pampering at a local nail salon or a massage at a nearby spa. Your child spending time alone with the grandparents will allow them to know each other in a deeper level.
  • Communicate – If you parents aren’t one of those who have successfully coped with the Social Media era, try to call you parents from time to time.  This will give you ideas on how to spend the next visit with them. Also, we can’t never escape a few differences with parenting style and this needs to be addressed.  I can’t give you any tips on how to do that. What I can only say is that you should air sentiments like this so that you don’t avoid times spent with grandparents.